Saturday, October 13, 2007

2007 Season Opener

10/13: Brewed the first of this years' Christmas beers. 10 gals. of 17P Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale inspired wort.

12# Marris Otter
12# 2-row Pale
1# each 120L & 80L Crystal

Chinook, Centennial & Casdade in the kettle for 80 IBU

1# Golden Bakers' Sugar and 1/2# Corn Sugar into the kettle right before the fire went off and 2 ounces Cascade went in to steep.

Pitched a big 2 quart starter of Wyeast 1056.

Bitter wort was yummy and bitter. Mmm...

This will transfer onto dryhops, same as the kettle hop varieties. I'll put it into a keg with more dryhops still.

Got the goods for 5 gals. of Belgian-Style Dark Strong and 5 gals. of Robust Porter. May not get the Dark Strong put up in time for the Holidays. The Robo-Po shouldn't be a problem. Makes a delicious full bodied chocolatey and strong Porter that's ready to get into pretty quickly. Mmm, indeed!

10/14: Scored 15 gallons of Fox Island Farms' 13.5P apple juice. Bruce managed to get it into town in one piece this year. Huzzah! Straight apple juice + yeast this time. No honey or other sugars. Poured off 2 quarts or so for a starter of the Wyeast 1056. Turned over pretty quick and then into each of the 5 gallon carboys. They kicked off real quick; very frothy and slightly sulfurous fermentations. This stuff should attenuate pretty well and make a nicely drinking dry cider.

The Great X-Brew BBQ Turkey Michael Jackson Memorial Toast

9/29: Judged X-Brew out at the Issaquah Brewhouse. Kinda funny though, 40 entries and about 16 judges. Sat one panel of mixed entries; Standard Lager, Helles, Bohemian Pilsner, Blonde Ales, a Cream Ale and a German-Style Wheatbeer. A bit of allright. Lots of off-flavors and aromas apparent. Hope these dudes are happy with my comments. Sat the Best of Show flight. Lots of good flavor. Best of Show went to a really nice smoked Doppelbock. RIch malt flavors, nicely alcoholic and firm bacon-like smoke. Spot on. Second Best of Show went to a smoked Marzen entry in the X-Brew catagory. Very interesting and complex malt and smoke flavors. In the Dopplebock the malt and smoke flavors were very well integrated. In the Marzen the malt and smoke flavors seemed to hit in two different spots in the palate. No less rich and complex than the Dopple just quite distinct. Turns out both were brewed by my friend Nathan. Cheers, Z! The one flight and the B.O.S. means I have enough points for my National pin. Huzzah! Now all I need is to make up 9 points on the exam and 20 more points and I'm a Master Judge. Whee!

9/30: Got up early to BBQ some turkeys for a family dinner later in the afternoon. Fresh natural turkeys brined with brown sugar and citrus, cooked low over a hardwood charcoal fire with applewood. Fantastic. Think I might look into opening the "House of Turkeys". Turkeys were a hit at dinner. Stopped in at the Pike on the way home to raise a glass to Michael Jackson. Glad we did. Cask Pike IPA, cask Bhagwan from the Big Time and cask Wildcat from Snoqualmie on the bar. Probably the three best IPAs in the area. Charles Finkel made a little speech and made the toast. Good room. Lots of good people in it.