What was I thinking.....

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Well-Known Member
Nov 9, 2007
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Wanna hear something funny??? I never even REALLY liked bear or appreciated it until I started learning about it and attempting to make it. I think I've been at this for a few months now...I haven't a clue why I got into it in the first place! All I can remember is that it was our first snowstorm in Buffalo...so for some reason I thought it would be a great idea to drive to the LHBS and buy a kit.

3 months later or so Ive accumulated about 15 carboys (7 of which are in constant operation)....and various other gadgets, had over 300 bottles "donated" to me, built kegerator....read 5 books.....moved from Extract to my first attempt at AG and am trying to decide whether to build a HERMS or RIMS with my welder friend. Am I saving money making beer??? Heck no! Am I addicted? Heck yes! In fact I've BOUGHT more beer than ever trying to figure out what the heck I like to drink...yet alone try to make.

So today Im trying to figure out what I was thinking when I decided to drive in a blizzard to pick up a beer making kit!

Answer...I brew with my little brother...and have a hell of a time together drinking our beer and sharing it with our friends when its done. I think to me at least...thats what this is all about...especially spending time with my brother.

So what got you addicts into this crazy obsession/hobby???
You buy a new carboy every week? You must be brewing a metric sh** ton of beer, dude.
I was already a beer snob, and wanted to take it to the next level. Plus I had a friend who brewed years ago but had quit, so she gave me all of her old equipment, so I got started for nothing but the cost of ingredients.
haha...actually I had a friend getting out of the winemaking hobby and had a ton of carboys I picked up for 7 bucks a piece. I make a lot of beer because I host a poker game every friday and like to use the players as test dummies.
I second the loving of brewing durring the monthly snow storms in buffalo. Niagara Tradition brewing is a nice drive even durring a snow storm...all the roads are major and plowed...most of the time!!!
I got started through one of my co-workers / friends getting me a basic kit for Christmas of 2006. Having always been a beer drinker it was a logical step and I've discovered I'm good at it and I love doing it.
I went to a beer expo and there was a homebrewer there brewing an AG batch. He and a few of his friends were giving their beer away. I thought it was the best beer I had ever had. Two weeks later I bought a kit. It's been a crazy year that's for sure. :drunk:
I found a copy of Charlie Pap's book in a box of old things donated to me by my brother-in-law when I left for college (oh so long ago). Read the whole thing in one sitting and was planning my first brew before I reached the end. Same brother in law subsequently donated all of his old extract gear when I asked him if he had ever tried brewing. Charlie sure has a way of making brewing accessible to the uninitiated.
Yep I know the feeling. I started because I am a beer snob and wanted to try my hand at it. Im still new to it but I can see myself doing it for a long time. And really beer is the universal language for friendship haha or something like that.
Here's my story, lifted from my website:

"At first, my brewing was all about cost. I liked well-made, flavorful beer, and I had little dosh to supply the needed bevvie. I read a library book about brewing, visited a local homebrew store, and discovered I could make more than four dozen bottles of yummy beer for less than two-thirds the price of a case of good commercial brew. So I got a "starter kit" that included equipment and ingredients for a five-gallon batch. It didn't turn out too badly, so I kept at it.

Eventually, I got a half-decent job, so I could afford better commercial brew more often. But that didn't stop me from brewing; it meant that I started brewing things that, commercially, cost a lot of money, like Belgian-style ales, instead of brewing American Pale Ale because I couldn't afford Sierra Nevada Pale.

One day, I was wandering around Easton, PA with no real goal in mind except perhaps hitting the public library for a fresh novel. I was just enjoying a warmish February afternoon. Suddenly, I smelled mash - the hot water and grain concoction that leads to beer. So I followed my nose until I found an old, two-story brick livery stable converted into a microbrewery called Weyerbacher.

I wasn't very happy with the job I had at that time, so I walked in the propped-open doors and nosed about until I saw a tall, gangly guy stirring the mash with a canoe paddle. "Oi!" I said diplomatically. "What's a guy got to do to get a job here?"

"Go away," he muttered, then grunted something about the brewery staff about to leave for a pilgrimage to Belgium, so it wasn't worth talking to the owner, who wasn't there, anyway.

Long story short, after weeks of daily pestering, they gave in and hired me. I was officially a "cellarman," or the guy who cleans fermenters, cleans kegs, fills bottles, and generally acts as a janitor. Six months after that, I brewed my first batch of beer as a professional brewer!

(I remember it quite clearly - it was a ten-barrel batch of Belgian-style Trippel, and I didn't screw it up.)

Today, I'm out of the brewing business, alas."
I often get asked how I got started, and to be truthful, I can't exactly remember how I discovered you could brew you're own beer at home. What I do remember is that I budy of mine got me interested in "good" beer. I was interested in breweries and with the help of the internet I believe I discovered this hobby/obsession. I apparently said something about to a now ex-girlfirend and low and behold, Christmas morning a couple of years ago I was surprised with a home beer making kit. Greatest gift I have ever received by far! I started out brewing twice a month and still would if I could afford it. I love this craft...
I talked about getting into homebrewing, but it was a christmas present from my girlfriend which got me started. I made 20 batches in the first month (she began to regret the present in the first month). As much of a fondness as I had for beer before I began brewing, I enjoy a well crafted beer much, much more now. You really have to dissect something and learn the details of it, before you can began to really appreciate the final product.
Ok, mine is a little off. :)

I was dating this lady who said several time she wanted to brew beer, so I got her a kit for Valentine day.

We brewed that beer together, did not date her for very long after that, but I got the bug from her :)
1990, I was invited to a Homebrew "gathering" by a couple of co-workers.
It was about 12 people, and half of us were non-brewers. The host brewed an extract batch while demonstrating the process. The 6 brewers brought samples,

I enjoyed it and took it all in, I remember thinking "I've already got one of those old glass water cooler bottles-(It was collecting loose change)". I went home with a buzz, and dumped the change out of the bottle now called a "carboy". The next weekend, a few of us went to the LHBS and I pieced together my supplies, and brewed my first batch shortly after that.

Eventually that group formalized into a homebrew club, but I moved out of the area years ago. I've "taught" several people over the years-curious neighbors or co-workers, but most of the time I brew by myself and share the beer with guests.

All in all-Great Hobby.
Because this...beats the **** out of doing just about anything else around the house...