Friday, March 11, 2011

Banksy and El Dorado IPA

The running is not going very well.  In fact, I think I've gone running twice since I bought new shoes.  Nevertheless, I want to explore another idea that will never come into fruition, creating my own street art.  Recently, I saw Exit through the Gift Shop, a Banksy film that centers around street artist Thierry Guetta a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash.  For those that don't know, Banksy and others use stencils to spraypaint images onto buildings as well as using huge photocopies of art work and gluing those onto the side of buildings.  One of the most iconic images is the first Obey image, a close up of Andre the Giant.  Obey, began by Shepherd Fairy in 1989, has turned into a million dollar company.  Many people don their clothing.  I see it everywhere now that I have seen that movie.  The influence of street art is prevalent in society, but many are not cognizant of its roots.  The stenciling idea seems fairly simple and I have a can of plastic spray paint so I wanted to try it out. 

The next step might be to stencil beer labels onto my bottles.  I would need the right paint.  Maybe a disc golf stencil for my El Dorado IPA.  First, I am going to stencil my worm composter because it is plastic.  I want to steal one of Banksy's designs, do a caricature of someone like Bukowski or maybe myself, or just spraypaint the word "worms" in a unique way. 

I have kegged my El Do IPA.  In fact, I shook it up last night to pressure carbonate and stuck it in the fridge.  I still have a pint of Blonde Ale left in the keg (hyperbole).  I have 1/2 to a 1/3 of a keg of my Brown Belgian Trappey.  I have two untouched kegs of Black Belgian where I forgot to put in the extra sugar.  I should have added the extra sugar by pulling out beer from the primary, boiling it, adding sugar, and pouring it into the secondary.  There would have beeen enough yeast to remedy my initial error of forgetting the extra sugar.  I have six kegs with beer in them and a carboy that has Brown Belgian Trappey with White Labs Lambic Mix and dregs of a Duchesse de Bourgonne bottle.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Its always something

Yesterday, I brewed my recipe for El Do IPA.  As I was cleaining up, I hit my hydrometer with a hose and knocked it onto the concrete floor.  It broke.  That's nine buck to replace.  I also hate my wort chiller.  I really need to invest in a plate chiller.  Finally I need a hop blocker of some sort. 
The brew went well. The mash began about 140 then I brought it to 157 and it went down to about 151. I did more of a batch sparge rather then using a sparging wand.  I used a combinaion of early hop additions of Chinook and Columbus with late hop additions of Simcoe, Cascade, and Citra.  The grain bill ended up being 23 lbs. of American Two Row, Biscuit, Wheat, and Crystal 35 Malt.   I had an O.G. of 1.055.  Still my beer seemed murky due to no hop strainer.  She is fermenting in the garage as we speak.  I rode my bike to work today and it was freezing, so I am hoping that the yeast does not get too cold.  The best part was I ended up using a Littlest Pet Shop tiny bucket as part of my breather because I couldn't find the right part.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New shoes

After about 10 years, I finally purchased some new running shoes.  They are Asics GT 2150 in black.  My wife calls them orthopedic shoes because of the extra support that they sport.  I definitely noticed extra arch support that I am not sure that I need.
I went for a run yesterday and while I was trying not to fall over, I thought about some trying to gain weight.  I have never been over 155 pounds.  I am pretty much spot on 150 everytime I get on the scale for the last 10 years.  What if I made it my goal to gain 10 pounds?  Could I even do it?  Obviously, I don't want to just put it all in my stomach.  That would be easy and it would be cheating.  I would probably lose that weight as soon as I stopped overeating. 
I also don't want to use creatin or anything like that mainly because its too expensive.  Also, steroids are out for obvious reasons.  I want to try to eat more often and healthily.  I usually eat a Cliff bar at work everyday. Yesterday I had a PowerBar.  I will probably do some overeating, but try to work it off quickly.
The idea is to gain 10 pounds of muscle mass.  That is a crazy notion when I consider that is over 5% of my weight.  I have toyed with the idea of the "biggest gainer" as a television show.  I also have thought about writing a book about a character that puts himself through scientific experiments.  This seems to be the next step.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Exploding Russian Imperial Stout

Well, I broke my first carboy last weekend 4/9/10 when I was moving them around in the garage. Barely clinked two of them together and a chunk fell off one of the carboys after it cracked. I was able to find the glass pieces and salvage most of the beer. My dad was there to helped so he poured the beer through some cheese cloth and into a bucket. I put the breather on the bucket and the emergency was averted.
Before this mishap this Russian Imperial Stout has given me problems. At the beginning of the mash, it broke my plastic stirrer. This caused me to have temperature problems. Various other problems occured during the brew including a partial stuck mash and over flowing the mash. My new system still needs fine tuning especially for a 42 lb. grain bill.
That morning, as I was driving to work, I called my wife to warn her to keep an eye on the carboys because I had filled them to much and there was no blow off tube and the RIS is high in fermentable sugars. She said they looked fine. A couple hours later she called back because there was explosion in the closet and a river of beer running out. This Russian Imperial has caused problems, but it will be good. Coming in at 1.082 OG. I will wait to at least three months to drink it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blood Red Beet Beer/ Pinot Brown

I brewed last Sunday, so this Sunday I went to the brew shop to share some Willava IPA with the folks at the shop and to ask about adding beets and wine-soaked oak chips.
I brewed a brown ale, but was aiming for a red. I added too much roasted barley although the recipe called for that amount.
Since I brew 10 gallons at a time, I have two carboys of 5-6 gallons each. When I rack into a secondary, I want to add beet juice to one carboy and add a measured amount of oak chips which I will soak in wine, first I was thinking Chardonnay, but now I think Pinot Noir.
The reason I brewed this beer is so that I could add a Russian Imperial Stout to the English Dry Ale Yeast when I brew next weekend. I read online that it is important to add your RIS to a yeast slurry because there are so many fermentable sugars. The sugars will beat up the yeast too quickly if I add a vial of White Labs.
My IPA was well received at the brew shop and I tried a Tripel and a Smoked Porter that were fantastic. I bought some French Oak Chips that will be soaked in wine for a couple days then go into the secondary along with some of the wine. The beets are a little trickier. Canned beets may be the way to go, but I am not sure how to juice them. I am thinking I will blend them, boil them with some water, strain them, and bring them back to a boil. Let it cool and add to my beer.