Monday, July 15, 2013

Homebrew therapy.

Recently i started realising that a lot of problems i have in life are to do with stress. I worry lots, stress out quite easily and have some anxiety issues. Not extreme like other people have, but enough to make me feel pretty shit. I also work as a Barista in a pretty busy Cafe which is quite stressful, and a lot of my life i spend worrying about whether or not the art that i make is good or not, or whether i make enough, which is normal for artists... I think.

I had these realisations around the time i started seriously homebrewing. Anyone who has done all-grain brewing at home probably remembers their first couple of solo encounters to be quite stressful. It requires a lot of patience, multitasking, organisation and hands on work, all while worrying whether you are doing something wrong. In a lot of ways, it isn't much fun.

But then it flips completely. Everything that was stressful, becomes stress relieving. The thought behind all of the processes becomes second nature and you only really think about things if you are trying something new. Knowing what you are doing, and having everything organised is very relaxing. The hands on approach, even though sometimes requires a lot of effort, gives a sense of satisfaction, and using all of your own equipment over and over again has a nice sentimental feel to it. You really let the practical part of your brain take over, meaning you can just do the required tasks without much thought, but just enough so that it is almost like you are thinking about nothing. This especially comes into play when you brew on your own, but also adds to the social aspect when brewing with your friends.

Then once you have finished a batch, you get to taste it, and on one hand you say "this is fucking fantastic" but the other is "i think i know how i could make this better". Constantly improving your methods and thinking up new ideas means that, most of the time, your next beer will be better than the last.

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