A Beer and a Dog

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Man Cave Update

Bwa-hahaha… The second section is up.  Here are the pix I took during manufacturing….

 110226_2ndSection2 110226_2ndSection3 110226_2ndSection5110226_2ndSection4  110226_2ndSection1

As  you can see, clamps are our friends.  I was able to do the whole thing by mice elf so far.  This section was easier as I had the previous section to use as fixturing (using our friends) and my grandfather’s roll top desk as an assembly platform.  Once the section was complete, I supported the end towards the computer and slipped a 2 x 4 under the framing, clamping it to the top to prevent scarring when I pushed the boogair over onto the floor.

The second foto shows that I used decking screws rather than 16 penny nails to fasten everything together.  Somewhere down the road the owner of the house in that time frame may wish to dis-assemble the thing and he can reuse the lumber.  Might be a rare commodity at that point in future historie…

The final shot shows the wall in place and the plate which will sport the door fastened to the concrete floor. I’ll center the door 3’ from the shitter wall… but that’s a story for another day….

Friday, February 25, 2011


The first batch of Oktöberfest is still bubbling faster than it should be to transfer to the secondary… The rule o thumb is a bubble every 5 seconds indicates that fermentation has slowed to the proper point.  I am so anxious to try out my new lagering chamber….

More as it happens…

Monday, February 21, 2011

Märzen is slowly bubbling…

Yeah, I forgot to make a starter.  File that one under ‘Do’h!’  WTF. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quote du Jour:

“Although it was a higher-paying job, I was really okay with not being in charge of the hole in the telephone dial.” – Virtual Wayne

See: Hole

That’s the difference between working for a large corporation and a small one.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


07:00 AM - Flame on.

08:50 AM - I’m in the midst of the first decoction, and I heated up the mash a little too fast.  I was supposed to have a ten min. dwell starting at 8:10 at 156° F, but too fast. I missed the 156° mark so I’ll take the dwell now til the point where I was supposed to end it.  Then I’ll continue to the boil point.  …  

08:13 - Just a few min til I’m back on time.  I hope that I didn’t damage the beer imps….

08:40 – Was supposed to start the 20 min boil but I ceased at 08:35.  I see that there is a problem with getting the flame low enough for the task at hand.  Also I stirred loose a chunk of malt that had burned early on.  Hope that it doesn’t impart a burnt flavour to the whole batch… like I would drink it anyway, you know? But…

08:55 – Started 2nd rest at 122°; only had to put 4 quarts of the decoction into the cooler to bring it up to that temp… I guess that is OK…

09:30 – Waiting to start heating the second decoction.  Have been using the time to correct data and add it to Beer Smith

10:25 – Just put three quarts of heated mash into the mash tun and it heated the wort to a higher temp than I had anticipated.  I’ll do better next time I do this…

10:30 – Time to hear water for the next step after mashing…

10:55 – …and when I poured the first 3 gallons into the HLT, I discovered that when Trish cleaned it for me, she left the drain cap off of it…. No biggie… Time to take the last decoction off….

-Added 3 qts. to the mash tun without having heated the decoction again to bring it up to 168°F.   Calcs say I need 8 qts and change to raise it from there to 175°F so I did some ciphering and deduced that I need 2 qts and change taken back out.  So, I did.  Now there is a 15 min. dwell til I begin heating the final decoction.  Looks like it will indeed take 4 hours and change. I may finish up in time to take a shower before the meeting.  Looks like I have two copies of this post.  Of course, if I blow one out, they all will probably go.  The whole world wide web too…

11:30 – 15 min. of mashout to go and then I’ll do what I usually do at the end of mashing.  And so I’ll end this exciting edition of my blog.  More, another day.  Cheers!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Prepped for beer things tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’m going to try a triple decoction Märzen… my first lager since the old freezer went off line.  The new freezer is just a-waitin’ to do some laagering.  I’ve prepped Virtual Wayne’s Fizz with a script that will cue me when milestones have been reached.  Heck, lemme paste the script into this here blog:

Start Fizz Timer: T minus 1 min. (2/19/2011, 11:59 AM)
Acid Rest Begin 96° F (2/19/2011, 12:00 PM)
Remove First Decoction (2/19/2011, 12:10 PM)
First Decoction Dwell Time 10 Min. (2/19/2011, 12:50 PM)
First Decoction Boil Time 10 Min. Begin (2/19/2011, 1:20 PM)
First Decoction Boil Time End (2/19/2011, 1:40 PM)
Acid Rest ends 122°F (2/19/2011, 1:40 PM)
2nd Decoction Begin (2/19/2011, 1:50 PM)
Protein Rest begins 122°F (2/19/2011, 1:50 PM)
Remove 2nd Decoction (2/19/2011, 2:00 PM)
2nd Decoction Dwell Time 15 Min. (2/19/2011, 2:15 PM)
2nd Decoction Boil Time 20 Min. Begin (2/19/2011, 2:45 PM)
2nd Decoction Boil Time End (2/19/2011, 3:00 PM)
Protein Rest ends 148°F (2/19/2011, 3:00 PM)
Scarification Rest ends 175°F (2/19/2011, 3:00 PM)
Scarification Rest Begin 148° F (2/19/2011, 3:05 PM)
Remove 3rd Decoction (2/19/2011, 3:45 PM)
3rd Decoction Boil Time 10 Min. Begin (2/19/2011, 4:00 PM)
3rd Decoction Boil Time End (2/19/2011, 4:10 PM)
Mash Out Begins at 168°F (2/19/2011, 4:15 PM)
Mash Out ends 175°F (2/19/2011, 4:15 PM)

I’ve right justified the lines so that the times are easier to see.  Once I mash the start button, all the times will update from the current time.  That’s nice, you don’t have to cipher the proper times… just get the order correct and Fizz will do the rest.  Fizz can be got from Virtual Wayne’s Software Library for the princely sum of… FREE~! 

I just realized that the only thing that I’ve done so far is the mash… I haven’t included the boil and the hop additions yet.  BETTER DO THAT TONITE!

(I modified and saved as Marzen_Boil a similar hop addition and boil schedule:)

Start in 1 min (2/19/2011, 11:59 AM)
Start Boiling, add Perle Hops (2/19/2011, 12:00 PM)
Saaz Hops (2/19/2011, 12:45 PM)
Add Irish Moss and Chiller (2/19/2011, 12:50 PM)
Stop Brewing (2/19/2011, 1:00 PM)

I’m going to have to do something about the script I have… there are rise times that have to be in there… I’ll knock them out as I brew tomorrow.

Along with brewing is barbecuing a pork tenderloin that I’m taking to the brew club meeting tomorrow afternoon.  Playing that one by ear.  If I arise as I have been doing so recently, TF early in the morning, I should have the beer in the primary fermenter by or before noon.  Maybe have enough time to catch up on sleep before the meeting.  More on everything…. later.

Monday, February 14, 2011


When I went over to Doug’s to sample some beer, he was cooking rice when I arrived.  It looked interesting so I decided then & there that I, CyberDave, would try this rice.  He said that he kinda made it up, basing the recipe upon Rice a Roni, the you know what.  As the legend goes, you put your dry rice in a pan and fry it a little bit before adding water and the San Francisco jism to make R a R.  I made some night before last, and another batch tonite.  Here is what I did:


2 Tbsp Butter
1 ]C. Dry Rice
1 Med. Onion, finely chopped
2, 3, 4… cloves garlic, minced
2 C. Chicken Broth
1 teaspoon salt

Chuck the rice into the pot heated medium, and brown it for a few min.  Then chunk in the butter and let it melt.  There is some stirring action goin’ on here and there… you be the  judge….  Continue browning.  After a bit, (don’t you love these instructions?) dump in the onion and let them sautee a bit.  then turn the heat down a little and mix in the garlic.  I wanted to avoid burning the garlic, thus the reduction.  (The first time, I added the garlic with the salt)  I heated the broth in the microwave to keep the temp. from dropping too much when I started adding it to the mélange.  By and by, I started adding the broth, and then add the salt.  Bring to boil, and reduce the heat to low-ish… Set the timer for 20 minutes.

When the timer alarms, turn the heat off and reset the timer to 25 minutes, leaving the pot on the eye.  Or Aye…  Arrr….

When the timer alarms again, fluff the rice and start eating.  Or, whatever your custom is.  This is some good rice, I shite you not.

New Freezer…

As reported, I have finally been able to get another freezer, my old one dying about the same time that the econ thing started tanking.  My pal Bryan gave me a sticker to put on it when I got a new one… and so, as was foretold by The Prophecies, I have done so…

PBR During the long cold days of very…. VERY limited finances I didn’t have much home brew left and couldn’t afford craft beer so I returned to the ole standby, Pabst Blue Ribbon, the first beer that I had in life.  Given to me by my maternal grandmother (after so much pestering that she just wanted me to shut the hell up) I drank it and when Dad got home, I feinted Drunk.  Which, I recall was not a good idea as I was just a chile… and Dad had never gotten along well with his mother in law.  Sorry, Dad.  Sorry, Granny.  My bad.  It was a scenario that has been repeated often throughout my life: I’m a dumbass….

But, I digress… Now I can make lagers again.  I am going to attempt a triple decoction, you can read about it here on Wikipedia if you are interested.  This process is about 2 hours longer than the process that I usually use, an infusion, which is usually about an hour in length.  Infusions involve heating water to certain temperatures to achieve goal temperatures and holding those temperatures for certain lengths of time.  Decoctions are similar but instead of heating water and adding it to your grain, you take the soaked grain and gradually heat it in a separate pot to the boiling point and hold it for certain lengths of time.  It’s a hobby, remember?  You can put anything into a hobby as you can or desire.  I have less money to put into neat equipment so I concentrate on processes. 

More Later….  Adidas!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Whew!~ Its the weekend again… Take 2…

I have the new freezer and I’m itching to brew a lager.  Don’t know if I have the grain to brew a Oktöberfest or not, but that is the goal…  I stopped by Blue Ridge Hydroponic & Home Brew Supply tonite and picked up the yeast and some nobel hops for the brew.  I’m also reading up on doing a decoction, but that is a labour of love and I may have to do another beer first.  I still have to get it all straight in my head, and write up a script for the FIZZ! programme that I use to alarm when a milestone has been reached.

I sent a message to FIZZ!’s writer that perhaps a facility within FIZZ! to send the script to others using the programme would be helpful amongst home brewers.  More on that when I hear from him.

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

About CyberDave

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


That was it, apparently

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