Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A New Arrival

25 and I are happy to announce that we're . . .


For any of you sillies who thought I was announcing a pregnancy, shame on you.  You obviously don't know me at all! Haven't you read my rants about children, and everyone having children, and posting about their children, and blah blah blah children?

We took the plunge a couple months ago and started homebrewing.  Much like a pregnancy, we didn't want to tell anyone until we were sure that we wouldn't lose the batch. It's been a slow process of telling friends and family.  Introducing them to what we made.  Talking about the techniques and ingredients.

Weiz was from a Brewer's Best kit. She was all Amber LME (liquid Malt Extract) and Hallertau hops pellets.

Our first beer was a Weizenbier.  She was a beautiful 4.6% amber colored wheat beer with a slight cloudiness that one wants in a wheat beer.  She has great fruity esters of peach/apricot/pit fruits and some nicely complicated flavors. Not much sediment in the bottles and great clarity.

Just like any first born,  we made some mistakes. It's possible that the fruity esters came from contamination (more than one great beer has been created by accident).  After bottling her, we put the bottles in boxes, in the garage, protected from light as we'd read was important.  Just about the time we did that, the weather started cooling off.  We didn't know that below about 62 degrees, the yeast becomes inactive and won't carbonate the beer.  In conclusion, we have great tasting flat beer. My take is that I'd rather have a great beer with no bubbles than a crappy bear with lots of bubbles.  25 on the other hand tends to like highly carbonated beers with lots of little bubbles so he was a bit disappointed.

The feedback from friends who are drinker and non-beer drinkers has been pretty good.  They all like the fruity complicated flavor thing.  They acknowledge that it's flat but seem to echo my sentiments about good beer-no bubbles as the bettern option.

While we drink our way through the 22 12oz and 9 22oz bottles that were the Weizenbier, we brewed again.  Our second is an English Pale Ale.  She was from a kit as well and she's made of Fuggles and Goldings hop pellets, LME plus some Dry Malt Extract and even Caramel Malt to steep. EPA was bottled last week Wednesday.  It should be roughly the same ABV.  Slightly darker in color and a tiny bit less cloudy. She still need another week of bottle aging before we open a test bottle. We were more efficient and drew 25 12oz and 10 22oz bottles.

Batch three is an Irish Stout we've named Mick, after a character in Hell on Wheels. He's still in secondary fermentation and will probably be bottled next week, then three plus weeks of bottle conditioning.  He was some LME, roasted barley, flaked barley, Northern Brewer hops (not pellets a first for us), two packets of liquid yeast (another first).  He's pristine and the last of the yeast is settling out now.

Like any proud creator, photos to follow. The biggest question at the moment is what to brew next?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Lousy Waiter

Not the kind in a restaurant that brings you food.

I have learned some patience over the years.  It's come very slowly.  Most people who knew me growing up would say that I as ready for things to happen sooner rahter than later.

Now my patience come in drips and drabs, often in certain places in my life while it still lacks in others. It's very difficult to be patience when dating.  You have a great date and then want the person to call NOW.  You want to go out for another date SOON. Waiting for things to happen can be rough.

In other areas, I have "the patience of a saint", not my words.  My mother has seen me interact with my grandmothers, both of whom before their deaths were affected by Alzheimer-esque symptoms.  I could sit with Grandma B for several hours to her repetition of "where are you living now?", "how have you been?" and about three other questions. When we were driving home, she asked how I did it, enduring the same questions ad nauseum.  My answer is that I don't know. She believes that with children and the eldery I have the patience of a saint, it's adults I have a problem with.  She's probably just about right.

I guess it's that both of those groups have an excuse for their behaviour and their ignorance.  Adults of the otherhand, are usually willfully stupid or rude, but tha't s a whole other blog.

Right now I'm waiting for work.  My current contract ends November 22nd.  I've known that for a while.  There were several options on the table.  If you've read the blog recently, you may have seen a post about Omaha.  I've passed on that project in favor of staying at home.  It doesn't seem like the best idea to have 25 move in and then spend six months half way across the country.  There are four current options are in the PNW with varying levels of details and confirmation. 

One won't start until January (unless it's delayed) and will run until May.

The second would be traveling along the I-5 corridor training at facilities in Washington and Oregon. This company has been looking for people on and off for over a year so I won't be holding my breath.

The third is very hazing.  Potentially as provider elbow support at a health system with 100+ clinics going live over several months, starting soon, maybe.  Very unconfirmed.

The fourth, at this point, will remain unmentioned because it is the one I am waiting to hear about.




Sigh,  I'm just not good at this.  The knot in my stomach tells me so.