Sturm und Drang… in a Beer Stein

So, Budweiser’s on the sales block, and the deal’s as good as done eh? Much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who see this aquisition of an American icon by a Belgian company as a harbinger of American decline.

Horse puckey. We sell America to Middle Eastern terrorist backers to the tune of $50billion/year. What’s so hard about selling a company that makes their beers with a “unique filtration process” (water through horses?) to a company that makes skunky ales?


Just something for the twittering class to yammer about instead of dealing with real issues sanely.

Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, DragonLady’s World, The World According to Carl, Shadowscope, The Pink Flamingo, Cao’s Blog, Democrat=Socialist, A Newt One, and Stageleft, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

“Snow” Day Again

Late start today. Not that the whole county shut down, but since my Wonder Woman had a “snow” day, I’ve kept things close in and we’ve worked on a little advance Spring Cleaning. I’ve been in storage areas of my office that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Two whole drawersfull of stuff I simply dumped in a box for later sorting (and yes, I will do that!) and labeled, “Junk from 2 drawers”–*heh*

Once whole LARGE file cabinet drawerfull of ancient floppies. Need to sort through them all, archive (and enter into database that’s stored in the same place!) all the data I should/want to keep and burn to multiple CDRs or a couple of (duplicate) DVDs for archiving, then format or toss (or even archive, sorted and labeled) the floppies in a more easily accessible fashion.

To give you an idea: I have 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppies going back through all the DOSes to about DOS 3, back further to TRSDOS floppies–and even some Mac software/archives.

That stuff really needed sorting out!

(My paper files were mostly sorted some weeks ago.)

Then, there’s the “surface” storage… shelves and such like. Most of the old music, language, history, etc., books have already been boxed (and labeled and etc.), but there’re still five very, very full shelves of books n such that need sorting out.

Then, of course, I need to clean and sort out the bookshelves in the living room for refiling with previously boxed books…

This Spring cleaning thing is pretty heavy stuff (book boxes, get it? :-))!

Oh, well, at least I had some “deck beer” to lighten the load. (“Deck beer”–over-sugared some beer for bottle conditioning. Temnps outside have been mostly below freezing for a while… so, placed a bunch of bottles of this beer outside for conditioning after only 3 days. It’s all turned out very, very good. Whatta save!)

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From the Mailbag…

[OK, so I can think of a downside, but on balance… ]

Thanks to G.F. I now have something more to add to my wish list…

“After going through a virus attack, losing a hard drive, fighting off hackers, upgrading all my software, installing fire-walls, being threatened with being cut-off by my email provider, and a host of other problems…

I have fixed my computer…

…and NOW it works exactly the way I want it to!”

Continue reading “From the Mailbag…”

Just for Fun: pico-brewing

I bottle condition the beers I make using a small shot of sugar and/or (sometimes) some of the trub, cos that’s the only way I really have of ensuring a good carbonation in the final product. OK, it also helps the flavors mature just a tad, as well. But since I add a tad of sugar to each bottle for the conditioning process, it does mean I have a lil sediment in every bottle–some more, some less.

So, as a lil experiment, I’ve been saving the sediment in one (clean) bottle and now I’m making a “one boittle pico-brew” out of it. *heh*

Added about a tablespoon of molasses and warm water, shook. Roasted some pearled barley (cos it’s what I had) and ground it up really fine; added a little Malt-O-Meal to that and ground it up some more; funneled about a tablespoon of that into the bottle, filled it with warm water, gently rolled it around a bit to get that mixed well, then placed the lid of the swingtop bottle loosely on top. Placed the bottle in my conditioning drawer. Last I looked, the top was acting as a kinda one-way airlock letting carbon dioxide out, but seemed to settle back on down after each lil mini-burp. Nice floculant on top & I can see it actually brewing.

It may be a tad high in sugar content, what with the molasses and malted grains, but… oh, well. πŸ™‚

We’ll see how this turns out. Even though I used some trub-heavy sediment from the bottles, I don’t expect much in the way of hopsiness, and it’ll be REAL heavy on sediment (trub, in this case)… which I’ll save when I decant it into another bottle for further conditioning.

Heck. I just thought: shoulda added some coffee to it. *heh* Maybe next time, if this turns out at all well…


Yeh, weird. And just for fun. Not going to count as one of my “real” brewing experiments, but might just turn out semi-drinkable anyway.

And the trub? Gonna make some bread. In fact, I have some I saved and dried just for that purpose. Think maybe I’ll make some “beer bread” tonight.

BTW, you know the oldest known beer recipe used bread to make the beer. In fact, it seems from the context of the Sumerian text that’s been translated that beer was thought of as something like liquid bread (as it appears some Medieval monastic orders also thought).

Brew Report

Mr. Beer 3-Beer Mix Variety Pack

Mr. Beer 3-Beer Mix Variety Pack

OK, right up front, I confess I am a tyro, a beginning home brewer of the most elementary class. Sure, I’ve made one batch of experimental “Georgie Porgy” molasses small beer from scratch using a fermenting “keg” I made from odds n ends (“Kitty Litter Beer”–*heh*) that turned out to be more than just drinkable, but the other four batches I’ve made to date (well, the other four drinkable batches–I did make another experimental batch I ruined, but more about that later) have all been from Mr. Beer kits.

A word about the Mr. Beer mini-micro-brewery. I’ve read comments on several lists that diss the Mr. Beer kits and the brews they output. I can unequivocally state that the naysayers were full of crap. Every single kit batch I’ve sampled has been up to the standards of some of the best micro-brews I’ve bought from the package store, and better than most, frankly.

The key? RTFM! That’s ab-so-de-lute-ly THE key. Read the directions and follow them to the letter. Seriously. Oh, I did a few things (like actually measure the temperatures of the water, the wort, etc.) that weren’t included, but only to check myself against the temps mentioned in the directions. I guess the Mr. Beer folks thought an adult would be making the stuff and so left out the simple things like that.

My failure batch? Not a Mr. Beer kit batch, an “experimental” variation on the molasses beer recipe I had previously made. What did I do to screw things up?

1. I opened the fermenter to check on floating floculant (since that fermenter’s opaque).
2. I let the airlock go dry.

Yep. Introduced something nasty that spoiled the batch. My fault. And it wasn’t a kit batch and not in the Mr. Beer keg, so no connection to the kit at all.

So, of the four different (kit) brews I have made to date, which turned out best, has been my fav?

The one I had last. *heh* Really, all of them have been excellent. But as a point of comparison, Son & Heir is quite fond of Grolsch lager. One batch (the third) was “Octoberfest’s Vienna Lager” (a Mr. Beer not-quite-lager beer, using an ordinary ale yeast, not a lager yeast). Son & Heir pronounced it better than the Grolsch, and I agree. It’s a deeper amber, is fuller flavored with a much more flowery hops presence. Very, very nice.

Of course, I have NOT used the minimum “one week in the fermenter, one week in the bottles” instruction set but allowed each of the brews adequate (maybe ten days) time in the fermenter and about the same time (or more) in the bottles before refrigeration. It’s allowed for in the kit instructions, but I imagine most folks are as impatient as I am but don’t have the impulse control I have been trying to develop, and so take the shortest time in fermenting and bottle conditioning the instructions allow. If that. *heh*

All-in-all, the Mr. Beer kit has been a very good intro to brewing. I will continue to use it–and the ready made beer ingredient kits–even as I branch out and make more “from scratch” beers.

New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day: Pig in a Blanket

That’s me: staying warm n toasty and “pigging out” on Bryn Terfel while enjoying some home brewed wheat beer (yeh, yeh: from a kit ;-)).


This kinda stuff can easily carry me through New Year’s Day.


Bryn Terfel - We'll Keep a Welcome

Bryn Terfel – We’ll Keep a Welcome


Mr. Beer Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Refill Brew PackMr. Beer Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Refill Brew Pack

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Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Blog @, Adam’s Blog, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Shadowscope, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Big Dog’s Weblog, Pursuing Holiness, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Christmas Break

Peaceful Christmas afternoon. A nice lunch of my Wonder Woman’s Swedish meatballs on egg noodles and some snowpeas, notalot else. Lovely Daughter brought some ‘special” hot cocoa mix–no tedious boiling and frothing of milk and chocolate today: today is an official “Third World County Central No-Stress Day”–as we’ve tried more and more to make our family gatherings.

Wonder Woman, Lovely Daughter and Son & Heir (yeh, just wait til he sees what he “inherits” *heh* “S&H, You need to change your dad’s diapers again… ” *LOL*), listening to Christmas music that S&H made available, Just started another batch of beer (the wort’s at a boil and will steep and cool for a bit after a while), sitting here at the kitchen computer (a PC-BSD box) just letting the ambiance bathe my spirit.

*sigh* More days like this would always be welcome, ya know?

Oh, didn’t manage to keep the ECTV (the entertainment center box with a decent amp and speakers attached) off today. But we’re not watching the dam*ed thing (yeh, that’s a theological hypothesis). S&H hooked up his XBox 360, cos he loaded several hundred megs of Xmas* mp3s on it and is using it as a temporary media server shooting them through the sound system, managing the “jukebox” with the TV.

Nice of him. I used to just burn a couple of new mix CDs. I guess I ought to see about building a media pc and running some Linux-compatible media software/hardware with it.

Of course, I could attach a real sound system to this lil kitchen PC-BSD box and program Kaffeine with a playlist…

Well, that sort of thing will just have to wait for a day that’s not today. Need to post this, get back to just basking in the family glow for a while longer.

Merry Christmas!

Continue reading “Christmas Break”