Thursday, May 8, 2014

Brewing is Meditative, and Fun

I'm brewing a "West Coast IPA" this evening.  It's supposed to be pretty hoppy.  I hope it tastes something like Baxter Brewing's Stowaway IPA, my current favorite beer.  Mmm, yummy.

So between waiting for things to warm up or hop additions, I like to let my mind wonder about brewing.  Styles that sound interesting.  Projects I'd like to do.  A blog I should write...   Sometimes it's just free association.  One thing that crossed my mind was the enjoyment of brewing.  I didn't brew much last year and only once so far this year.  I'm only now realizing what I've been missing.  Extract brewing is pretty easy.  Warm water to 150 F, put the adjuncts in a brew sock and toss it in, wait 20 min., warm to near boil, add extract, wait for hotbreak, stir, add bittering hops, wait, add flavor hops & Irish Moss, wait, add aroma hops, wait, run wort chiller, wait, transfer to fermentation bucket, add yeast, put the lid on and wait a week.  Not much to it really.  Besides the wonderful smells of malt and hops, the waiting gives you time to think.  I like to think about brewing beer.  It's very relaxing.  

It's easy to get caught up in the challenges of brewing historical ales.  Finding good sources, redacting the recipe, figuring out unit conversions, considering ingrediants, process, equipment, etc. It can really pysch you out.  All the project challenges seem to stack up and before you know it, brewing becomes a burden.  You start to avoid it.  It hangs over your head like something you have to do.  You forget to enjoy brewing.  I'm beginning to see the wisdom in pacing yourself.  Brew something modern then something historic.  Remember, brewing is fun.  It's fun to make an easy, yummy beer and share it with friends.  Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew.  (Thanks Charlie.)