I need to start by saying the concept of homebrewing scares the hell out of me. The concept of doing anything that can have that many things go wrong, and not know if I actually succeeded for at least a month makes me pretty nervous. A few years ago my beautiful wife got me a Mr. Beer kit, and I have used it with good success, but the relative lack of changeability in the recipes offered made me feel like I wasn’t going to be able to truly experience homebrewing.
So, while in Melbourne, I found out about Brock’s Homebrew Supply from an internet search and went to check it out.
Stepping inside, it’s quite the awesome place. They do more than just beer supplies, for starters. There is an extensive collection of supplies for home wine and cheesemakers, but that’s not why I was there. We know this.
Brock’s had a huge (and I do mean huge) collection of ready to go malts, hops in both pellet and bud form, and tons of yeasts. At this point, I realized two things: 1-I don’t know anything about beer and 2-I need help.
Luckily, Assistant Manager Mike was there to help. And by help, I mean that I got a full tour, we figured out a recipe, and all sorts of other stuff. The facility is nicely equipped with its own brewing room for the staff and classes, a temperature-controlled room for storage and fermentation, and the grain room.
Grain room, y’all.
This is what I was interested in the most. Sure, I can (and did eventually) get a pre-made malt, but the ability to choose and blend grains to enhance or make up a new malt was just too much. And Mike did a good job showing what was available. I truly do wish I was able to convey the glorious smells of this room. It was amazing.
They’re also really helpful at making recipes. They use and heavily promote a program called BeerSmith, which I think is pretty brilliant. Basically, you put in your beer style, the ingredients you want to use, and it’ll give you brewing directions and tell you if you’re doing a good job or not. (and it’s on mobile for $8. Can’t beat that.) Mike and I sat down and grabbed some ingredients for a Brown Ale that is currently fermenting in my man cave.
They even have a small kegerator set up with beers that Mike and Brock have brewed. Mike game me a sample of a hard root beer he had finished, and it was fantastic. Very much a beer with a root beer kick, not like a fortified root beer like others I’ve tried.
They ship anywhere in Florida next day, and the customer service can’t be beat. I’m actually looking at getting a 5-gallon system through them. They’re good people.
But they won’t let me sleep in the grain room and that’s sad.
Drink Florida Craft,
Chris & Dave