Excerpt from my book: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing
How sophisticated and elaborate does the brewing process need to get for a homebrewer to be considered as advanced? Is it brewing beer solely from grains? Is it cultivating your own yeast? Is it treating your water with the perfect combination of minerals? Or, is it just being able to make perfectly delicious beer every single time, with malt extract or all grain? For each homebrewer “advanced” takes on its own special meaning. But one symptom is cleary recognizable when you are ready to take the next step, and that is the symptoms of an “advanced state of passion.”
You find yourself talking to just about anyone that will listen about your beer, about the beer you buy, about the beer on television, about the beer in your neighbor’s refrigerator. People tell you that when you are having a beer, you look at with a long loving gaze. You find yourself smelling the beer before you drink it. You’re looking in the classified advertising section for used refrigerators. You daydream at work that your next beer will even be more perfect. You wake up refreshed in the morning after having a series of beer dreams. You are indeed in an advanced state of beermaking.
Advanced homebrewing means appreciating and being involved on an intimate level with the entire brewing process, considering each phase singularly and as part of a whole. Advanced homebrewing is your passion to cultivate an understanding of the limitless variability of the brewing process and the versatility of ingredients.
With experience and labor come rewards and a special satisfaction. The reward is the glass of beer you created and know something more about; the satisfaction is of creating something special for yourself and your friends.
This book provides fundamentals from which to grow. No one completely understands what goes on in the brewing process. As brewers, we observe, take note and base our next batch of beer on our own experience and that of others. It is sheer folly to be taken by the hand and led down the path of better brewing by someone who says that they know it all. No, it is your experience that counts most. It is your experience that will always lead you to more questions.
“Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”
“Beer does not make itself properly by itself. It takes an element of mystery and of things that no one can understand. As a brewer you concern yourself with all the stuff you can understand, everywhere.”
—Fritz Maytag, Past President Anchor Brewing Company