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The Evolution of Home Brew Pots

If you are passionate about the art and craft of home brewing or just have a general interest in brewing culture, there’s a good chance you have an interest in its history. Brewing itself has a rich history that spans across many borders and time periods, and virtually every civilization and culture had breweries. But what about the brew pot itself? While there is wealth of info regarding the history of brewing, brew pots themselves don’t get much attention or recognition. For those of you however, who realize the essential role that pots play in the brewing process, you no doubt have a stronger appreciation for them than the general population. And just like brewing on the whole, pots made for brewing have a long and fascinating history.

The First Brew Pots

Archaeologists have traced the origins of brewing to the dawn of our civilization. The first records of beer and breweries date back to 7000 BC in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. However, some historians believe that brewing goes back even further to the time of nomadic people 10,000 – 15,000 years ago. Likewise, the brew pot itself has been around since the beginning of human civilization. Stone tablets from ancient Mesopotamia contain depictions of its people drinking from a large, communal bowl from straws made of reed. Archaeologists have also discovered pottery jars in China that contained residues from what appears to be a type of beer. Estimates show that these jars are roughly 9,000 years old.

evolution of brew pots

Like many of mankinds’ early inventions, the ancient brewers made use of pottery jars to create their recipes. These pots were made of ceramic materials. As time advanced and technology improved, brewers started taking advantage of stronger materials made of metals. The ancient brewers began using iron and copper brew pots to concoct their beer, and the materials allowed them to take advantage of new heating methods to boil wort. These advancements gave ancient home-brewers the ability to manufacturer larger amounts of high quality beers, at a faster pace.

Modern-Day Times & Rise of Home Brew Pots

As civilization advanced, breweries became more commonplace as legitimate providers for society’s beer. However, the art of home brewing increased in popularity as well, and home-brewers made use of more advance kettles and learned new ways to improve the quality of their brew. In Medieval Europe, home-brewers had access to copper and steel pots and they were able to reap the benefits of better-tasting ales. Moving into the industrial revolution, pots made of aluminum and steel also became more commonplace, and these materials allowed home-brewers to manipulate the brew process to make better recipes.

The Brew Pots of Today

Beer brewing was originally a family-oriented activity conducted at home before turning into an industrial profession. However, a countless number of people still enjoy home brewing, and there is a significant culture based around it. And thanks to technology, people of all backgrounds can get involved in the craft. The home brew pots of today support upgrades that allow home-brewers to whip up a better quality brew each and every time. Also, the modern materials used to make the pots allow for more efficiency and they play a part in making the brew better.

For example, stainless steel pots are the golden standard for home-brewers for many reasons. The “passiveness” of the stainless steel surface reduces the risk of rust and corrosion damaging the pot. Their surface is quite easy to clean and takes away the need for brewers to scrub vigorously as they might have to for other types. An additional benefit of stainless steel pots are aesthetics, since they are sleek and modern looking, and have an attractive shine. For the passionate home-brewer, stainless steel looks professional and refined.

Aside from stainless steel pots, there are copper pots and aluminum pots. They vary in price and they too have unique benefits. For example, aluminum pots are cheaper than other kinds and they are great at conducting and dispersing heat. Today’s manufacturers build kettles that allow you as a home-brewer to focus on your recipe without having to worry too much about the process.

Another advancement of today’s brew pots is the ability to add on devices that help you with the brewing process. If you were to work in or visit an industrial brewery, you would notice that the equipment is not only larger, but they are also more sophisticated. The kettles found in these large breweries rely on mechanical and computer systems that drive the brewing process. As a home-brewer, you most likely don’t have access to this kind of equipment. However, there are devices that you can add to your own kettle so that you have a better awareness of your brew and its condition.

Adding a thermometer for example can be a good help to you as a brewer. Having knowledge of your brew’s temperature can give you an idea regarding the state of your wort, since the temperature can affect its quality. The benefit of these thermometers is that they are easy to install, and they are generally cost-effective. They are also functionally effective, and most people who use thermometers are pleased with their performance. The brew pots of today also allow for the installation of valves, which can make wort transfers much easier.

While these upgrades don’t directly improve the quality of your brew, they definitely improve your ability to make good judgement calls. Many of today’s pots are built in ways that allow home-brewers to add upgrades and make other modifications.

How the Evolution Affects You and Other Home-Brewers

Just like ancient and medieval times, brewing in our modern age still requires time, labor, and persistence to create a good beer. If you are a home-brewer or just interested in the craft, you’ll likely know that it takes time to understand the techniques involved with perfecting your brew. The difference however, is that modern advances have allowed more home-brewers like you to start undertaking the craft. The manufacturers of today’s home brew pots use stronger materials that last longer. These pots are also more durable and less likely to sustain damage from wear and tear. And other great thing about these pots is their ability to support add-ons. As better materials and devices become available, home-brewers will be able to elevate their brew-brewing experience in ways their predecessors could only dream of!

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