Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rumcake and the brown ale

I bottled the Rumcake Ale last weekend. Yes, "Bottle". What a pain in the ass. I started about 6:30 and finished at about 9. I'd forgotten what a lot of work bottling is. Wash bottles, sanitize bottles, drain bottles, clean bottling bucket, sanitize bottling bucket, sanitize caps, sanitize siphon. Arg! If I did the math right (I've got a masters degree in math, but I can still screw up simple arithmetic, so I may have made a mistake here (5 gallons = 5 x 128 oz = 500 + 5 x 28 = 500 + 100 + 40 = 640 / 22 = 2 x 10 + 200 / 22 = 20 + 9 point something = 29, I did that in my head)), I should have got 29 22oz bottles out of 5 gallons. I got 23. I lost 6 x 22 = 132 ounces (I did that in my head too -- 6 x 20 = 120 + 6 x 2 = 132) which is over a gallon lost somewhere. Well, I can account for about a pint, since I'm drinking that. On the other hand, that is a quite joyous pint! When I racked this from primary to secondary, I thought the hydrometer sample tasted odd. I'm looking at boxes, and that 23rd bottle is in jeopardy, 22 bottles fit nicely in available boxes. On the other hand, the first pint has toasted me quite nicely, another 22 oz might be dangerous. I think I'll go for it.

The Rumcake is tasty now, so I expect it'll be tastier later. I put the brown ale on tap 2 days ago. It's brown. It's cloudy. It's beer. It's strange. I'll drink it anyway. It's definitely a session beer, but it really needs to sit a little longer than 2 days to be good. I expect that in a week or so, it'll clear up and be a nice, quaffable, after work drink 3 or 4 sort of beer.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My wife is the best

Money has been a little tight lately, I'll just blame it on the economy for now. My wife was feeling pretty good today, it's been just over a week since her last chemo, so we went out to do some Christmas shopping. We don't keep a lot of secrets from each other, so her idea was to drive out to Deb's and buy some homebrew supplies for me for Christmas. I'm just about out of everything, but I showed some restraint and didn't spend too much. A bag of Great Western 2-row, 5 lbs of Crystal 60, a couple of pound of chocolate malt, and a new packet of yeast. (duh, 1272, what else?) I haven't brewed yet, but am planning to this next weekend. I've actually got everything to make Panama Red, including the right hops. I'd traded Steve P some homegrown Cascade for some Nugget, and he brought the Nugget to the club Christmas party. So I've got all the right grain, the right hops, and the right yeast. Should be good!