When we moved to the West, we took with us many bicycles, many books, many kitchen supplies and a favorite chair, but the beer making equipment didn't make the cut. The carboy will crack, the hydrometer will shatter, I assumed and so we sold it to some nerdy boys at Drexel and left without it.
Having moved from a three story, 5 bedroom Victorian house with a basement into our scant one bedroom apartment, we put off buying new homebrew equipment until we were certain that our essential belongings would fit comfortably in here. Since September, we've build lots of shelving, kept the place neatly organized and gotten more comfortable with the place. In sum, we've figured out how to stay junk collectors at heart and still have enough room to maneuver among the madness.
And so two weeks ago, it was with great anticipation we finally went to Oak Barrel Winecraft in Berkeley to buy ingredients for the first batch and a setup. A far cry from the wall-hole in South Philly where I first got started and from Home Sweet Homebrew, the center city brew shop staffed by several cats, Oak Barrel is all glamour. They manage to make beer brewing romantic, and that friends, is not easy to do.
They were a little pricier on the equipment, but much cheaper on ingredients and if my math is correct, that will be just fine in the long run. We got ingredients for Hefeweizen, it being spring time and all, and the plan is to boil it up this afternoon.
Did I mention that Oak Barrel also sells vinegar making supplies? Um, don't even get me started.