Once upon a time not that long ago, if anyone announced that the keg was tapped, it typically meant they had brought the keg home from the local beer distributor. But today, there is a good bet that the keg being tapped comes from a home brewer. Home brewing is rapidly gaining in popularity and could well be going on inside one or more of your rental properties.
Home Brewing Is Not Rocket Science
According to the American Homebrewing Association, the most popular age group for home brewing is those in the 30 to 39-year-old age group, which consequently is also the key demographic for rental housing. Recently, there has been some discussion among rental housing experts regarding whether they should allow home brewing in their rental units.
Some say that allowing it can lead to inconvenience to neighbors and potential damage to homes, while others say it’s really not a big deal. There are even some who believe renters who choose to brew their own beer should have to have renter’s insurance that covers any damage caused by their home brewing efforts.
It’s Just Cooking
To the uninitiated, brewing beer at home is no more complicated than making a stew, except that it might be a little messier. Home brewing does not involve lab coats, goggles, miles of copper tubing, or huge copper vats. In fact, all you need to cook the malt is a kitchen stove and the right size stockpot or saucepan.
Beer is brewed using wort, which is created using fermented grains that have been cooked with malts or from malts on their own. The wort must first be cooked and then the resulting li quid needs to be cooled. It is then placed in a large container to be fermented and filtered after 4-5 weeks. As the final product is poured into a keg or bottle a low-level of carbon dioxide is added.
No More Dangerous Than Cooking Dinner
For the average home brewer, making beer at home is no more dangerous than cooking dinner. The only real risk is when you have an advanced brewer who likes to make his own mash to be used to create the wort needed. This is typically done over an open flame such as a turkey fryer or single propane burner. If they try to do this indoors, there is a risk of fire, but even then, it is a small one.
In fact, the only real problem is if one of your beer making tenants spills the result of their efforts. The resulting mess can take a lot of cleanup and can damage flooring, which is why many landlords require extra renter’s insurance. However, most beer makers spend far more time cleaning than brewing in order to ensure the best beer possible. The only problem worth noting is the aroma created when the brewer is cooking the hops to make the wort.
So, before you simply step in and ban home beer making in your rental units, you might want to talk to your tenants and put together a set of rules so they know what to expect rather than just banning the process outright. It is better to lay out the rules beforehand rather than risk having them do it anyway without telling you and something does happen.