Homebrew – An alcoholic beverage (especially beer) made at home.
Brew alcohol in your home! Brewing small amounts of beer became legal for personal consumption through a bill that was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
The current Federal limit on home brewing beer is 100 gallons for a single adult, or 200 gallons for a household with two or more adults. Many folks do not know how easy and simple it is to homebrew. This can be a healthy hobby for the Mister and Misses. You can make wine from dandelion to coconut. Beers can be made with wheat. (It is called “Hefeweizen” or barley.)
Home brewing here in America has its roots back in 1587 in Colonial Virginia. Europeans home brewed a beer made from fermented corn. In 1620, one of the first buildings constructed at Plymouth Rock was a brewery. Home brewing was a common household task and most of the brewing was done by women. Fermenting grains was a smart and tasty way to purify your water back then.
President Thomas Jefferson devoted special places at Monticello for the brewing and storage of beer. It was a passion of his and he studied it scientifically. In fact, his wife Martha was brewing beer very early during their marriage, about 40 years before he began brewing at Monticello.
President George Washington drank home brew. In his own words:
“We have already been too long subject to British prejudices. I use no porter or cheese in my family, but such as is made in America; both these articles may now be purchased of an excellent quality.” – President George Washington
Home brewed beer has been around for thousands of years. As far back as 4000BC, the ancient Sumerians fermented grains. So much so that they have a goddess of beer, named Ninkasi. Home brewing for the Sumerians was done primarily by women.
Ancient Egyptians drank beer, and were often paid in beer for manual labor. Females made the beer, as depicted on tomb walls. Ingredients were, for example, 1 lb barley flour, 1 lb millet flour, 2 cups corn sugar, water to make dough, Baker’s yeast, and flavorings such as liquorices, anise and honey.
Many Italians in New Jersey have their own wine cellar where they make and store their own. This is part of their heritage brought over from Italy. In all the top ten mega mansions in the US, they all have wine cellars. Technology has simplified home brewing and has made it so easy that home brewing is now accessible to the white collar market.
There are uncommon home brew recipes around the world and throughout time. I will go into some of these here.
There is a Maasai tribe in Africa that home brews enpinyo. This is distilled African liquor washed down with pure cows’ blood. It is said that this prevents hangovers – a hefty, manly drink.
The Mongolians make “Kumis” by fermenting raw horse milk. During the fermentation process, the bacteria ferment the milk and the yeast and it forms into a frothy, alcoholic drink.
The Tarahumara Indians in Mexico, even today, home brew a beer called Tiswin, made by fermenting corn kernels.
The Guarani Indians in South America drink this corn beer, however it is fermented with saliva from the virgin girls of the village who chew it and spit it out in a bowl.
The Hunza tribe home brew a brandy from mulberries. They also make a drink from apricot kernels, which is similar to our almonds. Apricot kernel oil is an ingredient in Amaretto as well. These people have a life span of 100+ years and have no cancer.
In the Islands of Fiji, the Indians home brew a drink called kava kava, with pounded root and coconut juice. People write articles with titles such as, “Getting stoned with savages” about this drink, usually served at social rituals, and spiritual parties.
In New Zealand, it is legal to home brew hard liquors of all sorts. They make their own pot stills, which is a separator of water and ethanol through heat.
Vikings drank and brewed honey mead in their homes. “Mead was for the great and grand occasions, for the temple and the ceremonial; ale was for the masses and for all times”. Honey mead is honey, grain and water fermented. (See recipe below.) Honey mead was called, ” the elixir of the gods” and was associated with the immortality of the gods.
Buddha used to ferment at home, red wine with the flower of the blue lotus and would drink the substance and have prophetic visions.
Jesus was an avid consumer of fermented wine. When Jesus’ mother informed him they were out of wine at the wedding party at Cana, he transformed about 150 gallons water into wine! This was considered his first miracle.
BIBLICAL FACT: Jesus made wine, and he made really good wine…
“They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:9-10
Muslims may be against alcohol, but not Mohammed. According to ancient publications, He drank Nabeez and Alkhamr which is a hard wine. It is said he performed ritual cleansing with this and also gave to his servants.
Home brewers have made medicinal elixirs for inner spiritual transformations. Wine is drunk in order to worship gods in many cultures.
In Ancient Greece, Dionysus is the god of wine, happy emotions, wine-making and harvest of grapes. They saw home brewing as a high prestige job. In honor of gods, lots of wine was made and drunk. best wine tours in Willamette Valley