Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sputnik Lives!..My New Fermenter

Check out my new semi-conical fermenter.

Special thanks to Jim Stephens and Craig Carter for the awesome fabrication job and welding-together of the various parts and pieces that make up this Frankensteinian unit.

Craig found a disgarded (stainless steel) industrial vacuum tank and other disgarded junk. We started planning the final result and then started on the initial fabrication. Jim Stephens took up the ball and finished it, when Craig ended up transferring to another job location. It has sanitarty fittings throughout, and even a temp gauge, for my "experimental Belgian" production.

The first batch of beer is well along in its fermentation. It's a 7-gallon batch of a Christmas (Belgian) Trippel. The first part of the fermentation took off like a rocket, and moved the SG from 1.080 to 1.020 within 4 days! Of course, an estimated 280 billion active yeast cells, may have helped a bit.

Here's the grain bill portion of this all-grain recipe:
24 lb. British pale (Maris Otter)
2 lb. Cara Munich (Crystal)40-54L, Dingeman
1 lb. Biscuit Malt - 23L, DWC
2 lb. Briess Special Roast (50L)
2 lb. Cara Vienne (Crystal) 19-27L, Dingeman
1 lb. 8 oz. Aromatic Malt - 26L – DWC
1 lb. Rahr White Wheat Malt, 3-3.5 L
6 oz Carafa Malt

You can come over and see "Sputnik" on "Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day" on November 5th. I'm a registered site. Just do a search for Bad Ben. Show up at noon and watch me do my voodoo, and have a few brews (on me).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sandrat Trail Run

The Sandrat!

For those of you who missed the Sandrat Trail Run, it was humid and muddy, but a real fun time in ol' Lawrence, Kansas on Sunday. The mud wasn't as bad as Steve Riley (the RD) made it out to be, though. (Maybe we're just used to training in a lot worse).

Matt Brisch, fellow homebrewer and an incredible runner, smoked the course in 1:09:32, to take 5th overall, finishing with race director Steve Riley, at the same time. "Good Ben" (Reeves), Jason Crosby, and Shane Jones ran strong and fast races, and came home with first and second place age-group hardware, (which consisted of painted plastic rats). Kyle Amos was recovering from an "elective injury" and couldn't run. I was recovering from a (hilly and long) Saturday training run, and was happy to finish within the century. Alex Kovalev is back to trailrunning after a tough year, and cruised/lumbered through the course just fine. Jeff Perry followed, and then passed his "tantric mud vision", and finished strong. Eric Tiffany, back from his first road marathon, had a very decent finish. "Marko" Jacquez had to run, recover and then run off to work. Larry Miller, once again made his annual pilgrimage to run the Sandrat, from his home in Lafayette, Indiana. It was nice seeing Jason Daniels and Paul Sidwell at an event, again. It was also nice to see Ed Payne and Dick Lipsey (from Lawrence), again. It was also wonderful to meet and talk to (during the run) young Cara McPeak, of Manhattan, Kansas. It passed the time well for me.

Kyle Amos has posted some photos of the race.

I had fun providing the libations for the race, this year. I had promised Steve Riley that if he directed the race again, I would provide the traditional "Breakfast Beer" free of charge. On tap for after the run were the following homebrews: Sandrat Trail Ale, Siren's Song Fantasy Ale, and Gute Träume Kölschbier.

Be sure to put this race on your calendar for next year. It's 9.6 miles of intense fun, followed by even more casual fun and fellowship.