When delving into the mysterious world of brewing, contradictory information is the norm. The newbie needs a guide, to point out the right direction, reveal the pitfalls and simply calm the nerves.
For us, that position is amply filled by Main Street Homebrew. Not only does the shop provide the specific supplies and kits that are such a boon to new homebrewers these days (I can’t imagine brewing back before homebrew shopes were common!), it’s a source of excellent advice. When we purchased the goods to make our first batch, Kevin, Main Street’s owner, walked us through each step of the instructions. Although I’d already read a book on the subject, having that personal direction was great.
If you’re in the Portland metro area, I highly recommend Main Street Homebrew. Even if you’re not, you’ll find a wealth of good, reliable information on their website. Check out the Information page for a start–I found the bottling article to be particularly useful.
After many years of dreaming it finally happened–I’ve started brewing with my good friend Andrew. As a beer lover, the idea of crafting my own brew has always appealed both for building an understanding of how it’s made and enjoying the results. Plus, who could resist the call of harnessing millions of wee-yeasties to do my bidding!
Between a gift certificate that Andrew got and my own birthday present from my lovely wife, we were finally set in October. Our first attempt was a porter, and I suggested we call it “Passable Porter”… assuming it was passable. I’ll ramble more about the process and details later, but we came out with something drinkable, which was more than I expected from a first batch.
From there, we’ve got a West Coast stout sitting in the primary, and plans to use a Trappist ale kit that Andrew received for Christmas this weekend. All in all, we’re off to a great start.
I’ll be inviting Andrew to write here too, and we’ll record the trials and travails as we learn the ins and outs of making that most potable of potables–beer.