So although I had hoped to put together a well researched and thought out post, all I really have time for are some more brief updates.
I've been pretty disappointed with my last few recipes, especially a black ale attempt at a schwartzbier. I went way too heavy on the roasted barley (should have used carafa instead...) and it's not great. I needed to make a good chocolate addition that somehow didn't make it into my recipe. I have a dubbel sitting a couple of weeks into fermentation that I hope will turn out better and make me believe I can make a good beer from time to time.
My sour/funk beers all seem to be progressing nicely. I can't tell what's going on with my most recent attempt. It's only a few weeks old so it's a little early for any pellicle production or other clear bacterial activity but I suspect a pellicle is about to form in the next few weeks. I promise I will disclose this very interesting project as soon as I have the opportunity to sit down and write more than a few quickly slopped together paragraphs.
The Bluebonnent Homebrew Competition is in town next weekend. Unfortunately, thanks to this stupid paper, I won't have time to go. However, I hope everybody has a great time.
I am still waiting to receive my rhizomes from thymegarden.com this year. I spoke with them on Monday and they said orders were going out to the southern states this week so they should arrive any day.
I am happy to report my garden is at least somewhat put together. I am planting separately in grow bags so I have some of my plants in the bags. I am going to build a raised bed around them to provide some shade from the sun and help contain the plants and give them access to a trellis system. So far I have a container tomato plant that is already starting to grow tomatoes (ok, one tomato), a couple green bell pepper plants, rosemary and I found hatch chiles so I have a couple of those. My sterling is enjoying the warm spring and substantial rain we have received. It already has two shoots with green vegetation. I saw a couple more shoots trying to peek out of the ground. So that's encouraging. I had a mt. hood rhizome that I thought died off last summer that I replanted in a pot in the garage over the winter. I gave it some rooting fertilizer even though I thought it would die. Surprisingly it looks like it is developing a bit of a root system (or I forgot what it looked like). No shoots on it but I plan on planting it with my other mt. hood rhizome when it arrives. Maybe the older rhizome will produce some shoots next spring.