Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I made an investment late last year. With some money that I received for my birthday, I invested in a beer making kit. I figured that since I spend enough money on okay tasting beer, when I really want the good tasting stuff, I ought to spend the initial money on a kit, and then "make" the good tasting stuff. So, the day before New Year's Eve, while Stacey was at work, I started brewing my first batch of an Irish Stout. After boiling grains and malts and hops for a full hour, our little apartment (actually, probably the entire complex) smelled like the Guinness factory we visited in Dublin. When Stacey came home, she didn't care for it as much. But I loved it. So, once all the boiling is done, I had to add the yeast, put a bubbler on it, then let it sit for two weeks around 65 degrees in a semi-dark room. After two weeks, I transplanted it into a secondary fermenter. (This is shown in the pictures). I know, it looks more lie coffee than beer, but it smells great. During the process, I tasted a little sample of it. At this stage, it has not reached its full flavor (won't for another month or more) and it is not carbonated. However, it tasted great. I can't wait to try it when it is finished. I have to stock up on beer bottles now (you can see my stash next to the fermenter in the last picture). After another week, I will be ready to bottle it. It should make about 48-53 12oz beers. Once they are bottled they need to sit for at least another week while they age into its ripe flavor. Yeah, pretty crazy process. I have a lot of friends up here that also brew , so I think that when our Christmas batches are done, we're gonna get together and try each other's recipes. (yeah, like a knitting circle without the needles). My dad also got a wine-making kit over Christmas, and my brother already brews beer. So, we're all looking forward to being able to trade our brews with each other.
In other news, as some of you may know, when Stacey and I got married (2 years, 11 months, and 25 days ago from today), my brother, Steve, bought me this giant Bob Dylan poster to decorate wherever we chose to live. Knowing, of course, that Bob is my favorite. Unfortunately, because I did not want the poster ruined, and framing is expensive, the poster has been rolled in a cardboard tube in my closet for almost three years. Until today. This past Christmas, Stacey surprised me by getting the poster framed. Today, I picked it up. These are the photos I took while hanging it on our living room wall. You can get an idea of its size by comparing it to our television (27'' I think) in the second picture. For a better reference, think of it like this: The poster is only 6 inches shorter than Stacey.