The Life of a DIYer: Hobbies Within the Hobby

by Alex Flores | Updated: April 4, 2017

Anyone who takes homebrewing seriously is bound to learn a little about A LOT. For me, homebrewing has been a hobby in which many more hobbies were born.

Let’s face it, most homebrewers are already do-it-yourselfers. So we’re already are more prone to take on new projects and scratch our DIY itch.

Here is a list of some of the more common “sub-hobbies” we homebrewers take up.

Woodworking

The idea of crafting something from basic building blocks using your hands and a little math does not just pertain to homebrewing. Projects can range from tap handles and six-pack carriers, to mash paddles and brew stands.  Just watch out for your fingers.

Example Project: Mash Paddle

 

Welding/Metalworking

For a lot of us, we know we’re officially hooked on homebrewing when we decide to build our first brew stand. Which will lead you directly into… welding.

Mig welding is probably the friendliest to newbies. I don’t recommend starting with stainless steel welding.

You can get into the hobby without too much investment if you browse Amazon (here’s a popular mig welder). There’s also Harbor Freight. Although if you’re serious about welding, you’ll probably outgrow their gear quickly. I built my Brutus 10 with tube steel and a Harbor Freight mig welder.

Took a lot of grinding to make it look decent, but hey, it’s still standing.

Example Project: 3 Tier Brewstand

Machining

Machinists can create jaw-dropping projects. They use lathes and mills specifically designed for shaping metal. Machining typically requires some form of instruction and or school but if you’re willing to put in the time you can learn a lot from youTube and forums. You are also looking at a much higher price point to get into machining.

Machining typically requires some form of instruction and or school but if you’re willing to put in the time you can learn a lot from youTube and forums. You are also looking at a much higher price point to get into machining.

Check out these tap handles created by Homebrew Academy student and professional machinist, Chris Norris. He posted this picture in our Academy Facebook Group (only available to students of our premium courses) and I knew I had to show them off on the blog.

Since Chris is one of our own, we’re happy to give him a shoutout. He just started a Facebook page. If you want some custom tap handles, hit him up on Facebook.

 

 

Electronics

This is my hobby of choice. And let me tell you — it can become all-consuming. The magic that is electronics can frustrate, amaze, bewilder, oh, and kill you too. It is not limited to the

The magic that is electronics can frustrate, amaze, bewilder, and oh… can kill you too. It is not limited to the little, printed circuit boards you see either. This hobby can break into the realm of process control and even building your own electric brewery.

Example projects:

Software Development

Software is anything that runs on top of hardware. This could be as simple as a spreadsheet you develop for brewing calculations, or as complex as an executable that you have hundreds of thousands of lines of code devoted to.

Example Project: Kegerator Readout

kegertor readout

 

Microbiology

So we’ve covered the woodworkers, the electronics geeks (like me), and the welders. Next up: the biology geeks!

This can be a useful hobby if you decide to start storing yeast. Yeast for brewing are pretty easy to get your hands on. But if you ever get a special sample from a pro brewer, decide to share your treasure with a buddy, or you always enjoyed using the microscope in high school and want to put those skills towards beer, then this might be for you.

Example Project: How to make a yeast slant.

 

Cooking/Baking

Okay this one’s a bit of a gimmie since it is basically what homebrewing is (liquid bread, anyone?) but there are hundreds of ways you can incorporate your homebrewing in cooking all the time.

Check out some of the cooking with beer recipes on the blog for what to do with your spent grains.

Example Project: Spent grain bread.

 

Gardening

That awesome spring you decide to grow your own hops can lead to a backyard full of food. Growing hops too obvious? Try growing your own barley and then malting it. Or, grow the pumpkin you’ll use in this year’s pumpkin ale. Sky’s the limit with this one.

Example Project: Become a backyard hop grower.

Not all of these hobbies are for everyone and most will require a lot of practice to get good at them. Learning a new hobby can be a fun and rewarding experience, just look at your experience with homebrewing.

Have we missed any? Let us know the hobbies you have beyond homebrewing.

Alex is a family man from Texas. He finds as many ways to mix his hobbies together which include electronics, woodworking, anything DIY, and of course homebrewing. He has progressed from kit beers to partial mash and has recently made the move to all-grain. He enjoys creating his own recipes and learning how each part of the process changes them.