Monday, May 26, 2008

The Classic APA

I brewed up a classic American Pale Ale for my Memorial day mashing session. I dumped the cooled wort on the yeast cake from the blond that I brewed last week. I nearly sliced off the tips of my index and middle fingers on my right hand when my 14.6 gallons conical fermenter slipped out of my hands. Oh the ouch, and the blood. Luckily no stitches were required.
Close call.
This evening we enjoyed a cookout over at Carl's house with some great BBQ and some fine Belgian Ales.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

All fun and games til Granddad shows up

My father and brother showed up and surprised me last night to help me celebrate my 40th birthday. Hank, Carl and my sister also showed up as well as my in-laws. Much fun was had by all. As you can clearly see the girls were quite excited to see their Grand Dad.

Meanwhile, I got to blow some candles out, eat some ice cream cake, and enjoy some fine Belgian style beers for Rob Todd and the fine brewers at Allagash.
Thomas, Grace, Iz, and I also went to all-school sing this morning to hear Winter's class perform "Hang on Sloopy".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Forty it's the new thirty

At least that's what it said on the inside of the birthday card from my Sister this week. While it sounds cliché, there apparently is some merit to this statement. As the photo albums came flying out on Saturday night everyone had an opportunity to review the kodachromed documentation of my forty year history. While reflecting I can honestly say I have enjoyed very many rich experiences in this life with minimal scat.

I guess I'm very fortunate to have a loving family, and have made many good friends over the years, as well some very good beer.
So after two children, and nearly ten years of marriage I'm full on back into brewing and riding my bicycle, as well as my snowboard.

Joyeux anniversaire!
Here's to forty more years of enjoying the ride.
By the way if forty is the new thirty, I certainly hope that I don't try and pee in my closet tonight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yeast Harvest

I top cropped some 1056 American Ale yeast of off the Blond tonight. The Trub tripel appears to be done. The krausen has finally subsided. What to make next?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday brew

I was planning on brewing the blond over in Bennington on Sunday, but this party go in the way. Instead I decided to brew at home. I had everything ready to go. I ran into a few small obstacles like finding a mouse turd in the mash water, and running out of gas while heating my sparge water.

After dumping the water and cleaning the kettle I was ready to brew. I always keep a spare tank on hand. It took a few minutes to swap out the propane tank, and we were back in action. My friend Dave and his kids stopped by, and ended up coming back for dinner with the rest of his family. Funny thing about this weekend was I didn't get my swerve on until Sunday night. With that said I was a little worn out this morning.

The blond came out great. Hit my gravity, but missed my volume. I'm losing almost a gallon of wort to trub. I will need to come up with a false bottom in my kettle so I can reclaim more wort out of kettle. My ghetto set-up continues to evolve.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A suprise for me

It poured buckets of rain Friday night, so Carl and I decided that a road ride would be in order instead of the originally scheduled mtn bike ride. We rolled out at 1:00pm from Greenleaf St. and headed towards Collins Road in West Halifax. Thirty seven miles later and 2500 feet of climbing we rolled back to Carl's house to hose off and sit in the hot tub.
We got cleaned up and then headed over to my house for dinner. Well much to my surprise when we arrived there was a party waiting for me. I'm turning forty in a few days, and Iz decided to throw me a low key party. It was a perfect event complete with BBQ from the Top of the Hill and Beer supplied by my friend Ray. Needless to say I would not be joining my friends in Bennington to make beer Sunday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

National Bicycle Week

Along with it being national bicycle week, today is National Bike/Walk to Work Day. While I didn't ride in today, I will be riding home. I usually take the bus Fridays so I can slip in a ride home on Thursday or Friday. I'll be heading out for my first mtn bike ride of the year with Carl Saturday, and then big plans to brew beer in Bennington on Sunday with my scary internet friends

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers day Mayhem

All fun and games until Grammy gets the accordion out. We spent Mothers day down at Grammy's house enjoying a cookout, fine music, good beer, and naturally the marakas.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Another stone in the wall & some racking

My good friend Jim and I rebuilt the granite retaining wall out in front of the house today. We are in the process of landscaping it. With some more love and hard work the house will slowly become an asset to the neighborhood again.

I did get down in the brewery today for racking and final packaging. I put four gallons of the Belgian Strong Golden ale on tap and finally racked the Trub Tripel to secondary fermentation. It's present gravity is at 1.020. I'm hoping to get is down a few more points. My friend Emily's father is going to let me borrow his floor corker so I can bottle up these beers later on this summer. The Tripel will likely remain in secondary for a month or two,and then will be cold conditioned for another month. So it will likely be around August when this gets bottled.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stalled operations

I decide to hang with Winty instead of brewing on Wednesday. Needless to say my brewing operations have stalled out this week.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Blonde

I'm brewing up a classic Blonde ale this week. Wednesday I will attempt to brew after I pick up Winter from school. This can get very tricky, as I will also need to pick Grace up and make dinner Wednesday night. As long as my mash doesn't get stuck I think it will all work out. It's certainly is nice to see the fermenters filling up again.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Tripel still in active fermentation

I checked the gravity on Trub Tripel Saturday and it has dropped to 1.030. I'm hoping this will finish out somewhere between 1.010 and 1.014 before it gets racked to an extended secondary fermentation. I have a very good feeling about this beer turning up as a medal winner.

Otherwise it was quiet in the brewhouse this weekend. Mostly cleaning up and racking beer to final packaging. I had big plans for a Blonde Ale on AHA homebrew day Saturday, but lacked motivation so I'll likely brew this one up on Wednesday this week.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Farmers Market in the rain

We ended up walking to the farmers market in the rain . I converted the bike trailer into stroller mode and we took off to get the greens. They had a maypole set up and Winter's music teacher was orchestrating the maypole dance. The maypole isn't so much fun in the pouring rain.
My sister showed up and chased the girls around while Iz grabbed the greens and I got everything in order for this years CSA.