Building The Kegerator

I’ve got everything I need together and had some spare time so I drilled the holes in the door for the two taps. I think the secret to it is to not put too much pressure on the hole saw. I drilled the first hole while pushing hard and it seemed to have more trouble than the second one where I was applying firm, not extreme, pressure to the drill.

The taps are installed, the silicone is curing, and now all that’s left is to get the CO2 cylinder filled and connect the rest of the tubing.

The beer is still fermenting so it’ll be another week or so before it goes in the keg, but at least everything else is ready.

Kegging, Part 2

I picked up the kegs, CO2 cylinder, regulator, and misc. parts today. The kegs are used and two of them had soda syrup in them, so I might need to replace the gaskets, but we’ll see after a little cleaning…

The Bike Is At The Tuner’s

I dropped the motorcycle off at Piper Performance in order to finally get the fuel system dialed in. My rough hacks haven’t been quite good enough and it’s been pinging when it gets heat saturated and under load. Hopefully I’ll have it back soon because I’ve got a ride down to Hico and Dublin planned in a couple weeks, plus a trip out to Tennessee over Labor Day weekend.

Trading in Danger

Having read another one of Elizabeth Moon’s stories over at the Baen Free Library I picked this one up to give it a try. Space opera’s defintely one of my favorite sub-genres in sci-fi and Trading in Danger is a good start of a new series. The protagonist, being a little too much of a bleeding heart for her own good, has gotten herself kicked out of a military academy and is now commanding a ship of her family’s fleet on it’s way to the breakers to keep her out of the public eye while the controversy fades. If life were only that simple this would have been a boring read, but thankfully she follows in her family’s footsteps and manages to get herself into, and out of, a number of messes.

All in all, a good start to another series, and I’ll be picking up more installments when my to read list is a little shorter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

After a marathon reading session I finished the final book in the series. It’s kind of bittersweet, I’m glad to have read it and completed the series, but I’m sad that it’s over. J. K. Rowling does a good job of wrapping up the loose ends from the rest of the series, and doesn’t pull punches with favorite characters. The book is quite a bit darker than the previous ones, but that fits for where the story has gone. No spoilers here, but make sure you’ve got the previous books fresh in your head because she doesn’t do much recapping and does refer back to them quite a bit.

Prince of Lies

Having read and reread the Avatar trilogy a few times I finally got around to picking up the sequels and just finished the first of them, Prince of Lies. It continues the story of Midnight, Kelemvor, and Cyric, who has gone quite insane and is working to take over the world and destroy the other gods in the process.

While it wasn’t written by the same author as the previous three, it’s got a charm and style all its own and does a good job of being faithful to the story while taking it in a new direction.

Bought A Fridge

I picked up a second fridge today to serve as a kegerator. It should be delivered on Monday and I’ve got all of the pieces either in my posession or on order for building it. The kegs are on back-order so I’m waiting on them, but I should have them soon enough.

Brewing A Kölsch

The inaugural beer in the new kegging system is going to be a kölsch. While I was picking up the kegs and ancillary equipment I grabbed the ingredients for the brew. Here’s the ingredients and procedure:

  • 2 pounds Great Western 2-Row Pale Malt
  • 3/4 pound Weyermann Light Munich Malt
  • 3.25 pounds light malt syrup
  • 2 pounds wheat malt syrup (60% pale / 40% wheat)
  • 1.5 oz, Tettnanger hops
  • 3/4 oz. Spalt hops
  • 1/4 oz. Czech Saaz hops
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet
  • White Labs German Ale/ Kölsch Yeast WLP029

Preparation steps

  1. Bring 2 gallons of water to 122° and steep grains for 10 minutes
  2. Raise the water to 140° and steep grains for 10 minutes
  3. Raise the water to 150° and steep grains for 90 minutes
  4. Sparge the grains with 2 quarts of hot water
  5. Bring the wort to a boil, remove from heat, and add the extracts and 1.5 oz. Tettnanger hops
  6. Return to heat and boil for 45 minutes
  7. Add 1/2 oz. Spalt hops and the Whirlfloc tablet
  8. Boil for 10 minutes
  9. Add 1/4 oz. Spalt hops and 1/4 oz. Czech Saaz hops
  10. Boil for 5 minutes
  11. Chill the wort as quickly as possible and transfer to the carboy
  12. Fill to 5 1/8 gallons and aerate well
  13. Pitch yeast

My starting gravity is a little high, but it was dropping as suspended particles settled out so I’m estimating it at somewhere around 1.052

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I went out to see the latest Harry Potter movie, just before book 7 comes out, and really enjoyed it. Obviously, a movie adaptation of a book of this size is going to miss some things, but I thought it was quite faithful to the intent of the book.

The high points for me were Umbridge’s office, the cats on the plates were classic! The twins sacking the school on their way out was close to the way I imagined it would be when I read the book.

Now all I’ve got to wait for is the arrival of the final book…