Friday, April 1, 2016

Common Homebrewing Myths

There are common misconceptions with homebrewing that persists with many people that have "heard" about the hobby, or "has a friend that does it", and these perceptions keep people away from a fulfilling and fun craft that produces amazing products.
Here are a few myths we at Salt City Brew Supply and Ogden City Brew Supply here quite often,
and we can help put them to rest:

Myth - Brewing Beer Takes Too Much Time
Accuracy - Somewhat True
Truth - Brewing beer takes a few hours to steep/mash grain, boil and add hops, cool down and add yeast. After your brew day, it takes a few weeks to ferment, and clear, followed by an hour or two to bottle your finished beer, and another week or so to carbonate. All in all, you will spend 4-8 hours of labor to get your beer ready to drink and 4-6 weeks of waiting.

Making wine from a kit takes only a total of 2-4 hours of labor to get your wine finished an in bottles, but it takes higher alcohol beverages, such as wine, more time to mature. Depending on the wine you could be waiting 8 weeks to a year for proper aging.

It is certainly quicker to grab a 12 pack of beer or a bottle of wine from the store, but really, you just have to wait for that first batch. Keep a steady rotation fermenting, and you'll find you don't even have to drive to the store, it will already be at your house waiting for you!

Myth - Making your own beer and wine at home can make you sick
Accuracy - False
Truth - Homebrewing beer and wine is safe and easy to do without spoiling you product. Beer and wine are both food products and if not handled properly they can go "bad", but nothing that grows in fermenting beer or wine can hurt you. The worst that can happen is you make something that doesn't taste very good, or you get an infection of acetobacter which will eventually turn your drink to vinegar... but even that can be good... maybe not what you were shooting for... but good none the less.

The fact is, if you keep your equipment clean and sanitized you never have to have a "bad" batch of beer or wine, and there are products available today to make this process as simple as clean, rinse, sanitize! There are no-rinse sanitizers like StarSan, that are harmless to the touch, and break down into yeast food that actually helps your beer and wine ferment. Now getting sick from drinking too much of your delicious beer or wine, is something we just can't help you with. Hangovers, sometimes, are inevitable

Myth - Too Much Homebrew Will Make Me Gain Weight
Accuracy - Oversimplification, but True
Truth - Drinking alcoholic beverages in excess can lead to weight gain. Alcohol = Calories. When the calories consumed are greater than the calories burned, unfortunately we gain weight. Since drinking calories doesn't seem as bad as eating them, it can make it easy to over indulge. This is just a universal truth however, and doesn't have any more bearing on Homebrewed beer or wine than imbibing the same drink from a commercial provider. So if you typically drink a pint of beer or a glass of wine for dinner, then drinking the home brewed version won't have any different affect on your waistline.

Myth - Making Alcohol in Utah is Against the Law
Accuracy - False
Truth - According to House Bill 51 passed in 2009 it is legal to homebrew "(A) 100 gallons in a calendar year, if there is one individual that is 21 years of age or older residing in the household; or (B) 200 gallons in a calendar year, if there are two or more individuals who are 21 years of age or older residing in the household;" This means you can brew your favorite beer, wine or cider without any license. Just don't sell it. And distilling it (heating your alcohol to collect the vapor, then recondensing it for a higher percentage) is Federally illegal, so stick to fermenting, and you will stay well withing the law. The only hard decision now is what kind of beer or wine to make!

There are more Homebrew Myths to come, but if you didn't see your question answered here, feel free to contact us at the stores, follow us on Facebook, or email

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