Today was a good day to brew. The smoky skies and swirling ash fall were at a minimum and the weather, while warm, was pleasant enough in the shade. I had a kit from MoreBeer! courtesy of my pal Janet and I decided it was time to make the eponymous Janet’s Brown Ale. It’s a “big” beer in my book, that is, a high original gravity (1.065-1.070 or 16-17 ºP). I lean toward the “session beer” style as I like quaffing pints and neither my waistline nor my personality improves with more caloric or higher alcohol brews. Nonetheless I expect this one will be pretty tasty—lots of crystal malt and multiple hop additions!
That’s me below, obviously. My phone cam is kind of cheesy and I couldn’t quite get the angle right, hence the cockeyed frame. You can see the psychedelic thingamabob that my pal Stephanie gave us hanging from the beam over the kettle. That’s my custom made maple brew paddle on my left shoulder. (Another gift from an old pal.) You can see the dark wort a-bubblin’ nicely. I love the aroma of fresh wort. I love the aroma of hops. Hell, I love beer and everything that goes into making it.
The breeze came up around 2:00 p.m. and dumped a lot of crap into my work area but I was able to keep the kettle covered during the cooling phase and kept the brew from being spoiled. I suppose I could just let all the seeds, dead leaves, wildfire debris and whatnot add its own unique flavors. After all the Belgians open the roofs of their brewhouses and allow their beers to ferment with wild yeasts and bacteria. Of course, some of their beers taste like old socks. I suppose I’ll just have to enlarge my palate and start thinking about some new flavor profiles.