Brew Day

We are starting out by testing our immersion chiller. It worked well. We were able to reduce to temperature of 2 gallon to the 80 in just a few minutes. But, failure struck with the outlet hose burst do to over heating.

Chalk that up to not thinking!

New technique:
We are putting the chiller in after we turn off the gas burner. This should allow the temperature to start dropping.

Our first beer is High Red Tide Bock which is made from 7.7 lbs light malt extract, 1 lb Weyermann Light Munich, and 4 oz. Muntons Roasted Barley. I don't remember the type of hops. I'll be using a White Labs German Ale/Kolsch yeast.

Our second beer is called Vincent's Wee Heavy. It is called this because of the 11 lbs of light malt extract used. The speciality grains Muntons Crystal 60 and Roasted Barley are inlcuded.

Thanksgivings Day 2005

We headed over to my parents house for Thanksgiving dinner. Karen helped my mother make the gravey and dressing while I helped my dad with his computer.

Karen and my mother prepared a great dinner. Karen received a lot of praise for her contribution.

I, on the other hand, was just glad that I could reverse the damage that I had done to my dad's computer. I had been starting to setup his computer so that he could remotely access it. Let's just say it didn't goes as planned.

New Photo Web Site

I am in the process of redoing our photo web site. It has a new address and here it is:

The old address will still work, but it will push you to the new site after reminding you to update your links.

Also, I am adding software to allow others to post their photos to the site.

The appearance has changed as well.

Homebrewing Immersion Chiller

Karen and I built an immersion chiller to speed up our brewing. You can easily make one of these for your homebrewing. All you need is 25 to 50 feet of copper tubing. The 1/4 inch diameter tubing is cheapest and will work well. You will need two adapters to convert the 1/4 tubing to garden hose. HomeDepot has all these parts. You can get it all for about 20 to 30 bucks.

The chiller will shorten brewing time greatly. With all malt or partial malt recipes, the chiller will reduce the cooling time required prior to pitching your yeast to 15 minutes or less.

To use the chiller, you connect your garden hose to one of the inlets on the chiller. You connect another hose to the outlet. This second hose is just to direct the waste water away from you and the beer so any hose should work. (I have heard some people connect the hose to a sprinkler to water their yard at the same time.) After connecting everything together, you place the chiller in your brew pot and turn on the water.

It should be noted that the chiller should be cleaned just as all brewing equipment must be sanitized prior to usage. If your brewing method includes boiling the malt, you can sanitize the chiller by placing it directly into the brew pot during the boil to sanitize the chiller.

Hanging the Christmas Lights and Smoking the Turkey

Karen and I had a blast smoking our first turkey and hanging our new Christmas lights.

Smoking the turkey is almost an all day job. We keep feeding new coals and wood chips throughout the day.

Hanging the lights went well until the rain started in on me. Their is nothing like feeling cold rain coming down on you while you are standing on a steap roof. I stopped for the day.

Now that the lights are up, they look great.

Homebrewing Soon!

It has been sometime since Karen and I have brewed beer, but we are planning on brewing two batches over the Thanksgiving break.

We have already picked up some beer to drink during the homebrewing session. (This first is critical to the success.) Now, I just need to order the homebrewing supplies.

We are going to use pig kegs instead of Cornelius or Firestone kegs. Karen want to be able to transport the beer easily.

Walt Disney World was great!

Karen and I had a blast. I have not even cleaned up our nearly 400 photos, but I hope to cut them down to a manageable number tomorrow night.

The International Food and Wine Festival was great. After I go through our notes, I will let you know what foods we liked best.

I took a surfing lesson and it was great and I have pictures to prove that I got up on the board at least long enough for Karen to get a picture.

Karen and I road on Segways while at Epcot.

I'll post more soon including photos.