27 November 2008

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving...

It was a bit chilly. Somewhere around 68 degrees. I wore a long-sleeved shirt. I am thankful for Florida weather among other things.

24 November 2008

Then and Now or: 14 Years and Still Taking the Same Pictures

In 1994 I was taking a photography class at Meramec Community College (St. Louis Community College's Kirkwood campus). The assignment was "Patterns of Light". This was one of my attempts, though not one of my favorites due to the massive amount of grey and lack of contrast:

The glass itself is interesting though you can't tell in the photograph. It's a Winnie the Pooh wineglass just like this set on Ebay.

I only thought to find, scan, and post the above picture when I realized the similarity it held to the below photograph which I took on Sunday.

19 November 2008

WSSAle v3.1 2008 (III)

Turns out I'm lazier than I thought.

I couldn't get the Hennepin yeast going and I haven't brewed yet.

I did rack my Cabbage Palm/Mangrove Mead. What? You haven't heard about that one yet? ....

Back just after Mead Day, Sue at In The Spirits had a walk-in beekeeper who offered her 5 gallon pails of honey. It was a combination of Cabbage Palm and Mangrove honey and was pretty wet stuff. The price was right, though, so I was one of four H.A.M.S. club members who bought a bucket each. I divided mine into 3 batches. The first one was 5 gallons at 35brix, the second about 5.5 gallons at 30brix, and the third about 5.5 or 6 gallons at 25brix. I started fermenting them right around the Autumn Equinox and racked them all into 5 gallon carboys over this past weekend. What was left of the 2nd two (since they were over 5 gallons) went into the continuous fermenter which is currently a bucket. The 25 tasted pretty close to dry and a little hot, the 30 was definately sweeter and not so hot, and I didn't taste the 35. That honey is certainly different from the Orange Blossom I had earlier in the year! Not really floral, somewhat spicy, and a bit earthy. I suppose it will make for an interesting and rather unique mead.

If I remember, I'll have to tell you about my Guava Mead sometime.

10 November 2008

A Taste of Manatee, 2 November 2008

We went to "A Taste of Manatee" last Sunday mostly because Kevin was playing in his jazz combo and partly because of the allure of FOOD. Firkin and Fox (new restaurant, only been around a couple weeks) had some tasty New England clam chowder and unfortunately I can't remember who had some delicious fish tacos, but they had coleslaw and tomatillos on them and they were GREAT! And in case you didn't know, the jazz was cool.

There was also a custom motorcycle builder...

A tie-dye vendor...

A wine distributor with this tasty wine (a bottle of which I did purchase)...

a guy who's not who I thought he was...

quite a nice waterfront view...

ice sculpturing...

palm trees (don't you just love Florida in November?)...

the aforementioned jazz drummer...

and his girlfriend...

09 November 2008

Happy 9th of November to my Wife!

yeah, I know, I used this picture last year.

WSSAle v3.1 2008 (III)

6,7,8 November 2008:

Waiting for something to happen in my Hennepin bottle. Nothing did.

9 November, 2008 (our 12th anniversary!):

Drank a 12 oz. Hennepin, swirled and poured dregs into the inactive starter and then applied the airlock. We shall see. If I get nothing this week, I guess I'll go with dry yeast and get my brewing done with by next weekend.

05 November 2008

WSSAle v3.1 2008 (II)

4 Nov. 2008:

Poured out several glasses of Hennepin so as not to leave it open for an extended period of time, then poured into the bottle and the dregs at the bottom of it my DME starter. Topped with an airlock.

Update 5 Nov. 2008:

No action yet. I may just go with dried yeast this year :( .


What's there to say that hasn't been said?

I'm exhausted...

03 November 2008

WSSAle v3.1 2008 (I)

v3.0 is the extract version, but I won't get into that right now.

I am going to try my hand at documenting this year's attempt at my Winter Solstice Spiced Ale. v1.0 won me a blue ribbon at the county fair, and in my opinion it's only gotten better. Now that I'm gettting into all-grain, I've decided to add that into the (hopeful) improvements.

Fred (from H.A.M.S.) proposed a club contest for spiced winter beers due for judging in January. As I've been attempting and tweaking one for the last couple years, I thought I'd join in.

3 Nov. 2008:
Buy a 750ml bottle of Hennepin. Put it in the refrigerator.
Into a 1pt. Mason jar: 1/2 cup Munton's amber DME, 1 avg. sized Cascade hop pellet, water to 1 pt. Microwave until good and boiling. Sterilize lid with vodka then seal and leave out to cool.

Yep, that's what I've got done so far.