Haven’t brewed beer in awhile. This is a problem! The garage fridge, although not completely empty, does have shelf space and in the world of home brewing this is not good. I bottle my beers (simplicity and all that), and on top of fridge space I have an ample supply of empty beer bottles awaiting the next nectar to fill their empty spaces. It seems I cannot go into the garage without hearing their pleas to be filled.
It’s not just the logistics of beer that is problematic. The act itself is important. I’ve put wheels (with locks) on my brewing tables and stands that haven’t been tested yet. I have not heard the hiss of the propane burner under aluminum pots in while. I have not smelled the delicious aroma of mash and wort. I’ve not taken in the beauty of my home brew system in all its homemade, rough-hewn glory. I’ve not wondered at the tubs of hot water and cleaner, the chemist’s tools, and the tubes…oh the tubes.
Brewing beer is, well, more than just brewing magic. It is also drinking home brew early in the morning. It is finding local barley, and using homegrown hops. It is note-taking and smelling. It is breakfast and talk of the beer to come. It is realizing that sometimes what we think is most important is not. In beer brewing, that realization comes with the act of cleaning constantly. It is an all-day brew and feeling tired after you’ve done something that you know is good. It is also watching the carboy for baby bubbles and waking up the next morning to a foam-filled breather and the smell of bananas with a smile on your face.
Brewing beer is not just the day of the brew. Its pleasure continues. I think that brewing beer is one of those things that never end. It is much like music: a musician never gets good enough. I like the process and the realization that the process is ongoing. Bottling the beer, the waiting game begins. And finally…finally the first taste, the anticipation and worry; pouring over your notes and writing tasting notes, I like to share the first taste: more taste-buds the better, and anyway what is beer without friends.
I plan to rectify the problem soon. What better way to bring in a new year than to brew some beer!