Yeah, you read the title right. I know, B&N isn't exactly known for their expertise in homebrewing. In fact, I find their section on beer to be extremely lacking. They do, however, sell really good quality homebrewing kits from Craft A Brew. Also, since I currently work at B&N, I was able to buy it at a really good price using my employee discount (This is probably a good time to mention that I am NOT being paid by either of these companies to plug the product, I was just that happy with it).
My husband had been toying with the idea of homebrewing for a while, so 2 Christmases ago, I surprised him with the Hefeweizen kit. We brewed the first batch together, mostly because the hubby doesn't like to read directions, and waited. I was pretty skeptical about the outcome because of a few horror stories I heard from friends. To my surprise, the hef was very tasty (similar to a Widmer). Being the science nerd that I am, I wanted to brew another batch from a recipe rather than a kit, just to make sure it was the process that made good beer, and not just the kit. We went to a local homebrew shop, where they gave us a recipe for a Smoked Porter. We brewed it together, and waited. Another success! By the time that batch was gone, we had official caught the brewing bug, and the one gallon kit just wasn't cutting it for us anymore. We made trip #2 to the homebrew shop, and walked out with a complete 5 gallon brewing kit and a recipe kit for a Stout (we like our dark beers). This is when the fun really began . . .
Let's just say that the margin of error grows with the batch size. This beer wasn't as successful this time around. Again, my inner nerd kicked in, and I went into research mode to figure out what went wrong. I bought a few books, scoured the internet, and a monster was born! The more I read, the more I fell in love. The science behind it intrigues me, and the freedom it lends satisfies the creative itch that I couldn't scratch with anything else. I can do anything I want in homebrewing, and no one can say it's wrong. Don't even get me started on how I feel when people taste my beer and like it! That's a post for another day.
Well, I think that's enough for one night. Thanks for reading . . .