|Furious clone homebrew from|
Wooden Shoe Brew House
My main issue is that I don't brew for the love of it and I don't brew often. I starting homebrewing because I thought my learning had topped out from tasting beer only. The brewery tours only made so much sense, and I needed to play with the ingredients and make my own beer to move to the next level of beer knowledge. I feel like I've learned what I wanted after nineteen batches, and, now, I'm looking for a new reason to homebrew.
Reason #1. Cost. Right now the main motivation for me is to create beers that are expensive and that I could make for a much cheaper price for weekday drinking. This generally means high gravity beers like double IPAs or barleywine. High gravity means more fermentation issues, which I've had in a cold house.
Reason #2. Unique beers. One thing I liked brewing and that's turned out well was a fresh hop ale. I have a simple recipe that works well (twice now), and I really enjoy opening a fresh hop beer that smells like summer when I open it in January. Also, I have some historical recipes that I would like to brew for the perspective. Batch #7 was a recipe for the original 1982 bottle conditioned Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. After brewing it, I bought a six pack of the present Sierra Nevada to taste side by side. I would like to do more batches along that line.
Reason #3. Homebrew media is among my favorites. I like listening to Basic Brewing Radio and watching Brew TV podcasts. Granted, I mostly prefer their interviews and interactions at GABF, brewpubs or pro brewers, but the homebrewing is interesting as well. But, I feel like a lurker since I like the information, but not really motivated to brew more myself.
However, as I often say (half) jokingly, I'm more of a taster than a maker. Issues I have with homebrewing include:
- 5 gallons of one beer. I struggle buying a six pack at times since I like new beers. To practice more, I would have more beer around, which cuts into my ability to try new beers in the exploding Minnesota craft beer industry.
- I've noticed homebrewers are often good cooks, handy mechanical types and/or freewheeling experimenters. While I admire this qualities, I possess none of them.
- Cold house and stuck fermentations, and temperature control in general.
- Bottling is a lot of work, but I don't want a draft line in the house.
- Presently, my beer quality doesn't match what I can buy.
- It's less work to go to the Four Firkins.
- I secretly fear that, even with extensive practice, I will never be that good at it.
So, that's my complicated relationship with homebrewing. At the heart of my problem is that I like calling myself a homebrewer and being a part of the club. I have plans for my next batches of brew, but don't know when the spark will happen that will get me to pull out the brew kettle for a day of boiling. In the meantime, I'll drink up my own beer and save the last one to drink with my next batch--someday.