Dorchester’s Best

We’re back to something approximating “normal,” here at the family compound just south of Boston proper. Valentine’s day is proceeding smoothly, with flowers, cupcakes, and all that. Partying was had last night with simianpower et al. Tomorrow evening, I depart for a week in Hampton, VA – doing the bidding of our government overlords.

Life as usual. So I thought: “What’s more romantic than brewing a batch of beer on valentine’s day?”

Nothing. That’s what. There’s nothing more romantic than that.

I’ve got just about the simplest beer recipe I’ve ever made. I’m doing a two gallon boil with four pounds (one can) of pale malt extract, plus a pound of sugar. Couple of pounds of darker specialty grains, cracked and steeped. With just that, prior to getting it back to boiling, the wort tasted damn fine. Malty and sweet with slight toasted overtones. I’ve got a few ounces of Northern Brewer hops, split 2/3 and 1/3 for bittering and aroma, respectively. The aromatic hops are going to go in with 15 minutes left in the boil – which ought to give me a very, very mildly hopped beer. I’ll clarify it with Irish Moss, bring it up to five gallons, and toss in the British Ale yeast.

This is a relative of the Bass Ale clone that I made last year for art weekend – but with less control freak measurement and tuning. Instead, I’m tasting as I go – and keeping an eye on things. This is not entirely by choice. Because of the way I bought my ingredients – I’ve had to do more weighing and measuring than I usually do (bought decent sized bags of each component and measured them out for this recipe). Also, my thermometer is broken.

On the plus side – I’ve got an awesome new stainless steel brew pot. tells me that it can also be used for soup – but that’s just crazy talk. This is a four gallon stainless steel pot. What else could it be for except for beer?

What makes it “Dorchester’s Best,” you may ask? Historically, I’ve bought spring water from the grocery store for my beer. This time, I took it right out of the tap. Let’s see how much it matters. My guess is that this process will yield an absolutely fine and tasty beer that will once again be a hit with the non beer-o-philes at art weekend. For the beer-o-philes, I’ll make something next weekend. Something dark. Something strong. Something hoppy and bitter and complex. Oh yes. I laugh maniacally and pet my cat, just thinking about it.

Like I said – back to normal around these parts.

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