Where should I start? Part 5 - The Mindset

Posted by Barley Beaver on

Part 5

Your Mindset

The last post in our series on the topic of your very first brewday will cover an aspect frequently avoided by the majority of guides and homebrew manuals - the proper mindset. Sure, for each and every one of you who have decided to brew their own beer at home, the reason may be different, and so to will be the mood while doing your first batch.

Some will be happy and pleased with the manual activity, some will be stressed by having to perform new and unknown tasks, and some will be chilling by popping one bottle of beer after another. Either way, to get the best results out of your new hobby and be able to enjoy brewing beer to the max, there are a couple of simple tips on how to approach the activity from the mental point of view:

Be prepared to wait a little ~

Or a lot, depending on the style you’ve decided to brew as your first batch. In any case, the average period of time it takes for the beer to get from grain to glass is about one month. Yes, it takes that long, and it may be even longer if you’ve brewed a high gravity Stout or Double IPA. So first thing you have to get ready is your patience.

Beer brewing is often compared to baking bread or cakes, maybe because both processes involve the use of yeast and grains. Nevertheless, a beer is a tasty cake that just takes a lot of time to make, and the longer it sits in the bottle, the tastier it is in most cases. Don’t worry, winemakers and distillers have it even harder, since their products take years to mature into a final form. Hope this little factoid will help you get over with the wait.

Not every beer is perfect ~

Another thing you’ll have to be prepared for is ending up with a beer that tastes kinda okay, or is even spoiled. Yes, things like this happen, and they tend to happen more often when starting out. Just think about preparing your favourite food for the first time, and how it tastes years later. Was your first soup spectacular, or did the soup drop your jaw with the first spoon you took? Well, beer is pretty much the same thing - with every batch made you’ll be able to brew better and better beers, since it all takes practice and some skill that comes only with experience. No matter how many days you spend reading the literature or forums, no matter how many books you go through, practice always beats theory (though having some theoretical base is always a huge plus). Just be prepared to brew more beers, even if you’re pleased with the very first one, since every brewday and every batch of beer made will help you make better beers in the future.

Don’t hesitate to share your brews ~

Even if you think your beer is horrible and should go down the drain, just don’t rush dumping everything, or drinking it on your own in order to avoid embarrassment from your family or friends. You’d be amazed how different our tastes are, and how each individual may assess even a mediocre beer. Don’t be shy and share your brews with anyone willing to get a taste. This will help you achieve two distinct goals.

First, you’ll get a whole range of opinions, which may differ from yours, and that is always a good thing. No matter how meticulous your appreciation methods may be or how good of a beer taster you may consider yourself, having more opinions than just one gives you more data to work with when assessing the quality of your brews. And that’s invaluable when striving to make better beers.

Second, it will help you empty your inventory much faster and get those bottles or kegs ready for the next batch sooner than drinking it all on your own. Whether it’s a good beer or a batch you’re not particularly happy about, sharing the brew with your family and friends will help you get ready for the next brewday faster. And win you some major kudos as well, why - because it's free beer.

These are just general recommendations for adopting a positive mindset to approach your new hobby with, definitely not a set of rules to follow thoroughly. You may find a totally different approach and be perfectly happy with it, and that’s perfect, because in the end of the day, the most important thing about homebrewing is being happy with what you do. So cheers to that!  🍺

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