Marty Jones's picture

Life Lessons from Homebrewing

Homebrewing teaches you good, practical stuff. How to follow a recipe, the life cycle of yeast, some good geography and history. (Tell the truth: Did you know a thing about Belgium or either Pliny before becoming a beer connoisseur?)

Sometimes the lessons are even more practical, and unexpected. While preparing to flush out the catheter bag of an ailing loved one, it hit me. I’m sure glad I’ve homebrewed.

Had I never bought The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and made hefeweizen at home, I’d be at a loss for how to get two cups of sanitizing solution down a tiny plastic tube and into a collapsed plastic pouch.

Yes, making beer at home instills gallons of life lessons that make delicious, homemade beer – as grand as that is – perhaps the least of zymurgy’s many pluses.

What better way to learn the bennies of patience than having to wait two weeks for a beer to ferment, and two more weeks for it to carbonate? That long?! For the startup homebrewer and the instant-gratification set, such a wait rivals NASA engineers sending satellites to deep space and Guns N’ Roses fans waiting for the next CD to drop. Make it yourself and the message becomes clear: Good things come to those who wait and properly employ an airlock.

All management types should be required to brew beer. Want to learn how to keep your workers happy and productive? Tend to yeast in a fermenter. It’s a quick way to discover that trust, the proper work conditions and the right amount of sugar are vital for a staff to deliver work in tasteful, timely fashion.

Joining a home brew club is a superb way to develop tact and Jiminy Cricket's “accentuate the positive” skills. “What do you think of my home brew?” is a question as delicate to answer as “What political party are you?” To answer it without sending someone’s cap flying requires seasoned skills in constructive criticism and diplomacy.


Table of Contents