A Homebrewer’s Rambles

This is a guest post from my friend Jake. Jake is an aspiring home brewer that loves beer, sports, and the state of Maine. Born and raised here in Maine and now living in the suburbs of Portland, he brews his own beers and loves to try any new brew. He is co-editor of incessantrambling.com along with fellow BlogAboutBeer.com guest contributor Hokie. You can follow Jake on Twitter @IRdCjake. If you’d like to contribute a post to BlogAboutBeer.com, please contact me.

Beer is good…at least I hope you believe that. If you’re reading this blog, I will assume you agree with me. If not, please go somewhere else.

I brew my own beer. I thought I could make a Dogfish Head my first time. Boy, was I wrong. Beer is a complex beverage that takes time to get right. You cannot give it a wing and prayer…good beer is a work of art. Raphael wasn’t a master sculptor every statue, though I’d love to have been that talented.

I’ve brewed Browns, IPAs, Nut Browns, Stouts, Strawberry Wheats, and other assorted beers. Only once did I strike out. My Strawberry Wheat exploded while conditioning and soaked my entire pantry closet. I received a phone call from my better half. “Jake, your beer exploded…you need to clean the closet when you get home.” “Yes dear.”

I love making beer. You are in command every step of the way. You make every decision. How much malt, how much hops, how long do I boil, do I add more hops for flavor or do I say it’s good. It’s all your choice. You get to choose style and then go from there. You can make beer from recipes available online, in books, or from friends or you can just wing it. Every beer is different…even if it’s from a recipe. Just using a different water changes the taste of beer, just imagine if every product in the world was changed by a simple difference like water. Computers chips would have different speeds from the region that the copper came from, quality of video would change depending on the type of silicon used, and sheet metal would be weaker in certain regions of the world.

Beer is the ultimate social equalizer. You can be a millionaire, slumlord, or on welfare, everyone drinks beer. It was the beverage of choice for years…it’s easy to make and everyone can. Humans have been drinking beer longer than any other fermented beverage. It has been around since we’ve lived in the crescent of civilization. It was healthier than drinking water and it still is in many parts of the world. Anyone can make beer and everyone should. Making your own beer is the epitome of local economy.

Have I already said that I love beer? Everyone who enjoys beer needs to home brew. It’s easy and isn’t very expensive. By making your own beer, you will understand what makes beer taste the way it does and where the flavor comes from. Brewing your own beer gives you flexibility and the ability to push the envelope on what you drink. As Ben Franklin said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” So go out and get in touch with “God” and brew beer. Relax and have a homebrew, folks…I look forward to trying yours as you can always taste mine. Cheers!

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5 comments

  1. Nice post. Two things: (1) Ben Franklin said “wine is proof…”, not beer. It was paraphrased and hasn’t been given due credit since. (2) the picture’s nice but you’ll want to move that fermenter away from sunlight (or at least put a towel over it), unless of course you like skunky light-struck beer.

    Cheers!

    • That was my picture (not Jake’s). Taken a long time ago but I like it. I can’t even recall what beer it was (early in my own homebrewing career, obviously, being in the light and all). I now know better, and I’m sure Jake does too, I just didn’t want him taking the blame.

      Where did you hear that about the Ben Franklin quote?

  2. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.

    (Source: Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. p.374.)

    But be that as it may. Great post, Jake.

  3. but, but, the tee shirts all say, “beer is proof……..”-

    Nice post! I’ll gladly drink ’em, but I’m doubtful that I’ll ever be ready to brew ’em…..not willing to pay my dues…witness the ‘sploding beer in the closet.

  4. I have about 2 weeks until I start brewing. My birthday is Feb. 12 and my gift to myself is a kit to brew with. I have been reading the complete joy of home brewing so I will “relax and have a home brew”.

    Well written article, it has me inspired to make sure I get my kit and get brewing.

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