Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's 4 O'clock, do you know where your engineer is?

Well, I'm supposed to be offshore right now, working on a killer idea to increase our platform's oil production by 30%, thus solidifying me as a top engineer in my peer class and putting me well on my way to an authority engineer in our company. I do that, and I don't have to do real engineering work anymore, just travel the oil-producing world evaluating others' engineering work. Which means I can try new beers all over the world, ON EXPENSE. But instead, I'm back at my house, having driven over 700 miles in the last two days.
I get to our heliport to go offshore for my normal rotation and another "14 days without beer", but they hit me with the drug test. It's only my second time being tested, and like the first time, the well is dry. Just like last time, I had nothing to give to the little cup as I used the restroom earlier that morning. But unlike last time, our flight was the first one out, so I missed my flight while trying to pee in a durn cup. The guys wouldn't let me out of the drug testing trailer, so after three attempts, I manage to DRAIN about 1/3 of a water cooler in the trailer. About an hour after I first got there, with the guy running the water in the sink, I finally can fill up the line in the cup without soiling myself. It would have been easier donating sperm at that point.
Our platform manager (who luckily I do not directly report to) calls me up on my cell phone and I am ready for a classic ass chewing. Fortunately, they say this happens every day with some poor sap not being able to put out a few milliliters before flight time. First off, I vowed to chug a huge thing of Gatorade 2 hours before each flight, and just go to the bathroom for the next 10 hours. Secondly, it all worked out for the best as the platform was overbooked with people starting on Monday. So he was going to send me home early anyway. So I drove back to Texas, stopped in Beaumont for a Banana and some Gatorade, and hit my favorite Chinese joint for 2 full cups of chicken/shrimp fried rice in Houston. How is it that this happened to me twice?
I have some Christmas/Winter beers that I'm going to start a new series with, from now until Bock Season. I'll probably split it all up into three categories, Christmas Beer, Winter Seasonal/Winter Warmer, Barley Wines. I tried a few of them before I was to go offshore, so I'll start that up on another post. Future travel plans include going to Louisiana and stopping in Lafayette for their local seasonals, Atlanta for a week in December and trying their brewpubs out there, and going to Maryland/DC area for Barack Obama's Inauguration. While I'm there, I'm going to try and squeeze in some beering at the local bars in DC. Good luck.
But while I'm at HOME, why not try some HOMEBREW. I this the second beer I ever brewed. I slopped this up with a Coopers IPA extract, some extra Centennial Hops. Did this one a few months ago. It took FOREVER for it to settle to something somewhat drinkable. It goes well for cooking as well. I named this one after the Houston Texan's loss to the Indy Colts where we were up by 17 with less than 4 minutes to go, but had three turnovers and lost the game.
Bitter Defeat IPA
Pours with a decent 1 finger head out of the kegerator tap. Smells rather flowery and malty. The taste is smooth, very low carbonation (just the way I like it). The hops are very strong in this one but not biting at all. The aftertaste is malty at first and then gets pretty bitter and stays that way. I'll have to work on that. I love a clean finish. It's low-medium bodied with excellent drinkability. I'd say it's a good IPA save that aftertaste. Not all IPAs need that hop-bomb bite to make them work. I will adjust this recipe later on, but for now will focus on perfecting the American Pale Ale style and the Belgian Witbier. Probably the worst IPA I've had with that aftertaste, but the style is a kickass style, so 3 Stars.
I just need some spicy food to try it on. Shelf life is probably starting to get low sooner or later, so I'll probably take it to my friends house in town, hook it up to their kegerator, and kill the keg with them. When I first started homebrewing (mainly to better understand beer), I figured I could do some serious damage on a keg. Then we got on weightwatchers before the kegs started rolling in, now the beer just sits there most of the time. By the way, I've gone from 245 down to 210. Mostly fat. None of my pants fit, and my shirts are too puffy. Brothas like things to be extra medium these days. And I lost the gut, while averaging a new beer a day since starting the program. Looks like it still works.

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