Jeff Flowers on November 2, 2013 1 Comment On this date fourteen years ago, the American Homebrewers Association established the first annual “Learn to Homebrew Day” to help teach people how to brew their own beer. Over the years, partly because of this “beer holiday,” the craft of brewing your own beer has grown substantially in popularity. Like any new hobby, knowing where to get started and how to do it right can be somewhat daunting for a beginner. I know it was for me. Because of that, I have compiled a list of free online resources that will help you get started, or just learn more about the process and techniques that go into it. 1. Get Started in Our Homebrew Learning Center We have a trove of information about homebrewing in our Homebrew learning center. We’ve been brewing beer for years now, and it’s a hobby that we think everyone should try at least once. We’ve compiled a collection of information about homebrewing that we think will help you get started. And that information is growing as the days go by. Get started with these articles: How to Brew Beer Homebrew Equipment Kits: How to Choose the Right Kit for You 8 Homebrew Components That Aren’t Necessary, But Handy to Have Learn How to Use a Hydrometer in 4 Easy Steps 2. Read Free Online Books There are a ton of books out there devoted to brewing beer, but the majority of them you have to buy and then wait for it to arrive at your house. While that’s great, and there are a bunch of books about brewing that I would recommend you to buy, especially the one pictured on the right, but that doesn’t help you right this moment. Alternatively, I’d recommend you download the following free resources, print them out and give them a read. They each have a ton of great information all readily available to you right now. Zymurgy: An Introduction to Homebrewing ‘How to Brew’ by John Palmer 3. Participate in Online Communities There are many online forums out there devoted specifically to perfecting the art of homebrewing. Join these communities and engage with the experts. You will be able to get near-instant answers to any question or problem you may have. You can bounce ideas off of them to help you brainstorm how to get better at brewing. You can exchange recipes with them to help you try new brews and perfect the ones you like the most. No question is to dumb for these message boards. Trust me. I’ve spent a lot of time asking and answering questions in them. There are dozens of forums and message boards specifically dedicated to brewing your own beer, but here are four that have a great community and plenty of experts to answer your questions. HomebrewTalk.com Forums American Homebrewers Association Online Community BeerSmith.com Forums BeerAdvocate Homebrewing Community Want to Brew? How to Get Started. The Best Equipment Kit for New Homebrewers Now that you’ve learned a little bit about how to brew beer, you may be wondering how you can get started. Equipment The first thing you need to do is get an equipment kit for brewing. These are great for beginners because they give you everything you need to brew your first batch, along with step-by-step instructions on getting it setup. Having the right brewing equipment is crucial to the success of any home brewer. Ingredients: Extract or All-Grain You’ll then need to decide what time of beer you’d like to brew, and then purchase the necessary ingredient kit for your beer. Ingredient kits are perfect for beginners, because they come with everything you need. Each one will be slightly different, but will all have the same three essential components — hops, malt extract, yeast. You’ll also need to supply purified water to help mix it all together. You can also start with an all-grain ingredient kit, but that’s a bit more complicated. But, something to consider, as most brewers eventually make the leap to all-grain. The choice is yours, and something that you should research before committing too. Brew Day! Now that you have all of that, this is when the real fun begins. Follow the instructions that come along with the kit you chose, take rigorous notes on what you’ve done and enjoy the ride. Once you’ve mastered the art of brewing beer, you’ll want to do it all the time. (And, so will all of your friends.) Cheers!