Oh, hi

ted | beer,bike,chicago,computer,driving,food,HAMLOG,house,junk,travel | Monday, December 8th, 2008

Yeah, it’s been a while. So what’s new?

  • Turns out the bike/car wreck was my fault, according to the eyewitnesses. Whoops. Needless to say, it has been handed over to my insurance company for them to deal with. I’m 99% physically healed but my ego is still bruised… as big of a stickler as I am for Same Road Same Rules Same Rights, I caused a wreck. Damn. I am making everything right on the car repair side and turning my mangled Raleigh Grand Prix into a parts bike for a road frame Charlie gave me years ago.
  • My Senator got elected to be the next POTUS which delights me greatly.
  • It’s cold here. And snowy. Just in time, too – I like seasonal weather.
  • We had Fakesgiving III/Bullshit Thanksgiving 2008 at the home of Pete & Miz Royal. Fried a turkey in the chilly 15°F weather, had a couple Manhattans courtesy of Mr. Scott Action (Anton LaVey Jr.) and a great time was had by all.
  • I’m keeping track of what I eat again. And losing weight again. I need to do this, badly. I’ve got two data points from this year. One where I signed up for fitday last year and one where I got weighed for a weight-loss contest at work in August. I’m back down near my August weight but have about 20 pounds to go until I’ve erased 2008’s ravages from my body.
  • Out of homebrew. For now. Apple juice should start getting really, really cheap soon which means it’s about time to make another keg of hard cider.
  • Work’s keeping me busy. One of my projects entails modifying some of our equipment, including getting the die set out of one of our presses, and nobody there has had it out before – fun, challenging and downright scary at times. You go elbows-deep in an 80 ton press and tell me it ain’t scary.
  • My buddy Markh is comin’ up this weekend with his special lady in tow, which excites me. I haven’t seen Mark much since I moved 700+ miles away. Funny, that.

In short, first I:

But now:

And soon I shall again be:

2 Comments »

  1. Hard cider, bitchin! I just ordered some homebrew kit online after tasting a friend’s Apfelwein (German hard cider) – he made it with apple juice, sugar, honey and yeast in a bucket from Home Depot. It’s a low-barrier-to-entry process I can get behind. I’m hoping to move up to Real Beer after that.

    What’s your process look like? Same deal?

    Comment by don blood — 2008 Dec 33 @ 08:33:26 +0000

  2. More or less, yeah. Here’s what my usual process goes like:

    Get apple juice, the kind what ain’t enriched with vitamin C. The cheaper, the better. I usually wait until it’s under $2/gallon. Buy 5 gallons/20 liters.

    Heat it up. I usually bring out the brewpot and boil it a bit just to kill off anything that’s lurking in it. Definitely not necessary, tho. Just get it up to about 80F/27C. Add in whatever other sweeteners you like. I added a cup of honey to my last batch. Also not necessary.

    Put it in yr fermenter. I’ve done it both in a 7 gallon glass carboy and the plastic bucket. So long as it’s clean, either works fine. Pitch in the yeast when it’s at about the temps stated above. I believe I last user White Labs’ WLP775 English Cider Yeast, as my local brewstore carries most of White Labs’ lineup. Take a sample to check the starting gravity, slap on the airlock, cart that heavy-ass carboy downstairs and let it do its thing for 7ish days in a dark closet at about 70F/21C.

    Siphon into a keg, pressurize with 5 psi carbon dioxide to ensure the seals have seated, and leave it alone for a month.

    I drank the entire 5 gallon keg of it by myself in 3 days. God, it was delicious. And too fucking easy, really. It doesn’t get much simpler than good hard cider.

    Comment by ted — 2008 Dec 20 @ 23:20:45 +0000

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