Big Al brewing started from a love brewing great beer at home. The lessons learned and the passion of brewing is what inspired Big Al to turn pro. We want to encourage all of you to take part in making your own homebrew. In short we're homebrewers with a really big system. The big al brewing crew can answer questions on all aspects of homebrewing and help you out with advice, or reccommendations. Need some yeast? Drop off a mason jar and we'll fill it with what ever is currently fermenting, just give us a day or two. Drop on by or drop us a line.
A private individual can make 100 gallons of homebrew per year and up to 200 gallons per household if there is more than one adult. Just don't try to sell it as that is illegal!
There are a few major phases of brewing. First there is the brew day which takes 2-3 hours for an extract brew. Here you'll be boiling malt extract and hops to create food for your yeast to turn into beer. Then there is the primary fermentation which typically lasts 3-7 days. Here the yeast will devour sugars and produce alcohol. If you have a second vessel to transfer your beer into, you can rack (or siphon) your beer into this container after primary fermentation is complete. This 30 minute process takes the clear "green" beer away from sediment. During the "secondary fermentation (7-14 days), the remaining sugars are fermented, and the yeast go dormant and fall to the bottom of your fermenter. Next comes bottling where the beer is transferred, receives sugar for carbonation, and is sealed in bottles. Finally, you have to wait 2-4 weeks for the beer to carbonate (we encourage brewing another batch during this time). Once it is carbonated, it is ready to be chilled and enjoyed.
If this has gotten your interest going, we have a few tips on how to get started.
A homebrew supply store should be able to help you get all of the equipment and information you need to get started. Find the nearest store to you and head over there today!
Your local homebrew club has years of experience that can help you get started brewing great beer quickly. Find a club near you and head out to a meeting.
Charlie Papazian's book "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" is held a many people's entry way into homebrewing.
John Palmer, author of "How to Brew", has published his first edition of his book at www.howtobrew.com. It is a great way to cover the whole process in a little more detail.
If you want to see a local Washington homebrewer give a video demonstration of how to brew, check out these brewing videos. They will take you through the entire brewing process from getting your water ready to drinking your beer. You'll get an overview of the required equipment, ingredients, and detailed steps to make a great first batch of beer. This is just one way to brew - there are many - but this will get you started. There are more videos on the site for different styles of beer as well.
There are a lot of great resources out there in Washington. To help find some of these resources, we recommend checking in with the Washington Homebrewers Association to find the latest information on clubs, stores, and events.