After a very busy 2015, things have finally settled down around the hacienda. With the unexpected move, kids’ sports, work, and all other life events that came up, I wasn’t able to devote anytime to brewing at all. And, since this is a home brewing blog, my activity on this site has been limited to checking for messages and comments and general up keep.
Now that we are in a new year, and life has settled, there is time for making more of the sweet nectar that we all cherish. I started with a diagnostic check of the equipment to ensure everything was still in working order. Aside from some minor slow leaks, everything checked out.
My first beer for the new year is a standard winter beer that I have favored over the years. It’s a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout which I have affectionately name “Prairie Dog Stout”. Since my brewing throw-together rig is highly portable, the process I use doesn’t change much, if any. I did take a risk using American Pale 2-Row that has been sealed in buckets for over year knowing my efficiency would suffer. But, I figured that since the malt passed the smell and taste tests without any alarms that I could compensate and add a couple extra pounds of malt to overcome any losses. Things went well enough, and as expected, I was a couple points off of my starting gravity. I decided to go forward with fermentation and, who knows, I may have found a new and interesting flavor profile for a great session stout.
I have some plans in the works for this blog this year mostly with adding more to the DIY section. Most of my equipment is made on a budget, so researching the best possible practices and keeping costs low is something would like to bring to a wider audience.
Take care and see you on brew day!