Consider this my confession, my moment of full disclosure, my indecent proposal without actually proposing anything, my shouting from a mountain top: I do not homebrew. And I have no plans to start.
I understand there is so much to learn about beer via homebrewing. I realize I am missing out on something. Even still, I am not any more motivated to start the process than I was two sentences ago.
Now, I do have friends that homebrew. And I have participated in a session or two, which is to say I was there and spent a few minutes watching a temperature reading, setting a timer, or smelling a pack of hop pellets. I pick their brains about their process and recipes when I get the chance and am genuinely interested in the beers they make and how they made them. However, it creates absolutely no desire to pick up and follow in their footsteps.
Obviously, the process is fun – I've enjoyed stirring the wort, or whatever I was doing, when given the chance – because creating something remarkable from things that on their own are generally unremarkable is a rewarding and enjoyable way to spend your time. It was why I make delicious chicken tacos most Tuesdays.
My hope is that I am not alone. I imagine there must be other champions of craft beer that, for whatever the reason, are not homebrewers. Perhaps if I share my reasons, others will share their reasons and we can step out from the shadows of our homebrewing friend's fermenting carboys. Maybe by sharing our reasons, seasoned homebrewers can respond with their own reasons and rebuttals, and maybe, just maybe, get a few of us to see past our 'why nots' and start brewing.
The Top 5 Reasons I Don't Homebrew, in no particular order:
The obvious: My space and/or time is limited. Perhaps space-time as a whole is limited – I'm not a physicist, so I can't be sure – but if it is I feel I might have more pressing matters, such as watching feel good indie comedies, thought provoking documentaries, and suspenseful dramas on the internet.
The immediate: I like things now. And yet I am a cautious driver. See Also: I am a paradox. Regardless, just the idea of waiting a month for the final product makes me itchy and irritable. I run away from my madness, not towards it.
The logical: I like sausage, and yet I do not make my own. This statement applies to snow and rainbows as well. And smoothies.
The dirty: I hate the “clean-up”. I used to cut my own hair but then I stopped because I got tired of cleaning up the mess. The way I see it, I don't pay someone to cut my hair, I pay someone to clean up the mess. I shudder at the idea of engaging in an activity that will make a mess, or has the potential to make a mess, that I will then be responsible to clean up. There is a murder joke here that quite frankly, I am afraid to make. So oil changes then. And sausage, again.
The realistic: I will buy equipment, use it a few times, and then find myself a few times a year saying, “Yeah, I really need to get back into that.” Maybe I'm referring to homebrewing when I say that, maybe I'm referring to go-carts. Without context, it's impossible to know.
Follow J. R. Shirt on Twitter and Untapped @beeronmyshirt.