What Is Organic Brewing? Most regular home brewing is done using grains and fruits that are grown using modern methods of pesticide and fertilization and therefore contain the various chemicals associated with these processes. Organic home brewing on the other hand requires using only organically grown ingredients which have not been treated with any chemicals when creating a home brewed beer or wine.
Why Organic Brewing?
Ecology There are many reasons to consider organic brewing at home. The first is the environmental benefit of using organically grown foods. In order to receive organic certification, farmers are not allowed to use chemicals of any sort on their crops or animals, neither for pest control, improved growth, nor even disease. If there are no chemicals put on the plants, there are no chemicals released into the soil or contaminating ground water or streams.
Convenience A second benefit of organic brewing is the improved brewing process itself. If the ingredients are all natural and do not contain any added chemicals, there is nothing to hold back or stall any portion of the brewing development. There are no compounds to inhibit the fermentation process or slow down starch conversion. An organic brew made with de-chlorinated water will require very little filtration. Many home brewers say their organic mashes are more efficient, as well.
Flavor A cleaner flavor is another factor in support of chemical-free organic brewing. Without added compounds, there is little to potentially taint the taste of a beer recipe. The clarity of the beer or wine one can achieve by using chemical-free fruits and grains for home brewing is remarkable. Beers and wines made from organic brewing tend to have a cleaner, crisper after taste, a smoother finish and a nice clean color, free of haze. This is because fruits and grains grown without fertilizers or pesticides tend to contain a smaller percentage of protein.
Health Finally, one of the most important arguments for organic home brewing is the health benefits. Just as those pesticides and fertilizers and other compounds pollute the soil and the water, when they are present in the grains used to brew, they are introduced into the body. They collect in organs and tissues and can cause numerous health problems over time. Organic brewing is just one way to reduce the amount of chemical intake and lessen the chances of developing those health problems down the road.
Cost The only real drawback to organic home brewing is the cost. Organic crops cost simply more to buy. While this is partially due to the amount of work it takes to grow plants without modern chemistry, it is also because there is a reduced demand for organic goods at this time. Therefore, if more people were to start brewing organically and therefore began buying more organic crops, then the prices would eventually come down and be more competitive with traditionally treated produce. That means that even this one negative aspect is actually just one more incentive for organic brewing at home!