Jerry Wayne Odom Jr.

Beer Brewing In Baton Rouge

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to prosper."

My newest full time hobby has been all grain beer brewing. I had been kicking around making my own beer for about a year until March 2007 when my friends and I went to the Zapp's International beer festival where a number of home brewers from the area were allowing people to sample their home brew creations. We were inspired and I spent the next week researching the best books and equipment resources.

Home Brewing Equipment

If you want to buy home brewing equipment in Baton Rouge I suggest you check out locally owned and operated LA Home Brew. It's a great new(as of November 2013) full service homebrewing supply with tons of grain, liquid yeasts, hops and everything in between including equipment and homebrewing kits that are great Christmas gifts for people interested in starting to brew. Keith Primeaux is the owner and a very accomplished homebrewer and member of the homebrew club Red Stick Homebrew. He is a great resource for all questions homebrewing. Click the above link to go to their website. Additionally if you're closer to mid city and would like some homebrew grain, yeasts and supplies check out the good selection at Cuban liqour. Best part is you can buy beer why you're there.

Update December 2013

This post really makes me smile. It's amazing how far I've come with this hobby. The below text is what I originally wrote when getting started in this hobby. It's pretty interesting to see where I was at then. The next paragraph is all from back in 2007:

We began gathering together what we needed to brew our beer. Baton Rouge home brew stores were non-existant so we went to the web. Luckily there are many home brewers out there and we were pointed towards some great places. We ordered a deluxe home brewing kit with everything we needed to brew out the box. We also ordered a number of pre-constructed beer kits and kegging equipment.

We began brewing with extract brewing kits. This is where the sugar comes from a malt extract that's basically syrup. The beers came out good and bad as we learned the ins and outs of home brewing. Malt extract kits are definitely the way to start. You learn lots about the fermentation process and mashing before moving in to the all grain process which is more involved.

All Grain Beer Brewing

Moving in to all grain is a big step as it's much more involved and takes much more time during the mashing phase. You need a pot large enough to hold at least 7 gallons of water as well as a mashing/lautering tun to steep your grains and draw out the mash. You're looking to spend around 6 hours making your mash instead of around 2 hours with the malt extract kit. However the experience is great and the beer comes out much more tasty.

Bottling Beer Instead of Kegging

Kegging beer has advantages. You don't have to worry about cleaning each individual bottle and you can force carbonate the beer in short time. However we haven't had lots of luck getting the carbonation right with the CO2. So I purchased a bunch of Grolsh flip top bottles to try out in bottle carbonation with the Irish Red Ale I brewed last month. The results were a perfectly carbonated beer by following the instructions of John Palmer's How To Brew book.

Brewing Beer Yourself

I think anyone who loves hobbies and has ever wanted to brew their own should try it. The hobby has a great return on investment and it can literally go in dozens of different directions. Plus you can always go in to wine making if you decide you want to do that.

Here is the result of the hard work in brewing beer. Far from the value of a six pack at the store. My home brew represents a gain in knowledge, wisdom and respect of thousands of years of brewing evolution.

Irish Red Ale
irish ale