As you’ll see in The One-Block Feast, making home-brewed beer doesn’t take long. You can make ale, the easiest type, in only four to six weeks. Also, you can
play around with all sorts of ratios and roasts to make exactly the kind of beer you like. The biggest challenge is becoming
familiar with the process and with the key pieces of equipment.
Most home brewers use brewing kits to make beer, and that’s how Team Beer started, too. For our second batch, we made beer totally from scratch—as in, we used the wheat and barley that we had planted, threshed, winnowed, and malted (sprouted) ourselves, and grew hop flowers (called cones) for flavoring and preserving the brew. We were in a little over our heads, but we had expert advice and fun doing it. “We were amazed that it worked at all, and that it was drinkable and none of us got sick,” says Rick LaFrentz, Sunset’s head gardener and leader of Team Beer.