True passion means constantly cleaning up. The art of brewing.
In the world of micro-brewing, every up and coming cicerone has a plethora of ideas for beer. They want to make the next best citrus IPA, chocolate chili stout, or farmhouse ale. There is an allure to the are that is brewing, and good ideas are everywhere.
So why are there only a few thousand successful brewers out there? What’s stopping wannabe brewers from taking the leap into full time brewing? Speaking with a passionate brewer, you may discover your answer:
Brewing beer is almost entirely cleaning up.
The amount of time spent during the brewing process on the “Art” is minuscule compared to the time spent cleaning. All equipment must be cleaned to perfection before brewing begins, to avoid contamination. And all equipment must be cleaned afterwards to avoid future contamination.
The mixing of the wart, the boiling, the aging, etc. are all very short processes. The preparation for them takes some time, and the clean up afterward takes time. The fun part that aspiring brewers dream about takes place in an instant.
When a brewer does finally take the time to put their idea into reality, the next step is patience. Patience for the fermentation process to work it’s Magic. But all the patience in the world won’t protect a brewer from natural processes that can ruin a beer.
After hours spent cleaning and preparing, a brewer spends moments putting the ingredients together. Then more hours are put into cleaning, followed by an extended period of weeks or months just waiting. All for something that may not even turn out.
Aspiring brewers may find themselves jumping into this hobby bright eyed and full of ideas, only to find themselves buried in cleaning duties and discouraged by failed batches. To become a real brewer, you must be willing to spend a majority of your time doing unflattering, boring, and tedious steps of the process. Most aspirants lose their taste for the time it takes to repeat the process and the effort involved in keeping the equipment in clean enough shape as to not ruin their beers.
Brewing is a labor of love, and consists of almost entirely just cleaning. Cleaning for the sake of taking a risk that your effort will be for naught.
Could we not say the same for almost all art forms?