Elmwood Park club offers home brew know-how
Mike Reyes, of Elmwood Park, adds a package of hops to the boiling wort during the Elmwood Park Homebrewing Club's first brewing day at the Elmwood Park Public Library. | Michael Jarecki~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 30, 2012 3:14PM
ELMWOOD PARK — There are plenty of books on how to make beer, but at the Elmwood Park Library, they took it to the next level.
On Nov. 25, the Elmwood Park Homebrewing Club, led by reference librarian Dan Beringhele, met at the library to brew its first batch of beer. The event grew from an informational session Beringhele gave on home brewing in October.
Beringhele has brewed his own beer for the past 10 years and thought he’d share his knowledge. So he started the club.
“You can buy a kit to get started for about $100,” he said.
On Sunday, he and a group of eight participants put into practice what they had talked about and brewed their first batch of beer together.
“I think that the people were surprised at how messy it can get,” he said. “Some were surprised at how easy it was.”
The group made a batch of brown ale, now fermenting in the library’s kitchen. The batch will make about two cases of beer.
“It’s fermenting in a big plastic bucket,” he said. “It will ferment for two weeks, then we’ll come back and put it in the bottles and let it ferment for another two weeks.”
Then it will be ready to drink.
He said the group is excited about coming back to bottle the beer and eventually drink it. He believes once word gets out he’ll have more people interested in making their own beer.
“We’ll definitely do some more in the future,” he said. “We’ll do an info session in January, then do another brewing session.”
He said although libraries and books are often connected first, programs such as this are also relevant.
“The mission of the library is to learn,” he said. “This is a skill that people used to do.
“We are just trying to teach people to do things for themselves,” he said. “We’re trying to make the library a more do-it-yourself, make it space.”