03/17/2004: "Maireann croí éadrom i bhfad"
It's amazing how you can start out a day feeling totally black and empty, and end feeling quite miraculously good. Someone anonymously left me a bunch of yellow daffodils at the library. That was sweet; they really brightened the place up so thank you whoever did that.
Also, the weather lifted and it's absolutely amazing outside. Just got back from a quick strole through the hood. I walked along the beach, the tide was very very low. On the way back there was a group of friends starting a bon fire. I wanted to stop by and join them in the worst way but I was too shy.
Back home I saw Pat, the owner of the bar next door, who invited me over for some green tequila for St. Patrick's Day...
Now I'm drinking some Guinness (the kind in the cans with the little nitro canisters, much better than bottled if you can't get it on tap) and listening to the Pogues (the Waterboys are next) plus I've started a new painting called "Monogamy" of two people with their groins chained together while they twist in opposite directions to seek out new people.
Can I just reiterrate how much I love Guinness? There is a receipe for a beer called Toad Spit Stout that is the closest thing to Guinness I've ever been able to brew. As soon as I have time I'm going to make up a fresh batch of that.
Toad Spit Stout
3.3 lbs. John Bull hopped dark malt extract syrup
4 lbs. plain dark dried malt extract
3/4 lbs. crystal malt
1/3 lb. roasted barley
1/3 lb. black patent
1 1/2 oz. Northern Brewer hops (boiling): 14 HBU
1/2 Fuggles or Willamette hops (finishing)
8 tsp. gypsum
1-2 pkgs. ale yeast
3/4 c. corn sugar or 1 1/4c. dried malt extract (for bottling)
Add the crushed roasted barley, crystal and black patent malts to 1 1/2 gallons of cold water. Bring it to a boil and remove the grains after about 5 min. of boiling. Add the malt extracts and boling hops and continue to boil for around an hour.
Add the finishing hops for the last 10 minutes or so of boiling (Guinness type stout does not have a hoppy taste but this recipe will have a subtle hop flavor but trust me, it's really good)
Sparge the hot wort into the fermenter and cold water. Pitch the yeast when cool. Bottle when the fermentation is complete (all the bubbles start to die down, it takes close to a week). It should be ready to drink 3-4 weeks from the day you start it.
By the way, after writing about Bushmills in my review of On the Edge, it got me a little nostalgic so I dug out my journal from that trip. I had pasted in this clipping from a local paper. The Brigend Bar is where we met the old lads who bought us pints. Anyway, I like this story, it's sweet.