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Peated Scottish v2

Yes, today is a brewing day in the Sever household – the first in over a month! I’ve been seriously slacking, but more on that later. Today is a peated scottish ale, probably in the 1.050 to 1.055 range. Its one I have been meaning to do for some time – the ingredients are about a year old, so hopefully things will work out just fine – but the Golden Promise 2-row and Peated Malt were purchased some time way back when some club members did a big order to North Country Malt Supply>. Its not that I couldn’t have done it before, or that I couldn’t have used these ingredients for something else in the meantime – I just always managed to slide something in before it. Since the peated malt is over a year old, it has a much more mellow and subtle aroma (and I am guessing flavor) than it did back in March 2006 when Scott Bieber asked me “what did you DO to this?!?!? It tastes like peat moss!!” It obviously won’t be ready for folks to try at this year’s Jerry & Joyce St. Pats extravaganza – but I’ll probably torture folks with it sometime around May or June.

I’ve been very busy doing research for a semi-automated / computerized homebrew sculpture. I say “semi-automated” because I don’t want to just press the GO button and it does all the work – I want the computer to do smart temperature control and facilitate some of the more tedious exercises while brewing like measuring out water, or doing mash steps. **I** still want to be the brewer, but I want to exact a level of precision and repeatability over my batches that I don’t have right now. I also want to be able to capture brew session data and have the ability to analyze it later if something truely wonderful happens (or awful, as the case may be).

So instead of brewing, I’ve been playing with electronics – programmable microcontrollers, resistors, capacitors, logic chips, LEDs, etc. – I used to know all that stuff, and have managed to forget it in the years since I learned it in college.

If you feel like amusing yourself, go to the Tech section of our website and check out “Electrobrew”, my tentative name for this endeavor. I don’t know what the project will ultimately be called, but that’s good enough for now.

I won first place for my Choking Sun Stout at War of the Worts XII, which got me a $50 gift certificate to Keystone Homebrew Supply up in PA. Looks like I am going to have to make a pilgrimage to spend it, but there are always tons of other things to do in Philly that would warrant the trip.

Also, looks my family and some friends are all going to the Belgian beer festival at Ommegang in July. After reading of the experience from the assistant brewer at Iron Hill Newark, I convinced my wife that pitching a tent among the other bohemians was not something we wanted to do, so we are looking at getting a cabin some (walkable) distance away where we don’t have to endure the all-night drum circles and idiots stumbing into our area, begging for late-night handouts.

Last but not least, we are MOVING our blog from Blogspot to our domain and using the WordPress platform. Blogger has been reasonably good for us, but honestly I feel better having it on our own site. If you are reading this entry at http://www.firststatebrewers.com/blog/ then you are already ahead of the game.

If not, start checking http://www.firststatebrewers.com/blog/ instead, because that’s where we are headed.

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Categories: Brew session
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