Hello friends, homebrewers and potential homebrewers! I want to take just a little journal/blog space here to offer a significant piece of advice. Check out the community of homebrewers at http://www.homebrewtalk.com . I have to say, this awesome community of brewers has a huge wealth of very helpful, very knowledgeable, and very experienced homebrewers as members and they have been a great resource. There’s a few characters there, too! I need to state up front that I have no stake in the promotion of the site. I am simply a member who has enjoyed some interactions and learned a lot from other members. Also, membership is optional. Poke around to your heart’s desire and decide if you want to support the site with a membership. If you are a brewer or interested in brewing, making cider, mead, etc., you will find encouragement and answers to questions there. You may find some helpful employees at your local homebrew shop, but your best resources are connections to other people that brew. Having a local friend or family member to mentor you is great. Your next best resource is the internet and, within that resource, nothing is more helpful than a community of people from all levels of expertise, all kinds of backgrounds and covering the full range of brews and then some…commercial brews, cooking, and just general discussion. If you’re looking for encouragement…join the community!
Little update on my 2 gallon split portion of Yooper’s Oatmeal Stout to which I have added a gingerbread flavor: I sanitized a small ladle and removed a sample to taste. Everything looks good. The flavor is interesting, but doesn’t carry any sweetness. I’m not sure how that’s going to turn out in the end. I’m hoping that bottle conditioning and carbonation are going to soften it a bit and that that lack of sweetness will not detract from the combination of the gingerbread and stout flavors.