Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's a Beer!

I meant to post the other day, but it is indeed official: Houston, we have beer! 

Isn't it glorious?
After about an hour's worth of work (total) and several weeks of pacing around, I have unbottled a beautiful pale ale.  For a first effort, it's not bad, if I do say so myself.  To be sure, it wasn't a perfect brew: it may well have benefited from using purer water in the first steps, for example.  Bottles that were bottled earlier in the process are also a bit more carbonated than the first bottle (wondering if, perhaps, I should have leveled off those scoops of sugar before putting them in the bottles).  But the bitterness is about right and, though it sits a little heavy (I have yet to finish more than a single glass in a sitting), it is pleasantly flavored. 

Of course, little of that, except the mistakes, has much to do with me.  So far.

I mentioned in an earlier post that brewing and writing had similarities.  One such similarity is in learning the craft.  With the brewing, I'm learning first by using Mr. Beer's pre-packaged kits. The kits include everything you need to create the malt -- ultimately the heart and soul of your beer.  Once I've nailed down the basic processes, I'll start adding things to the malts to create flavors, and then, finally (hopefully), gain the confidence and understanding necessary to start from scratch and create brews completely my own.

Anyone who is writing with any success will immediately note the similarities.  You don't start out writing like Longfellow.  You learn the basics: syntax, word usage, grammar.  Then you begin to sprinkle your own personality in as you learn and, ultimately, you're building your very own stories. 

Actually, anything worth doing in life tends to work the exact same way.  Impatience can be its own kind of instructor, but you skip the learning at your peril.

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