7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great info on herbs,
This review is from: The Homebrewer's Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs (Paperback)
The first section on growing hops is decent, but it's nothing you can't find online.
But the section on herbs is great. Not only does it give a list of brewing herbs but, more importantly, how much to use and how. I've researched gruits and know what types of herbs were used, but I never knew how much to add.
There's also a section on grain. While I'd like to grow some grain, I'm not keen on malting. I may stick with unmalted wheat as that seems the easiest. Rye and Oats would have been nice, but they strongly advise against malting those items.
Overall, a good book- mainly if you have the land and time to grow your own ingredients. With the large amounts and quantities I brew, it doesn't make sense for me to go this route. Especially when I can get grain delivered for about 30 cents a pound.
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Initial post: Mar 18, 2009 9:42:02 AM PDT
N. Schultz says:
Honestly, growing your own grains is not the way to go. Everything else, go for it! But, grains produce the least yield per square foot (you need a TON of land), and harvesting grains is extremely labor intensive. Even the most self-sufficient, living of the land people still buy their grains in bulk - for a reason!
I actually looked into this, for curiosity's sake, and I found some guy who decided to grow and harvest his own wheat. It was the most hilarious adventure - he spent more time and hassle growing, harvesting and de-hulling his little bit of wheat than on producing all the other food he consumed. Like he said: Never again!
Growing and harvesting may be difficult, but all grains need to be de-hulled or de-husked. Most grains are a fraction of the size of a pea. Just imagine trying to peel the hard coating off each of those by hand. The guy above tried the old fashioned blow in the wind and beat in on the ground technique. He lost most of his grain to the wind. Basically, you need to invest in special equipment to prepare grains for consumption. This fact alone is the reason grain production is the domain of large-scale producers. You can purchase organic grains, even traditionally milled grains, so there is really no point in trying to do it yourself, unless you are a severe masochist.
As for everything else, definitely grow herbs, hops etc. Hops grow on trellises, so take up very little space, and most herbs are very easy to grow.
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