Welcome to my adventure in home brewing. A Tampa Florida home brewer, beer snob who is looking to make some fine ales, and have fun along the way. Look me up, I’m Egon11 on UNTAPPD.
So I’m finally starting my journey in home brewing. I plan to keep a blog and record of my failure, successes, and what I’m sure will be stupid things I’ve done.
I find myself here after planning to brew for two years now. My friends are pretty fed up with me talking about it, and so is my wife, it’s time. The last straw was the shit show that was Hunapuh’s Day 2017, if you were there then you know what an epic disappointment that was. Really all of Tampa beer week was a wake up call, it was more work than enjoyment. I made up my mind that day, March 11th, that I’m not going to continue to wait in lines, avoid parking on Fern, pay $30-$50 a bottle for beers sight unseen, pay hundreds for beer festivals, join expensive brewery clubs, carry beer shippers on airplanes during business trips to bring beer home, and mail beer that some one else made all over the USA (CONUS if you feel me).
While I’m an avid beer collector, sitting on about 200 bottles of some pretty nice whales, but I’m done, out, finito. I’m spending a pretty solid amount of money on beer. Last year I bet I dropped a cool grand on this habit. Kitting out a bad ass home brewery is about the same, and does not leave me in stupidly long lines at breweries in hopes I get their elixir. Or worse waking up at 7 am to get a Cycle beer that I have to hustle back for the tapping at 5 pm that night. I love Cycle but I swear the only people who can get their beer are stay at home parents, the unemployed, and people who work at breweries. This shift to home brewing is good news to my friends though, my keezer is full, and I’m gonna need room. It’s bottle share time.
Several years ago I moved to Tampa from San Diego, it was in America’s finest city I fell in love with craft beer. I’ve always been blessed with a pretty sharp palate after years of wine drinking in the wine regions of South Africa and California. Tampa is becoming a great beer town, almost 60 breweries, cider and meaderies. Some real talent too, I live just over a mile from Cigar City, so a great place to home brew, lots of brewers to talk to. Tampa has nothing like the scale of the big three Denver, Portland, and San Diego, but certainly working at the craft.
That’s the why, now on to the how. I have done some pretty exhausting research and planning. I learned when I was younger things arn’t hard if you have never done them, they are just unknown, so I’ve made a plan, and I’m diving in. Im starting all grain, three vessel gravity brewery, with fermentation chamber. I know there are kits, extract is more forgiving, Boil in the bag is cheaper and easier, but I want to drill some holes, make some cool devices. “Counter Flow Wort Chiller” is just a cool thing to even say, let alone build. To me it’s like a Jedi, you can borrow your dads light saber, but you ain’t a Jedi until you make your own. At least that’s what Luke’s dad said.
The reason I’m talking about it, and not doing it is, as of today, March 27th I’m in India on business. Having a cobbled together complete brewery shipped to my house in somewhere near 40 different boxes from parts unknown may be asking a bit more of my wife than I’m comfortable. My wife is beautiful and a huge part of my life. Her happiness is a huge part of my happiness. She drinks beers, but really only one type, expensive wild ales, otherwise she’s a wine drinker. I don’t have any foreseeable plan to play with feral beer so, again, my friends are gonna have to drink gallons of
what ever I mash out. That’s the price of emptying the keezer.
I return home Friday, and I’m going to start prepping the “brewery” space. It is in a large room where I keep my collection of cars. In some countries it’s called a garage. It has a door to the pool so if I catch myself on fire, or get doused in wort I’m a few steps from salvation. Although, with the lack of AC in the summer of South Tampa I may have to pretend I’m in Belgian Congo and make warm fermentation saisons, dubs, trips, and quads. So when I post next I’ll share some pics of what I’m up to, and everything along the way.
Let’s raise a glass, “To the journey, not the destination! cheers”