Most home brewing is unfortunately undertaken by the non serious amateurs who have visions of brewing up bottle after bottle of first rate quality beer that would have customers knocking at their door to demand slab after slab no matter what the cost. Truth of the matter is that home brewing is not as easy as it first appears. Beer brewing really is an art.
Your first batch may taste alright but for some reason the second batch tastes foul. The third batch has you regretting the outlay for the equipment and ingredients . After that the equipment sits in the garage gathering dust waiting for the next garage sale. What goes wrong?
In order to make brew after brew of reasonable home brew the single most important factor is to have everything thoroughly sterile. If you don’t start with everything clean as a whistle then you will most likely spoil your brew. In order for the fermentation to take place it is also important to maintain the correct temperature throughout the fermentation. You must watch over the process like a mother hen watches over her eggs.
Most amateurs turn out a reasonable brew because they follow instructions to the letter and nursemaid the beer from brewing to bottling. The second batch fails because the same degree of attention is not applied. The third batch fails the same because possibly the sterilization has been carried out to the extreme and some the the sterilization residue has been left to contaminate the beer. Too much fussing around also serves to spoil the beer.
If you are going to persevere with home brewing you need to involve yourself and treat it as a full time hobby. Different brews will require different styles of brewing. It is most likely you will ruin several batches before you hit upon the ideal method that turns out the flavor you have been seeking. Remember though before you start a fresh batch all your equipment must be spotlessly clean.
Before you embark on home brewing you really should ask yourself is it really worth it. If you are hopeless with due care and attention and adopt a slap happy approach then it may be far cheaper and far less trouble to simply stick with your own favorite beer than attempting to home brew. Your store bought beer will not only have a consistency of flavor but also that of level of alcohol. Home brew on the other hand is generally not consistent with one batch tasting better or worse than the other and no consistency of alcoholic percentage. Store bought beer also is free of sediments however home brew may be off putting if it has little bits of this and that floating around in it.
As I said previously most amateurs simply give up and consign the home brew equipment to the garage to gather dust. The beer manufactures are well aware of the failure rate and so are not overly concerned with the amateurs. Consider if is was so simple to brew batch after batch of consistent flavored beer and everyone decided to do it how long would it be before the large brewers stepped in to stamp out the practice. If anything home brewing only serves to boost sales of store bought beer when the home brewer gives up in disgust.
My simple tip is to seek out somebody who has mastered the art of home brewing or simply attend classes run by the shops that sell the equipment. Glean as much information as you can as to attaining success with every batch before outlaying any money on equipment. Then be prepared to spend a few dollars to experiment. It can be done if you are dedicated.
As a footnote if you are the same type of person who would buy a bread making machine then you may be the same type of person interested in home brew. Take a look at your bread maker and try to remember why it isn’t being used anymore. On the other hand if you regularly like to experiment with a bread maker you may just like to attempt to home brew.