Friday, July 15, 2011

A Twist of Home

So this entry has been a long time coming... In fact I should have done it back in May, then updated in early June, and now!? holy goodness its already July! Where has the time gone!

But in the end, everything always works out, right? In this case, yes.

Date: May 7, 2011
Event: Big Brew
Important Because: Our first home brew was born!

As I've said before, Chad and I are (sort of) members of West Sound Brewers, which is a local group of people who dedicate an occasional weekend to the art of home brewing. These people are AMAZING! Everyone specializes in something, Meades, Cordials, beers, etc. and all they want to do is show off their efforts, teach others their techniques and hang out with their friends.

Big Brew was just such an occasion. Chad and I decided that that would be the day we start our first home brew. We borrowed most of the equipment from a good friend of ours (also in the group), we got the recipe from my dad (who used to brew) and we got the help from EVERYONE in attendance! I have to say though... it wasn't an easy start... It was a cold, crummy day, and we were brewing outside. Some of the equipment malfunctioned a bit, so our recipe was altered. We didn't realize we needed certain things, so we had to borrow and beg... but the outcome was something that looked remarkably like it should of! We had ourselves almost five gallons of pitched, cooled wort! Woot!

Date: May 11, 2011
Event: Watching our air blurps
Important Because: They were right on track

We kept our "beer" in our guest bedroom closet. The room was kept at around 70 degrees and the closet doors were kept closed. Everyday Chad or I would go up and count the number of air blurps escaping our airlock.  They were coming out exactly as people had perdicted they would... started off slow, around a minute, then 45 seconds... then every 2-3 seconds, and so on. And after a while, I came to the realization that "oh my goodness, this just might work!"

Date: May 18, 2011
Event: Racking off
Important Because: we had green beer and started the secondary fermentation process

Vic and Mary came over, had some pizza and helped us "rack off" our beer! Basically, we moved the beer from one carboy to another, trying our hardest not to add any air. The process went flawlessly, even Vic was impressed. Our green beer was clear, and tasted remarkably like honey!

Date: June 11, 2011
Event: Bottling
Important Because: Its actually Beer now!!

I wasn't here for this event (I was visiting San Diego) but Chad and Vic bottled all the beer! They added the necessary corn sugar for carbonation. They filled bottle after bottle of our beautiful golden elixir. Then they carried it all back upstairs to the closet... where the bottles would sit.... and age.... until we could finally drink it!

Date: June 18, 2011
Event: Our first (slightly premature) taste!
Important Because: A Twist of Home totally turned out!!

Finally!! After a full month of waiting and babying, our beer was finally a BEER!! We popped the cap, there was a slight hiss. Slowly poured it into glasses, there was a bit of head. It was clear, tasted distinctly like honey. It was AMAZING! And since then, its only been getting better!

So, a beer was born. This is one we are going to try to replicate in the future. Think of a sweet, pale ale, with distinct notes of honey but balanced with a bit of bitter hops. Literally, amazing!

My only piece of advice for those new homebrewers: find yourself a group of homebrewers! They WANT to show you everything, help you through every step and pass on their knowledge! I couldn't have imagined this experience to be any better!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One thing after another... after another... after anot.....

Oh my goodness... This has been a downright horrible week. So far, nothing, and I mean nothing, has been fantastic about this week... One crappy thing after another...

And that's not what Washington is supposed to be all about for me. So, here are some pictures, that were taken PRIOR to this week. These pictures just make me happy. They remind me that there is WAY more good than crap in this world. I hope they do the same for you!

 My friend Jerry and I went out to our bosses beach-side yurt last week, and I found this shell! It was AS BIG AS MY HEAD!

A deer! I finally saw a deer on the peninsula! Chad sees them all the time - but this one was ALLLLL MINE!
 Saturday Chad and I went out to Port Townsend to enjoy a few ciders under the mid day sun! Summer Cider Day, small, but awesome!

 Being at Mariners Stadium, wearing my Padre gear! Go Padres! (even though they lost that day...)

 Sunday was the Kitsap Atheist & Agnostic Adopt-A-Trail work day. One of my favorite days of each month. And some of my favorite people came out to help!

 Seeing this on the shelf at my local World Market, just made me smile.

How could you NOT smile at this guy! He's a pigmy owl! I got to hold him and take care of him at the West Sound Wildlife Shelter!

I'm feeling a bit better - and I hope you have a great day!