Sometimes, seemingly more often I care to admit, I don’t get around to writing here. That and the beer page have kind of fell to the wayside now that Finn is at Pre-school and I’ve two more days of work. That has left me consuming instead of creating on my free time. While this relaxes me, it ends up making me despise the lazy part of myself. And well, here we are, stuck with a bit of writing to be done here and best intentions waiting in the wings. Pause no more, faithful, journey with me across the roaring fire and tumbleweeds.
While stuck in the seemingly endless cool summer with bottles of thirst quenching punchy sour beers and funk this and infected that, I could stand no longer the unsteady ground of complexity. I wanted a drinking pale, something to herald in fall, something to keep a steady pace in the fridge. All of those things and to keep my non-sour-drinking-wife happy. In the midst of brew day, a fellow just one town south announced his homegrown hops ‘up for grabs.’ I shuttled my brew partner and myself over to said fellow’s house and hacked down bine after bine. We found a ratio of 1:5 of dry to wet and made a quick change to dumping in whatever was picked – high alpha or not, it was to be a snowflake. My compatriot has been taking lead on brewing, as I’ve been desperately trying to hold on to someone’s interest, even a mild one, in brewing. Clear communication being our foible, the boil received an extra dose. I laughed at our now possible ‘session IPA’ and went back to picking hops. Recent taste tests resulted in confusion – seemingly less bitter than even say a standard pale. Denny’s Favorite (WL1450) and US-05 were dumped and are only slightly different at uncarbed sips. Cold brewed Earl Gray will go in at bottling.
Sasion de pompoen
Well, you’ve done and bit me on the toches, dearest autumn. I don’t like spice beers. I don’t enjoy (almost any) pumpkin beers. Yet here we are, deep in exposition about slogging our way through a day crafting one. Sure, I told myself, a pumpkin beer with real pumpkin and soft on the spices. Turns out, with plenty of reading, that pumpkin doesn’t exactly ‘taste’ like anything save for the spices strewn across its glistening orange surface. Fine. A pumpkin beer without pumpkin. The base was a wonderful orange hue from dashes of 40L & 80L & wheat. I made a tincture of spice shelf goods and rum. It tasted fine, and we’ll see how those tiny flecks deal with a bit of a soak in the finishing beer. I feel I could have done better with this one, sure Belle Saison and 3711 are okay choices, but fresh spices, or at least whole spices, would have been ideal. I wept inside a bit while dashing ground dried ginger into a small jar of murky cinnamon and clover water. Time will tell – a keg to my brother-in-law.
Extra Special Bullfrog
I can’t say much about this beer, it’s the second version of an amber I brew for Gary. I can say much about the man behind it though. We’ve been crashing Gary’s retirement just about every other Tuesday, and sometimes in rapid succession. Where some folks, even some family, would reel and tire of the whirlwind visits, Gary’s interest only grows. I’ve grown from using a small corner of his basement and garage to taking completely over in the small back room of his garage and nearly all the basement; bottles stack high, bucket fermentors creep ever so slowly across his basement floor, furniture and rugs get soaked, equipment is bought and installed, and he grins and actively involves himself in all of it. I am unsure my heart would be into homebrewing, due to its location, as much as it stands now without the Gary Mielke touch. I am continually humbled by his fervor for this hobby of mine. Least I can do is brew the man a beer every so often.
Peanut Butter Chocolate(?) Stout