Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spiced Winter Ale

In order to have this ready for the winter holidays, I went ahead and brewed this one up Saturday. Instead of my usual yeast starter in a growler and a vigorous shake whenever I walked by it, I got myself a new toy for the job: a magnetic stir plate. A constant stirring to introduce oxygen and get the highest cell count possible for brewday. And I have to say, after brewing was complete, it was an astounding 30 MINUTES before bubbling occurred in the blow-off tube. Wow. A good investment.

This holiday brew is spiced with a potpourri-esque concoction right at flame-out. Smelled delicious with all sorts of cinnamon and mace and nutmeg....your basic Christmas potpourri aromas.

As far as brewing environment, I was desperate for some fun and levity and brighter moods, so even though it was drizzling and at some points a steady rain, I set up my brewery regardless in the backyard by the patio and went to work. Well, "work".

The recipe:

1 lb. Simpsons Dark Crystal malt

6.3 lb. Gold Malt Syrup
1 lb. Light Dry Malt Extract

1 oz. East Kent Goldings hops, 5.3% AA, at 60 minutes

1 Whirlfloc tablet at 15 minutes to clarify

1/2 oz. mulling spices at 0 minutes

Safale S-04 yeast

Smelled delicious. The mulling spices came in a 1 oz. bag, so I am debating using the second 1/2 oz in secondary. This kit was from Northern Brewer, and after customer reviews, it was determined that a full ounce of spices at flame-out resulted in drinking perfume. I'm wavering on adding just a smidge more into secondary, but we'll see how it smells upon transfer next week.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Way back when on these very pages (specifically on July 12, 2008) I mentioned the news of Ken Burns's next documentary about the National Parks. Well, on Sunday September 27, 2009 it will finally arrive. The 6-day, 12-hour feature concerning these beautiful glorious places is upon us on PBS.

Everything Burns touches is mesmerizing to me. And this newest project will surely not disappoint. What a great week it will be next week to sit down for two hours a night and be cast under a spell.

"The parks represent our best selves."

2009 Great American Beer Festival winners

Two North Carolina brewers bring home some medals. Woo-HOO!!!!!!

The entire list of winners can be found here. But more importantly, here are the winners from NC:

Category: 18 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, 110 Entries
Bronze: Duck-Rabbit Barrel Aged Baltic Porter, The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Inc., Farmville, NC

Category: 39 Baltic-Style Porter, 16 Entries
Gold: Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter, The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Inc., Farmville, NC

Category: 75 Imperial Stout, 56 Entries
Bronze: Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout, Foothills Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC

Congratulations to Paul and Jamie! You've done NC quite proud.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Red Oak brewery tour

To help shake out the cobwebs of a rather nauseating week, and to help get my mind back on track, I decided to do something fun and head over to Red Oak Brewery in Whitsett for their weekly Friday 3:00pm tour. It didn't really completely reset the brainwaves, but it kept my mind free from otherwise shitty thoughts and moodiness for an hour.

Your basic brewery tour, complete with shiny stainless steel and a re-hash of the brewing process for my umpteenth time. But for as many tours as I go on, as many stainless tanks I see, as many speeches about the brewing process I hear, they're all enjoyable regardless.

The different aspect from this tour however is that Red Oak is strictly a LAGER brewery. No ales. So the brewmaster tainted his speech to the wondrous beer that is a lager and frankly poo-poo'd many aspects of the ale.

- They abide by the German Purity Law of 1516 (the Reinheitsgebot) and only use malted barley, water, hops, and yeast. There are over FOUR HUNDRED possible additives and preservatives in those ale bastards! Oh the horror! What poisons! What crap! Quick, someone inform the Belgians!!!!

- Lagers ferment at a cooler temperature, resulting in less characteristics like the warm-temperature ale's fusels and esters. And hangovers and that "blah" feeling are a result of the ale by-products. Really? Seriously? Ale fusels and esters? Not from dehydration? Really?

- Never mind that in 1516 not ALL beers were lagers. There were certainly some ales brewed at warmer temps back then, but you would think that the cold-fermented lager has been around for 500 years.

Aside from the "yay lager / boo ale" rubbish, it was a neat tour. I always marvel at the brewery when driving past at night with those tanks lit up behind the enormous glass wall. Their beers are "meh" to me, but the process and their commitment to all-lager brewing is commendable. And the new bottling line was neat to see. Red Oak had up to now been strictly keg/draft sales only. Now they are reaching out to the bottled market in only 12-packs to cut down on paper use. Also, the bottles will be UV-inked so that you won't have to become ill from seeing a crooked paper label on the beer you buy.

Even with the frankly anti-ale propaganda spewed forth making it a bit much to choke down, it was a nice hour to get away from the muddled mess that is my current psyche.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Age of Stupid

A "green" movie advertised strictly by word-of-mouth (thanks for the heads-up Rep. Dennis Kucinich!) that tackles the issue of global warning. Documentary meets dramatization. Entered the Guinness Book of World Records for a film premiere: 400+ American cities and 60+ countries. To cut down on environmental carbon "build-up", instead of cans and cans of celluloid shipped across the country, it was a satellite link-up simulcast from New York City. Kinda cool to see live pre-screening footage on the big screen. Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, and Concord were the NC towns screening it. Concord it was.

Anyhoo, the trailer:

"Why didn't we save ourselves when we had the chance?"

The director was inspired by Steven Soderbergh's film Traffic, with its multiple characters and their intertwined stories concerning the drug trade. For this, there are multiple characters and their own particular stories (the wind turbine engineer, the African woman dreaming of the medical field, the entrepreneur in India and his airline startup, the Hurricane Katrina survivor, etc.) and how they relate to global warming.

Fascinating. Think Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth with added drama. Rising tall in the watery Arctic in the year 2055 is a "storeroom" of the world's antiquities and preserved animals, and one sole human prepares his computer transmission to the stars trying to fathom why we did what we did to ourselves in hopes someone out there could understand why we sentenced our entire world to extinction.

The film ended with a rather dark pallor, but luckily afterward the live feed occurred again with comments and interviews with global figures. This lightened the mood. The focus was Copenhagen in December 2009 and the update of the Kyoto Treaty. 77 days until Copenhagen. 77 days to work out a truly worldwide deal to combat this issue.

Less than 1% of scientists do not believe in human behavior affecting global warming. 2015 is the common year targeted as the pinnacle of the bell curve where the world's "healing" can begin to sweep down the curve. Afterward it may be too late to reverse the upward global temperature rise. 2 degrees yields catastrophe, 6 degrees yields extinction.

A wonderfully introspective film that causes much discussion, and hopefully changed behavior. We are seemingly living within an age of stupid. Luckily, this stupidity can be reversed.

Will we?

Monday, September 21, 2009


First show in the new Triad Stage season for William Inge's Picnic occurred, and the season tickets were used Saturday night. Before the show, the Managing Director made his customary announcements before the performance, and in addition to the usual speech he added that they were having drawings from among the season pass holders, and MY NAME was picked for a weekend stay at either the swanky O.Henry Hotel or the Biltmore Hotel here in town. Wow....great. Just....great. Too bad this couldn't have happened BEFORE the shitstorm of my recent life occurred. Anyone want to hang with me in a Greensboro hotel for a weekend? I'll show you a good time. ;-)

Anyway, this post is basically a little "hey this is where I went" and not a full "let me delve deep into the storyline and ponder the meaning" because frankly I was cast into a rather shitty mood beforehand and could not adequately pay attention throughout. I give serious thought to paying again to see it and really concentrate on the story, etc.

Basically, a 1950s rural Kansas town has a community picnic scheduled and a dashingly handsome man blows into town and, willingly or not, sends everyone into various states of upheaval. “I feel sort of excited…I think we plan picnics just to give ourselves an excuse—to let something thrilling happen in our lives.” -–Mrs. Potts

Thursday, September 17, 2009

200 years later, a proper funeral.

Just received an email today from my local chapter of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, an organization to which I am a member. Upon the bicentennial of his untimely and mysteriously death, Captain Meriwether Lewis finally gets a proper military funeral.

The upcoming newspaper story:

A melancholy outcome

October commemoration recalls the death of Meriwether Lewis

By Tom Dillon

HOHENWALD, Tenn. -- Between 2004 and 2006, the United States celebrated the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was a look back at the first crossing of the continent by citizens of the United States, and it was a commemoration of the opening of the West, for better or worse. Millions of people followed the trail of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their Corps of Discovery. It was an eventful three years even for the Indian tribes, many of whom participated with rather mixed feelings. It's easy to depict the expedition as an American triumph.

Now, however, comes the denouement. October 11, 2009, is the bicentennial of the apparent suicide of Meriwether Lewis, leader of the expedition. That's the day he took his life, about 3 a.m. at a lonely inn along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee, southwest of Nashville.

That's what most history books say, at least, and neither Clark nor President Thomas Jefferson saw reason to suspect anything else. Jefferson wrote three years later, in a short biography of Lewis, that Lewis had from early life "been subject to hypocondriac affections" -- his version of what we would today call clinical depression. The disease ran in Lewis's family, and it apparently ravaged his life after the expedition was over.

Others differed, saying Lewis was murdered, and the argument still goes on today. Even the chairman of a Meriwether Lewis commemoration, set for Oct. 3-7 in Mississippi and Tennessee, thinks the explorer was probably murdered. “The facts just don't add up,” said Tony L. Turnbow, a Franklin, Tenn., lawyer who has followed the story of Lewis and Clark for years. Some even support exhuming the body for a forensic examination.

But more important, says Turnbow, is that Lewis, despite his inestimable service to the country, never had a proper funeral service. He was buried along the Natchez Trace – then a woods path from Natchez to Nashville, today a scenic highway similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway – and for years his grave wasn't even marked. Today there is a monument at a small park along the trace, as well as a reconstruction of the small inn, known as Grinder's Stand, where Lewis died. But there was no real service.

So that, along with a recounting of Lewis' life, is what Turnbow and the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation are planning. The foundation, which has headquarters in Great Falls, Montana, is the primary organization overseeing this last event of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial.

It will be a melacholy event, Turnbow admitted. There will be a re-enactment of Lewis' arrival at the inn, and even two gunshots – those two shots are one of the things that bother Turnbow, for the record – at some point. But the event, titled “Courage Undaunted – The Final Journey,” is a necessary commemoration, he said. Lewis and Clark followers from all over the country are expected to show up for it and for a four-day symposium dealing with the aftermath of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The symposium is scheduled for the Whispering Woods Conference Center in Olive Branch, Miss., Oct. 3-6, while the commemoration will take place Oct. 7 at the Meriwether Lewis park and Grinder's Stand reconstruction up the Natchez Trace Parkway near Hohenwald, Tenn. One of the speakers will be Peyton C. Clark, a descendant of William Clark, and descendants of the Lewis family will preside over a wreath-laying. The 101st Airborne Infantry Band will perform.

The Meriwether Lewis site itself is a peaceful place some 40 miles north of the Alabama-Tennessee state line. It's at milepost 385.9 on the Natchez Trace Parkway (meaning it's that far from Natchez). The northern terminus is at milepost 442.3 outside Nashville. The land is rolling hills and wooded, an oak-hickory forest, with several sections of the actual trace available for hiking. In many places, you'll find the old route a deep depression in the topography, testifying to the Indian, French, Spanish and American traffic on it through its lifetime. Further south, there's Spanish moss around.

Lewis' monument is in the form of a broken shaft, signifying a life cut off at mid-point. It was originally erected in 1848 with the base reconstructed in the year 2000. The inscription reads, in part, “His melancholy death occurred where this monument now stands and under which rest his mortal remains.”

Nearby are a picnic area and campground, a ranger station and the Grinder's Stand reconstruction – through Turnbow took pains to point out that the cabin is not an exact replica. No one today really knows what the old cabin looked like, he said. Today's building was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1935 as a “representative cabin.” There are plans for new visitor's center on the site, but no building schedule. And perhaps that's fitting, because the whole place leaves one with a sense of something left hanging. That was the situation almost from the start.

To begin with, Lewis' death left the Louisiana territory without a governor – he'd been assigned to the job not long after returning from the west. More important was that Lewis died without rewriting his journals for publication. His death meant a long delay in their release to the public -- neither Clark nor Jefferson wanted to undertake the massive editing that would be required. The journals were not published until 1814, near the end of the War of 1812. They sold slowly, and for those reasons, it was many years before Lewis and Clark were properly credited for their accomplishments. In some respects, one can say their accomplishments are only now becoming fully appreciated.

Jefferson, however, never soured on Lewis despite what happened, saying that the country had been deprived "of one of her most valued citizens." In a 1813 letter, the now-former president wrote that Lewis possessed “a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction. ... I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him.”

And those are the ideas that Turnbow and his associates want to get across. “What we want to accomplish is to help people understand Lewis as a real human being,” he said, not a plaster model. “We hope this will be something that people will always remember.”

Information about “Courage Undaunted – The Final Journey,” is available from the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation at P.O. Box 3434, Great Falls, Mont. 59403. Or call (888) 701-3434, or visit the website at

I may not be a hunter, but I do so enjoy cooking meat.

Awwwww grill a-comin'. The ol' Aussie grill finally died. So many replacement parts were needed, it would just behoove me to purchase a new grill. At least that's the reasoning I gave myself.

And purchase one I did: Big Red. 750 square inches of enameled cast iron grating.

My prize is the Char-Broil Big Red 3-Zone Infrared Grill. Billed as "infrared" heating, but rather it's more of a radiant heat. Instead of directly over flame causing flare-ups an whatnot, this one has a u-shaped "trough" above the burners that radiates heat to the food. The trough will allow me to add wood chunks for smoking, liquids for steaming, and collect an easy cleanup of drippings. Goes up to 700 degrees for searing or down low for slow BBQing; my heat range choices are wider than the old one.

It's big. And it's pricey. So to minimize any screwing up that I may do, I'm having my people at the Home Depot assemble it and deliver it to me. Can't wait!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Booker's Porter

Saturday had all the trappings of a busy day: various Big Ten college football games on TV, finish labeling the 3 batches I recently bottled, a 5:30pm 2010 Dominican trip meeting, and the primetime Ohio State game vs. USC. I wanted to brew up a beefy porter to be ready for the cooler months too. So instead of cramming more into my Saturday, I went wild and enjoyed a night brew session on Friday.

I have been ordering a lot of supplies from Northern Brewer up in Minnesota. Flat $7.99 shipping no matter how much I order. A lot of a la carte ingredients and grains to formulate my own recipes. Well for the winter months, I wanted to do a robust porter and a spiced winter ale. These are higher alcohol brews and are definitely warming sippers for those "cold" NC nights. They require about 2 months of sitting to mellow out the fire and round out the flavors. As a result, to have them ready for cooler weather, I need to brew them now. Anyway instead of a la carte, for these styles I figured I'd give Northern Brewer's kits a try. Boxes with all the ingredients ready to go.

The recipe:

1.0 lb Simpson's Chocolate Malt
0.5 lb Simpson's Dark Crystal Malt
0.5 lb Simpson's Black Malt

2 lb Wheat Dry Malt Extract @ 60 minutes
6.3 lb Dark Malt Syrup @ 15 minutes

1 oz Chinook hops, 11.1% alpha acid @ 60 minutes
0.5 oz East Kent Goldings hops, 5.3% AA @ 15 minutes
0.5 oz East Kent Goldings hops, 5.3% AA @ 5 minutes

1 Whirlfloc tablet @ 15 minutes

Danstar Nottingham dry yeast

This was my first experience with adding malt late in the boil. Usually all the malt is added after the specialty grains steep and are boiled for the full 60 or 90 minutes. Adding LME with 15 minutes to go is a new one for me. We'll see how it changes things.

The beauty of this beer will be in the secondary fermenter. There I will add bourbon-infused oak cubes and a full PINT of bourbon. Toasty oak wood plus bourbon on top of a firm porter? This one should be good.

And as far as brewing at night in the backyard instead of during the day in the garage/driveway? Definitely much cooler, and easier to clean up. I might move brewing operations to the backyard more often...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

The trailer:

A Quentin Tarantino film, so you know there will be two common themes: the love of film, and violence. Tarantino pays homage to films of yore with an opening credits reminiscent of old timey films. Also, "Chapter 1" of the film harkens back to westerns: "Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France".

Multiple storylines intersect here. The SS colonel "Jew Hunter" and his quest: utilizing uncanny investigational techniques and skill. The Jew who escapes the hunter only to plot her own revenge. The Tennessee yank who heads up the Basterds to hunt Nazis, demanding 100 scalps per solider. Yes....scalps. Nazi second-in-command Goebbels and his eye for cinema and promoting his newest propaganda star. The British (with a snappy Mike Myers and his penchant for accents) and their attempt to utilize a film critic soldier to work with a stunning movie starlet double agent and infiltrate the Nazis. Hitler and his move to boost morale by attending the cinema in plain sight of the party. And the bold rewriting of history by Tarantino with a boisterous end of the war scenario.

I didn't realize just how long this film was until it was over. Over 2 1/2 hours? Didn't seem like it in the least. It moved. It didn't bore. And it also wasn't appropriate for the squeamish. There wasn't an overloaded overbearing amount of gore, but it's Tarantino so it was in fact integral.

Vying for second with Reservoir Dogs to chase Pulp Fiction in my personal Tarantino rankings.

I enjoyed it. Full Price.

Now on to the debate about the spelling...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two more drafts; none of which I attended.

Work forced me to have to auto-draft for two other fantasy football leagues. This brings my season total to 3 teams plus 1 Pick 'Em league. Here are the draft results for my two computer-populated teams. I wonder if I might be better off not thinking at all and allowing the wires and hardware do my dirty work for me.

I did a 2nd ESPN league and a Facebook league. Again, both had no money down on it. I would've enjoyed attending the drafts, but in order to maintain my lavish lifestyle of movies and homebrewing, I guess I really needed to be at work instead. On a holiday weekend to boot!

Anyway, here's the skinny on the two newest teams for me to follow obsessively:

ESPN league #2:
Who's Tall? Dave Logan.
Drafted #1 out of 8 teams.
1. Adrian Petersen, RB - MIN
2. Calvin Johnson, WR - DET
3. Tom Brady, QB - NE
4. Thomas Jones, RB - NYJ
5. Dwayne Bowe, WR - KC
6. Darren McFadden, RB - OAK
7. Antonio Gates, TE - SD
8. Matt Schaub, QB - HOU
9. Knowshon Moreno, RB - DEN
10. Cedric Benson, RB - CIN
11. Steelers, D/ST
12. Laveranues Coles, WR - CIN
13. Lance Moore, WR - NO
14. Ted Ginn, WR - MIA
15. Dolphins, D/ST
16. Robbie Gould, K - CHI

And then in my Facebook league, with some highly suspect pre-draft rankings if you ask me. But I went with it. It's just for some good fun anyway...
Brian Sipe's Chin Dimple
Drafted #5 out of 8 teams.
1. Drew Brees, QB - NO
2. Marion Barber, RB - DAL
3. Reggie Wayne, WR - IND
4. Marques Colston, WR - NO
5. Pierre Thomas, RB - NO
6. Antonio Bryant, WR, TB
7. John Carlson, TE - SEA
8. Titans, D/ST
9. Ryan Longwell, K - MIN (all kickers drafted in Round 9????)
10. Darren McFadden, RB - OAK
11. Reggie Bush, RB - NO
12. Donald Brown, RB - IND
13. Steve Breaston, WR - ARI
14. Santana Moss, WR - WAS
15. Kevin Walter, WR - HOU
16. Sammy Morris, RB - NE

We'll see what happens this year....

THIS is what domination looks like.

I weep for the competition. Behold. I submit to you, the mighty Greensboro Biergarteners draft:

Picking 6th out of 10 teams:

1. DeAngelo Williams, RB - CAR
2. Steve Slaton, RB - HOU
3. Philip Rivers, QB - SD
4. Vincent Jackson, WR - SD
5. Dwayne Bowe, WR - KC
6. Felix Jones, RB - DAL
7. Owen Daniels, TE - HOU
8. Titans, D/ST
9. LenDale White, RB - TEN
10. Matt Hasselbeck, QB - SEA
11. Kevin Walter, WR - HOU
12. Steve Breaston, WR - AZ
13. Earnest Graham, RB - TB
14. Jets, D/ST
15. Mason Crosby, K - GB
16. Phil Dawson, K -CLE

Just cut me my winning check now. Greensboro, for the WIN!

OH NOES! The big bad president will talk to your kids! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Double Brew Day #3 - Gordon Original Pilsner & English Dark Mild Ale

Wednesday saw a much beloved day off, so it was decreed that it would be a brew day. A double brew day. Knock out two batches. On the schedule? My first stab at a pilsner, a clone of my adored Czech beer Pilsner Urquell ("Pilsner Urquell" = "original pilsner"), and an easy-drinking low alcohol English Dark Mild Ale. Milds are so difficult to find around here, and bottled varieties seem to suffer on the trip across the pond, so the only alternative is to brew your own.

The green hat? One of my September 2008 German souvenirs. A green felt hat made in Germany, with the requisite feather in it. Granted the pilsner I'm brewing is based on a Czech recipe, but the German vibe can only help when brewing a lager. Always going for good brewing karma.

I received inspiration for tackling a lager through my cold-conditioning of my Duvel clone, which saw the carboy keep at a steady 42 degrees in the garage fridge; plus from a blog I follow, Homebrew and Chemistry and his inaugural foray into lager brewing. Figured, what the hell, give it a try. Can't know how it will turn out until I try.

The pilsner recipe (the lightest [in color] beer I've ever brewed):

2 oz Vienna Malt
2 oz Carapils Malt
8 oz Crystal Malt 10L

6 lbs Pilsner Dry Malt Extract (DME)

2 oz Czech Saaz hops 2.5% alpha acid @ 60 minutes
1 oz Czech Saaz hops 2.5% AA @ 15 minutes
1 oz Czech Saaz hops 2.5% AA @ 5 minutes

WLP800 Pilsner Lager yeast

Notice the absence of my usual Whirlfloc tablet to clarify. At 15 minutes I throw one in to help clear the beer. And of course, in the lightest colored beer I've ever brewed where a bright clear yellow finished hue is desired, I forget to throw one in. Dammit.

Lager temperatures and fermentation times are much different from ales. MUCH different. For the usual ale, it's one week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, then bottle. The cold-water bath in the sink that I've been doing lately keeps it within the ideal 68-72 degrees. Before I just left it alone in the ambient temperature of the house and it would be 76-78 degrees. Lagers, such as this pilsner, require much colder temps for the lager yeast to thrive. Here's my planned fermentation schedule for the pilsner:

One day in the sink's cold-water bath.
Move the primary for 2 weeks into the garage fridge.
Remove for two days to allow the temp to rise in a "diacetyl rest".
Transfer to secondary and move back to the garage fridge for 2 months.

Diacetyl is a buttery off-flavor. Some styles yearn for a butterscotch flair. In a crisp and bright golden yellow pilsner, absolutely ZERO diacetyl is desired. The 2-day rise in temp is supposed to burn off the diacetyl and have the yeast "clean up" the beer for a short time before it's back to the cold.

Lager yeasts ferment at colder temps (obviously from the planned schedule) and for longer periods of time. So no mere 3 weeks before bottling like the ales.

So after the pilsner, it was a darker brew: a mild. Milds are low alcohol, sessionable beers that can be consumed in mass quantities with no noticeable drunken stupor resulting. Going down to the English pub for a pint o' mild. So challenging to find a good mild on the shelves, so I did what any good homebrewer who wanted a particular style of beer but couldn't find it would do: brew my own.

The recipe:

5 oz Crystal Malt 60L
5 oz Crystal Malt 120L
4 oz Black Patent Malt
4 oz Chocolate Malt

4 lbs Extra Light Dry Malt Extract (DME)

1 oz East Kent Goldings Hops 5.4% alpha acid @ 60 minutes

1 Whirlfloc tablet @ 15 minutes to clarify

WLP002 English Ale yeast

This one will stay in primary for one week, then with no real need to clear up in secondary, will go directly into the bottle and be ready to drink a mere month after brewing. Nice and easy. Plenty of flavor in a low alcohol brew. Roasty and tasty with minimal bells and whistles. I enjoy a good mild.

So Wednesday was an enjoyable day in the garage with pleasant temperatures in the low 70's, almost the high 60's. Comfortable. And, for brewday entertainment, I watched and made sure no one fell off the water tower on the corner as they repainted it: