Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The End of My Hobby Crisis

Welcome to my new blog, devoted to the joyous topic of homebrewing!

A bit of exposition to help get us going, and then we're off like a prom dress.

I started brewing circa 2005. I was living in Oregon at the time and had just discovered craft beer. (You can't help but experience craft beer in the Pacific NW.) Once I figured out what good beer tasted like--because that's something I hadn't learned during my MGD/Michelob/college-drinking days--my ex thought I might like to brew my own. So, for Christmas one year he bought me one of those beer-kit-complete-with-its-own-plastic-keg monstrosities. He also bought me poker chips. You'd think he was married to a dude, eh? Awesome Christmas gifts that year, let me tell ya! (No sarcasm there....they really were awesome.)

I never did do anything with that keg/kit. It sat on a shelf, untouched, until we moved (at which point, I think I threw it out). But it did get me thinking about brewing as a hobby. After thoroughly reading "Homebrewing for Dummies" (yes, laugh as you should!), I purchased the basic homebrewing equipment and some real homebrewing books (I'm looking at you, Charlie Papazian and John Palmer).

After a couple of years of some steady brew activity, life kinda got in the way. A divorce, a remarriage, several major job changes, two complicated location changes (from East Coast to Midwest to New England), and a string of some pretty sub-standard kitchens all put a dent in my brewing pursuits.

But, I realized quite recently that I needed to start brewing again. I'd done a couple of batches in 2009-2010 with my husband, Michael, and he'd really enjoyed it too. So, despite our current crappy kitchen, we decided it was time to dust off the fermenters (we'd be using them as fan stands--no lie) and get to brewing again. We figured we couldn't go wrong with the following equation:

Quality "us" time + beer ingredients = BEER!

We found a great homebrew store close by, loaded up our shopping cart, and got to work.

Ahem...last weekend.

Just to keep things even more interesting this time, I thought I'd write about it. Right here. Combining my love of brewing with my love of writing. It's the perfect lineup.

What do I want from this blog? I'm hoping to share experiences and revelations (and some failures, I'm sure), get wisdom from other homebrewers, and just generally document my rediscovered homebrewing life. And it's about time. If I had let my hiatus go on much longer, I would no longer be able to legitimately tell people that I brew my own beer!

(Fair warning: I may write about other things once in a while. But I'll give you a heads-up if that's the case.)

Anyfermentation, I'm pleased to say that our first brew is bubbling up a storm in the other room, and I'm happy as a clam about it.

Details to follow. Because our first brew day in over a year was inspiring, funny, stress-inducing (at times), but a glorious time was had by all (two of us). And so far, at the risk of being too optimistic, we've been ridiculously successful. We have the Excel spreadsheets to prove it. Yes, Michael and I make for a highly geeky brew team.

That's my intro for you. I'll be back with something more content rich....now that this first post is put to bed.

Slàinte mhòr!

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