Friday, May 30, 2008

I Remember When I Started Home Brewing . . .

Welcome to the first official Home Brew Blogging Day! Thanks to Adam over at Beer Bits 2 for putting forth such a great idea.

Muckney Brewing started just over a year ago in my kitchen, but the idea had festered in my skull for about 5 years prior, so I guess we'll start there. Back when my now wife and I were dating, we had taken an evening trip to Monroeville to shop and grab some dinner (back when gas was sub $2.00, you know, the good ol' days). After a few margaritas at Don Pablo's, we ended up at Borders for some unknown reason. As I perused the shelves, I came across Home Brewing for Dummies, which she, in her slightly inebriated state, purchased for me (so, yes, hunny, when you read this know that you played an integral part in this obsession). So after a quick read the next day, I was more than a bit apprehensive to start. It sounded like quite the complicated process and intimidated me (crazy, right?), so the book was relegated to the library where it sat for years.

In the interim between that day and my first brew, I was guilted a number of times by the wife that I never put said purchase to use. I did, however, give a presentation on said subject in a public speaking class, without any experience on the topic, which got a number of classmates into the hobby, but I still shied away from the process thinking it too complicated.

Fast forward to April 2007 when, after reading about the Indiana Beer Club and randomly stopping at a couple local home brew supply stores, I revisited Dummies and, after much contemplation (and a nice little monetary present from my Grandmother) I decided to take the plunge. So after work one day, I ventured to Village Home brew in Blairsville to get my rig. I left with a standard set up, a Better Bottle, and a Pale Ale kit.

So after a quick stop at Wal-Mart to pick up a brew kettle, I found myself hovering over my stove heating water and intensely reading the kit's directions. The brewing process went smoothly, until it came to cooling. In my (not so) infinite wisdom, I decided to pour my wort into my fermenting bucket and top it off, and place that in my kitchen sink to cool, which took until 4:30ish the next morning.

Two weeks later I pulled Justin into the fray at bottling time. I still remember taking a sample of the fresh brew, putting it to my lips, taking a long pull, and wondering how uncarbonated, room temperature beer could be so tasty. Justin had the same epiphany. Two pints later (each), we started bottling. I'm pretty sure we were about 8 beers light by the end of bottling.

From that moment on, I was hooked, or more correctly, obsessed with this hobby, which has blossomed into a true love for craft beer and all things home brew. Now one year and twenty-odd brews later, Muckney Brewing is still going strong.



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