Well, today’s a bit day for brewing stuff, as I have a few things to get done/out of the way before the weekend arrives, and because I decided to give myself a little fun to make up for the frustration I’m having with Emart’s website. (I’ve been ordering groceries online without real problems for over a year, but suddenly nothing is working again. Well, no, that’s not quite right. Rather, when I select my address for shipping, the dialog tells me I haven’t selected an address and can I please input one again?)
It seems something has been changed in the website code, and I’m not sure if upgrading to WinXP Service Pack 3 will fix it, but that’s the last thing I can think of that might be causing problems on my end; after that, I’m going to have to just contact Emart and ask them WTF?
In the meantime: I’ve3 been doing some brewing stuff around the house, though I am about to settle down to some hardcore grading of the last remaining third of stuff from midterms. It’s feeling good to have that mostly out of the way, and I’ll be very happy when it’s all done and I’m (basically) all caught up. But… the brewing stuff:I’m bottling my chocolate cherry stout in a few minutes, which I expect to remain chocolatey but not to be very cherry at all. What can I say, I knew bing cherries fermented pretty clean, but I didn’t know they fermented that clean. Anyway, I have a bunch of bottles ready. With the priming sugar that I add to each bottle, I’ll also be adding a certain amount of cocoa powder, since even between a considerable amount of cocoa powder in the boil, and most of a bottle of cacao liqueur, it’s really only mildly chocolatey right now. Since, in my experience, bottle conditioning seems to make things grow more, not less, mild, I figure it’s better to boost things while I can. This is mostly going into a nice set of 500ml bottles, because I figure this beer is more of a dessert beer, and thus likely smaller servings are preferable.
I finally got around to making a one-gallon batch of Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead (aka JAO), for which there is a recipe here. I’m fermenting it in one of those giant Carlo Rossi wine jugs I snagged at a party last semester. Handy things, I hope I can get a few more of those…
I’ll also be culturing some yeast from one of my bottles of wheat beer, since I like the spiciness that this particular yeast gave the wheat. It’s no hefe, but it is a nice touch. It’s my second try at culturing yeast, but the first serious try — I’m not going to leave this one somewhere and forget about it, only to discover it’s gone horrifically sour sometime since I forgot about it. (That sourness was amazingly awful, suggestive of an overpowering infection by lactobacillus…)
And lastly, I’m going to make a starter for the beer I’ll be brewing this Saturday, which will be my entry to the SMaSH-off competiton this June. (For which, urk, again I’ve forgotten to send the money for my own attendance.) More about that on Saturday. I can say for now that I wish I had a stir plate, as it’d mean starting the starter only a day before, instead of three. It needs to be big by then for a few reasons: I may have to split the starter and use one half of it to krausen the last batch of beer I brewed up, saving the other half to pitch into my SMaSH brew.
Ah, and there’s something else I need to do in preparation of my SMaSH brew, again, I’ll post about that on Saturday. Muhahaha.