To Brew Or Not To Brew, That Is The Question…

Tucker, lizard chaser

With apologies to Shakespeare, I thought the statement appropriate to my thoughts this afternoon. I’m sitting on my deck right now enjoying this perfect spring day in Florida and listening to Tucker, my Jack Russell Terrier, run all over the backyard after lizards. He is new to the household, about a week, but he has already grown used to me and the cat and has made the house his in all but title. He has even been helping me spruce the place up a little…. Well maybe he thinks he is helping.

I’m having a little Beer sampling party next weekend. All of the growlers I collected on my recent road trip have beers from a few different breweries. And I will be sampling my first batch of homebrew as well. I have no idea what it tastes like yet as I decided to wait until the party to sample it with friends and see what their reaction is. I’m looking forward to the party and getting together with friends. But a small part of me is dreading sampling my homebrew for the first time with them. What if it sucks?

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not tying my vanity into this. I don’t regard this as some kind of passage or test of manhood. And civilization as we know will not crumble and fall into the sea as a result of my inability to make a good batch of beer. There are plenty of folks around who can brew good beer without me worrying about never supping any again.

But I haven’t been excited about a new hobby in awhile as I am about homebrewing. I’ve been visiting a lot of homebrewing sites and looking up recipes to try and looking at equipment I would like to have. I’ve even thought about building an outdoor shed to use just for brewing.

But what if the batch sucks?

I thought about getting into homebrewing for a while. I even bought a Mr. Beer kit but never broke it out to use. Then my sister and her husband bought me a beer kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop. It comes with most everything you need to brew. And it’s only a gallon size batch so if it doesn’t turn out well you’re not wasting too much. Homebrewing seemed like a natural fit for me. I like craft beers and I like cooking. And another way to think of brewing is cooking.

I’ve read a lot about brewing and there are a lot of things that can go wrong during the process that can ruin a beer. Brewing the grains at too high or too low a temperature, boiling the wort to high, adding the hops too soon or too late or at the wrong intervals, pitching the yeast, not storing the beer well during fermentation, too much honey in the bottling process, etc. And that doesn’t even cover all of the sanitizing you have to do.

If nothing else, I’ve gained a greater respect for craft brewers who’ve stuck with it and I hope to join their ranks. In fact I’m going to be brewing a new batch of wheat beer at the beginning of the party. We will be sampling the American Pale Ale I already brewed along with the others I brought back from other breweries.

Watching Tucker chase lizards all over the yard got me thinking why does he do it?

Answer: Because he enjoys it.

Will I brew another batch of this ones turns out to be not so good?

Answer: Well… I enjoyed brewing it.

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