Posted by Dave on December 17, 2013
I have been making beer for a couple of years now. I enjoy making beer, in the same way I like cooking or building something – it lets me understand the way things come together and to be involved in making something, which is very different than my day job, moving numbers around spreadsheets. People who have never made beer ask if they can come help, or watch it be made. I usually tell these curious people that they’re more than welcome to join me in the process, but it’s not overly exciting.
Making beer takes about 2 or 3 hours, but the vast majority of the time is either spent watching water stay at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, boiling (hopefully not all over the kitchen), and then cooling down enough that yeast doesn’t die. Other than watching water, the rest of the time is spent disinfecting the various buckets, hoses, and spoons so that wild yeast won’t grow in the beer – giving it a funky taste. Watching water bubble away or disinfecting things with someone else isn’t all that much more exciting than watching water do the same alone. I usually explain the process to them and there is a definite reduction in enthusiasm, maybe I’m a poor salesperson though.
I have been working towards my Early Retirement goal now for over 5 years. Much the same as my interest in beer making, it is pretty dull to explain to someone. I don’t wheel and deal binary options, or have a super exciting method of getting rich quick (although that would make the process go by faster) – the whole plan is based on discipline and time.
Anyone can carry out the same plan I’m doing, whether it’s making sub-par beer (at around $3 per gallon in materials) or making it through the first third of a 15 year retirement plan. All I do is follow a basic recipe or plan, which is applicable to both.
With beer and my retirement plan, patience is also key. I have to wait three whole weeks to find out if all that waiting around in my kitchen actually made something drinkable. The three weeks pales in comparison to the decades I’ll have to (hopefully) wait and see if my financial plan has successfully kept me in money until I die, or if I’m going to end up destitute somewhere.
On the way, the process itself is super boring though – the results, much like delicious beer, will hopefully make it worthwhile.