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Brew your own beer

By Shomik Ghosh |
Home brewing can be an enjoyable hobby — and one that allows you to drink beer crafted from exclusively organic ingredients and cuts back on the excessive packaging associated with store-bought beers.
Brewing your own beer cuts down on the wasteful packaging associated with store-bought beer. It also curbs pollution created by long-distance transport of beer, saves fuel, and allows you to choose healthier, eco-friendly organic brewing ingredients.

Find it! Home brewing supplies

Like a painter needs a brush and canvas, a home brewer needs a wort chiller and kegerator. Below is a sampling of the many vendors offering the tools you'll need for home brewing. Basic starter kits are available for those not yet ready to enter the more esoteric realm of conical fermenters and apricot purees. Brew-Monkey.com also offers a thorough listing of suppliers of home-brewing equipment and ingredients.

Information to get you started

Home brewing calls for sufficient physical space. Before you get started, make sure that you have the room available to undertake this new hobby. If you do not have the space available, consider visiting a Brew on Premise (BOP or U-Brew) facility. These establishments offer the use of professional brewing equipment and ingredients and allow you to mimic your favorite commercial beer or create your own recipe under the guidance of seasoned brewmasters. Generally, an appointment is needed to visit a BOP and two visits are necessary: the first to brew and the second to bottle. To learn how to brew your own beer, check out wikiHow, which offers a basic, step-by-step guide for novice brewers. Or, read The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian, a great book to get you started. To assist the burgeoning eco-conscious brewer, Seven Bridges Cooperative, one of the largest merchants of certified organic beer ingredients, offers water and energy saving tips. If you'd like additional help, join a local homebrewer association. There are many such organizations, ranging from the SHBF (Swedish Home Brewers Association) to the NTHBA (North Texas Homebrewers Association). These association's allow you to swap recipes and techniques and even compete with fellow enthusiasts.

Brewing your own beer helps you go green because…

  • It diminishes your carbon footprint by eliminating the need for highly polluting, fuel-intensive long-distance transport of domestic and imported beers.
  • It cuts back on the cycle of waste produced when purchasing heavily packaged store-bought beers.
  • It allows you to choose exclusively organic ingredients.
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