Why WAS my background black?

Homebrewing was a natural outgrowth of my other interests. I have always been a serious cook, and it seemed natural that I would want to explore making drink as well as food.

Several things conspired to push me into taking up this hobby. First of all, I have always had a taste for good food and drink, and I've always appreciated a fine glass of ale or lager. The microbrewing revolution whetted my appetite by bringing the taste and variety of good beer within reach. What finally pushed me over the edge, though, was when a friend of mine told me about his beehives. The existance of so much honey naturally got me thinking about making mead. I decided, though, that before I experimented with his fine apple honey, I should build up my skills in the zymurgic arts. I found a good brew-shop, shot the breeze with the owner for a while, and left with a lighter wallet and a big-boys' chemistry set.

My first brew wasn't bad. In fact, it was quite drinkable, though not remarkable. It was made with a pre-hopped malt extract with additional dried malt extract added for higher alcohol content and a richer mouth feel. Funny thing was, it stayed "fizzy" no matter how long I kept it in the fermenter. Finally, I bottled it. It carbonated pretty quickly and was pretty good for the first couple of parties I brought it to. Then I forgot the last few bottles as I moved on to other brews. When I gave one a try a few weeks back, it gushed so badly there was hardly any beer left to taste. Finally, on a hot day this summer, one of the remaining bottles exploded. Nobody was hurt, but I disposed of the remaining couple of bottles... no use wasting good bottles, after all!

Since then I've brewed a scottish ale, and a Christmas ale that was the hit of the holiday season. Currently in the carboys I have an oatmeal stout and a mead that are both desperately in need of bottling.

Links of interest to brewers and beer-lovers

Plus, for those who like mass-produced substances:

Copyright © 1995 Jim Paradis