Composed by Steve
Hokay. So… I’m sure this fresh new post may be a futile attempt at interest for any of our (ex)blog readers out there (at least for a while till we get the buzz going again).
To say the very least, it has been a short while since we have even sniffed the blog, much less brewing beer. I am VERY sorry for this, and especially sorry, really because now I’ve run out of beer to drink… I’m sure anyone who was following along with us wondered if we had quit, died, lost computers/internet, etc., but quite honestly it’s just been a crazy few months. So in the spirit of quoting a line from my newly-departed-college- attending-filmschool-friend’s favorite movie (Dark Knight), “And away we GO!”
Now, I’m not necessarily trying to make excuses, but I have a few excuses to make… right.
As of our last post, everyone saw we had a wedding for our friends in Charleston. Obviously, even that final post was somewhat rushed and forced. By that point, we had not brewed in two weeks. Such as the rest of the summer.
Over the span of three months, there were an estimated total of about 5 weddings. Included in these are the bachelor/bachelorette parties of course, accompanied by several trips either to these parties or weddings themselves. Between an ungodly amount of time and monetary (beer money) expense, brewing/transferring/bottling was nearly unpossible!
As everyone knows, the economy BLOWS and it has definitely effected our operations. What’s worse than a hops shortage and 300% increase in their prices? Ah. The same increase in the prices of barley! When gas prices skyrocketed, many folks turned to ethanol for fuel supply. Much of the barley use has been diverted to be converted into ethanol fuel. This, of course, increased demand, shortened supply and anyone who graduated high school knows this increases product price. (wow that was the most boring paragraph I’ve written since college… no more of that crap)
As much as I HATE to admit it (or any brewer for that matter), we experienced a couple of mishaps, if you will, in process/cleanliness/fermentation techniques starting in late April. The most prominent was, for the lack of better terminology, a yeast infection… we think. Somewhere among the factors of poor harvesting, unclean storage, and bad starters came a funky-fresh, off-flavored, and low-attenuating source of yeast supply for our wort. Many batches failed to even begin fermenting, hence our assumption of bad yeast. I have recently racked my brain and many books to correct our practices and am anxious to try some different techniques. ANY SUGGESTIONS OR EXPERIENCE FROM OTHER BREWERS?!
In addition to this main problem, we decided we should wait till cooler weather to brew since the summer wreaks havoc with stifling hot fermentation temps. And unless Jamie wanted a $400 a month electric bill to keep the house cooler, we concluded that the warmish temps were partly causing bad characteristics in the beer.
As with many business/friend/partner alliances, there comes a certain level of inevitable drama. People come. People go. Things change. Such is life right? Well hopefully I can still provide the entertainment and somewhat boring info as wittily as our vocabularily verbose friends Sparks and Eileen.
I will most definitely be posting more on solving our actual brewing problems when we begin back. Until then, please feel free to comment, welcome us back, and offer suggestions (including possible brewery names, beer names, and fashion advice to Jamie).
Cheers and happy brewing!