Well…I see my last update was in February of 2015. I notice in that post I apologized for the absence but said “things have been crazy.”
As I sit here the sun is setting on 2018. Three years since my last post. A long time.
What happened? Well, in short, a lot.
A verse that has kind of come to surmise my life over the last few years is Genesis 47.9: “And Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘… Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life…'” A lot of time has passed since I last posted. And I don’t mean simply in terms of chronology. I’ve been revisiting this blog and I find it is very much like watching myself in an unfamiliar way. I don’t recognize the person who wrote these things. I don’t remember that life. Where did it go? Where did he disappear to?
So much of my life has changed. So much has happened. Much of it good. Some of it painful. Some of it bad. Some of it very bad and very painful. I learned a lot about grace. Experienced a tremendous amount of it. I hope to give half that much back to others one day. I was a very dogmatic person. I think now I’m certain but flexible. (I hope) more humble. Certainly more patient with others. Definitely less quick to judge. Hopefully, more loving?
Mrs. Wine and I had a couple of more children. Moved next door. I did some big time work in my vocation which I’d rather not discuss here. Gave up brewing. Missed it. Gave up writing. Missed it too. And that’s why I’m back.
I started brewing again with a simple cider. It was pretty good.
Then I made my Grapefruit IPA. Ran into some technical difficulties regarding the fact that I forgot to add priming sugar. So it is taking a loooong time to carb up.
Currently, I have a bourbon oaked cider that needs to be bottled. Actually, I went to bottle it tonight and discovered I was out of my sanitizing solution! Rookie mistake! I guess homebrew isn’t quite like riding a bike. Here is the recipe:
Bourbon Oaked Cider
- 3 gallons of apple juice
- 1lb of brown sugar
- 1lb of honey
- S-05 Yeast
I took a handful of French oak chips and soaked them in a cup of bourbon for about a week (Yes, I know that is longer than usual, life is still crazy but I’m trying). Either way, when I went to pour them in, it smelled amazing. Poured the bourbon into the cider through a sanitized strainer. Before bottling I’ll add one can of apple juice concentrate to back-sweeten and reintroduce the apple flavor. This one should be a winner.
In the next two days I’ll bottle this and make a dry hopped cider with chinook and centennial. Pretty excited about that. I think money will keep me making ciders more than beer. Though I have 3/4 of my ingredients for 1st Date Dunkel so hopefully by February I’ll be able to brew that up. Maybe my IPA will be carbonated by then.
So I’m not sure how to end this except to say to the readers out there, if any still remain, thanks for your patience. I’m back. The brewery is open again. And if no one has remained to see if I’d return that is okay: there is something in this writing process that I think my soul needs. And that’s good enough for me. But if you are out there, I’m currently drinking a wine spritzer. Pola voda i pola vino as I first learned it was called back in Serbia. Cheers!