Home brewing has evolved from a casual weekend event with friends to a regular personal hobby for me over the past few years.
I started by helping my friend Karl brew beer in 2010 while I was still in college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I always got the glamorous jobs like sitting on the toilet stirring the ice water in the bath tub while the beer cooled after boiling. At the time Karl had just obtained the standard home brewing start kit, and we ordered beer kits online. Our operation was bare-bones, but it was a lot of fun.
We brewed an amber ale and a black ale, a few wheat beers, and we even tried our hand at designing a Christmas ale with orange peels and spices mixed in. None of these turned out to be amazing, but we enjoyed the process. Looking back, we probably introduced some problems by letting the beer ferment in the hallway of an 85 degree apartment in the summer time (no air conditioning). But we can talk more about fermentation temperatures later.
Our adventures inspired my father-in-law to pick up home brewing again after taking some years off, and we brewed several beers with him while visiting on spring breaks and at Christmas and such.
In the spring of 2011 we left the U.P. when my wife got a job in St. Paul. I was too cheap as a recent college grad to buy a new setup of brewing equipment, but fortunately my wife’s parents were thoughtful enough to get us geared up for Christmas. This allowed us to crank out a few beers last spring, and many of them turned out REALLY well. We took the summer off due to the heat but now we’re back at it for the fall.
I have a great affection for making new beers, for trying new beers, and for improving my brewing abilities. I look forward to improving my brewing knowledge and capabilities. And I’m glad that you are joining along for the ride!
How did you get started with home brewing?