I started watching Episode 29 of the BeerSmith Podcast the other day. It’s an episode about Beer Brewing Myths. In the interview, Denny Conn makes the comment, “It’s a hobby….If it isn’t fun, what’s the point?”
As I’ve mentioned before, I brew with Two Guys Brewing in Grand Rapids, MI. There are more than two guys now, but the name stuck. The club motto is, “It’s just beer.” I think it’s important to remember that.
Look through brewing forums on line and you’ll see countless posts asking about brewing problems. Many are simply diagnostic. That’s great. It’s wonderful that we have resources like the Internet and homebrew clubs to help us improve our brewing. I’ve seen more than a few examples though, of people despairing over missing their mash temp by a couple of degrees or missing their original gravity by a few points. Maybe a hop addition got left out.
I see at least two problems with this.
- While there are some homebrewers that have invested thousands to build or acquire very precise brewing systems, most of us are making beer in our back yards with propane burners, picnic coolers, and dairy thermometers. It’s just not realistic to think that you can be as accurate as Sierra Nevada or Stone.Now I’m certainly not advocating being lazy nor do I think it’s a waste to improve your equipment. You can however, make spectacular beer with very modest equipment. My point is that it’s important to be aware of how precise your equipment is and not get stressed out by a mash temp that’s three degrees high on a thermometer that might be off by five or six degrees anyway.
- Secondly, I go back to Denny’s comment above. “It’s a hobby….If it isn’t fun, what’s the point?” Most of us don’t brew beer to make money. It’s a hobby. I’m sure that what we enjoy about brewing varies greatly but regardless of the specifics we brew to have fun.
So remember. It’s just beer. If you mess it up, no one is going to die. Worst case you’re out a little bit of cash. If you have an issue, learn from it. In all probability the beer will turn out fine. It may not be exactly what you were shooting for. Maybe it will be better.