A Little Homebrew Blasphemy [guest post]
the best Chocolate Milk Stout a Northern Brewer kit can make!!
When Paige asked me to guest blog on her mega-rad blog, I fought back the tears. Firstly, because I was so incredibly honored – I mean, I’ve read the site and this lady and her cronies know their stuff – and secondly, because I’ve read the site and this lady and her cronies know their stuff – I was a titch terrified. Who am I: a mom, a wife, and a nurse who really likes beer…? Honestly, I’m writing this right now with an 18-month-old on my lap watching Baby Einstein, how serious could I be? My husband and I started home brewing last October when I went to Northern Brewer and bought him (me) a Deluxe Brewing Starter Kit ™ for his birthday. We’ve made 5 pretty darn good batches… from KITS. Seriously, that’s like baking a cake from a box. Don’t get me wrong, that’s delicious, but it hardly makes you a baker. And our gentle forays into kit extract brewing hardly make me a brewer. On Monday it occurred to me that I really didn’t have a whole hell of a lot of knowledge to share: I’m a novice brewer. Not even a novice; I’m that fool outside the convent doors knocking and asking to come in- is that an initiate? Yeah, that’s pretty much me. My palate isn’t educated. When analyzing the undertones of a beer, I’d be hard pressed to tell you if I tasted caramel or asphalt. I’m not going to teach you anything today: not about brewing, not about tasting, not about rad places to go drink beer – although MY house is a pretty rad place to drink beer… MY beer…from a kit.
our keg set up, yes that’s Mich Light we keep in the fridge for the Plebians and desperate times
I will, instead, take some good advice from my dad: my favorite beer drinker and the man responsible for introducing me to beer, “ If you can’t be useful, then at least be entertaining.” I brew because I love it: love the novelty, love the problem solving, love the end product and I especially love getting all scientist on my beer by altering temp, specific gravity, infusions, yeast, what have you. Reflecting on this reminded me of the statement, “Chose a job [hobby] you love and you will never work a day in your life”. I think that’s Confucius. And while Confucius was talking about morality in local government and creating an ethical and beautiful life, I believe his adages have a lot of meaning to the home brewer, so I’m going to share a few of my favorite bastardizations of Confucius as they have relevance to home brewing. I apologize in advance to anyone I offend. I made these up and I am irreverent, so shoot me:
“Every beer has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
“If you make a mistake and don’t correct it, this is called a lambic.”
“Brewing is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
“He who knows all the answers has not had to cold crash.”
“It does not matter how slowly you lager as long as you don’t stop.”
“Secondary/Tertiary fermentation is a true friend who never betrays.”
“Better a homebrew with a flaw than a Coors Lite without.”
“If you don’t want to drink one of your homebrews, don’t impose it on others.”
And lastly, “Whatever you brew, that’s what you drink.”
My newest Kolsch baby
Drink on, thirsty readers!