Catching up…

On April 25, 2010, in Family and Friends, General, Homebrewing, Technology, Travel, by Mark Ranes

The Brew Sculpture in Action

As several of the Lazy Brewer’s readers have pointed out, it been a while since my last post. It’s been a mix of general real life busyness, and sheer laziness. I’m brewing a German Hefeweizen as I type this (on a new toy – but more on that later:) and enjoying the aromas only those of you who brew can understand.  I’ve brewed several times since last posting in January, including an IPA, an American Brown Ale, and a Russian Imperial Stout. Friday I brewed a Belgian Wit and then today a German Hefeweizen.  I’m trying to get several of the crowd-pleasing summer ales ready to go before the summer drinking season starts.

Today’s brew is the last of an era.  The next brew I do will be my 100th batch!  I’ll be working on an original recipe for my centennial ale over the next week, and I’m 99% sure it will be an IPA (big surprise, huh?).  I want to brew an easy drinking, high flavor/aroma IPA that kind of goes back to the roots of my brewing – bittering with Columbus, flavoring with Centennials and then finishing with either Cascades or Amarillo (or both:).

So where am I in my brewing after 100 batches?  Well, I’m making consistently good ale, sometimes great ale.  I’ve tried brewing a lot of different styles.  Some of them have become favorite ales that weren’t on my beer radar five years ago.  I’ve really come to love the darker ales; browns, porters and particularly stouts.  Some wheat beers are now a part of my regular brewing routine, like wits and German hefeweizens – though I still have very little love for American hefeweizens.  I also really like the big beers; barley wines, imperial reds and old ales.  I’ve also learned what I really don’t care to drink – some of  the Belgians are just too much for me.  A Belgian Golden Strong Ale is the only keg I’ve poured out.  It was brewed to style, and came out nicely, I just didn’t like beer.  More than anything, I’ve learned that when it comes to brewing, time is your friend.  Letting beers finish out in the fermentor, and then giving them time to mellow, clear and generally become stellar ales is what conditioning is all about.  Finally, I’ve also learned that brewing is all about people.  Many of the best friends in my life are, or have been, brewers.  Brewing with them, and enjoying ales in their company, is what life is all about.  Also, seeing a non-brewer’s face light up when they are sipping one of your hand-crafted brews is priceless:)

Other recent events, in no particular order, that have kept me away from here are more than a bit of wine tasting, shuttering the doors on my ten year web hosting business (no tears here:), planning a trip to Italy in October, installing a commercial WordPress theme for this blog, and an impulse purchase of an iPad.  I may create individual posts about some of these things in the future:)


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