I've been wishing to brew for a long time now, and recently I had an opportunity to do so with a good friend of mine. Now, my problem is dollars and mobility. I have neither. Fortunately this friend of mine was kind enough to pack up his mad-laboratory into his SUV and set up shop out in my front yard.
I've brewed a few times before, as I've chronicled on this site over a year or so ago, but it was with a kit. Not that that's bad mind you, but it's a little like baking a cake out of a box, whereas all-grain brewing is more like baking a cake from ingredients that you grew. And milled. And like, milk that you squeezed from the cow, and eggs you pulled from the chicken.
Alright, well that's a little drastic, but suffice it to say that using a kit is skipping a lot, and honestly it's only ever going to be as good as that kit allows. Doing it with grains gives you much more control. Not to mention it adds a substantial period of time to the process, which if you're nuts like we are, means more enjoyment.
I regret not getting pictures.
Still though, the pictures wouldn't have been the great part of the whole day. I could not share with you the unimaginably wonderful aspect of the day via pictures, for pixels cannot capture smell.
The boil smelled like a gigantic 7-gallon cup of bread-tea... If that makes sense... It was good! You know that warm pleasant feeling you get when mom (or whomever) bakes a bread for the holidays or what not... It was like that, except outside.
As wonderful as that part was though, it paled in comparison to the addition of the hops. I love hops... We were making an IPA, so there were several kinds we added, and as I recall, it was all I could do not to snort the cascade hops. I would buy hops flavored toothpaste, air fresheners, body powder, and eye-drops if I could find them.
Currently the whole brew is churning slowly away in my basement awaiting the bottling, which I am eagerly awaiting.
This whole process was a little more than just something to do on a brisk Saturday. I had a whole lot of fun doing it, and that's saying a lot cause I stood the whole time, and like any credible beer-enthusiast, I'm on the beefy side. I don't typically stand for very much. For this, I stood all damned day, and was grateful for it.
This suggests to me that there's something rather wrong with me. Not that this came as a surprise really, but I am acceptionally interested in this, woefully without experience and access to learn, save for the internet, and the kindness of others... But I will one day know the things about brewing that I wish I knew right now. Right now, I am without doubt a Brew Newb, hence the new website name.
What better time to get a real URL for this site, which will be the chronicle of my climb to BrewMaster?
For now, I happy call myself the Brew Newb.
Join me if you will, I welcome any and all input, suggestions, comments, and opinions (unless they suck).
That said, with the advent of the new site URL, I'm going to be making changes to the site itself as far as layout goes. I may have need for some art.