I had a lot of fun learning to do bread baking so moving on to cheese or beer is a natural. Cheese looked a little too hard so I checked out homebrewing. It’s way more technical than bread (good, I like that part). But it requires a lot more equipment and makes a bigger mess (with the mostly patient significant other only sorta tolerates, i.e. mess in the kitchen).
So I found a good local homebrew supply store and even took one of their classes (got to sample some homebrews while standing around waiting on boils) and it was fun. I figure, based on my experience with bread, however, I won’t be content just to do the easy brews with malt extract and will either move on to all-grains or nothing, so I know I’m in for acquiring a lot of equipment and supplies.
But my biggest reservation is the same I have for bread – too much product. Naturally I got interested in bread about the same time I also went on major weight loss (now maintenance) project and while bread isn’t that bad for calories, good bread I want to eat (and therefore too much) is. Beer would be even worse. My fresh bread with no preservatives was mostly bad after a day or so (yep, froze some, but not as good as fresh) so a lot went to waste. That’s not a big expense but I hate being wasteful, esp. on something where many people don’t have any. Beer has a longer “shelf-life” but still even the minimum home quantities I’d make would be way more than I can consume (that is assuming I don’t want to get fat again). And many of the people I know either don’t drink or don’t like craft beer (amazing, why would anyone waste calorie budget on tasteless megabrew stuff, but that’s what they like).
And another major issue is the relatively long time between production and consumption (usually minimum of four weeks, could be as long as a year). In bread I’d try experiments and have the result to taste in a few hours or a day or so. And in the few fails I had I didn’t mind feeding the bad bread to the birds. But throwing out five gallons of beer where the ingredients cost $30-50 and I spent many hours and several days making is not appealing.
Home brewing sounds like a lot of fun, especially if one also gets involved with other beer. I can quickly exhaust anyone’s patience talking about bread so talking about beer would be worse, unless, of course, it’s other beer fans who like sharing beer trivia. Fortunately I live in a place with good homebrew supplies, multiple brewing clubs, some homebrew fests and competitions. But the flip side of that is there is also fairly good retail variety so the amount of calories my weight budget can allow is easily met by purchases. Plus within a day’s drive there are numerous craft breweries to visit.
So I’m still debating this but I have a birthday coming up so maybe that will be on my wishlist.
btw: I find it amusing (and silly) how nutrinuts are all worried about GMO. Message – neither barley or hops have ANY GMO, so get over it. GMO has turned into this bogeyman that people don’t even understand (yet fear), but at least you nuts could get your facts straight about what’s in beer (admittedly some megabrews might use corn or sugar, so go get craft brews that don’t; even wheat beers have no GMO since there is no GMO wheat). So if you’re going to be scared about something, at least find out the facts and stop being scared of imaginary product.