Monday, December 25, 2006

Big Brewing Weekend

This weekend I finally managed to do some long overdue brewing. I brewed a British ESB on Saturday and a Belgian Dubbel today.

Tire Biter Bitter

Amount Item Type % or IBU
8 lbs Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 86.5 %
1 lbs Amber (Crisp) (27.5 SRM) Grain 10.8 %
4.0 oz Pale Crystal Malt (45.0 SRM) Grain 2.7 %
1.00 oz Northdown [8.50%] (90 min) Hops 41.9 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (30 min) Hops 8.8 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (5 min) Hops 2.3 IBU
1 Pkgs British Ale (White Labs #WLP005) Yeast-Ale

Estimated IBU: 53.0 IBU

Two Bits Abbey Dubbel

Amount Item Type % or IBU
8 lbs Pale Ale (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 58.2 %
3 lbs Munich (Dingemans) (5.5 SRM) Grain 21.8 %
1 lbs Crystal - Medium-dark? (75.0 SRM) Grain 7.3 %
8.0 oz Aroma Malt (Dingemans) (19.0 SRM) Grain 3.6 %
1.25 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (90 min) Hops 39.3 IBU
1 lbs 4.0 oz Piloncillo (10.0 SRM) Sugar 9.1 %
1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) Yeast-Ale
Estimated IBU: 39.3 IBU

I've really started to feel comfortable with the brewing tasks and brew day, so I can multitask while mashing and boiling. I still spend 5 - 6 hours per batch, but its going to be worth it.

Steph bought me the Tap-A-Draft system from More Beer, so I'll be bottling the ESB in a week or so and drinking it a few days later. The dubbel is going to take some time to mature, so I don't expect to drink it until at least March.

Up next is a Belgian strong dark ale that I found in this post from Uncle Fester I'm going to rack it on to the yeast cake from the dubbel after secondary, saving myself from having to make a starter. Not that I mind making a starter, its been great for getting vigorous fermentation right from the start with my previous efforts. However, I'm ready to take it to the next level and reuse my yeast to make each batch a little less expensive.

I've gone back to drink some of the beers I made earlier in the year and haven't tried in a month, or more. The dunkelweisen are now overcarbonated and explode everywhere! The oaked porter has mellowed nicely and gets better with age. Next time, I need to use less oak chips and soak them in bourbon! The pumpkin porter is also mellowing nicely, I'll have plenty left for next year! Finally, the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Squared is nice, but not hoppy enough. However, at 9.6% ABV, it is very smooth and easy to drink. This will knock you on your ass! (Right, James?)

Networking issues... I'm an idiot!

So, the networking problems were of my own making. Oftentimes I reorganize applications from /Applications to subdirectories, such as /Applications/Utilities. I did this with the System Preferences application. The app was also in my dock.

So when I copied over my apps, preferences, etc. from my old PowerBook to the new MacBook, over came the old System Preferences application too! I didn't know I had even done it or even consider that an option! My best guess is that the PPC version of the app didn't like running on the Intel MacBook. Anyway, I figured this out halfway through a complete reinstall of OS X
and copying all my data from the old laptop over to the new one.

Time wasted? At least 4 hours.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

New MacBook

I finally broke down and bought myself a new sleek, black MacBook. Yay! It showed up yesterday and after installing some RAM and applications, its showing what a powerful beast it really is. I am ripping a DVD — for archival purposes only — usng HandBrake. On my 1GHz 12" Powerbook this would take 4 - 7 hours. HandBrake is reporting that it will complete the task in ~45 min! Woohoo!

Looking forward to installing Parallels and playing with VM images tomorrow... perhaps. In the meantime, there is a problem with the Ethernet networking which may cause me to reinstall everything from scratch. That may be tomorrow's task du jour, if I can't find another solution tonight.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hike For Discovery 2007

I have been accepted as a mentor for the Hike For Discovery program's 2007 summer season. Not many details yet, but we'll be hiking in Yosemite this year. I guess its time to start planning Drink for Discovery II!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

WSJ Article

Here you go...

I'm stuck in SEA waiting for the red eye back home. Its going to be at least an hour late leaving SEA for ATL. I've been up since 5:20 AM, so waiting any longer (its 11 PM now, we won't be leaving until 12 AM or so...) is really testing my patience...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quoted in the Wall Street Journal


I was quoted in the WSJ today! A reporter contacted me based on this post about Mary Chocolatier in Brussels. The article came out today and I'll put up a copy as soon as I get a PDF online. That may be a day or two, since I'm currently waiting for a red-eye flight from SEA to ATL...

(Normally I'd link to the article online, but the WSJ extracts a ransom from web users to see articles... bastards.)