I was in Doc’s Cellar (our local homebrew shop) a week ago to get some information about brewing and to get a feel for the supplies and ingredients. As I was browsing around the store, I came across a shelf of plastic bags of pre-measured grains for various beer recipes.
There were bags of malted barley of varying roasts, as well as bags of mixed roasts and other grains. One bag had amber malt, dark roasted malt, and oatmeal. This bag was for an oatmeal stout recipe. I found myself putting my hand on the bag, picking up the bag with both hands to feel the texture of the grain, and putting the bag to my face to smell the grains (the plastic was not too thick, so some aroma did come through).
What was really strange about this action is that I often do the same thing when faced with yarn or spinning fiber! The grain was attracting me the same way that yarn would. I knew right then that brewing from the grain, rather than from malt extracts, was the direction I needed to head; in spite of the fact that brewing from grain takes more time and more equipment.
I left the store with a book on brewing and am getting myself familiar with the process and the equipment I’ll need before taking the next step. I’m looking forward to working with that grain, though!