Summer daze

July 14th, 2012 | Tags: , ,

The summer sessions have been jam-packed with work. I managed to go most of Summer I without writing a damned thing here. :) Well, it was intense, and I got an A, but I have no real idea how I pulled that off. I’ll take it, though. Summer II feels less stressful even though I’m in two courses, because of the fact that I’m not writing papers. Writing without meds, despite the glory of it, is an exercise in out-waiting my own distractibility. And with 14 weeks of instruction packed into 5, I can ill afford that kind of stress to get things written on deadline. But here we are. I’m doing it.

As a way of keeping the stress down, I have also been a brewing machine. I now have three stovetop all-grain batches under my belt: a deconstructed saison, an attempt at making hard root beer, and I just bottled a Russian Imperial Stout that I have dubbed Persephone. This last, made with pomegranate molasses and a complex variety of rich and tasty malts, is the one I’m taking to the NC state fair this year. It sat for 5 weeks in the fermenter just aging out to a delicious smoothness. I am entering it as a Foreign Extra Stout (tropical style) only because it lacks some of the bitterness described in the BJCP style guide for an RIS. Persephone compares favorably to one of the more intense commercial beers I have ever had: New Holland Dragon’s Milk. I bottled relatively little beer, though–two 22oz bombers, two swingtop pint jugs, and nine 12oz bottles–because I racked a full gallon of it onto a quarter ounce of bourbon-soaked oak cubes, where it will sit until at least October. I shall bottle that perhaps the first of November so that it will be ready to drink on the winter solstice. A more fitting tribute to the popularly-imagined end of days, I cannot say.

I hope to make some relaxing use of my summer, though. The Sidhe is traveling to gay Paris in a few days, and I’m wrapping up my summer courses, but after that we’ll have time before the fall semester to take a trip downyoshun, as they say in my former home of Baltimore. I have yet to visit the Carolina shore–high time, I think, we fixed that.

  1. Caitlin
    July 16th, 2012 at 19:02
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Persephone sounds delicious- wish we could be there to taste it. Are you enjoying your classes or are you just getting through them?

  2. Steve Killen
    July 16th, 2012 at 19:10
    Reply | Quote | #2

    A bit of both! I have gained a great number of resources for future learning, but the accelerated pace of the summer means that I’m not absorbing much of it rapidly. More like slow osmosis over the next year, likely. :) The instructors are quite fun to talk with–I have a feeling of collegiality with them–but accomplishing the assignments is a real challenge.

    Don’t worry, I’ll save y’all a bottle. I’m very proud of this stout, and I want you to enjoy it as much as I have.