I put a batch of Stout and one of Nut Brown Ale last Saturday. I am delinquent with brewing this year, so much going on and so many demands! I have a few cases of bottles to sanitize this weekend in great anticipation of the fermentation being adequately accomplished. Late Spring through early Autumn is the only time I can do a brew as I don’t implement much heating or cooling in the cabin…whatever nature gives me for the most part. Hmmm, I’ll have time to put up a ferment of Porter and a Bitter this weekend after the bottling is done…maybe. We’ll see. It’s gotta last all winter and I do need a way to keep warm.
So I got a late start? Well I did put up two batches of mead (yeah, like the Vikings drank, fermented honey) and have them in the basement snugly aging. One was a classic dry mead and the other has plums in it – that’s got a special name I cannot for the life of me remember at the moment. Megathlin or some such. It was a mess to fool with.
The flavored stuff I’m dubious of, but the dry mead I’ve done before and there is no reason at all for it not to be superb in a year or two. Yes, into the next decade. Got to think ahead, you know. And there’s plenty of space in the basement.
When I woke up Monday morning (my birthday), I for some reason had a story on my brain. Quick, I scrounged up a single sheet of blank paper and a pen that worked. I think I’ll title it “Hassie” or “Anybody Can Be Friends” or something like that. Here it is!
This is a PUZZLE story, and is a bit more understandable if you read it out loud…
Piece Tastes Good
That sighed of the river that forms hour boarder now bruise ail four all to sea! Wee tact a notice on hour billboard write away, “Know Ail, Bier oar Other Alcohol on Hour Sighed!”
Soon they dug into they’re coughers and sent cruise of guise to build a saloon on the river! Wood ewe believe the shear vise displayed? Weather they can reed hour sine oar knot, weir bread better than them and wheel have nun of it!
This mourning, the devils lured too, then for, then ate and then moor of hour citizens to trudge waste deep across the shallow blew boarder. Many were already at the bar with boos! How could they chews this? I told them awl know!
Then I saw a mail of rank, maybe a kernel, they’re at the bar with my Ant Mimi. He past her a bottle and pointed at me. She urged a waisted fellow to grab an or and roe her back here.
“Deer, just try this Fare Bare Bitter, yule like it!”
Her words wade heavy on my sole, Ant Mimi the Matriarch. Aye had two take a sip. Won moor. Hmmm, won moor.
Weave decided knot to weight to build a bridge too hour fare and sonny friends on the far sighed.
The water directly from the well is clear as of Monday morning. I haven’t had it tested or anything to verify it, but clear has been very good in the past. Having it clear up reinforces my belief that a mud chunk landed in there after the inundation of rain we had a couple months ago.
The great thing is that I prefer to use the cold straight from the well to brew! I heat a few gallons in a stock pot to melt the malt and mix the wort. Instead of needing to chill the wort before pitching the yeast, the well water comes from deep underground and is plenty cold to get the fermenting bucket to the right temperature. Packed water is just not the same
Gosh, I want to get started right now, phooey. I used to be able to come home after work and get all kinds of things done. I’m not willing to invest in a three hour round trip tonight. So, Friday night the Munton’s Porter and probably the Munton’s Bitter will become my first straight-from-the-well ferments of the year…oh boy!
I’ve been hobbled with my brewing this year because of my muddy water, the tan tinge that makes me cringe. I had two buckets of ale in fermentation that needed bottling. For each batch, I figured I could boil the bulk of muddy water I needed for rinsing and soaking 50 some odd beer bottles, follow with a chlorinated rinse, and end with a rinse of the precious packed water. All was accomplished in the fullness of time. Then I had to fix supper.
So here I am on a steaming Sunday night, stubbornly committed to bottling at least one batch. Discovering I only have a dab of corn sugar in the entire house caused consternation. You put some of the powdered corn sugar into the wort (raw beer) just before you bottle it so it can ferment just enough in the bottle to make the foamy head all ale lovers adore. I could have split the amount, but decided I couldn’t bottle the Bock this week anyway. Oh Bock, poor Bock.
After duly sanitizing the bottling bucket that same way I did the bottles, in went the corn sugar, stirred in hot bottled water to dissolve. Heave the full fermented bucket up and pour the wort into the bottling bucket, leaving the dead yeast sludge. As midnight came and went, I filled each bottle under the little red spigot, tipping the bucket to get the last little bit.
I have a Red Robin Capper – it sits on top of the bottle on which one has laid a new cap. Pull the handles down and it crimps the cap to the curvy lip of the bottle. Except for the eleven bottles with top curvy lips too thin for old Red to properly grasp. I vacillated between anger and despair. These were the bottles a friend donated from his Beers of the World party. They are not twist-offs, I know better then that. I could not see the difference in advance, but Red could.
I scrounged more bottles, went through the sanitizing rigmarole and finished nigh on 2 AM. I sure hope this batch turns out okay.