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How to Home Brew Beer

Maybe you got a home brew beer kit for Christmas. I got one last Father’s Day, and have made four five gallon batches already. I was a bit nervous my first time, even with the directions, so I thought I’d make a quick video with my last batch. So, if it’s your first time and you’d like a little guidance, here you go:

How to Home Brew Beer from Shaun Melarvie on Vimeo.

Home Brewing Beer and diet (gulp)

For Father’s Day 2011 Sue gave me a home brewing beer kit. Since it came in such a large box, and since I was home the day it arrived, I got it a week early, and by Father’s day, had already brewed two batches–a wheat and an amber ale. The difference between an “ale” and a “lager”, I found out, is that an ale ferments at room temperature, whereas a lager ferments at a cooler temperature. The larger question is, as a self-proclaimed diet expert, where does home brewing beer fit into a diet?

I set up a little brew station in a corner in a basement that already holds a home theater, exercise area, painting/hobby work area, and a green screen video studio wall–all squished together somehow. The green screen conveniently hides a pallet of books.

Brew station

The "Brew Station"


My main problem with the home brewing beer thing is the carbohydrates. A low carb beer, like MGD 64 might have only 2.4g per 12oz. whereas a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot has a whopping 32g. And then, the calories–from 64 to 330 calories in the aforementioned beers. I’m guessing that a home brewed beer falls somewhere withing those two extremes. Hmmm…quite a conundrum.

I suppose my basic approach will be in moderation, which isn’t much of an issue for me personally because I’m on call half the time, and as a skier might say, “half the fun is waxing the skis,” I would say that half the fun is “brewing the beer,” oh, “and bottling it too.”

The truth is, I hated waxing skis, and was glad when God invented those plastic fish-scale bottoms so that I didn’t have to wax any longer. I think I must have waxed my skis less than ten times before ski wax became obsolete. Despite the ski wax analogy, brewing beer is fun; else, I’d not have already made a second batch. And levering a clam shell bottle capper down over a freshly poured bottle is satisfying–the soft muscular exertion as the corrugated metal edges snug down around the bottle top seems as the completion of a holy act.

I am three weeks away from facing the dilemma of the carbo-loading of a home brewed beer; but I’m not scared. I can handle  a couple of hundred calories and 15 extra grams of carbs–I can always exercise more, or skip an iced latte or something.