American homebrewing is usually informed by German and English methods, which value an adherence to cleanliness, strict recipe formulation, and the use of particular ingredients for particular styles. This attention to detail and traditionalism can create some delicious and satisfying beers, but doesn't always leave room for experimentation beyond the basics. I've been reading about, tasting, and just generally pondering sour beers, and have been forced to shift my perspective on brewing. Until recently, the idea of introducing an unpure culture of yeast into my homebrewery scared the shit out me. Like learning a new language, it takes time to become comfortable expressing yourself in a new medium, but I've made some strides toward a more enlightened approach to making delicious beer at home and challenging myself in the process. Much of the information I've gathered has come from like-minded people, whose generous sharing of knowledge has been inspiring. Specifically, Lewy Brewing, The Mad Fermentationist and Bikes, Beer and Adventures have cleared away the barriers in my psyche to allow me to begin walking a new and perhaps more rewarding path as a more experimental homebrewer. So why am I writing this? I don't profess to be the most knowledgeable or the most able brewer. I certainly have plenty to learn. I want to record my thoughts and experiences so that I have a record of my own evolution and a way to prompt self-reflection. If it appeals to others and perhaps helps or inspires them, then all the better.