Here is the roundup of entries for this month’s edition of The Session which I hosted, our 132nd edition of the monthly group blogging project. I chose the topic of “Homebrewing Conversations” and though it was a late announcement, there was some excellent conversations started from the entries that I read.
Without further ado, here are the Session entries, in no particular order. (If I missed any, please leave a comment and I will update.)
Andreas Krennmair of Daft Eejit Brewing wrote “Why homebrewing made me appreciate beer even more” and describes his homebrewing “career” with early brewing attempts, getting involved in the Berlin brewing scene, and appreciation overall. “All these impressions had an impact on me as well: not only did I understand beer and its nuances better (or so I’d think, at least), it made me appreciate the craft of beer brewing more, because the close contact with all the processes (even just on a small scale at home) made me realize the complexity behind brewing as such.”
Boak and Bailey discuss the homebrew kit still in the attic collecting dust, and what might be keeping it there. “It might never get used again — there’s hardly a house in Britain that doesn’t have a load of dusty home-brew kit in the back of a cupboard — but it’s good to know it’s there.”
Gareth at Barrel Aged Leeds tells us about a first lesson-near-disaster brew, with results that will be familiar to most if not all of us homebrewers. Fortunately that didn’t scare him off. “So, would I have another crack at it? Yes, mainly because my partner has bought me another kit (she is much more persistent and determined than I), but also because for any beer enthusiast, home brewing seems like something you *have* to try, and by try I mean have a sustained attempt at creating something half decent.”
Mark at Kaedrin Beer Blog steps through his experiences, good and bad, as I laid out in the announcement. “One of the reasons I started home brewing is that I spend most of my time working in a virtual world. Everything I produce for my job is digital in nature, and most of my home projects are also digital, so I really appreciated the idea of making something out here in meatspace. And when I manage to make a great batch of homebrew, it tastes so much better.” Mark also has a great summarizing line for anyone looking to get into homebrewing: “I hope you are very patient and that you like cleaning things a lot, because you’ll need both of those things.”
Stan Hieronymus talks about the late, great Fred Eckhardt, and shares some of Fred’s homebrew stories. The story about why he quit is gold.
Alan McLeod speaks of his three phases of homebrewing, and gets into the details of why he stopped brewing. Pay attention; not every one of his reasoning will apply to you—but Alan has a great way of unvarnishing the truth about such things.
Mark Lindner, the Bend Beer Librarian and fellow Bend beer blogger, discusses judging at beer competitions, the “ask” behind them, and the frank effects of judging and consuming large amounts of alcohol during competitions. It’s honest and a balance of responsibility vs. realities.
Jack Perdue at Deep Beer does not brew beer, but is considering it—some day. “When I do begin brewing, it will not be primarily for the beer but for the process. I want to learn how beer is made. Yes, I’ve read scores of texts about brewing and gone on many brewery tours. I believe to really understand it, however, you have to do it. I want to experience the process, distinguish between options for malts and hops and yeast and water.” His son does homebrew, so perhaps Jack’s first brew will be a family affair.
Derrick Peterman of Ramblings of a Beer Runner rambles a bit about homebrewing. (The best kind of blogging!) “I strongly believe if you’re going to write knowledgeably about beer, you have to brew at least a little. I’ve had a lot of great conversations with brewers and there’s no way I could appreciate their insights without the understanding and experience of actually brewing myself. Of course, I shamelessly steal these brewer’s secrets and use them for my next brew.” Many other good tidbits as well.
Finally, there is my own contribution as well, in which I share some of the various systems and equipment and ingenuity I’ve been exposed to since joining the local homebrew club.