Long overdue update…

November 1, 2011

Wow, it’s been way too long. I’m going to try to keep this thing updated regularly. In the last year and a half a lot of beer has been made and consumed, awards have been won, and a good time was had by all. Among some of the more notable events was my wedding last September. I was lucky enough to have Pinelands brewing from NJ ship their 1 BBL. kettle and some equipment out here to brew an extract pale ale for the event, some of which was aged on oak chips. Here’s a video of the brew session:

I also brewed 5 gal. batches of my imperial IPA, and a porter:

Much to my surprise the IIPA was the first to go, by a wide margin. I thought it would just be me and my groomsmen drinking this stuff, but this is the NW after all. We love our hops here.

Following my wedding I nailed down some of my flagship recipes including the Omega Oatmeal Stout, Supercritical Saison, Gamma Ray IPA, Revival Double Red, and Dephaser Amber. I brewed some new concoctions including Evaporation (a Smoked Imperial Brown) Total Internal Reflection (Oak-barrel-aged Imperial Stout, aged in a 5 gal. oak barrel with dried licorice root), and a coffee-infused version of Heavy Deavy Skull Crusher barleywine. Surprisingly one of my favorite new recipes is a cream ale, the Superradiant summer ale. It is an incredibly crisp, refreshing, drinkable, crafted version of shitty American macro beer. It’s what everyone should drink on the trail, river, or backyard in the summer.

In addition to my own I brewed for Steve and Jocelyn’s wedding, friends of mine who enjoy good beer. A few months prior to the wedding I set up a tasting panel with 8 or so beers to choose from. They ended up going with an Amber, Cream, Imperial IPA, and a Saison. I was really excited about serving the Saison, but wasn’t sure how it would be received since it can conceived as a more difficult style to appreciate. Boy was I wrong. People absolutely loved it. It was the crowd favorite, followed closely by the IIPA and then the amber. I would have predicted the exact opposite preferences, but this gives me hope in people’s beer drinking habits. Maybe some people have just never been exposed to good beer and don’t know what it can be. Hopefully I’ve created at least one beer fan from this. I couldn’t believe people were opting for the more flavorful options of the Saison and IIPA over the cream and amber, but I can’t say I’m completely surprised as I consider them to be better beers. I guess people are more willing to take risks when they don’t have to pay for it!

As of now, I’ve got a keg of Simple Pole Pumpkin ale and a fermenter each of Old Insular Winter Warmer, and a new single hop IIPA, SSH. I had a bunch of Super Galena hops (13.3%) left over from last year that needed to be used up before I get this year’s harvest in the mail, so I figured a nice big IIPA would burn through most of them. I ended up with an OG of 1.082 and 5 oz. of hops for about 90 IBU’s. I’m calling it SSH (Super galena Single Hop), with an oblique reference to the linux command.

Stay tuned for results and let me know if you’re in the Seattle area and would like to try any of my beers.


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