28 October 2010

Oatmeal Stout, Clones, and Dreams

Last night, after getting off work at 8 pm, I found a bottle of Satan's last batch of Brother Spuds Oatmeal Stout. The first thing I said after the first sip was, "Ooo. . ." I was so moved that I took a photo of the beer and emailed Satan with that sentiment.

Satan has been working on this recipe for years. Tweaking an ounce of grain here, increasing hop additions times a minute there. He started out trying to clone Anderson Valley Brewing's Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. Frankly, I think Barney Flats is nature's most perfect beer. It has a silky mouthfeel, with a nutty flavor that hits at the back sides of my tongue, and makes me feel glad to be alive. At Oktoberfest at the beginning of the month, I tried Summit Brewing's Oatmeal Stout. I got the same feeling from that beer.

Satan is very close to his goal. And that brings up the whole issue if it is possible to actually clone a beer. Can I--as a mediocre homebrewer with improvised equipment, a different procedure and different grains--actually clone a beer? As much as I like The Jamil Show on the the brewing network, I have to say no. I might get close. Very close, in fact. But it won't be the same beer.

Yes, I'm splitting hairs, but I have a blog and I can do that.

Anyway, that first Brother Spuds was so good, I opened another. Then another. Then another! I went to bed and slept the sleep of the righteous. A heavy sleep with vivid dreams of Penn & Teller on tour using a school bus is the one I remember the most. But there were other equally bizarre dreams.

It must have been the oats.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:51

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