Saturday, November 7, 2015

Home Brewing, Part II

What a weird year. So some backstory: I switched jobs last fall and gave up my small place. I moved home to be by my fiance and find a house to buy. That didn't work out. I lost my job right after our busy season. So I went back to work finding work and that went slowly until the fall and now I'm going back to work soon. I'm back at home though for a few more months so brewing will be a bit slower until my fiance and I get our home.

I'm ready to brew again, I don't want to say I was burned out, but I was frustrated. I got started home brewing thinking that it would bring me closer with my friends but they never really took to it. Derek lives in Chicago so everything sucks, and Kyle's house was like 1000 degrees in the summer so everything was harder there.

There were some other problems too. I brewed more than I could drink and wasn't drinking all that I brewed. I also over bought commercial brew so that there was way more than I could conceivably drink. It became a big problem that I can admit to now. So I stopped brewing, started drinking some of my beer, and stopped buying commercial beers. The boys and I have made a dent in the beer; in time maybe we can overcome that problem. I'll probably dump some home brews moving forward to recycle the bottles and free up kegs but if I don't over brew as much I won't be as wasteful.

I like home brewing. I know it's a great way to get fine beers catered to my own tastes at affordable prices. It's a fun way to explore my creativity and the things I find interesting about beers. I'm still competitive and I'd like to win more award than second place in an obscure category at my local home brew store.

Anyways I should start brewing again soon, I am thinking an easy drinking saison and a Russian imperial stout. It'll be the second act of this hobby; it'll be where I start over, relearn some old lessons, and learn some new ones. I won't depend on friends for the enjoyment of something that I am doing because I enjoy it. Anyone who still reads this thanks for hanging with me, and to anyone who stumbles upon this blog in the future now you can understand the lull.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Award Winning Homebrew

At Siciliano's 12th annual homebrew competition I finished 2nd place in category 17 F. My beer was position three in a flight of nine. I won a silver medal for my effort and the store employee said congratulations (that praise was an award unto itself). My beer was scored by two judges and was awarded a final score of 38 which is the bottom of the Excellent classification.

(read more about my 'excellent' award winning home brew after the break.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Ah meat stuffed in a casing, is there a better grill meat? Sure steaks, but I'd say burgers are a toss up. I've made sausage a few times and it was never quite right. The last attempt was solid but the people on the internet I trust say that you need a sausage stuffer. I received a stuffer for Christmas from my father and after weathering the tax storm I now have time to use it.

So in totally over the top pent up winter exuberance I'm going to make three types of sausages in a single day. I found all three recipes in the great book Bruce Aidells's Complete Sausage Book It's really a nice resource for knowing what makes sausages work, with proven recipes, A large chink of the book also helps you use your sausages in other dishes so that you can use the many feet of sausage that you now own.

(Pictures and Stuff after the break.)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Entering A Competition

I've entered my first competition. The Siciliano's 12th Annual Homebrew Competition will be my first home brew competitions without a crazy ingredient, or a interesting premise. I've submitted a peach pLambic for their consideration.

This beer was laid down on top of fresh peaches over the summer. At bottling time the paech flavor had faded some from the first tastings, but it still had enough peach flavor to be great. It passed the all important Fiance test and that gives me hope for the judging.

(please see more after the break.)