Tag Archives: Beer

Dissapointment Brown

I’ve got a keg full of brown ale. And it’s ok. But not great. I had high-ish hopes for this batch, but honestly, it tastes a whole lot like the red ale I made before. Heck, for that matter, it looks pretty similar, too. It’s got the same thin mouth feel, and occasionally, I get a whiff of wort (mostly the wet barley part) from my glass.

Of course, I did learn a little somethin’ somethin’ from this batch: The Brewer’s Best kits are pretty much crap. I mean, I kind of suspected, but this is just icing on the cake. And now I’ve got a keg full of the stuff, that I’m gonna have to suck down. *sigh* The things I do for my beer…

Of course, it’s not all bad new on the brew front: I also have a carboy of IPA made from a Northern Brewer kit that I’m really looking forward to. It’s sitting in the basement at about 55 degrees, (hopefully) clarifying and gaining a little character for the glass.

I’m thinking, though, that it’s time to move away from kits on to partial — or even full! — mash brews that I can control completely. Look out beerville; here I come!

Household of drinkers

Yeah, that’s us, alright. Here at Casa del Beest, we take our drinkin’ seriously. It’s Sunday morning, and we’ve got two kinds of tea (one a chai-style thingie made from “scratch” — no, I didn’t go out and pick tasty looking twigs…) and some orange juice on tap. Friday evening, The Boy and I racked five gallons of brown ale into secondary fermentation. Pretty much anytime, any day, we’re up for a good cup of coffee. Perhaps the two biggest signs of how into our cups we are:

  1. The taste of the water can make it or break it (we prefer “wet” with no discernable gas, mineral, or other contaminents), and has occasionally resulted in raised voices
  2. The Boy has never met a cup/glass/bottle of something he didn’t like, especially if it comes in a combo like milk-root beer-ginger beer-coffee-milk-regular beer.

Update, part II

Well, The Boy has only peed on the floor three times this afternoon. Of course, he’s also peed on the couch three times. Let’s hear it for the first day of potty training! He’s getting better, though. He made it to his potty once, and once, when I asked him, “Do you need to pee?” the answer was yes. Definitively. We even almost made it to the potty. 😉

Boyz

The Boy and Number Two are doing well. The Boy is full of energy, bouncing, dancing, and spinning around the house, helping me brew, and yes, peeing on the floor. Number Two is full of smiles for everyone but me, apparently, though just today, I finally got him to smile by singing some goofy made-up blues variant. He (Number Two) is also holding his head up by himself for a minute or two at a crack, not to mention getting more and more interested in looking around.

Beer

I made a Northern Brewer IPA kit yesterday, and all went really well, except that I killed my yeast before I even pitched it. Yeah, I left it in the car in freezing temperatures. But only for a couple weeks. *sigh* I ran into the local BPC, grabbed a packet of ale yeast, and pitched that this afternoon. We’ll see what happens. And in the meantime, I’ve got my drink on with the help of a 750mL Rare Vos Belgian-style amber ale. Yummy, fizzy, and fruity. Thanks Ellen & Steve!

Bread

After almost a whole year with nothing in the house but homemade and bakery bread, I have a couple of observations:

  1. Store-bought bread is invariably crappy, spongy, flavorless nothing
  2. The Wife still hasn’t learned how to make a straight cut in a fresh loaf 😉

As you were.

Update #20080320

I’ve been a busy boy for a while, but have a little down time, so I figured I’d bring you all up to date. I know: “oooooooooh,” right?

Balls

Anyway, my balls are damn near healed, and that’s a good thing. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, I was kidding when I was talking about putting pics on the ‘net. Unless I get paid better than I currently am. 😉

Brew

Picking brewing up again has been really nice as far as hobbies go. As far as I’m concerned, it’s *totally tits* to have a keg of brew in the basement. I’ve even helped The Boy refine his pouring technique (his main problems were that he didn’t hold the tap all the way open, then didn’t close it soon enough; heh). In fact, having a keg in the basement might be a little *too* tits, if that’s possible. My friends and I (but mostly me) have swilled almost the whole thing in a month. And of course that puts me in an awkward predicament: I don’t have enough homebrew to last until the next batch (an IPA which I’m going to try to make tomorrow with The Boy and my dad) is ready. Fortunately, the Beer Drawer is full. Whew — that was close!

Build

Work has been good. I’ve been charging forward with implementing the MODx content management system in a few different contexts: some development work I’m doing for a designer friend, a couple sites I’ve designed and built on my own, and at the county.

Getting the CMS rolling has been cool. I’ve learned (so far) a little about how PHP and MySQL play with each other. The great thing about all this work lately, though, is that my css and xhtml chops have really gotten blasted into shape. So much so, in fact, that I’m working on a plan to open a small shop to do build sites that look great, work flawlessly, and have fab code. It’ll be a side thing because I can’t give up the great benefits that come with being a county employee, but hopefully, it’ll make the difference between qualifying for food stamps (which this branch of Clan Van Beest currently does) and being able to go to The Beach.

Well, The Wife and The Boyz just rolled in, so I’ll continue my update later. As you were.

Beer Here

Hooray! Hooray! There’s Beer in the house again.

Sure, there’s the normal micro/regional brews in the beer drawer in the bottom of the fridge (yet another benefit of living with a vegetarian: a used-to-be-empty cold-storage for brew), but as of my birthday, there’s also made-it-myself Beer in situ.

In the middle of the day on my birthday last week, while I was washing some dishes, I turned to The Wife and exclaimed, “I know what I want for my birthday: a homebrew kit!”

“That’s funny,” she replied with a grin, “that’s what I was thinking of getting you.”

A couple days later, we went over to the scummy, nasty little BPC* store that just happens to have an expansive selection of homebrew equipment, and I picked out a box full of equipment and a red ale kit.

Now for those of you who don’t know, I started brewing when I was 17, after a visit to UC-Boulder, during which I spent the night at a friend’s house and helped him and his roomie bottle a batch of brew. I also had one to drink, and I think it pretty much kicked my ass. Anyway, the next morning, I announced to my parents that I was going to start brewing, too. Like all good parents, they made appreciative noises, nodded their heads, and probably hoped I’d forget about it somewhere in the middle of Nebraska on the drive home.

No such luck. The first week back from that trip, I went to the closest brew store (a 45-minute drive away), dropped about $120 on equipment and a kit, came home and proceeded to make stout. Which tasted a lot like warm, flat soy sauce before it got bottle conditioned. A couple weeks later, it tasted like cold, barely-carbonated soy sauce. But I drank all 52 bottles. I mean, really, I had to; it was a matter of saving face.

I don’t remember making beer between then and when I left for college, but I certainly remember hauling all my brewing paraphernalia to school, and I made a “kitchen sink” batch in which I used up all my bits and bobs of ingrediants, plus a little crystal malt and a bunch of Cascades hops. I did my boil in the kitchen of another dorm so I’d stink up that rez hall, and I fermented the brew under my desk in my dorm room. After I bottled, I made a batch of root beer and cream soda so I had a good reason to get the RA to help me haul a bunch of cases of full beer bottles into the storage room. That was the best batch of beer I’ve made to-date, and of course, I have no records of what I did. *sigh*

After brewing a few more times in college, I figured that hauling around my brewing stuff was too much work, so I gave it all to a friend who put it to good use. That was 12 years ago.

Now I’m back! And oddly enough, the batch that I just racked into secondary fermentation seemed a whole lot easier to make than I remember. It was easier to do, easier to clean up from, and hopefully, it’ll be nice and easy to drink. So far, so good, but I’ll report back on it when it comes out of the bottle for the first time in about three or four weeks.

*Beer, Porn, and Chips