Tuesday, June 16, 2009

National Homebrew Conference

I'm getting packed for my trip to Oakland California for the NHC! I'm really incredibly excited as this will be my first (and hopefully not last) conference. I get to Oakland at 9:40 tonight. Alli's family is picking me up at the airport and I'm going to stay at their place in Alameda. Then, tomorrow morning I get up bright and early for the Iron Liver tour. It's a luxury bus tour hosted by a homebrew club in California that tours up north of San Fransico to Russian River, Lagunita's and more! Then, on Thursday morning at 8am the conference starts! For three days there's seminars including talks on water chemistry, wild fermentation, protiens, yeast culturing and much more from almost all of my favorite beer writers, homebrewers and brewers! The keynote speaker this year is Ken Grossman, co-founder and president of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the likes of Charlie Papazian, Sam Calagione, John Palmer, Ray Daniels and so many more are going to be speaking as well! Then, on Sunday I have the day free! I was realllly hoping I could tour Anchor Steam with Alli's dad. I called Anchor Steam in the begining of April because you have to reserve a place in the tour and they were already booked solid through July! So, the next brewery I really wanted to see was Speakeasy because I love everything I've tried from them, but it turns out they're only open for a couple hours on Fridays. Oh well. SO, while writing this I got a call from one of my best friends who lives in Santa Rosa and it's her birthday on Monday and she's going to be in San Fransico on saturday night! So after the conference Saturday and Sunday morning I'll get to hang out with her and her awesome boyfriend! YES! Well, now I'm even more excited. This is going to be great!

In homebeer news, I just bottled the Liberation a few days ago and am really excited to crack one open when I get back! I also made the cream ale and kegged the oatmeal stout. I'm not sure exactly where it went wrong but upon my first taste I think the oatmeal stout got infected. Bummer :( Here's the Oatmeal, Liberation and Cream Ale at the space with the last of the Saison and Black Hole in the kegs.

Here's the Cream Ale brew day. It's for my friends Alex and Aaaron Means' 4th of July BBQ and is currently being called the Means Bros Cream Ale

I'm thinking though when I get back I'm going to brew one more beer before July (a wheat wine to open in the summer next year?) and then take July as a brew free month (sort of). I've been brewing a lot lately and it's been taking a ton of time. Now that Alli's out of school though (congrats to the college grad!!!) I'm hoping that a small break from brewing will allow us to hang out more. I have however, decided that I'd like to take on the red heffeweizen in July to have as a birthday beer to myself. Being that I'm half Irish and half German I thought a Irish Red mixed with a German Hef would be great! Ideally I would like to make a Irish Red German Lager (YUM!) but, I can't lager :( I'm thinking then I'll go with a traditional german hef recipe but add some munich and crystal malts for color and sweetness, and then double up the yeast with british ale for a dryness and german wheat for cloudyness and aroma, or maybe even Weihenstephan if I brew with it on the cooler side so I don't overwhelm the beer with banana cloveyness.

So I suppose that's all for now! I'll be back on sunday night with a million pictures and hopefully no hangover hahahaha


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