Better Late than No Brew At All

 

Back I May, I never dreamed I’d be so overloaded with work this long. Right when I got my new business set up and was emptying the cabin of all valuables for a massive clean-up, I got my job doubled along with having to put more hours in. So, cabin time should be depressurizing time but I’ve have WORK stamped into my bones. Work at the cabin means cleaning up so I can bring my plunder back where I can actually find and use it (yick) or writing/editing/designing for publication. Thus you all have seen stories for a few weeks. When I edit and collect the ones you folks liked best into one volume, I intend to format it, design a cover for it and send it out on its own. Big plans have I!

See? Work…the first and last of my consciousness. Imagine my great alarm when I went to the basement for a few more bitters or porters to stage upstairs and discovered there were only six bottles of anything left! OH NO! So, look what happened pretty quickly:

Beer Buckets - Set Out to Soak in Sanitizer

Look at the log I keep on the cases…never have I had such a late start. Heck, I’m usually all done by now, but I still have at least two more double batches (100 bottles each set) to do before chilly weather sets in!

Cabin June 2015 075

Ale supplies

I have added this to my WORK list, so it shall be done. Here’s to the hope that I can report the two buckets I left to ferment are bottled and two more are started after the weekend!

The 4-Day Turkey Day Weekend!

Yippee for a double weekend! Stressed me raced to the cabin Wednesday evening as if chased by fanged devils! Oh, the solace and comfort of my log cabin, mid-ridge, the Stemmery QC 055Wild Branch running out front and the pileated woodpecker screaming my welcome back! I feel I’m a shell of a person until I reach the bounds of my woodland; then I find the part of my soul that lingers there.

I am thankful for my cabin and woodland. I’m thankful for Ma, 85 on the 27th, who is still able to get around and enjoy life. I’m frequently grateful to have paints and canvasses, musical instruments, a sewing machine and many projects, woodworking tools and the skill to use them, and for being able to write well enough to at least satisfy my own need to tell stories. I thank the Lord for all my blessings!

Let’s not forget baking and fermenting! My brother took Ma out for her birthday, so I got to fend for myself for the first time in a year or so. I played Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells 3 at high amplification (outrageously wonderful), made me a chocolate soufflé and savored a pretty good home-fermented Porter. All here in the cabin! Bliss!

Yesterday I dug in the closet and pulled out the snowman front mat, the large, plaid reindeer pair, the tabletop 2013 Vacation Ma SaluteSanta, a wad of little lights and the Salvation Army bell ringer and band figurines up here in town. At this time, they’re in a heap on the edge of the living room, except for the figurines that are prominently placed on the enormous fireplace’s brick mantle. You see Ma used to be a member of the Salvation Army in Charleston, South Carolina and it helps her recall halcyon years.

If you happen upon a Salvation Army ringer this season, toss ’em a quarter and say howdy, will you?

Clear Equals Beer!

The water directly from the well is clear as of Monday morning. I haven’t had it tested or anything to verify it, but clear has been very good in the past. Having it clear up reinforces my belief that a mud chunk landed in there after the inundation of rain we had a couple months ago.

blog june 053The great thing is that I prefer to use the cold straight from the well to brew! I heat a few gallons in a stock pot to melt the malt and mix the wort. Instead of needing to chill theblog june 045 wort before pitching the yeast, the well water comes from deep underground and is plenty cold to get the fermenting bucket to the right temperature. Packed water is just not the same

Gosh, I want to get started right now, phooey. I used to be able to come home after work and get all kinds of things done. I’m not willing to invest in a three hour round trip tonight. So, Friday night the Munton’s Porter and probably the Munton’s Bitter will become my first straight-from-the-well ferments of the year…oh boy!

Does It Hold Water?

blog june 017

Today I really ought to start a batch of porter. Hot near-summer days with no air conditioning are great for fermentation. I have my fermentation buckets clean and sanitized. All of the ingredients are at hand, rarin’ to go. I can almost taste the deep brown brew.

My well water is muddy green. It flowed crystal clear, better than anything from a plastic bottle, only a month ago. Then we had two bam-bam deluge rainstorms that flooded fields around for miles. My well head is situated high above that, however some of that fast flowing water washed into the well anyway.
blog june 065
The well is only cased (PVC pipe) 40 feet down, the other 120 feet is just drilled. My theory is that that the saturated groundwater may have caused the drilled walls to erode inward at some level. I know the whole well did not collapse because I can still pull plenty of water from the submersible pump that remains at about 150 feet down.

After the first flood I ran copious amounts of the muddy water out to flush the well. It began clearing. The second storm flooded quickly with the ground so saturated. I tried flushing again, getting much more mud out. Now the water is a little muddy with a green tint.

I know how to use bleach to shock the well, killing the green, I simply hate resorting to that. Any other ideas? Does my cause theory hold water?