Well, it's been awhile since I've blogged about the brewing news. Since the last post, I've blown through the Columbus APA keg. The latest of my single hop APA/IPA series of the summer, I was pretty happy with the results, but I think Columbus, for my taste anyway, needs to be blended with other American hops. Just a little too rough around the edges for beers following the Bush Doctrine of go it alone.
I also buckled down and made my first wine, a Chilean Pinot Noir, that is in secondary right now. Wine kits are a little pricey, but they are ridiculously simple. It took about a half hour to make the thing! From what I hear, they are pretty hard to mess up, so I'm hoping that around Christmas time I'll be sipping some good wine that cost about 4 bucks a bottle.
Right now I'm drinking my Big Bill's Brown ale and will be kegging Jamil's Mild sometime tomorrow. The brown is a little on the young side, only 2.5 weeks since brewing, but it's nice and clear and has a nice sweet chocolate malt backbone with a good hop punch to balance things out.
I picked up ingredients to brew another blonde ale this weekend, as well as the 50 pound sack of DME I ordered. For the blonde I'll be using my hop harvest as well as a bunch of huge Cascade cones that I harvested from the hop yard of a guy in my homebrew club. Last Sunday another club member and I went to his house to help him get rid of his crop. When I saw the trellis I almost cried. It was like a wall of hops reaching to the heavens. After 3 or 4 hours of picking, I got about 3 pounds of Cascade and about a pound each of Saaz and Fuggles. Some of the Saaz will be going into a Czech Pilsner that will be dumbed down with ale yeast since I can't lager yet and the Fuggles will be going into a Stout or Porter of some sort. Seeing this hopyard really got me thinking hard about making a major expansion to my yard next year.
Finally, I picked up all the parts for a partial mash tun so that I can start experimenting with some different base malts like Golden Promise and Maris Otter, but I don't have any solid plans for what I'm going to brew for my first partial mash brew. I'm leaning towards an Oatmeal Stout or maybe a Smoked Porter, but that may change. Any suggestions?