Whattttssssss going on Homebrewers!
My name's Ty Stevenson.
I'm a homebrewing, Waters Brewer owning, Marine Corps veteran, college grad, wolfdog owning, full time job having, ordinary dude who is writing these grammatically incorrect sentences in hopes of helping YOU, the homebrewer, when it comes to your brew. From your very first beer, to owing your own brewery.
I wake up between 4-6 AM every day, work on my business for a couple hours, take my dog on an hour walk, make my lunch, go to work at a winery (wish it was a brewery), come home, walk my dog again, watch some sports, work on more business, cook dinner, and spend the rest of my night with my loving girlfriend. Put that routine on repeat and that's the jist of my life. I also homebrew about every 3 weeks and I listen to a lot of podcasts revolving around brewing, business, and how to succeed at life.
I grew up living in apartments, motels, with family friends, and was eventually taken in by my grandparents at the young age of 13 after my mom could no longer support me. Pops was in and out of my life for the better or worse, but we are friends now, drink beer, play darts, and golf from time-to-time. My grandparents are the ones who really made me the man I am today. From disciplining me when I was being a stubborn teenager, to being there for every one of my baseball games for 13 years, they are my true heroes. They really taught me how to work hard, fight for what I believe is right, and always be kind to others.
I became a Marine before the age of 18 and was in the reserves until the age of 23. Went to college at 18 and graduated at 23 with a management degree, all while being in the Marines. I have a background in construction and started working 2 days after graduating college and will continue to work towards becoming a brewer, owning my own brewery, and running a successful business.
I had this idea in my mind about starting my own company for a while, after quitting my job as an assistant project manager for a construction where my boss was the worst boss you could ever imagine, where nothing I ever did was good enough, not getting training in my job, and commuting an hour plus there and back in traffic every day, I quit my job and took a month of work. During that month I just drank, played video games, and watched lots of TV, until something clicked in my head, I got to asking myself, "what the hell am I doing with my life". I still had to pay the bills, so I got a job at a winery in Sonoma County, wasn't very satisfied with this job, but because I had gone through these times of failure and defeat, I decided I can do more with my life, so I started a company. I woke up at 3:15 AM on the morning of April 26th, 2016 (not kidding) and decided I was going to start a business, and thus Waters Brewer was founded...
Top 5 Homebrewing Websites on the Internet
There are many sites that are specifically for the use of homebrewers, some are places you can find new and used equipment, online homebrewing stores, and then you have the online sites that are for gaining homebrewing knowledge, and those are what this article is all about; Gaining Knowledge!
#5 - Brew Dudes
These two guy's website is pretty clean and has a tonnnn of information! They have been putting out informational videos/articles since July of 2007, that's almost 10 years!! They have put over 240 articles/videos out for free for homebrewers to consume and learn and enjoy, that's A LOT of videos!
If you go over to their photos tab, they have a link to their Flickr account where if you follow that, you will find a ton of pictures that are mainly homebrewing equipment and maybe you can get an idea of what you want your homebrew set up to look like from what they have used.
If you have to time and are motivated I'd say watch all of these guy's videos and read all their articles because if you do, I guarantee you will learn something you didn't know that will help you brew better beer.
#4 - Brulosophy
This is one of my favorite websites in regards to homebrewing because they put out a ton of informational aritcles on XBRMTS that they conduct and post the results to their website. They have some super interesting articles like Water Chemistry - pt 1 - Mash Manipulation , The Mash: High VS Low Temperature , and Dry Hop Length: Short Vs. Long. Those are just three examples of three little experiments that they have conducted along their 3 years they have been around.
They have all these different types of methods for doing things like cleaning, fermentation, and yeast harvesting that are also very informational and easy to read. They also have a few recipes on their site if you are looking to expand your horizons on some recipes. These guys are also very friendly and if you have any questions they are just one short DM away from answering your questions.
Definitely have to check this website out if you are a homebrewer and would like to learn more about everything homebrew related.
I had a little trouble putting this one on my list because to me it's a little cliche. Like "of course he's going to put the AHA on his top 5 list..." but I feel like I had to! They have so much useful information on their website like competitions, magazines, events, beer recipes, and tips for homebrewers. They have all of the this useful information on one site where if you were to try to find all this information separate, you would be jumping from website to website trying to find everything you were looking for.
I really like that they have National Homebrew Competition Recipes in their list of recipes because I think that would be so cool to brew a beer that one awards as a homebrewer.
I also am super stoked that they have a list of all of the homebrewing competitions through out the USA because I know if you are serious about homebrewing, you will want to enter at least one of your beers in a competition sometime. After all, most of us are from american and competition is our middle name.
#2 - Reddit/r/homebrewing
Reddit has a huge community of homebrewers on their homebrewing subreddit that tend to be extremely knowledgeable about homebrewing and no matter what question/comment/concern that you may have regarding homebrewing, or anything at all of that matter, they will answer in a short amount of time. At all times of the day there will be someone online that is eager to answer your homebrew question if you have a scare during a brew, or have a question that needs to be answered quickly, you will find the help you need.
The moderators of this forum are extremely on top of their game, meaning you won't find any spam on this subreddit and you will not find any harsh, or foul language that isn't necessary.
The members of this forum are really knowledgeable and straight forward so if you ask a stupid question, they might eat you up, but if you ask a question that isn't stupid, someone will help you. Be careful what you say, it's almost like entering a shark tank that has a case full of gold at the bottom: If you say the wrong thing you'll get eaten up, but if you are smart about how you go about interacting with the community, you will get that case full of gold.
#1 - Beersmith
I saved my favorite for last. Beersmith has always been my go to for gathering information from anything and everything related to brewing. Brad Smith is a genious and great guy who gives out loads of information in the form of articles and videos. He does a ton of interviews with professional brewers as well as famous homebrewers like John Palmer and Randy Mosher.
Brad covers everything you can think about in the world of homebrewing with experts on their respective topics in video forms and podcasts, which you can listen to on your way to and from work (like I do). My top three videos that Brad has put out are Beer Fermentation with Chris Graham , 5 Tips for Beer Brewers With John Palmer, and of course Beer Brewing Water with John Palmer.
Brad has not only the most informative videos for homebrewers on the web, he has some of the most informative articles as well. If you are a new brewer or have been brewing for 10 years and haven't heard of Beersmith, this is a must check out.
Thanks for reading everyone! There are so many brewing websites out there that aim to help homebrewers and there seems like there is more and more every day. If you are true to brewing better beer, I would check out as much as you can because after all, the more you know the better you can set yourself up to brew.
Disclaimer: None of the pictures on this article are mine.
Comments/feedback is always appreciated and I hope you gained something new from this article!
Stay True To Your Brew!