I take a somewhat different approach to Saint Patrick’s day than most would expect. Instead of finding myself at an overcrowded bar filled with people that more often than not, do not really respect what beer can be, I take the time to relax with family and enjoy good beer in a more reasonable atmosphere.
I have started reading “Brewing Better Beer” by Gordon Strong. So far I really like his writing style and understand his brewing style. He approaches beer in a similar way to how I approach beer. Extract brewing is not brewing. It is making fermented Kool-aid. That is not to say that making an extract is not important, this is the point where everyone starts. You need to do this to learn some of the most important fundamentals of brewing.
Someone once told me that it is not practice that makes perfect; it is perfect practice that makes perfect. It is only when you have learned proper habits for sanitation and yeast handling that you will make good beer with predictable results. Too often we run across people that want to make some kind of crazy like peanut butter and jelly IPAs or some other wacky concoction but they have no idea of what exactly they need to do to get there. The worst part of this, when it doesn’t work, they give up thinking they lack the talent to make good beer or even that brewing is hard.
It all comes back to the basics. Brewing is a craft. When you develop the skills from brew after brew after brew, that is when you can find you are making art in a glass. For me personally, I have brewed a decent amount of beer, but still I find everyday that there is something more for me to learn. If I don’t push myself to learn more to grow, I may as well be doing nothing more than making fermented Kool-aid. Is this extreme? Absolutely, but if you ever want to do anything well, you have to be extreme. Imagine if you will, some people find high end algebra exciting and fun. Now that is extreme. When you love what you do, you will never work a day of your life.
I think its now time for a pint…