Seeing how easy it is to get stuck in a routine I really want 2009 to be a year of new experiences. With this my mantra for the new year, I was excited to hear that Garrett wanted to take a three hour course on how to brew beer from home.
Worst case scenario: A filthy kitchen and a story to tell.
Best case scenario: A new hobby which always ends with me drunk.
What first struck me about the class was that it was taught by the same gentleman that runs the insanely hard trivia night at Irish Times on Tuesday Nights. It was odd seeing him outside the bar, my life resembles a macabre sitcom as it is with or without recurring side characters. The next thing that hit me was how simple and yet remarkably nerve racking the brewing process is. There is only ten or so steps but the use of timing and proper wielding of ingredients is so precise that the entire endeavor can unravel in a hurry. The worst part is since weeks are needed to properly ferment the beverage you could spend a month brewing the beer just to discover you've made something undrinkable.
Garrett and I spent a few hours yesterday running around gathering supplies and then got to work. I'll spare you the boring details but as The Chargers got slaughtered on national television we went step by step through the preparation process. At around 5:30 we approached completion, two steps (cooling the brew and adding the yeast) standing between us and the end. The booklet that came with the kit which reiterated what was covered in the class advised getting a temperature reading on the brew before dropping in the yeast and as I went about cooling my pot Garrett decided to take a reading on his Belgian Pale Ale.
As he was nearing the finish line the damn thermometer broke adding the unwelcome ingredients of glass and some mysterious red fluid to the mix. After a moments debate Garrett did the right thing and dumped his pot. I can only imagine his frustration since that's an entire afternoon down the drain...literally. Thankfully it's experience for next time. While I would have been P I S S E D, he handled himself like a champ.
My red ale is hanging out in the backyard hopefully stewing in its own deliciousness, only time will tell. Either way the class and the entire kit cost a few bucks so I guarantee to make this process worth my while and soon the red ale will have some friends.