Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

As the end of August approaches, it seams as though the dog days of summer will never end.  Here in Houston i think we have demolished a record for consecutive tripple digit temperature days.  It has been a long time since I've posted any news on here, so I guess its time to catch you up.  Although, with the hot days, brewing has been brutal this summer and I have only done 5 brews since May.

Those 5 brews have been all-grain brews thanks to my friend Paul.  He made me a mash tun for my birthday and I waved goodbye to extract brewing.  My first attempt was supposed to be an american amber ale to try to create an all grain version of my first beer I brewed.  Well, i knew even as I was milling the ingredients that the recipie I had in my hand was not the recipie I had intended to make.  I went along with the instructions that I recieved from Defalco's and all I could do was Pray It Came Out.  Thus was born the PICO pale ale. 

An attempt at a centenial blonde was my second brew of the summer. I tried to do a little experiementing with the hops.  I used some different varieties than what the recipies called for.  Fast foward 3 weeks...the beer is still very young, but even now I can tell there is something off.  I'm not sure if it was my choice of hops for such a light beer, or if my high fermentation temps were to blame, but the blonde had very distinct esters present in the flavor.  It is drinkable, but only just.

After that debocle, I really had my heart set on doing something special.  I had an idea...dangerous, I know...but I wanted to know what would happen if I took a recipie originally intended for a stout or porter and hopped the hell out of it like an IPA.  I searched and searched and eventually found a recipie I wanted to
try, if for nothing else, the name.  The recipie was for the Darth Vader IPA.  I'm going to skip right to the point that I played with the recipie a little, brewed it, and it is mine, and several other of my brewing counterparts favorites now.  I actually like it enough that I want to dedicate a post just to it, so i'll save that for next time.

And finally, I was sitting around, SWMBO was out with her friends and I picked up some bombers at the store.  Stuff I'd never heard of...even though I should have.  I picked up a bottle of Bear Republic's Red Rocket Ale.  I instantly loved it and right then and there decided to do a nice big heavy red ale.  The funny thing is, even though my brew came in a bit watered down from what the recipie was intended to be, it was still a pretty big beer with a ton of flavor. 

That is the story of how I spent my summer filling my kegerator with my own beer.  It really needs to cool down so that I can get back to a regular brew schedule. 

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