What the blog?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What the blog?

So here I am, two years and some change later, still writing on this brew blog. I constantly have to ask myself "why do this?" and after the last few weeks, I am reminded of the answer.

I started this blog in late 2005 after reading Blog! By David Kline (and a whole host of other authors) and wanting to understand what this whole "blogging" thing was all about. As I began to explore blogs, I was also really starting to enjoy homebrewing and was making some very good beer (extract). It suddenly dawned on me; what a perfect medium for a brew journal! A place where your readers can critique your methods, recipes and overall brewing. Because the author is accessible, the comments are conversation instead of static feedback and visitors can review the evolution and eventual conclusion of an issue. Brilliant!

In the processes of doing this, I have learned about many other bloggers out there, some of whom are the commenter's on this blog. I have exchanged beers with other bloggers and written about beers I have tried.

So why is this better than a BA forum? Well in short, it's community. While yes, you can get answers quickly in a forum, no one is following your body of work. No one can note long-term trends in your methods of why you brew how you brew. No one notices if you haven't posted in a long time (I noticed Grove had gone dark for a while and realized he's a Dad now). It's the quality and source of the feedback that makes the blogging community different.

I bring this up because this past weekend, things really came full circle for me in my original objective for this blog. I took a recipe for an ESB I had done previously and made adjustments that were suggested to me by Bad Ben, commenter and fellow blogger, to make a second iteration of my ESB. In the comments for this brew, I had some very good observations where Glibbidy and Kevin where they noted the process of running off my mash was potentially going to give me a hot aeration. This led me to revisit the question of hot aeration and decide to make a slight adjustment on my process to avoid this potentially problematic step. Simple and was made possible my blog.

Further, these past few weeks have allowed me to have my beer tasted internationally! Alan, Ted and Brad were all part of the first (and not last)beer blog off. This one was for the ages. The battle over the Mason Dixon line was had between yours truly and the fellas at Monday Night Brewery. While both Alan and Brad gave the edge to MNB, Ted gave me a glimmer of hope with a single win. The guys at MNB even made a video of the tasting:

The point of this post is to thank everyone that has made this blog work. It's been a pleasure getting comments and feedback. The exciting thing is that most of the comments have blogs themselves so I can in turn comment on what they do. I would also like to extend a big thank you to everyone that participated in the brew off, even the bane of my existence; MNB.

I hope you keep reading. Cheers!


Bryon said...

Nice post, and it's good to see the friendly competition between you guys. Keep it fun and interesting!

Keep on bloggin'


Ted Danyluk said...

Travis, it's been fun reading your blog, and tasting some of your beers. I enjoy the conversations we have, and the chance to write comments. Watching how your home brewery has evolved, and techniques changed because of it, has been cool.

As my brewing evolved, I started to read some forums, but blogging is much more personal. It really is a community. Even though we are spread out around the world, we still have a good knowledge of each other.

I look forward to reading more, participating more, and writing more myself. Cheers!

Adam said...

Keep up the great work. I look forward reading and commenting as well :-)

BTW this post made me thirsty!