Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Amarillo Pale Ale redux

If I can score some 1056 American ale yeast from Ray this week, B & I are going to brew up some more of that tasty Amarillo Pale Ale. This could very well be my new favorite hop. I kegged 5 gallons of this back at the end of June and it was so tasty that we kicked the keg in under two weeks. 5 gallons were bottled for a beer swap, and to hand out to some lucky friends.
I also have a pound of Simcoe hops that I'm planning on using for one of these upcoming batches.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Stalled on Monday

I barely made it out of bed this morning, and can't seem to get anything done today. Today's energy just can't get me rolling with any momentum. Between calls and emails from friends and family members who are have connectivity issues, I'll be lucky if I manage to get out the door at four o'clock today.
Did I mention the auditors are here this week?
The rest of the day just got blown out of the water, as Nick from the auditors wants to catch up with me this afternoon. READ: He's checking our compliance with Sarbox. I'll be riding my bicycle home this evening. yahoo.

Whirlwind weekend

The weekend was pretty nutty here at the house. Iz worked Friday night, and then took of for Naomi's wedding in NYC first thing Saturday morning. My sister agreed to takes the girls Saturday afternoon for a few hours so I could fit a bike ride in, which got rained out. It was nice to have a little break and some time to myself.
On Sunday after I Grace and I helped B bottle two cases of beer, the girls and I met up with Suzanne and Astrid over at Townshend lake for some swimming, frisbee tossing, and a vegetarian cookout.
Look like the next scheduled brew date will be Thursday evening.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Where did the month go?

The summer is officially flying by right now. It is already the end of the month, and August is upon us next week. Woah.
Thing have been pretty quiet on the brewing front. I have no choice at this point unless I want to start full on bottling again, and that ain't gonna happen. I have literally run out of Kegs. I think I still have one left that will need to be cleaned out really well. My brewery is at 95% capacity. Yes Saul Groovy, I'll bringing some beer for you to enjoy when we visit in September.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More dope then the 1989 Dead Summer Tour

Seeing the stay-puff marshmallow man in the womens room at the JFK show in July of 1989 is nothing compared to the dopers getting caught during this years Tour De France.
I just don't get it. Why blow your career on blood doping for a stage win, or a tour win, with the risk so high. Rasmussen and Vino are out. They will probably never race again. Kinda makes you wonder if Lance will ever come clean.
At any rate this will leave the door wide open, and I hope Cadel Evans is able to exploit this and take the yellow jersey back to Australia.

Where is the babysitter?

Isabel and I had a date night planned Wednesday night, and our sitter never showed up. No call. Nothing. I sure hope she is okay. Despite the fact that Izzy and I were unable to go out on a date, I was able to make some major headway in the brewery. I managed to rack 35 gallons of beer into assorted vessels. I did save 5 gallons of California common to get racked...possibly to bottles. I ran out of steam tonight after racking the first 35 gallons. Whew! Ran out of room in the cellar too, and had to take 10 gallons of Imperial Stout over to Ray's for storage. Probably, a good thing! It is so darn hot in my basement that I had to take care of business here, and get the beer cold. The five gallons of CA Common hanging around may just kegged in a couple days if the weather doesn't break.
I Guess I'll be making some lagers beers for the rest of the summer, since I can control those temperatures.
Another side note, since it was so warm I put the IIPA on tap and it is shaping up quite nicely. I honestly wonder if there will be any left by Thanksgiving. I heart beer.

The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Haiku Wednesday

Cloudy July morn.
Permeating fog and mist
-Sunlight burns it off.

Monday, July 23, 2007

USA Cycling Championships

It's been a wicked busy weekend. Good thing the carnage was quiet at the races this weekend. Slow Sunday which is a good thing. then again, they could change the line through the rock garden and make it really interesting.

I saw my Buddy Jay DeJesus this weekend. He's looking good these days. It's hard to imagine he was on the brink and so close to having his life extinguished from meningitis. We made plans to get together down in the Valley when we go to visit my Father for his 70th birthday in September. Gonna rip it up at Lehigh's South Mountain Campus. Haven't been or my mountain bike in ages, let alone Lehigh's amazing trails. Word. BTW I'll bring the beer.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Balloons and Ice Cream

This is what a three year old looks like enjoying ice cream bliss.

Antics at the Green River Festival

There were great acts of tom-foolery and hijynx at the Green River Festival this weekend. Much thanks go to Cynthia for the Green River Festival Tickets. The girls and I met Trout down in Greenfield for some live music, hot air balloons, ice cream, and some cold Dale's Pale Ale. We all had a blast. BTW the chair tipping event took place prior to indulging in the ice cream.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fenway, Bukowski's and a Flat Rat

The Red Sox game was quite a treat. The Boston experience is alway first rate.

Here is a shot of the flat rat Manzo and I spied Saturday morning in the North End. As you can clearly see he was not in the cross walk. This is what happens to rats who jaywalk in Boston.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fenway Bound

I'm off to Fenway today to see the Sox play. I'm meeting up with Manzo to have dinner then head out to see Beckett silence the White Sox bats. I may even slip in a visit to see my new niece in Lowell, along with a stop at Mike's Pastry for the goods!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Up like Elk

I awoke this morning at 4:50 am and found myself unable to fall back asleep. I emerged bleary eyed from bed and headed off to the kitchen to make some coffee. I considered a run this morning but opted out being optimistic that it's not going to storm today and I'll be able to fit in my bicycle commute home today.
Grinding coffee beans at five in the morning brought me back to the good old days when I lived with Elk. He'd be up before the crack of dawn grinding beans for coffee, and making snorting noises while clearing his sinus' of the pollen du jour. Often he would sound like a herd of elk in a china shop early in the AM, but I chalk it up to him merely inviting the morning twilight into our apartment. He made a great alarm clock.
I'm off to Fenway Friday night if the weather holds out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Haiku Wednesday

Steady cool rain drops.
Knocking off early today
-Must tend to sick child.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Preparing the East side of the House

The scraping has been rather arduous. I'm definitely making progress on the house, and it is starting to show. Special thanks once again to B for helping out. The help has been awesome, and sure beats doing it alone. It's been a delicate balance with work, home life, and my own personal pursuits in order to help maintain my sanity on this enormous project. The cycling and brewing really help as far as providing a distraction.
Thanks for all your encouragement in embarking on this endeavor. Anyone got a 40 foot ladder or a lift I could borrow?

Monday, July 16, 2007

House painting and beer

I started the prep work for my house painting project this past weekend. I haven't painted a house since Hank and Suzanne moved to West Townshend. It hasn't been the least bit exciting. Talk about mundane projects. I'm finding that several clapboards, and some trim is in need of being replaced due to rot. I'm gonna have to call Murph on some tips on replacing these clapboards. Oh the joys of home ownership!

Shouts out to my buddy Brian for lending a hand and being a huge help by helping me scrape the building. Sunday morning we scraped the house and brewed 10 more gallons of the California Common. That yeast was so active that the fermentation started within three hours pf pitching. We overshot the gravity on this baby, as a result it's going to be a strong beer. I figure I am going to need some help to finish this project, so on with the brewing.

10,000 losses

I found a website a few weeks back dedicated to the celebration of the Philadelphia Phillies 10,000th loss. Check it out here. It all actually came to fruition this weekend when then Phils got trampled by Cardinals. Here is the field report from their their 10,000th loss.
The Phillies franchise has lost more games then any other team in the history of professional sports. Not exactly devastating as most Philadelphia sports fans like myself are used to it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Delayed projects. More rain WTF?

We have had Thunderstorms here over the past seven days. This means it has rained at least once per day. This normally wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm trying to get my prepared so that I can paint it this summer. These delays are turning into a huge PITA. We are almost half way into the month, and all I have done is put up a ladder, and a collection of assorted painting, and scraping tools in my garage. I still need another ladder and some ladder jacks which I'll grab up Saturday to help me get started.
On a bright note Iz and I are headed to the Sierra Grille for a five course beer dinner tonight that will feature Dogfish Head. DFH's founder Sam Calagione will be speaking at the dinner tonight. Oh yeah and tomorrow is Friday, and I get to ride my bike home. Yipee!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Haiku Wednesday

Hazy overcast
Ominous black clouds linger
Here comes the Thunder.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's hot....real hot

Due to a several scheduling conflicts and meetings my commuting schedule is not working out so well this week. It's bad enough that I had to bail on my ride last Friday due to all the rain, but my trusty Merlin has been couped up in my office all week, and my legs are getting itchy to ride. It's truly amazing how I feel the need to feed my cycling addiction one again. I'm loving it!
It's super hot here in Southern Vermont, relief is on the horizon, and the hot weather may break on Thursday.
The California Common is going ape-shit in the fermenter right now. I may try to fit in a back to back brew session with another ali Common and just pitch on top of the present yeast cake. I'll then have 20 gallons of this fine beer to help me get through these hot summer days. It's amazing, I'm already planning out the rest of my brewing summer, and working on projects for this Fall. There are some exciting beers in the works, so stay tuned.
On a side note I have just started the preparation work to get the house painted this Summer, yet another reason to brew copious amounts of beer. Stay cool and support your local brewery!

Monday, July 09, 2007

California Common, the Tour, and some hard working yeast.

The 2007 Tour de France started Saturday with the prologue taking place around London. It's so easy to get caught up in the tour when you have the internet at your fingertips. I would like to catch some live coverage one of these days if time permits. B and I were hard at work down in the brewery Sunday. we brewed up the California Common which has become a standard in my brew house.
It's modeled after Anchor Steam, which is a mighty fine beer. I think the mill is finally dialed in as good as it's going to get. I ran the numbers by Ray and his calculations came up with something like 1.002 points gravity per pound of malt. Ray let me know if this number is inaccurate, as I was not taking very good notes yesterday.
Remember last weeks behemoth Imperial Stout that rang in at 1.096? Well, the 1056 American ale yeast they I used to ferment this beer with, went to work and dropped the gravity down to 1.020. My math sucks, but this should mean about 79% attenuation, which I think is completely acceptable. It got racked to secondary fermentation today and will be blended with the Mustgo Imperial Stout when it gets bottled in a couple weeks.
Next on deck will be some more Amarillo Pale Ale. It very well could be my new favorite hop.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Harry Potter's Birthday, or a celebration for Trout?

I'm told that today is Harry Potter's Birthday. We also found ourselves celebrating Trout's birthday as well.... one week early. The kids napped so we all had big fun out in the country. I brought along a couple growlers of Simply Stout and the Amarillo Pale Ale. The stout is really starting to shine. The pale ale will probably be another week or two before it's totally conditioned. Don't get me wrong, it's entirely drinkable. Sunday I'll commence the prep work for painting the house. Gotta love summer projects.
BTW, yes I did see Jordan and his mandolin Saturday night.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Independence Day

So let's see... how old is this country now, something like 231 years, which is actually pretty darn young if you think about it. Speaking of young, here is a shot of the girls staging before he parade yesterday. We set out to go get their bikes decorated for the fourth of July, and ended up being a part of the parade. They completed their first epic road ride. 1.5 miles.
After the parade we headed over to Sarah's house for her annual Birthday party. I managed to squeeze in a ride myself yesterday with the Murphenator. We got caught in the rain just as we crested Bear Mountain Ya'll. The descent was fast, wet, and the raindrops painful. It was ETB, as a result the fireworks eluded us yet again this year.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fixit Imperial Stout

Go huge or go home right? With the help of Brian and Matthew last night I was able to pull off brewing The Fixit Imperial stout which will ultimately be blended with the Mustgo Imperial Stout that was brewed a week ago. I consulted my mentor and we did some math on these beers.
Here is what we came up with
  • Mustgo Imperial Stout- SG 1.055 IBU's 75
  • Fixit Imperial Stout- SG 1.096 IBU's 40
The blended final product will hypothetically have an approximate SG of 1.076, and be around 58 IBU's. Not exactly your over the top delusional hop experience. It will likely be a pretty solid beer however that should age well, and taste pretty darn good despite the lower IBU numbers. I must say that it sure beats the hell out of making a final product that is far to bitter for human consumption. Stay tuned for the hypothetical final ABV for this beer.

I also got some choice pix of Matthew and B in action down in the brewery. They also single handily bottled over four cases of beer. Thanks guys! Wel done.