I’m thinking about brewing a red ale for St. Patrick’s Day. The key will be fitting it in before we go away on vacation. I should have a few hours next weekend to brew between packing sessions.
We took the opportunity this weekend to start the clearing out process of beer. We finished up the Sam Adams Summer Ale clone I made in 2013. We also took a chunk out of the Pliny the Elder clone and my standard Amoeba Ale Batch 007 and 008 homebrew. I need to make room for new 2014 beers such as a future blonde ale, porter, Russian imperial stout and Amoeba Ale Batch 009 (which may be my best batch yet!).
For whatever the reason, this Russian Imperial Stout recipe has caused me consistent pain and suffering.
- I boiled it over in December 2012 while drinking a growler of too strong beer. Okay, maybe that was my fault.
- I brewed it again in January 2013. I spent the rest of the year trying/fighting (unsuccessfully) to lower the gravity down under 1.038 (OG: 1.090). After a few months in a carboy and then bottles, it turned out pretty tasty in the end.
- Yesterday I brewed it again but this time came armed with a yeast starter. See below for the results. Spoiler alert: I almost blew up the fermentation bucket.
I entered my first beer competition today. I registered my Spiced Winter Ale and the Russian Imperial Stout that I fought with most of last year. I’m thinking about entering a third but that will depend on how it tastes tomorrow as I bottle it.
I’ll post the score sheets once I get them. Unfortunately I’ll be away during the actual event so I’ll have to monitor from a far.
According to the Brewers Association, there are 2,722 breweries at the end of 2013 with another 1,744 in planning.
Pretty amazing that there were still even more breweries in 1870 though back then there was no AB/InBev and MillerCoors.