I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy over a week of paid time off between Christmas and New Year’s. With such an extended stay at home, it’s almost a given that there should be a time to brew somewhere in there. As it turns out, the holidays are busy times full of seeing family and stuff like that. But in the end, I managed to carve out a perfect brewing day – January 1st. I still haven’t decided if it was Brew Year’s Day or New Beer’s Day, but either way the pun is bad.
I have had these bacterial cultures in my fridge for a while, and I decided to finally put them to work. I made a lambic. Half malted wheat and half pale malt, with a handful of what we dubbed “bunny hops” boiled for 60 minutes. I skipped the whole raw wheat turbid mash four hour boil thing, and went pretty standard with an infusion mash around 148°F for this one.
Today is the first Friday of the month, so it’s time for the Session once again. This month is hosted by British beer blogger Stonch. His selection for a theme reflects his approach to beer. Stonch is a dedicated pub drinker, and people are a big part of a pub experience. Thus beer people.
Regular readers will know that for the most part, my beer people are my kids and now my wife is back in the game. But it just doesn’t seem right to talk about kids as beer people. Fortunately, I do make it out of the house on beer-related items now and then. Today I went to the local homebrew shop to pick up ingredients for my next few months of brewing. Grain’s cheaper in bulk.
Iris gave herself the nickname “Cherry Sparkles”. At first it was just “Sparkles”, but then she discovered maraschino cherries, and it became “Cherry Sparkles”. She often introduces herself as Iris Cherry Sparkles Brainard, which almost always confuses the person she’s talking to, especially if it’s another kid.
So I decided to make a “Cherry Sparkles” beer. That is, beer with cherry. I had luck adding fresh strawberries to my Stonington Memorial Summer Ale, an American Wheat Beer I have made a few times. Everyone always loves the un-fruitened beer, and I figured Sam Adams makes a Cherry Wheat, why not me? It may not sparkle, since there’s all that wheat protein making haze, but none of my beers are particularly sparkly anyway.
Blogging about beer has many benefits. First of all, you get to drink beer, and then check off part of your to-do list after you drink it (and photograph it, take notes, etc.) For me, I just envelop myself in all aspects of beer so that I can provide the best information I can about beer for my various postings. But one of the greatest benefits that I’ve been hoping for, I have finally realized. As you might have guessed by the title of this post, it’s free beer!