The countdown begins.

So, while transferring, fortifying, and oaking what remains of last year’s Chaimera tonight, I had an idea that I’d like to throw out to the rest of the valiant Flagon Slayers: Year End Party.  Bring the best you’ve made, period.  I’ll put down a bottle of Chaimera, Cyser, Cider, some of the Atomic Porter, and anything I make for the rest of the year that makes the cut.

Here’s how to play along at home:  when you determine something’s worth this final second year throwdown, just label it specially and hide it in the cellar somewhere. Sometime around the start of 2009, we have a Bacchanalian tasting party, the likes never seen by mortal men. Gentlemen, start your fermenters.  Fautz, start making excuses.

Leave me a comment if you’re in.

And Tonight’s Experiment…

My brain really wasn’t up to programming today, so I went to Fautz’s and bartered for another carboy (and got an old SPARCstation IPX from his collection, somehow), then tried my hand at a rice wine.  Not sake, but an interesting looking recipe from The Joy of Home Winemaking.  The whole section on grain wines holds a strange fascination for me, and in two weeks when I rack this one, I’ll be making a wheat wine as well. Anyway, after the rice wine was put into primary and I was racking some of the other brews that are in the works, I remembered an idea I had read the previous night, in a forum thread about making hard cider.

The basic idea was that you could simply dump your apple juice and other fermentables onto the yeast left over from a previous batch of beer.  Having four gallons of the Christmas Cyser that needed racking, this seemed the perfect time to test the method out, and one-up it.  Not only was the yeast used to reproducing like mad in apple juice, but the spices were still in the bottom, and so would impart some of the cyser flavor to the new brew.  After a quick $10 visit to the grocery store, I added 3 gallons of unfiltered apple juice and 3 cups brown sugar to the remnants of the cyser,  coming out to a healthy 1.065 original gravity. Hopefully it takes on the character of the original, as it looks like a quick and easy way to make ‘seconds’ of more complex brews.  We’ll see how it all turns out in a few months.