Archive for September, 2009

+2 for Ego!

It’s wonderful how the little decisions can impact your life.  Back in April I joined a Winemakers Club in Janesville (Milton), WI.  I’m pretty new to making wine – but have been home brewing beer for 4 years.

Being a member of the club has been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned a lot.  Most importantly – my wine doesn’t suck as bad as I thought!  Seriously – While most of the other’s wines have been deliciou – I’ve tried some other home vintner’s wine that tasted like they fermented dirt!

Low and behold – everyone in the club know’s I’m more of a home brewer than a home wine maker.  Hey, I’m still young (and poor) enough to realize that a quality micro-brew 6-pack is still cheaper & will last me longer (by at least an hour ;D) than any “comprable” bottle of wine.  So I drink beer more often than wine.

Moving this post along…

One of the members of the wine club (Dan D.) was contacted by the local newpaper about doing an article on people who brew their own beer.  Since Dan only makes wine – he passed along my contact information…. and that’s how this lucky homebrewer scored a newspaper interview!

Talk about an up-swing in motivation.  With a pending interview I realized what had just happened.  I was the interviewee – the expert per se. You know – so I had to practice brewing to make sure I get all the steps right in the interview.  And to practice – I had to make multiple batches of beer!  And to save money making multiple batches of beer – I had to buy grain in bulk!  And if I was gonna buy grain in bulk – I had to have a Barley Crusher!  (Hey, the logic worked on my wife ok)

Bingo!  A home brewery upgrade!  +1 to Ego!

I purchased the Barley Crusher online for crushing my (bulk order) grain when it was needed.  I also purchased a digital thermometer to make sure my mash water was correct.  And I had to purchase a digital scale for weighing out the grain….. logical of course.

In all – I brewed 3 times in 2 weekends.  Well actually 4 times.  The first batch had such strong wort runoff – that I had enough wort left over to make a second “weaker” style beer.  And trust me – the first batch has reached an ABV of about 10%!!

The Interview…

For the interview I brewed a Belgian Pale Ale beer.  It was great.  I had the grains mashing when the reporter and photographer arrived.  They took pictures and I answered questions…. you know… like an interview would go.

About a month later – when the Belgian Pale Ale was finally carbonated – I was contacted by Shelly Birkelo, the reporter and told the story was going to run the next day.  No doubt I was excited – I’ve been in the paper before – but for speeding tickets and such.  I was actually going to be in the newspaper for home brewing!!  What an honor and priviledge!

+1 more for EGO!

The next day – when I went to purchase the newspaper – there I was, larger than life on the FRONT PAGE!!  My interview was the feature article of the newspaper!

You can read the full article here on my website.

A big, big thank you goes out to Shelly Birkelo – the reporter for the Janesville Gazette who interviewed me.  Simply being interviewed about home brewing was beyond anything I’ve ever imagined – and her article has opened many new lines of communication between me and other home brewers in the area.  Thank you so very much Shelly!