I just brewed on Saturday, and really took a good look at where my process is making me grumpy. There are changes I should make. I’m going to tweak my setup one more time before the winter sets in and I do some indoor small batches. For what it’s worth, even though I hate the work sometimes, I still have fun with tweaking it and trying to make things better.
I look forward to and enjoy brew days, but WHY I enjoy them varies from day to day. I’ll often get excited about trying new processes or brewing a style of beer I’ve never had before. I get a sense of accomplishment when something comes out the way I envisioned it - or even if I hit my numbers on the nose. And I do enjoy drinking the results, though by the time I finish a keg I’m usually more than ready for it to have blown.
Beyond all that, even when I’m running around frantically trying to finish the dough-in for the second batch before I need to get ready for flame out on the first (I’ll typically brew two batches in a day, as I don’t have free days for brewing that often), I still find brewing to be emotionally relaxing. I come out of it refreshed. On those days where I’m making two beers I’ve done before and with no modifications to the process, it almost can go on remote control. It can be comforting to go through the familiar motions, and definitely relieves stress.
The problem though is that we have a lot of beer to manage, and we are typically lazy (when not brewing), so when we have all our stuff out anyway, we may as well do as much racking, packaging, and other stuff at the same time.
I think my bottom line is its like cooking: There are relaxing ways to do it, and more ‘process the materials’ ways to do it. On Sundays, my wife and I typically cook a ton of stuff for the week so we don’t have to do a lot of cooking on weeknights. While we do ‘enjoy’ the Sunday afternoon smells and the like coming from our kitchen with football on, beer-in-hand, etc., it is more of a ‘fill the fridge’ kind of mentality. Still an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday, but its not always ‘relaxing’.
Same goes for brewing.
Well speaking of fun. I tried out a new 10 gallon batch system yesterday and had a blast. A lot of fun was thinking about a system and implementing it. I built a outdoor brew kitchen this fall and put together some equipment for a 10+ gallon BIAB. My wife got me an antique block and tackle and my daughter and grand kids watched me brew on FaceTime. Lovin it.
I love brew day and find it one of the most relaxing hobbies I have. If it was a chore, I would not do it.
I completed 757 batches and I built a nice brew cart which does most of the work. So for the most part, I am enjoying some quiet time in the garage enjoying the process. I do not like to brew with a lot of company around. Too distracting.
Lots of interesting answers and while I enjoy my quiet brew time I can see why it may not be as enjoyable to others. My brewing is made a lot easier by having a dedicated space at the back of my 3rd stall. Everything I need is right there and I’ve invested in several things that make the brew day quicker and easier (eg - run off natural gas so no screwing with propane, added a pump to make moving around liquids easier, have a counterflow chiller to make cooler wort quick, etc)
Agree with Muller that having others around is distracting but I do enjoy showing others that are interested in brewing. Certainly ups the degree of difficulty with having others around, particularly if having a few beers with them.
It also really helps to have a detailed checklist of everything that needs to be done during the brew day (much more detail than the recipe) that can be marked off. I don’t need it when brewing by myself since I’ve got it down to a routine but it really helps when others are there. Easy way to show them all the steps and pick out areas for them to help (typically the non-critical path cleaning).
Well said flip. I agree wholeheartedly.
If you want to see just how much Greg Muller loves brewing, check out his website. Greg’s got a mini micro brewery at his place. He could set up a pub there, but maybe he’s like me, it might ruin a perfectly good HOBBY! Great pics Greg.
[quote=“Old Guy”]If you want to see just how much Greg Muller loves brewing, check out his website. Greg’s got a mini micro brewery at his place. He could set up a pub there, but maybe he’s like me, it might ruin a perfectly good HOBBY! Great pics Greg.[/quote]Thanks Old Guy. I do have a pub where all local friends gather to enjoy a few beers and good times and then walk home so as to not have to worry about driving. It works out great.
My pub is in progress right now me and some pals just sit around the basement amongst the tools and the fermenters. The workbench is plywood now but I have some leftover hardwood that I plan on putting down on it to dress it up. Behind the bench is a peg board with tools on it. I plan on hinging it to swing up and open to another part of the basement which will have a tv an couch and more stools. But if I know my pals we will just sit in our comfort zone amongs the tools and sawdust. :cheers:
Any homes for sale near you Greg?
Rarely does a home around me take long to sell. My buddy behind me retired this year and his house sold in 4 days.
Too cold there anyway.
I enjoy the process or I wouldn’t do it.
Only the ones who enjoy the process can do actual brewing. If you don’t enjoy it, It’s useless to do it.
So I guess I’m not actually brewing then? That’s news to me. There’s plenty of things people do that have a benefit and purpose but may not be enjoyable to actually do. I don’t really like running, but I do it because the outcome of running is worth the effort and work of running. Same with any sort of household chore. I hate cleaning, but the work is worth it to not live in filth. I brew because the outcome of the process is worth the work I have to put into it.
I don’t follow your logic. If you don’t like running then you could choose a type of exercise you like. Cleaning your house is more about sanitation. Brewing only because you like the beer doesn’t make sense either you could just buy beer unless you live somewhere where there are no stores then it would make sense.
Streamlining some of the process helps make it more enjoyable. Get ready what you can ahead of time. I line up any hop additions, clarifying agents, sugars etc. on a table all labeled for when to add. Milling the grain the day before and sanitizing anything possible also helps.
To me it’s not the process that is tedious, it is the time involved in one day. Up to the clean up that is. I really need an apprentice to help with that.
Ok, the cleaning is a bad analogy, but my logic is that something doesn’t have to be a perfect and exhilarating experience from end to end to be worthwhile and enjoyable as a whole. The act of running isn’t my favorite way to get exercise, but the entire experience of running- the ease and convenience, the low cost, being able to go faster and farther over time- makes running a net positive experience. And it’s not like I hate actually running, it’s just not my favorite. I’d rather play basketball, but that comes with its own drawbacks on needing to rely on other people, being less flexible, etc, so I choose running as the best overall option. Same with brewing. I’d consider the actual brewing aspect to be a rather small part of the whole brewing experience and to say that one should quit if they don’t thoroughly enjoy every piece of the experience all the time seems crazy to me. Under that criteria, I don’t think I’d have any hobbies at all. And again, it’s not like I hate brewing. It is more the time suck that can make it a mild chore sometimes. If I had all day to brew, I’d probably love it.