It’s not uncommon for people in the home brew community to talk about the risks with alcohol and how easy it is to drink too much when you always have beer at home. Something that isn’t discussed as often as the risks is how you can still keep on brewing, drinking and working on your skills without getting in the danger zone. In this post I’m gonna give you my best tips and tricks to keep the beer flowing without you getting hit in the crossfire.
No. 1: Distribute
Most brewers brew batches around 5 gallons/18.9 liters and maybe one or two times a month. Say your making an IPA and a APA and you will want to drink the beer fresh, which it is during the first two months, that will give you roughly 60 days to finish almost 40 liters of beer. 60/40=1,5. That is 1,5 liters a day, every day, for two months! Now now, I know you can drink more during the weekends and less during the week days. Still though, think about it – it’s a lot of beer!
To solve this you can distribute. You are probably already sharing the beer with a girl/boy friend, spouse, room mate etc. But from what I have experienced, there is always one of you that will drink more than the other. That often results in a tension between the two parts and ends up in discussions that will risks the home brew… We don’t want that!
The solution to that problem is friends… We all have someone we can call a friend or acquaintance and that is who we will give our home brew ”left overs” to. It will, hopefully, end up with people liking your beer and most likely you! Win win.
No. 2: Long term projects
To brew is to learn. It takes time to brew and therefore it takes time to learn. Some styles will take long time to master because of the time they need to mature and develop. This is a great opportunity for you to keep brewing and not having to drink it all. Get yourself a good set of bottles and find a place to store them; your parents house/basement, a dark closet at work, a friends house etc.
Another result of this will be that your bottles will rise in value, not market value – emotional and sentimental value, which is going to make you open the bottles at special occasions!
No. 3: The light styles
Some of the very popular styles today are IPA, APA, Belgian doubles and tripels, IMPERIAL EVERYTHING…. and you see where I’m going here; they are all high alcohol beers. Ranging from 5% abv to 12%+ abv these beers will quickly make you get a buzz on, nothing wrong with that. It is just that sometimes when you are longing for a beer it’s not always appropriate for a 5% or higher beer. Sure, you can always skip that one beer and sometimes you will. But think of the times that you don’t skip that one beer for some reason, wouldn’t be great to have a beer on hand that won’t get you drunk or even influenced. There are many styles that have been drunk for a long time that aren’t strong in alcohol but still tastes great! All over Europe you can find different styles. You have the berliner weisse, swedish svagdricka, english mild and ordinary bitter, dry stout, Scottish 60/- etc.
No. 4: The tabberas (Swedish word for eating/drinking it all)
Sometimes you end up with kegs filled with 3-5 liters of great beer that just isn’t being drunk or a beer that is about to getting close to it’s best before date. The same thing goes with bottles, you may need them for new batches or you may need the space. If you want to get rid of the last drops you should have a party. Get your friends together, setup an easy way for them to pour their own drinks and don’t forget to keep the beer cold – that way it will be more desirable for most. If you have a lot of friends that don’t drink that often or are just not that well oriented in the beer world, tell them about your brews. That will help you and your friends. After the party your friends will thank you and you will thank them!
I hope you will find these tips useful! Sorry for any grammar, spelling or language faults, I wrote this in a hurry. I will come back to correct later!