Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Adventures in Homebrewing Beer and the Homemade Kegerator

Over the summer hubs became interested in a new "hobby." If you haven't met my husband, you probably don't know that he's, what I would call, an extreme "hobbyist." I can't really blame him because I'm the exact same way.  I get super interested in something, to the point where I pour my heart and soul into a project or pursuit, and then a few months (or years) later I've totally lost interest in it. So, the recent adventure that the husband is (literally) pouring into is beer making.

When he first told me about this new passion, I thought he'd gone off the deep end.  This was a hobby that my dad's friends were into... they're "old," right?  Then it sunk in, crap, we're getting kinda old too.  This hobby is probably perfect for us.  And so it began. The research, the set-up, the beer making kits. I had no idea that one beer making kit was going to produce around 50 bottles of beer--50 bottles, people!  That's a ton of beer which means we need to have a ton of friends to help drink it and, since I've already stated that we're apparently "old" now, we aren't having any huge parties over here, um, ever.  Once our neighbors found out we were brewing our own beer, they were very excited to help with the process--that is, to bring us empty bottles needing to be filled!  Hey, win win!

Somehow along the way my husband realized bottling takes time... it's a labor of love. Except, he wasn't loving it.  I helped once, but I can barely get the energy to clean the house--so spending 2 hours rinsing and sanitizing beer bottles is pretty low on my priority list. He got this great idea that, hey, skip the bottles--let's go to kegging!!! I heard the word "keg" and I'm going "NO way, dude." But, typical hubs, he had done his research and he was going to try to out-fact me on this one.  So, he got this amazing idea that he was going to construct what is called a kegerator and put it in our basement--basically it's a deep freeze that you convert to a refrigerator and then it's tripped-out with kegs and... wait for it... it's on-tap beer!  OK, so my enthusiasm for this project was about zero because 1) we have kids, and 2) aren't we already weird enough???  I was convinced the kids would have an entire keg dumped all over our basement floor within 5 minutes--handle equals pull, yes? Again, hubs had the solution--locks for the taps.  So, basically I'm outsmarted, or out-researched, again.

But, I still had hope because, in order to make this kegerator, he needed a freezer.  Ha ha--the limiting factor!  I thought he'd all but forgotten about the crazy kegerator project, but then I had a business trip. Fast forward to November and I'm coming home from this trip, open the garage door, and there is a huge freezer in the middle of my parking spot with a giant spray paint stain around it.  OK, so I did not factor in Craig's List and random free freezers. I look at the freezer, look at my husband, and I'm going "????" So needless to say after a great argument conversation, we battled to the death compromised and ended up buying a not scary new freezer for our food and took our older, smaller one for Project Kegerator.  Have I mentioned what an awesome wife I am?

So, Kegerator conversion is in progress now--we have the freezer set-up to cool the beer.  The actual kegs have been purchased and packages are arriving with taps and tubes and all things beer-making.  So, yes I'm starting to get a little curious about this entire thing and the hands-on engineering aspect is very interesting!  In the words of Watney from "The Martian" I'm going to have to science the shit out of this” and that's making me kind of excited. So, there you have it, new adventures are coming.  Our marriage remains strong and steady--typical, he uses logic and research to get his way... exactly like what I would have done, darn. If you have any recommendations for interesting beers to try kegging, let us know!