It all finally culminated in an investment in gear last weekend. I'd discussed giving home brewing a go on and off over the past several years with both Ryan and some of my coworkers. One in particular, Tom, told me about how he gave it a whirl and had some successful results with both a nut brown ale and a stout, both all extract recipes.
Last weekend, Ryan brought over a recipe for 'apple pie' that was easy to make, ready immediately, and delicious. It was more of a mixer than a fermenter, but it was enough impetus to make me drag Ryan over to The Winemaker's Shop and Gentile's for some supplies to give our first batch a go. But before I go into the trials and tribulations encountered with the first batch, a little history:
I love beer.
No, I mean I really *love* beer. I'll take a quality beer over a good wine, or even a single malt scotch any day. My dad, a self-proclaimed 'beer snob', turned me on to good beer, Chimay in particular. Chimay is still my favorite bottled brew, but Barley's here in Columbus on High St. has always crafted the.best.microbrews.evar. Their Scottish Ale has been my mainstay for a long time, and their stouts have no peer. Their Alexander's Russian Imperial Stout is exquisite, and its multiple awards are well-deserved. Whenever I travel to a new city I try to find a microbrewery to try out. Now that we have a blog, I'll post some reviews here as I try them out.
If any of you are thinking about home brewing I cannot stress how helpful and insightful the Home Brew Talk forums are. In fact, I snagged my first recipe, a Chimay Blue clone from there. I'm still learning new things every day from things I read on that site.
Off to take care of some chores, but I'll post the recipe, including our substitutions, equipment and methods a little later. Hopefully We'll have time to start Ryan's batch of Stout before we head off to gaming tonight.