Where Has the Time Gone?

On December 17, 2016, in Craft Beer, Family and Friends, Recipes, Stuff..., by Mark Ranes

It’s been three long years since I’ve posted to The Lazy Brewer. Why? I have no excuses, but much has passed in that time.

Probably the greatest reason for my hesitancy to post new content here is that my self-hosted WordPress site has been continually hacked by script kiddies. It’s so frustrating to see these fools continually inject code and stupid content over the top of the Lazy Brewer. I tired of continually rebuilding the site from backups, just to see a few more weeks pass and then have it maliciosly hacked again. I actually took the Lazy Brewer offline for several month after the last report from Google that my site was hosting malicious content. I had planned on bringing the Lazy Brewer back to life over the holiday break, and we’ll see how it goes this time.

Obviously, I’ve enjoyed many wonderful homebrews and commercial beers over the last 3 years. I’m still brewing regularly, but probably less frequently than in past years. I still try and keep at least eight, if not more, beers on tap at Sociables Ale House. I recently brewed a Throwback IPA, in an effort to get back to the malty, hoppy beers of my craft beer drinking past. I’m tiring of the plethora of all super pale base malt, dank, overhopped IPAs that are so widely available in the craft beer world today. They have no balance and just smack you in the face with catty hops.

In the past three years much has happened. My brother and I moved my Dad out of his home into an assisted care facility, where he still lives today. And then sadly, last spring, I lost my only brother to heart disease. My youngest child, Dawson, followed his sister to the Bay Area, and is attending Laney College, in Oakland, and doing well. I’m now within a couple years of retirement and looking forward to that new phase of life. I also took a silver medal last summer, in the 2016 National Homebrew Competition, for my Cookie Dough Brown Ale. The recipe has slightly changed from past batches, and I’ll post this info soon. I’ve entered this beer before and never made it past the regional competition, but this year I bested 255 other national entries for a second place medal. I was pleased to finally get some recognition for this amazing ale. It has a permanent handle at Sociables.

A couple years ago, my friend Eric and I brewed a spiced beer that he won an award for many years ago. Eric was the first person I ever knew that homebrewed, way back before the hobby became so popular. I converted his five gallon extract recipe to all grain, and off we went. When we brewed this three years ago, and it was well received by everyone. We decided to brew an encore batch this year, scaling back some of the spices slightly. I do like this version better with the spices a bit more subdued.

Here’s the recipe:

Holidaze Ale
American Amber Ale
Author: Eric Wade – conversion to 10 gallon all grain by Mark Ranes

Size: 10.08 gal
Efficiency: 70.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 270.74 kcal per 16.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.061 (1.045 – 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.015 (1.010 – 1.015)
Color: 15.45 SRM (10.0 – 17.0)
Alcohol: 6.0% (4.5% – 6.0%)
Bitterness: 39.6 (25.0 – 40.0)

20.0 lb (80.6%) Northwest Pale Ale Malt – added during mash
1.5 lb (6.0%) Crystal Malt 20°L – added during mash
2.0 oz (0.5%) Roasted Barley – added during mash
3.0 oz (0.8%) Carafa Special® TYPE III – added during mash
1.0 lb (4.0%) Cara-Pils® Malt – added during mash
2.0 oz (50.0%) Perle (8.2%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 m
1.0 tsp Cloves (whole) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
2.0 oz (50.0%) Willamette (5.0%) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
2.0 lb (8.1%) Honey – added after boil, steeped 15.0 m
1.0 ea Cinnamon (stick) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
1.5 tsp Ginger (fresh) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
3.0 ea Orange zest – added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
2.0 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
1.0 tsp Wyeast Nutrient – added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
2000.0 mL Starter White Labs WLP041 Pacific Ale Yeast

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