Sunday, May 21, 2006


B-day weekend

It has been a fantastic weekend to turn 33.

On Friday night we had one of the biggest meetings the First State Brewers has seen since I joined two years ago. Jerry and Joyce Carney always have alot of folks for St. Pat's, but we must have had 30-40 people here Friday night (more if you count children). Ric Hoffman from Stewart's gave a fantastic speech on recipe formulation, and I think everyone walked away with some words of wisdom. I have to say that Ric went far beyond my expectations, and I can only hope that we can convince him to speak again sometime in the future. There was a crazy amount of beer to be had, and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. My only regret was not grabbing our digital and taking some pictures... Thank you to everyone who came. I hope future meetings will see a similar level of participation and revelry.

Yesterday was my B-day and I celebrated it in true homebrewer style by brewing 10 gallons of wheat beer. Entitled "Wheatopia", I will be polluting it in the secondaries with raspberry and apricot purees (seperate, not together... blech!). The brew itself was textbook perfect - I nailed my mash-in temperature and mash-out temperatures, minimal grain matter went into the kettle, my gravity was dead on (maybe even a little higher), and it is fermenting like mad downstairs. I also got to use a new toy, my 14 gallon demijohn fermenter.

Today will include an activity that most would probably despise, but I am quite honestly looking forward to it... de-labeling and cleaning 7+ cases worth of bottles so I can fill them with homebrew. 4 cases are already spoken for in the way of black honey ale for my family & friends, and as much as I wish I had a couple cases of 750mL amber champagne bottles to put 5 gallons of saison in, I have a feeling that much of it will end up in 12oz. That'll only leave me with a few spare cases for future batches... I'll be soaking them in my 14 gallon kettle in PBW, which albeit expensive is a very effective way of removing labels and cleaning the crap that may be growing inside the bottles.

Life is grand :-)

Happy Birthday!
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