What are the hidden connections between ale-making and writing? Read on and we shall make a voyage of discovery together.
There are roughly four steps to ale-making:
- Mashing – mixing a source of starch, e.g. malted barley, with hot water to make wort
- Kettling – boiling the wort in a copper kettle with hops and other ingredients such as herbs and sugars
- Fermenting – the cooled mixture is put into a fermentation tank and yeast is added
- Conditioning – the liquid is stored in a keg and allowed to age before being imbibed.
It strikes me that writing follows a similar process:
- Preparation – deciding what kind of story you want to write, roughing out character sketches, drawing an outline of the story arc
- Writing – sitting down, hour after hour, day after day until all the words have flowed from your mind onto the ‘page’
- Resting – letting the story sit for a while so that you can get some emotional distance from it
- Editing – setting the words straight so that it reads like what real writing should read like.
Okay – maybe the only similarity between ale-making and writing is the approximate number of stages involved, but hey – it’s all clear in my head now, so – result!