A lot of people have funny thoughts about home brewed beer. One of the many visions people get is the quintessential picture of someone brewing beer in their home bathtub. It is a funny thought but not one that represents home brewing at all!
I’ve had the hobby of brewing for about 7 years now. A good friend of mine down in the Valley of the Sun decided to try it out one day and were quite impressed with our results. We both enjoyed fine liquors, beers, wines and cigars. Beer happened to be one of those products we could make ourselves! We used to brew pretty regularly, putting together a batch about every other month. It’s definitely motivation to have a “brew buddy”. When I moved away, I kind of lost the spirit and enjoyment of the process without my “brew buddy” and really only brewed once or twice a year. It didn’t help that I ran across some batches of brew I didn’t particularly enjoy. What do you do with two cases of beer you don’t like? Give it away…and hope the bottles find their way back to you!
Lately, I’ve been trying to get back into my homebrew hobby. So, over the weekend I got together with a buddy of mine from work who also brews and we put together two separate batches. Last fall, I brewed a Pumpkin Ale. It was like drinking a slice of pumpkin pie only in a beer! A couple of bottles were fun to try but not anything you would drink on a regular basis. This year, I opted for something a little more mainstream…a Honey Brown Ale. Most people should be able to enjoy more than a couple of bottles of that! Fermentation began within about 8 hours of pitching the yeast. That’s always a good sign when your fermentation kicks off that quickly. This morning, when I woke up, fermentation was literally on a roll. The wort (liquid that is fermented into beer) towards the bottom of the jug looks like it’s boiling. Streams of tiny bubbles rush toward the surface of the carboy (jug) and then burble through the airlock to be expelled. No matter how many times I see it, I’m always fascinated.
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Two weeks from now I’ll rack the brew into another carboy for secondary fermentation. On December 16th, my homebrewed Honey Brown Ale will be ready for bottling. Homebrewing is a fun and rewarding hobby. While it’s really no cheaper than buying good store bought beer it is a good lesson in self-sufficiency. With just a few simple ingredients available at your local homebrew shop, you can whip up some suds you really enjoy and know that it didn’t take a truck, traveling thousands of miles and using hundreds of gallons of fuel to get to you.
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