A Beer and a Dog

"Why should I blog about brewing?", I asked. "Nothing like a beer and a dog...", So Sayeth Virtual Wayne.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ESB Recipe

Saturday I’ll brew my ESB.  Here are the grain & Hop Bills:


Grain Schedule


Hops Schedule


Pale Ale Malt : 

9.5 Lbs.

Perle Hops : 

.50 oz.

Wheat Malt : 

1.25 Lbs.

Goldings Hops : 

1.00 oz.

Crystal (80L) Malt :

.75 Lbs.

Cascade Hops : 

.50 oz.

Special B Malt : 

.50 Lbs.



Usual Suspects



10 gallons

Irish Moss

1 tsp.

A lot of water for a five gallon batch, you say?  I will probably wind up with 5.5 gallons of beer, 1 gallon will boil away, there will probably be 2 gallons absorbed into the grain after mashing, and there will be a gallon or so left in the hot liqueur tank after mashing.  Better more than you need.  I put 6 gallons into the HLT at about 200°F to mash, heating it when I heat the water for the mash.  15 quarts at 161°F will go into the mash to mash at 150°F, and 9 quarts will go in at about 200°F to mash out at about 170°. About 4.5 gallons are usedat vortlauft to lauter after mashing is completed.  I’ll have a gallon or so left over in the HLT when I’m through.  Blah. blah, blah….

Now, it is time to transfer my Standard Bitters to the Secondary fermenter. More as it happens!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Planning to brew an ESB on Friday, or Saturday…

I’ll use basically the same recipe for the ESB as I did for the Standard Bitters that I brewed on Christmas except I’ll use around 11.5 lbs of grain instead of 7.25.  The ABV should be almost twice that of the last one, and I’ll use more hops to balance it out.  Shooting for around 6.5% ABV.  I purchased enough specialty grains to make this batch too. (Special B, 80L Crystal, and wheat malt to go with the Pale Ale malt.  That should about do in the last of the Pale Ale malt;  have to go see a guy that knows a guy.\

I’ll spread the Brown Ale around amongst my co-workers and friends including El Jefe and the gang at the ‘C on Willie-D.  They probably suspect that I’ll forget about them once I have worked as an Engineer again, for a while. Not a chance.  They are still my peeps too.

  Grain Bill for the Standard Bitters:


Hops & etc.

  6 lbs Pale Ale malt;

.5 oz. Perle, 60 min.

.5 lbs Crystal, 80L;

1.0 oz. Goldings, 60 Min.

.5 lbs Wheat Malt;

Safale English Ale – 2nd Generation.

.25 lbs Special B malt;

usual suspects: water, Irish Moss…

The mash was a 75 min. mash.  The total grains for the ESB will be 11.5 and the hops will be adjusted as needed to fit style.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tasted another beer this AM

…and it is pretty good!  Brown Ale.  First one I’ve made (11.B English Northern Brown Ale) and I think that Trish may like it.  We’ll see.  A little more carbonation than the one from the other day, and I drank it at cellar temperatures, as it is traditionally consumed at.

The batch that is fermenting now is a standard bitters, also a low alcohol content beer and also taken at cellar temperature.  I think that the next batch will be an Extra Special Bitters, 08.C in the Styles Guidelines.  That style has about a 6% + ABV content, I’ll take both to the mtg. and say, “Here are two from extreme ends of the spectrum of the style…  tell me what your palate tells you?”  Might brew that one on Friday since the plant will be closed then as well as today. 

After the next batch I shouldn’t have long until I am able to get my freezer out of hock and will be able to make Lagers once again.  The first one will be an Oktöberfest.  I really like the style.  And besides, about the only grain I have enough of to make additional batched is Münich, so I’m limited as to styles unless I go off on a tangent… which I plan to soon… Bwa-hahaha….

You’ll see….

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Brewing today.

Woke up at 4:30 and thought about getting started on my brewing but was afraid that I would fall asleep during something critical.  I went upstairs and napped til later.  Started around the usual time.  Flame on at 9:10 AM.

Once I got things going well, Trish came down and made an exclamation that I shan’t repeat.   She left and returned in about 5 minutes to tell me that she was up til 3:30 last night mopping the basement floor.  Why did I not tell her that I was going to brew in the basement?  (I told her that I was going to do it yesterday but was tasked with other things… and decided to do it today.  No, she wasn’t amused…)

I set up the WaynarWare ‘Fizz!’ to alarm when critical moments in brewing are approaching.  Click the fashionable WaynarWare link and you can get a copy yourself!  Its running as I key this blog to remind me that it is time to heat water for Mash Out.  Another file will be armed when boil begins and altho’ the beer that I’m making has all hop additions at the beginning of the boil, I’ll still need a heads up when it is time to add the Irish Moss and one to cut the heat off & start the chiller.  More later….

Yep, she wasn’t amused.  Made a special trip down to point that out.

About ready to put into the primary and pitch the yeast. Looks like I’ll have about 5.5 gallons when it is ready to bottle.  This one is a Standard Bitters.  We’ll see…

Friday, December 24, 2010

Brewing this weekend…

I stopped by BRH&HBS yesterday and picked up some hops and specialty grains for brewing a Standard Bitters (08.A in the BJCP styles guidelines).  I’ve not tried a Standard Bitters before, although I did do a Extra Special Bitters (08.C) once upon a time, and something got into it making it foul tasting.  I was embarrassed and eschewed the style for several years til now.  The nastiness was probably from a contaminated piece of equipment, maybe a hose or a bucked with nasties hiding within a scratch or a crack.  One thing I also bought was a new section of hose for racking and transferring from bottling bucket to bottles.  Mental note, disinfect it well.  I’ll pull & crack my grain today/nite some time so I’ll not awaken My Best Beloved in the early hours tomorrow with the drill attached to the grain mill.  We’ll see how that goes….

The English Northern Brown Ale (11.B) has been in the bottle for almost a week.  Should I try one tonite?  Oh, it is SO tempting….

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today: I bottle!

I just finished cleaning 2-1/2 cases of bottles for my 11.B ale.  Trish bought me a new bottle brush which I’m in dire need of – and it won’t fit down the bottle necks.  I had to use the old one which is beginning to look like Lex Luthor; each bottle dislodged another stand of extruded plastic from the little darlin’.   And just the other day when I was buying caps at Chris & Fran’s, I was racking my brain: What is it that I really need to replace?  File that one under: “D’oh!”

Thanks again to Doug for gifting me with a couple cases of bottles – and for de-labeling them as well.  What a pain in the ass that is.  I’ve been sharing my beer with so many people over the years that I was almost out of bottles except for the flip tops, which I really don’t want to give away unless I know that I’ll be getting them back.  (Probably should start using those tho’, specifically for tastings.  They can be resealed straight away with little loss of carbonation throughout the campaign.)

I’ll start racking to the bottling bucket after while; want to chill a bit before I finish the task.  More later….

And here it is, Later:

I wound up with 58 bottles of ale, and had about 4 oz. left over to put into a plastic soda bottle to test pressure once the carbonation is finished.  (Squeeze it right there, maybe it will… what was the line from the Firesign Theatre skit?  Dunno.)  Anyhoo. final gravity was 1.006 and the ABV is 4.68%, just a little high for the upper limit of the style (4.52%).  I swilled the sample that I took for checking the finished gravity and it is a little drier than style, but that might change after it is carbonated.  We will see in a couple weeks.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Was waiting for the beer…

…to finish fermenting, and realized that I don’t have enough beer caps to bottle this batch.  At least I realized it in time.  If only I can remember to stop by the store and get some more before I begin bottling on a Sunday, or night when the store is closed.  If I don’t remember I can use the flip top bottles that I have… have a couple cases of them.  I refrain from using them too often because I usually don’t want to drink a whole liter at a time, and am reluctant to give away the flip tops because I sometimes don’t get the bottles back. 

I was cleaning up bottles the other day and realized that I’m getting low on bottles, just for that reason.  I’ve given beer to people that I rarely see and who rarely return the empties.  (Those who do return them want to make sure that they are on the list to get more.)  Some of the guys in the club have thingys that screw onto 2 liter bottles that allows them to re-pressurize the bottle after pouring a few, keeping the beer fresh.  But then one must have a bottle of CO^2 to do that… which I don’t have.  Was offered one once, a 20 lb. bottle, but not suspecting that I’d ever need it, I turned down the offer.  File that one under “D’oh!”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beer is in the secondary now...

Wow, that only took about 4 days in the primary. Racked to secondary and wound up with 5.5 gallons. I saved the yeast out of the Primary for the next batch. Wonder what I'll brew next? I'll have to shell out some semolians for hops, and any specialty grains that I might need.

Jeff and I are going to brew a mysterie beer... It isn't a mysterie to us, I'm just keeping a lid on it until after we taste it. Bwa-hahaha! It's probably been done before... Let the chips fall where they may.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

English Brown Ale

Awaiting an appropriate time for milling my grain.  Got it all pulled and ready yesterday AM, but Trish was still asleep – so I let it sit for later… which I didn’t get to.  Here it is, 5:00 AM, and it still isn’t done.  I’ll give her til say, 9:00 to get enough shut eye before I start making noise.  At least I have everything else ready and on hand.  (Hmmm… do I have any Irish Moss left?)

This beer will use the last of the specialty grain that I have on hand and all but two ounces of Cascade Hops.  After this I’ll have to make an investment.  Hate to do it, but I think I’ll order rather than go to Blue Ridge to get more hops and maybe yeast.  I’ve been a proponent of supporting them despite my available fundage sit com, but their prices are just too high on many things.  It’s good that they are around when I need something right now, but sometimes you just have to act like a responsible taxpayer and viya con dinero.  More as things progress.

Finished up except for mopping the deck at 3:45 this afternoon. OG was 1.042 with an estimate of about 4.2% ABV and 5.75 gallons.  No major issues at all, altho’ I did spill some foam onto the floor.. got to go clean that up about now or so.  Using Fermentis English Ale yeast.  I don’t think that I’ve used that one before. We will see…

And now I’m in the mood to make pizza.  Avanti!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A beer bud asked: “When did cast signing begin?”

    I Googled it and didn't find a definable answer. 

    The custom might be as old as Zorak the Mutant, progenitor of all people with blue eyes.  Zorak was the first humanoid with blue eyes, and his genes were much in demand in his day.  He was able to make a nice living traveling from village to village bartering his wares for goods and 3 hots & a cot while he plied his trade in each village.  But, as is often the case with people in powerful positions Zorak got a little too big for his loin cloth; once upon beginning his bi-yearly rounds, he was greeted by a village head man and his wife - and her young blue eyed child.  Afterward he traveled to other villages and was able to prosper even more by having satisfied villagers sign his multiple casts, the first marketing ploy in history, as well.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A sign that things are getting better for a little while?

I put a chest freezer on lay away at a local business, a 9 ft.^3 box, just so I can again make lagers. Of course, if the balloon goes up, I can use it as a freezer to keep rodentia and other game in as I can capture them. (And on that note: I saw a clip on a show called 'Manswers' that said that pound-for-pound, cats are more nutritious than dogs. "Remember that when you try to come after my dogs, you starving lunatics!" ) Perhaps that is why cats are so aloof... But that's a story for next year, I'm sure.

I should have it paid for by January something or another, and one of my first lagers will be my ole pal Märzen, or as it is better known, Oktöberfest. I haven't made one in years, and it is about time to do so! But first, maybe a Dortmunder. Trish may like that style; not too hoppy nor strong for her tastes. I'm Egor to start brewing again!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A strange occurrence (to me)

Wow.  After working at the ‘C and finding one day weekends the norm, I’m now faced with a strange new occurrence:  a 4-day weekend! What, oh what will I do with the time? 

Well, lessee: Looks like I’m going to have to cook a turkey too. 


I was planning on making Porculus, a barbecued pork loin sliced lengthwise in a spiral to make a large slab, garlic and ‘erbs & things added, rolled up, and covered with a lattice of bacon.  With a turkey to contend with I guess that will be a plan for when the turkey is gone.  Had a pic of it from the last time that I made it… but can’t find it.

AND… five of the guys from the club are brewing this week. Friday thru Sunday… do there will be places to go.  I was hoping to brew myself, too.  …and there will be the honey do list that I’ll have to work on. 

Yep, this is going to be a weekend.  Cheers!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I’d never heard of hashing before.  I met a couple at the meeting last night who told me about it; they are Hashers.  I’d heard of the British term ‘Hounds and Hares’ before but didn’t have a clue nor an interest in finding out what it meant. The gent said I should Google ‘Hashing’.  And so I did…

I discovered that Hashing came about in pre-war Malaysia, a means of exercise, getting rid of the weekend’s hangover, and drinking more afterwards.  See Hashing.

The article says that Hashing died out during WWII as “Japanese occupying forces being notoriously anti-fun” which I thought was a wonderfully descriptive explanation.

This is something that I could get into… were there an organization such as this in Roanoke.  (How could my docs protest against my drinking beer if there were exercise associated to it, especially when exercise is the main goal?)  Never know. One day, perhaps…

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back in the saddle again…

I just filled out an application for a job as an engineer of the mechanical flavour for a company in the area, the job notice was sent to me by Monster.  After years of emptiness, I’m once again feeling like I can do things of this nature. Like Odysseus, I’m back on the seas heading home to Ithaca after being marooned on the Isle of the Whiskey Peddlers for seven years.  I am indeed working on a contract job, and I intend to fulfill my obligations but the timing might be right to apply for this one and others, especially if the current contracting employer has no intention of offering me a full time position.

It feels great to wake up an hour before the alarm clock goes off with creative ideas bubbling to the surface of my brain again.  I miss that from working for CyberMotion; it started the day with a great feeling, a feeling of purpose.  Checklist: Go mash the coffee maker button; get dressed, put in the contacts; feed the WonderDogs; take meds and eat; prep lunch and pack; hit the road.  And when I get to work, top off the coffee flagon and get to work.

I really miss my co-workers, and my peeps at the likker store; but most of my co-workers (and I, when I was there) felt like we were always waiting for Godot, all but Alia, who has plans for her future!  Go, woman!  Go forth and experience, and excel~!  Ah, yout’.

Today is the monthly beer club meeting day.  I’m taking corn pudding casserole, a recipe that Trish found on the back of a Jiffy product box and which is MOST EXCELLENT!  And store-bought beer, Pecan Harvest Ale, which I read about some time ago and saw last night when I was looking for a ‘host beer’ to take to the meeting.  It is “made with real Louisiana pecans that have been toasted to perfection.”  Only 5% ABV, a ‘session beer’, but one that I hope will please the palate.  And why am I taking store bought beer you ask? Because I have finally consumed or given away the last of my home brew… the last to Cap’n Eddie, of previous Blog fame. 

Next week: we brew again!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting into it

Work was fruitful today, I’m actually using AutoDesk Inventor as if I’m learning something useful… AutoCad 2-D, however… is a monstrosity.  Back in the CyMo days when I was using AutoCad 14 I could turn out a design in what seemed to be no time.  Comparing that to this latest version, 2011, that was lightning speed.  As was always their way, AutoCad has changed the tool format again… this time emulating Microsoft Office with the tabs at the top.  And, as it was when I began using Office 2007, I have to hunt for the tools that I know how to use… and even that isn’t the same.  Oh, how did I ever set that old programme up to be useful?  I don’t recall; A little at a time I suspect.  (“Hey, Dave!  If you set this or that thusly, you can do a task in half the time!”)  And here I am in this day, trying to use the little bahstid right out of the box.  It just isn’t as user friendly as it used to be.  In fact, Inventor (The 3-D Cad package) used to be a lot more intuitive than the current version is.  But I suppose that is the way of software.  (You listening, Virtual Wayne?  Your customers won’t think that your new versions of your software is better if it is as easy to use as the old versions…)

On the other hand, word around the campfire is that there are only about 5 more projects that they have for me to do… after that…?  We will see.  Another contract through the company for whom I work, or hit the road for what lay out there… in the Territories… for me.  We will see…  We always see….

Sunday, November 14, 2010


My list o things to do today included change the oil in Tinkerbelle, the name that my sister gave to the Rav-4 when she owned it.  (Doesn’t sound manly to me, but what the hey. She gave it to me.  You don’t like it?  You give me a better Toyota.)  Must get oil and a filter… But first: Let’s check & see if there is oil available…  And so there is.  Is it the proper grade for Tink?  Dunno. And there is a wide selection of filters too!  Collection, rather than selection: I’d purchased filters for my Toyota Truck at points in historie, and didn’t use them before the little darlin’ bit the dust. 

“Will these filters work on my Rav-4?”, I asked the clerk.  (tap tap tapity-tap)


“Can I get a refund on these three filters?”

“Yes… let me look at them…  Uh, those two have oil on them.”  it was where I grabbed those filters and the proper one for Trish’s car and got oil on them before finding the proper filter.  Dumbass….  I opened the third one and it was unspoiled.

I got a filter, and a new drain plug for Tinkerbelle although I may have gotten a new plug the first time that I changed oil…  but after the truck fiasco, you can’t be too careful with yer crankcase!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The only part of Fall that I dislike is raking up all of those leaves… not that I’m a big fan of yardwork anyway, but the leaf situation is a bane.  It took about 4 hours to do the front yard… I took breaks often so it wasn’t actually 4 hours of continual ass pain… why kill yerself, especially over freakin’ LEAVES! 

I hurt, but that is the way of the world.

On my way to visit Cap’n Eddie last nite…

…I stopped by Che Kroger for a 2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale and was heading over to the ABC store to get some rum with which Cap’n Eddie flavours his ‘ale, when I heard a booming voice from my deaf ear side:


I looked over my shoulder and there was Cousin Steve hanging out of the window of his driver’s truck, as big as life!  And he is, too, big that is: an affable chap, he has the look that would make most people cross the street when they see him heading their way.  He’s a bouncer, and isn’t ashamed of the 100 + assault charges made against him.  Few of them stuck, otherwise he would probably be down in Red Onion Mountain Prison terrorizing the mean people.  Cousin Steve had been one of my  customers at the ‘C on Willie-D, always a pleasure to visit with him, always happy to see me.

He and his driver were heading to the Towers Mall ABC Store as well so I caught up with them there.  “You really need to come back to the ABC store, Dave, it just ain’t the same without you.  I miss coming in and hearing:’Cousin Steve!  How in the world are you doing today?’” 

He said that with me gone, it just doesn’t seem as friendly a place anymore, and that lots of the customers that feel the same way; everyone misses me.  Kind words, kind words indeed!  That made me feel good and I told him so.  We chatted a while & headed our separate ways, but before leaving, we gave each other a big hug  (An honest and manly hug, not one of those seemingly obligatory [and seemingly insincere] hand shake-chest bump-back pounding hugs that are so popular today amongst the hip hop community).

“Adios, Dave, I’ll see you out in the Territories!”, he said, using one of my phrases…  “Adios, Cousin Steve…”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dog Pee…

The vet said to try to bring in a sample of Dog Nick’s pee for intensive investigation… he has a problem: he sometimes pees on the bed while he is sleeping.  Ever try to capture dog pee? Isn’t as easy as you might think, not with the Dog Nixie.  That’s him in the picture at the top of this page.  If he just had a thumb, he could hold the little vial himself… but no.  Evolution has a ways to go before he can do that.

Trish had a plan: Close the dog door and when I get up, awaken Trish while I get the coffee started; she would go out and wait for the dogs in the dog yard, then I would open the dog door.   All went well until Trish clunked Nick’s leg with the pie pan and he ran back upstairs.  After coaxing him back downstairs, Trish tried squeezing his bladder as she has done with the dogs in the past with good results.  No go.  He wants to retail possession of his pee.

Plan B: I’d take him out on the leash and when he starts marking his turf, I’ll slip the pie pan under him.  I too whacked his leg with the pan, and he then began marking with short spurts whenever the op presented itself.  Back inside, he is wary of all humaans.  He gave me that “What’s with the pie pan?” look every time I came near him.  He finally jumped up on the couch beside me as I watched O’Reilly on FOX.

I guess that plan C will be to take him with her to the vet’s and let them extract some of the stuff manually. There’s another charge.  Maybe if I showed him the bank account levels he would be more cooperative…  we’ll see…

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Better today.

Got down to making some design things in Autodesk Inventor… I’ve pretty much had it with the 2-D CAD… it was OK back in the day, but the ‘improvements’ that have been made to the program since the early 0’s have me scratching my head… so heck with it.  Long as I can read the old drawings, I suppose that I’ll be OK.

But, it is nice to be working for a company where metric units of measure are the company standard.  No attempt to make it easy for the vendors that don’t like metric measurements by putting dual dimensions on the drawings (Metric and Non-Metric for every dimension) , fuckum, as they say on my planet.  Conform, or enter a ‘No Bid’!  Bwa-hahahaha…  There’s lots of hungry shoppes out there in these Hopey-Changey times…

I received the last of my initial safety training today… boy, these guys are careful about everything!  When they say Zero Accidents they mean it!  5mph in the parking lots… no walking outside the crosswalks, outside the building AND in the plant!  Locks… bagels…  No, the bagels were at another plant.  Oy!  And if you screw up the tiniest little bit, WHAM~!  You get the black spot!  Yarrr…..

But all in all, it is a really neat organization.  Hope that they decide to hire me full time, it will be a blast!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 2 starts today…

Getting ready to begin my second week at Lite Steel.  Hopefully this week will be more productive for me.  More later….

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Windows Live Messenger upgrade that didn’t happen

Tried to upgrade to a higher level of IM so I could again share files with VW….

De-loaded the program… twice… and loaded the ‘latest’ program again, twice… and still have the 2009 version.  Still can’t exchange files.  Screwum… I’ll leave it be until The Bill tells me that I have to do so….

“Oh, Great And Evil Bill…. I will obey…..”


Now… on to things that I could have been accomplishing all day….

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Week One is behind me… Now, it’s time to brew!

The Star City Brewer’s Guild is having one of the semi-annual “Learn To Home Brew” days today, Saturday, at Lamplighter Mall at our friends and fellow member’s business, ‘Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brew Supplies’.  I’m probably going to go and help set up and maybe take a sixer of my IPA to pour samples from.  Its going to be cold today… 40’s… and there are going to be three brewing demos going on all day… lots of water spew’n out upon the pavement to freeze in the 20’s tonite… the weather might keep people at bay.  We’ll see.

The event used to be called ‘Teach a friend to Home Brew’ but the High Council of Home Brewers (…or whatever the heck it is) suggested that the name be changed to “Learn To Home Brew”… which I changed to sound more colloquial to “Learn A Friend To Home Brew”.  It is the way of my people, you see… It is catching on….

Now, to tell the High Command that I’ll be out & about today….

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stopped by the C on Willie-D today after work….

… to take El Jefe’s book back to him that I didn’t have an opportunity to read.  (“Venus on a Half Shell by fictional author Kilgore Trout, a recurring character in Kurt Vonnegut’s books.  Actually written by Philip José Farmer)  I didn’t take the time to read it due to studying and trying to make a meager living…. and the reading time is now at a standstill while the new job is being assimilated.

Saw Bessie, and another guy from another store, and the guy that is replacing me.  And of course, El Jefe hisself.  All were merry as could be at the C on Willie-D.

As it should be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Things are getting.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One…

I arrived at the new job site before 8:00 and had to wait in the lobby for a while until my primary supervisor noticed me on a walk thru.  Boy was he surprised… he thought that I was going to start next Monday, and he had just come in from a 2 week vacation to the Monday Firedrills du Jour.  He & I collected my computer and monitor and took them to a cube in the next room and I connected things as best I could… an adapter for the monitor was missing.  Once that was found, he said that the box didn’t have the software that I need to do the jobs hadn’t been loaded yet.  And sooo……

Another contractor was called in to load the software.  While he was doing that, I was taken out to the factory floor… after being supplied with safety goggles, helmet, etc. (including a loaner pair of steel toed boots) and shown some of the issues that I’ll need to address.  Then I was deposited back in the engineering department to wait for the computer action to be completed.  I used the time to sketch up some ideas and look thru my Machinery’s Handbook for a special Metric thread.. which doesn’t exist. Looks like the machinery out on the floor uses a non standard thread on the ends of the shafts.

0nce the computer was up and running I began to make some models of the ideas regarding the threaded thingy.  This is gonna be interesting, finding someone that will make the threaded fasteners.  O-Ell.  Life’s a Cabaret, ole chum.  More later… at least I get to come back tomorrow…..

Saturday, October 30, 2010

No longer am I peddling whisky to the stars….

Tonight was the last time that I’ll work for the Virginia ABC.  No more.  No mas.  I’m going to miss my peeps to whom I peddled whisky but not as much as I’ll miss my good friends with whom I’ve worked; it’s going to be lonely without them all.  I’ll still stop by and see them from time to time; send them text messages and e-mails, call from time to time…

They gave me a nice card complete with sincere notes… The newest employee, Alia, gave me a copy of On The Road by Jack Kerouac;  I mentioned that I would have liked to have read the book when I was younger.  I saw her reading it whenever she took her lunch breaks, and we struck up  conversations regarding literature, music, travel… I kept asking her, “Where were you when I needed you?” when we struck a chord with one another.  But then I would remark that her momma and daddy probably hadn’t even met yet when I needed her….  She would laugh…

Alia made a unit of delicious cupcakes for my sending off, El Jefe made a batch of his famous cookies too, and all of my co-workers gave me the card with warm wishes and tender notes penned within it.  I’m deeply touched.  El Jefe said that he wishes that he could have paid me enough to keep me on because I have been such an asset to the operation, and he isn’t yanking my chain on that one; for this I’m certain.  Over the years many customers told me that they shop at the C on Willie-D rather than at a store closer to their homes because they enjoy conversing with me and my humor, also.  I’ve congratulated them on milestones and offered condolences at times of grief.  Kind words, kind words indeed!  I’m always touched.  Many of them I’d asked if I could take their pictures so that I’d never forget them after I leave.  I would have liked to have taken more, like a picture of Tony One Shot, but these folks didn’t stop by.  A few people such as Mr. Wallace were in a hurry and couldn’t stay for a photo-op (although, Mr. Wallace did say that he would e-mail one to me…)

I’m going to miss the people and customers at the C on Willie-D, but it is time to move on, much as Ulysses did after each trial encountered on his journey home from the Trojan Wars.  And like Ulysses, I’m on the next leg of the journey, a Contract Process Engineer on a short term contract.  Where will my sojourn take me?  What is the destination, for that matter?  Maybe I’m on a never-ending voyage like ‘The Flying Dutchman’  an overture on an endless loop on an 8-track tape?  Who knows but God himself…. Yarr, Mateys!  Monday we cast off the lines and set sail for….

Windows Live is having some issues

I was chatting with my peeps in England & about the globe last nite when the program kicked me out… So, I tried to send an off line message to my pal Virtual Wayne… and Live crashed.  Tried signing in again, and the little bahstid began having connectivity issues.  Still having issues today.  Even tried resetting my password.  No go.  Wonder if someone has hijacked Messenger?  Then with me having reset my password, they will wander the globe doing evil in the good name of CyberDave… Conspiracy theories abound…

Monday, October 18, 2010

Job Offer….

I received a call while at work from a contracting agent asking if I would like the job that he & I have been communicating about.  After some parlaying he said he would contact the client and get back to me in an hour.  He did. I do.  Contract design for a short period… so I beached my boat, burned it to the waterline, and turned in my two week notice.  I’ll begin work on 1 November.

More as more happens….



Thursday, October 14, 2010


My dear friend lost a close relative to suicide, a family tradition.  He’s off in the Territories now, joining the other survivors in their loss and grieving as a unit.  I didn’t know his relative personally, only through my conversations with my pal, but he was a good chap, and he & I shared some common considerations.  I mourn for them both, and their families.  I feel that I have lost a friend as well.

Situations such as this are few and far between, so there is rarely a base from which to draw to express ones feelings, compassion, empathy…  How does one relate?  Dunno. One tries the best one can, and mourns…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Job Interview

Had a great job interview this morning, spoke to five people and had a nickel tour about the manufacturing facilities, it was fascinating.  I felt comfortable with the whole three hour soiree, and I get the feeling that the people that interviewed me really liked me and know that I can do for them that which they desire to be done.  I’m excited about the opportunity.  It is a contract position, 2-3 or longer months, but ya gotta roll the dice sometimes: It might turn into a full time position, or, if not, lead to other opportunities elsewhere.

Let’s kick back & see what transpires…

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Batchelors Degree in Engineering

Me? I’m dumbfounded.  Could I do such at thing at age 55?  Will it be a waste of time and money?  The big fear descends upon me…

Washer out of balance

Trish moved the washer to vacuum under it which is her way… and the thing was out of balance when she tried to replace it.  We had to get a new washer when the other one died; it is a high efficiency washer, and the spin cycle is really spin-o-licious!  So… balancing is crucial.  I moved it back to its place and readjusted the balance and put a load of wash in to see if I made the adjustments correctly when the spin cycle is underway.  Once it is correct, I will take a marker and draw circles about the feet so that it will be easier to get the boogair back in the proper place after we move it for whatever purpose.  I also hung the special adjustment tool on a hook next to the washer and put the level that I acquired for this on the shelf over the washer… handy in times of need.

The load has just begun the clean cycle… won’t be long til it is ready to spin….

Another thing about High Efficiency washers: They use a special detergent and don’t use NEARLY as much washing liquid as the old ones required.  And yes, we found out about that the hard way. 


Balanced… but Trish didn’t want me to wash the white clothes.  Something about me never looking at my clothes to treat stains (which is true…) and now she is lamenting.  Nothing bad happened this time, but Oh, I’m a fool…

Friday, October 8, 2010

Too much.

Cap’n Eddie and I sat up til about 11:00 last night telling tales of adventure and drinking beers… then I came home and chatted with Virtual Wayne for a while til he was ready for bed.  I still wanted to communicate with other humaans, so I went to the chat site that often go to, to parlay with my peeps across the globe – and who knows, maybe out in the ‘verse as well.

…and I had another beer and a brandy.  Finally headed upstairs at 2 ish, ate a little ice cream and turned on the TV.  Woke up at 4:30-ish and went to bed.  The dogs woke me at 8:30 and I had a feeling that I was forgetting something…. Oh, yeah.  A meeting with the dude at the VEC at 10:00.  I fed the dogs, showered, dressed, poured some coffee, ate a bowl of cereal & three slices of hog jowel, and went to the meet & greet.

The VEC dude gave me some things to think about.  He said that perhaps I would find it interesting if I went to http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp and took the Meyers Briggs personality test.  He thinks that I am the type of humanoid that really needs to go back to school & get a Bachelors degree to find the types of jobs I will find satisfying.  Or some such thing as that.  And who nose, Uncle Sugar might even pop for it! Woo-hoo!  Free Federal Spare Change!  Oh, thank you future generations that will have to foot the bill!  I won’t let your ancestors down!

Have about an hour til’ I have to head off to the ole likker store to peddle whiskey to the Pilgrims.  And another Dave in Paradise begins anew!  And when I return tonite, Phase III of Window Repair…

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Goin’ to see Cap’n Eddie…

Cap’n Eddie has been having diabetes related problems for years and now is pretty much confined to a wheelchair at home with the occasional trip to the ER on the side.  (Last time he was there he asked the doctor, “Doc, am I gonna live?” to which the doctor replied: “Yeah, but you aren’t gonna like it.”  Ed keeps a good humour about the situation.)

I told him that I’d bring him a couple bottles of my home brewed beer and he said that he wouldn’t bar me from the house…

Had to do Phase II of storm window frame repair before I left.  That is done and we await the caulk to dry so that Phase III may begin.  More on that as it happens to me….

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Phone screening day before yesterday… and ramblings

The screener sent me an e-mail to tell me that he was sending my resume on to the company that has the opening.  I’ll keep mum about the per-ticulars for now… don’t want to put the whammy on it or anything.  However, I will say that I am enthused!

I told El Jefe that there might be a job offer coming my way soon, and he gave me the thumbs up… and said, “You WILL keep me posted, won’t you?”  Sure thing, Jefe…  I promised him 2 weeks notice when I signed on, and I’ll keep that word;  it will take him a couple weeks to replace me with a newbie and train him or her.

A woman with whom I work said that her pappy & a friend of his have a website called ‘ScotchHunter’ at, believe it or not,


I’ll check it out here in a few…. I’m a scotch fan. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Whoa…. Virtual Wayne showed me this Writer thing in MS Live…and a whole new world has opened up before mine eyes….

Yeah, this looks like it will be useful, and less of a pain to blog.  Let’s mash the PUBLISH button and see…..

Now THIS is neat.  One stop shopping without a bunch of button mashing, accepting, publishing, viewing, editing and crap.  Nice.

It’s often nice when you have a whole new world show up before yer eyes...

100921_Dog_Angel100921_Dog_Zeppo 100921_Dog_Nixie The Dog Angel looks up as if to say. “Is that something new to eat, Humaan Dave?”  The other personnel look on in anticipation of my answer…..

Sunday, September 19, 2010


A section of brew related blogging from my personal page C&P to blogspot just to see. Is it worth putting all of my Inner Thoughts n' Feelings (hereafter referred to as ITFs) onto a public forum? Eh... dunno... some of those people are still alive...

090830 - AAA v3.0 bottled
I bottled the next version of my American Amber Ale yesterday and got a good bottle count. (12) 75 cl flip tops, (30) 36 cl bottles and (5) 50 cl plastic bottles for pressure testing. The last two had some bits in them. Seems that not all of the dry hops found their way down to the yeast bed. Hopefully none that I might enter into contests will contain bits, nor any that I share with people. I drank the beer that was in the tube that the hydrometer was in and it tasted a little bitter - and I couldn't discern any hop aroma. Hmmm.... Maybe that will taste and smell differently once the stuff is conditioned properly.

The previous version, v2.1.1 tastes and smells great and is ready to place into the fridge as is the case of Biere de Garde that I placed back on the shelves, tho' I may let that one condition another week or so.

I was going to brew the next version of Cream Ale (06A v3.0) on Thursday but Trish vetoed that plan on Dog issues, seeing as how she was fraught with fright over Dog Zeppo's condition. I'll try again on Wednesday, my day off - if nothing comes up, like a second interview at Precision Technology. A good trade of priorities, I say.

090824_ Back to Cream Ale...
I'll try to brew another batch of Cream Ale on my day off, Tuesday. Trish likes it and so do I, and I have the reserved yeast that I took from the Primary fermenter of my American Amber Ale in the fridge that can be used for Cream Ale. I want to get this recipe nailed down as I have for the AAA. More as it happens....

090802 - Batch 10.B v3.0
On Thursday, my day off, I brewed another batch of AAA, this time I got it within style guideline specs... I think. At least the calculated ABV is within specs. It might turn out a little high, but that is fine with me. Fewer beers to get a buzz. Wound up with 5.25 gallons in the Primary fermenter and there have been no problems so far. Knock on wood.

After this batch, I think I'll return to the Cream Ale recipes to try to get that nailed down and within spec. Trish liked the ones that turned out well; the one that I subsitiuted potatoes for the corn she didn't care for that much. It was potable but it wasn't as good as the ones where I used corn as 20% of the grain bill. Maybe in a couple weeks, after I bottle the 10.B v2.1.1 I will re-address that style. As for now, I added the gelatin to the secondary the other day and the v3.0 is still merrily bubbling away in the primary.

090522 - Amber Ale...
Sunday I will be brewing an Amber Ale. Nothing special, I've made one a time or two before. That's it. Come on by!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Final IPA bottled

Bottled the last IPA that I'll do... Got 54 12 oz. bottles and one 16-oz pressure tester bottle. Should be ready to test first week of August.

Only one thing left on my Bucket List...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Final IPA ready to bottle...

Virtual Wayne's 'FIZZ!" programme sent me a text telling me it was time to bottle my IPA. And so I shall, tomorrow after work. Tonite after work I will need to prepare the priming sugar water and leave it untouched til bottling time.
That's all for now. Work time is approaching...

Next day...
After checking my brewing software programme, I see that I need to bottle on the 8th of July, not today. Good thing I checked. More later....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Virtual Wayne's timer programme, FIZZ!

My pal Virtual Wayne wrote a beer timer programme called Fizz! (anything timer, really) that I use to alert me of when I have to make Hop Additions to my beer when I am brewing. I set up the hop schedule and when my beer is about to boil, I mash the start button and the line items are adjusted to the current time. THEN: when it is time to make a hop addition, I get a text message on my phone to make the addition! Cool, or what? I can also include a line item to give me the heads up to rack to the secondary & etc, and to bottle. And put the stuff in the fridge for whatever that is that you wanna call it: cold conditioning, etc. And when it is ready to start drinking on. Oh, this is such a handy programme, should I break my cardinal rule of not drinking while I'm brewing I get a text to remind me. And since I don't own a laptop that I can take to the brew site with me, I can still use the programme. Shiite! This is SO FREAKING COOL...

Bottling the latest batch on 2 July... will get a text to that effect.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bottling 14B. American IPA ("CyberDave's v

I forgot to heat the Primer sugar water this AM before work so I had to do it after returning... Just finished sanitizing the bottles (Clorox method) and awaiting the primer mix to cool to a safe temperature. This is the beer that I brewed at Teach A Friend to Home Brew at
Chris & Fran's shoppe.

While working at another store today I met a chap that works there that is interested in brewing. I'll take him a couple of V when I return tomorrow, and I'll take a cooler full to the meeting after work tomorrow.

Now to chill while the mix chills.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yet ANOTHER batch of IPA...

On Sunday I brewed yet another as above. This was using the grain that I received from BRH and HB supplies for attending the Teach A Friend to Home Brew day the other week. I racked to the carboy at around 100°F and left it to cool to room temp for a while, pitching the yeast before I went to bed. Couple days later I took a look and the airlock was fill of matter where the fermentation action was aggressive and began blowing bubbles up into the airlock. Here, on Thursday, the bubbling has ceased for the most part.

On the previous batch which is in the secondary, it is about time to bottle. I've shaken the carboy to encourage the hops to loft to the bottom of the carboy each day and they are about all gone from the surface of the wort. Tomorrow I shall bottle, after I get in from work. After cleaning that carboy I will await Sunday when I will rack the latest beer to the secondary.

I should have beer up into the fall should I live so long. We will see about that as well...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

American IPA in secondary...

This is the one that I made at TAFTHB... The previous batch has been in the bottle for a week now... and I'm down to about 4 beers in the fridge... Going to have to brew more often.

El Jefe brought some Dortmunders from Great Lakes Brewing company with him from his trip to Cleveland and he gave me a couple. BOY! were they most excellent! I HAVE to get the freezer working again so I can make some more Lagers... and when I do, Dortmunder will be one of the first ones that I make...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Teach A Friend to Home Brew day

We held the yearly TAFTHB day at Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brew Supply on Williamson Road on the 22nd and despite getting rained upon twice not counting sprinkling, a good time was had by all. Two of our members (me included) brewed all-grain beers, and one brewed an extract beer. We also gave out samples of beers that members had made and explained to visitors the doings of making your own legal alcohol, namely beer. In addition to beer, I took my last bottle of mead, but I didn't put it on the table for tasting. Just didn't.

At least I didn't wind up with a horrid sunburn on my neck as happened at Big Brew on the 1st of May. I brewed another batch of (14B.) American IPA and followed the rule: Don't drink while you are brewing and thusly didn't forget any of the five out of six hop additions that the recipe calls for. The final hop addition will be an ounce of Cascade hops in the secondary for dry hopping.

The store owners supplied the ingredients for brewing and so this was a 'Free Beer' for me. I'd brought my own grist to save time and was reimbursed with the grain bill after things had quieted down. Chris said that business was good that day which is why he is willing to supply the ingredients to the brewers for the soiree. So, now I have grist for another batch of 14.B and only have to wait for a open carboy for fermenting. I'll bottle the Big Brew beer tonite, but have to wait for the TAFTHB to go to the secondary before I start a new one. Only need to buy the hops for the next one. Woo-hoo! We're on a roll this spring!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Racked American India Pale Ale to secondary

Racked the 14.C v1. to secondary this AM, just about forgot to add the dry hops. 24 days in secondary, that should be 3 June 2010 for a bottling date. This is probably the batch that I will take to the 'fambly reunion' type unit that Georgia has planned out for the end of July. It oughtta be just ready to put into the fridge by then. Bwa-hahaha! 14.C = American India Pale Ale alpha numeric designation.



Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big Brew is upon us

To celebrate the day that Jimi Carter signed the law making home brewing beer legal once again, brewers gather on the first Saturday in May to brew - and to raise a glass to Jimi. (And thanks, Billy!) Brother Billy was probably the man on the inside tormenting Jimi for that action.

And so this Saturday we will gather at a home brewer home boy's home to brew, eat, drink, and be festive. BeerTown has the state by state state:


...and The 'Guild has registered as the local site. Word around the campfire is that the hosts are making Gumbo... using a recipe from their native Louisiana. Oh is it good.

I will be brewing a five gallon batch of American India Pale Ale, beer number 14.B in the panoply of beers spec'd out in the BJCP Style Guidelines. Look it up.

More after it occurs....

Friday, April 16, 2010

American IPA bottled.... only one thing left on my Bucket List...

I've decided (after discussion with my Home Brew Home Boyz) that all of my American Amber Ale, the last two batches, should have been Brown Ales. OK, and so be it. POOF! Ain't gonna change the labels on the survivors, tho; I can scrape 'em off when I share with friends and tell them the tale of adventure.

So, I was at the store the other nite and an Island Boy, trying to assimilate after coming to America, came to the counter with his American girlfriend. He was wearing the always present hip-hopper's flat brimmed baseball style cap, a shirt with some rap artist's visage emblazoned across the front & back, bling, and a grille on his teeth. I was wearing my always present Hawaiian motif shirt. The chap began laughing and GF asked him what was the cause of his gaiety... He said, "He looks funny! His shirt makes him look funny!" No malice intended, he was just truly struck with amusement. I smiled and sold him his Hennessey without comment, for this was a rare occurrence at the likker store: The black calling the kettle 'Pot'.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Secondary... and a report on the 10.B's...

Racked the American IPA to the secondary yesterday... and not only did I use the 5 gallon carboy instead of the other 6 gallon carboy (wasting about6 40 cl of beer) but after I had gotten it all buttoned up with a towel wrapped about it to keep the light out and was cleaning out the primary carboy, a waft of Hops aroma arose from the primary - reminding me that I was supposed to dry hop the AIPA with an ounce of Cascades. Double D'oh! And so... I cleaned the other 6 gallon carboy, dumped in the hops, and racked the beer into it. Well, I guess that it was a good thing that I forgot to dry hop the beer after putting it into the second 5 gallon carboy... there would have been that much more hops wasted in the transfer.

And the two batches of American Amber Ale have been tasted and deemed potable. The v4.0.0.0 batch tasted and looked more like a porter as I didn't have any toasted barley for the grainbill so I used about a quarter lb. of a dark specialty malt (350 L.) to add some color... and it added some coffee taste as well. Not bad. I'll tell people that I was shooting for a Porter....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Brewing an American IPA today...

12 lbs. grain, 68 IBUs, haven't done an IPA before, unless I had documented it on the hard drive that went ka-blewie. Don't think that I have.

Flame on at 11:20; Mashing began at 11:35. I have 6 gallons of hot sparge water in the cooler ready for lautering. The time is 11:50.

12:55 and the lautering has begun. The wort looks very clear: it didn't take much time at all to remove the particulate from the flow. When I was cracking the grist, I was concerned that the mix would be too fine, that there would be a lot of particulates in the runoff. Knock on wood, I guess it was OK. I'll add a gallon of sparge water at 1 gallon runoff. (I actually started adding sparge water at ¾ gallon of runoff: the top of the grain bed in the lauter tun was beginning to become visible. I added 1-1/2 gallon of hot water. Make a note of that.) Time: 1:05; one gallon runoff took 10 minutes. After dumping two gallons into the boiler and starting another 2 gallon measure, I looked into the Mash Tun at one gallon and again saw the grain bed... so I added another gallon and an arf. That's 4 gallons so far.

Added another gallon of water to the lauter tun; Need another two gallons of runoff to begin the boil. I should begin weighing out the hops for their additions. After flame on I let the runoff continue to flow and got about another gallon and an arf at like, zero gravity. I'll keep it in case there are... problems... If no problems I'll ditch it.

Flame on 2:30 I let it boil for about 10 min before I added the first hops. Ok, I forgot to add the hops when boil began... Alarms on my cell phone will remind me when to add hops 2-5.

I put a 4-pack of my American Amber Ale 4.0 into the fridge to celebrate the finish of this brew session, and we will see how that goes. V3.1.1.1 was almost ready to swill when I tried it Friday night, could use another week for sure. This one, v4.0, was bottled with 5 days less in the carboy... I wonder if this one is better carbonated. Tonite, tasting will be the telling tale.

4:00 - Ten more minutes of boil and then I add hope #5 and cut off the gas, then turn the cold water on to chill.

4:50 - Still chilling... chilling while I chill. I think that I'll close this up here and now. More later...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A-waiting beer.... carbonate, ye bahstids....

A customer, a refugee from Kenya, is burning a CD for me of African music. Really nice chap. I told him today that I would get a couple bottles of my current beer to him and he wants to try some of it. Least I could do for getting me some tunes. Who knows, it may inspire him to become a brewer hisself. Be better than drinking that ole Hennessey....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Both American Pale Ales bottled

10.B v3.1.1.1 was in the secondary fermenter for 18 days and I racked it to the tertiary and added the gelatin mixture to clear it. I think that I let it (gelatin) sit too long before adding... it was getting jello-like... and I put the container in a bath of hot water to re-melt it before adding. There were globs of the stuff floating on the top even 5 days later when I had planned to bottle. I racked as much as I could from under the layer of gelatin without getting much into the bottling bucket. (Nothing like finding a globule of snot-like substance in the bottom of yer bottle as you are swilling it down...!) Looks like I wasted about 3/4 liter of beer in all transfer issues. Wound up with (50) 35 cl bottles at a final gravity of 1.012.

That was Sunday. On Monday I had planned to do the gelatin thing on my other batch, 10.B v4.0, but after the issues I had with the gelatin I decided to just bottle the stuff without doing the tertiary fermenter transfer and etc. I got 53 bottles with half a bottle in a plastic softdrink bottle to squeeze-gauge the carbonation. FG on this batch was also 1.012. ABV on both will be around 6.5-7% alcohol. Just where I was hoping it would be. Testing date: 22 March 2010.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

10.B v4.0.0.0 dry hopped and in secondary

Right on schedule. The previous version is due to racked to the tertiary for gelatinizing next week if I did my cyphering correctly. Maybe I'd better go run the numbers again, as the click phrase goes. Sounds impressive, eh? You can use it. Use it at work. People will be in awe of you. Supervisors will take note and put you on the fast track to management. If already a manager, Sainthood. I need a real job...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Damn. Forgot to go get some hops...

I was supposed to go to Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Homebrew Supply today for an ounce of Styrian Hops for dry hopping my 10.B v4.0.0.0 but I forgot. The beer in the carboy has stopped working and I should have racked it to the secondary today, but... I was busy looking for an engineering job. Have to get my priorities straight. I'll gettum tomorrow, or I'll have to do it Monday. Hopefully I'll have an interview Monday, so I d'wanna have to fool with beer while getting pumped for an interview. Fah!

Have to make a note somewhere... that I will see... to get hops tomorrow before work!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Version Control

I am using a numeric representation of beer versions similar to Engineering version control thingys. For each style there will be the individual brewer's version of the beer.

"10B 0-0-0-0 would be your base recipe.
10B 1-0-0-0 would be a change in malt
10B 0-1-0-0 would be a change in hops
10B 0-0-1-0 would be a change in yeast
10B 0-0-0-1 would be a change in something else

A fifth digit could be your evaluation of the change. Maybe a "+" if you
wanted to retain the change or a "-" not to attempt that particular change

This from having bounced the idea around with one of my homebrew homeboyz over the last few days. So the latest beer will be printed on the cap label thusly:

10.B v4.0.0.0
Batch 1

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Brewing another 10.B, version 4

Now that I have some Munich and Pale ale again, I'm going to revisit version three, make some changes in ferment-ables, hops, and yeast, and call it version 4. I'm getting a real late start, haven't even weighed out the grain yet or set up. It is almost 1:00 in the afternoon. No prob, I have the day off tomorrow. I don't think that I'm going to make note to the club that I'm brewing unless I do so real late. Too much going on should anyone actually show up. Trish isn't too happy about it: she cleaned & vacuumed the basement yesterday... including the grain spill that I forgot to clean up from under the water heater & furnace. Must... be... extra... careful today.

Yes, and no sooner had I finished crushing the grain did I realize that the bag that was catching the grain had a hole in the back. Which, of course, I didn't notice until I finished. FAH~!

Got all done and no boil overs. Cleaned up by 7:00. That was yesterday. Today, I have another 5.25 gallons of American Amber Ale merrily bubbling away in the Primary!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Racked 10B v. to secondary

Finally, got the ole brewery going again. I racked the beer to the secondary (committing the sin of using a 5 gallon carboy instead of the other 6 gallon one) and lost maybe a sixpack of beer and a quarter oz. of hops... D'oh! Oh, well. What's done is done. In my early morning thinking, I figured that I needed the other 6-er for when I brew again this Sunday... not realizing that the first one would be clean and ready by this time. Where did I put my coffee? Oh, it's upstairs...

Well, at least it is done.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Plan to brew tomorrow....

It's been weeks since I decided to brew again. And whenever the time is right, the weather has been near single digits or, the High Command had forbade any brewing action 'so she doesn't have to clean up after me'. What? I clean up after myself when I brew... Oh, not to the atomic level, but....

But tomorrow I shall brew. A nice America Amber Ale. And next Sunday, another one. The cellar is almost devoid of potables. MORE BEER, please~!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Arghhh! Another brew day froze out!

I've been trying to get a brew session in for the past three or four weeks when I have a day free to do so. And each time, the weather has conspired to keep the storeroom low. I almost had an op the other week... but there were In House issues. This week, I figured that I would brew today, Sunday, for sure. But looking at the thermometer and seeing it below 10°F, I just can't bring myself to face that. When it is too cold to brew outside, I brew in the basement with a fan in front of the outer door to exhaust the fumes from the burners. But this is just too cold. (Am I beginning to transition from 'Young Geezerhood' to actual 'Geezerhood'? Aieeee!)

Dunno... after I've had a flaggon or two of coffee I might change my mind.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Münich Cream Ale ready to be drunk...

I've taken a couple sixers out of the cases and fridged them, taking one to the December meeting (held on 2 Jan. due to snow) and the other one sampled and distributed amongst the Pilgrims. Tastes good, and Trish said that she likes this one. At the meeting I was asked to give a presentation on the Cream Ale style at the next meeting. Thought that all we did was swill brew and eat copious amounts of most excellent food, did you? Well, we do that too. But we have educational thingys as well.

This beer isn't to style per se, so I believe that calling it 'Münich Cream Ale' is not correct. But what the hey. My beer, I can name it as I please.

Not one of these.. these... FAUX CyberDaves... but the TRUE CyberDave!

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Contract engineering, working in the field in which I truly love: Mechanical Design.

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"Bonus Nachos!" as we say on my planet. "And CHEERS!"