Friday, February 28, 2014

Russian Imperial Stout

This is from a bomber after a couple weeks about a month (my how time flies) in the bottle.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Secondary Fermenter Loaded

Transferred to the carboy tonight at around 8 pm. The airlock was down to one very lazy bubble on occasion and the temp was again at 68 F. Pulled a sample for the refractometer and according to it, the SG is about half way from start to finish. Transferred it too soon... still learning here.

I will now leave the house thermostat alone at 70 F and not fiddle with it for a couple weeks. We'll see how this turns out.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stupid organics...

says the metallurgist brewing his second batch of beer. Well, second batch of beer since the last time I brewed which was many, many, many calendar flips ago.

This morning I look to the primary fermenter and see that the temp has risen to 72 F. I then stand there puzzled in the predawn moments trying to sort out why the temperature would have risen two degrees Fahrenheit over night.

I wander back to the other bathroom to begin daily preparations and mention to my (cell biologist) wife that yeast converting sugars to alcohol appears to be ... wait for it... exothermic.

DUH... DuH... dUH. Dammit it hurts when the stupid smacks you that hard practically first thing in the morning. Funniest was her answer of ... uhhh, yeah? Oh well, stupid organics.

Set the household thermostat to 65 F before leaving for work / school and upon arriving home this evening discovered the primary fermenter to be sitting there at about 69 F and the airlock still moving but much slower than when we started this on Sunday.

Bodies are in the house, so temp is set back to 70 F. We will see what is going on in the morning. Tomorrow night may be when it transfers (I know... racks) to the secondary fermenter. Then again, maybe not, class doesn't let out until about 7 pm on a Thursday.

Monday, February 24, 2014

More Fermentation

Happy yeasties. Perhaps overly so. Thermometer stuck to the side of the bucket says 74 F. Moved to the garage for overnight storage (at around 10 pm). Temps are supposed to dip into the high 40s tonight.I will move it back inside in the morning.

Moved it back inside at around 5 am this morning and the fermenter says it is at 68 F. Fermentation is still active but is slowed. Success... methinks. The above is pre-garage activity. Below is post-garage activity.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


We have bubbles.

Wort Chiller

Best thing since ...  who knows.

Sink full of ice cubes and constantly changing freezy packs took over an hour to get from boil to around 90 F last time.

This device got us to 75 F in twenty minutes with a little bit of stirring. With tap water addition to make five gallons, we were at 70 F at the time of yeast pitch.


While it is true that beers are racked to and fro, an IP AR is transferred. ;)

Brew Day

Think we will call it 223 IPA. Or maybe IP AR ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Two in two days

Two Benchmade deliveries in a row. :)

Have we sorted out that I am a bit of a Benchmade fan yet?

Monday, February 17, 2014

This means that

my Benchmade can get back in my pocket.
The  torx screws were working loose and allowing a lot of slop in the clip. I quit toting it for a few days so as to not lose those little bitty screws. It turns out they are a T6 and that is smaller than any torx driver I had at the time. Now I have a pair of T6, a pair of T8 and a pair of T10 bits.
I am very happy now that my everyday knife is back in my pocket. My faithful old Böker just isn't my favorite anymore.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

And here I am without a single Remington product

for the first time in my life. Oh, wait a minute, I have some RemOil somewhere.

I first read the story here. Then I read it here. And then here. I am happy more jobs are going to be available in Alabama. I do love my adoptive state. And, to Hell with New York.

Picture stolen from one of the links above...

Namely this one.

Once it is open, I will by a new  Remington something.

Continued Bottle Discussion

Had two more flip-top bottles to taste from the bottling event a couple weeks ago. One was perfect and the other was perfectly flat. I believe we have a sometimes fail to fully seal issue and am committed to tossing the flip-top bottles.

As it was an experiment, I don't mind tossing the loser here. Next bottling round will be nothing but bombers and maybe a few twelve ounce friends.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Process Control

I say any of the following; because my window on the Internet seems to be fixated on these topics lately.

A process (any process) is in control only when it generates repeatable outputs. One only controls a process if proactive steps are taken before and/or during the process' attempt at an output. Reactive steps during this same time, do not lead to a well-controlled process. This is one hundred percent "No Shit Sherlock" to anyone that knows anything about process engineering. And, is probably "Gee Whiz, REALLY?" to just about any sentient being with enough brain matter to rub together and create a heat island betwixt their ears.

 Should we take a sticky topic, like abortion, and take a process control viewpoint, we find the following. Abortion is a reactive attempt at process (copulating) control. Whether or not it be illegal, immoral or otherwise just icky, abortion is a sloppy attempt at process control. I have an opinion (doesn't everyone) about this topic and many others. I shall keep that opinion to myself.

I will say that law makers have no business legislating marriage, baby-making, legalization of various manufactured highs, generally human morality, etc. Leave that out of your daily law making please. Focus your efforts on a limited scope... roads, mail, national sovereignty... you know, the things reserved to you by the Constitution.

Now, I will go back to my corner and sit a spell.

Bottle Selection

Tried one of these last night and it was pretty tasty. Still not the depth of flavor I would like, but it has only been in the bottle for a little over two weeks. A Russian Imperial Stout probably needs at least two more weeks. Although, last night's example was well carbonated and very clear (not as in see-through, as in no sediment). A week or so in the secondary fermenter seems to have helped a lot. I will be doing this one again, maybe with an extra hop addition.

Had one of these on Wednesday night and it was (compared to the bomber version above) not well carbonated, the flavors were quite muted and a bit astringent. Had another one of these last night and, while not as good as the bomber version, it was ok, pretty well carbonated and no astringent flavors noted.

I think I will toss all of these Grolsch bottles in favor of bombers. They have been sitting around for a long while (measured in years, probably not decades) and I suspect they aren't sealing as well as the capped bombers.

Also noted that all of them had compacted and firm sediment in the bottoms. Didn't even appear to move much during the pour. It also washed out very easily. I am a big fan of this development.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blogger made me do it

Bluesun put up a post. This likely does not walk away a winner, but it does qualify as an entry. And, it works quite well for me. 638-3 with Crimson Trace, Benchmade 3550 and a lightly used Harley Davidson Zippo.

Cuba, line one

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Beer, home brewed beer

It carbonated just fine. Flavor is a bit muted. Alcohol content is definitely there. Practically no sediment. A bit of an astringent note as well. Probably over extracted from the grain bag. Figured out during the wort cooling phase that my thermometer was no longer working properly. 

Maybe more time will cause it to develop further.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Zombie Tools

They make fine toys... tools, they make tools but damn are they fun to fool around with.
The two longer blades are really more for fooling around with. The axe and the shorter stabby have a purpose. Likely to not be used often, but they will see use.
The tomahawk-looking tool will get used something like a hatchet and the tanto-looking blade is going to see general fixed-blade use.

On Deck

Out of the tub and onto the shelf. Another week and we will try it.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Since this is turning into a beer blog

This is what is riding in my pocket these days in a Nemesis. 638-3 loaded with Gold Dots (in whatever configuration of +p I can find) with a speed strip in the other pocket.

Amazing that when I first began this adventure (a little over 20 years ago and roaming around South Dakota) it was a Blackhawk on the belt or a P-94 in a shoulder holster.

I then worked through (among a ton of others, these are the ones I spent any real amount of time with) a P228 IWB, a pair of Glocks (22/27) IWB/Ankle and a Defender (Colt) OWB before trying pocket carry first with a Colt Pocketlite, then a PM 45, then an XDs, then a 938 and have landed on a tiny wheel gun. I still tote the 938 from time to time simply because I like a little variety.

Blackhawk stopped being carried due to not wanting to open carry it any longer except when walking the fence lines.

P-94 stopped being carried when I turned too fat to wear a should rig and it was too heavy to stuff in my pants at that point.

P228 ... no good reason other than started to get too fat to stuff a gun in my pants comfortably.

Glocks... lost enough weight to try stuffing a gun in my pants again. This actually worked pretty well until a change in footwear eliminated the usefulness of the ankle holster and the fat coming back began making the gun in the pants routine a bit cumbersome.

Defender... worked out great in a Yaqui Slide until another work-induced clothing change began to make concealment a bit difficult.

Pocketlite... had this one laying around and a Galco pocket holster for it already here when the Defender moved out of the rotation. The more I thought about .380 ACP, the less I wanted to think about it.

PM45... this one was relatively short-lived, I could never warm up to that little brick. Shot fine, wasn't really any heavier than other options... just never warmed to it.

XDs... this one could still hop in a pocket every once in a while. It is just enough bigger than the last two where the 938 and the 638-3 fit better.

 938... I like this little gun, it shoots well (sub-minute of tea plate at around 10 yards), weighs about a pound and a quarter loaded and looks a lot like a cell phone in the pocket.

638-3... I like this little gun a little more. I shoot it pretty well (minute of tea plate at 10 yards or so) and it looks like a blob of something not gun in the pocket. Also, it weighs about a pound and a tenth loaded. It trades out with the 938 pretty well.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Less guessing

Refractometer has arrived. Double IPA will go in the brew pot next weekend.