Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yay, Beer!

Believe it or not, I'm still maintaining "The List". I've read (but, sadly, not blogged) The Name of the Rose, The Black Swan, and Lies My Teacher Told Me. I've also added (and begun reading) a number of books: Beyond the Hoax, the first volume of Coppleston's History of Philosophy, and the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace - all without taking any notes.

I stand self-chastised. Hopefully, I'll actually do something about it. In the meantime, I'm posting on something that's only somewhat unrelated to reading: Beer!

Those who I interact with regularly know I've assembled a small brewery, the first products of which I'm currently enjoying. I have managed to concoct a tasty little hefeweizen, using only water, barley, wheat, hops, and belgian candy sugar. It's not precisely the flavor profile or mouth feel I prefer (the mouth feel's a little thin for a hefe, the hops are a little more noticeable than I prefer for the style, and I believe the live yeast is still contributing more to the flavor than it will once it flocculates); but for a first shot at an art that literally predates written history, I'm calling this a smashing success. Especially since the beer's not techincally done - the bottles have only just finished their first week of secondary fermentation. The last of the yeast probably won't complete its work for another week or so, during which time the overall feel and taste of the beer will continue to mature (hopefully for the better). Plus, it's got some serious wins: the smell is truly delightful, the carbonations seems to be coming along nicely, and it's a tad more alcoholic than my original gravity measurements indicated was likely.

Fortunately, it's quite drinkable. I say "fortunately" since I've now got 4 or 5 gallons of the stuff, and I'd hate to feel like I completely wasted the 16lbs of grain spent brewing the batch. Anyone care to join me for a potluck?