A blorg about brewing beer and writing songs

28 Jan. 2010

40 litres of happy

two tubs

So everything I said about being too scared to brew turned out to be wrong. In the end my desire for beer overcame my fears and I am whole again.

That's a stout on the left and an ale on the right.

27 Jan. 2010

Too hot to brew

Our new home is a heat-sink in this filthy-hot weather. I'm scared to put on any new brews right now for fear that another 40 degree day will wipe them out. The move and the heat have also led to extreme laziness when it comes to writing new music. In the spirit of not doing it ourselves right now, the wife and I opened up a six pack of coopers mild ale and drove down the south coast listening to They Might Be Giants.

Both of these go down easy, the mild ale is particularly good for a low-alcohol beer. Not something I'd usually get into but considering driving plus children plus an un-patrolled beach it was probably for the best.

Listening to They Might Be Giants is always a rewarding experience. Their way of blending standard rock and pop progressions with something that I can only describe as experimental maths rock is something that I aspire to. They are certainly the masters of breaking a melody down into fundamental numbers and building it back up into a complex and disarming array of digital and analogue pulses that is somehow recognisable as music but strangely new, and then suddenly slipping into a familiar blues riff.

It is the kind of thing I'd like to do if I had the time or patience. But my music is all about making it up on the spot as much as possible. That's my niche and I'm sitting in it, looking out at the rest of the world in wonder and appreciation.

4 Jan. 2010

A beer to remember us by

I grew up in the suburbs and it never really fit me. As soon as I could I fled to the beach and hid myself in Maroubra; at the time one of the grungier Sydney beach suburbs. As I got closer to my 30's I realised that my heart was in the inner west of Sydney and moved with my wife into the colourful urban village of Glebe where we have lived since. I swore I'd never go back over the bridge - back to the cursed north side with it's sprawling suburbia - a mono-cultural wasteland in my eyes. Well all things come to an end and age dulls passion.

As time has passed a child has arrived and years of living beyond our means have left us paying back for our past enjoyments. I've managed to land a decent 9-5 job on the hated north side. The pressure of traversing the harbour each day combined with the rising insanity of anything real-estate related in anywhere-fun-to-live in Sydney has led me to suck it up and head north to (hopefully) greener pastures.

Moving house is hardly a joyful experience, but to add a bit of a bonus to the venture I've started up a house-moving brew. It will be the last beer I brew in Glebe in the near future and it will be a gift for anyone who is inclined to help us out. Come over, help us pack and drink a keg of goodbye ale: that's the deal. Let's leave our quaint little terrace house in our rejuvinated inner city slum with a bubbly, burpy smile.

Being time poor in preparation for this special occasion I took advantage of the Coopers company's generous offer and bought a homebrew kit. I couldn't resist using up the last of my fuggles hops and adding it, post boil, to the fermenter. I also added a very bracing 2kg of dextrose to the 19 litre brew to ensure a powerfully alcoholic tonic will be served. I'm betting on a strong, spicy and pleasantly bitter end to a day of manual labour and cardboard grazings (you know the kind, when you rub your lilly-white, never-done-an-honest-days-work-soft skin against cardboard till it's raw).

I couldn't help drinking a little bit of the wort and savouring the ridiculous sweetness. I love to imagine all those little sugars being gobbled up by yeast and pooped out as alcohol. The yeast is truly a god among microbes.