A friend and I got into "craft" beer back in 1991 (back then we called it "microbrew"). Although the scene was MUCH different back then, you could still find a good craft brew pub here and there if you searched them out. (I remember Bass Ale, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Pete's Wicked Ale, Guinness, and Anchor Steam as some of our major influences.)
At one point, we thought we'd look into the possibility of making our own beer. Why not? It sounded fun. How hard could it be? Anyway, some time had passed since our initial discussion, so I ordered a beginner's kit of gear (without telling my buddy) along with ingredients for my first batch - a porter. I don't remember much about the process, but I do remember that the beer turned out pretty darned good. I found the result to be very satisfying. Plus, my buddy thought the beer was as good as I did. He promptly ordered up his own gear and got to brewing himself!
We made dozens and dozens of batches over the next 6 years or so - always using extract (DME and LME) while steeping specialty grains to add our own personal touch. We had brew days, we had tasting competitions, we gave it to our friends, and we brought it to parties. It was a great experience and I remember those days fondly.
However, when the kids started arriving and other life responsibilities popped up, the brewing days came to a halt. The gear went into plastic bags and got stored in plastic containers ...
Fast forward to 2015. Home brewing became part of my life again thanks to the encouragement of a friend. (my original brewing buddy had moved away) Although the encouraging friend was an all-grain brewer, I started out with three batches of extract brews to see if I could still do it. I still had all the old gear so it wasn't much of an expense (at first). The beer, again, turned out pretty good, and I found myself with some free time to pursue the hobby for the second time.
For some reason it felt like starting over - almost like I had never brewed before. I guess it was the 18 years or so that caused me to forget! Anyway, I am now an all-grain brewer. I've got about 10 batches under my belt and pressing on... I find the nearly endless combination of ingredients appealing, I love building things, and I am fascinated by all the science involved. I'm officially hooked. Hookedonbrewing.com! (quite surprised that the url was available)
So, onward I go, learning the craft. After 10 batches, I feel I've got a good handle on how my equipment behaves (temps and volumes), but I've still got a long learning curve ahead of me. Grain, hops, water, and yeast. Sounds simple enough, right? And, perhaps it is if a person simply followed the basic rules of brewing and wasn't interested in the "hows" and "whys" of the craft. I, however, am interested and am in the process of learning as much as I can about each of the 4 ingredient groups as well as how they interact under different conditions... maybe I should have paid a little more attention back in high school science class.?
I'm gonna go grab a fresh home brew on tap and contemplate my next recipe.
If you have your own web site, youtube channel, facebook page, etc., leave me a message. I'd love to check it out.
Thanks for visiting.
Hooked on Brewing