Monday, June 25, 2012
Brew History pt. I
My personal drinking history began somewhat late in my life compared to most. Rather than getting wasted on whatever alcohol my friends and I could find in high school, I didn't start drinking until I was 21. (Yeah, I'm the one). Because of that I don't have that one alcohol that I just can't drink because I drank an entire bottle of it when I was a Junior. The late start also means that I avoided the bad booze. With the exception of a drink of Natty Ice that I had by mistake, my first beer was one that a friend came back from Germany with a taste for, Erdinger's Hefeweizen. Following that I discovered Franziskaner, which is still my favorite beer. I also started drinking things like martinis and throwing cocktail parties.
In addition to drinking expensive stuff I started right in on making my own alcohol. My first attempts were at making mead. A friend and I split the expenses and went out to make 2 five gallon batches, 1 of regular mead, and the other a strawberry mead. Shockingly, with virtually no working knowledge of what we were doing these failed spectacularly, but what I had tasted during the process had hope. I had successfully made alcohol, it's just that the window of it being drinkable was about 2 days. These experiments my senior year at college, was the beginning of that period when homebrewing was just starting to become more mainstream. So for Christmas one year my father picked up a brew your own beer kit from a science themed gift store.
Alas, this coincided with me beginning my wandering period of life where I had 7 different addresses over the course of 10 years. Also at no point then did I have a basement or an out of the way place to brew it. Finally after I had bought my current house (which has 2 basements!) I dug out the kit to see what I could brew up. This is when I learned that the expiration date of yeast is something to pay attention to. While this batch failed, it got me started back on the path of brewing that I'm currently on.