Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Beginnings...

It is the start of a new year!  It has been 4 or 5 months since I last posted to this blog, but as usual I will play a bit of catch-up.  I haven't made too many beers in the last few months, and there are many excuses (temporary alcoholic psycho roommate, seasonal job loading trucks/helping deliver packages at UPS, spending as little money as possible, etc).  I have been a part of a couple of brews a friend made (in as far as it was mostly brewed on my equipment and I have been drinking a lot of the end-product).  At the start of this month I did make one beer that would be normal to any one else. 

This beer has been dubbed "Moving Day Dark Ale" (or MDDA) and is exactly that.  I assembled enough ingredients from the left-overs on my shelves and had a go at a 6.5%ish stoutish porterish kinda thing.  This was about as far as the knowledge of the ingredients goes as well.  I learned I need to do a better job labeling.  MDDA likely has about 1.5 pounds of flaked oats, half a pound of black patent, half a pound of chocolate malt, and a total of two pounds of various crystal malts, biscuit, special B, maris otter, and a few others.  All this was supplemented by a few pounds of dried malt extract, which was half light, a quarter amber, and a quarter dark.  The only ingredients I had to buy were a couple of ounces of willamette hops and a pack of yeast.  I procrastinated a bit on bottling and instead filled my keg.  There isn't room for a keg in our fridge so instead it goes outside on cold nights for its momentary enjoyment. 

The reason for this supply eater of a beer was to make a move a little easier.  The same goes for the use of a keg instead of bottles... It is much easier to move one 5 gal keg than a bunch of bottles not to mention the keg can get rolled around in the back of a moving truck.

New Orleans has been a wonderful city.  I found myself planning my beers out more than ever while living there.  In part this is due to the insanely hot summer days.  It is a real challenge to find a cool spot in an old shotgun style house when it is 100+ degrees outside.  The city has a lot going for it.  With NOLA Brewing, Avenue Pub, and all the start-ups that are likely to pop up in the coming year, it will be a great destination for brewers and enthusiasts alike to visit.  There is a great thing about New Orleans and its people; everything is done with just a bit more flare.  I can't wait to try out a recipe for a Cajun IPA or Creole Triple.

That said, where did I move? AUSTIN, TEXAS! well, Round Rock, but it is pretty much AUSTIN!

I have returned to a city where beer is held in high regard.  The homebrew stores are bigger as are the beers.  There are a lot of micro-breweries and brewpubs.  There are stores for beer, wine, and spirits bigger than my old high school's gym.  It is a great place to learn more, and I really hope to use it as such.  I am making an effort to make more beers here.  Not just more beers, but also to fine-tune a few of my favorites and enter more competitions.  Also, after I figure out what my work schedule will be like, I will join a local homebrew club to learn from its members and meet some fellow brewers.  I am quite excited to get going here.

I have the ingredients for my first beer to be made in my new home.  Its is a Rogue Brutal Bitter kit with a few hop substitutes and improvements.  I will be able to do it as soon as I locate the rest of my brewing supplies currently still in boxes.  Pictures of everything will be added in a few days after I figure out where things are and muster up some will-power to unpack more.  Until then, have a good one. 

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