Ahhhhhhhhh, it's a sweet breath of relief to be back in the swing of things again. I'm back on my 2 beers a month schedule and have a head swimming with ideas for future beers! A few days ago I got my holiday cheer mojo into beer action and put together a recipe for a xmas seasonal. I knew from the start that my intention was to keep the beer at a sessionable level since 1. I've been overwhelmed as of late with ~10% holiday beers and winter warmers (Bifrost, Old Wooly - tomorrow anyways, The Abyss, Anchor's Our Special Ale, Black Butte XXI, ect. ect.) and 2. Xmas is only a month away and I wanted something to celebrate with. So I put together a 5% bready brown ale/red ale and added nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves at 10 minutes into the boil. Brew day went mostly with out a hitch too! Naturally the recipe changed up until it was in the fermenter, but with the exception of a high temperature dough in and a pretty thin mash every thing came together just right. I hope to move it to the secondary tomorrow or the next day, and after tasting it may even add some more of the spices in the secondary to add a tasty nose.
Today I also bottled Black Hole. It was tasting reaaallly astringent with bitterness from the roast malt going into the secondary and less so, but still noticeably too much into the bottle. I'm thinking I really should have added CaCo3. I'm reluctant too though because I didn't with the initial batch and it tasted so good, but naturally different batches will come out differently, especially since I have now made this beer on 3 different 'brewing systems'. Regardless, I'm finally happy that I'll be drinking homebrew on a regular basis again and am excited to get, well excited about beer.
I suppose that's all for now! I'm at a toss up between an Imperial IPA, Belgian Dubbel, Belgian Pale Ale, and Porter for the next brew. I will however be brewing The Penthouse Barley Wine again at the end of December. Last year's batch has been coming along veerrrry nicely. I feel it was best in September, but I'm taking a few to the homebrew meeting on Wednesday and am excited for some feedback.