>The First Beer of 2010

>Well, technically the first beer I brewed in 2010.

2009 was a tough year for me personally, especially towards the end. I lost two good friends and my aunt over the last 3 months, and it definately took its toll on my heart and mind, although i can’t begin to imagine what their families have now been through.

Back in October, I lost a good friend named Jevon. He was my oldest son’s best friend’s dad. 33 years old. He was in remission from testicular cancer. Father of 3 boys, 1 baby girl. He got suddenly sick (non-cancer related) and was hospitalized, then kept in a coma, then passed away, all in about 3 weeks. He was a perpetually positive and happy guy, always helping everyone else and having a good time doing it.

About 8 months ago I reconnected with an old friend from my days in Arizona named Derrick. After I left Arizona, we kept in touch for a few years, but then lost touch. I knew that he had moved back to upstate NY and gotten married. I searched for him on Facebook but found his wife instead. I contacted her and she told me that in 2006, Derrick had been diagnosed with cancer. Urachal adenocarcinoma to be specific. The past 6 months had been especially hellish with the pain and experimental treatments, etc. I got an update from her on November 14th that they were pretty much done. There was little to no chance of recovery anymore. They moved him home and got in touch with Hospice. He was 36 with a 5 year old daughter. Again, someone who did everything right, someone who had so much to offer the world and made it a better place. He passed away on Thanksgiving night in his wife’s arms after saying goodnight to his daughter.

In the beginning of December, I got an email from my mother that my aunt Bonnie (my dad’s brother’s sister) was in the hospital in critical condition. She was suffering from something called C. diff (which after looking it up sounds particularly nasty) and had her colon removed, which then was followed by her kidneys and liver failing. Come to find out she had actually been hospitalized since Halloween. She went dramatically downhill from there and passed away on the 4th of December. According to my father, she was nearly unresponsive at the end, and “They were gathered around her bedside reminiscing, and Neil (my uncle) looked over at Bonnie and saw a tear run down her cheek. At that moment her heart stopped. Neil said, “She made the decision for us.””

For a while I felt a bit stunned and unsure what to do or how to even grieve. I was also keenly aware that my sense of loss had to be a drop in the bucket compared to the two young widows and my uncle who had just lost his wife of many years. I decided – in true homebrewer fashion – that I would dedicate and brew my next batch in their memory, and thus, the Three Halos Rum Porter was born. I brewed it up yesterday, and have an artist friend working up a special label for it incorporating something special for each of them.

2010 Three Halos Rum Porter

16oz Crystal 90L
8oz Cara-Pils
8oz Chocolate
4oz Black Patent

1 Cup Mount Gay Barbados Rum
7lbs Dark LME

At 30 minutes, added 1oz Kent Golding and 1 oz Fuggles
At 60 minutes, added 1oz Willamette

Using White Labs English Ale Yeast (WLP002)

This baby is DARK…

Not sure if the rum will come through or not, but I figured better understated than over, eh?

O.G. is 1.062

I will report as it progresses.

~ by Sean Nordquist on January 4, 2010.

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