Thursday, September 9, 2010

Adventures in Homebrewing: Setting Up Shop

Today I took a break from the job hunt and drove across the river to Joe Bair's Princeton Homebrew Shop in Trenton, NJ. He set me up with all of the equipment I'll need to brew my first solo batch which I plan on doing in the very near future. He was incredibly helpful and willing to listen to all of the questions an amateur like myself had for him. Joe has the appearance of a mad scientist who went on a few wild tangents while he was putting my order together. He told me about one of his first brewing experiences in San Diego with his buddy Mark Burford, who is now Blue Point Brewing Co.'s Head Brewmaster, in the back of a shag carpeted van. There wasn't nearly as much information available on brewing your own stuff in the 70's so the two of them ran into a few problems including having their hot wort, carboy, and shag carpet fuse together as one. Joe assured me that I wouldn't run into any such problems as long as I wasn't an illiterate idiot. I hope he is right.

I decided to upgrade from the plastic 'Ale Pail' kit The Hardwick Brewing Co. used at Temple University and picked up a couple glass carboys. Joe did convince me to grab a plastic bucket to have at home just in case I ever needed it so I ended up with a little more equipment than expected. That being said, I didn't spend nearly as much money as I thought I would so if you are ever in need of some cheaper homebrewing goods, Princeton Homebrew is the place to go. Joe's store has everything you'll need when it comes to brewing and he's willing to share his wisdom with anyone willing to listen, as long as they're okay with a few digressions on his part.

I can't wait to put this stuff to good use soon.


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