As some of you know, I brewed my first batch of beer a few months ago. It was a lot of fun, but after the process, I realized that as easy as it is, it's very intimidating for me. I can cook. And I can cook pretty well (not professionally well, but for a home cook, I can bust out some tasty recipes). But with beer, I feel like there's NO way I'll be able to wrap my head around it.
You see, beer is complicated. Very complicated. I do beer the easy way. And by that I mean I buy an extract kit, boil water, add the extract and hops, then dump it in a bucket with yeast. But once you get to the all-grain level, there's so much more to it. First, it adds several hours to the brewing process, plus sanitation before the brewing, and then cleanup after. And sanitation is HUGE.
More than that, there's so much that can go wrong. If the equipment isn't properly sanitized, you can spoil your beer and have "off flavors." If you don't boil the wort properly, it can be too thick or too watery. When you get into all grain, mashing improperly, changing the grains, mashing too long or too short can all change the flavor of the beer. If the wort isn't COOLED quickly enough, you can ALSO spoil it and create "off flavors."
Then there's the yeast. If the wort is too hot, you can kill the yeast. Or get it too excited which will change the flavor of the beer. Possibly ruin it. If it's too cold, the yeast won't wake up, which means the wort won't ferment, and you don't get beer.
And don't get me STARTED about packaging, either kegging or bottling.
My point, though, is that I'm going to stick with this. I want to learn the ins and outs of brewing. It's much like how I felt when I finished writing my first book. When I was convinced that it was ready to query, I felt completely overwhelmed. I blogged now and then, but I didn't know how to promote my blog. I didn't know ANY of the readers who stop by here regularly, and I CERTAINLY didn't know the first thing about researching agents and formulating a proper query for them.
But I stuck with it! And while I may not be an expert, I'm not intimidated anymore. Some day I'll grasp brewing, just like I understand how to make an awesome Roast Lamb with Jalapenos and Cherries. And when I learn new tricks about writing, I'll try to make sure I share them with all of you :D