home brewing? Oh yeah, I have mentioned that, at least once. Since leaving Knoxville my leisure time interest has shifted away from role playing games and toward home brewing. I really hadn't written much about role playing last year. Darn career, and company going bankrupt, getting in the way of my leisure time! I'm inching my way back into the rpgs a bit, it's hard not to enjoy writing silly stuff.
On the home brewing front, I'm brewing my way through Charlie Papazian's Complete Joy of Home Brewing. In fact, my batch from the first recipe in the book received a Best in Class, British Ales, award at the War of the Wort on May 3. I knew I had made a good beer but not an award winning beer? My score was 41 out of 50 points. That left plenty of room for a really great beer to win the class. Those other guys must have had some dirty bottles or something?
We don't have a reliable or convenient home brew supplier here in Muscle Shoals, Al. There's the Wine Maker Shack in Loretto, Tn. which is forty minuets away. They have all the basic supplies but their hours are 9 to 5, Mon. -- Fri, rather inconvenient hours for me. (Or for any other honest home brewer I should think.) Yesterday I visited a farm supply store in Florence, Longrider Supply. They have a mishmash of basic brewing equipment and ingredients, but no hops and no dried malt extract. As Sally says, how can you make beer without hops?
I believe I have owned The Complete Joy of Home Brewing for twenty years. In all this time I would only describe myself as a casual home brewer. I would go for years without brewing a batch. Since I know the basics of home brewing, and I have certainly owned the book long enough, I thought I would brew my way through all the recipes in the book.
My next batch will be Wise Ass Red Bitter from page 179, the second recipe in the book. Since there is no local home brew supply store handy, I have used the resources of the entree-net to order the necessary ingredients. I plan for the brew day to be in the next seven days, possibly this weekend, I'll keep you all posted.
I should also mention; a fellow Muscle Shoals Masher, Randy Myers, who took 1st Place in the IPA category at War of the Wort. Congratulations to Randy and to all other brewers who participated in the competition.