Monday, October 09, 2006


There's something to be said...

...about tried & true, particularly as it pertains to brewing recipes. I feel like I really kind of stepped "outside of my box" this summer and fall and brewed some pretty wacky shtuff, but at the same time I feel like I've made alot of beers that aren't up to my typical caliber. I guess that is all part of learning and growing in your passions...

My last two brewing experiences have really kind of shaken me to the core.... My nightmare stout of two weeks ago is now sitting in secondaries, looking decidedly more brown than black and with a not too distant resemblance from the stuff I poured out of the steam cleaner tonight when I did our carpets... Yuck. I still keep hoping that it will drop clearer and turn a nice dark stouty-like color, but I'm seriously doubting it anymore. Not wishing to be beaten, I had my wife go out and buy another pie pumpkin, which is already roasted and ready for a minimash - but quite honestly, I have to say I don't give a $#!t anymore. I don't care if that beer beat me this time around - I want to get back to brewing stuff I like and know I can do well, so it is probably either going to go in a pie or down the garbage disposal.

I brewed a barleywine with a buddy this weekend (see Gnarlywine at, and while the experience went relatively well - I still had issues with stuck sparges and MASSIVE amounts of break in the kettle. When we racked it into the fermenters, it looked like someone puked in our carboys. I assume it is still doing OK downstairs... it looks ugly as hell, but it is still bubbling every 5-10 seconds or so, so the yeast are still chewing on something... but again, I am nervous if that beer will come out OK.

Truth be told, I'm feeling a little shaken and off my game. I think for a while I'm going to hang up the wacky hat and get down to what I do best - browns, porters, and stouts - with a few hop monsters thrown in to shake things up. My brewing schedule for right now is looking like the following:

Lots of familiar recipes in there, along with one or two "experimental" batches, but even then the experimental batches are very tame. Note to self... contact ATF and find out what it takes to brew more than the 200gal limit in a year. I'll pay the taxes, dammit!!!

On another note, I've got about 9-10 pounds of whole-leaf hops headed my way from I ended picking up quite a haul of Amarillo, Columbus, Simcoe, and various other whole-leaf varieties that aren't available through our local shop, and for a very reasonable price. Freshops rocks! One of the more interesting varieties is a pound of Pacific Gem hops, which are supposed to be around 13-15%AA and have a blackberry character... Can't wait to brew up some porter or ESB with those things.

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