How Barack Obama got me interested in homebrewing

I like beer. Lovely, lovely, beer. I never knew you could make good beer at home. I mean, I knew that home-brew existed, but I always thought that was about musty malt extract and a bucket in the back of the airing cupboard. I didn’t realise you could brew beers at home that tasted like the ones you had in the pub.

Barry

This video below was what prompted me to think about actually trying it myself. That shot of the beer boiling on the stove, and the steeping of the grains made me think: maybe I can give this a try…http://youtu.be/dygQrX8FI3Q  

Yeast

I met Mike, Ed and Garry through Twitter. We’ve been friends for quite a few years. One of our shared loves is good beer - like lots of people. Last Christmas we spent a happy evening ploughing through a case of different BrewDog beers. It was a thinly veiled attempt to further our beery knowledge. The highlight were 4 beers that were part of a series called 'Unleash the Yeast’. All four were the same recipe, with the exception of the yeast. They tasted completely different. I had no idea that changing something that seemed as simple as yeast could produce something so different. If just changing one thing could produce such different results, what could I do starting completely from scratch?

Vinegar, Hops and Obsession

It is amazing how much you can learn so quickly. When I re-watched that video, I couldn’t stop critiquing their technique. My first attempts at home brew were abysmal. I’ve produced everything from exceptionally bitter vinegar to Essex’s biggest mould colony - and I’ve only been doing it 6 months. I am blessed plagued with an obsessive personality. When I’m interested in something I commit to it - I want to know everything I can, until I feel I’ve got it completely. Apparently I’ve always been like this. My first obsessions were Hot Air Balloons and Kingfishers. Homebrewing is the perfect obsession. It’s a little bit of science, a lot of asking questions and a lot of faffing about with plumbing and electrics. The end result: Beer. Lovely, lovely beer.