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Old 11-16-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default Why and when did you start brewing?

I thought it would be interesting to find out why and when people on HBT started brewing. I am sure there have got to be many good stories out there.
I started brewing 7 years ago when I was 20 after losing my doctored ID in college. My friend and I flipped on the TV when I got home from court and saw a commercial (ironically the only homebrew commercial I have ever seen) for Hennessy Homebrew Emporium in Rensselaer NY. It was like a light got turned on in our heads and we had to know more about this wonderful sounding hobby. We had talked (like so many college students) about the day we would open a bar, and now we had the opportunity to start a home brewery. We were on cloud nine. We took a drive out there, talked with some great people at the store and bought a basic equipment kit and an ingredient kit for a Sam Adams clone. We brewed it that night, made a royal mess and had a great time. We were hooked and we both continue to brew to this day. 7 years later, I have a brew journal with 50 or 60 brews recorded in it and have had my most productive year to date with 65 gallons brewed.

Drinking - red ale, Honey Wheat, Chamomile Ale, Coriander Mead., Chocolate Porter & aging 6-pack of Smoked Porter
Kegged - Hefeweizen & 80 minute IPA
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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After a month-long trip to Europe with my wife (before kids) we realized that most of the beer back home was seriously lacking in flavor, or so we thought. A little while later, we watched Alton Brown's beer episode, and a local show on homebrewing shops in the same week. That weekend we went to the LHBS and got out kit. That was about 5 years ago. That first year we brewed about 100gl and have averaged about the same ever since... might have to ramp that up though...

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:55 PM   #3
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2 years ago. I discovered craft beer and decided that I needed to learn how to make it. I also live in Mississippi so it is easier to brew good beer than drive 3 hours to New Orleans to buy some.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
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I started in College as well. Me and a buddy figured it would be a cheap way to get decent beer. We made about 5 batches in a year and got discouraged because they all had "that" flavor. Like most new brewers we WAY underestimated the importance of pitching rates and fermentation temp control.

A couple years after that, I had moved to a new town and was bored with no friends (wiping lone tear from eye). I went online and somehow stumbled upon a homebrew supply store and ordered a deluxe kit. My first batch was delicious (a vanilla hefe-weizen), and I had read the Complete Joy of Homebrewing cover-to-cover before it was done fermenting. I was hooked. I'm at a total of 10 years in, and about 7 years of "enlightened" brewing in.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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It was cold and dark night, 4 score and 7 year ago, we were trapped in a blizzard and the water pump froze...

Nah. It was hot and sunny. Buddy an I were on a porch drinking Budweiser and talking about the expense of better beer. The damned fool mentions "You know, I read somewhere that this stuff is easy to make at home and I think there is a shop for the stuff up the road".

I was at that shop the next day. That was 4 or 5 year ago. I brewed beer like I was building up the world supply. Then I bought a pre-fab RIMS and practically stopped brewing altoghther. Having kids helped.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:02 PM   #6
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A co-worker challenged me to make a batch of beer. I started Jan 16th of this year and will reach 200 Gallons before the end of the year.

I love beer, cooking and math. I'm surprised it took me so long to discover the hobby.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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I started last saturday. I need a winter hobby when i can't golf.
Addicted to golf
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
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I only started seriously back in April of this year and probably have about 10 batches under my belt so I am still a noob. I have always loved quality craft beer, even in high school and college when my friends were swilling Bud and PBR I was trying to elighten them to the joys of a delicous IPA or stout (a good number of my friends hated craft beer then but have recently come around and will drink nothing but the best!).

For xmas a few years back, my ex-girlfriend's mom bought me a Mr. Beer kit and I quickly brewed it up. I then proceeded to place it in a closet and completely forget about it for about 5 months. Needless to say that after months of stifflingly hot temps, the beer was quite disgusting and I dumped the whole batch. After that, I knew that I wanted to and could make better beer so when I moved into a bigger place this past year, I bought my starter kit and the obsession began

Even though I have only brewed about 10 batches, I (and all my friends who have tried my brews) can taste a definite difference in quality from those first couple brews to my current beers (thank you johnson controller and starters!)

Can already tell that this will be a lifelong hobby!
Primary 1: Air
Primary 2: Air
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Secondary 2: Air
Kegged: Rye IPA, Unnamable IPA, Sort of Sunshine IIPA
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:17 PM   #9
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Before I discovered craft beer, swmbo & I were into wine. We'd buy about two cases a year. As for beer, Heineken & Yuengling black & tan were what we mostly drank.

I had been thinking of brewing beer for about two years, and for 2009 Father's day swmbo gave me a couple books on homebrewing. I decided it was time to take the plunge, so we went to the LHBS & got a starter kit and an IPA ingredient kit. Papazian's book made all the difference to me; stopped me from worrying & helped me relax thru the process the first time.

That was 20 extract batches ago. Friends, family, co-workers all like my beer. I love the sound of bubbling airlocks. It's fun just to think about what's fermenting & planning what to brew next. I also enjoy taking an inventory of the cases of bottled beer, like some dragon sitting on a pile of treasure on a cold winter night at the heart of a mountain. Nights like that call for a nice porter or stout.

But what I didn't expect was how much I enjoy socializing with other brewers at our monthly meetings. So much fun to get together, drink & talk beer.

What a fun, fun hobby.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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It was a pretty simple thing for me. A couple of my friends were talking about it at work so I decided to try it.

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