Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Verdict

Thirsty beer drinkers can easily suck down 2-1/2 gallons (20 pints) of good brew, and that's exactly what happened on Saturday last. Fellow homebrewers Otto and Tommy-O supplied their stouts (and a pale) as well. It was a great night for fresh stuff. My stout was probably the mildest, but it poured well and showed a nice head of very fine bubbles. I still prime my beer, even though I could "force" carbonate it with my existing setup, and I believe that delivers a smooth creaminess that can't be replicated. I was happy with the stout I made, it definitely had that "traditional" Irish vibe, and folks seemed to like it. Kudos to my mates for always making great beer and "raising the bar" for all of us. What comes out of our kegs every year just seems to be better and better. And "t'anks a million" to N & R for the annual St. Patrick's Day Festival that's the best craic in the State of Jefferson.

a.d. IX Kal. Mai.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taste test

I tapped one of the 2-1/2 gallon kegs of new stout this evening. The black beer showed a robust, creamy head upon pouring. Light on the palate, with a dry, lingering finish, it went down easily. I meant to make a beer reminiscent of the ones we drank in Ireland, like Beamish and Murphy's. And Guinness, of course. (That's your holy trinity, lads.) This particular stout starts out smooth like an English mild (a dark type of cask ale we drank over there), but the crisp, roasted grain flavor soon comes to the fore. I think this will be a dandy brew!

The famous Ides of March were yestersday, on the 15th. March has 31 days so today is a.d. XVII Kal. Apr. in the Roman reckoning, or "17 days before the 1st of April." (Those pesky Romans counted inclusively.)

Ave Imperator, bibituri te salutamus!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The St. Patrick's Day Stout gets two weeks in the fridge before it's tapped. It should be ready to sample on St. Patrick's Day (Wednesday the 17th) and ready to quaff at Nancy's party on the 20th.

To "lager" means to store, particularly at cold temperatures. This helps to settle and mellow the beer after the fermentation and conditoning periods. Since I store and serve all  my brews in the refrigerator, they all get "lagering" time before the kegs are tapped, even if they are made (like this one) with ale yeast.

This is supposed to be a very light, dry, crisply-flavored brew. We'll see!

a.d. VIII Id. Mar. (Beware the Ides!)