National Learn to Homebrew Day

Photo: National Homebrewers Association

Photo: National Homebrewers Association

Come one, come all!

The first Saturday of November will be the 15th annual National Learn to Homebrew Day.

Enthusiasts from brew clubs, craft beer bars and stores throughout the U.S. and Canada (and apparently in at least one place near Moscow, Russia) will gather to celebrate making homemade batches of beer. From the Mr. Beer kits all the way up to micropub sized units, beer lovers will have a chance to brew up something good and have brethren around to enjoy the time with.

The American Homebrewers Association began this event 15 years ago and it’s only gotten bigger and better as the gospel of home brewed suds continues to spread from corner to corner. This is your chance to get introduced to the world of making beer at home, or maybe even reintroducing yourself if you feel a bit rusty.

It’s also a good chance to meet with members of your own community to discuss your love of beer that isn’t made by a conglomerate. I am a part of a 50-member club here in Toledo, Ohio — The Glass City Mashers — and we share our thoughts and ideas about numerous beer-centric topics via a message board on our club’s website along with a Facebook page. You get to meet a lot of great people this way.

To see where you can get involved with a Learn to Homebrew Day event near you, click on the AHA link and check by state:

A few tips thanks to Popular Mechanics — 4 Home-Brewing Mistakes Most Beginners Make (

1) Neglecting Sanitation

I’ve touched on this before. Much like your mouth and thoughts in church…it’s imperative to keep it clean.

2) Overcomplicating the Process

If you are just starting, save the complex brews for later. Beer is comprised of four ingredients (Water, Barley, Malt and Hops). Start with that and work your way up.

3) Not Controlling Your Fermentation Temperature

I am guilty of this. Find a spot, check the temp and keep checking. There are some great, and cheap, ways to keep your baby beer cold or warm. Find a beer store you like, either near your house or online, and do some digging. You’ll find some gems for good prices.

4) Too Many Changes at Once

One step at a time. You like your IPA, but need a maltier backbone and maybe a different hop or a later stage of hop? Work on one item at a time. Make notes and keep track. It helps a lot.

Raise one up!


Fermenter: nothing

Secondary: nothing

Bottled: American IPA, English IPA

Up next: It’s been a slow few months for me with family visits and son’s birthday celebration, but I’ve been collecting ideas for new brews!

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