This past weekend I had the distinct pleasure of brewing my first batch of all-grain beer. The brewing took place in the basement homebrew setup — complete with exhaust hood, temperature controlled refrigeration units, a warm room and much more… yeah, it’s that awesome — of a good friend and professional brewer, Ben. Ben was nice enough to put together a unique recipe for the event — a Pale Ale/borderline IPA using fresh hops grown in my girlfriend Chelsea’s mother’s garden — so we were able to really brew a one-of-a-kind beer.
It was really neat to witness first-hand and close up literally every aspect of what goes into all-grain and professional brewing. I had obviously seen beer being brewed on the macro level during countless brewery tours, but it’s an entirely different ballgame when you see what’s going on close up, and take part in every aspect of the brew. I have a huge new-found respect for brewers, both professionals and hobbyists doing all-grain brews.
However, I think I’ll stick to my extract brewing for a little while longer. Its just so much easier and well, let’s face it – I’m a little lazy. It still produces delicious beers and only takes a couple of hours; Ben and I were brewing for nearly 9 hours! But I also have a feeling that in a couple of weeks when the beer is carbonated and kegged (after the current dry hopping wraps up) and I get my first sips, there’s a good chance I’ll be changing my mind. Stay tuned!