I thought about riding this weekend. Then I just sat quietly and after a couple minutes it went away. Whew. That was a relief.
The long-awaited (feared) beer increase will be heading our way very shortly. Word on the street is that $5 pints aren’t that far off in the future.
The hype over Deschutes Abyss seems to have subsided. Bottles were going for $40 to 50 on Craigslist and E-Bay. Some jackass had a case for $600. Yes, that’s a 400+% markup.
There’s a couple ways to approach this. First – it’s just beer. I mean, come on. Second – since the start of the microbrew revolution 15-odd years ago, beer nerds have been clamoring for ‘respect’ from the general beverage industry, particularly the wine nerds. It’s an uphill battle at best.
Personally, I don’t think that a vast majority of beer has the year-to-year variance in taste and quality that wine does. Brewers, at least in the US, strive for consistency, year in and year out. Wineries get their grapes and make the best wine out of it they can, regardless of whether its a good year or a bad year. Beer, on the other hand, doesn’t suffer as much from the random, seasonal fluctuations in growing conditions. The Bridgeport IPA I drink tomorrow will probably taste pretty close to the first one I had when I moved to town 10 years ago. Not exact but close.
I appreciate the direction that some breweries are going in to make distinctly unique products. The Bourbon-barrel craze of late is one. Take an extra strong beer, preferably one that isn’t regularly available, age it in barrels and then package it as a limited edition. Great. You’ve created a one-time product that people will now realize that once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Anyway, I’ve added my case of Abyss to the cellar along with all the others. My tentative plan is 1 or 2/year.
Struggling a little with being a little tired. I’m sitting in front of my second, and last, cuppa for the day. Thought I’d share the excerpt from the Lagunitas Cappucino Stout bottle:
Coffee is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures, It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my brain, It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for it’s name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of sleep,
I will fear no artificial sweetener for thou art with me; Thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of my zzz’s, Thou anointest my day with sunlight;
My cup runneth over.
Surely richness and flavor shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of Cappuccino forever…
Let us sip… or whatever…
- 3 days until the release of the Deschutes Abyss. That’s exciting. I’m still up in the air on exactly how much I’ll get. Note to self – don’t drink them all right away.
- Burton is offering a $5k reward to the snowboarder who can poach on the remaining ski areas that still ban snowboarders: Mad River, Alta, and a couple others. Do you ever wonder why snowboarders were banned in the first place?
- The Belgian Dubbel is still bubbling away in the garage, but it’s tapered off considerably. The temperature controller is hitting the heating element more frequently meaning fermentation is slowing down. I’ll have to watch it over the weekend. Once it slows to one fart through the airlock every 30 sec, I’ll test it and see where we’re at.
- There’s a recipe in Zymurgy for a ridiculously strong Imperial Stout, reportedly clocking in at 17-18% abv. It uses something like 30 pounds of grain per 5 gallon batch (typical strength batches take 8 to 11#’s). I have the recipe entered into ProMash but I’m on the fence if I’ll make it or not. Brewing a monster like that which actually turns out drinkable will take every bit of mojo I can muster. I need to mull this one over some more.
With the exception of commuting on a fixie, I still haven’t touched my bikes since Hillsboro. I’m actually quite happy for that. I needed a break and I still just don’t feel like getting on a bike yet. All 3 bikes are quietly hibernating in the basement, protected from the harsh UV rays we get during the winter here.
I’m trying to stay reasonably fit by going to 24Hr 3 times a week during lunch. I spent about 3 months last winter weight training and really felt the benefits during cross. I felt I had much more power and control through tough sections. Yes, I gained about 5 to 7 pounds during that time and I’ve already added a couple more so far this winter, but on my 6′5″ frame it’s hard to tell. I’m only 205. If I want to get faster I can either drop weight or gain strength. I chose the latter. I already feel skinny enough. Maybe I should set a goal for heaviest ‘A’ racer.
24Hr (downtown) is a nice enough place. Clean. Plenty of equipment. The people, other members and staff, are nice enough. We’re going through the crowded January ‘New Years Resolution’ phase that generally lasts a little into February. I get a deal through work which makes it easy to join and quit month by month if need be. The big bonus for me is the sauna. I love saunas. I like hot tubs but I really love saunas.
I’ll be motivated to ride soon enough. I still haven’t made a firm plan for the year. That’ll come soon enough. I’m not sure how much I’ll do during the first half of the year but I plan to be fully ready for Master A’s by October. Until then I’m thinking of more brewing, maybe some disc golf here and there, a few more ski days, and whatever else seems like fun.
Had a delightful brewing day yesterday. I haven’t done a Belgian Dubbel before but I came across an old recipe that a homebrew club in Belgium (where else) put together to clone Roquefort 8. It’s an outstanding beer and since its’ in their backyard, I figured if anyone could put together a credible recipe, it’d be them.
So what makes a good brewing day? Excellent question.
First, not rushing around. Rushing around and excessive multitasking are my biggest faults here. If I don’t get stuff organized the day/night before, I’m in trouble. Getting ready basically involves weighing and crushing the grain, weighing and sorting the hops, measuring water & adding whatever salts are needed, and getting the equipment where it needs to be with any hoses and LP tanks connected.
Ideally, I just like to wake up and start the burner under the hot water tank. If I don’t get this stuff ready, I feel like I’m behind the 8 ball the rest of the day. It turns what should be a really fun day into a chore.
Second, have the yeast ready. You can get the best ingredients and spend hours brewing a fantastic beer. But if the yeast isn’t ready to do it’s job, you’ve just wasted your time. I’d say yeast management is arguably the number one culprit behind that ‘homebrewey’ taste that a lot of beginners get. The final effects behind not adding enough yeast and the subsequent care and feeding of that yeast are enormous: off-flavors, increased esters, increased chance of infection, and premature end of fermentation are just the start.
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Happy New Year. It’s time to get back to work. With 34°F and rain on the ride in early this morning, it was a pretty rude welcome. With the beginning of each month though, I get the added bonus of flipping to a new page on the calendar. This month? Teamwork.
I’m not sure about you but I’ll be writing ‘2007′ or ‘07′ on all my checks and logs until April or so…as usual. This happens every year. I’ve learned to just accept it and move on.