Friday, May 30, 2008

I Remember When I Started Home Brewing...Sort-of

Today is the day I get to reflect on the past, about how I got started with this wonderfully complex hobby of creating home brewed beer. This post was inspired by Adam's invitation at his beer blog...Beer Bits 2. Be sure to visit his site to read about how more bloggin brewers got their start.

It was many years ago, when what I did, was largely influenced by what my two older brothers were doing. I followed them in skateboarding, music, clothes, playing music, a straight-edge vegetarian lifestyle, and much more. Charles first brewed his own batches with a starter kit he got as a wedding gift. Guess what? After I saw what he was doing, I had to try in myself.

That's about it. I bought my first extract kit and starter equipment for our LHBS. Looking back, I find it funny that it was such a perplexing thing, where I had to read and re-read the instructions many times over, before brewing. It turned out to be a very simple process. After the first batch fermented and was bottled and conditions, upon drinking, it pretty much sucked. I find it amazing I kept up with it, especially because there was a pretty long hiatus due to significantly insufficient cash inflows at the time. In other words I was totally broke.

Over the years, I've been able to brew more and more....and more. Graduating from extract/steeped beers to all-grain has proved to be a huge improvement in the quality of each beer. There was much more distinguishable differences in taste from one beer to the next. Then fine tuning the all-grain process by limiting off flavors at every stage has further increased the satisfaction in clarity and taste.

But this is a post about how it got started, and I think the beginnings were much like any other new brewer out there. It was beer, and it was rewarding to make it myself. There were lots of new things to learn, and that was exciting. As I got a better feel of it and how additional ingredients could make a better extract based beer, I looked around for as many recipes as I could find for a particular style, and bought commercial examples to further educate my palate. Eventually my beers became much more flavorful and enjoyed by my brothers and peers.

In the end, it was all worth it. Starting this blog has also been fun and rewarding, because it allows me to keep in touch with a bunch homebrewers new & old all over the place. I pretty much use it to document all of my batches with some occasional brewing topics and stories. Please read more about my yearly homebrewing days in an entry posted long ago called Malty Brown Fizzy H2O.

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