I love that my friends appreciate beer. I can see it in their eyes every time they ask if I have something new to try. Bless their hearts, because good or bad, they continue to encourage me. When they visit our house, they’re eager to check out the cellar and brewing gear, the mixed array of kegs, pots,buckets of grain, and any other wild contraptions that I’ve made. They’ve been incredibly supportive in my endeavors to become a brewer. From the first few batches of undrinkable sludge, we’ve both laughed at the folly of my efforts. At the same time I was looking intently into the mistakes and what made things turn out the way they did. That’s one of the many things I love about brewing, at every turn, there is something to learn, something that you didn’t think about, or forgot about doing, or a part of the process that you didn’t yet have eyes for.
They encourage me to brew more of my own recipes because they want me to succeed at creating great beer and want me to carve out my own style, and I appreciate that. Recently I’ve been trying to clone certain beers that I love. My thoughts are that when learning a new instrument, it’s best to start by learning covers of your favourite songs in order to gain an understanding about how that instrument works and how to get it to do what you want. The same thing goes for brewing. I find trying to clone a beer that you love is a great exercise. You have a set goal of what you’re trying to achieve, you’re not just shooting in the dark. Chances are, you won’t nail it the first time, (or you might) but you’ll learn something along the way, perhaps many things. What malts give you the character you’re looking for? In what proportions do you need them? What temperature to mash at? how to get the body? the hop character? With so many variables, it’s a great exercise in getting to know how to build a recipe. There are as many different ways to brew as there are brewers, and no one way is correct. Finding my way through all of it is what I find so exciting. I must acknowledge that I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now if it weren’t for all the people out there who have shared their advice, experiences, successes and failures. I thank you. It’s so wonderful to be a part of a community that helps everyone with the bottom line: better beer, and who doesn’t want that?
Just my thought for the day…