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Messages - el_capitan

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The Pub / Re: quotations
« on: May 06, 2014, 05:33:09 PM »
"Beer is a miracle in itself." - Stephen King

The Pub / Re: Pete Coors doesn't get it
« on: May 06, 2014, 05:21:36 PM »
Let's face it, we all buy light beers from the main brands and they have a place in our beer economy.


The Pub / Re: Tangents
« on: May 03, 2014, 01:59:03 PM »
I always thought it would be cool to get one of those hair metal double-necked guitars, but in order to really take advantage of it, I'd need four hands.  And some long stringy hair.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How was the weekend?!
« on: April 28, 2014, 05:41:01 PM »
Saturday I went fishing and caught my limit (5) of rainbow trout between 2-3 lbs. in size a piece.  I filleted them up and smoked them over alder Sunday.

Wow, I'm jealous!!  I love trout fishing.  Here in MN there aren't too many opportunities.  We do have a few spots but they're all stocked and just not very big. 

I built a cold frame which turned out really well.  I kept finding exactly what I needed - for instance I needed to cut some boards to 33 1/8 inches, and I found 3 that were exactly the right size.  Weird.  I also bottled up two batches of Scottish 70 and spent some quality time with the kids.  Good times. 

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: April 16, 2014, 04:27:18 PM »
This year my wife has gotten more involved, which has helped us really step things up in the seedling department.  Here's what's up.

Wide shot - Two 3-tier plant stands with grow lights, and DIY germination mats up on top.

Mixed flats with kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, & kale.  I built the 3-sided wooden trays a couple weeks ago.  Scrap electrical wire for the handles. 

Cabbage in soil blocks.

Peas are going nuts!

Peas & Bunching Onions (sown 12 per block).

DIY Germination Mat (make sure your rope lights are incandescent, not LED.)

Sweet Potatoes and some lettuce just for fun.

The Pub / Re: Spring Brewing Inspiration
« on: April 15, 2014, 09:59:57 PM »
Wow, Tom.  That's gorgeous!  I'm jealous! 
I love it.  I walked around it once about 15 years ago, it's a ~95 mile loop.  I'd really love to do it again.  I have no desire to summit, but I would do the Wonderland Trail every year if I could.

How long does that hike typically take?  My buddies and I take a series of annual Manventures.  This year we're headed to the Wind River range in Wyoming.  The Wonderland Trail sounds promising! 

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:42:35 PM »
growing stuff in the Midwest is exasperating.
80F at 2pm yesterday, everything growing like crazy.
currently 30F and an inch of snow on the ground.  Definite hard freeze tonight.

hopefully this is the last one of these of the spring.

Amen to that!  We've started a ton of seedlings inside, and I spent most of last weekend adding a 3rd tier to both of our light stands, along with a tip-top DIY germination mat.  Once the weather settles down a bit we'll be hardening off and putting some really nice plants in the ground.  I'm pretty pumped about it.

We bought a couple soil block makers this year, which is working out really well. 

I'm currently only on page 7 of this thread - I've been spinning my wheels over on the NB forum when I obviously should have made the switch when the AHA forum booted up.  Now I'm playing catch-up.

Mort got me all sidetracked with Sepp Holzer and hugelkultur!  I'll post some pics of my intensive indoor grow-rig here in the next week. 

The Pub / Re: Spring Brewing Inspiration
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:38:06 PM »
Wow, Tom.  That's gorgeous!  I'm jealous! 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kids and Homebrew
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:34:52 PM »
My son drinks my beer!  Of course, he's 37.

My son wants to.  But he's got many years until that's OK.

I tell my boys that they have to be able to grow a beard in order to drink a beer.  Then they ask why their grandma (my mother-in-law) can drink my beer...

So far I've just been biting my tongue.   ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Life just got a little bit better
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:30:27 PM »
Mine have yet to pop up, but I think they're just holding back, ready to release that pent-up energy in a huge burst.  Make way for an epic harvest!

I still have 7.5 lb of 2014 hops in my freezer - quite a fine selection of organic homegrowns.  I've often thought that I could lose a whole season's worth and still be just fine.  Gotta love the bounty of a good hopyard. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I think I'm becoming obsessed
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:25:46 PM »
Sounds like you've pretty much hit your stride! 

I've been pretty thick into things for almost 10 years now.  Obsessed or intensely focused?  There's a fine line there and I've never felt like exploring it. 

Brewing is a supremely rewarding hobby in that your rewards are directly proportional to your work.  And there's also the constantly evolving mystery of how your brewing process will affect the result. 

I love that I can spend a few hours crafting a beer, then follow it up with many hours enjoying the fruits of my labor. 

Add in the thriving homebrewing community and the incredible power of forums like these, and you've got something that shifts into a lifestyle.  Learning to brew has truly changed my perspective on life and instigated a whole paradigm shift.  I'm so much more connected and involved in everything I do, and I think it all started with the realization that you can actually make beer

Turns out I'm a root-down homebody who likes to create my own surroundings.  I don't know how it would have gone otherwise, but for me, homebrewing was the first step toward a whole new world.  A gateway drug toward sustainable living? 

I like it.  Either way, embrace the change.  Enjoy the ride!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bagock Bock?
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:13:40 PM »
Jim, does your wife know you're posting pictures of your... um... rooster all over the web? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kids and Homebrew
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:12:17 PM »
My guys are usually pretty helpful, especially when it comes to helping me pour a beer for supper.  They'll ask, "Mommy, what's the meat?"  And then they make their beer pairing based on that.  Usually they pick what I would have chosen too.  Looks like I have two cicerones-in-training! 

My older son (who's now almost 7) used to help me monitor my fermentation temps all the time.  When I'd get home from work it was time to "check the beer."  Once he was mumbling in his sleep, and he clearly said, "Cheh.  Brrr."  Now that's dedication! 

These memories are priceless.  I think the more you teach kids about brewing or beer, the better helpers they'll become.  I also think this removes some of the mystique around drinking and helps kids see that alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly.  My kids see me drink beer quite often, but they never see me intoxicated. 

Hop Growing / Re: Recommended Hop growing medium
« on: April 09, 2014, 08:47:32 PM »
You people who grow multiple hop plants are crazy IMO.  Growing is easy....picking, processing, and packaging, not so much....

I guess I'm lucky because I have two really good helpers!  I really look forward to the late September evenings, sitting out on the porch picking hops and chatting with the guys. 

The Pub / Re: Spring Brewing Inspiration
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:41:51 PM »
Jealous!  Nice lenticular clouds forming over your second peak there. 

Just getting into a volcano unit with my class, taking lots of virtual field trips to your area with the help of Google Earth. 

Are you going to throw down a Mt. Hood-heavy recipe?  RIPA perhaps?

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