Monday, May 6, 2013

Time Marches On/Events of Woe/New Dawn

So here I am again, beginning a blog in the manner I assume most do much more often than they'd like: Apologies to have been so absent of late, I guess it is kind of a mixture of the improving weather and beginning training for my next ultramarathon in earnest. The weather has been good to us, and as such we've yet to brew indoors. Its pretty freeing to be outside working and it also allows us to put off the consideration of burning propane indoors (maybe we'll never have to confront the issue?). There hasn't been a flurry of activity as with recent build days, but nevertheless it stands to reason that if one is to be incommunicado for nearly a month events will inevitably transpire. And transpire they have.

#1 - New Tap Handles

A friend of ours, upon hearing of our keezer endeavor, offered to share his CNC Router, in order to have a bit of fun making some tap handles. We were naturally quite excited to see what would come out of it, and disappointed we were not. I don't know if you'll see this but many thanks Rick! We'd love to reciprocate in some way for this awesome gift!

6 servings of tap-handly goodness

I'm really not sure how I've managed to avoid getting a picture of them in action. In fact, my focus has been less on photography and more on method and results of late. Maybe we need to draft an official photographer...

#2 - Damn You Hubris!

I'm fairly sure this was my fault. The wild boasting of my previous post has caused the ever giving goddess Ninkasi* to smite our efforts. I guess a picture is probably worth a thousand words, and indeed this is worth a moment of measured silence...

No one was hurt

*that's right, HISTORY LESSON! It seems these days if you've slick enough SEO and smart enough marketing you can supplant the gods themselves! It's a good job they make such good beer too ;)

#3 - To Old Beers and New

The aforementioned horror that elapsed comes, however, as a mere footnote to the announcement of two new beers! Just put into keg yesterday were Pistachio Porter v2.0 & the newest S&F creation - Halfwit IPA. The former is a altering of the original favorite. There's an argument to not fix something that isn't broken, but what about improving on something that's great? The porter has been a real hit, and we're taking it into flavor country with a more diverse grain bill and some adjunct help to smooth it out. We kegged it yesterday and couldn't have been happier with the provisional results. Fully fermented yet uncarbed and room temperature it is almost everything you'd want from a finished beer. It's complex, its rich and it will tell you a tale you'll not soon forget. The first hit is an upfront toasted note that belies the luxury of the new mouth-feel, exposing the rugged, robust roots of the style. But don't get complacent because go back for a second draw and you'll be seduced all over again but this time by an earthy nuttiness that delights the palette and nose in equal measure. Still to come for this seemingly well rounded brew - the pistachio treatment and carbonation/conditioning. I'm anxious to experience the results.

And of course, who could forget the Halfwit IPA - this most glorious blend of international styles pitting wheat against hop for supremacy in your glass and heart. We've had our greatest experiment with flaked wheat thus far and we think its shaping up swimmingly. It's a concoction of two-minds boiled with a healthy 4oz pile of Chinook and Citra hops that we think this is going to be a feisty brew that will hold its own in any arena. And just because we felt like it could maybe stand to be hopped all the more we've gone and thrown another full ounce of each hop into the keg to spice up the nose even more.

And as if that wasn't enough, we went for another of our crazy yeast experiments - we've fermented half of the batch with a Burton Ale Yeast (White Labs P023) for its fruity notes and the other half with California (White Labs P001) to get something of a cleaner standard IPA feel. Both have come out strong, but have a ways to go before judging, now comes the carb and and the chill. So far, the Burton is giving hints of Belgian spice and fruit notes without overpowering the way some Abbey yeast strains can, I'm optimistic about both but will want to put it to the vote. So get yourselves over to see us in a couple weeks time and we'll see which is best!