I was born a carpenter. This is my natural god given talent. I have done everything from custom cabinetry and furniture, to rough framing houses; from hand carved bedposts to coopering redwood barrels; from shipwrighting wooden boats to custom hardwood arch top doors; from musical instruments, to custom gazebos. You name it, I have probably built it. It is what I excel in, and still find fascinating.
I have been an avid botanist since I was in high school. I started walking through the woods identifying all of the plants and trees that I could find after I took a class in botany back then.
Throughout the years this interest grew into herbs and ethnogens in a big way. Growing, drying, storing, making tinctures, home remedies, inebriants, powdering herbs for capsules and making salves and balms. Within a few more years I built a still for distilling essential oils out of an old pressure cooker and some copper tubing and copper pipe. I still have it and it works great, although it does smell of Rosemary quite heavily.
I always had this dream of opening up an occult and metaphysical bookstore, so in 1993 I opened Panurge Emporium Esoteric Bookstore. We had everything that you could imagine; candles, crystals, jewelry, incense, herbs, tinctures, oils, statuary, crystal balls, tarot cards, and books, books, books. Even a research library that customers could check out books from. We had a movie night, guest speakers, a temple in the basement, the whole 9 yards. But I soon realized that I just could not handle a retail job, and sold the business two years later.
Somewhere along the line I purchased a tattoo set and started practicing on all of my buddies that wanted to get a free tattoo just so I could practice. (And all of them were quite happy with there free tattoos'.) So now I fancied myself a Tattoo Artist, and had big dreams of setting out to open my own tattoo shop, that is until I realized that you had to go through a 1 year apprenticeship that cost $6,000 to $8,000. Dreams do die fast at that price, so now it's just a hobby.
I started vinting and brewing as part of the alchemist's interests in chemistry, fermentation and distillation. My purchase of a stainless steel still with a 7 gallon boiler and a 4' reflux tower really stimulated the alchemist's adventurous nature, and I found a way to use 100% of my products, and refine them to some very fine wares using everything from pears to grain mash.
Though this is just a brief description of a long and sordid history, that is all I will leave you with at this point, and we will move on to the project at hand, which is, of course, How to Home Brew!