Monday, October 6, 2014

The Boys Are Back...And Late as Usual

Take it away Al, Ken, James, Josh, Tim, Jeff and Matt (otherwise known as The Dropkick Murphys)

The boys are back
The boys are back
The boys are back
and they’re looking for trouble

I didn’t brew anything for 19 long months. All of that ended about a month ago when I brewed a recipe from John Palmer’s How to Brew. My first all-grain batch, too. It felt wonderful to smell the grains during the mash and boil again, to watch the hops dissolve into the boil and to spend hours upon hours cleaning all of the equipment needed for the brew. (I may be one of the few who actually enjoys the cleaning part of the process.)

I missed homebrewing. I missed it a lot. It’s one of the few things I truly look forward to and get overly excited even giddy when brew day approaches. 

19 months was a long time to stop doing something that you love. There were many reasons why I temporally stopped and I certainly harbor no regrets for taking some time off. But during that time off I never stopped thinking about this favorite hobby of mine and when I would get to enjoy it again.

Since getting back into homebrewing I’ve brewed three batches. There are two bigs things that I’ve learned since the paddle has gotten back into my hand and I’ve started all-grain brewing:
  1. My style of homebrewing further confirms that I am a perfectionist.
  2. I’ve read of lot of books on homebrewing/brewing and because of this I thought that I would know what I was doing. As it turns out, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
You can read all of the theory that you want. It doesn’t mean anything unless you’ve put it into practice and translated it into success. It’s pretty easy to homebrew a beer that is drinkable, but it’s damn hard to make a good beer - something you’d brew again in a heartbeat.

Getting back into brewing deepened my appreciation for good beer. Not necessarily for the flavors and aromas of said beer (already loved those), but for what homebrewing reminds me of: Brewers who can make really good beer - consistently - are amazing.

Brewing is a talent. A skill. An art. You can’t just do it once or twice and be great at it. It takes years, maybe even a lifetime of practice.

It’s a good thing that I’m a perfectionist. Homebrewing fits quite nicely into that.

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