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My voice is still a little wonky, but only people who actually hear me talk on a regular basis would know anything is wrong with it. I have my sense of smell and taste mostly back. I think I may have my sense of taste back enough to have a beer this evening, which pleases me mightily, since I have to mow the lawn anyway, and finishing the lawn mowing needs to be wrapped up by drinking a good beer. It is just like finishing an orgy of heavy-duty housecleaning needs to be celebrated by drinking a can of room-temperature Pepsi (the normal kind with sugar and no weird flavors like lime or vanilla). At the height of my most recent cold, I drank a lousy beer one evening after work, because it was one of those days that drive a person to drink. A while back, we bought a six-pack of Bigfoot Barley-wine, which was what our homebrew barley-wine recipe was supposedly based on, but the bona fide Bigfoot was a sad disappointment. Barleywine is supposed to be a very strong beer with a sweet undertone, a malty fruitiness, and a pretty large heft of flavoring and bittering hops. The Bigfoot we bought was just plain nasty. It was like a potent infusion of pure Cascade Hops in alcohol. While Cascade hops are important in flavoring, bittering, and scenting many beers, they are simply too bitter and piney to be the only flavor present. However, when you can’t taste or smell, but you feel the need to get kicked back on your ass, a glass of over-Cascaded barley-wine will definitely do the trick. Since it was all bitter and horrid anyway, I just took it like a medicine, and promptly dropped off into a Nyquil-like sleep. I have revised my decision to throw away the rest of the six-pack of Bigfoot, preferring instead to cellar it against future illnesses.

We need to start a few new brews, since we have the perfect basement for making ales for three quarters of the year. Come wintertime, the basement drops to optimal lagering temperatures (those being fuck-off cold) but it maintains a pleasant and reasonable 70 degrees, give or take, for the larger part of the year. Given my druthers, we’d be brewing a hefeweisen and an Imperial Stout, and perhaps making a foray into doing a mocha stout, which I think is usually based on something with the characteristics of one of those rich, mellow, toasty-flavored sweet-stouts. I think a knockoff recipe for Samuel Adams Cream Stout would make a great base for a mocha stout. Actually, I think we’ll probably pursue all of these recipes, though perhaps subbing an IPA for the Imperial Stout. Summer brews, and all. I intend to get that Imperial Stout going late this summer, as I think it would be an intensely satisfying fall/winter beer. And no more dicking around with Oktoberfest. Nobody really liked the Oktoberfest that much, but everyone digs the IPA. Okay, I realize that mocha-stout is probably not what most would consider an ideal summer brew, but I am of the opinion that coffee never goes out of season. Also, it’s not like beer doesn’t keep for quite a long time. If we brewed a mocha stout now, it would be drinkable by like August/September anyway, so that’s not real far away from fall.

We’ve got a fuckload of bottles that need to be put into service, so we need to get to brewing.

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