Wow, it's been a week since I last posted. There is nothing like a new baby in the house to totally disrupt one's life. I am not complaining. Having a new little girl is fantastic. But, the fact remains, I'm getting a lot less done. Especially blogging. Obviously. I've been meaning to follow up on some beer SPME things I've done, but things like that are on the back burner. In fact, I added several back burners to my proverbial stove to accommodate the increase in back burner eligible materials.
Tonight I have a moment to sit and write a little. But, what to write about.. so many things. I could write about how the Y chromosome level has dropped to 10% in my house. Or I could write about some research I've been doing related to carbohydrates in swine manure. There's always the General Chemistry test I just wrote. Or the fact that U2 NEVER made a bad album (I'm listening to Achtung Baby right now). Or maybe some stuff on eicosanoids that I have been learning more about lately.
Instead, I'm going to talk about beer, my beer.
This homebrewing stuff rocks. I started homebrewing in 1996 when I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. I got all of my goods from Kirk at Kirk's Do-it-yourself homebrew. I took a bit of time off while finishing my Ph.D. (am I the only one who always writes Ph.D. as pH.D.? It drives me crazy) and started again in 2006.
Since starting again, I have probably brewed about 18 batches. But, this time around I have really gotten into the science of it. The science is fascinating. One of my goals with this blog is to convey what I learn about it. To do so will require me to know my subject matter very well ("the best way to learn something is to teach it").
For now, I just have a few pictures to share.
I love stouts and I made an oatmeal stout. My goal was to make something similar to Samuel Smith's Oatmeal stout. According to legend, oatmeal stouts and/or cream stouts were developed as a drink for lactating women in the 1800's. Of course, in the 1800's the top treatments for any ailment were bleeding, induced diarrhea, induced vomiting or mercury. Here is a picture of my oatmeal stout:
Yes, I drink from beakers. A 600 mL beaker is great for a 20 oz beer, a 400 mL beaker is perfect for mixed drinks [It's not as great as a pint glass for beer, but will do in a pinch], a 250 mL beaker is perfect for scotch or sippin' whiskey and a 100 mL beaker is perfect as a shot glass.
I also made a bitter. I am really starting to like bitters. They tend to be lower in alcohol but higher in flavor. Here is my bitter:
This beer is featured in a glass from Montana Ale Works found in Bozeman, MT. Their beer is great, the food is superb and the scotch selection is excellent. It has been years since I was there.
Finally, what does wort look like? Here's a look at my brew kettle.
This was during the last 10 minutes of a 60 minute boil. I had just added my wort chiller (the copper tubing) to sanitize it. At this point, it was only 2 weeks away from "mmmmmmmmmmmmm beeeeeeeeeer."
One thing I have learned from reading blogs is that, no one wants to read a 3000 word post. Unless you can write well (or is it good?) like Matt. I can't, so I am going to stop now before I expose my weakness.