Lunchtime beer 2, the beering

I am full of fail today. Today being a period of time going back at least 24 hours. That was when I took my first salsa dance class, and if anything is true in this life it is this:

I do not have a body made to dance. It is angular, and has no flow to it. Dancing is all about flow. My hips do not turn, my shoulders are not loose; I am not meant to dance.  There was 60 mintues of me not remembering how to count to four, how to pivot on my feet, having less and less fun while others seemed to be having more and more, as though it was being siphoned from me.

The first day of class always sucks hippo balls.

This is what I ponder drinking Rock Bottom‘s Kolsch “55”, made for Oregon Craft Brew month.  It’s got a faint lemon zest nose, a clear golden tone, and finishes cleaner than a shiny new car waxed by a 16 year old. The flavors are mild, sweetly maltly, not a hint of bitterness here. It’s quite tasty but now I want to try the Swan Island lager, just so I can expand on the differences.

I do not have time for this. Work calls. I have a meeting at 3:30. I have to enjoy this beer while I can, even though I am dispairing at my dancing skills. And having to go to the meeting, if I must be honest.

Before I leave, a waitress asks her coworkers about breakfast places downtown. I consider suggesting a place, but I can’t remember the name, and feel weird about intruding on their conversation. I just pay my tab, put my shades on and leave. I’ll have to try the lager tomorrow.

Tarts

Bridgeport’s Stumptown Tart-in addition to having a wonderful name-is made with marionberries and aged in pinot noir barrels. Tells me so right on the bottle, which is always nice. I’m bad at guessing what is in some of the beers I get, and with the explosion of varieties and chances the breweries take these days, I’ll take all the help I can. It’s also yummy.

I realize there is a trend going against my general hatred of fruit beers, but perhaps what I’m learning what the exceptions are. Those exceptions involve beers made from puckering berries; peaches, you’re out. Or perhaps in this case it’s the pinot noir barrels blunting the sweetness of the marionberries. I just don’t know-but the ale part of this beer is definitely taking a back seat to the tartness of this beer. Then a dryness kicks in at the end, possibly brought on by the wine aging, and I’m wondering how this isn’t a flat out lambic.

And I’d recommend chocolate with this beer.  Nothing too sweet as the contrast might be too much, but some semi-sweet chocolate…mmm. I found that to be wonderful.

Old Churches 3, Secondary

I put the Old Churches wort into secondary yesterday:


Beers get put into secondary fermentation for a few reasons, but the biggest one is to remove the wort from the dead yeast and other detritus that has dropped out of the beer, so the flavors from that don’t get into the beer. It also makes for a brighter, clearer beer visually, because when I go to bottle a lot of the debris that might’ve mixed in with the beer won’t be there.

I also added one ounce of UK Kent Golding hops. (They’re the little green  bricks you see in the lower right of the brew.) The scent on this was really, really unusual; almost candy sweet. No trace of bitterness in this beer. I’m thinking I’ll leave it in secondary for as long as I can. The beer is still brewing-or at least, the yeast is till working. If it spends another 3 weeks in secondary, I think I’m ok with that. My gut tells me this beer is a ways from being done.

Update: the fermentation has slowed pretty significantly, even after a day away. I wonder if it was wise to put this beer into secondary while it was still had obvious signs of life. Patience is often the virtue of the brewer, and I may not have been very virtuous. I fear not, however! It still smells good, and that’s a hell of a lot better than it smelling bad.

Breakdowns

The car refused to start. It’s 4:30 in the afternoon; 87 degrees with 47% humidity, and my car won’t start. I can see my plans for going to the homebrew store going out the window. Fortunately a payphone is nearby and I have AAA, so I call and am told that someone will be by to jumpstart the car by 5:30.

Well, shit. If I have to wait an hour in this weather, let’s get a beer. Fortunately for me there’s a store nearby, so I go in and buy a Deschutes Hop Henge 22oz, and sit on East Burnside, waiting for the tow truck driver. I’ve found a rare shady respite on the busy street, and hopefully between that and this beer I’ll be cool while I wait. I sit on the curb, and watch the traffic go by; no less than three police cars drive past, and I have an irrational fear of being hassled by them strike me. On one hand it would make for a much better story. On the other; who needs to be given grief by the police on a hot day when the car has broken down?

Hop Henge is quite hoppy of course, but it is cold and tastes good. Sweat is trickling down the side of my nose, starting at the bridge where my sunglasses rest. I feel a bit trashy, but at the same time I feel like; fuck it, I’m making the best of a bad situation, right? It’s hot, I can’t go anywhere or do anything for an hour; let’s have a fucking beer.