Saturday, February 9th

Brewblogue: Bad Fortnight

Listening to: La Roux
Current mood: cheerful

Style: American Stout w/subtle smoke addition
Water: Filtered San Diego tap
  • 12.5lbs Domestic 2-row
  • 1lb Rauchmalt
  • 1lb Roast Barley
  • 0.75lb Crystal 40
  • 0.75lb Chocolate malt

Yeast: WLP001 - California Ale
  • 1.5oz Summit 15% @ 60min
  • 2oz Cascade flowers @ 5min

Mashed at 154 for 60 minutes. Boiled 70 minutes.

OG: around 1.068

(Actually brewed yesterday, 2013/02/08)

So I'm having a hard wrapping my head around the fact that I apparently hadn't brewed for almost two years. I mean, I know that time runs away from me really easily these days, but I was firmly, firmly of the belief that I had last brewed last March. Not the March before last. I guess I at least made a cider at some point last year (which was quite good!) but wow, I really thought the barleywine (Old Snakey) was about a year old. As an aside, the Old Snakey never carbonated but in the last few month has become a quite enjoyable beverage. And I still have at least half of it left!

Anyway, on to this beer. The main reason for brewing it, other than the fact that I apparently hadn't brewed in two years, and that it's the time of year when I can brew without having to worry about my lack of temperature control, was that my friend Pat was interested in learning a bit about the brewing method. And of course, it's much easier for someone to see how to brew than read or be told about it, so we decided to just make a batch.

The choice of an American Stout was somewhat of compromise, I had been intending to make something ultra-drinkable (as I said I still have at least a couple gallons of barleywine sitting around) and Pat wanted something "dark and chewy", so I figured this would fit the bill pretty well. As for the addition of the rauchmalt, Pat and I both dig smoky stuff and a pound should add just a nice hint to finished beer, and I think complement the roastiness rather well.

Everything actually went pretty darn smoothly for this brew session - I guess even after two years off I've still got the touch (cue "You never had the touch!"). We hit all our numbers pretty much perfectly, though we ended up with quite a bit more wort in the kettle than I had initially expected (a little too much strike water I think). Because of the increased boil volume, I added about .2oz more bittering hops than the recipe initially called for and I'm hoping it will still end up nicely balanced. Of course, if it lands on the overly hoppy side, well, THIS IS SAN DIEGO. Which is to say, no one will notice.The gravity also ended up a couple points below what was predicted, but since I was aiming for something drinkable, that don't make me no nevermind.

Lastly, regarding the name, Lynnea and I have pretty much just come out of a bad couple weeks. There were fender benders, subsequent insurance problems, work-related stress, and a general pervading sense of ennui (seasonal affective disorder?). But actually, today I'm feeling pretty good, so maybe the beer exorcised the bad fortnight?

Regarding updates to the website and such, they're still pending. I've actually got a decent start made on it, and I've been working on the design aspects, but it's tough to come home and make myself work on html/css/javascript/graphic design when I already spend all day at work doing it. Still, with luck I'll get off my ass and have the new site design up within a month or two. Yeah yeah, famous last words.
Matt on 02.09.13 @ 01:14 PM PST [link]  [No Comments]