I decided to start a blog......one may ask why? I am not a writer, by any means. In fact, if you frequent this blog, you will often find that I CONSISTENTLY use incorrect punctuation, use word forms incorrectly (their, they're, there), and misspell words (not as often anymore thanks to Chrome's built in spell check!). My wife is always the first person to call me out on that! I blame it on my oversized brain. When I'm thinking of what to write, my fingers just can't keep up with what I'm thinking. Feel free to call me out!
I got into brewing about a year ago thanks to my father-in-law. He had a brewing kit that he purchased a long time ago. I knew nothing about brewing but he said that I could borrow the supplies he had in order to give it a shot. I gathered up his supplies and scoured the internet in search of the ingredients I would need to brew my first batch.
I found out quickly there are MANY sites to get ingredients from but I settled on Homebrewers Outpost (LINK) for a Honey Ale kit. Me not know the difference, I figured, "Hey, I like Honey Weiss, probably similar." The ingredients showed up and I got to work. Steeped some grains, added some extract, and threw in some hops. When I finished, my brew area had water all over and the house was perfumed with the smell of hops!
Side story (this will happen often).....we bought our house 2 years ago, and though at times we REALLY dislike it, there are certain times I am glad we have it. One of those times is for brewing beer. The people that owned the house before us tried making the basement a rental unit. They soon found out the zone the house is in says you can't have rental units. I don't understand all the rules and laws that foiled their plan so don't expect much detail, but before they found out this information, they had built a smaller, second kitchen! Complete with fridge, sink, cupboards, and stove, I was all set to start my new hobby with little disturbance to my wifes domain!
I brewed 2 batches when I first started brewing in the fall of 2009. The honey ale and a red ale. I can't remember much of my brewing process, but I know I was happy with the end result. To a beer connoisseur it was probably sub par, but to me, it was MINE! I had crafted this little taste of heaven all by myself and had felt a sense of ownership with every sip. I am always a little worried when someone else tries my beer, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.
My brewing then slowed down for a while because I was coaching hockey at the time and it was eating up most of my spare time. Then this last Christmas (2010), my mother-in-law got me another beer kit and a tap-a-draft mini kegging system (LINK). So even though my brew bucket had been in the closet for about a year, it was time to pull it back out. My free time hasn't increased even though I have retired from coaching hockey because my wife Erin and I welcomed our beautiful daughter Eva on December 13th. Having a little one at home can be a chore, but with the help of my wife and family, I have still managed to squeeze in two brewing days!
I now have a Dunkelweizen that I just bottled on January 28th and on Wednesday (Feb. 2nd) I brewed a Fat Tire clone that I purchased from Austin Homebrew Supply (AHS). It's on day 3 in my fermentation bucket and has been bubbling like crazy! I'm a little worried about my Dunkelweizen because I couldn't get my SG down to where I wanted it even after pitching some new yeast, but I'll find out in a week or more! I'm SUPER excited for the Fat Tire clone because I have heard some good reviews and I finally going to do what every noob SHOULD do when it comes to brewing......GIVE IT TIME! Not gonna rush this one.
So...I started this blog as a way to document my brewing experiences. Most of my posts will be about brewing beer from the time it hits the fermenter till I get to taste my concoction, but there may be some randomness about hockey, gaming, and diaper changing! I hope you enjoy!