Sunday, June 21, 2009

My first blog!

Hey everybody! Welcome to my brewing blog. This is the first time I have ever tried blogging before, and I'm really excited because I think I have a lot to share about brewing beer at home. One thing I can tell you about brewing is that each person who brews inevitably develops their own particular techniques, has their own favorite types of equipment (usually homemade), and over time has acquired certain brewing habits that they believe can make their brewday easier and more productive. So in many instances there is really not a right or wrong way, as long as the finished product has your friends begging for more. And in the end, we all have one common goal - to make the freshest, most delicious and interesting homemade beer in the world - and we all believe we can do it!

My personal brewing arsenal is limited by my finances, but I'm lucky enough to have a bunch of different fermentors of different sizes, the usual bottling and siphoning tools, two homemade mash/lauter tuns (one 5 gallon and one 2 gallon), a propane burner, 4 and 7.5 gallon brewpots, a homemade 2-stage wort chiller with sink adaptor, ProMash brewing software, lots of clean bottles, and the best thing ever - a kegorator with cornelius keg conversion that can fit my secondary fermentor in it at the same time as a the keg and CO2, so I can lager (cold age) beer at the same time as enjoying beer from the keg. The only thing I would really love to do is convert the kegorator to hold two kegs with separate taps, but really I'm just overjoyed to have cold homebrew on tap at all, so I'm not about to complain.

I am strictly an all-grain brewer now, so I make all my own recipes and never use any extracts or kits, and I would say that I'm much more of a practical, hands on type of brewer. What I mean is that I am obviously interested in learning as much as I can about the science of brewing (and believe me, there is endless knowledge to acquire), but I am much more excited about the spiritual aspect of brewing. My goal when I brew is to have fun, learn, and just be happy. I try not to stress too much about the hundreds of mathematical formulas and calculations that are needed to produce good beer, and more on the experience of brewing itself. I like to smell the malted barley and hops, feel their texture in my hand, taste the beer at every little step during the process, and ponder the activities of my yeast. I always play my favorite music while brewing (usually Sublime), and I always try to be positive around my yeast, as if these tiny one-celled organisms will actually be affected by my mood. No, I'm not crazy, I'm just really into it, and I can tell you that when I make a beer that I'm really proud of, I close my eyes when I drink it, and each sip fills my soul. I hope that I can impart just a bit of that passion to anyone who cares to read this blog, and maybe even get some more people interested in this amazing, rewarding, ancient art.

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