I haven’t brewed beer in at least two years. I was originally introduced to brewing by Brian, who got me hooked and then moved to the Eastern Shore, but I got a couple of my neighbors interested and we had a good time with it for about ten years. When COVID shut everything down, it became impossible to get a group of guys together for a brew day, which is half the fun of brewing beer.
Then, there’s the other half. Homebrewing was popularized partially for making small batches of powerful beer that isn’t commercially available; the vast majority of recipes available yield beer that’s 6-8% ABV on average, which is higher than I prefer at this point in my life. I’ve tried most of the session recipes (4.5% ABV) from my go-to vendors, but something in the yeast or the brew tends to leave me with a headache before I’ve finished my glass, and that’s not enjoyable. And then I’ve got 5 gallons of it left to finish.
Since December, I’ve scaled back on my intake of beer. At first it was to help my body recover from having a cold (and then COVID). But I’m also less tolerant of alcohol these days. I’ve long been favoring session IPA’s or summer lagers, but I hate waking up with a headache, and it seems like even the lighter beers I prefer have been biting back lately. I also have a kegerator full of single cans of heavier beers that I just don’t want to crack; a double IPA on a Wednesday with an ABV of 9.5 is guaranteed to make Thursday morning feel like hammers are falling on my head.
So I’ve been looking at the brewing equipment stacked in the corner of the basement and thinking more and more about selling it off, given that I haven’t touched it in over two years. I’ve got a kettle, a burner, three kegs, four carboys and a bin full of equipment that’s taking up space, and I think maybe the time has come to move it along to someone who can use it. I think I’d keep the kegerator setup if only to have a secondary fridge for beer, but if the IH fridge comes on line in the spring I may move beer into that and convert the kegerator back into a chest freezer.
I’m officially registered for the welding class mentioned earlier this month; from the second half of April to the end of May I’ll be running into Baltimore twice weekly to learn welding hands-on. Then I might actually feel like I know what I’m doing.