Mini picnic table

I built a mini picnic table for my niece this weekend. I still have to stain it this week, but so far it looks great. Can’t wait to see M and Leah playing together with it!



Hops Update

The hops are doing well, with the exception of the Brewers Gold. The Cascade, Chinook, & Nugget have all passed ten feet in length and have begun to produce cones. The Magnum is just at 6 feet, Centennial & Willamette are only at about four feet.


Nut Brown Ale

We brewed up a batch of Nut Brown Ale from Austin Homebrew. Looking good so far. We also opened up our chocolate stout yesterday and it was a hit. I was shocked at how good it was. Not great, but I wouldn’t turn it down. After this is a winter IPA.




Second brew

My second brew is complete. It carbed just fine and looked like a normal beer when I opened it! That was very exciting. I think the extra water boiling off had an impact on the abv%. I just finished drinking it and I feel like I drank 2 beers. Not a bad thing, but good to note! Tasted too sweet to me, so I’ll let it go another 2 weeks in the bottles before I try another one. I see now how racking to secondary helps. This stuff is far from transparent. It is definitely better than the Mr. Beer brew though. The all grain batch got bottled this weekend and should be ready just in time for the Amite Diversion beer fest. I tried to get the color true to life in the picture. It looks to be about a 21 – 22 on the Lovibond scale. I can’t wait to see how the all grain stout tastes. This batch definitely proves it is very difficult to make bad beer!


First all grain brew

The 12th we finally got around to brewing our first all grain batch of beer. The smell intensified and was more mouthwatering with each step. All of the equipment worked out perfectly, with the most impressive tool being the worth chiller. We were able to cool the worth from boiling to 70 degrees in 17 minutes. The only issue was the width of the pot. We started with 6.25 gallons and ended up with about 3.5. We made up the difference worth bottled water, but next time I’ll add an extra 1.5 gallons to the boil to compensate for the boil off. This last weekend we racked it to the glass car boy secondary to let it clarify and continue to ferment. Next weekend we bottle, then we wait. Its hard to see what is going on in some of the pictures cause the double chocolate stout is so dark. In other news, y pale ale will be ready in two more weeks.





Prepping for the all grain brew

This is a quick video of testing the recirculating immersion worth cooler I made this weekend. When we us it next weekend I’ll have the ice chest full of ice water to be pumped through the line. Even with 82 degree water it took the 6 gallons in the pot from 158 down to 128 in about 10 minutes.

Second brew

I brewed up a batch of beer this weekend. A friend and I went to a demo a few weeks back and it sparked both our interests again after being dissatisfied with the Mr. Beer kits. I bought some dry malt extract, brewing grains, & hops from Marcello’s and split a recipe in half. I was shocked that I lost almost a whole gallon of water during the boil which went well thanks to an inherited crawfish pot burner. Glad I didn’t have to make the whole house smell like hops! We have been researching an all grain brew and plan to do a boil August 11th.



Irrigation controls

I finally got around to connecting all the irrigation zones together today. It looks good and most importantly, it works! I still have to connect in the rain barrels, but I have the parts already. At this point I just have to wait for the glue to dry and I can tie the barrels in. Once I have all of that in place I’ll run power to the cabinet so all you have to do is flip a switch. Hooray lazy gardening!


Custom Hubig’s pie coasters

Amanda made some custom coasters from ceramic tiles for a friends birthday.


First bee inspection of 2012

We finally got into the hive to check everything out. All looks OK. We actually saw the queen! They were not so happy to see us though. Both of us were stung. Luckily we had on sleeves, gloves, and of course gloves. It would have been much worse without protection. I think I found swarm cells on one of the brood combs, but I’m just not sure.