Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beard update and beer update

So, first of all, an update on the Beard-a-thon... I'll start with the good news. I've already raised $180 and, because two people pledged per day rather than the flat rate, that number will go up $5 a day as long as the Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup playoffs. A special thanks to homebrew bloggers Brian of The Daily Ikura and Dawn of From the Mind of the Dawnie (who doesn't blog exclusively about homebrewing but she indeed brews) for their generous contributions.

Now, the bad news... Since I first blogged about the Beard-a-thon, the Hawks went from a 2-0 series lead to a 2-2 tie. Theoretically I could be clean-shaven by Monday. That's bad both because it means less time to raise money (so if you're thinking of pledging do it now!) and because it means less time to grow a proper beard. Here's what it's looking like after almost a week:

I used to think I grew facial hair pretty quickly (I'm one of those guys who needs to shave every day) but now it seems like it's taking forever. I guess it's the whole watched-pot thing.

Moving from beards to beer, a quick update on Somethin' Else. Given that my Maibock pretty much fermented in two weeks, I figured this would be done in a week. Boy was I wrong. On Sunday our Beerfly Alleyfight partner, Naomi, came over to talk beer and hang with the family. I figured we could rack and dry-hop while she was over. Well, I took a gravity reading and it was only down to 1024 with an expected final gravity of 1015. Now four days later the airlock is still going. The sample tasted great, though I wasn't picking up any smoke (I guess that's what happens when you use two-year-old peated malt). It seemed to have a nice hop profile, including the aroma, so I'm having second thoughts about dry-hopping. I'm thinking I'll rack, let it sit for a week, and then decide whether to dry-hop.

I'm also having second thoughts about our pairing. We made a bacon mac 'n cheese with smoked cheddar, smoked mozzarella and not-smoked muenster, topped with fresh diced tomatoes, and it was awesome. However, I'm not sure it pairs with the beer well. I'm thinking of maybe trying a chipotle gazpacho, but Leah really likes the mac 'n cheese. I agree it's awesome; I just think a spicy gazpacho might complement the beer better. Decisions, decisions...

In the meantime, I tried the Maibock and it's pretty good. I'm picking up a little pineapple-like fruitiness but I'm hoping the lagering will clean that up. It's also a little light on the bitterness (the German Tradition hops I used are several months old now and I didn't account for that) so I may add some iso-alpha acid extract to bring up the bitterness. It should definitely be good to go by May 1.

That's it for now. GO BLACKHAWKS!!!


Blogger Dawnie said...

The Hawks definitely need to stay in at least long enough for you to get good and fuzzy. Go Chicago!

11:43 PM, April 23, 2009  

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