Friday, July 13, 2007

Summer Project

As if planning a wedding wasn't enough of a project, we'd decided that we wanted to try brewing some beer this summer. You know, for fun. You see, if there's one thing Sara and I have in common (and trust me, there are more than a few), it's being into the whole DIY, "let's see if we can do X", "why buy X if we can make it better ourselves" kind of thing. Plus, homebrewing sounded like fun, and who doesn't like beer??

We figured out last weekend that if we got a batch started this week, we could actually get it done, bottled, conditioned and maybe even partially drank (with a little help from friends....hint hint!) before we head back up for the school year, so on Tuesday we stopped by the local brew shop and got our supplies, and Wednesday night we got a-brewing:

Getting the grist in the bag and ready to mash...notice the bottle of Central Waters on the counter and the empty sixer of Sam Adams in the background. What, are we supposed to work without inspiration??

Sara took this pic of me checking the temp of the mash...she thinks I look like an evil scientist.

Boil...boil, my precious wort!

Here's where we thought we had a problem. We finished brewing and got everything in the fermenter around midnight Wednesday night. Yesterday when I checked, the airlock was bubbling like crazy, so I knew the fermentation was going strong...but then this morning there was nothing! I watched for 5 minutes and didn't see a single bubble, so I thought something had gone wrong...most things I read said the fermentation should last about a week or so...but when I went to the brew shop to pick up a couple things today and asked the beerlady, she said it's possible that with the weather a little warmer, it might be done that quickly. Hmm. So I took a reading and whatdayaknow! Just about right!

Well jeez, we wouldn't want to waste that baby beer we had to take out for the test, now would we?? (Yes, Sara had just gotten out of the shower...a clean brewer is a happy brewer!)

Next, we get the liquid gold into the secondary fermenter, let it sit and mellow for a while, and then bottle 'er up! We'll let you know how it goes, that's for sure. But in the meantime, I think we've found a new hobby :-)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Even more random summer pics...

So our summer place...with the fenced back yard...oh yes, Loki is a big fan. He had a run-in with a bird the other day, so now his big thing is to hang out under this one specific tree, waiting for another bird to magically drop into his clutches. If one doesn't he tries to climb the tree...or dances on his back legs trying to reach the branches. Yeah, we never said he was particularly smart.

All the running around outside this summer requires adequate hydration, of course.

So we were out on a boat ride up north this past weekend, and we came across a flotilla of pontoon boats having soe kind of battle with big hoses and spraying water. Looked like a lot of fun, was pretty durn hot.

Just in case you've ever wondered what would happen if you stuck your camera lens into an empty beer bottle and took a you know.

Loki made a couple new friends today. Our friend Liz's dog Riggs (the Golden) was really, um, friendly...and then another guy came along where we were hanging out on the river and had a Doberman he was teaching to swim. So it was a big ol' dog party on the river.

Who'da thunk it...there ARE actually fish on this part of the river! Learn something new every day, I guess...