Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Me Make Beer

Now that I'm retired, I figure I have both the time and desire to brew and drink lots of beer.

I've always been intrigued with the beer brewing process, but never had the time or expertise to pull it off myself. I've had some pretty shitty homebrews, and I didn't want to be the guy that makes his friends drink his shitty beer. My sister's boyfriend started homebrewing, as did one of my coworkers, and their beer was delicious. I got inspired.

A couple of wonderful folks gave me money for my birthday to put towards some brewing equipment. I bought everything I needed, but still had no idea what I was doing. Fortunately, my co-worker let me tag along while he brewed a batch so I could learn the ropes. It seemed pretty simple.

I was originally planning to wait until this weekend to brew my first batch, but I got impatient last night and decided it was time. The sooner I start, the sooner I'm drinking, right? Right.

The first thing I did was kill all my yeast by accidentally dumping it into boiling water. Fuck.

Fortunately, I read somewhere that one should always have a spare packet of yeast on-hand. Finally, following instructions pays off!

I boiled my wort and was super anal about monitoring the time and temperature to be sure I did everything right. It was actually kind of stressful, because clearly I am a big lame-o.
I then cooled the wort using my new wort chiller. Sweet, huh? Yes, that copper coil thing is one of the sweetest brewing accessories on the market.

So, now it's (hopefully) fermenting in my basement. I'm not really used to hobbies where I have to wait 4 weeks to see results, so this is a new experience for me.

The best thing about brewing is that all of the equipment I needed cost as much as one set of pedals for my track bike.

I was planning to set up a keg system so I wouldn't have to deal with bottles, but thought that may be getting a bit ahead of myself. Maybe we should see how this first batch turns out first.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

So I'm Old Now

[note: pics at the bottom if you don't care what I have to say]

To start out, you should know that my wife has never once, in her life, surprised me. I've always known what she's getting me for birthdays, Christmas, and anniversaries. In short, she is not very sneaky. She's also not very good on the computer.

So, imagine my shock when she was able to pull off a surprise 30th birthday party for me! Using EVites, nonetheless!

In the back of my mind, I guess I knew it was a possiblity, but there were no signs that it was going to happen. We went out to dinner with Franz and Julie and then were going to head to the martini bar. When we left the house, I thought, "I wonder if she's getting me out of here so people can come over and surprise me when we get home." But then I looked around and thought, "Our house is a fucking mess, Kristin would never let anyone come over here with it looking like this."

We went to eat at White Horse and had a seat right by the window. About halfway through dinner, my friend Luke walked by outside. I thought it was a bit odd to see him there, but we called him in off the street and determined that he was in town to see his girlfriend.

I still had no clue.

We finished eating and made our way to the martini bar, where I was surprised by about 30 of my friends and family. I almost had a pregnant! My immediate reaction was to turn to Kristin, Franz, and Julie, and yell, 'You suck!" Classy.

We then proceeded to have a fabulous night. It was so much fun to hang out and consume girly drinks with everyone. I felt like shit in the morning, but it was totally worth it!

I had a couple Key Lime martinis, some smart-ass (*cough-Jeremy-cough*) ordered me a Flirtini, and I also had something called a Curious Cucumber. We also had lots of delicious food, which I was too full to eat.

Pics with no commentary: