Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dry Hopping 101

 Hops! Wet...dry...I don't care.  I've never actually done any dry hopping to date so this was a first.  Crudest way to accomplish this is to just dump the hops into the secondary fermentation loose but I'm better than that so I did some research and found a relatively easy and more refined approach.  And as a bonus this method involved marbles, or in my case some 'glass gems'.

 just don't drink them

Glass gems basically just act as sinkers to weigh the muslin bag down so that the hops remain fully submerged during the process so you get their full essence.  Lots of homebrewers claim that if they are floating on top you loose some of the goodness.  Took me about 10mins all told.  Just sanitize everything: gems, muslin bag, thread to tie it up.  Put the gems in the muslin bag or marble sack, whichever you prefer, followed by the hops.  Tie the bag off, tie on your thread or fishing line, jam into your carboy and VOILA! Dry Hopped.

 marble sack ready for deployment

fully submerged hops dry hopping away.

I'll let this chill out for at least another week.  Might bottle it next weekend depending on my schedule.  I think I'm going to need to pick up some more tall boys.  I think my inventory of bottles has finally depleted below one batches worth.

Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 Race Schedule

This is more out of blog withdrawal than anything else.  2012's winter weather hasn't been lending itself to worthy skiing recaps/reports to date.  I've got all these new GoPro bits just waiting to record hijinx from all kinds of angles and we just haven't been able to get into the woods yet.  Such is I suppose I'll try and get myself somewhat organized for the next race season.

Slightly better than tentative schedule for 2012:

  • April 28th - Singlespeed-a-palooza: been on the radar for awhile, seems like an appropriate time to finally do it.
  • May 20th - NECS #1 Weeping Willow: love the course, a top 10 WILL be mine this year.
  • June 3rd - NECS #2 Big Ring Rumpus: maybe. doesn't suit me AT ALL. but a great day of training and real close to home.
  • June 17th - NECS #3 The Pinnacle: c'mon. best course around. I'll be gunning for this one, HARD.
  • July 8th - NECS #4 Moody Park: great course for me...when its dry. fingers crossed.
  • July 22nd - NECS #6 Harding Hill: never love this race but I always seem to show back up...
  • July 28th - SSUSA2012: Hard telling when this race will be back in the area, seems like a "grab the opportunity while it lasts" type moment.
  • August 19th - NH100: A real 100 mile version this year. So scared.
  • September 22nd - Bradbury 12: Another one that has been on the radar for awhile. Plenty of teammates to pick from for a 3 or 4 man team now! 

I'm open to suggestions...what other kind of trouble should I be getting myself into??