What’s on the agenda for 2016?
Research. I am currently combining and revising my series, Adventures in Yeast (parts II, III, IV, V, & VI), into a research paper that I plan to submit at Calontir Kingdom A&S. I am also planning to get back on the research trail investigating the Medieval use of hops for sedative-hypnotic purposes.
Brewing. Lots of plans on the brewing front! Today, I will be making my first batch of hard root beer. It is a malt-based recipe that I hope will be tasty!
My test batches of nocino are aging nicely. In May, I made three batches using different alcohol bases: grappa, brandy, and red wine. They seem to be coming along well. Sometime in the next couple of months, I plan to sweeten them a little more with honey and add some fig syrup for additional flavor. This will also be a Kingdom A&S project.
I haven’t brewed much mead lately. I did teach my lady, Solange, some of the basics of mead-making as she made her first batches. They turned out very well. We plan to keg them. I plan to make my popular sage-ginger mead again.
I have a lot of things planned on the beer front. I will continue to be an advocate for the Mild style of ale. There is till a long way to go to convince American beer drinkers that you can have a very tasty dark beer without the high alcohol content. I also want to get back to working with my friend Casey on developing recipes for one gallon batches of all-grain beer that can be made with equipment found in most kitchens. I believe this approach will be helpful to many beginning brewers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment. Finally, I have a lot of beer styles with which I want to experiment. Too many to mention, but a couple of sour beers are on the list!
Archery. I plan to continue my “shooting period” activities. In 2015, I did not shoot with modern bows or arrows. With practice, I hope to perform better in 2016. I need to make more arrows and as such, I hope to get better at making arrows with horn or hardwood inserts.
I recently made the decision to retire from my professorial duties in May of 2017. I hope that decision will allow me more time to pursue these avocational activities!