Monday, May 18, 2009

Homebrew Weekend

I started the weekend with my first real bike of the year, 53 miles with Don Henderson. It started out as a nice ride to the Point Judith Lighthouse and back to North Kingstown, but the ride got ugly towards the end, mainly because i bit off a little more than i could chew. It was a painful ride past forty, the body was running on empty, but i survived and realized i need many more miles on the bike. I am not in 50 mile condition, more like 35-40. At least it was a workout of some sort, since running is not going good at all right now with a pulled calf muscle. Friday is massage day, i can't wait!

Once the ride was over, it was time to get down to the business of the day,
 homebrewing two batches of beer. These are going to be some big beers, one being an imperial porter and the other is an imperial IPA. 

The porter is made up of various grains steeped before boiling and then adding in 12lbs of dry malt extract. That is alot of malt, which means high gravity/high alcohol and some hop aroma with a late addition of cascade hops in the last 10 minutes 
of the boil. This is not what you would call a "session" beer, 2 after a
 hard run will knock you on your ass. As you can see by the photo, fermentation is going well.

The IPA is my favourite style of beer and this particular recipe is the best i have. It will turn out to be a large, chewy, aromatic brew. I started out by mashing 6lbs of pale and crystal malt followed by 9lbs of dry malt extract and when finally done, 12ozs of hops. I dry hop in both primary and secondary fermentation to get a beer that just smells heavenly. 

Joining me for this homebrew extravaganza was George Ross, Mark Howard and Bob Jackman, who had just finished second to Mark Carroll at 5k just up the street from here. The race wasn't close ;)  They got to experience the sights and smells and sample some good beers along the way, as well as a great still cider i made 6 years ago, and yes, i even helped press the apples for the fresh cider. 

Looks like a busy weekend coming up as we make the annual trip up to the Vermont City Marathon and Relay. I am the captain of the mens master team in the relay, but obviously not running. The long range goal was to be in this race but there always seems to be some minor setback that crops up to kill my training. I keep having to reset my goal races. I think i should just plan on being in as good of shape that i can be for snowshoe racing next winter. 

On the way to Vermont, we will be stopping in at Wachusett Mountain so Bob Jackman and Martin Tighe can run the race and i can take some pictures. I'll be the one on the mountain slopes with the big camera pointed at you. Smile and say hi if you like, should be fun.





GZ said...

Nice. I have been enjoying the first bottles of my most recent IPA.

I am not familiar with the term "session." What does that mean in terms of a beer? Also - a bit of clarification on what you mean here by imperial? TIA.

Sir George said...

Scott, I had to call for a ride because I was going under fast otherwise I would never have made my Sunday run.

Man, we drank some good beer.

Scott Mason said...

session beer is more of an english term for a beer you can drink many of and not get too drunk, probably best in the 4-5% range.

Imperial would be quite a bit higher in alcohol than your regular ipa or stout. More hops, bigger body.

if i make it to mt washington, i'll bring some along.

GZ said...

Ah. I get it now. My IPA is crazy hoppy right now. I think I can get a quarter to stand on its head for a bit after the pour ... at least for a little bit. :) But, I confess, I have not been so diligent to measure the sp. grav. to determine the alcohol content.

Scott Mason said...

I just guesstimate the alcohol level, this one should be around 9-9.5% with hop ibu's topping 100. VERY hoppy. As long as it tastes good, i'm happy.

Trail Pixie said...

Scott, I was a bottle "capper" for friends who home-brewed. My new libation love is Long Trail's "Double Bag." After my first try I was feeling extra fine and confirmed my suspicions about the "double" part in its name: 7.2% alcohol. I'll be towards the back of the middle-pack at Wachusett...but not carrying a Stickebier (Secret Brew), of course. Cheers, Nice post.

Scott Mason said...

Double Bag is a great brew! Yell when you run by.