Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Best Thing About Fall is.... BEER

All of you who know me know that beer is pretty much my religion. I love to drink it, brew it, think about it, and sometimes blog about it.

Drinking your own tasty beer is fantastic. Getting to the end of summer, when you haven't brewed in 3-4 months, and are running out of it is always a time of concern. But, the weather has been cooling off a bit, so the nesting instinct is kicking in again, and I feel like lining my nest with BEER.

Last thing I brewed was an Oatmeal Stout - it was a little weird for the first few weeks, with an almost soy aroma and initial taste, but that cleared up after a few more weeks in the bottle. The Stout and some of the fruit flavored beers (Apricot Bitter and Cherry Amber) are most of what I have left, other than the ill fated Peach Ginger Mead. Finally found some people who don't gag and run to spit it out when they taste it - Bret from across the street, who said it was better than the Apricot Bitter, and Rita and Richard, Rita is one of Nava's painting friends, who said it was like dessert beer, and went home with 3 bottles of it in appreciation!

Even I'm not that fond of drinking it. And worse, from what I know, it's the only alcohol that my brother James has ever (a) refused to drink more of, and (b) spat out the mouth-full he had. This from a guy who asked the Budwiser tour guide if they were just going to throw out the sample of skunked beer if he could finish it.

So - what's next? I've been thinking of doing a Belgian Blonde, but those are higher gravity beers, and should get 4-6 months aging before they're "at their best", so I don't want to do that first, and then have to restrain myself. Maybe I'll do just a new American Pale Ale, with lots of hops. Well, lots of hops for an extract brewer who only boils 2.5 gallons (limits how much bitterness the wort will get from the hops before it's saturated). Pretty simple recipe, not high gravity, so ferments pretty easy and is ready to drink in just 3-4 weeks.

Back to the Belgian Blonde - I tried to find a "clone" recipe for Leffe Blonde. Had some in France, it was quite tasty. Only problem is (a) no good homebrew store by me, which makes it difficult to get small quantities of specialty grains, (b) the one Leffe clone beer ingredient kit on the web says it's not so close, and (c) my normal online supplier ( Northern Brewer) only sells specialty grains by the pound, so if you need 1/8th to 1/4th of five different grains, you get left with a bunch of extra that will probably be stale before you use them.

I think I'll just order the NB's Belgian Strong Golden Ale after I do the TongueSplitter, and maybe stop by the local store (FermentationFrenzy) to see if their stock has improved while I pick up some more bottles.

PS Despite what CherkyB thinks, brewing with extract isn't "making beer tea". Of course, (a) he's got an opinion on everything, (b) he makes stuff up to irritate people, and (c) hasn't brewed in years, and probably won't, now that he has a new riding lawn mower!


CherkyB said...

Making beer from concentrate, you fool. Not beer tea. Try to keep up.

CherkyB said...

So, after MustachioP assured me there was no difference between grocery store beer and liquor store beer in Colorado, I loaded up on grocery store beer. I guzzled it like it was lemonade and failed to notice. So I double-checked. El Toro assures me it's 3.2% beer. One brand even says it on the bottle.

I feel like I've been cheated out of my beer drinking plesure for the last two weeks.

I also feel like this blog here is headed the same direction as Spanky's, meaning it's soon to be abandoned. I think if you post more, the ad revenue kicks in faster.

CherkyB said...

Am I your only reader?