Monday, June 27, 2011

Strange Brew

For my 22nd Birthday (13+ years ago for those keeping score at home) my now wife bought me a Mr. Beer home-brewing kit. That first batch (made by combining the little can of Mr. Beer malt extract with refined sugar) wasn’t very good. But for my second batch I went to Maryland Homebrew and was steered in the proper direction to make delicious homebrewed beer.

I fell headfirst into homebrewing and even began working part-time and Maryland Homebrew. I sucked my friends and room mates into the hobby, and brewed batch after batch of delicious beers:
  • Tail-Chaser Ale,
  • Pimpbot Stout (this beer will cut you man),
  • Death Star Stout (an imperial stout that fermented so vigorously it exploded poor Mr. Beer and forced the move to a better primary fermentation vessel),
  • Numerous other ESBs, Steam Beers, and whatnot.
And then it stopped. Life got busy. I got a “real” job. I brewed an infected Vanilla Porter and then a stuck steam beer. Maybe I got lazy? Maybe I had enough disposable income to buy good beer? Maybe I switched more and more to a wine drinker? Maybe Mrs. P90 and I moved in together and she said that homebrewing smelled like Cheez-Its? In truth – it was probably all of these things. Either way, the homebrew gear was boxed up, moved with us to our current home, and sat abandoned in our garage and basement.

So why this trip down memory lane? Because I spent Saturday digging out my old homebrewing equipment, and returned on Sunday to Maryland Homebrew to buy supplies for my first batch in 10+ years.

I’m starting back slowly. I’m planning to make a beer with the malt content of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and the hop varieties of some of my favorite IPAs. My goal is to create a hopped up session beer.

I wrote up my recipe, bought my supplies, now I just need to brew. And in case I forgot anything over the years, I found this great introduction (refresher in my case) to homebrewing by the Homebrewer’s Association.

Here goes nothing…


  1. I was just telling someone about Death Star last Monday. How I took a bottle home to my old roommate Amanda and she drank it down and begged for more but, alas, there was no more. Oh, and that it rocked her world.

  2. I wonder if Death Star was really that good, or if it just seemed amazing because 13% ABV stouts were pretty unknown at the time. That beer was pretty much based on a dare by Kevin and Geno. I still remember coming home from work and seeing foam pouring out of the low kitchen cabinet where we kept the fermenter. Good times...