Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 Batch # 1

On a cold winter day, after a ride, family is bunker down. What to do but brew. So a long time ago I got a home brew kit with, buckets, racking cane, hydrometer and air locks, bottle capper. I had not use this stuff since 94. This past fall I found two 5 gal. glass carboys at a yard sale, which I bought for 15 bucks. I then began making strong cider or cider wines. So for christmas I got a gift cert to a beer supply store. I ended up buying a 6.5 gal glass and some other ingredients. I then order a bunch of hops from here. So, I scratch out a recipe using some resourse. It went a little like this.

Grains - 1 lb cara pils
1 lb crystal 20L
1 lb pale ale
7 lb LME

* Note I used a 3 gal vessel and a 2 gal vessel. I split the grains and extract accordingly. I think I should have used less crystal and cara, but I was make 6.5 gals and I didn't have anymore regular malts.

Hops - here is where I may have gone over board. I think I used too much bittering hops for flavor.
In the one kettle I did: 1 oz perle 60min
.5 perle 30 min
.5 perle 15 min
.25 perle 5 min
In the other I used the very high AAU Zeus hops : (I should have done this 90, 60, 30 minutes) and maybe just .5 oz each increment.
1 oz 45 min
.5 30
.25 15
I did take a sample, but my hydrometer rolled off the counter last night(oops). I did taste the sample. Well, I think a little too much Zues. Can a beer be too hoppy. It also seemed a little lower in gravity than I wanted, but it could have been the hops covering it up. I used an American ale yeast. A couple of things would make this process better. First off all grain is the way to go. For the price of the extract I could have bought over ten pounds of grain. Just need to get a launter tun of sorts. One big kettle 8 gal we be easier than spliitting a batch. If it is too hoppy from the start it will be a batch for storing since hops do make a great preservative.

Forgotten Verse

Went out sunday for a cold afternoon road ride. I like riding country roads. I even tooks some photos. On my way home I was battling some strong winds. I had a poem in my head but forgot the middle line. Went something like this.

Wind, can be a friend,
spiraling round the world,
and an enemy.

Wednesday Ritual

Wednesday has been a ritual for quite some time. It is more about socializing than riding. we are lucky to have trails off old railroad tracks, where nobody can complain about trail damage. This means we ride thick and thin. Looks like this week is going to be thick. Another good thing is that we finish and start at VBC . last week's ride ended up something like this: Single Speed, Single Spd, Sngl Spd, Ryan, Ssp, SS, Rick, 1g (sorry Bob you might have been in front of Rick),but you get the point. So this sunday, a cold day at F.C. Ryan change to a SS. I have to admit, FC is rougher on a SS than some placing. Snow cool snow runs made Ski biking a hoot.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lots going on but not much to say

Winter has been here for a while. Not too much snow, but cold enough, to make being inside okay. Long list of January Birthdays, Duaghter turned four. Sister Turned 30, Pop 59, I 33. Went up to my Cousin Cabin on Lake Wallenpaupack. Had a really nice time. Drive up was slightly interesting, turns out there are 2 colonial lanes in Greentown,pa. We got going down a service road and the snowbanks were getting bigger by the mile and the road was getting smaller. Wife was all over me to turn around and call for directions. Note that we drive a ford minvan, but luckily Pop (wife's Dad) puts on snow tires for the winter. That made a world of difference on Sunday Jan 18th.

So we arrived safely, I had pick up a case of Wyerbacher Big beers for myself, one must be drank after that ride. We skied a very small slope called Tanglewood. Best thing was walking all of 20 yards between the slope, lodge and car. I mostly helped my son learn. The biter cold and short runs made lodge visits frequent. Decided to grab some powder on the side, broke thru a layer of ice crust got a ski stuck and slammed a tree with both elbows. Did my best to make it look like it didn't hurt, but it did, another bruise.

Pretty Uneventfull night. Drank about six big beers, we had the wood stove cooking, played some cards and hit the sack. Woke up to an unexpected 6 inches of powder and still snowing. With the ice crust layer it was some front yard powder runs. We ended up boarding down to the lake and went right out on the ice(insert picture). Snowmobile were flying across the endless ice, It looked like fun .

So we watched the playoffs games then hit the road, which turned into a white knuckle ride home. Where the intersect of Rt 33 and Rt 80, trucks were merging, cars were merging, and people were braking. It made for a very precarious situation. I needed to get past the skitish drivers and slower moving trucks. Find the open space and hold 60. It snowed the whole way home. Most of the roads were covered. The next day multiple accidents reports from where we came from. The kids got a free ticket to explicit threatre, I had some issues with some others on the road. Just my way of destressing. All is well that ends well. Got back to the inlaws for some proper relaxing and caught the end of the second game.

Monday went out for a doe, to no avail, I had the flintlock, and only long shots. I had a nice shot, sitting about 15 ft from a nice 7 point buck. I sat still and watched him breathe for 15 minutes. I tried to take a couple of photos with my phone, but no luck. In this Area you can hunt for doe up until Jan 24, but buck season is over. So no killing for me. I just like being out. Covered a lot of ground and was happy to come back in.

Monday's snow had a delay for the University I work for. I wanted to see the new presidents ceremony and coupled with it being my birthday I worked half day from home. Got a nice ride in at F.C. with Rick, only about an hour, but snow made it fun. Had a great Birthday dinner at my moms, drank a couple of liters of my bro newest invention, very good all grain brown. He got a minikeg for Christmas so he no longer has to bottle. Now back to the grind.

Friday, January 9, 2009

1 hour

This is about the amount of time I can use a regular mtb shoe and heavier sock before the toes start to go cold. Right around 20 something degrees this morning on the commute. Nothing clears the head better than a cold day commute. Although in the interest of time I been taking the busy road, which seems to taken away from the clear head. You know the noise and toxins and lousy drivers. I never quite get while some people think you have to accelerate so hard to pass something going around 20mph. Especially when there is a shoulder. I could probably rant on and on, but in somewhat of a hypocritcal way, I am a lead footer. But Also from watching pro races in person I see what drving with bikes is about.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


If I get some time I will take a picture. I didn't realize I had a bruise until I showered last night. I typically don't bruise at all, but the better half of both cheeks have dark discoloration, not like anyone wants to see it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rain Rain

Look how low the Jet stream dips into Mexico on the loop Jet Stream. Lately all we get is the warmer side of the frontal system. You can see the moisture sucked up from Caribbean. Hit up blue mountain for the Business Person Twilight special. 22 bucks for 4-10pm. Not a bad deal. That is a little less than our normal weekly fare for a pizza and a couple of beers. Went out on the skis. Really impressed how well ski handle ice. So much less work on ice than a board. I boarded for about 10 years and love it in powder, but I have a new found love for skiing. The base at blue is great. It was super fast last night. They won’t have a problem keeping snow on for the rest of the year. All you bikers out there show if you dare here is some cross not for the light hearted. I will be rocking it, and watch out I am not afraid to rub some elbows or take a fall. Anyone have some pads I can use?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This is not good


Running And Cycling tip #6

Okay trail running may be fun but running on road is not. It is so much easier to pedal, coast and glide. If there was some surreal hiking place with in a few miles I may hike, but the trails around here are pretty boring without some speed.

Cycling tip #6--- Never assume anything with traiffic or in a peleton.
I commuted yesterday, got home at 5;45. The only time I feel uncomfortable with traffic is when it is dark. I should have taken the back roads, but that requires more hills and about 15 more minutes. I fear a rear end incident the most because you can't see it coming, but cars turning left or right from an intersection are scary too. Last year I got stuck out without a headlight. There were three cars lined up at a stop sign perpendicular to the way I was heading. I knew that they could not see me coming up the road. The first car turn left, then the second without even slowing at the sign. I assumed the third car would slow and take a look before gasing it into the turn. Never assume! This car saw no head lights both way from three cars back and didn't even tap the brakes. I was caught out in front. F-n Sheet. Sometime life holds on by a thread. As I saw the grill of a White Lexus SUV accelerating towards me, I hit the pedal as fast as I could and swerved out to the left. I could have reach out and touched the grill. It was as close as I have been to a major accident on a bike. The driver would not have saw me until impact. At the speed the car was accelerating I would have been underneath in no time. I can't really fault the driver, although a pause was all he or she needed to do. The driver never saw me because I didn't have a light. My nerves race everytime thru there. I now lift my headlight into the eyes of the the drivers at stop signs to make sure they see me, even then I keep on my toes. Moral of the story is that commuting is dangerous. And safety should not be undermined.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Going on is much more fun

So back to eat'n what ever and rid'n. Weight solid 205 give or take. I would like to try and slim down to 185. This is much harder for me than putting on 20 lbs. In the winter if you ride outdoors you don't sweat that much, but a desire for big meals is great. I love food. And can't stand dainty delicate portions. Give me a Meal, which for me, usually means 2 plates. This could be incorporated as a cyling tip for the winter because having a big appetite is really important for keeping the furnace going in the winter. I can eat enough in a day where I won't need to eat for the following. I barely need a sip of water for a ride less than 2 hours, in the winter. I think if I cut out beer weight would natually come off. I also admittedly love the great gift of Saccharomyces.

Friday, January 2, 2009

205 to 220 to 205

When you put two objects on a scale the scale becomes balanced. It just a matter of what objects we are talking about. nice comp preppy and good run jenscy. Happy New year to all! And for goodness sake let us all keep smiling.