Hooray! Hooray! There’s Beer in the house again.
Sure, there’s the normal micro/regional brews in the beer drawer in the bottom of the fridge (yet another benefit of living with a vegetarian: a used-to-be-empty cold-storage for brew), but as of my birthday, there’s also made-it-myself Beer in situ.
In the middle of the day on my birthday last week, while I was washing some dishes, I turned to The Wife and exclaimed, “I know what I want for my birthday: a homebrew kit!”
“That’s funny,” she replied with a grin, “that’s what I was thinking of getting you.”
A couple days later, we went over to the scummy, nasty little BPC* store that just happens to have an expansive selection of homebrew equipment, and I picked out a box full of equipment and a red ale kit.
Now for those of you who don’t know, I started brewing when I was 17, after a visit to UC-Boulder, during which I spent the night at a friend’s house and helped him and his roomie bottle a batch of brew. I also had one to drink, and I think it pretty much kicked my ass. Anyway, the next morning, I announced to my parents that I was going to start brewing, too. Like all good parents, they made appreciative noises, nodded their heads, and probably hoped I’d forget about it somewhere in the middle of Nebraska on the drive home.
No such luck. The first week back from that trip, I went to the closest brew store (a 45-minute drive away), dropped about $120 on equipment and a kit, came home and proceeded to make stout. Which tasted a lot like warm, flat soy sauce before it got bottle conditioned. A couple weeks later, it tasted like cold, barely-carbonated soy sauce. But I drank all 52 bottles. I mean, really, I had to; it was a matter of saving face.
I don’t remember making beer between then and when I left for college, but I certainly remember hauling all my brewing paraphernalia to school, and I made a “kitchen sink” batch in which I used up all my bits and bobs of ingrediants, plus a little crystal malt and a bunch of Cascades hops. I did my boil in the kitchen of another dorm so I’d stink up that rez hall, and I fermented the brew under my desk in my dorm room. After I bottled, I made a batch of root beer and cream soda so I had a good reason to get the RA to help me haul a bunch of cases of full beer bottles into the storage room. That was the best batch of beer I’ve made to-date, and of course, I have no records of what I did. *sigh*
After brewing a few more times in college, I figured that hauling around my brewing stuff was too much work, so I gave it all to a friend who put it to good use. That was 12 years ago.
Now I’m back! And oddly enough, the batch that I just racked into secondary fermentation seemed a whole lot easier to make than I remember. It was easier to do, easier to clean up from, and hopefully, it’ll be nice and easy to drink. So far, so good, but I’ll report back on it when it comes out of the bottle for the first time in about three or four weeks.
*Beer, Porn, and Chips