Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Boulder visitors

Klink and Noreen are visiting us this week from Boulder Colorado. It's been a little under a year since the last time I saw these two newlyweds! In fact the last time I saw them was out in Lyons for their wedding last November. They rolled in yesterday in the afternoon, and will be staying until Thursday this week.
We enjoyed a nice quiet dinner last night (the girls went to bed at 6:30). Grace, Mark, Noreen and Myself hiked Wantastiquet today. Tonight we have a double date. Did I mention we got our first hard frost yesterday, and this morning as well?
A sure sign that Winter is on the way!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ratdog in New Hampshire

I went to see Bob Weir and Ratdog tonight at the Lebanon Opera House, a tiny venue with seating capacity of 800 people. Probably the most intimate setting that I have seen any member of the Grateful Dead play. I had originally planned on going with Heath but he bailed at the last second. My sister went along with me instead. Thanks for driving Pammy!

I: Jam >
Here Comes Sunshine >
Big River >
Queen Jane Approximately >
Slow Train >
Catfish John >
Wrong Way Feelin' >
Tennessee Jed >
Playin in the Band

II: You Win Again,
Me and Bobby McGee,
Black-Throated Wind>
Miracle >
Samson and Delilah >
Stuff >
Ship of Fools >
Playin in the Band (reprise)

E: China> Rider

The highlight for me was when they played Slow Train> Catfish John. It was also cool to see Steve Kimock playing with the band. Have I ever mentioned that His father Joe was my 10th grade American Government teacher? BTW it looks the Red Sox are going to sweep the Rockies!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Single decoction success

This morning I brewed ten gallons of my Bohemian Pilzner. Presently it's fermenting away like a champ down in the lager chamber. While the pilz is in primary fermentation, I think I may attempt to fit in another ten gallon brew session before Iz takes off for Seattle next week. I'd really like to get rolling on this Belgian, however I don't want to sell myself short, and get all my fermentation vessels tied up with aging beer for an extended period of time and be stuck with nothing to drink.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Busy in the brewery

Last night I racked 5 gallons of the blended 3CPIPA & Simcoe Ale to a log for conditioning. The beer turned out be a brilliant burnt orange color, and tasted pretty goodo. I'm finally getting used to that guava, pineapple taste of the Simcoe hops. While I have had some very good commercial examples that have generous portions of Simcoe included in the hop schedule, I'm personally not sold yet on using this hop in my brewery just yet. As a result, the Simcoe experiments will continue, just not this week.
I am postponing the Alt by a week, and instead I'm going ahead with the Bohemian Pilzner this weekend. I should have a pitchable starter ready for this by Saturday at the latest. In turn I'll need to culture some yeast from this brew when I rack it since I clearly do not have enough space in my lager chamber for more than 10 gallons of beer at time. Looks like I need to start looking for a walk in.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Life gets in the way of beer

I had originally planned on brewing up 10 gallons on Atlbier this evening, however life seems to have gotten in the way, and I wasn't able to properly prepare for tonight brewing endeavor. I'm putting the alt on the back burner so that I may get started on my Bohemian Pilzner. In fact I'm considering a little experiment this time around (if I can find the room).
The plan is to brew back to back batches of the Bohemian Pilzner. The first time around performing a single decoction, and the second time around a single infusion mash. I'll re-use the yeast cake, as well as harvest some of the yeast this time around as a cost effective measure.
I haven't really planned to far ahead with this in mind, but I'm pretty certain I'll be able to pull it off if I time it just right. The key to any good brewing operation is really good planning.
See I don't want to be without beer to drink, and it wouldn't be prudent to have so many fermentors tied up in the lagering process, which could ultimately tie up my resources and for me to go without.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Quick drop

Here is a quick vid of our patrol practicing lift evac this weekend.

Rainbow Connection

Instead of heading over to Suzanne and Astrid's to have dinner and pickup the girls I went straight home. Seems that Grace and Winter are under the weather and Iz didn't want to pass anything on to Baby Astrid.
Sensing that Iz would likely be very thirsty when I got home Saturday I stopped by the coop for some refreshments to bring home.
While waiting patiently in the check out line I spied a brilliant double rainbow. I left the coop and grabbed the camera, but by the time was able to snap off a shot, the second rainbow was totally washed out.

So, exactly one year, and one day ago I saw a magnificent double rainbow. Life is funny. This time I got a picture.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A career in performance art?

Until earlier this week the only blue girl I knew of was my friend Victoria. I guess I now know two, although truth be told I have never seen Vic with an improvised blue mask over her head.
I wonder if Blue Man Group is taking applications for toddlers?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Winter on the horizon

My annual OEC refresher is coming up this weekend. I'll be over at Mount Snow on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday busy getting refreshed on my skills, and spending both days outside.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Brewery Update and Scheduled Brews

While I was making the bed and folding wash last night I got to thinking about a brewing schedule for the next few months.
Here is my tentative brewing schedule:
  • 10/22 Alt
  • 10/27 Bohemian Pilzner
  • 11/5 House Pale Ale
  • 11/11 Sorghum Ale (5 gallons)
  • 11/17 Belgian Strong or Belgian Dubbel
  • 12/1 Double Bock
I am confident that with some smart planning I may be able to pull it off and get the fermenters filled with some fine ale and lager.

Presently I have the Imperial Stout and C3PIPA on tap. The C3PIPA is conditioning and won't be ready for another ten days.

Baseball and Beer

Some of my friends came over for the ALCS game two Saturday night. We ended up packing it in around midnight. The sox ended up losing in in extra innings against the Indians, and we kicked the keg of Simcoe Pale Ale.
I finally finished priming the West side of the house, aside from two small area's in the vicinity of the power feeds to the house which I'm saving for a larger ladder and a call to CVPS so that I don't meet an untimely death by electrocution.
Yipee, one side of the house is primed. Time for me to mobilize my resources and get some friends to help out, so I may button of the painting before the temps get to cold.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stone in Vermont

Last week Stone beer arrived in Vermont. This has been one of my new favorite beers for quite awhile. They make quality beer that would give any brewer a run for their money. If you have an opportunity to sample some of their beers I would highly recommend it. They are pretty intense, and although a bit pricey....mostly worth it. How is it that I struggle with the concept of paying 15.00 for a six pack, but have no problem shelling out 5.00 for a bomber of this stuff. Perhaps it is the variety that I'm always looking for when consuming beer.
I hope their obscure stuff starts flowing into town soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Inventory is looking up

I think I'm going to brew a dopplebock or a Bohemian Pilz up for my next batch of beer. Presently I am building up a really nice inventory of beer. Here's how it is broken out at this time

  • 12.5 gallons of Russian Imperial Stout (5 on tap & 7.5 conditioning)
  • 5 gallons of Simcoe Pale Ale on tap
  • 5 gallons of 3CPIPA in secondary fermentation
  • 5 gallons blended Simcoe Pale ale and 3CPIPA in Secondary Fermentation
  • 10 gallons of Simcoe Imperial Red Ale in Primary Fermentation
I think I have enough stock of Beer on hand that I can do some lagers. Hee Haw! So I'm thinking Bohemian Pilzner and Dopplebock to start. I amy try to keep my lager chamber full through the Winter if at all possible. Ain't life grand?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Yankee Ingenuity IV a success!

We had a great turn out this past weekend for Yankee Ingenuity IV. Several of my internet friends showed up and we brewed up 26 gallons of homebrew. A few people bailed last second, and some others just came to check it out so we didn't hit my originally anticipated overall volumes. The recipes ranged from Dopplebock, to 80 shilling ales, to some Imperial Red Ale, and West Coast Style Ale.
A good time was had by all. John and Dave enjoyed themselves and ended up doing the responsible thing by staying over. We ended up rocking out til midnight.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Family dinner

My mom and Darla have been in town since Friday last week. Needless to say our evenings have been busy with visiting family and friends. Last night we hosted dinner at our house. Some people bailed at the last minute leaving us copious amounts of lasagna!
It actually worked out better as we were able to enjoy a nice low key, intimate dinner. It was nice to relax at home. My mom, Darla, Hank and Astrid all had dinner with us last night.
After everyone left, I got to work in the brewery preparing for this weekends brew session. After sampling some of my Simcoe Pale Ale with Hank I got to thinking about improving upon this beer by making it bigger, so I'm going to max out the mash tun this weekend!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Yankee Ingenuity IV this weekend

I'm hosting Yankee Ingenuity IV this weekend. On Saturday the backyard will be magically transformed into a multi-participant brewing session which will include home brewers from northern New England. Approximately eight to ten brewers will be showing up at my house Saturday morning to collectively brew anywhere from 50-100 gallons of beer.
This should be a fun filled day of brewing and sampling.

Monday, October 01, 2007

My mom is visiting this week

Granny is visiting us this week from North Carolina. She arrived Friday evening and stayed at our house while we were out of town. She is over at my sisters for the rest of the week, until she heads off to my Brothers house in Oswego, NY on Friday.
Needless to say this week will be action packed with all sorts of family activities.
Dinner at Carl's Monday, Pam's on Tuesday, Our house Wednesday.

Winty said "It's like one big never-ending party".
On a side note Winty starts going to a full day of school this week.