Whew! And what a year it's been, so far... On the home front, life has become extremely hectic--thus, my lack of attention to this blog, lately. Things are plugging along at their usual pace on the brewing front. The work front--well, it's become the cause for much of the business on the home front.
I've had at least two Brewing Days since my last post... In all, four batches: two smoked, two "regular." The smoked included a smoked mild and a smoked porter, using home-smoked malt (smoked over apple wood). In future, I need to let the freshly-smoked malt mellow at least a few days, as the smoke flavor was intense, and a bit acrid. The leftover smoked malt from that brew day is noticeably milder and more pleasant. Also, a mild ale seems not to be the best match to smoke, necessarily, as it lacks the full flavor to either compete with or complement the smoke. The porter, on the other hand, is coming out nicely.
The latest brew day included another iteration of my Kolsch-style hybrid, this time using Papazian's Cry Havoc yeast from White Labs. I haven't racked this yet, so haven't tasted it, but it appears to be behaving normally... The other batch I made was a sweet stout, which seems to be doing its thing nicely. Nothing to report; I'll talk about it more when I tap it.
The big news is that I'm trying to amass a large-ish stockpile, and I'll be having a blowout at the end of July--I'm anticipating 7 brews tapped at a time, plus barbecue and lots of company. The reason? I will have retired from 20 years in the Navy, and will need to celebrate, before going on to whatever Government Contracting job I can pick up between now and then. So, it's back to tweaking the resume for me; I'll try to update more often, but can't promise much for a month or two. Cheers!