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The Loyalty of Water: Fermentables

Guest post by Rebecca Lynn Foreman

Grains, sugar, and mash wort, the fermentables that will become a Trappist beer

I am obsessed with beer. I dream of brewing a big fat Belgian Trappist, 8% or 10% ABV, with complex interplay of malt and hops, accented by spicy notes. On the subway, I surf my iPhone for homebrew recipes. I take detours to “pass by” brewpubs when they have a rare brew on tap. It’s like falling in love.

This is recent. I only began homebrewing after New Year’s. It’s magical how such simple ingredients—barley, water, hops, and yeast—can result in such different flavors and textures depending on where the ingredients come from and how they are added to the process. I feel a wonderful delirium when I think about beer. But when I get down to brewing, I focus strictly on quantities, temperatures, and times. Brewing requires discipline as well as devotion. Discipline is no fun without devotion, and devotion doesn’t take you anywhere without discipline. I’ve found this true in many pursuits, particularly writing.

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