Monday Musings: If You Build It

Summer Sale!! During the month of July, all my books and stories will be on sale at SmashwordsThree, including the first two stories in my urban fantasy series, The Yo-Yo Files, are free. My short fantasy collection is half off, as is my latest sci-fi novel, Two’s Company. My first novel, Circle Unbroken, is at even more of a discount. Ebooks are available in many formats. The sale begins July 1 and ends July 31. I hope you find something that interests you, and please tell your friends.

The weekend was full of the sounds of hammering and power tools. The BaldMan is working in the basement, building the brewery. Now, mind you, this is not going to be a full-scale, barrels and barrels of beer operation. This is homebrew for us (and you, if you happen to be here when a batch is ready to drink!). He’s moving to an all electric set-up, so that means a bit of work to get things done right.

(Disclaimer: I may not get all these details right, but I’m not the brewmaster. I hold things and drink the beer.)

So, basically, what he’s been doing is installing a vent system over his brew table. When you brew, you have to boil the stuff for a while and that means cooking off a few gallons of water. Which, in turn, means a whole lotta moisture hanging around in the room you are working in (in this case, the basement). All that moisture isn’t necessarily good if it is just going to condense on the walls, etc., so there needs to be some way of getting that out of the room. In this case, it is a blower fan mounted to the ceiling with vent tubes that will connect to a panel he can install in the slider opening when he brews. He’s got this enormous stainless steel bowl that will serve as the hood over the pot once he drills a six inch hole in it. And attaches all the vent pipes.

He’s doing all this while he’s waiting for the control box he ordered to get here. That will let him control the boil kettles and the pumps without a lot of plugging and unplugging, and cords hanging all over. There are a few  more details to deal with, also, but we are getting closer to being able to make some beer!

What am I doing in all this? Like I said above, mostly holding things when needed. And growing hops. Yeah, we have two hop rhizomes growing in containers out back. Centennial and Cascades, two common varieties in beer making. We really wanted Citra, since that is our favorite hop for beer, but it is still proprietary and only sold to hop farms. The bines are growing well and climbing toward the deck railing. We may not get a lot out of them this year, as they are just getting established, but as time goes on, we should (I hope) get some nice hops of our own to use.

It was the Fourth of July weekend here and that means a lot of celebrating and stuff around here. We didn’t do a whole lot what with the brewery build going on, but he did grill some chicken on the Fourth and smoked baby back ribs on Sunday. We try to keep things a bit chill on this weekend because it is a big one for fireworks, both big town and festival displays and local, neighborhood stuff. Fireworks are illegal here in MA for private use, but that doesn’t stop people. We try to stay in and quiet because, while Lambeau isn’t terrified, he is not comfortable with the booming. It’s a bad weekend for a lot animals, not just dogs and cats. Lots of lost and escaped pets.

We did go to two aquarium stores this weekend, also. I wanted some fish and shrimp for my little planted tank. The first one didn’t have what I wanted, but Uncle Ned’s in Millis MA did. I was pretty sure they would. They are one of the best for stock around. I got more cardinal tetras to keep the poor lonely single one I had company, and some Amano shrimp because there was a bit of algae growing in the tank. Those little guys are voracious! One day and they had the tank pretty much cleaned out of the hair algae that was growing! The tank looks pretty good now.

Now, it is Monday, and back to the usual stuff.

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