Friday, September 21, 2007

Manifest Destiny

I made a proverbial 'Louisiana Purchase' this afternoon. I swung by a homebrew supply store that I found out existed in Meredith, NH...Fermentation Station. Its a nice little shop with just about everything you would need for supplies and an owner who seemingly knows WAY too much about brewing beer.

I have a feeling its going to be a great resource...i talked to the guy for like a half an hour and the highlight was a recipe he told me about for a stout that he described as: "you need a knife and fork to drink it and its so heavy you need a spotter to help you pick up the glass..." 'nuff said sir, where do I sign?

long story short my homebrew operation is getting serious. please notice the SquamyBrew LLC brew operation channel on the right sidebar for 'what is brewing where' type info.

i now have three 6 gallon carboys. This allows me the option of doing either three 1 stage brews at once or 1 two stage and 1 one stage at once or two 1 stage and let an old 2nd stage condition nice and long get the point.

I also added some sweet peg board for that authentic manarea feel.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

EFTA 2007 **El Fin**

The season is officially over. The last race was last weekend in Maine...I didnt attend due to driving distance and my results already being written in stone.

1 BUCHANAN, SCOTT             1,358 
(**the amazing thing about riders in New England is that they are all awesome. Both Scott and Derek are pushing 50 and they still are FAST**)

and there they are, the final standings in the EFTA 2007 New England Championship Series (Single Speed Class). I am pretty proud of my third place overall. Granted I am actually probably one of the slowest single speed racers in New England, but I'm consistent and I can take a beating and that paid off this season.

on average i shed about 20 minutes off my course times from last year, and I gained a much better understanding of what my body can actually take and I think I will have a much better off season of training and will come back even stronger next year.

My goals for next year are another podium finish in the overall, and I want to shed another 5-10 minutes off my times so that I can really be in the SS 'pack'. I have found that I really need a wheel to hold to keep pushing myself mentally. If I can just get a tiny bit faster I will actually be racing SS riders for 20 miles instead of riding by myself about 5 minutes behind them. It basically just comes down to learning how to suffer better...which is what i will be doing on my trainer all winter.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Squamtoberfest Oktoberfest

Fall is quickly approaching and that means Oktoberfest or more importantly Squamtoberfest. Last years event was the first annual and quite the hit. Head count for this year is already looking to be on the high side and you can't keep that many people happy without home made beer.

I kicked off a 'Oktoberfest' style brew today in hopes that it will be ready for Squamtoberfest which is slotted for Oct 20th. It's gonna be cutting it real close. That gives us about 5-6 weeks. Probably wont get enough time to condition in bottle but oh well....we do what we can with what we've got.

This was a part grain / part extract brew that was fun to make. I had to toast some of the grain in the oven and there was even an ounce of chocolate barley, should make for an interesting flavor.
This is my little setup so that I don't have to hold the muslin bag while steeping the grain. You dont want to let it touch the bottom of the kettle because the grains might burn. Ingenious? No. Crafty? Yes.

Chill out.

Down in the Dungeon and ready to ferment. We are using a different yeast this time around, hopefully it kicks off with no issues. (otherwise your ass is grass Shaun)

**UPDATE**: This batch has been mostly consumed. Some bottles were more cloudy than others but all in all it came out great. This pic is pretty horrible, but the color was nice...bit darker than I thought it would be but the taste was a bit lighter than the color would suggest. Very smooth tasting, and Masha thought it was better than all the other store brand beer that was in the house. and if the Russians think its good....its good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mt. Cardigan

I dont normally post about hikes but I have to expand the foot print of this blog because i'll be expecting my students to post regularly so I have to step it up as well...or I could just go with the old 'do as i say, not as i do' thing...i'll have to think that one over.

We cruised out to Canaan / Orange, NH to trek up Mt. Cardigan and get the pooch some exposure. I wanted to get Wylee above tree line to add to her "Gnar Rating". (**i dont know exactly what a gnar rating is or exactly how i want to quantify it because i just made that up... possibly more on this later**)

very dog friendly hike, 3 miles round trip...easy up easy down. Although Gina did not agree with my comment about the last .2 miles being easier mentally because you can see the top...she clarifies as easier mentally yes, but physically much steeper.

Wylee loves cliffs, chasing birds riding thermals and crapping in the woods. but then again who doesnt?

in closing: wind makes our hair sexy x 10