Making your own beer at home

October 15, 2009 3:24:47 PM PDT
Business is taking off for a young couple from Brooklyn who quit their jobs to pursue a passion.And drink enough of that passion, and you will get you tipsy. We're talking about beer, and this New York couple enjoyed the process of making their own beer so much that they're helping others brew it at home as well.

"Before we started, neither of us drank a lot of beer," Stephen Valand said. "But when you start making it yourself you really get into it."

And they're into it alright.

Valand and Erica Shea started brewing beer several years ago.

"We were already making ice cream and pasta and pretty much everything we could," Valand said. "And when we found some equipment, we thought we'd need to make beer."

That equipment belonged to Erica's father, which they pilfered. And now, they spend their time making homemade brew. Several months ago, they launched their own business. The Brooklyn Brew Shop makes home brewing easy. And they give you everything you need to get started at your own home.

"The great thing about making beer is when you're done, you have a party," Valand said.

Well, that's some of the incentive. But if you're into flavors and tastes, that's fun too.

While they're making their own beer, it looks much like a science project. So have there been any failures?

"It's a lot of tweaking," Shea said. "We still drink everything. I think."

It's an occupational hazard that they don't seem to mind. And when it comes to filling bottles, they recommend swingtops for novices. But caps are fine too.

Before beer, Stephen was in advertising and Erica in marketing. But they're hoping home brewing will keep them afloat.

"The most satisfying part is in two weeks when you get to drink it," Shea said.

The kits cost $40. That includes the first bag of grain and mix and the supplies you'll need. And once you get brewing, a bottle of beer will cost you anywhere between 70 cents and a dollar to make.

For more information, visit BrooklynBrewShop.com.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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