Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sprung Spring, the Market and BEER!

Don't think I have shown how the hood has bloomed. You virtually can't see the sky the trees are so thick. Makes it fairly pleasant when it would be a bit scorching otherwise - assuming it can be scorching in 75% humidity.

To Market to market.

Don't think I showed last week. Trying not to torn this into the shopping show. And things have picked up to the point that the Eastern Market is not the Island of positive it once was. It's still great but the contrast is not as great now that I can shower and drink the water and don't have to hide away in the "warm room".

Not sure of all the prices but I came back $25 lighter and that includes a bone for the dog and $1 to some of the musicians playing at the market. Maybe next week I'll take the Flip camera and see if I can capture some of the feel. Pictures somehow don't do it. I hit earlier than my usual scoop the bargains as people pack up time so there were some different vendors and a bunch more people.

It was the last day for Michigan asparagus. I didn't get any because I'm not going to eat that much and I'm still living with a dorm room refrigerator so...

1 lb Mushrooms, 1/2 lb Garlic (and I think this is local - the stuff that has been around was from California!) A couple of large cucumbers (for a salad), limes, tomatoes and in the back plums and a peach. I got some peaches last week but they were a bit hard and now that they have ripened there a little long in the tooth. I saw the plums and thought they would fit into some beer plans (more later) and the guy made me taste the peaches, mmmmmm, so he tossed one in with the plums.

More carrots for the dog and a little over a pound of cherries then in the back is a flat of blueberries and one of Raspberries, one huge bunch of radishes and some lettuce that was grown in Detroit on one of the urban farms.

I've been feeling a little too "meat and potatoes" time to get more vegetation in the diet.

Next week I hope to show some pictures of the studio work. I've been fixing and prepping and it's time to start painting. Then I can start reassembling and maybe get back to some sound work.

But one of the perks to trudging across the country was more sq ft and the chance to get back to brewing beer. I was really enjoying brewing and then I kind of hit a wall with the little nook I had for brewing disappearing and the capabilities of a stove top making all-grain near impossible (try to get 6 gall of water to boil on a conventional stove). So one big step was getting a turkey frier style propane burner (220,000 BTU!), now that can boil water (6 gal under 15 min). So last week I had a plan to do what is called a Parti-Gyle. Basically two batches from one start. I won't get too far into it but you end up with one high gravity beer and one low gravity beer (how high and how low are variable). The idea was to do two four gallon batches and then they would be drinkable by the time I got back from DC.

Well plans have a way of, ah "evolving" and it became one 3.75 gal batch. I tried doing it in the room off the basement that I though would be a good place for such things. It may be some day but not now. It has good ventilation and I had a box fan blowing fresh air in fro m out side and a monoxide detector (the house came with one) so air wasn't a problem. But it's damp down there and kind of moldy so it's not the ideal place to cook something that is going to be microbe friendly and the humidity of boiling down there is kind of overwhelming.

So as soon as the wort (the liquid that becomes beer after the yeast gets through with it) was cooled I got it out of dodge and upstairs.

It smells good and is really finished (very fast) but I'm going to let it clear for a few days before bottling.

It's percolating in the hall closet.

So with history in mind I have plans to try again. This time though I'm going to aim at a more summer fruit beer for the second batch. I'm going to run the old peaches and the plumbs through a juicer (to get rid of most of the pulp) and add that to the second batch. With that added sugar I should be able to make to moderate gravity beers. High gravity beer requires a lot of grain and I just don't have the capacity and the second runnings from a med gravity beer would probably have too little sugar to do anything.

That's the plan anyway. Since the fruit may take a long time to finnish I found a used 5 gal keg that was broken (so nobody wanted it) but is perfect for a long haul secondary fermentor. All stainless and light proof. So after some heavy cleaning it should be good to go.

So long from the Big D.

P.S. Not that I want to promote the competition ;~), but there is another blog that sort of inspired me to do this one. Also by a transplanted Bay Area family. They have been at it longer but he takes more strange shots around the city.

It's Sweet Juniper

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