Archive for May, 2002

Waiting for the Wort

Friday, May 10th, 2002

It’s 1am. The wort (pre-adolescent beer) hasn’t cooled to the point where I can add the yeast and go to bed. Uhg. Yawn. The liquid crystal, adhesive strip thermometer only goes up to 80 and the temp isn’t registering on it yet. I hope the thermometer works :-|

Want to go to bed.

They make these coiled tube contraptions that cool the wort quickly. I think you flow cold water through the tubes and immerse it in the wort. I need to see how much these things cost.

Tired.

First Brewing Adventure!!

Thursday, May 9th, 2002

Today is the day! Once I got home from work and cleaned up the kitchen it was time to brew our first ever batch of homebrew. Heather helped with the first few stages until her lack of health got the better of her. As I type this the boil is just about over. We’ll add the finishing hops for a few minutes then transfer the whole concoction over to a plastic bucket. Some more water, some yeast and a few days of sitting around should have us something ready for bottling.

It certainly doesn’t smell like anything you’d want to drink. Even if you were really thirsty. I’m just going on faith here that it will get better :-)

Marina This Morning

Thursday, May 9th, 2002

Since I knew I’d be at work later than usual today I decided to take a few hours this morning to relax and take the dogs swimming. This morning was another wonderfully fun and entertaining marina trip. Dogs played tug-o-war in the water and Maple’s leaping just keeps getting better. Very tired dogs for rest of morning. Heather was home sick today and I think the dogs just laid around with her all day. They’ve been very quite all evening too. That hour or so spent at the marina is a great investment in the quality of the rest of the day.

Saturday Morning at the Marina

Monday, May 6th, 2002

Saturday morning I took Sailor and Maple down to the marina to swim before Heather and I took off for Maryland. Sailor of course is happiest when he’s in the water, but the suprising thing is how well Maple is coming into his own as a water dog. His enthusiasm level is very high, no suprise there. But he does a great job of brining the retrieving dummy back to me and not running around too much with it. Even more impressive than that is how well he’s learning to leap from the dock. The first couple times I took him this year he would eagerly jump off the dock, but his jump was more like a cannonball than a gracefull dive. He would jump way up in the air, wiggle his butt, splash into the water very gracelessly, struggle to get his head back above water, compose himself, then finally start swimming for the bumper. Not pretty to watch :-) But Saturday he started to figure things out. He was leaping out into the water instead of up and managing to keep his head above water most of the time. Not only is his form improving, but he gets incredible distance! Makes me want to enter him into the ESPN Timber Games dog jumping competition.

Beer Class

Monday, May 6th, 2002

Todd and I are taking yet another beer class at the Brickskeller. This one is titled The Sun Never Sets on British Beer. Chris and Becky Elam are also signed up. Heather isn’t taking this one because she wants to spend Monday evenings doing some writing and other artistic endeavors.

Beer and Baltimore

Monday, May 6th, 2002

Sunday Heather and I picked up Todd and headed over to Maryland Homebrew in Columbia, MD. I’ve been planning for a few months to try my hand at brewing beer once I was gainfully employed. Todd helped me pick out the equipment I need and Heather and I chose an Irish Stout kit for our initial attempt. The kits are pretty nice for a beginner, one box that has all the supplies you need for one batch (about 5 gallons.) We also picked up The Papazian Book on brewing. This book is apparently sort of the bible of homebrewing. It’s actually titled something else, but everyone refers to it by the author’s name: Papazian (or something like that.)

Since we were already in Maryland it only made sense to continue up to Baltimore for lunch. We managed to find Baltimore Brewing Company (makers of DeGroen’s beers) despite my failure to bring their address. Turns out they are located about one block away from the garage we were going to park in anyway. Not coincidentally this garage is also one block away from Vacarro’s, the best Italian dessert place in the world. Food and beer at BBC was pretty good. All three of us lost our heads at Vacarros and ordered about three times the amount of dessert we could actually consume. Todd had the Vesuvius, Heather had some cream-filled pastry things with chocolate mousse and I had an Oreo Sundae. Glutonny abounded. Soooooo good.

Yea!!!

Friday, May 3rd, 2002

Finally, Blogger supports Mozilla! I use a linux desktop at work and the fabulous Galeon (based on Mozilla) browser. Until pretty recently Blogger didn’t support any browsers available for linux which put a cramp on my posting. Maybe now that I don’t have an excuse we’ll have some more regular updates.