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Things I Hate: 2016 Edition

This is the rare purely autobiographical post, after which we’ll return to your regularly scheduled lack of updates.

If you use the modern Gregorian Calendar, it’s New Year’s Eve, at which time it’s customary to reflect on the year past and make some (traditionally wildly optimistic) plans for the year to come. Why, I’ve never been quite clear on. Some misplaced sense of constancy owing to the fact that Earth has returned to its location of last winter’s solstice, I suppose, though of course in reality I and the sun and just about everything else you can see are cartwheeling around a supermassive black hole at a relative velocity that makes me faintly nauseous if I think about it too hard.

At any rate, 2016 was the year my brother died, the year my grandmother died, the year my cat died, the year I lost two friends far too young. It was a year of heartache and depression and opportunities lost, of potential as yet unrealized and potential that now never will be. This year has tested, more than any before, the conviction of my belief in a chaotic and uncaring universe. Also, we finally voted a literal hairpiece into the White House.

Well, I made it through this year, and if anything out there bigger than a supermassive black hole wants to take me on, bring it, because I’m gonna make it through next year too.

Fuck you, 2016.

Scope All o’ Mine

And the punning has reached a new low…

This will be a quick update, but at least it’s more than just a recipe post. (See below for the recipe.)

Jamming a digital camera against the eyepiece is surprisingly effective provided you have steady hands.

Jamming a digital camera against the eyepiece is surprisingly effective provided you have steady hands.

Yesterday’s brew session marks the first time in over three years that I was actually able to do a cell count, courtesy of my shiny new microscope. Who knew eBay had sales? If you need a refresher — I certainly did — the BSI handbook is a terrific resource. Long story short, my pitching rate hasn’t changed appreciably; a 2 L stirred propagation starting with a small amount of slurry yielded around 250 billion cells. I’m hoping this slightly higher pitching rate will address the overly phenolic character I occasionally encounter using 3522 in low-gravity beers.

If you want to play along, feel free to count the center grid pictured. I get 63.

Backside Blonde Mk6 recipe (PDF)

Build a Better Spunding Valve

I’ve actually been doing a lot of brewing over the past few months, creating and refining pilot recipes for 2MBC. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make for the most interesting brew days, let alone the most compelling blog material. Suffice it to say that NHC in San Diego lit a fire under my ass, and I hope [...]

Freaky French Fry-Day

Instead of the customary excuse for not posting for a long time, I give you a pun that would have worked out better had I gotten this up yesterday.

Just editing this image made my mouth water.

As co-owner of Two Mile Brewing, one of my sacred duties is to personally taste-test everything on [...]

Batch Sparging Theory

This post is intended to serve primarily as documentation for the Batch Sparging Calculator. If you’re looking to skip to the end of the page, head over that way instead.

One great thing about batch- or no-sparge brewing is that it’s fairly easy to predict lauter efficiency, and with good results. This is due to [...]

Batch Sparging Calculator

Like many brewers, I use recipe software (BeerTools Pro in my case) to design recipes, log notes, track inventory, etc. And I really like it; the only thing it won’t do is estimate my efficiency based on the actual mash parameters. Hence this little tool, which does exactly that (and pretty much only that). For [...]

Batch 100 (and 101)

Last week, without any real pomp, I brewed a couple beers for that thing in the desert. Turns out they were my 100th and 101st batches of homebrew. Yay! They’re both finished – or at least they’d better be, since I’m kegging them today. I had to use Wyeast 1056 (courtesy of DBC) for the [...]

10K, Bitches!

Obviously I haven’t updated in a long time. For the most part, that’s because my brewing equipment is packed up in expectation of moving somewhere or other. Pretty much all I’m doing these days is running in the mornings and trying to avoid heat in the afternoons.

Anyway, I ran 10 km this morning. Probably [...]

Success Sits on a Sliding Scale

It’s only been spring here for about a month, but I’m starting to get back into a groove. I’m sure I’m positively dogging it by most people’s standards, but it’s gratifying to be seeing improvement almost daily.

Name: Track 096 Date: Jun 5, 2013 9:41 am Map: View on Map Distance: 1.51 miles Elapsed Time: [...]

A Tale of Two Yeasties

Brewing test batches isn’t necessarily a whole lot of fun, but it does lend itself to some potentially useful experimentation. Throughout my (home) brewing career, I’ve bounced more or less randomly from one Belgian strain to another, in the process collecting most of the common strains, but without really settling on a “house” yeast. For [...]