Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Yee haw.

Yesterday the wife and I built and prepared our hop beds out in back for planting the new rhizomes (this weekend). We've got 2 4'x2' beds and one 2'x2' bed. They are upraised 7" beds with about 6" of tilled soil down from the upraised section. Donna mixed up a nice blend of manure, peat moss, miracle grow, and mulch to combine with the (essentially clay) soil back there. Soon our 2 Magnum, 2 Liberty, and 1 Nugget rhizomes will be ready for action. YES!!! I'll have to take some pics and post them here once its not so damn muddy and nasty outside.

My belgian blend of WLP500 and WLP550 is currently on the stir plate in a yeast starter. I'll let it work thru the 800mL of starter its currently in and step it up to 2000mL in a couple days... hopefully that'll give it a chance to propogate again with more O2 and fresh sugars.

Of course all this is in preparation for a weekend brewing of my Alucard Strong Dark Ale, a belgian ale designed to be close to 1.080 OG. Its got 8 lb of German Pils Extract, 2 lb Dark Candi sugar, 3 lbs of Belgian Pale 2-row, and a healthy dose of Special B, Chocolate, and Carafa malts. For a little extra character I'm going to toss in some whole star anise I picked up for hints of licorice.

It's also assuming that HDYB is going to make good on their now month-old promise to get my servomyces in. If it doesn't "come in" Tomorrow or Friday I believe I am going to have a meltdown. I've only been waiting since February 20th... and I could have ordered and reorderd it a couple times over from somewhere online, but I'm trying to be a good boy and work thru my LHBS. This may be my last time if this weekend is the third in a row without results.

EDIT:I got off the phone just a little bit ago with Jan. Looks like I will have my servomyces this weekend. YEE HAW! I am feeling somewhat sated and mildly relieved.

I'm slowly working thru the remnants of Marty's "Newark Daze" brew he brought over Sunday. Its presence in my kegerator is definitely a refreshing change... Its nice to have someone else's handiwork available for sampling. I wish I had some idea what the recipe was, but even Marty isn't quite sure - It was a kit he augmented with extra hops, malt, and yeast while brewing it. C'est la vie...

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