It’s been a while since I posted an update on the home brewing adventure, so I though I would take a few minutes now and do so.
The pale ale is completely finished, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It’s much better than I thought that a first attempt at brewing my own beer would be. Unfortunately, it’s about half way gone, and the next beer, the blueberry bock, is still in the process of carbonating and still needs two weeks of lagering, so it won’t be ready for about three more weeks.
I’ve also ordered the fixings for the next two beers, which are going to be a witbier and a good-old, American lager. They should hopefully be shipped in the next day or two. Trying to get a little bit ahead of the seasons so that this summer, I can brew an Oktoberfest and a hard cider that can both be ready for the fall.
One month into my “Twelve for Twelve” (plus 11 days), so I guess it’s time for an update.
- Go Zip Lining – Not yet, but give me a break, it was January. I want to do this when it’s warm and I’ll actually enjoy it.
- Run 500 Miles – I’ve run 2.42. It was January, I was sick have the month, and the treadmill’s speed control is all screwed up, so I can’t use it. In fairness, I tried to run one other time, and the treadmill took off at full speed when it was off and threw me.
- Release 12 Premium WordPress Themes – Ok, none actually released yet, but I’ve been working on the first, so a little progress.
- Learn AJAX – The fact that I actually thought about starting to learn AJAX made me feel better about not starting to lean AJAX.
- Try out Drupal – See #4, Learn AJAX.
- Post to Blog Twice a Week – I owed you 9 blog posts in January, and you got three. Got to do better here.
- Take Julie and Shannon Camping – Ok, I’m starting to feel like I didn’t do anything in January. Then again, this is a summer goal.
- Complete 100 hours of Pro Bono Web Design – Ok, this one wasn’t actually my fault. I did approach two different non-profits, but neither were interested. Bah!
- Say “Thank You” to Anyone in Military Uniform – Ok, I hit a home run on this one. Not a single person left my area wearing a uniform that didn’t get a thank you. One guy I actually chased down.
- Brew Five Different Beers – Good stuff again! The West Coast Pale Ale is done, and I had the first two pints of it yesterday, which is why I didn’t write this post yesterday. Quite good. Also, the Blueberry Bock has been bottled as of yesterday as well.
- Hike a Total of 30 Miles – Again, it was January.
- Watch the Sun Rise over the Ocean – Yeah, January.
So, as best as I can tell, I’m about 4% complete at the end of January. Baby steps through Twelve for Twelve.
It’s bottling day! After almost two weeks of sitting and watching my West Coast Pale Ale bubble and bubble (and bubble), bottling day has finally arrived. I’m hoping that everything went alright with the fermenting process, being as this is my first batch I have no reference as to if I did everything right or not. At the very least, the bit that I tried today tasted like flat, warm beer. (Flat, warm, good beer, actually.) So, now it’s all bottled up and hopefully working away at carbonating.
For my next trick, or at least my next beer, I’ve decided on a Blueberry Bock. In fact, I just ordered the fixings.
Remember when you were in school, and the first day back from Summer vacation you had to write an essay about what you did over the summer. I always hated doing that. So why am I doing it now for my Christmas Vacation when (1) I hated doing that and (2) I didn’t really have a vacation? Because I got to brew beer.
Or, at least, I got to start the process of brewing beer. So, yea, my amazing fiancée Julie gave me a home brewing kit for Christmas, which pretty much makes her amazing. (The fact that she also bought me two pairs of thick wool socks removes any remaining doubt.) So, I took the time last night to read through all of the instructions and get myself familiar with how this was all going to go, and then this evening set about working on the first batch, which would be a West Coast Pale Ale.
While I was preparing the wart, I was absolutely stunned by how awful it smelled. I don’t know if this is a smell you eventually get used to, or perhaps even grow to like, but to me it smelled really sickeningly sweet. Imagine you have a fresh cherry pie. Then imagine you put that cherry pie in the trunk of your car. You know, the car the windows don’t roll down in. And then you took the car, with pie still in the trunk, on vacation. To Florida. In August. For three months. That’s about what it smelled like.
But, all in all, I think it went pretty smooth. I learned a few things, like make sure you have a whisk sanitized, and that water is pretty heavy, but there were no major bumps.
The fermentation process is supposed to take 7 to 14 days, then an additional 7 to 14 days of carbonation, and then about 7 days for conditioning, but we’ll see how it goes. For those of you who are local and might be interested in trying some, the window for completion is between January 16th and 30th, so keep this in mind when filling in your social calendars. Also, I’m trying to decide what the next batch is going to be, so any of you that have home-brewed before have any suggestions, let me know.