One of the most exciting things for me about owning a homebrew supply store in Houston is that the city is large enough that I get a steady stream of novices eager to learn. Jerry Wright works nearby and has stopped in regularly, asking a great many questions and doing his best to work his schedule out so he could attend some of my free homebrew classes. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get the schedule figured out so he instead challenged me to help him brew his first homebrew. He said it couldn’t possibly be as easy as it seemed. I accepted the challenge and today we brewed beer.
When you spend so much time with homebrewers, it’s easy to forget that for someone new, it can be a little nerve-wracking to get started. Jerry was definitely happy to try his hand at homebrewing but simultaneously expressed fear of screwing up at just about every step. Of course, he didn’t screw up. In fact, after a few early jitters he got into the spirit of things, eventually talking about the satisfaction he’d have handing bottles of his creation to others. That’s a big part of homebrewing, isn’t it? It’s about (dare I say) the muted but still evident ego boost we get sharing something great we had a hand in making.
Jerry made my house recipe “Potato Famine Irish Red”, a favorite with many of the customers at The Grain Cellar. It’s a great homebrew recipe for an Irish Red ale and you can feel free to get a copy from me here at the store. We used a partial mash method, and when Jerry tasted the malt extract he said he wanted to use it to top his pancakes (Pretty much what everyone says) like some kind of macho maple syrup. We started at eleven in the morning and finished up at about three in the afternoon. We will be going through all the steps from fermenting the beer to bottling it. In about a month—Worst case scenario he’ll have beer and with my help. Best case scenario he’ll have great beer!
Are you a homebrewer in Houston? If so, you’re welcome to brew with me at my store. Stop by The Grain Cellar in Humble, TX or drop me a line and I can share the details with you. In the meantime, thanks for giving me the opportunity to live my dream selling homebrew supplies!