After not brewing too much over the summer, I’ve recently become more active brewing. I brewed four batches of beer this fall.
My first batch was a cream ale. I found a book of homebrew recipes on clearance at a used bookstore and bought it. Getting home and looking at it closely, I realized that the book had been published in 1994. The state of homebrewing has changed a lot in the 25 years since then. I picked out a cream ale recipe to try out. The recipe called for some of the grains to be toasted. I had picked up some malted oat samples at a meeting of my homebrew club, so I decided to use those instead. The brew day went fine and soon had some beer to drink. The first few I tasted weren’t as good as I had hoped for. But in a couple weeks the beer had aged a bit more and was better.
My next batch was an experiment. Those are bottled and waiting to age a bit. I want to test these out without giving away exactly what I did, so I won’t go into too much detail. After I had put aside enough for the experimental batches, I had some left over. So, I added some fruit juice to those to make a different beer.
The other two batches were all brewed at my church. The Associate Pastor is a homebrewer and he decided that he would put together a group at church to homebrew together. He named the group “We Brews”. In addition to describing what we would do it’s also a gender-neutral version of a book of the Bible.
We Brews did two batches in one evening. While I was the resident expert, there were other there who had also brewed. I was pleasantly surprised to find that doing two batches didn’t feel like double the work of one batch. One batch was a cream ale, a different recipe from the batch I had done earlier. The other batch was an amber ale. I had a lot of fun finding some recipes on the internet. Both batches are bottled and aging.
After I bottle beer and I have to wait before I can drink, I vary between thinking the beer is going to be really good to wondering if I might have messed something up and it’s going to be really bad. Almost always it’s been somewhere in between those two extremes. In a way it’s like being a Minnesota Vikings fan.
Like most people, there are days when I struggle. Events in my life, in the world lay heavy upon me at times. At these times I find comfort in prayer.
While I’m now a Lutheran, I grew up as a Catholic. When I was studying for the CPA exam my Grandmother offered to let me study at her house. I spent a lot of time over there studying all day then having dinner with my Grandma Margaret and my Aunt Peggy who lived with her. Every evening they would turn on the radio. They would pray along with as the station played the Rosary. While I never got into praying the Rosary myself, I did find it calming to listen to them pray.
The main prayer of the Rosary is the Hail Mary. That prayer has been my go-to prayer whenever I’m making a request ever since college. I had used that prayer when praying for a classmate who was having some problems and the prayers worked.
I started praying while I drove. At first it was just a prayer to protect everyone on the road from my driving. But I kept adding on more prayers.
Later, when someone suggested that I should say seven Hail Mary’s, seven Our Father’s, and seven Glory Be’s every day, I decided to try to do that during my first drive of the day. Eventually that became seven Hail Mary’s while I asked for specific requests. Seven Our Father’s while I conversed with God. Finally, seven Glory Be’s while I looked around for something beautiful in the world. I’ve been surprised that on days that are my roughest; after we had miscarriages, when a co-worker’s baby was shaken to death by the day care provider, after Debbie died and other events; I can still find beauty in the world. Somehow, in the midst of sorrows or setbacks, I can look around and see that God is still active in the world. And that gives me some peace.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.