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December 2008 Archives

December 6, 2008

Batch 15 - Initial Impressions

I, uhh, forgot to clean out the beer-line hose and faucet and what-not when the previous keg was done, and it got kinda funky. Rather a lot, really. So I've been waiting to taste this batch until I could replace the hose and clean out the ball valve and faucet...

...which I was able to do today! Hence, the first tasting of Batch 15, about 2 weeks after it was brewed.

First impression: It's good! It's really sweet, so 6 cups of honey is too much. The wintergreen is just right. Anise is there, but just barely; I think it'd be good to bring it up a touch. The NaISCF-O-M][(tm, pat pend) is doing its job; the drink is very clear and not bitter at all. There wasn't even the obligatory first pour of sludge that every other batch has had. I'm _VERY_ pleased with this aspect of this batch. The sassafras flavor is a little weak too, but this is expected given that I didn't have enough sassafras.

The fizz is there, but kinda weak. I don't know if I should just up the pressure. I've shaken the living hell out of the keg, it's nice and cold (though not frozen), so it should be fizzier than it is.

One change: I replaced the beer line with 3/16" hose instead of the 1/4" hose it had before (still 10' of it) which should help prevent it from generating too much head.

I'll be very interested in Cindy's impression. This is nicely wintergreen-ie, which she likes. It's not very lick-a-tree-ie, which she doesn't.

Hmm. More response after folks from our holiday party try some.

Updated: 10 minutes later... Ok, the first glass I tried has left a bit of a taste on my tongue. I'm not sure if its the wintergreen or something else. If feels like wintergreen. It's not entirely unpleasant, but it's not what I would prefer. :-/

Want pictures?

It has been pointed out to me that my blog isn't really a blog unless it has pictures. This person brings up a good point; I would like to have pictures of what I do with Root Beer, but given that I'm doing all the cooking and it kinda takes two hands, I can't really take my own pictures.

I would like to point out that when this was explained to the reader in question, they declined to offer to come over and take pictures during my next brewing session. :-P

So, if anyone is interested in coming over and documenting my next batch of root beer, I'm very interested. Get a hold of me somehow, (email, IM, BBS, or however you know how to get a hold of me; if you don't, then post a comment here and it'll get sent to me) and we'll arrange something.

BTW: Thanks for reading. I know this isn't the most exciting blog in the world, but I really enjoy brewing root beer and I'm glad to share my experience with others.

December 12, 2008

2 Years...

Two years ago right now, I think I had just crumpled into a useless ball of goo in the corner of the hallway outside the OR. The nurse put her arm around me and said nothing, which is precisely what I needed. Cindy was being prepped for an emergency C-Section 'cuz Zoe's heart rate was dropping with every contraction, all three of them; Doc didn't let that go on very long at all.

In just about 1 hour from now, I will have been a father to a very small, beautiful, floppy, wrinkly girl who has since changed my life in ways I could never have guessed.

The conception sucked (took 2 years). The pregnancy was normal until just before 36 weeks when preeclampsia hit, sending our world into an accelerated whirlwind: a sudden trip to the hospital from which I would not return without a daughter.

Somehow, I think it's appropriate that I be remembering this event having gotten only 4 hours of sleep last night. :-)

The memories aren't all fond, but the outcome is. It's true, what they say, that you tend to forget the bad parts over time. Now I only think about things like last night, Zoe putting her two dolls on my lap and laying a blanket over the three of us, then crawling in, looking up at me and smiling, waiting for me to start reading to her and her dolls. It's been a long road to hoe, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Birthday, Zoe. I love you more than you'll ever know.


About December 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Mark's Blog in December 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.