Posted by dave
Since we seem to be dealing with a theme here, one of the gifts I may have hinted at wanting for Christmas this year was a home-brewing kit – beer style. I’m not the first in my family to attempt the home-brew – my grandfather (may he rest in peace) used to make a killer red wine. I can vaguely remember as a child venturing down into his basement and staring in awe at all the barrels in a line, presumably full of a wine-in-progress – and to the side of the barrels, several bottles of ready-to-drink wine – corked, wax-sealed, and oh so tasty to a young man almost a decade away from his legal right to drink.
Childhood memories, added on top of my apparently random stab at making my way in the world of libations and libation accessories led me to the obvious conclusion that eventually I would have to make a hobby of the very thing that currently drives my ambition. Why not brew some beer, I thought? After all, how hard could it be?
As luck would have it, a friend (and former business partner in EDM Software) and I both received different brew-it-yourself home beer brew kit for Christmas. They’re hardly expensive – you can pick one up at Target for less than $40. Anyway, it struck us before we began our first brew that perhaps this could become a hobby that we could actually sink our teeth in to (and, if I can see the future as I believe I can, a few greenbacks as well.)
So as I type this, my home-brew is just put away for a 2 week nap to ferment and – with any real luck – become something palatable. My kit was the second that we attempted – our first brew is also mid-fermentation, but as we’re finding, it’s not as easy as one would think.
Nonetheless, I can see a fun future in brewing beer for home consumption. I still have questions about the amount of dextrose a good brew really requires (you’d really be surprised, it feels cola-like in quantity) and I have yet to scrape the very top of the knowledge-tree of understanding when it comes to the different types of yeast, barley, hops, etc. Heck, I haven’t even completed the fermentation process once yet, so the step of beer conditioning seems like a faint mirage miles down the road.
Anyway, if I’m going to immerse myself in the alcohol culture, I might as well do it with as much gusto as I possibly can.
Coming soon is my first – and this site’s first – review of a beer. I can only hope that sometime in the distant future I might brew a beer worthy of bragging about. But for now, my Mr. Beer and I are still working on forging a friendship, and that’s as far as I’ve gotten in this mysterious world of home brewing.