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Mar. 1st, 2014

Pacobraü (NB Winter Warmer E+SG kit)

English Medium Crystal    0.75#
English Chocolate Malt     0.25#

NB Gold Malt Syrup          9.45#  (60 minutes)

Willamette                         2℥       (60 minutes)  5.3α  3.7β
Willamette                         1℥       (10 minutes)  5.3α  3.7β

Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale
O.G.    1.072  @  78F  =  1.074
F.G.     1.022  @  52F  =  1.021 (at time of bottling)
Apparent attenuation   =   71.23%
Actual attenuation       =   57.69%
ABW                            =   5.44%
ABV                             =   6.81%

I smacked the smack pack on the morning of Oct 10. I pitched the smack pack in to 600 ml of starter (10/1 Water/DME) on the evening of Oct 11 at which point the pack was fully inflated. The starter showed signs of growth on the 12th as it got whiter during the day.

Active fermentation was apparent within 6 hours. It was very vigorous on the morning of the 13th. A blowoff tube was definitely needed. If I make this again I may want to use a bucket with blowoff tubing as the primary. I fear that I may lose a lot of beer to blowoff.


At time of bottling the flavor was a bit uninteresting. It was syrupy sweet with not much else.

March 8 2014. This beer has really come in to it's own! The flavor is less syrupy and has a walnut and maple character punctuated by a sour tannin finish.

Paco Secada brewed this batch with me.

Sep. 23rd, 2013

NB Dry Dock Urca vanilla Porter (Sort of).

English Maris Otter          4.25#
Rahr 2-row Pale Malt      4.25#
English Medium Crystal  .875#
Flaked Barley                  .75#
English Chocolate Malt   .5#
Belgian Aromatic Malt     .5#
Belgian Special B            .5#
English Black Malt          .25#

Willamette                 2.75℥    60 min

Urca Vanilla Bean - Cut in to ~1/2" pieces.  1 week before bottling.

Windsor                    1 sachet
O.G. 1.062@72F=1.063

The sachet of yeast expired in 2011. I made a 600ml starter the night before brew day. By the time I pitched it had a distinct green apple aroma. This is a good sign. It means that the yeast is active.

The initial mash temp was under target by about 10 degrees F. It took about 10 minutes and a couple of gallons of hot water to get to ~155F. Conversion was quite good though. I had about 7 gal of wort at a gravity of 1.063. The kit predicted 1.061 in 5 gallons. I hope this is a good thing.

Active fermentation started within 4 hours and was quite vigorous for ~24 hours. I had a blowoff tube in place and was able to remove it on the evening following brew day as the krausen had already fallen.

My primary fermenter did not have room for all of the wort so I used a 1 gal jug that I had on hand for some of the excess. When it comes time to add vanilla beans I think I'll not add it to the gallon jug. That way i can compare the base beer recipe to the vanilla flavored one.

Mar. 2nd, 2008

First signs of spring...

Ah spring...birds are chirping, our cherry tree is budding out, the days are getting longer and...the ice cream trucks are on the prowl. Yup it's confirmed, spring has begun in NYC.

Feb. 27th, 2008

Gratuitous meme

Heres Scalzi describing the list in his own words:
"the part of the book that's going to get most people's attention -- and raise hackles -- is The Canon, which features the 50 science fiction films I have deemed to be the most significant in the history of film. Note that "most significant" does not mean "best" or "most popular" or even "most influential." Some of the films may be all three of these, but not all of them are -- indeed, some films in The Canon aren't objectively very good, weren't blockbusters and may not have influenced other filmmakers to any significant degree. Be that as it may, I think they matter -- in one way or another, they are uniquely representative of some aspect of the science fiction film experience."

Someone else has made the list into a meme. Just take the list, bold the ones youve seen and like, leave alone the ones you don't care about or havent seen, and strike out the ones you've seen and really dont like. I've seen 68 % of Scalzi's list. Though I do think there are a few titles that I don't consider Sci Fi (Stepford Wives, for instance).

Without further adieu, the list (which is actually 51 films):

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!

Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
The Fly (1985 version)
Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell

The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version) 

Feb. 2nd, 2008

Zomg! 2 posts in 1 day!

You are The Fool

The Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he need to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. Stop daydreaming and fantasising and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

I think this is appropriate. I definitely identify with the fool.



OK, so apparently I'm not a kidslayer. LOL

On a completely unrelated note. I don't know if Javabird mentioned it but I started a new 1 yr. contract at Wyeth. This time in the development department. So far, I'm enjoying it. I'm still doing HPLC but with a different brand of instrument so I have to learn a new software package. The lab sees GMP samples sometimes so it's a little more regulated than discovery was. For those who don't know about GMP, keeping accurate records is key. I'm not actually doing any GMP work because I'm not trained for it but they are having me keep records as if I was. I end up spending as much time filing out my lab notebook as I do testing samples. A coworker said that I would be worth my weight in gold if I did get GMP training. I hope so because Wyeth announced 10% layoffs 1 week after I started. It's kind of ironic because this week they announced that profits were up 10% last year. I guess the new CEO needed to "make his mark". Ah the joys of corporate politics.

Nov. 26th, 2007

Time in a bottle

I'm finally getting around to putting up a second post. Don't worry boredchem, I'm not posting that picture of you. Yet! I had a great thanksgiving hanging out with my brother and his girlfriend. Javabird and I saw them for at least a couple of hours Wed-Sat. Friday was great hanging out with funfuns, boredchem and her man, MM and of coarse javabird. Sorry I was fading near the end. Two martinis, a coconut Mojito a te-kill-ya jellow shot and a beer can do that to a person :P

Saturday was great! We all congregated at MM's place plus Midgetsidekick and Meltedeyes (who brought a keg of homebrew, yum!) and others. It seems like everyone I know is homebrewing now. I feel like one of the twelve apostles evangelizing good beer. I guess you weren't just being nice when you said that you liked my homebrew, lol. I can't wait to try your wonderful concoctions when next we meet.

The flight back was uneventful. I had nightmares of long lines and major delays. I was getting a little nervous when I saw the security line had snaked out in to the skyway to the parking ramp as we were heading for check in.  Javabird enrolled us in the VIP club with Suncountry. This allows us to walk right past the general security line and go to the much shorter first class line. It has been worth every penny because of it's positive effects on our sanity. Leaving you guys did make me a little sad and homesick but I have to admit I am excited about being back. For the most part the city has been one big adventure for me. I'll try and post on that more later.

Gotta get back to work.

May. 1st, 2007

The Uimate in Clown Car Technology


As most of you know, we closed on our house in the end of March. I've been living with my folks for the last month tying up the last loose strings from the sale/move and honoring my commitment to a month's notice at 3M. Thanks Mom and Don! When we moved out of the como House there were about a dozen boxes of stuff that the movers wouldn't take, like any full caning jars or beer bottles with beer in them. Their reason was that these items might break in transit and stain other items. Which makes me nervous about how well they are going to care for our other items. So, I had to figure out how to get those boxes to NY myself. I looked in to renting a van or an SUV since any smaller vehicle would be too small and there wasn't enough to justify renting a moving truck. Apparently I waited too long before trying to rent a van because by the time I had they were sold out at all of the rental companies. The economics of renting an SUV was frightening. The rental fee is $120-150 per day and they estimated the fuel efficency at 19MPG. That adds up to ~$200 in gas! Luckily Lynn's parents were able to save the day. They will be driving out to NY in June to ring our bikes and they said that they have room for the boxes too. Thanks Sue and Steve! So I'm driving my car then.

It was a bright sunny morning this morning. A nice day for a drive. I started packing my car at 8:30 am. Even with the boxes gone there was still a lot to pack. I have a 19" CRT, a fire box with our important documents, two suitcases of clothes, Javabird and Folly, my D&D books, about a dozen reference books from work, a box of toys and pictures that I used to decorate my office with, a box of oil and vinegar (mover's wouldn't take), a bucket of tools, Emo in his carrying cage, his litter box and his food. Oh, and some slothes and toiletries for the road so I don't show up at our new place looking like a cave man. Thank goodness I apprenticed with a packing master. She impressed me so much I married her. :) here was so much stuffed in that little car that I was reminded of one of those clown cars from the circus. I told my mom That the Honda Insight was the ultimate in clown car technology. The packing wasn't done until 10:45.

All packed up and I'm off. It was bitersweet  leaving and I did choke up a little bit as I drove past 3M. I have always wanted to work there and I have been working with a great bunch of people. I'll miss you guys. Keep in touch! The weather cooperated all day with only light showers, just enough to clean my windshield off. Emo was great, he cried a little bit at first. After that he only cried when I tried to sing along with a CD or the radio. Everybodys a critic. At 1:11 this afternoon my car hit 77,777 miles on the odometer. I considered that a good omen for the day. Traffic was light for most of the day, except for around Chicago as usual. I took the 290/294 route to I 80. It added at least another hour to my trip. Lynn's dad had suggested an alternate route taking I 39 around Chicago but I deceided to follow the rout in my triptic. If you ever come this way I suggest you take the I 39 way. Now I'm snuggled in my room at the Holiday Inn in La Porte Indiana. Not bad time and on a single tank of gas!

Write you again tomorrow,