Time to brew

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I'm so surprised I haven't posted here before. Not because I've been thinking about brewing the last few months, my first thoughts of brewing came roughly 3 days ago. It's more because I'm now asking, "why didn't I start brew 7 years ago?" It's not like I don't like drinking. I won't claim credit for this quote, but it sums up my thoughts on drinking: "I like drinking too much to become an alcoholic." My obvious downfall would be my lack of alcohol judgement. Beer based on price (BBOP) best sums it up. Tooheys New or VB 30 packs, whichever is on special, can usually score one of them cheaply the last few years. But even if it is just cheap stuff, I love my beers, and savour even the cheap ones strangely enough.

This sort of changed on a recent Europe trip though. I decided to have the local commercial beers over there, and found myself trying at least 20 types of beer, and really enjoyed most of them. On return, I decided to muck around a little more at Dan Murphys, and have had a couple of hits and a couple of minor misses. But suffice to say, my interest in BBOP has given in to trying out more interesting beers. I'm guessing that led to the brewing idea.

So just to throw in a quirk, I still am looking at this like a BBOP project. What can I say, it's hard to get past the idea that 2-3 brews from a cheap brew kit beat the price of the cheap and nasty stuff, and then you can go on beating the price quite easily, and actually have some interesting beers, while of course learning a new fun hobby. So I've started with a Coopers DIY kit, which for some reason Dan Murphys gave a free English Bitter can, and toolkit. I don't plan to get obsessed by this, but then I said that about my last hobby idea cycling. I was going to beat the bus fare with my cheap bike. I'm doing that, and have saved over $2K in bus fares... but I've spent $4.8K on bike stuff, so average idea if you base it on cost savings alone, but a fun and rewarding hobby none the less.

My first brew is a reality though. I came up with the idea to check out brewing on Monday, and by Tuesday I'd pitched my first brew. It's the starters Coopers lager/ale kit. I figured if I just did it, and made some mistakes, I could learn on the fly. Again, I figure I could at least have a little hobby that gets me cheap drinkable beer. I also figure I'd feel like a moron to try to brew the perfect beer first time and fail, best to fail on cheap/nasty mixes, and slowly build up the processes, before buying nicer equipment/ingredients. My major mistake (that I know about) is not getting the can clean. I rushed through so quick, it's only when everything was done I noticed the can still had some wort in the bottom of it, which I then threw out? The weather was awful for it too, steaming in every part of the house, but I threw a bucket under the house with some water and ice in it, and put some old towels around the fermenter. It started off around 25C, and by morning it read 22C on the fermometer, which I think is too high, as the hot day time was still ahead, so I chucked a heap of ice in the bucket. However, to my surprise at 1pm it was about 19C, which I almost fear is too cold. I have eased off the ice now, and it's about 20C, which I think will be fine. I have no idea on what to look for, but it's got a frothy lump coming up in the middle right now, which looks odd, but nothing I'm worried about yet.

So here's to my new cost saving project. No n+1 here (in cycling the ideal number of bikes to own is n+1, where n is the number you currently own), I'll stick with my DIY kit, maybe a few minor ingredient changes, and many batches later, I will have saved a tonne of cash for the wife to go spend. At least that's how it's written in 2013.

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