52 Weeks 14: Hale’s Cerberus Triple

I’m a sucker for anything with a mythological name involved. Fortunately for me, in the world of beer this kind of dependency is rewarded: Ninkasi, Elysium, and now the Cerberus tripel. There’s a chewiness to this beer, especially on the backwash. It lingers, an almost syrupy bitterness to wage a battle on the tongue against the Belgian sweetness of the style. 

I enjoy this beer, but it’s got a slickness to it and an alcohol warmth that shows up in my belly and warns me; only drink one of these.

So I’ll  probably be moving on to the next beer after this. It just feels wise. 

It’s President’s Day, but this seems only to matter to bankers and lawyers. I’m not sure that this holiday is helping endear them to the rest of the nation, these days. Everyone else I know worked, so maybe it’s a more accurate reflection than we’d like to admit? 

Food for thought, I guess. I claim no special knowledge when it comes to America; I just live here and try and see the country for what it is, and what I hope it can be.  There are days when I am awestruck by the utter support for what is possible here, and days when I am shamed by our willingness to discard that which we do not understand. 

Hm. I’m getting the feeling that I ought to stop here. I’ll start saying things without actually saying anything, because I don’t want to shove my political or social views on anyone, or I’ll just turn into a hardass about what I do say. I mean yes, this is my blog and I can say what I like but I would like to stay on topic. It’s the principle of the thing.

That said; these posts don’t have topics per se, so maybe I ought to loosen up?


Recycled beer (but not the obvious kind)

I just find it really cool that people are finding ways to reuse beer waste product to make more food

This post also inspired me to make a news category. I guess my interests in beer go beyond just what I drink and make in Portland. Plus, stories like this remind me to try and minimize my own impact on the environment when I brew. It takes a lot of water to make beer, and there’s always used grains, hops, and wort detritus that has to be dealt with. I try and minimize my own water use, and reuse or recycle my other materials when I brew, but on a larger scale things become much more difficult to handle. I like it when smart people come up with interesting solutions to these kinds of problems.


One benefit of unemployment

I can make some crazy sandwiches for lunch.

In the right hand is a mozzarella-bacon-chicken-sun dried tomato sandwich. In the left is a ginger stout that I made. In between learning more CSS and listening to Ice-T, I need some serious food. Since I don’t have to pack for travel, I can get creative with my meals. 

And of course, there’s beer. I’m really liking my ginger stout. The ginger isn’t too up front, but it does linger for a long time. It’s like a house guest that you’re really OK with hanging out for a little while. The chocolate elements of the beer keep the ginger from becoming overwhelming, and as you can see; this beer actually has a bit of a head on it, and that’s been true for most of the beers I’ve opened from this batch. Which is great!

I’m starting to wonder if I need to add yeast to the bottling process, or just really need to give those new bottles a solid two weeks before opening one. A little bit more time than I usually give does seem to help the beer taste better. If there’s one critique of this stout it’s that the mouthfeel is a little light, so maybe adding yeast to this beer wasn’t a good idea.


52 Weeks 13: New Belgium Dunkelweiss

A few weeks back, my buddy Jim, who’ll be joining me in about thirty minutes, said that he liked the 52 Weeks idea, but was wondering; What was my plan for this?

And I didn’t know. But from that point on I thought I ought to try and engage in some manner. Not in a deep way, but to set to this with purpose. What purpose, I didn’t know.

Even now I can’t say I know.

But when I walked into Bailey’s tonight, a greeting from the bartender, a selection of a beer, and then a quick trip to the bathroom brought me the sight of someone sitting at a table with another person, their laptop open to Facebook, yet a conversation happening at the table. 

And I immediately passed some kind of judgment over these people. Because I don’t understand why someone has their laptop open to a social networking site when there is someone right in front of them to be social with. However, I don’t know the score. In the modern age, I casually accept the polite use of cellphones during conversations I have with people. I actually don’t mind this, so long as the conversation is either brief or very important. 

So who am I to say that these people aren’t interacting on exactly the level they want to be? Even so, someone having a laptop open to relate to people socially when someone is there to talk to seems rude. 

I sit here and I write alone-but when someone speaks to me I completely ignore the machine so I can talk to them.  

It was at this point that I realized what I’m doing with these posts; I’m having a conversation with You. The other posts I’m describing in very concrete ways, my experience either with homebrewing or the beer someone else has brewed, and occasionally the environment I’m in as a good or bad place to have a pint. 

(Which reminds me, I ought to do a little more of that.)

But with these posts I realize that in a way I’m talking to you. I realize most of my readers aren’t talking back–but that’s not the point. This is a conversation, even if it is one-sided and the more that I think about it, the more I realize that these posts especially feel a lot like my speaking style-with about fifty percent less swearing. 

So I guess what I’d like to do is encourage any comments. Not because I need them; as a writer I’m compelled to write. To not write would be a violation of my nature. However, for a little while I’m drinking a beer-a very tasty one with a banana flambe flavor-with You, whomever you are. 

I’m not sure I can write in such a way to encourage comments. Perhaps that will be my goal.


What can’t beer do?

I found out about this via Salon, but according to this story from the Sacramento Business Journal, Sierra Nevada is going to sell discarded yeast to help E-Fuel make ethanol. 

How cool is that?

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but it’s been a busy day.


Demon Alcohol (3): I have bottled.

Hm. I may’ve put too much information in the headline here. 

But over a month after putting that beer into secondary, and then into a 3rd carboy so I could get at the hops to make the pale ale, I have finally bottled the Demon Alcohol. The floral nose from the Zeus hops was diminished, but it was still there. I tasted just a little bit of the beer and it’s fairly malty-sweet, which is how I brewed it but I won’t know if the dry hopping helps tame those flavors for at least another week. I’m concerned that the beer will taste cloying if the dry hopping doesn’t bring anything to the table.  

One good thing is that I finally remembered to get a container so I could easily take gravity readings of my beer. You might not think it’s too hard to get a long plastic tube, but apparently I’m very bad at acquiring one. So; the Original Gravity of Demon was about 1.012 and the Terminal Gravity is 1.052. Using the Brewers Calculator (and it’s times like this that I LOVE the internet), that gives me a Final Gravity of about 1.045, and a alcohol by volume percentage of about 4.94. I say ‘about’ even though I’m running it through a calculator, because my initial readings may not have been precise. 

Still, I think I’m on the right track here and knowing more about the beer is always a good thing. I’m going to move a bottle of this upstairs so it can bottle ferment in a warmer area. At about 60 degrees F my basement is a little too cold for an ale to finish off properly.


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