I remember sitting at the homebrew bloggers panel at Homebrew Con in 2016, and someone asked the question about what turns you off from a blog. One of the panelists said “seeing the first post is an apology for not updating for a while.” So in that vein: no apologies for you, suckers!
I’d plugged away at a couple of updates over the past six months, but I either abandoned them due to lack of time or lack of coherent thought. I know, the latter never stopped me before. Not to go too far down the rabbit hole, but there’s been a confluence of factors that contributed to the lack of posts. Work has been busy, my girlfriend moved in (with her cat, which hates my dog, but I’m working on that), and – in case you hadn’t noticed – the world is slowly sinking into the ocean faster than America is slipping into the fascist state of President Baby.
Anywho… that’s a lot of words to say that when I sit down at the computer to noodle on things homebrew-related, I’m generally exhausted. I have to divide that energy between my actual brewing (recipe formulation, education, equipment calculations, etc) and my duties as president of my homebrew club (the Mash Holes). [Editor’s Note: I had to take a five minute break as both the cat and dog came into my office, begging for attention] As the club is rapidly growing and trying to do bigger and better things, that’s taken a lot of my time and energy. Being President Baby isn’t easy.
But our big event for 2017 is in the rear-view. Wedding season is slowing down (still have 2 more left and had to bow out of one). Summer’s over. The cat and dog are starting to tolerate each other. I’m settling into a routine with work, diet/exercise, and brewing. And the girlfriend is out of town for 3 weeks. So I’ve finally had the time and motivation to sit down and write something for
all my fan s out there.
While You Were Out
As I just mentioned, the New England Homebrewers’ Jamboree has come and gone. Despite some rainy weather, it was another successful outing for the Holes of Mash. We decided to go with a Viking theme for this years activities and… we kind of nailed it.
The club built a mobile Viking ship, and put a jockey box filled with mead inside of it. We rolled that bad Jackson around the campground and basically caused mayhem and (liver) destruction. Eagle-eyed readers might notice that yours truly is not in the above picture. So as not to deprive you of Viking Vinny:
On the right, for those who don’t know.
So yeah, that was thing that happened. And will probably happen again next year.
I got away from brewing a bit this summer, or brewing got away from me. I usually crank out a handful of batches between May and August, and this year I think I only slipped in one or two. So I’ve been playing catch up. I brewed two beers for Jambo; a session NEIPA which was good, and a North English Brown ale which was also just good. This past weekend I cranked out my annual Pumpkin Ale, Symphony of Decay. I didn’t tweak the recipe too much this year, but I did (finally) track down some Grade B Maple Syrup, which has a much more potent aroma. I’m hoping that gives a little more maple to this version, instead of just fermentable sugars. SoD puts me just over the halfway point (8) of my target of 15 brews this year.
I’m planning to move a little closer to that goal this weekend with a Nugget Nectar clone, named Ambrosia. I wanted to brew a “have-around” IPA, and was struggling to come up with a recipe. In looking through my BrewToad logs, I realized I’d come up with a Nugget Nectar clone I’d never brewed. This should be a good hold-over until the real deal drops in January. If it turns out well, I’ll share the recipe here (it’s already up on BrewToad, if you’re curious).
I also bid adieu to my King Kooker brewstand (which never really worked), and threw down some cash for a pair of Anvil burners that I fashioned into a two-tier system. So yet again I have to dial in numbers, but c’est la vie. I’m also finally starting to do water adjustments. I use the Bru’N Water spreadsheet for now, along with my local water report, but I’m going to finish reading Palmer’s Water and see how far off I am.
So that’s the long and short of the past six months. See you in a half a year?