You see that Corgi? That look of pure, unadulterated joy and excitement? He knows he is about to be thrown his ball. He is excited for his ball. He wants his ball. He’s bouncing off the floor repeatedly, begging for his ball. “OH EM GEE GIMMEH TEH BALL!!!!!1!” he shouts!
That is how I feel this afternoon. Tonight, for the first time in quite awhile, I will be brewing beer. Not for myself, but with some friends. There will be beer made. There will be beer consumed. And there will be good times had.
For me, the act of brewing is almost a religious experience. It’s the same ritual every time. Sure, the exact particulars vary from batch to batch, but the overall steps are the same. First, the grains are selected and ground, then mixed with hot water and allowed to steep. Then, while the grains steep, more water is heated for sparging. The grains are sparged and drained to extract the sugar, and the resulting wort is put on the burner to boil. Once boiling, the hops are added at specific times, along with any other special ingredients or finings that may be required. Then the beer is cooled and the gravity checked. Then comes the most critical step: The Adding Of The Yeast. If not done right, this step can go horribly wrong and the beer will be bad. But, if done right, the beer will be wonderful. If every other step is done right, from sanitizing to hop additions, the beer will be at least drinkable (there is, after all, no accounting for taste).
I get a great deal of satisfaction from drinking a good beer, regardless of whether or not I made it. Knowing the care and work that go into making a good product, especially as an engineer, helps me to appreciate them on an entirely different level than I think I otherwise could.
Now, with all that said, I’m going to go home, make dinner, and then go make some beer.