Friday, April 8, 2011

Adventures in Beer Brewing

"Feed me!"

Here’s the first thing I learned after tasting my very first homebrewed batch: Ew. You are not as cool as you thought.

Mistake #1: I didn’t read anything. Nope, not one thing...oh, save for a few forum threads that read “Here’s how you increase alcohol.” That was about the most important thing to me at the time. Why? Because I’m an alcoholic. Ok, not really…only usually. Basically, I read that the more sugar you ferment with your wort, the higher the alcohol. Guess what? That also means the higher chance you have of totally ruining your beer if you don’t know what the hell you’re doing and you don't know how to read your beer recipe.You know, like me.

My first homebrewing kit was simply called “British Mild.” Why did I pick that kit? Because it was the cheapest one on the shelf and I got a free bottle of yeast with it.  I didn’t even like British mild ale. It tasted weak to me, and being a big, strong, strapping lass, weak doesn’t fit into my lifestyle. Fine, I’m actually kind of a wimp, but I still don’t particularly like mild ales. Besides, what’s a girl to do with 3.4% ABV? Enjoy the flavor? Ha! Why would I want to do that? How am I supposed to get so drunk I wake up in the gutter with a rock stuck to my face with 3.4%?

Mind you, this is simply what I thought at the time. Now that I appreciate going through the beer-making process and ritual of brewing craft beer (best done among friends who actually know how to brew and are fun to hang out with…and are kind enough to loan you the equipment you need for your first couple of batches), and tasted the British ale my buddy brewed with me that very day, I appreciate the mild flavors. As soon as the creamy, light liquid stepped it’s way across my taste buds, I kind of fell in love a little. Suddenly, alcohol content didn’t matter and I just wanted to enjoy this new-found flavor. That’s what I wanted to do with my next beer — create a great flavor.

Oh yah, also, don't be fooled by the name. Although I won't use any animal products to homebrew, I can't honestly say this is a blog about organic beer brewing. Maybe it will be eventually, but like I said, I'm not that cool.

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