Friday, October 20th

beer nerdism

Listening to: dublab.com
Current mood: pre-caffinated

Ok... so it wasn't tomorrow... but a couple days later isn't too bad, eh? Have I ever mentioned how much I like not working on Fridays? I probably haven't, because working 4 days a week just because you don't feel like working 5 and somehow getting away with it is the type of thing that makes some people crazy. But it's great I tell you, and I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance. But enough of that, lest the torches and pitchforks be broken out.

So I promised the other day that I would talk all about my recent adventures in beer. It all started with a scuba tank and a 40,000 gallon vat of beer... No I'm kidding. Sorry, that's a terrible joke and I blame it entirely on being hopped up on sugar from the small bag of donuts I just ate for breakfast. But seriously, what did happen is I went to my very first Quaff meeting the other night. What's a Quaff you ask? Why, it's the Quality Ale and Fermemtation Fraternity. In other words, it's a homebrewers club, albeit one of the largest and most successful homebrewing clubs out there.

And actually, I had a really good time. Friends and readers of this blog will no doubt have noticed that I am never exactly at my best in large social situations, but everybody was really nice there and of course everybody was drinking, which takes the edge off considerably. But yeah, it was a really a lot of fun... they meet a brew pub up in Mira Mesa (the only drawback - that's kinda far) and people bring in their homebrew for everybody to taste (a few of them were exceptionally good too...), and there's a lecture on beer stuff (this week we had AleSmith founder Skip Virgilio talking about CO² pressure in draft systems), and people tell stories about recent trips to interesting places that involve beer. Basically it's just incredibly nerdy and fun. Which, I had never really given much thought to any kind of beer nerdism, but I tell you it is a nerdy nerdism, and it is great.

And in fact, I think I'm planning on joining, since dues are only $20 a year and include a 10% discount at the Home Brew Mart. Plus they do stuff like go on brewery tours and "pub crawls" and all kinds of fun stuff like that (apparently the last "pub crawl" included all the tasters you could taste at Stone, Lightning, Pizza Port, and AleSmith). And I think I can handle going to a meeting and drinking beer once a month.

Anyway, I promised to relate happenings, and the happenings have been related, so I'm off to enjoy my friday.

Matt on 10.20.06 @ 12:32 PM PST [link

Tuesday, October 17th

Brewblogue: The Unnamable

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: a little tired

(Based almost exactly on Scott Russell's Bitter Chocolate Imperial Stout from BYO Magazine)

It was everywhere - a gelatin - a slime yet it had shapes, a thousand shapes of horror beyond all memory. There were eyes - and a blemish. It was the pit - the maelstrom - the ultimate abomination. Carter, it was the unnamable!

- H.P. Lovecraft

Water: 7 gallons OB Tap Water
  • 4oz Black Malt
  • 4oz Chocolate Malt
  • 4oz Unmalted Roasted Barley

Extract: 7lb Munton's Dark DME
Yeast: 1 vial WLP002 English Ale Yeast
  • ~1.2oz 10.6%AA Target @ 60min
  • 1oz 4.5%AA Fuggle @ 15min

Etc: 2oz Ghiradelli Unsweetened Bakers Chocolate

OG: 1.072

Did the usual 90 minute boil. I upped the hopping a little from the original recipe... the wort tasted good, although I'm thinking I'll try it again when I rack it and maybe do a little dry hopping if it still needs some kick. I'm a little worried about the fermentation since I didn't have time to do a starter. I guess I can always throw in an extra vial of yeast if it gets stuck. I've had good luck with that so far though. The OG was right smack on, which I take as good sign.

I actually did this beer on sunday, but I didn't really have a chance to blog it until now. I've also had a heck of a time coming up with a decent name for it. I was thinking of stuff in Russian but nothing really seemed to stick. Thus... the Unnamable. What can I say, it's hard not to automatically think of Lovecraft references when trying to come up with names for a stout. Which just made me think of the best beer name ever, although for a brown ale obviously: Jenkins, Brown. No, you can't have that. It's mine. Unless I just heard it somewhere and forgot then thought I made it up just now. But still.

Anyway, I've had more beer adventures and the like, but I'm kinda tired and I'd rather read for awhile than post anymore right now. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Matt on 10.17.06 @ 11:50 PM PST [link