That moment....what’s yours?

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Homebrewing, beer and DIY have all been things that have interested me as long as I can remember. My home brew journey began like many others, the best part of two decades ago. A DIY kit, no temperature control, a tin of goop, a kilo of sugar, a wing capper - awful beer.

Did I drink it? Of course. Did I like it? Not really. But I damn sure tried to tell myself I did. I persisted for a while, collected empty bottles, filled em, forced them down. I remember having high hopes for my beer, I never reached them. The few who tried - the silence was deafening....You really begin to pull out the “how much money you’ve saved” argument when you’re producing crap to justify your efforts. I could roll it off the tongue as if it was rehearsed.

It was a hobby, but barely that, and like most things that aren’t satisfying, it came to an end.

There were times I’d revisit, crack out that dusty fermenter, boil the kettle, wash those damn bottles. I’d save my beer for when I’d run out of store bought and was desperate. Would give up again. It wasn’t worth the effort, better things to waste my time on!

About 8 years ago, after numerous false starts, a friend of mine decided he wanted to try brewing. He knew I’d done it before and he wanted help. I tried to talk him out of it, but he forced my hand. I decided that if I was going to waste my time again, I’d do everything in my power to at least improve on my previous efforts.

With the discovery of this forum, google, youtube and a few other online resources, we got a little help and much needed guidance. We made an average, but not undrinkable beer. That was a win. Enough to have another go.

This forum became my bible. I was a lurker, but god did I benefit from the wealth of information on here. I learnt how to brew extract, partials, how to keg, temp control and finally all grain and built a 3v herms system. Only recently I’ve felt qualified enough to make a profile and try and contribute myself. My journey owes so much to you all.

My friend and I brewed beer we were happy with, other brewers enjoyed and it absolutely became a hobby to us. But still, it was really only our thing. No one outside the inner sanctum gave it much interest, I don’t blame them. They could probably still taste the acetone ale brewed at 58 degrees 17 years ago I gave em.

We brewed like this for about 6 years.

As with everything, sometimes life gets in the way. My wife and I decided to build a new home and my social brewing took to the back burner. We needed the money, I took the overtime. Hobbies came second, but at least this time, I knew I wanted to get back into it. I missed the great beer I could now make.

We moved into our new place about 6 months ago. As a trade off for home upgrades, black taps, fancier floors etc - I asked the better half if I could have a bar setup in the garage. I got the approval.

We’ve been terribly busy with landscaping, making this place how we wanted, but I found the time to get my gear sorted and setup, put a few really simple beers down, filled some kegs. My son turned 4 the other day and we had a party for him yesterday.

I took a risk. I didn’t buy any beer, but had a couple of filled kegs. Our guests weren’t craft beer drinkers, just megaswill with zero interest or appreciation for homebrew, but the shiny taps on the kegerator sparked some interest.

Does it work? Yeah. What’s in it? Homebrew. Is it any good? I like it, but you might not. Can we try? Yeah.

Needless to say, guests were pouring beers, asking questions, wanting to know how it all worked. It’s good - I’m shocked. How do you make it?

I had answers. Better ones than I had when I first started out. There was interest. There was angry wives, tipsy dads. Two kegs blown. Can’t wait to come here again as they all left.

For me, it’s the moment.

It’s been a long journey, sometimes a lonely one. But finally some interest, some appreciation. We all brew for ourselves, but sometimes it’s just nice to get some praise, especially from unlikely sources.

I’ve never had a prouder moment as a brewer, it’s justified the journey. The coming of full circle. Teaching, not asking for help. Thank you all for your help over the years, thanks for taking the time to read.

What’s been your defining moment you’ve thought it’s all been worth it?



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