Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brewing in Santa Cruz This Winter

The pull to return to San Miguel De Allende is strong but this year the plan is to stay in California. One of the reasons is to avoid the hardship of giving up a great rental in one of the most difficult places in the world to find affordable decent living space. It is very distressing to come back to Santa Cruz and find a nice place to live that is affordable because of the shortage of housing and the high demand put on the market by all of the University students. In addition to this stress, the effort of packing all of our belongings into storage takes its toll. So, this year I'll stay and work to save for next year.

In the mean time, I'm taking advantage of the cool Winter season to get some lagers brewed and in storage for a couple months of lagering. The overnight temperatures are now in the 40'sF. and with the fermentation chamber I've built in my storage unit (equipped with a thermostat and heat source) I can keep the fermentor at 50f., perfect for the beers I'm brewing. I wanted to save on the cost of yeast, so I'm re-using the wlp840 yeast cake to ferment three beers, a standard American lager, a Munich dunkel and this weekend a doppel bock. The wlp840 is specifically meant for light American lagers but I'll be using it for the German lagers and hope for the best. Can't hurt. I may brew more with another yeast later. At the same time I've got to get some ales brewed quickly as my provisions are running low. Currently I've got a strange pale ale and a amber ale in the kegerator, but that's it. It worries me when I've only got a couple of kegs of ale left.

Kegs at the ready

In addition to making some money and getting some beer brewed I'll be teaching a five week homebrewing course at Cabrillo College beginning in March. I usually don't teach the spring class because of my schedule in Mexico. If you're local and want to attend the classes, click on the link on the side bar and register on-line at the Cabrillo site or go here for a little info on the class and another link to the school site.

 Now that I'm in the midst of the season of long nights I'm contemplating my future and thinking ahead to next fall. Will I return to Mexico? It may have to be a shorter stint, maybe a month so that we don't have to move out of our current place, just keep the place rented allowing an easy return to the states. If I do, where will we go? As much as I enjoy San Miguel, maybe it's time to spend the winter in another part of the country. I think the coast would make a nice change, we'll see.


Dave Kramer-Urner said...

Hey, when you mentioned San Miguel the other night I didn't connect it with San Miguel De Allende--Mary Anne's sister and brother traveled there last year and fell in love with it! You are a fortunate man to be able to spend time there--and I understand even better how much you must miss it. I hope the Santa Cruz winter is kind to you.

Beer Diary... said...

Hey Dave,
yeah-SMA is pretty wonderful and although chilly at night the days are normally clear and warm with lots of cultural activities going on. But, so far this year Santa Cruz has been exceptionally nice too!

Antigua Capilla Bed and Breakfast said...

We'll pretend we never read your last paragraph!

Beer Diary... said...

Hey Francisco,
nothing against sma, just that the coastal waters call to me. Also, there is a microbrewery in Rincon de Guayabitos that interests me.
By the way, when are you coming down to brew?

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