I don’t like beer. It’s true.
Actually, if truth be told…I’m pretty sure that beer and urine have the exact same taste.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ve been running around drinking pee…. but I just have a sneaky suspicion.
My husband more than makes up for my lack of beer love – (probably more than he should, if I’m going to be honest), and it seems like its his personal quest to TRY ALL THE BEER.
Just because I haven’t, and by his reasoning “Someone has to pull your weight, Kelly. And that someone is me.”
Well, trying ALL THE BEER has become quite expensive. It also made him a bit of a snob. After a couple of years Chris (the aforementioned husband) started going to beer conventions.
Talking to other beer lovers. Being all high-falutin about his fancy pants beer knowledge.
I likened him to one of those hipster beer snobs.
I reckon that wasn’t the thing to say to a beer lover, because he took my backhanded compliment and returned it with a new fresh hell that I have to live with: his own brewery. Which is located in what used to be MY garage.
It started small. He came home with the Brew Your Own Beer box that can be seen at stores like Farm and Fleet and Farm and Home. I thought, “Oh boy. Here we go.”
What I didn’t realize was how technical brewing beer really is. All of a sudden the man who had not read a book since his freshman year of high school (I know. Can you believe it?!), was online researching how to become a brewmaster. He was checking out books, and drafting plans.
His first batch was terrible. I was lucky and didn’t taste it. He tried to pretend it was wonderful, but I know the face of pain and anguish (I am a mother) – it was horrible (and I found it in the garbage out back not too long after….).
Well, needless to say Chris had many a bad batch before he finally managed to brew “the one.” Which he named after me, much to my chagrin. His favorite thing to do is call me on the phone and say, “I’m going to come home tonight and get myself a nice long drink of Kelly.”
Yeah. I don’t laugh either.
Regardless, through all of his trials and tribulations he has put together a “what not to do” list for people to follow while brewing beer. So, without further ado…. Here is Chris’s list of what not do to, in hopes that he might save someone a bit of the pain he (and the family….) suffered through:
- Don’t assume that you know beer because you drink it. This is not the case. Go into brewing as you would any new subject – blindly and ready to learn. Sure, it helps to have a love for beer. And yes, it also helps to have developed a palate, but sometimes I feel like my former knowledge is what kept me from succeeding for so long. Instead, do your research before you ever get started.
- Don’t be afraid of yeast. Get to know your yeast. Yeah. Weird, right? It’s true though.Read up on it. Believe me, a good understanding of Yeast will really help you out in the long run.
- Brewing your own beer is surprisingly inexpensive, once you get your equipment purchased. I recommend you stay clear of the “Brew your Own Beer” plastic keg type set. Believe me. Didn’t work – could have been my novice status. Regardless, it’s worth it to just spend a bit more money at first….you will be saving in the long run, so it’s cool.
- Don’t be dirty. Seriously. Beer is the stomping ground for bacteria so really really clean your brewing materials. You don’t need anything fancy, just soak your brewing equipment in a water/clorox solution and then follow with a hot water rinse. Trust me there’s nothing worse than brewing that perfect beer…and then getting sick because you also made the perfect storm of bacteria…..
- Don’t try and say you aren’t going to need space. This isn’t true. You are. The equipment itself (at least at first) doesn’t take up much room..but storing cases of beer can get tricky in a small apartment. Be prepared for the amount of beer that you will make – I have found that I make more than I drink (which still isn’t fathomable). However, I am always sharing beer with friends – and this keeps the wife happy.
- Don’t go it on your own. I did this for quite awhile, foolishly thinking I could. Not only are there blogs out there to follow, but some fantastic websites that will pretty much walk you through brewing. Anymore, it’s something that I truly believe anyone can do.
- Don’t forget while you are doing this – it’s supposed to be fun. If it ever becomes so stressful that you no longer enjoy it….well, then it’s time to hang up the hat for a bit. Don’t let your hobby ruin your love for beer.