Beer, and a Flower

Flower_25Aug10_IMG_0366Went to the Jensen-Olson Arboretum last weekend to see what was still glooming.  Saw this flower and took its picture.  Saw that they were growing hops and have added hops to my list of new plants to grow for next year.  Apparently, they grow well in Juneau, they just may not produce cones as it may not be hot enough.  Or so I am told.

This weekend I had my first beer since 31 December, 1999 – News Year Eve waiting for the end of the world à la Y2K, which apparently did not happen.  Yet.  The beer was quite good (Deschutes Brewery – Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter).  So, I figured since I make my own wine, I can make my own beer, which I am now doing.

From my local cooking store, which also sells brewing gear, I picked-up a True Brew Bock kit, as pictured below.  Started it on Sunday night, and it was somewhat of an experience.  One thing I now know I need, and have an excuse to buy, is a propane burner type stove for garage and outside use.  I mentioned it to my wife, and she actually thought it was a good idea to get one, probably because she saw the mess that putting a large kettle on the stove makes.  Apparently, smoke from food and oils that may be in the burner trays turns to smoke and other vapors, and deposits on the stove top in an epoxy type formation.  Not fun to clean, though I did try.

The beer kit contained grain and extract, so it was easy to make as a first try.  Roasting one of the grains was necessary, and they smelled quite nice as they roasted.  Tasted good also.  I pitched the yeast prior to going to bed on Sunday, and this morning , as you can see in the last image, things are progressing well.

Beer_28Aug10_IMG_0406 Beer_28Aug10_IMG_0409 Beer_28Aug10_IMG_0411 Beer_28Aug10_IMG_0430 Beer_28Aug10_IMG_0432

Opened the fermenter when I came home tonight – smells like a good beer. No off odors, just good beer smells. 

If there are any errors in this post, it is the fault of my new glasses.  Picked them up last Tuesday or Wednesday and I still am getting used to them. 

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