Me vs Technology

I hate to say it, but technology is probably winning. 

This post was meant to go up yesterday. What happened? My internet went down and I’ve had enough troubles with it that I just couldn’t generate the energy to fix it. Easy enough to deal with once I’d slept for eight hours, but by then it’s Thursday.

Plus, I’ve discovered that my camera wasn’t broken, as I’d previously thought. The battery just went dead. I stumbled upon this fact when I was clearing some wires behind the computer, and found out that the charging stand for my camera wasn’t plugged in. Considering the electrical cord going from the stand to the outlet can separate into two parts, my overlooking the disconnect is understandable. Still, it’s like wondering why your frigging car won’t start only to have someone come up to you and tell you ‘there’s no gas in it’.

The bad news: I look a bit foolish. The good news: this blog will soon have more photos again! 

In beer related news, I’ve been drinking a Chiswick mild clone I made earlier this year. I first made this beer last year, on National Homebrewer’s Day. The suggestion was that we would brew the Chiswick mild because it was Michael Jackson’s favorite brew. MJ the beer writer, not the pop star. 

And the beer came out really well! So well that I thought I should do it again. With summer coming, I thought that now would be the time, as this beer is really good during the hot weather. Portland hasn’t given me a lot of reason to drink it, but the beer is still tasty. I’m proud to say  that once again my Chiswick mild has come out to be a very tasty brew. Recipe follows:

Steeping malts:
.35 lb Caramel 120
 .25 lb ESB Domestic

Other malts:
6 lb Pale liquid malt extract

.6 oz  Sorachi Ace @ 60
.5 oz Mt Rainer @ 15
.5 oz Sterling @15
3/4 tsp Irish Moss @5

Secondary hops:
.75 oz Sterling

I transferred this beer to secondary after eight days, and bottled it twenty five days later. The OG was 1.048, the FG was 1.108. This gave me a beer that was 3.87 ABV according to the beer calculator.

52 Weeks 34: Amnesia Sleigh Jerker

Check it out: it’s a winter beer. In July. You can see the reflection of the table of patrons on my right in the glass. That’s dark, kids.

Geoff tells me that it’s a theme for the month: Christmas in July. Says it’s being done to get everyone ready for the 2nd anniversary party on August 1st. 

Excellent, because this beer is friggin’ liquid awesome. Like drinking brown sugar touched with bourbon and a hint of pine. I realize that doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s practically the heart of winter beers as I think of them. Or add nutmeg, and you’ve got it. Along with neon peach light from the street illuminating Bailey’s, black as sin nights and the city shiny as a Ridley Scott vision from the rain, winter is now here. I even put my jacket on from the chill. 

The bar reflects winter tonight; large groups crowding around tables, getting louder and more amused as though they were hiding out just a little longer, to avoid the chill outside. They’re waiting for the night to come, and if it won’t then they’ll just flip the sun off and pretend it isn’t there. 

I think I’ll be drinking these winter beers for the next four weeks. I know, the sacrifices I have to make. 

I don’t miss winter. It’s the only time of year I give myself permission to complain about the weather. I chill easily, and my hands ache when that happens. I wear gloves in October in the mornings (the only person on the bus with such accessories) just to avoid the pain. Winter seems to be a long, long season in Portland, coming from Spokane where the winters are colder but they don’t last as long. Here they stretch out like a bad sock.  

At the same time, I love winter. Friends come to visit, or I visit them. There is a communal huddling that happens which brings everything good and bad out. In my case, the good often outweighs the bad, which I attribute to awesome people around me. It’s dark. The trees are stark and beautiful, or evergreen and defiant. I can go walking at night with thoughts that should only be called my own, and the night wraps them up, delivers them to the moon who says, ‘It’s ok. I understand.’

As it’s still daylight, I’ll take the darkness of my pint.

Might have to try this

There’s a beer haiku contest.

Also, a cheap summer beer taste test. For those of you suffering in the heat, maybe a cheap beer made from the times when we didn’t know any better will help.

Finally, a list of events during Oregon Craft Beer Month-which is now!

Bonus section: the beer that I wasn’t meant to brew has been bottled. The OG (Original Gravity) on that beer was 1.062, the FG (Final Gravity) was 1.02. That puts the beer at about 5.44% alcohol by volume. I had a sip of the dregs and it tasted more acrid than usual on the back end. However, I know that’s not the best barometer of the quality of a beer. A couple weeks in the bottle and who knows? It may yet be drinkable.

And on a personal note– there were 190 people looking at this blog around Monday. I don’t know who you are, but thanks for visiting.

Oakshire Imperial IPA (or, it’s hard to drink outside)

The wind is taking away the nose of this beer. Unfortunate, because it’s really, really bitter and there ought to be some real strong hop aroma from this beer. Oakshire’s IPA has a pine resin flavor, which coats the mouth and seems to compound the bitter flavors with every drink.

So I really wish there was something to smell to help enhance the beer. But I don’t object to the beer; it’s tasty. I object to the outside.  

I have to say, I like what’s become of the Green Dragon. The outdoor seats are spread far enough apart that it’s easy to navigate, with room to stand around if you want. There’s even a version of horseshoes to play out here, tho’ with rubber rings to make damage to humans less likely. The beer prices have become more reasonable, which is a huge plus. Still pricey, but not ‘Are you kidding me?’ pricey.  

Although I just stumbled on the beer and blog event, I was able to make it work. I met people, and they were nice and wanted to tell me about what they did. I think I might attend again, when the opportunity presents.