I smoked a Chuck Roast, kegged my Said Strumpet Czech Pale Lager, watched the Bradley Braves defeat the lowly Illinois State basketball team (if you can't go to school, go to state), and sampled this year's Arctic Vortex Winter Saison.
And shoveled tons and tons and tons of snow.
I probably did other things too, but those are the highlights.
I kegged the 2024 Arctic Vortex Winter Saison the weekend before, and although I had already sampled it a few times already, Saturday was the day that I poured a fully carbonated pint to drink "for reals".
If you read 2024 Arctic Vortex (Batch 349), you know I tried a sort of weird experiment on this batch of Arctic Vortex in that my "bittering addition" was with spent hops that I had saved from the dry-hop of Shoddy IPA.
I got this idea from a podcast.
The reason I thought this would be worth a try is that when I dry-hop I always have the hops in a hop bag or a stainless steel hop sleeve. Every time I go to remove the hops and throw them away, I'm always bummed at how much hop aroma is still coming off the hops I'm throwing away.
So ... after I listened to that podcast, I knew this was something I wanted to eventually try. And this was the beer that I finally tried it with.
Based on how the podcast said to calculate bitterness, and the amount of hops I had collected, I ended up putting my "bittering" addition into the boil at 20 minutes left. If you're familiar with the brewing process at all, you know that the longer you boil the hops, the more bitterness you extract. The less amount of time you boil, the more hop flavor and aroma you get from the hops.
So ... 20 minutes gave me the right amount of bitterness, but also imparted a fair amount of flavor from Citra, Eclipse, Talus, and Mosaic hops. This isn't real "traditional" for a saison, but OMG do I think it worked!
I always love this beer, but this unique addition of fruity American / Australian "spent" hops really gave it a surprisingly wonderful boost in flavor.
I really love this batch of Arctic Vortex Winter Saison.
So ... back to Saturday ... if you've followed along on this blog for awhile, you know that most of the time that I make chuck roast, I'll smoke it for 3 or 4 hours and then let it finish in a crock pot for the rest of the day. Once the meat is completely tender, I shred it to eat on a sandwhich.
It works out great. This is what I did Saturday too.
As you can tell from the pictures on this post, when I started the grill, it was raining. By the end of the day, there was a bunch of snow in my yard.
It was heavy wet snow, and my back is still a little snow from all the shoveling I did that day and the next day.
Some time after the chuck was in the crock pot, I also kegged my Said Strumpet Czech Pale Lager.
As you may remember from Said Strumpet Czech Pale Lager (Batch 350) (and other posts), Said Strumpet is a "Roll-a-style" recipe for Czech Pale Lager.
A lighter-bodied, rich, refreshing, hoppy, bitter pale Czech lager having the familiar flavors of the stronger Czech Premium Pale Lager (Pilsner-type) beer but in a lower alcohol, lighter-bodied, and slightly less intense format.
As I type this, I've actually tried Said Strumpet, and it is another fantastic beer ... exactly what I was hoping for when I designed the recipe. It still needs some clarification, but it is certainly a delicious beer already.
Generally, I hate staying home all day on the weekends. But, if I am to be stuck at home, I can't ask for a much better day.
By the way ... that chucky was awesome (as always).
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Go Braves! (if you can't go to school, go to state)