-We took our semi-annual trip to Florida back in March. It was fun and warm but not super warm the last few days. We did some swimming and whatnot and went on some outings. You can see what I drank in my instagram feed and some pictures of us and EE.
-My Double IPA didn't quite come out as I had hoped, and 'Wrence helped me figure out what the problem was. It was too malty. It was due to the fact that I got that malt from Great Western for free with the gift certificate I won. It must have been the Pale Malt and not just the base 2-Row. Anyway, it's still good, and a lot of beer nerds might even like it better this way, but I like it drier with the hops out front more.
-I wanted to enter the DIPA into the South Shore Brew Off but I missed the window. From about mid February until we went to Florida life was pretty nuts for us. My mind was mostly consumed with the whole buying and selling of these houses and constantly having to do things, make decisions, get paperwork together, etc. When the smoke finally cleared and I could get my mind focused on beer again, it was the day after the last day to sign up and drop off. In my defense, I know I checked in late January and they had NOTHING online about it (maybe even early February). It still linked up to 2013. This is by far the most poorly run comp I've ever entered. They capped the entries at 250 this year because the last two years it took them 3 or 4 weekends to get all the judging done. That's pretty crazy if you ask me. Maybe it'll hold up until the next comp.
-This past weekend I brewed a Belgian IPA. I wanted it to be a session beer around 4.5% but was over gravity/under volume a bit so it'll be closer to 5% I think. I had roughly 5 lbs of that Pale Malt left so I used that and added around 4 lbs of Pilsner malt (I had 13 lbs from 'Wrence, so I saved 9 lbs for a Pils this Summer). That and some Cara-Pils and sugar made up the fermentables. I mashed around 148F. I used Wyeast1214, Belgian Abbey, and using 'Wrence's advice, did not make a starter, hoping for more esters to come through from the yeast and I'm letting it get as warm as I can in my house. It was fermenting away this morning around 68F. I'm hoping it climbs into the mid-70's today. I hopped it was Amarillo, Simcoe, and Mosaic. Hopefully this yeast churns away and gets it nice and dry. It's stated that 1214 is a slow starter but it seemed to get going okay for me, so should be strong.
-It has been relatively cool here still, though it's starting to warm some. There has been no signs of my hops sprouting yet, but I think that's a good thing and more normal. They used to come up early and rather than cut them back I'd let them go. It doesn't matter too much I suppose since we're moving. I'm thinking of digging up as much of the roots as I can and transplanting it at the new place though. They probably won't do too much this year but I figure that's better than starting over with new rhizomes. We have a pretty good spot I think at the new house for them. The current owners have a few planting beds in the back against the house so I figure that must get some decent sun. I can run some twine up to the top of the house. The house faces West pretty much so one side gets the most Sun. I'll just have to see how it gets blocked by trees and stuff. Should be doable though and hopefully better soil so that I actually get a decent crop for once. I won't miss our clay like rocky soil.
I guess that's all for now....cheers.