I started hombrewing in 2010. I was working as a merchandiser and a co-worker said “hey try this” so I did. I think at that time I was the happiest I had been. I found something I could do for myself. I have never been a social person, I speak with people, but am tragically shy. I try too hard and when something goes wrong I push people away. So it has been and will always be.
With homebrewing I could use the time to meditate, and reflect, and focus on process. Cleaning and setting up is easy. First the mash, then the sparge, then the boil. Roughly four to five quiet hours of a day set aside to one project; not to mention chilling your wort and getting yeast ready to pitch.
I took my time and had everything I needed for this process. My first few batches I bottled, that in itself is time consuming. I quickly moved to kegging; three five gallon kegs, a CO2 tank, gauges and hoses. And all packed into an old refrigerator. I enjoyed having the beer I wanted around. I put together everything I needed for homebrewing. My wort chiller and buckets as fermenters.
Like many thing, life gets in the way and so things go by the wayside. The last beer I made was in 2012 shortly before my father was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. He passed away seven months later. At that time, I gave up doing anything to concentrate on family. The older I get however, the more I search for friendship. Not just friendship but, someone with similar interests.
The community of homebrewers and clubs are welcoming and waiting. I have debated on joining a club for the comradeship I seek. If it was just drinking the beer I think I could do that alone. I think this time around I am looking for something different. Seeking old friends, that is proving difficult and, stepping outside my space into a more social world is not something easily done.
It was tough trying to decide what to brew first. Do I make an extract beer? I could easily have this in the fermenter in a couple of hours. Do I make five gallons? How am I going to keg five gallons? I don’t have an up-right refrigerator or chest freezer for storage anymore. In between then and now, we moved so I need to build some items again. I figure I will bottle this first batch with old beer bottles or maybe wine bottles. It will make a great share item 750 ml or 350 ml bottles. That would look great.
First, getting ready to clean all the old equipment. The copper wort chiller needs a really good scrubbing and cleaning. The kegs are washed, but might need new seals. New fermenter, have one, no worries there.
I have decided to brew an oatmeal stout. This will be a kit from Brewer’s Best. There are some grains to mash including rolled oats to add a little of that oatmeal flavor.
This is an intermediate kit but still pretty easy with all the right equipment. A nice medium to full bodied beer. The IBU’s will be around 28 to 38. The original gravity 1.056 to 1.064. Should yield an ABV 5.5% to 6.0%.