Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Kegging

As a few of you may know, I will be away in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann for Gulf Wars next week. If I have the presence of mind to carry my camera about the site with me, I shall endeavor to have some good pictures upon my return. I will be running the Meridien Dance Revel again this year on Tuesday night, and my good Lady Fjorleif has volunteered to prepare some refreshments for the revel. One of these will be a ginger ale, which you can see being siphoned into a cornelius keg at right. That's the kind of keg that soda companies used to deliver their concentrates to restaurants before they switched to disposable plastic bags-in-a box.

This beverage will be much like any other ginger ale you might find in the grocery: sweet, fizzy, and non-alcoholic. Unlike some of the common brands, however, the gingery potency of this concoction may take your breath away.

As I can't resist the urge to mix my hobbies, I took the liberty of turning a screen capture from World of Warcraft into a keg label. I realize that you can't really see the label in this picture, but it's Grimbor taking a deep drink from a mug of Dwarven Stout. It seems like a moderately appropriate picture for any sort of keg. Of course, we didn't stop at ginger ale for this event.

No, we brewed up some of the real thing. At left, you see five gallons of Amber Ale draining into another cornelius keg. This brew is a donation to the Meridien Social on Wednesday night.

For those interested, it contains six pounds of spray-dried amber malt extract and four ounces of Cascade hops (two ounces for boiling and two ounces for finishing).

The nice thing about a keg system is that you don't have to add priming sugar and wait another two weeks for the beer to carbonate. You just hook the keg up to a compressed CO2 tank and keep the pressure on it for day or so to carbonate the contents. Naturally this keg also got a label; after all, I don't want my keg to get lost at the event.

Now all we need to do is finish loading the van and trailer. We started that process before the kegging, while we still had some light. The hecticness will continue until our departure Friday, after work. We'll visit my sister-in-law in south Alabama for a couple of days before heading on over to Gulf Wars on Monday.

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