After a year of homebrewing it became very clear – my knowledge is greater than it was 12-months ago, however, I realize I know nothing. It’s funny, but the more you learn, the more you realize there is so much more to learn. So it is with beer.
At best, I’m a novice. Sure, I brew at least four batches a month, however, that alone does not qualify a person to speak with authority. True, you’ll see that I tend to go overboard with my hobbies, nonetheless, I do love to learn. I will read, study, experiment, sleep and eat whatever I become involved in, but that’s just me. Through all of this, I now realize that it takes a lot in order to become an expert on a subject. Even then, something pops up as turns your world upside down.
My background? Oh, varied. My work experience includes retail, industrial management, and currently education. I hold a General Contractor’s building license, do woodworking, and as mentioned – love to learn. I’m an ABD (All But Dissertation) and have no desire to finish (I’ll probably write a book on that part of my life one day). Regardless the hobby, I try to learn every aspect. In fly fishing, I tie my own flys, built my own rods, and even make my own tippets. I put off learning golf until I was 50 (knowing myself, I knew I would plunge head-first), and build my own set of clubs. I was a ultra-marathon cyclist and built my time-trial bicycle. I also built a black powder rifle for hunting. So it should be no surprise that I would want to know everything about brewing.
After my first batch of beer, it became very clear that I needed to dig deeper into the process. This is where I inject my disclaimer:
I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON BREWING BEER. For that matter, I do not consider myself an expert on anything. I happen to enjoy learning, and in the process, sharing my limited knowledge with those willing to listen. You are more likely than not a fairly intelligent person, and this might sound condescending, however: the words expressed in the blog (the entire MIBEERSNOB web site), are MY OPINIONS, and mine only. If you attempt anything written here, or believe that I have written a scientific law, and get different results, you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK. There are no guarantees, expressed or implied, that you will obtain the same results in any experiment I reference. Unlike some of the other bloggers I personally follow, I am NOT a scientist by trade. This site is for entertainment value. You will read about my mistakes, attempts, victories, and questions. I will try to reference everything I write about, but you need to do your own homework and research. If you have questions – ask.
Back to the blog.
I started brewing after reading a couple of books. A MUST READ for anyone wanting to learn about making beer is: How To Brew by John Palmer. Palmer’s book will guide a novice through the process from start to finish. After you knock off two or three batches (probably screwing up at least one), you’ll go back and really pay attention to what he has to say. Then you’ll put it down because you’ll realize that brewing is no more difficult that warming up a can of soup. It is at that point that you probably should pick it back up and start digging into the technical aspects of the book. That is when things will begin to make sense.
The next book I would encourage everyone to read is Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. This is the book that got me started on yeast ranching (there are bloggers that actually deserve the credit, but this is the book that was suggested). There is an old saying: brewers make wort, yeast makes beer. It really takes very little to make wort. Pay attention to the details, and the little babies will do all of the work for you. Keep the yeast happy and you’ll be rewarded with good tasting beer.
There are many other places to learn about making beer, some are listed on my Other Sites page.
If you enjoy beer, like to learn, and are willing to take the time to do do it right – then this might be a blog site worth reading.