Thursday, October 1, 2009


Certainly laziness. As stated I planned to only report brews and news I felt significant, unusual, noteworthy in some way. With that thought one would surmise that I have nothing of significance to report since last March! On the contrary! I have been actually quite busy brew wise. Just to lazy to write it down. I knew I would not be very good at this blog thing. Perhaps as the leaves are preparing to fall here I shall turn over a new leaf.

Or not.

Some highlights of what I have been up to since last spring.

Competitions, I have taken ribbons in 3 of them since last Spring. I took a 1st place for my Bitter ol' Woodchuck APA and a 2nd for my Brothers Burly Belgian style Dubbel at the Littleton Homebrew competition in April. I entered the Green Mountain Homebrew comp. for the first time this year and took a 2nd place in the English Brown category for my Quarryman's Mild ale. My latest win was at a brand new competition at the Lancaster fair sponsored by the Granite Cask of Whitefield, NH.. I took home a 1st place for my Fairfax Falls Fog beer (a steam™ beer) in the lager categegory. Another win for my Bitter ol' Woodchuck APA this time bumped to 3rd in the Pale category. Lastly another 1st place in the Harvest cup category for my Ryanna Red. It was a red ale brewed with rye malt and large amounts of my homegrown "wild" hops. An uknown cultivar I have growing from some locally found rhyzomes. The Harvest Cup category is for beers brewed with homegrown ingredients. I had hoped to enter my Gorm Diahbol a traditional Pictish heather ale. Sadly it was not a good year for my heather. I had some dried from last year and a bit of fresh flowers but it was too late by the time they were ready and I really feel fresh is best. Anyhow, the Lancaster fair comp had some really great prizes in addition to the ribbons. Thanks John! The judging sheets were not particularly helpful sadly. Very little commentary mostly just check marks. John reported that some of the judges were perhaps too harsh. I only had one such sheet. The judge slammed my Quarrymans mild a 16/50! The beer that took second at Green Mountain... But no faults were cited?! Oh well. All in all though for the first compitition I think it was really well managed and will certainly enter again. Getting some brews bottled now for the upcoming New England Regional Homebrew comp. in Maine.

Went to the VT. Brewers fest and camped with some friends there. That was a blast. I would say the highlight of the brews there was everything I tasted from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel. FANTASTIC!

Brews. I have kept up brewing, lately not as much as I wanted but I have not been out of beer at least. I attempted meads again this summer. Not very optimistic. Brewed many old favorites and developed some new recipes. Beers of note that I may or may not post about... Smoke in the Sugarhouse! My first smoked ale. I have grown quite fond of smoked beers this summer after trying Schlenkerla Marzen and Urbock. Yum. Mine is a smoked amber ale with a maple flavor. Did my first "wet hop" beer this year. Actually a wet/dry. Wet kettle hops and then dry hops in the keg. I have yet to try it. Another new one for me that is perhaps not noteworthy or unusual is my milk stout. Turned out fantastic though. Barley wine time is coming up and I will certainly update on Mud season Barley wine and soon be dry hopping then tapping the harvest barley wine from last year. That will be on Samhain.

The biggest news (obsession) in my brewing world these days is CIDAH! I took a week long cider making workshop with English cidermaker Peter Mitchell this past August. It was fantastic. Learned a lot and got to meet some great folks in the cider/orchard business in VT. as well as some other homebrewers. I would like to thank Eleanor and Albert Leger of Eden Ice Cider for their work in bringing this workshop here to VT and especially for letting me know about it! There ice cider is superb, definitely check it out if you see it.

I have done a lot of reading and research online about cider and particularly presses and scratters. There is some good info but I feel there is nowhere near as much as there could be. Certainly not the glut of info here is on beer. So I suspect I will put in my 2¢ if I don't flake out again.

Okay, well feast or famine right? Guess I'll leave it at that for now.

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