So I signed up for a 50k run. It was sort of on a whim, and if you're reading "Running: The Exciting Book" in the other tab, you may or may not find these long runs there. Wait, let me check...nope, haven't reached it yet. But it'll get there.
The race is called the West Virginia Trilogy, and I had been looking at it for a few weeks. As the deadline to sign up without paying an extra $20 was approaching, I hemmed and hawed and talked to my wife and tried to think of a way to get to West Virginia (Circleville, to be precise) without totally screwing her over in kid duty.
Ultimately, it was my brother who came through, volunteering to drive me out there on a Thursday evening, camp out that night, and take me back Friday evening. Yep, the 50k is a rare Friday event, knitted up with a 50-miler on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.
But three days -- too much. I went for the lone day of the 50k, figuring it wouldn't be excessively abusive. As well, the kids don't have Friday activities, and my wife will go to work that day, so disappearing for the evening before and that day is less like a 24-hour event and more like a 16-hour event. At least, that's how I justified it to myself.
Regardless of the motivation, I also decided it had been too long since I'd brewed. As the DC area heated up during the summer, I had less and less motivation to sit in front of a hot stove, and given everything happening in our house, it seemed like a bad idea to spend 10 hours just to make another half dozen cases of beer.
August started to wind down, a mild "cold" front moved in, and we finally saw temperatures in the 70s. I jumped at the opportunity, my job having relaxed a bit for a few weeks.
But what better way to celebrate a three-stage race than with three types of beer? So it was that the idea of the "Porter Triptych" was born: three variants on a porter, ready for race day.
First up is the base, which I modified from an existing recipe brewed a couple years ago. This was modified in a few key ways: (1) To better use the ingredients I had on hand; (2) to use grains that simply weren't available when I brewed it last; and (3) to make a better product.