HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Home brewing classes or guidance?

Looking for classes or instruction on beer-making at home for the craft-beer fanatic in my life--any ideas for someplace in the Boston area?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Well, the fundraising period is over but I am sure they will still take your money in return for a class or personal session.
    http://www.indiegogo.com/BostonHomebr...

    1. Here's a link for an annual event that they'll probably be doing again in Feb 2013: http://www.home-brew.com/x/pages.php?...

      1. I like the staff at Cambridge Brewer (Mass Ave, Cambridge). Their South Weymouth store offers classes regularly. https://www.beerbrew.com

        1. check out Beer and Wine Hobby in Woburn, Modern Brewer in Cambridge, or call up Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont- I am sure one of them either offers a course or can point you in the right direction.

          1. As a homebrewer I can tell you it's not that difficult. Beginers kits usually come with Charlie Papazians book, buckets, hydrometer, sanitizer and siphoning equipment. You need a kettle that will hold a couple gallons. Most homebrew shops are hands on and will be happy to answer any questions.
            There are also homebrew clubs that like taking in new members and give advice.
            Another option is brew your own shop. You only supply the bottles, the store handles the kettles, ingredients and advice.
            2 I can recommend are Barleycorn in Natick aand Deja Brew in Shrewsbury. Great for a first time would be homebrewer.
            Chooese somewhere local to you. There are homebrew shops all over.

            1. You should start here:

              http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

              Then visit your local homebrew shop - people are quite friendly and very helpful to first timers at The Homebrew Emporium (Modern Brewer) on Mass Ave. in Cambridge https://www.beerbrew.com/, not so much imo at Beer Wine Hobby in Woburn who are more focused on mail orders. Buy a equipment kit and an ingredient kit, or ask for help putting together your own basic recipe.

              My advice for first timers is to make a basic pale ale or stout in the 5% abv range - don't try to get too fancy with the style as you may need experience with various yeasts to pull off a hefeweizen, belgian style, or lager - and I would advise against a high abv beer without any knowledge/experience with yeast management.

              Anything that touches the wort after the boil is turned off must be sanitized - use a no-rinse sanitizer (ask for one at the hb shop).

              Cooling wort down to fermentation temps before pitching yeast - and ability to keep it that range (65-70F) will make better beer.

              Use enough yeast - for first timers this is as simple as sprinkling a package of dried yeast directly in 5 gals. of wort less than 1.060 OG (I recommend Fermentis US-05 as it is forgiving of temp changes and gives clean results). I've brewed over 150 batches in the last 10 years and still use US-05 as it works effectively without messing around with yeast starters, and I make mostly IPA's and like a clean yeast profile.

              The goal of the first brew really should be to learn the process, practice good sanitation, practice transferring wort from one vessel to another, and getting some fermentation experience. If your beer comes out enjoyable, that is just a bonus.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LStaff

                This is what we did. I will add that the OP should try to visit Modern Brewers on a week day and not a weekend. They tend to be less busy and more available to answer questions. The weekends can be a little chaotic. I also think that the OP should make a visit to Harpoon and do a tour/tasting after brewing their first batch. I found the tours a lot more interesting after brewing than before.

              2. I make my own beer (I've made maybe 15-20 batches since starting). It's very easy to do, though some parts are tricky. If you decide not to take a class, I'd say start with a beermaking kit and ask plenty of questions when you buy it. Modern Brewer in Cambridge is really good--they really know their stuff there.

                1. Thank you all so much--very helpful!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: greengage

                    I've been brewing for decades now. Any local homebrew shop will lead you in the right direction. Start on the easy side with an extract or a partial grain recipe/kit. In most cases, a partial grain is a drop more work, but you get a better flavored beer. When you have a few brews under your belt, think about all grain.

                    homebrewtalk.com is a great forum for all levels of homebrewers.

                  2. +1 for what everyone has said so far. I bought my first kit via an ad in Yankee Brew News years ago, and soon bought "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" (Papazian).
                    You will need ingredients - everyone has mentioned Modern Homebrew, etc, but for those outside the city, each of these stores is manned by a rabid homebrewer eager to share their experience with you.
                    I'm old, and did this before the internet, if one can imagine. Another great resource is Boston's oldest Homebrew Club, The Wort Processors.

                    www.wort.org

                    Go to a meeting, bring a beer, share it with the person next to you. :)