Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sharing is Hard

This year marked our first set of shared holidays. For Thanksgiving, we did an early meal with Ryan's family and a late meal with mine. Aside from being ridiculously full, I think it turned out really well. The inconvenience for our families was relatively low and we each got to share and partake in the each other's family traditions. Christmas was a little more difficult.

Both of our families do a Christmas Eve get together but consider Christmas Day to be the Big Deal. This year, we spent Christmas Eve with Big's fam and Christmas Day with mine. Lesson learned: sharing is hard. Neither of our families were fully happy with this arrangement and neither were Big and I. Christmas is such an important holiday in both of our families, and there are so many traditions and expectations surrounding it that the change was kinda hard to take.  Ryan and his family made the big sacrifice this year by being the first to forgo spending the Day together. Our intention is to swap next year, and do Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas day with his. I'm hoping this will be a little easier next year, but I have my doubts. It makes me wonder what it will be like when Ryan and I start making our own traditions.

Any tips or advice on how to navigate these choppy waters? Do you or have you ever had to deal with sharing holidays? How did/do you handle it?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scottish Enlightenment.

I have finally bottled the Scottish/Scotch Ale I brewed three months ago. I got 50 bottles out of it, and did so by sacrificing some of my old homebrews which I haven't been able to get through. A quick review of the three I've bottled before this one:

1) Elbro Nerkte "My Way" English Brown Ale. This is my first, and favorite of the three. It's a simple English Brown Ale that's quite drinkable. The roastedness of it will get a little out of control after the first beer, but that's okay. Other people seem to give it a relatively solid rating, for a first beer at least.

2) Walter Williams Imperial Porter Prototype - I labeled them as the Walter Williams beer, but the way this turned out I need to revoke the name. It's sweet - very sweet, and is almost like drinking prunes. And it's pretty thick. I can't get through a single one. Jered, who was over tonight, gave it positive reviews.

3) Maple Syrup Amber - Sigh. I was expecting so much out of this one. Two mistakes I think I made: Not enough Maple Syrup. I can't taste it. It tastes like a normal amber. Second: Primed with too much sugar and maple syrup. I'm sticking with actual sugar from now on. It got overcarbonated, which makes actually deciphering the taste even harder.

In the fermenter) A North Berlin Sour Ale - It was on sale for $15. I did not realize that it was a sour beer, but it is. I'm really frightened.

Next) Black IPA!

Just Bottled: It's called Karl's 90 schilling, from Northern Brewer. Looked Tasty. I brewed it like, what, three months ago? I was supposed to transfer to another fermenter after two weeks, but I didn't. It was full. This will be my empirical test as to whether leaving it in with the dormant yeast makes the beer taste like bread. I hope not.