I've been really wanting a place to vent about beer to people who understand...beer.
I want to be able to talk about my frustrations, victories, whatever I feel like. This first post is a bit of a rant.
I was inspired by Mjdonnelly68 and his wonderful thread "My Year in Beer" (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f45/my-year-beer-298708/
) and am finally getting around to starting my own thread. I find blogs to be somewhat pretentious and would prefer to write in this format.
I am a senior at Georgia Southern University. I am a Communication Arts major, and a writing minor. Needless to say, after a couple years I discovered 'communication' is a steaming load of rhetorical crap. If I want to be content I need to find something else to do. I love writing, but I hardly consider it to be a stable job choice.
I'll skip some of the boring details and get to the point. I found brewing almost two years ago and love everything about it. I love the science. I love the amount of building, and hands on work involved. I love the comradery. I am normally very shy, I have trouble talking to people without a specific reason to do so. Some days I worry I won't be able to meet new people effectively after college, when 'adulthood' begins. But with professional brewing, this can never be the case, someone will always be there to belly up to the bar and have a pint with me. I love beer itself. I love the community. So full of positivity, culture and festivity.
I am a full-time student with a thin wallet. I get $75 a week for food and entertainment. The majority of my battle brewing-wise is my my budget. Not having an income makes it really difficult to put out 10-30 gallons a month. I skip a couple meals a day to fuel the brewery (yet somehow I still have managed to gain weight, damn beer calories!). Repairs on boot-strapped gear have been killing me lately.
I have been scrapping together a system over the past couple years, I am lucky to be surrounded by sceney bar-owners who are willing to sell me keg-shells and generous local homebrewers. I brew on the back patio of my crappy apartment. No cover sucks, it rains down here almost every day. The outlet outside doesn't work and there is no spigot. I run a hose and an extension cord out the window.
I got my stand super cheap ($200) all stainless! I dislike the lower tier, it's too low to support another pump (not that I can afford one). My stand needs wheels with brakes as well. But she makes great beer regardless. I do a direct fire recirculation mash and ferment in carboys in a temp controlled freezer.
I have a huge base of supportive friends and family. They always want samples. I just drove to Atlanta today with 80 bottles of several different kinds of beer. I really wanted to have beer to show off and rushed a few batches.
Chocolate Hazelnut Porter- I won a Rogue kit in a brewing competition and refuse to use extract, precrushed grain, and poorly stored hops. So I decided to just use the hazelnut. Blah, Slightly undercarbonated, brewcraft hazelnut extract made the beer worse.
Galaxy Vienna Lager- Didn't get enough lagering time, but man is it tasty (Galaxy, Simcoe, Tett dryhop!)
Mild-been in the fridge a couple weeks and is over-carbonated. Should be great warm and flat. but is past it's prime.
Munich Dunkel- Got plenty of lagering time, but I used German Lager X. I'm not a huge fan.
American Light Lager- I made this for my dad. He is a Coors man and rarely drinks my beer. I wanted to make something impressive for him to take with him on a hunting trip. But figures, when it counts, I gotta screw up. I wanted maximum lagering time, so I waited until last night to carbonate. I managed to flip the wrong switch on my co2 distributor and the beer didn't carbonate as planned. I needed it today, so force-carbonation was the only option. Great, now all that lagering time is wasted. I waited as long as I could before I bottled, but the co2 hadn't fully absorbed into the beer. I'm fairly certain the beer in the bottles are flat-ish. I brought the case up regardless. My dad asked about his beer and I told him what had happened. I got the "I just hope it's got bubbles" and "that's your product, it better be 100%" comments. The beer tastes wonderful, but it has gone from well-meditated crystal clear lager to murky and flat. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but perfection is expected and I failed.
Blues aside, I plan to post up about every beer I make. If you'd like a sample of pretty much any beer I talk about just shoot me a PM and I'll send a cold one your way (you gotta cover shipping though)
On a more positive note, I got a call a few weeks ago, an amateur homebrewer in the area (who owns several restaurants) just got his federal brewing license and wants me to head up the 15bbl brewery. I am wary, I have only talked to him over the phone and haven't seen any physical evidence. I've been told he has the money though, so fingers crossed.