Brew Beer at Home (Without Being Kicked Out of It)
August 3rd is International Beer Day and our team at RealEstateAgent.com decided to make a post celebrating the date.
But before you go “Here comes the guys from The OFFICIAL Real Estate Agent Directory® talking about the most out of left field Real Estate subjects”… you’re wrong! Beer has become one of Americans favorite activities inside the household. Not drinking; producing it! Beer brewing is something that more than 1.1 million Americans do out of a hobby or even as a way to obtain a second income source. And, while that number seems small when you put in perspective with the 326+ million people living in America, this activity keeps getting popular ever since the 1970s, when trailblazers started advocating for the DIY beer making movement. When the internet arrived and helped disseminate, it was a perfect match for people that wanted to combine low-key science with high stakes rewards.
However, there’s a big problem with home beer brewing. To brew beer at home can be: noisy, smelly, messy and so much time and space consuming, that the person who decided to brew beer at home gets forced out of their own house – whether by the neighbors who can’t take all of that agitation until the wee hours, the spouse who’s upset about the damages to the house and the absence of the devoted beer brewer, or even by the beer brewing equipment; so spacious that it requires the beer brewer to find somewhere else to live.
So, celebrating the International Beer Day, here are a few tips for you to brew beer at home without being kicked out of it.
Get a room
Many starter beer brewers – or zymurgy; the name given to people who observe and deal with the general process of fermentation; which is a key part of beer making – decide they are going to use their kitchen as their lab, once they start to brew beer at home. It seems reasonable, as the kitchen is usually the place where you’ll find most of the appliances that will serve the beer making process. It’s home to the dishwasher, where you’ll be able to thoroughly clean the bottles and some other items used. It has a stove, where you’ll boil water the wort and effectively brew. It even has the fridge, where you will cool the wort and later on cool the brewskies.
But you know what? It’s the worst idea. Even if you only intend on producing a small batch.
Beer brewing takes time and demands space; you can’t interdict the kitchen for everyone else in your home. Beer brewing deserves a space of its own. We feel the garage is the optimal space. It’s out of the way for everyone in your house, if you spill something – and you will, buddy – it’s easier to clean and it won’t be super hard or expensive to have the similar hardware support a kitchen provides. You could get a one or two-burner stoves without occupying much space, a freezer where you could store other stuff from time to time, and a rack for storage and we’re talking about how much square footage? Not a lot. Maybe even a beer brewing dedicated She Shed could do the trick. The only thing you should look out – if using she sheds as your dedicated place to brew beer at home – is the noise problem.
If this is a hobby, chances are you are doing this during your off hours. And, sometimes, you can’t do it on the weekends because you have obligations to your family. So it’s fundamental that when you brew beer at home you do it in a place that has good insulation. For two reasons:
It can get noisy in there. If you build/adapt some of the kegs and other utensils yourself it can produce a lot of noise, but even the sole act of home brewing can be quite noisy, if you take in consideration it’s late in the evening. You lift heavy stuff, a pot falls, a bottle crashes… trust us, it can disrupt your house’s (or even neighborhood’s) peace.
Plus, beers need to be at room temperature, so if your she shed or garage has no insulation, if you live in places where the summer is really hot or the winter is really cold, your beer making will suffer from the lack of insulation. Not to mention that it will turn what was supposed to be an enjoyable moment into an unpleasant activity. In the summer, lifting the heavy pots, drips of sweat falling on your beer (eeew!), and in the heavy winter with gloves barely gripping the machinery? Not a good idea.
So, learn all the tricks on how to reduce noise pollution and talk with a specialist about insulation – or even proper temperature control of the place with smart home devices that will make your life easier by remotely controlling everything. It’s a sound idea to your real estate, because should you decide to sell the house, your garage, she shed or wherever you decided to set up your beer making shop will have added value to your home because of these features.
There are specialized insurance for microbreweries, pubs & taverns if you keep hearing friends say that your hobby of beer brewing should be expanded and professionalized. But you should also – even if you’re not thinking about going pro – check your existing homeowner's insurance policy and talk with your insurance agent about better protecting yourself and your beer making. Two things to ask him: include in your personal property insurance coverage the special utensils you use when you brew beer at home and reinforce the need for liability insurance coverage inside your beer brewing shop – especially if it’s outside the main dwelling. The special utensils are not that expensive, but the chances of you breaking them several times are great, and having the coverage to diminish your damages can be a lifesaver. And accidents can happen with friends coming over to check your hobby, assistants to your beer making and other people outside your grasp, if you decide to use, for instance, the garage as your beer making place. So, it’s always good to double check on your home insurance. We know the expenses add up, but if you follow some affordable home insurance tactics you should be able to get it and you will – in case something happens – feel glad you had insurance and your headache will be reduced to a minimum.
And our last tip on how to brew beer at home without getting kicked out of it…
Plant your own produce
Planting your own produce is building wealth. With beer brewing, you can plant your own potatoes - not the most difficult thing to grow – and make your own yeast starter. You can try to grow specialty grains and other stuff you can use in your beer, like all sorts of fruits. By doing that, you’ll be able to gradually save a lot of money that adds up and makes the beer making hobby become an expensive one. Whatever you don’t use within the drink, you can use for other edible stuff. Hey, if you’re feeling daring, you can even try fearless kinds of landscaping ideas to improve curb appeal of your home, like setting up a hop – the flower from the plant Humulus lupulus, so important for the beer brewing – fence or yard. But it’s super hard, because to properly grow they need a specific environment and being climbing plants they need sunlight on all sides of it, so you’ll need to have some sort of overhead wire superstructures to do it right. But, hey; it can be quite beautiful and be really helpful. Beer making is not for the lazy ones.
But for the ones – like us – who stand on the sidelines of beer making, just supporting the beer brewer and enjoying the fruits of his/her labors… it kinda is. Because of that, on August 3rd we make this hard but necessary gesture of raising our glasses, and salute the beer brewers out there, and writing this post so they never stop beer brewing in their home! (and hopefully wishing they have some of that great brewski to pour in our glasses once this round is over as a means to pay back such a noble gesture on our part).