Back in the olden days

Walking in to work this morning I noted that the Board of Regents for the University of Maryland is being held at my campus today. It reminded me of something that happened 26 years ago, a few months after I started. The story in the Baltimore Sun the next day says it all:

An animal rights activist in a full-body, yellow-feathered chicken suit shoved a cream pie in the face of poultry magnate Frank Perdue today during a wild demonstration at a University of Maryland Board of Regents meeting in Baltimore.

After a 10-minute chase around the University of Baltimore campus, police finally cornered the chicken impersonator and hauled her off to the Central District lockup, along with three other activists who interrupted the regents’ meeting.


Whatever happened to….?

I wonder whatever happened to old [virtual] friends, Sunni Maravillosa and John Venlet (Improved Clinch blog)?  One day their blogs are there, then they are gone.

Big Brew Day

This past Saturday, the homebrew club I belong to spent a lovely day brewing variations on an IPA for the National Homebrewers Conference taking place next month here in Baltimore. In case you are interested, my variation to the base recipe used rye. And because “Pics, or it didn’t happen,” here are some of the pictures I took.

My Rye PA, using the brew-in-a-bag method
Club president getting ready to. sparge
This will turn out to be a very dark (ninja) IPA, using darker malts
Gravity setup for a wheat-based IPA

Jim Harrison

My favorite author, Jim Harrison, died last week. I thought I’d post the bookmarks I’ve collected over the years so I’d have them all in one place.

The Hammock Papers blog has a ton of great Harrisonia.

Yearly post?

Haven’t posted in a really long time. Shame on me.  🙂   I’ll try to post a little more. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’ll fire up my brew kettle and regale you with my attempts at brewing drinkable Weizen and Belgian-style beers.

In the meantime, check out  Books I Have Read page, which I have been updating on a regular basis.

Baltimore Tool Brew 3

The Third Annual Tool Brew was held this past Saturday at Baltimore’s Tool Library in Station North. Brewers from a couple of the brew clubs around the area, including mine, got together to brew a bunch of different beers and listen to some bluegrass.

I went in order to learn how to brew using all grains instead of the mostly extract brewing I have been doing. I teamed up with our club president to brew an English style brown ale.

Our temporary setup. Water boiler on the top, mash tun ((AKA a tricked up cooler), and the brew kettle on the floor.
Our temporary setup. Water boiler on the top, mash tun ((AKA a tricked up cooler), and the brew kettle on the floor.

He took apart his home brewing setup and devised this on-site setup. The water kettle at the top was heated to a temperature of slightly above 170 degrees Farenheit. We then ran it to the mash tun – a cooler fitted with a pipe manifold – to mix with the crushed malted grains our recipe called for. This water was kept above 165 degrees for about 45 minutes, by which time the grains had released their sugars into the water. The water was then piped into the brew kettle. We also rinsed the grains with water from the boiling kettle – enough to create 13 gallons in the brew kettle. This sugar water is more commonly known as the wort and was a wonderful brown ale color.

Bringing the wort to a boil in the brew kettle while chatting to some of the other brewers
Bringing the wort to a boil in the brew kettle while chatting to some of the other brewers

We brought the wort to a rolling boil and added the bittering hops (for flavor) and boiled the wort for about 45 minutes before adding in some aroma hops. Five minutes later we added som more aroma hops. Ten minutes after that we turned off the flame and hooked up our wort chiller in order to bring it down to our fermentation temperature of 70 degrees. When that was achieved, we siphoned the wort into 2 separate 5 gallon fermentation buckets and added some English ale yeast. 9 days later I’ll transfer it (rack it) to a fermentation carboy and dry hop it.  A week or so after that comes bottling/kegging day. It should be ready to drink by the first week in May.

The rolls royce of homebrew setups
The rolls royce of homebrew setups
Listen while you brew ...
Listen while you brew …
More brewers
More brewers
Even more brewers
Even more brewers

All in all, a very good day