Today is February 12th, Day 43—almost two thirds of the way through this yearly experiment. And today, just like last Sunday, I brewed some beer.
Last summer I ordered and planted some hop rhizomes; they’re the things you plant in the ground to grow hops. And hops are what you add to beer to make them bitter, and add taste and aroma.
Hops grow on vines, much like grapes. They produce little leafy cones, and in these cones they produce an oil called lupulin; which is what makes beer bitter.The plants grow upwards (where grapevines tend to grow horizontally), and can get more than 20 feet tall. Seeing as how they need something to latch onto, I planted mine along a fence, where they came in nicely.
I didn’t get too much volume-wise from this past year’s harvest (they generally take a year or two to really start producing) but between three different varieties, I did get enough for about one batch of beer. At the time I harvested them, I stuck them in the freezer (which is the best way to keep them fresh). But I thought today was the perfect day to pull them out and see what I could do with them.
Today’s recipe was completely made-up. I went to the brew-supply store and picked up some of the basics, along with some interesting-sounding specialty grains. I wanted the wort to have an interesting, but not too overpowering grain flavor (mostly because ‘m more interested in seeing how the hops came out/taste/smell/etc.).
So this one ended up being:
1lb x-light DME
3lb light DME
1/2lb Vienna malt
1lb 9oz Caramel 60L malt
1lb TF&S Golden Promise
1.25oz Homegrown Chinook bittering hops (approx 12%AA)
1/2oz Homegrown Cascade flavoring hops (approx 5.5%AA)
1/2 oz Homegrown Chinook flavoring hops (approx 12%AA)
1/4oz Homegrown Centennial aroma hops (approx 10%AA)
1/2 oz Centennial pellet aroma hops (8.7%AA)
I ended up having to use some store-bought Centennial hops because a) I didn’t have enough from my plant, and b) mine weren’t very fragrant, and I want this beer to at least smell nice not knowing how everything else will turn out.
I tasted the wort afterward, and it seems fairly flavorful. I’m hoping this becomes a good session beer (in the 4.5-5% alcohol range) and lands somewhere between an pale ale and an IPA. I’ll find out in about a month.
Onward to the numbers!
I ran errands, but I didn’t actually run. Aside from 3 sets of stairs about 5 times for laundry, I didn’t do any exercise. I’ll make up for that tomorrow.
I did pretty alright on food today. Nothing really terribly unhealthy, though I curse myself for having bought a bunch of hummus last week. That stuff is killing my days with all that fat! Luckily, there isn’t much left. So when I’m done with that, I’m done with it. Aside from that, I was just a little heavy on volume. Again, my body is finally realizing that it doesn’t have as much fat as before, and my appetite his HUGE. I figure I’ll try to get down to about 176 lbs., then up myself to a regular calorie load with an emphasis on protein to see if I can’t start putting muscle-weight back on.
-Egg sandwich, coffee @2:30pm
-Kashi cereal @3:30pm
-Chicken fajitas on corn tortillas, quinoa, hummus, pretzel crisps @6:45pm
-Greek yogurt with 1/2 scoop ON Casein protein @10pm
-Kashi cereal @11:45pm
I ended up 290 over my daily limit. I’m still pretty hungry, but I’m going to try to head to bed without munching any more. If I do, I’ll update this.