The return of Breaking Bad reminds me of my own personal hobbies involving chemistry. My pastime, however, is a far more innocuous practice: I am a homebrewer.
The First Sip
We’re in the age of craft brewing and it was a certain Boston brewery that introduced me to my first craft beer. It was deep, complex and delicious. As I broadened my taste profile, I became fascinated by brewing’s intricacies. It all seemed so alchemical and I wanted to try my hand at it.
A Brewing Quest
I started primitive: a store bought kit. My first beer tasted good enough but it wasn’t mine. I just poured things into a pail according to instructions.
For my next beer, I invested in a complete setup and the result was bland. I was still combining things without knowing the why and the what for.
So, I turned to books and experts and began to learn. It was frustrating but the acquisition of knowledge always has its rewards. I became a chemistry and biology student in my free time.
I became self-educated on the breakdown of starches in grain (for sweetness and yeast nutrient), the acidic content of hops (producing beer’s bitter or floral qualities), the conditioning of yeast
Growing Something Great
This past winter, I set out to make a roasted hazelnut brown ale based on my own recipe.
For those interested: I used real hazelnuts, chocolate and crystal malts, and two doses of centennial hops.
When it was finished, it was exactly what I had set out to make because I had already produced it step-by-step in my mind. It tasted like an expression of myself and I could proudly explain the process that I used.
Write in below and tell me about the educational hobbies that you are passionate about.
Nathan Repp is a writer for Scholar Hero. The views and opinions expressed of this particular blog belong solely to those of the author and not of Scholar Hero, Inc.