There’s tons of information out there to help you get started home brewing – free videos on You Tube, countless books and online forums and beer blogs. This is all great, but for the absolute beginner, this can be a little too much information overkill that can be very hard to sift through.
I suffer the same affliction actually, so I was excited to get a promotional copy of the Beginning Homebrew DVD to watch and to a review during American Craft Beer Week. I figure if it can help me, perhaps it can help you!
As you can see, the Beginning Homebrew DVD comes complete with very strange cover art, and two disks. The first disk, (the fancy one) is the Beginning Homebrew video instructional, (mine was a promotional copy) and the second disk contains an e-workbook and a visual flowchart of the entire homebrewing process. Nice touch if you need help sorting things visually like I do.
Here’s the description of the program right from the website, (where you can also grab the home brewing e-book. shhhh.)
“So you want to make beer but not quite sure where to get started? Beginning Homebrew is a clear and concise way to learn. This isn’t just a DVD, it’s a complete program in learning to make great beer at home.”
The topics covered include:
-2 options for brewing depending on your budget.
-How to cool different wort batch sizes.
-How to store your brewing beer for optimal freshness.
-How to rack your beer and the 2 stage fermentation process.
-The different types of malt extract options to choose from.
-How to choose between dehydrated yeast and hydrated yeast.
-How to prime your beer for bottling…..
and much more
Even if you’re not quite sure what “wort” means or what “racking” refers to, Beginning Homebrew covers that too!
Sounds promising, right? To me, that’s exactly where I’d want to start. A visual introduction to homebrewing. The video format is cool too because sometimes, I just don’t feel like reading – I’m more of a visual learner anyway and let’s face it, internet porn has destroyed my ability to pay attention. Did I say that in public?
Anyway. I’ll mention that I’ve homebrewed before with the Coopers Homebrew Kit, but I’ve never felt like I could tackle ‘real’ homebrewing like the pros do. Seemed too complicated with too many parts and whatnot. BUT, after watching this introductory DVD, it doesn’t seem too bad actually.
And that’s what it is. An introduction to home brewing. Perfect for the beginner to watch and get going. While the disk doesn’t go into great depth about any given process, the basic stuff, and the order in which things are done – which is the MOST important stuff in ANY endeavor, is covered quite well.
The DVD seems professionally produced, and has all the chapters separated out for your convenience to replay if needed. Pete Bellessis, the host and star of the beginning homebrew production, was very easy to understand, and he spoke in a clear, and professional manner.
He takes the time in the DVD to elaborate on the pros and cons of everything from how big of a pot you might want to use to what types of yeast are available to you and which bottles are best for when you get to the bottling process.
I’m not going to go into the details of the content – but I’m willing to say that I would feel confident that the information on the DVD would help you to produce a successful batch of home brewed beer.
To me, the information, which is available in abundance online or in books, is almost secondary to how the information is presented and organized. I thought the organization, and the overall ‘flow’ of the program was very good, with logical steps to get you from point A to point B.
Checking the Beginning Homebrew DVD out a bit on Amazon, here’s what some people who are possibly smarter than I am said about it…
- 5 Stars – Easy and Informational
“Beginning Homebrew” is an easy to understand and extremely informational instructional DVD. The host of the DVD is very personable and seems quite knowledgeable.
- 5 stars – Perfect beginning homebrew DVD
…was a perfect instructional video for my low budget brewing. It answered all the questions I had in a simple well organized step by step fashion.
- 5 stars – First Brew turned out GREAT!!!
The video gave me a good understanding of the process and walked me through step by step. Other videos I saw were confusing & boring.
- 5 Stars – A Great Start to Homebrewing
This wonderful instructional video makes the complexity of beginning of homebrew simple and easy to understand…The video is well produced and easy to follow.
- 4 Stars – My beers taste sooo much better!
I found this DVD to be really useful as it helped solidify some of the ideas I was struggling with. The program is organized in a clear, easy to follow method and has made my beers taste much better.
Now, these reviews seem overly glowing, but that’s OK. It really is a good disk. That said, I don’t think there is a single thing on the DVD that an experienced home brewer would find really useful, but that’s cool because its not geared toward them. Its geared toward the person making that first batch of homebrewed beer, and for that person, I’ll recommend this DVD.
Any downsides to this DVD? Its hard for me to compare it to other video homebrewing tutorials because I’ve never watched one before! So, I can say with 100% accuracy that this is the best one I’ve ever seen! (Because its the only one I’ve ever seen!) That’s not to say there aren’t better options out there though – do your homework.
Other criticisms here would just be nit-picking and wouldn’t add anything to the conversation.