Jul 19

first yeast starter

So my first yeast starter… a few notes:

  • Palmer rocks and has a nice calculator for pitching rates for various starter types (with O2, online with stir plate, plague etc)

  • Working with the stainless diffuser stone is a PITA – just time consuming with the 15min boils to clean/sanitize it.

  • I am too cheap to buy a stir plate yet – I’m saving for my very keezer. From Palmer’s calc it just seemed to increase the amount of starter I needed by ~.5L. The starter seemed to turn out just fine.

  • @#$@# is boiling in an Erlenmeyer flask touchy – friggin boilovers are a constant problem. I’m not sure if this is due to our asstastic smooth top electric stove or if it is just the nature of the beast. I think some foam control might be in order. Other folks seem to love the stuff.

  • It did seem to start to fade (bubble activity) after 18hrs, next time need to get it into the fermenter before that.

  • Lag time: 2hrs. That’s right bitches.

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Jul 18

Is this what shoe shopping makes women feel ?

I just returned from the not so local HBS Midwest Supplies, dermatologist with a bag of goodies for tomorrow’s brew. I’m a fan of their store – more than Northernbrewer – larger and they ship their mail-order catalog supplies from the same location. It seems they have quite a high turnover – for instance, sales the yeast I got was dated July 14th.

Anyhoo – picked up a 2L Erlenmeyer and oxygenation kit. This will be the first starter and I’m going off of Palmer’s Pitching Calculator. It should be interesting.

BTW – Is this how women feel after hitting a shoe store sale ? If so, healing I think I get it now…

Below is the recipe I’m brewing tomorrow: Continue reading

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Jul 18

I’m back

Indeed it is! What stink am I talking about ? It’d be the cigarette smoke, ascariasis stale beer, infertility motorcycle exhaust, fried food and a good dose of the sticky-icky. With the wonderful wife safely on her way to Oh! Canada, I ventured out for some good old fashioned male bonding.

JW & I hit up the Herkimer for some vittles and a little pre-gaming of adult beverages. The food was quite good, but an appetizer would have helped to fill us up – portion sizes are not obscene and thankfully normal. Who knew! They’ve also got a great selection of German style in-house brewed beers. I can’t remember ever seeing local Kolsch or Alt Bier on tap anywhere. Very nice. The night starts getting interesting when the dude next to JW just waves hello and starts talking to us – not rude or anything, but the guy was a little off. Thankfully JW was in a mood to chat with the guy, or I’d have just been an arse and ignored him. Sometimes you just want to enjoy your beer without the extra mental anguish of having a conversation. (Women take note….) Hrm – perhaps there is some subtle body language or mental telepathy that allows men to sit around drinking and watching a baseball game to communicate without actually speaking. Perhaps we are somehow gifted after all.

From there we headed to the planned destination(s) for the night – Whiskey Junction & The Cabooze. I’ve always wanted to head down there – it is supposedly one of the better biker bars in the area. It is, but oh so much more! The bars are on opposite ends of the block with nice large harley parking lot and open-outdoor-air-but-tented-roof bar, grill and tons of picnic tables. The outdoor area joins up with a bar called The Joint and The Cabooze. It was really cool just hanging out at a picnic table – drinking, telling lies and the mutual pauses in the conversation to appreciate the sound of Harleys rolling in and out. One nice thing about riding a Harley, I can get to the bar and park directly in front.

The Whiskey was fairly dead – they had a pretty good blues band playing and several pool tables. I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling when it comes to shooting pool, hopefully more trips to bars will cure that. It will be rough, but I think in the end it will pay off.

The Cabooze… well that is where things get interesting. JW & I headed over there once Jason and his buddy arrived – thankfully sparing us from playing another unfortunate game of pool only to find those guys at the pool tables in the Cabooze… I’ve never really seen a trendy kinda hippy bar next to a biker bar. One would think you’d get some broken and battered hippies out of that – but all was well. Maybe it was too cold (50F) for hippy pounding ? Cabooze is a pretty cool place – hugely cavernous inside with a triple tiered bar-slash-table setup so that drinking and watching the bands can be done from the safety of a bar stool. In the back by the pool tables there is a room with a locked door and marked “Private Party”. I’m sure it was private but there was less traffic to the bathrooms. It might have something to do with the pungent aroma of that certain something – good lord it was ridiculous. Perhaps that explained our desire to get cheese burgers, tater-tots (tots !!!) and tubed meat in a bun at 1am.

And really, no night is complete without watching someone boot. They have nice large garbage cans near the bathrooms. These are the industrial strength grey ones with handles – you know, to give you something to really hang onto while barfing up $40 of booze. The bouncers were pretty cool about it – just wanted to make sure the dudes buddies got him home, I think they even called a cab for them, the poor bugger Hippies are nice.

Well, one nice cool-ish ride home and I collapsed into bed, doggies grateful to be inside. I slept like the dead until ~10 am and now my underwear clad self is contemplating leaving the sanctuary of the sofa and my blankie for food and maybe even a shower. One must prepare for a full day of football and Nascar T.V watching properly. WPG2 Internal Page used for displaying your Gallery2 Content.

You can customise this page by changing the Page Title, more about Page Slug or altering the options in the WPG2 Output Tab.. Wow, clinic nearly two years… The desire to share my return to beer brewing (2yrs for that too!) got me back here. As usual, the pain is all yours đŸ™‚

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Sep 16

it is a good stink

Indeed it is! What stink am I talking about ? It’d be the cigarette smoke, ascariasis stale beer, infertility motorcycle exhaust, fried food and a good dose of the sticky-icky. With the wonderful wife safely on her way to Oh! Canada, I ventured out for some good old fashioned male bonding.

JW & I hit up the Herkimer for some vittles and a little pre-gaming of adult beverages. The food was quite good, but an appetizer would have helped to fill us up – portion sizes are not obscene and thankfully normal. Who knew! They’ve also got a great selection of German style in-house brewed beers. I can’t remember ever seeing local Kolsch or Alt Bier on tap anywhere. Very nice. The night starts getting interesting when the dude next to JW just waves hello and starts talking to us – not rude or anything, but the guy was a little off. Thankfully JW was in a mood to chat with the guy, or I’d have just been an arse and ignored him. Sometimes you just want to enjoy your beer without the extra mental anguish of having a conversation. (Women take note….) Hrm – perhaps there is some subtle body language or mental telepathy that allows men to sit around drinking and watching a baseball game to communicate without actually speaking. Perhaps we are somehow gifted after all.

From there we headed to the planned destination(s) for the night – Whiskey Junction & The Cabooze. I’ve always wanted to head down there – it is supposedly one of the better biker bars in the area. It is, but oh so much more! The bars are on opposite ends of the block with nice large harley parking lot and open-outdoor-air-but-tented-roof bar, grill and tons of picnic tables. The outdoor area joins up with a bar called The Joint and The Cabooze. It was really cool just hanging out at a picnic table – drinking, telling lies and the mutual pauses in the conversation to appreciate the sound of Harleys rolling in and out. One nice thing about riding a Harley, I can get to the bar and park directly in front.

The Whiskey was fairly dead – they had a pretty good blues band playing and several pool tables. I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling when it comes to shooting pool, hopefully more trips to bars will cure that. It will be rough, but I think in the end it will pay off.

The Cabooze… well that is where things get interesting. JW & I headed over there once Jason and his buddy arrived – thankfully sparing us from playing another unfortunate game of pool only to find those guys at the pool tables in the Cabooze… I’ve never really seen a trendy kinda hippy bar next to a biker bar. One would think you’d get some broken and battered hippies out of that – but all was well. Maybe it was too cold (50F) for hippy pounding ? Cabooze is a pretty cool place – hugely cavernous inside with a triple tiered bar-slash-table setup so that drinking and watching the bands can be done from the safety of a bar stool. In the back by the pool tables there is a room with a locked door and marked “Private Party”. I’m sure it was private but there was less traffic to the bathrooms. It might have something to do with the pungent aroma of that certain something – good lord it was ridiculous. Perhaps that explained our desire to get cheese burgers, tater-tots (tots !!!) and tubed meat in a bun at 1am.

And really, no night is complete without watching someone boot. They have nice large garbage cans near the bathrooms. These are the industrial strength grey ones with handles – you know, to give you something to really hang onto while barfing up $40 of booze. The bouncers were pretty cool about it – just wanted to make sure the dudes buddies got him home, I think they even called a cab for them, the poor bugger Hippies are nice.

Well, one nice cool-ish ride home and I collapsed into bed, doggies grateful to be inside. I slept like the dead until ~10 am and now my underwear clad self is contemplating leaving the sanctuary of the sofa and my blankie for food and maybe even a shower. One must prepare for a full day of football and Nascar T.V watching properly.

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Jul 11

I’m gonna go drink now

I was sitting at the kitchen counter the other day poking away on the InterTubes when I got an ear scratch. So I dug in there with Mr Finger and gave it what-fer. As I was withdrawing said digit, diagnosis I felt something like a hair or string — not an unusual sensation when you live with 2 dogs and a wife. It didn’t come off. No, site it wasn’t glued there by some evildoer as a joke. No, it wasn’t just me needing a haircut. It was attached – alive if you will. Yes folks, I had long ear hair.

SONOFABITCH!

A quick trot to the bathroom to examine the situation left me screeching and humbled. I not only had one long ear hair — and not the feathery crap you get on the outside. No sir, this was a full out infestation of 2 inch hairs growing out of my ear canal. Correction, both ears. Thankfully I’ve got my 42-in-1 electric hair shortening kit nearby and fully charged, so removal wasn’t a problem.

Now, I’m convinced I’m not old enough to be experiencing this sick twist of nature just yet, so I’m on the hunt for some sort of environmental trigger that is causing this mutant growth. It can’t be beer, no – God isn’t that mean; maybe it is the lack of coffee – I’ve recently tried to move away from it & to the weaker-on-the-speed scale soda; Damnit, I’m stumped. Life is a cruel cruel mistress.

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Jul 10

tonto rides, err flies again

Yes, link yes — I know. I’m posting something here again. You’ll just have to deal.

So — what has been going on? Life, treat weddings, and more life. I’ll spare you the details for now, maybe I’ll try catching up later.

I’ve caught the flying bug. Bad. I blame his greatness. But to be fair, I think I really caught the bug a few years back while in Boulder,CO for a CFS brewhaha. I’d gotten introduced to the world of build-it-yourself aircraft and well — my “must have every detail” nature got me digging. Long story short: I’m the next Red Baron, just you wait and see. I will flour bomb your house too, or your dog.

Last night I went flying with a guy from work. His hangar was located on “Lighting” at Flying Cloud Airport located in Eden Prairie here in the greater Twin Cities. We climbed into N2307A and away we went. As it turns out, the MSP airspace here is fairly open, you just have to stay below 4000 feet for most of the metro. We flew within 1500 feet of downtown during a wonderful sunset, it was funny how cool the city looks from the air. We cruised out to the MN/WI border near Stillwater where I took over, and then down the Mississippi to Prescott, WI and then did a detour to fly over my home here. We headed south and did some 30 & 45 degree turns, some VOR work, and then used the VFR map to locate our position (god bless MN lakes and perfect compass aligned roads). I managed to get us back to the airport and executed my first pattern entry, downwind, base and final approach with VAPI before Don took over to get us back on tera firma. All in all, a nice 2 hours of flying in a kick of a plane.

Yes, the bug is firmly implanted now. I’ve scoped out a local community college that does a summer ground school course and I’m looking at the FCM airport facilities for other options. Now all I have left is to wait out our lease, buy a new house, fix up said house, upgrade the truck to something from the modern era and viola! I’ll be set!

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Mar 28

I’ve got sand in my…..

I know — I’ve not posted in a while. You’ll have to deal!

Anyways — just wanted to show off the evidence we actually got married in the Caribbean:

On the beach

The Mrs has good details here. I’ll be uploading more photos soon too.

Update: Click the photo for the rest. We’ll add more as we get them from Mom & Aud.

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Nov 25

Here wormy, wormy, wormy.

I’ve managed to update some long lingering photos:

Hrm — perhaps a few quickies as well

  • Turkey Day was a 3h drive “Up Nort” to one of Moms sisters’ places — very nice spread and a great meal. Marinated wild turkey…mmm! That is a long drive for a meal though…
  • Long weekend – so nice. I’m refusing to even turn the work laptop on. This is driving me a bit nutty, but I’m dealing with the withdrawl symptoms nicely.
  • In Vino Veritas: Gotta get the Cab/Merlot bottled this weekend — by next Oct with 10 months in the bottle, it should be damn good.
  • Lots of good news on the Cray front. This is a huge validating win for us and really should help move Cray back to the front of the pack, if not breaking away from the peloton someday entirely, for real HPC offerings. Wankers with your “clusters” need not apply. By-the-way, anything below a 30TFLOP system now immediately registers as “small” with me — I know, a bit snobbish — deal with it.
  • The year of road trips starts in under 30 days. Oy. We are driving back to MT with the dogs for Christmas — I’m praying for a smooth trip both ways. If all goes well with the dogs, we’ll be repeating this trip 4 times next year — 3 weddings and then Christmas. If all does not go well, we’ll be repeating the trip with the addition of drugs for the dogs. Modern pharmacology is not without its benefits.
  • Boston – I’ll be there Saturday May 26th through early morning Tuesday June 2 for the Liza’s wedding – I’d love to catch up with a certain Herr Schwan & McDonald provided they can be troubled to drink beer.
  • The Violator: Just go watch. This, Ladies & Gentlemen, is my future brother-in-law. I couldn’t be happier. If you can handle a tapeworm story, shop venture within. No, not mine.

I shall henceforth not be eating steak tartar ever. EVAR.

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