I was intrigued about the thought of brewing my own beer for a while, but it wasn't until I met Mike Hess (Hess Brewing) that my interest was truly peeked and I began my voyage into homebrewing in late 2010. Mike explained how simple it is to get started and I thought to myself that I could do this. The only thing that I secretly wanted for Christmas in 2010 (yes, I dropped some hints of course!) was a home brew kit. Well, my wife came through and got me the True Brew Homebrewing Kit. Little did she know that this was going to become our favorite hobby and lead us down a long, fun road of brewing adventures.
My wife and I brewed our first batch of beer on January 5, 2011, which was our one and only extract batch of beer, a pale ale that we named "1844". We quickly realized that "going all-grain" wouldn't take much more effort or equipment, so I learned how to batch sparge and moved to all-grain for batch #2 and never looked back. Here is a re-cap of our brewing year:
- Brewed 25 batches, 140 gallons, 10 different styles of beer, and 1 hard cider.
- We've attended one American Homebrewer's Association (AHA) Pro-Am Rally at Stone, where we became AHA members.
- Judged and competed in one homebrew competition (San Diego County Fair).
- Began attending the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) review class to ultimately become beer judges.
- Brewed a double batch with Hess Brewing.
- Held numerous brew days with friends to help spread the joy of homebrewing. I've specifically taught/brewed with 6 individuals.
- Upgraded brew house from 5 gallons to 10 gallons.
- Grew a Kombucha mushroom (SCOBY) from a commercial bottle, and have brewed numerous batches