Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fermentation Friday July 2008

Hi All,

This months Fermentation Friday is titled "What one tip would you give a beginner homebrewer before they brew their first batch and why?" I think this is a perfect topic for me as I am still an a newbee in the art of brewing. I wish I had known my tip before I brewed for the first time (actually the second time you'll see why later.) Before I get into my tip I would like to thank John and Mike at Brew-Dudes for hosting this months session. As a newbee I am looking forward to reading all the tips that will come from all you experienced brewers out there.

My tip to beginning brewers is don't stress its highly likely you won't have any issues with the brewing process. You may not make the best beer ever the first time but you will get something that looks tastes and smells like beer.

I first tried brewing a few years back with a Mr Beer kit I got a garage sale. The box had been in the guys garage for 2 years, the yeast was expired, and the light malt looked more like mud. Lets just say it didn't work out so well. So I basically figured that beer making was too hard and wasn't worth the effort.

Fast forward to Nov. 07. I had gotten out of beer for a while so I didn't think much about beer for about three years until I went on my trip to Germany. After that it was all beer all the time. It was all I could think about. What better way to get totally into beer but to make it yourself. I was really leary about trying it again due to my failure the first time but I decided to give it another go. I had my family get me a decent beer kit and a good fresh ingredient kit. I also read every article and website I could find to get tips and tricks to being successfull. For the first kit I followed the directions to the T. I was meticulus (if thats the spelling) with cleaning and sanitizing and everything went perfectly. I ended up with a good beer after a few weeks. My next few brews I started trying new ingredients and different processes. I even made a few dumb mistakes like forgeting to add the hops for the first 1/2 hour of the boil (I just boiled for an addition 30 minutes) and adding the yeast at close to 100 degress (i realized my thermometer was broke a few hours later). Guess what all the beers turned out great.

In other words beer isn't as fragile as some people make it out to be. You can make some significant errors and still turn out a good brew. It may not be world class, it may not be what you are expecting but it will probably be good and its yours. It doesn't get better then that. To quote the man Charlie Papazian "Relax have a home brew". I know you can't yet cause you haven't brewed any so just grab your favorite craft brew (or brew some good coffee) both are close enough for the first brew session.

Thanks again Brew-Dudes for hosting. Talk to you all next month!!


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