Ep.79 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall (Matt - Homebrewing)
6:01AM Feb 20, 2020
Good day everyone who's listening to type your hobby, and this is episode 79 bottles of beer on the wall. See what it did. They're really cheesy, but I won't do the rest of the song. I'm saving you guys from my horrible singing. But today I'm your host and I have met as my guest on the show i doing that.
Hey, I'm doing very well. Thanks so much for having me. Well, thanks for
being here. I actually had another man on my show who is a craft beer enthusiast. So just to be clear, this is another mat so we have two seven mass and they both enjoy craft beer and home brewing.
Yeah, Matt's really loved craft beer. We have a meeting about it every year, the mat, the mat beer meeting. Everybody just goes wrong. Hi,
I'm Matt. Hi.
Like some beer.
Yeah, exactly. God, that sounds like such a friendly meeting, I guess.
Yeah. And it's great for people who are bad with names.
You know, you're absolutely right. But today is not about my horrible memory with names today. It's about you and your passion and your hobby. But before we go into that, who is the mat? Not the mad but who is not?
Sure. So I'm actually the events and membership coordinator for the American Home Brewers Association. I got started in homebrewing, in probably about 2011 2012 right after I graduated from college, and it was just such a fun hobby that I found I was able to share with so many friends that I just kept getting deeper and deeper into it, and eventually started to work for the HA and not only do I brew my own beer. Now I actually work to promote the hobby of home brewing around the country and around the world. So that's kind of me. In a nutshell. I
guess. That's pretty cool. It's your hobby, and you're promoting the hobby to the entire world pretty much like what I'm doing right now. But for hobbies, that's awesome.
So before we go too far, do you have any social media links or websites or anything, any projects you're working on that you would like to share with the listeners?
Sure. I would say even if you are, if you're a home brewer, definitely go and check out our website. Or if you're just interested in getting into home brewing, you can go to the American Home Brewers Association website, and that is home brewers association.org. If you've never brewed before, there's a big link at the top that says how to brew beer. And there's a bunch of tutorials that will walk you through the process and the equipment that you're going to need. And if you're interested you get into it. We'd love to have you join the association. It comes with a subscription to zymogen magazine which is has all sorts of Home Brewing recipes and tips and tricks and articles and things like that. We've got over 1000 recipes on the website. And we actually have a discount program at over 2300 breweries around the country. So you go into a brewery, you show them that you're an H a member. And they'll say something like, Oh, sweet, well, you get $1 off your first beer, something like that. So it's a really great organization. And, you know, getting if you're interested in brewing beer, I mean, that's like kind of the place to start, I would say,
That's awesome. Sounds like the Wikipedia of home brewing.
Yeah, pretty much we actually used to, we had an retina area, the website that was, I think homebrew a PDF, but nobody could really remember how it was spelled. So we changed it and now it's just I think it's just like homebrewing tutorial section or something like that. So yeah, you have their homebrew Wikipedia, I'd say is very good way of putting it.
Perfect. I'll put all That information below so people, people can go check it out, follow it, subscribe and share the love of homebrewing whether you're in the United States or anywhere else around the world, I'm sure they're welcoming to everybody.
No for you. When did you actually get interested or introduced to homebrewing?
I was just at a college. I graduated in 2010, from a small school in southwest Virginia called Roanoke college. And I think I had like, been introduced to some, you know, craft beers like Sam Adams and New Belgium Fat Tire. And actually Well, that's what got me really interested in it was I took a trip with my dad to Colorado, and we actually went to New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins and I had Fat Tire and I was just really enthralled with the idea that I could make that at home. Because they they do a lot of talking about how the founders of New Belgium were once homebrewers themselves. I just thought that was the coolest idea. So I kind of stuck with me in the back of my mind for a couple weeks, maybe even a couple months. So long ago, it's kind of hard to remember. But and then I remember I saw a Groupon for home brewing kit. And you know, you can typically get a home brewing kit nowadays at a local supply shop or sometimes even like Home Depot or Lowes will carry them. And they usually run about, I don't know, I'd say about 8075 80 bucks, and that'll give you all the equipment you need to brew your first batch and set you up to brew lots of batches after that. But I think the Groupon was probably I don't know for something like 50 or $60. So I just thought it was a great way to save a save a, you know, little bit of money and also get into a hobby that I had been curious about for a while.
And within these little packages, how many beers could you usually make,
so usually the recipe packs come and you only make one beer but you typically make about five. The beginner packs are set typically set up to make five gallons of beer at a time. It comes out to be about two cases. 4848 bottles.
Yeah, pretty good. Yeah, I would imagine you would share with your friends because you know, sharing is caring with friends now. Right? Is that is that is it official?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you can come to the mat beer convention. Yeah. Just pretend your name is Matt. We're offering.
I'll just have the name tag and I'll be good to go. So this is an odd question, but I'm sure you've made many homebrews at home. Did you ever create like a name for your creation? So like, the mat chair cycle? Oh, no, like a weird name or like your brand of beer?
I wish that I could have a more exciting answer, but I never really did get into naming them. I got into really, I got really got into decorating them. I would say, you know, I go to the pot. One of the things that the American Home Brewers Association does every year is our annual conference called homebrew con, and it's going to be in Nashville, Tennessee, in june june of 2020 June 8. To the 20th 2020. And at that conference, we've got about 3000 home brewers that come and pour their beer for each other and also learn about how to make beer throughout the three days of the event, and you will come across just the most creative beer names. You know, you've ever heard one of my favorites. I'm a big Bruce Springsteen fan. And I think the beers name was like spruce beer, Steen or Yeah, that was a good one. I remember that one. But also just like the craziest wackiest beers like ones that are just made with all sorts of crazy ingredients, but actually come out really, really well. So I never really named mine but that is a big part of the hobby. I would say a lot of people do that.
Well, if I were to name mine right now. I'd call it sticky finger tumbleweed. Whatever that might mean. Just like it's completely random. Let your imagination just imagine the taste of that whatever. It sounds horrible. Actually, what I picked up So for you, we're talking about you design more like you probably did you create like art for your beers.
Yeah, I think that's one of the fun parts about it is that you know, like, you can make a beer from the ground up and design your own recipe and really make it around and have your house beer, you know, and your friends come over and you can pour them your Pale Ale or your your amber ale or your New England, hazy IPA or whatever you want to make. But you know, that's, that's really the beginning. Like you can really design your own beer label and make it look really cool. One of the things that I remember doing, if you've ever had sometimes breweries will add like wax to the top of their bottles, like there will be a cap on top of, but then they'll kind of dip the top of the beer and wax just like Maker's Mark, you know, the the bourbon. So a lot of breweries are starting to do that. And the reason for it is it actually it looks cool one, but also it helps Keep oxygen from getting in the bottle. So even though those bottles are, are pretty airtight, even a little bit of oxygen that gets in there can have negative effects on the beer. So dipping it in wax if it's a beer that's supposed to be aged for a long time, let me say a couple months to a couple years, just over time, oxygen will slowly get into the bottle. So dipping it in wax will help that. So I remember when I first started getting into homebrewing I was really obsessed with the idea of of doing those wax dripped bottles. That just looks so cool. And I made a bunch for my brother's wedding and dip them in wax and had them be like black and white to be like the groom and the bride. So yeah, I mean, you can do all sorts of stuff with it. Just brewing the beer is the beginning you can really get into it get belong to a local homebrew club, where there's this whole community surrounding beer that surrounding homebrewing that is super supportive of each other and shares knowledge and if you're interested in In joining a club or checking out what it's all about, you can go again to our website and click on the homebrew club directory and try to find a club near you. And usually, you know, you just go to a meeting and show up and there'll be people who are going to be eager to talk to you about how to how to make your own beer at home.
That's pretty cool. And you don't need to be named Matt to go to these clubs. You do not just to be clear, but that's that's pretty cool. I did not know about the wax thing. I'm gonna ask my friend Matt from the other episode if he's ever encountered that. That's pretty cool. Yeah. Now for you, what would you say is the best part about homebrewing for you on a personal and emotional level?
I look at homebrew and kind of like gardening. You know, like, sure there's 77 Excuse me. 7000 some breweries around the country now. Almost everyone that almost everywhere has a local brewery that's right down the street from them. So you know, you can you can definitely get quality, just a vast array of beer. styles from your local brewery that you weren't able to get from from the grocery store or wherever a couple of years ago. But the when I say I think of humbling like gardening, like you can go to the grocery store or the farmers market and you can get your own tomatoes, you know, but there's something about growing your own tomatoes, about growing your own ingredients and cooking with them and turning it into something that really is. You built it from the ground up, literally when you're gardening. And there's just that creative outlet, that fun, proud sense of, of pride that comes with opening that bottle of beer and tasting it for the first time. And knowing that like you made that beer yourself. Everybody who's ever done it before, I mean can tell you that same thing. So you know, right when you open that bottle of beer and you poured a glass and you get a chance to not only taste it yourself and maybe share it with a friend. It's just it's just A lot of fun. That's what makes it the best hobby in the world.
That's pretty cool. Now, when it actually comes to like tasting it, are you your own taster? Or do you have, let's say, some friends or family who tasted first for you, because I don't know if like, if I'm cooking, I taste my own food, I already know what I'm expecting, I sometimes would ask a friend or somebody else to taste it just to see their reaction because they don't know what I put in it, just to see how the experiences do you do that?
Um, I mean, I'll usually will if I'm going to share a beer with somebody, I definitely want to try it first. To make sure that it's worthy, worthy of sharing. I don't want to, you know, because there's sometimes just like cooking where maybe you added too much salt or, you know, overcooked or burnt something you know, that happens in home brewing doesn't always come out perfect. So definitely try to taste it first. But I would say I don't have like a standby group of people. Like come on over and trying to be here. What I typically do will actually as I as I mentioned, the homebrewing clubs. I'll bring some bottles to my local homebrew club meeting and usually it doesn't meetings. There's like an informal bottle share where people are just kind of tasting each other's beers and talking a little bit about how they made it and their process behind it. So those are probably the group of people that I that try my beers the most. Yeah,
this is a really stupid question. But have you ever considered or ever done like one of those trivia game shows where you have like, you made, I don't know, five different types of beers, and you give them to a group of people and then they would have to try identify what is the flavor?
Yeah, well, yes, absolutely. I mean, there's even this is kind of getting into the weeds a little bit. But there's all sorts of groups out there that are about judging beer as his fun as that funny and fun as it sounds. It's very strict on making sure that the beer is to style and that there's no flaws within the beer, just like you would see on a cooking show or something where somebody gets a beer, excuse me a dish but in front of them and they talk a little bit about the texture The food. There's an entire community of people that are what is called bjcp certified, which bjcp is the beer judge certification program, who will volunteer themselves to actually be judges and a homebrewing competition. So that's something that is very prevalent within the homebrew club community. And with it at at our annual conference, homebrew con, we run the national homebrew competition where people were will submit their beer and it'll be typically judged by a handful of different judges and they each will assign it a score comment on what they did what the what the brewer did that really hit the style they were going for and what might have been missing or what kind of mistake they might have made because you maybe you fermented the beer too hot or maybe you didn't get the exact right sweetness level to it. So yeah, There's an entire culture around not only home brewing, but you know, assessing the quality of that beer as well.
Okay, okay. And I know people are gonna hate me if I don't ask this question because you are very wise and very experienced. And this might be a really tough question to answer. But what is your all time favorite beer, whether it's a craft beer or a beer made from a big organization?
Sure. I've got my own recipe for just a really simple, classic Pale Ale. It's very similar to if anybody's ever had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it's not too far off from that. And I tend to make that pretty often. And I'd say that's my favorite beer. You know, again, you get that feeling of opening the beard and, and that satisfaction of knowing that you made it yourself.
I absolutely love that idea. Like, you made it yourself. Even though let's say you messed up. You know what, this was my mistake, but I'm gonna learn from it. I'm gonna make it better next time.
Yeah, I mean, there's, that's, that's part of your process improvement. You can Identify, and that's one of the reasons that the the beer judge certification program exists is you can submit your beer to a competition. And not only will the judge say judges give you feedback, but they'll also say, well maybe improve this aspect of your brewing next time, which is, yeah, it's I'm not sure if there are many other hobbies out there that that do something similar to that. But I've always gotten a lot out of it.
It was cool. I like how that there's that positive and constructive criticism, feedback to help you improve Absolutely. For you. How many different types of beers Have you made in your lifetime? It's a tough question as well. But yeah,
I've lost count. I would say I probably made most of the most common beer styles, you know, like an IPA or a stout or I got into making sour beers a couple of years ago, and those are, excuse me, those are a little bit harder, a little bit more difficult to make just because they take a little bit more time and they take a little bit more patience, because you've guy to really be checking in on them pretty pretty often to make sure that nothing has gone wrong because they sit in age for a while to let those flavors kind of develop over time. So, you know that there's not too many styles that I've not at least given an attempt to. So the only ones I can think of that I've not done too much of our lager beers. So anybody that Well, most people are probably familiar with some of the larger macro styles of beer available in the US like a Budweiser PBR or something like that. Those are our loggers, which means that they are fermented cold, and they age for a little bit longer. And they're they're a little bit tougher to brew just because you need some more not not advanced equipment, but I would say you need you just need to be able to control the temperature a little bit better of the beer when it's fermenting. So an ale like if you're drinking an IPA or something, typically Those farming right around room temperature. So if you're, you're making your own beer and you are starting to ferment it, you can usually just leave it in your kitchen or your basement or wherever that is around 6868 70 degrees and it'll ferment just fine. But for a lager, you typically want to be able to keep that temperature during fermentation around 4845 to 48 degrees. And that can be a little bit tricky. So I've not done too many loggers yet, but I've got a lot more beer to brew in my life. So I'm sure I'll give it a try at some point.
Speaking of which, is there one beer in your category that you like you really want to make? So you mentioned the lager but is there one that you've done like the the one that got away that you just couldn't recreate but you want to recreate it?
There is a beer from hardy wood Park Brewing Company in Richmond, Virginia. I'm from Richmond, so I love to promote locally And it's called gingerbread stout. And if you ever taste it, it really tastes like, like, if you were to put a gingerbread house into a beer, this is what that beer tastes like. And it's just really fantastic. And the brewery does a great job pulling it off every year. I know it's very challenging to brew because they use I believe they use local honey they use I believe some some vanilla, it's a lot of like very subtle spices. And brewing with spices, just like cooking with spices can be it can be difficult, you know, you can, if you undershoot it by a little bit, then it's going to be underwhelming, you're just not going to get that flavor. And if you overshoot it at all, then it's going to dominate the beer completely. So I've tried to make my own version of that beer several times and I've never really been able to hit the nail on the head. So I guess that's my continuous pursuit of perfection and in brewing is to really get down to My spice profile and I'm trying to brew a clone version of the gingerbread stout from hardy would
imagine just after this episode you go make it is it Alex I nailed it and I couldn't talk about it on your episode but I wish maybe one of these days. So you're speaking about spices and gingerbread and gingerbread is around like this time of year. Do you have a preferred season for homebrewing? So let's say do you like prefer fall beers, summer beers
I think that fall is probably the most popular time of the year for home brewing just because it's you know, it's not too hot out and home brewing typically you know you It takes depending on what how you're going to go about brewing your beard, my ticket, sometimes two hours, sometimes up to four or five hours if you really want to go the long route but you know, you're you're boiling a pot of unfermented beer which is called Wert w o RT. And usually the way that I brew it, I put it on like a propane burner, and you have to boil that for about an hour as you add your house. ups. And so I, you know, in the summer, it's just kind of too hot out for me to be brewing. So I typically try to find a nice day in the fall or the spring when it's, you know, 6560 sometime somewhere around there where it's nice and cool and I'm able to brew my beer and not not break a sweat.
And do you like brewing beers by yourself or with company?
It depends, you know, I try my best to actually invite somebody to my brew days, every time that I do it, who's never seen it done before. But I'm just running out of people to, to come to my brew day because they've all seen it before. So, you know, I, if I can convince somebody to come to check it out and try to get into it, then I'll brew with somebody. But sometimes, you know, sometimes it's just me,
well, if I'm ever in town, you know if I'm always down to learn new things, and I would love to see how I've never seen homebrewing or any type of beer being made before. I'd love to see it. If If you're open to the idea, if I'm in town, this is a hypothetical theoretical situation.
You're welcome to come, man, you just you call me Matt. I'll call you, Matt. And we'll brew a beer together. I'll go to
a song from Canada, I'll just go to the border. I'm like, Hey, I'm looking for a mat.
And I haven't written this question down. But is there anywhere in the world that you've been? Or would like to go to try a new beer?
Oh, sure. Yeah, I mean, Germany is the kind of the birthplace of of lager brewing. So that would love to go to anywhere in in Germany. Germany is actually famous for what's called the right height ski boat. And that is a 500 year old law in Germany that says it's called the German translates to the German purity law. And that means that you can only brew beer in Germany with malted barley, malt, barley, hops, water and yeast. Now Yeah, and that's why all beers are typically very, very pure. They're all very usually lager beers and are very classic styles of those those loggers. Whereas you come to America and you go to local craft brewery, you probably going to find like a French toast stout or something, you know, like all sorts of crazy wacky stuff, because we don't have those those laws. And another area of the country, excuse me area of the world that I would love to go would be Belgium. So the Belgians are typically renowned for making really, really fantastic sour beers, as I was mentioning before, those are definitely an artwork, you know, very technical to make. And sometimes, you know, from a homebrewing level, I would, I would call it a work of art and just a mixture of art and science. And these Belgian brewers who originated those styles are just really the masters of getting Just the right amount of of tartness and fruitiness and just flavor profiles and those styles of beers. So yeah, Germany and Belgium are definitely on my my to do list for going in and drinking beer.
Man, I feel like you have such a great experience and like it's called Oktoberfest for in Germany correct?
Oktoberfest? Yeah, I feel like that'd be a great opportunity to learn about new beers get a little just a little bit drunk just a little bit.
Yeah, maybe just a little bow right now. You know, there's, it's funny you go to a homebrew club meetings or homebrew con and you know, there's definitely alcohol at in these these beers. But people are very much interested in learning more about how to make their beer better. It's definitely a matter of quality over over quantity, which I think is is great within the beer community because you typically don't actually run into a whole lot of people who are I would say over sir That at events like that they're they're very much there, because they're interested in learning about how to make the best beer that they can.
Now this might be a stupid and ignorant question for me to ask. But let's say when you're going to these conventions and trying your new beers, is it kind of like a wine tasting where you just take a little sample of the beer in your mouth and just let it swirl swirl in there and then spit it out? Clean your palate and try it with another beer?
Ah, that's a good point there. I've not seen many people spit it out. I think I'm not I'm not sure if that's that. Really. I've not been to many wine tastings before. So I'm not sure if that is something that is actually done. Or maybe if that's a myth, maybe it really is done, I don't know. But at homebrew con, our annual conference that's coming up in Nashville, June 18, through the 20th and 2020. We will Yeah, everybody who comes gets a two ounce glass or actually Well, the glasses, four or five ounces but there's a line on it that the all of the samples are two ounces are Last. So you know, you're, you're able to go there and you're just getting small amounts and trying lots and lots of stuff. So, we'd love to, you know, anybody who's interested in learning more about homebrew con, bad homebrewing I mean, we'd love to have the at the conference. So homebrew con.org you we're going to be releasing tickets and in March so we'd love to see it in Nashville,
which apparently is around the same time I'm releasing this episode. Okay, perfect timing. Look at that. Yeah, this is all planned. Absolutely. Yeah, of course. So, uh, for you, what are some key elements you look for when creating a new beer? So in other words, what do they have to have to have the mat stamp of approval?
You know, there are definitely certain types of ingredients that I favor over others. So one of the main ingredients that goes into beer, our hops, and I'm sure that anybody who has ever seen a beer commercial before has probably heard the term hops, but unless you've really Home Brewed or into craft beer, I doubt many people really know what that is so high are a plant a cone like plant, the grown a vine and they are put in beard to one give a balanced bitterness to the sweetness from the malt, and are also a part that they started adding hops to beer hundreds of years ago because it's actually natural preservative. But as the craft beer as home brewing and craft beer has continued to grow over the years, the amount of variety in hops has really taken off there, dozens and dozens of different kinds of hops. Just like again, I didn't make a lot of parallels to cooking You know, there are a lot of lot, a lot lot of different types of tomatoes. That's kind of my standby to go to. So there's lots of different types of hops, and they all have different flavor profiles. Some come out to be a little more flowery, some come to be a little more peppery, little more fruit. Maybe a little more earthy, something like that. So I tend to prefer certain types of hops that give me a little more of that. That fruitiness and a little bit of those like pine earthy tones. So and then some some of those hops also have flavor profiles that I necessarily might not like. So I try to stay away from them, but a lot of other people love them. So those are kind of the, my way of approaching beer is making sure that I'm using those ingredients that are going to give me the flavors, and I really enjoy.
And I'm sure it's somebody listening to this right now. So you know what my stamp of approval is now my stamp of approval.
I mean, all it is, is brew what you like, you know,
and the only way to do that is to learn by creating so eventually you'll find something you like, exactly. If not, you can go see Matt and he'll help you find something you like.
brewers association.org we've got everything you need.
And speaking about having everything you need. What kind of equipment do you currently own for your home brewing
I have a pretty large stainless steel pot that you can you can purchase all of the ingredients that you need to homebrew from a local Homebrew Supply shop or even kitchen stores, you know, you can probably get a pot big enough to brew. If you don't already have it at home you can probably just get one at at a local big box store or something like that. But if you're interested in going to a Homebrew Supply shop, you can again go to our website and we have a Homebrew Supply shop directory. That will you can look up one in your area and you can go in and talk to them a little bit about what kind of equipment you need and a little bit about what what it takes to get into the hobby but all you really need and all that I really have are a large metal pot could be aluminum, it could be stainless steel. You know, the stainless steel ones typically last longer, but they're also more expensive. So if you're interested in getting into it, you know, just a plain aluminum pot will do just fine. For the first couple hundred batches because I know everybody will run out and start brewing hundreds of batches, you don't just create one. Yeah, right. So big typically big metal pot to boil in and then also large bucket that you'll be using to to ferment your beer in, and some other hoses that you'll need to just transfer some things. Transfer the beer out from the pot into the bucket for fermentation, and a large spoon to stir your your boil and the ingredients to brew that's really all you the major equipment that you need. There's definitely some smaller stuff you want to make sure everything is sanitized. So you want to have some sanitation chemicals to scrub everything down with that are food grade. And again, you can purchase that all at a local Homebrew Supply shop. And that you know, like I said, most people have what they need to get started in home brewing in their kitchen. But if you don't, you know you can get started, I'd say between 5060 At $75
That's perfect. And I'm sure people listening will go out to their store right now right beside their house and just start getting getting the equipment while listening. Right now, as they're listening to this, you know what I have a feeling one of my friends mad from the other episodes gonna listen to this while brewing because he's sometimes
probably is a matt Hey Matt. Yes.
So for you, you mentioned that you've learned a lot from the conventions. But do you have any other methods to learn about homebrewing? Do you go online magazines, other people?
Sure, I'd say online. I mean, I would definitely point people to our website, home brewers association.org and go through the tutorials. But also, there's a lot of really great podcasts out there that are walking people through the homebrewing process. And not only just getting into homebrewing, but maybe even branching out and experimenting a little bit. So if you're if you're into podcasts, I'm assuming you are since you're now listening to a podcast, excuse me, a really great one is experimental brewing with Denny Khan and Andrew Beecham, they do a lot of really cool stuff and talk a little talk a lot about, you know, getting into the hobby and and making sure that you're doing everything. Danny's favorite thing I believe is brewing the best beer possible, while doing the least work possible. While having the most fun possible. It's something like that I might have it in the wrong order. But he's definitely all about making sure that the people who are listening to the podcast and are into home brewing are having a good time and making sure that they don't go overboard with with it with any hobby. You can quickly get into the stratosphere with all of the equipment that is available to you. But all you really need to homebrew is a metal pot, plastic bucket, some other minor hoses and sanitizers and your ingredients. So Danny's really great about making People stick to that. So definitely check out some podcasts. Our website is my number one area of course it has most of the resources you're going to need. That's perfect. So people will listen to this will have all that and pretty much giving you all the resources possible to get started so you don't have an excuse to not do it.
For you, did you ever create a beautiful accident so in other words, where you thought, Oh, you messed up, but then you taste it? And it's like, oh, wow, this tasted completely different than what I expected and it's even great.
I can't say I have, I won't say a beautiful accident. I will say I have had lots of accidents. There There was one time specifically, I had brewed a honey Porter and the amount of sugar that is in the honey I kind of miscalculated. And I remember what what happens when you brew the beer is you bottle it, you actually will put it in a glass bottle just like you bye From any sort of beer out retailer, and you'll, you'll have a bottling capper, where you can actually put the caps on and and and make sure that they're secure on the bottle. And the way that homebrewing is done you you will actually add a little bit of sugar to the bottle just a tiny bit that what is going to happen is there's going to be some residual yeast left over from the fermentation process. And during fermentation, you the yeast will actually be eating away at the sugars that you created from the brewing process and turning those sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol. So once that you are done fermentation and you've got your beer in the bottle, you add a little bit of sugar because the beer is now sealed off in the bottle and that yeast will start eating away at just the tiny bit of sugar that you added before the the cap was put on and it'll actually naturally release carbon dioxide so that when you open the beer it is naturally carbonated just like you would get at a at a restaurant or a brewery where the beer is carbonated straight from the tap. Long Way. I wanted to explain that so that people would understand what happened to me. I miscalculated the sugar level in the honey for this beer. And I bottled it all and I put it away. And there was too much sugar in the bottle and too much pressure built up within those bottles. And they It was about three o'clock in the morning and those bottles just started exploding in my kitchen.
but I didn't know what was going on. So I thought maybe somebody was like breaking into my house or something. So I went running into the kitchen and was just ready to I don't know, I don't know what I would have done really, but I was very relieved to see that. Yeah, I was disappointed that my beer was the But I was relieved to see that it was just just some exploding beer.
Yeah, it's just just a casually just a beer exploding well up hopefully or luckily nobody got hurt and now you know not to put too much sugar I guess. Now for a darker side since we're talking about explosions and stuff that could be menacing. Um, what are some misconceptions about people who do homebrewing Oh man,
um, like I said, my kind of go to beer that I make is just a pretty simple Pale Ale. This kind of based off of Sierra Nevada is recipe. There was a commercial I remember that came out a couple of years ago and I believe it was those Buffalo Wild Wings that did it. And it was like these three guys were sitting on the couch and the one guy was they were going to watch a football game or something. And the one guy who was the home brewer was kind of dressed up like a mad scientist and was like, Here, try my bratwurst beer and there was like sausage. There's something floating in the beer. And it just kind of looked gross. And the the commercial was promoting Buffalo Wild Wings and being like, don't be this guy drink it drink beer Buffalo Wild Wings or something. I know, it really actually was a pretty funny commercial, you know, you got to be able to poke fun at yourself and every once in a while, but I think that people sometimes think that that's what a homebrewer is that they're just adding all these wacky ingredients, which don't get me wrong, some people are but I'd say the majority of home brewers are typically making very classic styles of beer that you're going to want to use that most people aren't going to be able to end to enjoy without really knowing a whole lot about beer.
Yeah, I could be wrong. I don't imagine like people spending their money just to like, ruin it. Like I wouldn't imagine somebody who would buy the kid and make some homebrew beers like you know what, fuck it. I'm gonna put some cottage cheese and cheese and just sad that floating around. You know what I'm gonna put a piece of furniture in it. I'm gonna put a piece of my antique radio in there just to say. It's a classic.
Yeah, yeah, I mean it most people are making their classic styles. But some people like to go off and make some some wacky stuff, which again can be fun. But you know, that's, that's part of the fun of the hobby. It's just like, just like any other hobby, you can make it as simple as you want. Or you can turn it into rocket science, but some people really like to turn it into. Some people like to be the Mad Mad Scientist, you know? And, again, that's one of the fun parts of it.
And yeah, it's your money to do whatever you want, right?
And now for another tough question. What has homebrewing taught you in life? What is
homebrewing taught me in life, I would just say that is taught me that. There's a there's actually a saying that's one of my favorite quotes that's don't sweat the small stuff that and it's all small stuff. You know, you can you can easily be brewing your beer and maybe you don't hit your mash temperature perfectly. Or maybe your hops didn't go in at the exact right right time, or maybe your fermentation temperature was just a little bit off, but like, your beer is still going to be fine. It's still going to be very good. I'm sure they may be it's not exactly what you wanted, but there's no need to get stressed out about it. So there's actually the, the person who started founded the American Home Brewers Association is a man named Charlie Papazian. And if anybody is familiar with Charlie, he has a very well now what well known renowned saying that is relax, don't worry, have a homebrew like the most most homebrewers if they've ever, you know, gotten into it to beyond just reading about it, or maybe even just reading about it. They're familiar with that saying, and all it is is saying, you know, just have fun with it. You don't need to get too stressed out and just, you know, have a good time with it. And I guess that's something that it's taught me is that you know, maybe Maybe not everything's going according to plan, but you're gonna turn out just fine. I would
imagine that people would should not have the mentality that when you're starting off with, say the first time ever, you don't you can't just say, Okay, I'm going to get a perfect off the bat. It's a learning experience. You gotta be prepared for anything. Exactly. Yeah. So keep an open mind trying things talk to people like Matt or Matt or even Matt, about homebrew. Now, for you, what was your biggest challenge when you first started your hobby?
I lived in a small apartment. So, you know, there's definitely some space constraints that you know you even even if it was a small metal bucket, a small metal bucket and a small apartment still took up a decent amount of space. So, you know, I remember I wound up having to brew my beer on like a third or fourth floor balcony at one point, which turned out fine, but definitely the equipment can take up a little bit of space. So that you typically find that pockets of homebrew there's there's definitely smaller batch sizes that you can make you can make one gallon at a time maybe. But typically, when I, when I got into it, most people were just sticking to five gallon batches. And that's what I got started with. So it was, you know, just difficult to fit it all into a tiny apartment in Denver, Colorado,
but it worked out. And Is that still the same challenge for you today? Or do you have a new challenge?
Oh, no, I've got I've got a house with a couple bedrooms and you know, a big garage. So, you know, like, I just keep beers fermenting in the office in the guest room and the kitchen, wherever.
So that's what I thought. I'm like, Oh, he's gonna say that. Yeah, Every room has a beer washroom. Garage basement furnace room. Laundry room. Does. Yeah, that's awesome. In case you need an emergency homebrew, you just have it right there. Exactly. It's kind of like a this is a weird way of looking at it's like going to Disney World where every room is different themed Beer.
Yeah, Yeah, that'd be a good idea.
Maybe? Yeah. Maybe I'll look into that like a little museum. Yeah. And now you've talked about this throughout the episode. But do you have any word of advice for anybody who might be interested in this hobby?
Sure. Um, don't be intimidated. It's a lot of fun. You know, I'm sure that with any getting into any hobby, I'm a big homebrewer. I'm also a pretty big for photography enthusiast. I also enjoy keeping 120 gallon aquarium, which I'll tell you this brewing beer, if it messes up, it's no big deal. When you're messing up an environment for living animals, you know, it can get dicey. So you definitely want to make sure that you're you're doing everything right in that hobby. Yes, with homebrewing It's, it's, yeah, no harm, no foul kind. So, you know, just don't be intimidated. Just Just go to the website home brewers association.org. Look at a tutorial if it's something that you're You feel like would be fun to give it a shot then give it a shot. What's the worst that's gonna happen? The beers maybe not going to be the the what you expected but it's still going to be, it's still going to be beer still going to be good.
So just jump right in. Exactly, exactly. Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose. But make sure you're of legal drinking age, wherever you're listening to this from this Yes. point for my younger listeners, tell your parents to do for themselves and then just let them describe the taste. I know you can try it on. Try it a lot later in your life. So once your legal drinking age, but yeah, no, I completely understand it's you got nothing to lose from trying it out.
And so you would it was kind of a good segue. You were talking about your website do and I asked this at the beginning of the episode. Do you have any other websites or links or projects you're working on that you want to remind the listeners about?
Sure, I would say if you're interested in brewing, but you and you are interested in joining the American Home Brewers Association, we again, we publish zymogen magazine, which comes to you six times a year. But if you're not ready to jump into membership quite yet, you can actually download our app, which is called brew guru. And it's got, it will give you a month long free trial of American Home Brewers Association membership where you'll be able to access back issues of our magazine all the way back to the year 2001. I believe, it will also give you a map of where all of those membership discounts are. So if you have a local brewery in your area, I'd say chances are it's probably offering some sort of ha member discount where you can go and save a buck or two on your next year when you go in there. We also have all 1000 believe, not all thousand but we have a lot of lot of our recipes that are only available to members on the app that you can go through and click through and say maybe you want to make maybe you want to make a porter you can find there are We have 43 different recipes for Porter's on the app. We got all sorts of articles about about home brewing on this app where you can go through and, and read about different things to do with with home brewing. So definitely take a look at it brew guru. It's available on the App Store, apple, App Store, Android, wherever, wherever apps are sold, you can find it and definitely give it a shot.
Perfect. I'll put that description in the link below. So people are sorry, I'll put that link in the description below. That was weird how I said it. And here's what I know. But people can go check that out, learn more and follow subscribe to everything that people do on the internet nowadays and learn more about home brewing. Now for the last question, never prepare but always willing to answer. Do you have any questions for me about home brewing?
Did I convince you to give it a shot?
Yes, in a sense, and I have a friend who lives right down the street I would because I feel like he already has the equipment. So instead of me buying the equipment and screwing it up, I feel like I'd go to his place and Let him teach me the way first to go to
Chicago. That's a good way
save some money on my end.
I was gonna just say we also do if anybody is really wants to see what what it looks like for homebrewing in, you know, live before they jump right in the first Saturday in May, is always big brew for national homebrew day. It's something that we organize every year. This is actually a celebration that is day that is recognized by the Congress, US Congress. So if you're interested in seeing homebrewing, you can go to our website and click on the Events tab and just go to big brew for national homebrew day. And you could find a home brewing demonstration site near you. Last year we had over 300 different sites brewing that first Saturday in May. So you're guaranteed to be able to find one within your area with all of the people that register one every year. You can go out and ask questions, you can see exactly what's done to make your own beer and you can, you know, get a feel for the process.
I love how everything is just there for you. Whether you're at home or out in the public, you can go online and meet people at conventions, clubs, or even magazines. The resources are there. And it's up to you to just take a few seconds to just look it up and then you'll find it that's it's great. I love that. Yeah, jump on in the water's fine. In this case, the beers fine. The jump
on in the beer is cold.
and delicious. Yes. So there you have it, another body with a hobby. Thank you so much, Matt, for coming on and just sharing your love and your passion for homebrewing. I'm sure a lot of my listeners will appreciate this. Especially Matt from the other episode. He's definitely gonna appreciate this. It's a math thing. And if you guys want to learn more about Matt and his organization, his hobby, his passion and everything else. You can go check them out in the description below. There will be a bunch of links and projects and things he's working on. So you can go follow that and just show some support. And of course, if you'd like to be on my podcast or have any questions at all, you could send me an email at Tom for your hobby at gmail. com. And of course, if you think this podcast is going to be helpful for anybody, especially this episode, share it with somebody who might be needed, maybe their creative side needs to be done with homebrewing the create something new and can be shared in love with a bunch of other people.
So once again, thank you so much, Matt.
Yeah, thank you for having me.
So Until the next episode, make some time for your hobby. Take care.