Ian F. Commins Memorial Stout
Our dearly departed* friend, Ian F.** Commins, was back in town for a few short days to celebrate Saint Patrick's day. In memoriam my brother and I brewed a batch of what we eventually came to call the "Ian F. Commins Memorial Stout" (based on NB #1100: Dry Irish Stout with the recommended 1084 Wyeast). It should come as no surprise that it turned out better than we had imagined it was going to (if a bit sweeter). Everyone liked it - even people we didn't know.
* He's not dead, he just moved to Lancaster, PA.
** The "F" stands for "Fuck You!".
A couple additional items of note:
- This is the first beer that I have ever actually brewed. Heretofore it had been wines and ciders and I just didn't have that much interest in brewing beer. But this kit was so easy and the results were so promising that I'll be doing more beer brewing (along with wine, ciders, sakes and whatever else contains enough sugar that I think it will ferment). Eventually I'd like to progress to all-grain brewing. Maybe later this summer.
- This was the first time we used my new kegging system to force carbonate and serve. The carbonation wasn't quite where it should have been so there's a little more work to do. Part of the problem is that I do not have a fridge in which to chill my kegs. I borrowed my brother's mostly-empty fridge for a couple days right before the party, which helped immensely, but we can do better.
- I also brought my cider to the party, split the CO2 between the two kegs and served both on tap. I was hoping to be able to make a layered stout/cider beverage but there were too many problems: it was too dark out to really see what you were doing, there were no clear glasses to evaluate the laying, the densities of the beverages were maybe a little too close together to get them to stay properly layered. I did manage to pour one fairly well layered drink only to discovered that the especially tart cider and the slightly too-sweet stout didn't pair that well, anyway.
- At the party's end neither keg was completely empty. While being mostly empty I still have a bit of cider and bit of beer to drink. This is a good problem to have. But until the kegs are empty I can't put anything new in them!
I've attached our process notes, in case anyone cares to read them.