Monday, July 31, 2006

Painting Badness!

Basically, I was painting my place this weekend. Everything looks great, except I had this green paint I thought might look good on one side of the hallway.
So, against the advice of a qualified female, I painted the hallway green. Now it looks like an insane asylum, and is horribly ugly.

Luckily it only took two of us 30 minutes to do it. I'm painting it over with light blue.
The end.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Love in the park

Rather than do work on my condo, I decided to instead head out for a bike ride this evening. It had just finished raining and was rather sunny out, twas to be a good ride. As I headed down this very deserted path right by the river, I saw what appeared to be a man lying on the ground, halfway into the path. It startled me at first, but as I rode closer I saw that there was another person laying on top of him, and she (...or possibly he, I didn't see a face) was pelvic thrusting on top of him. Hehe. I laughed as I rode by, the guy looked very shocked (as I approaced very fast) as he just opened his eyes and exclaimed some nonsencical sound in surprise.

I hope they laughed about getting caught having sex :P

Anyway, the rest of my ride was quite nice, until I got to a part on the north side of the river that was very off-road... and the side of the hill had given way, so the path didn't really work for my bike. I basically walked it more than I rode it for that part. Ah well. But at least my bike doesn't look shiny and new anymore!

I still need to get used to my new bike, and start to trust it more. I also need to build all those little muscles that help maintain balance in tricky spots.

Beer... as it is a "beer blog"
On our travels around town today to look at flooring and buy paint/painting supplies we realized we were near a liquor store with excellent beer selection... needless to say I stocked up on a bunch of beers, most of which I can't spell and I don't want to go to the fridge and look it up. But lets just say I spent $50 or so and have increased my selection of belgian beers.
They also had a 2005 edition of our Alley Kat Old Deuteronomy Barley wine there. I thought that was completely sold out (or at least we're out of it at the brewery). I bought a bottle to compare with with 2006 edition.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hard Times

Phew, the last two days were ass at the brewery. The owners were on vacation. The compressor on a refrigeration unit EXPLODED yesterday. I missed like 4 important things. Got chewed out a little today for one of them (but it was deserved). Every 10-15 minutes somebody was asking or telling me something. I ended up doing all kinds of shit at the end of the day until 7 pm that I should have done earlier in the day. Things that were left from thursday ended up being done on friday. Late. As in me doing them at 6:30 pm, 2 hrs after I was supposed to leave.
All in all, a shitty couple of days at the brewery.

However... at the end of the day, I go home and have a beer and think "wow, this is a great beer..." and its all ok again :)

Its just worth it! (besides, last week went like clockwork)


Monday, July 24, 2006


Well, I finally got around to getting myself a bike.
I've purchased a Giant Rainer 19" frame. I got more than $150 off of the asking price it seems, and I like the shop that I bought it from (owned by 2 guys, I bought from one of them). I think its best to buy from a small independant shop like that, personally.

Anyway, here is a picture:

Its certainly more of a mountian bike. It may not be the best for commuting on the roads, but I like biking on the non-paved paths and offroad trails. Unfortunately the best route to work is all paved.

I took it out for the first time today and road around the river valley here in Edmonton. I got somewhat used to the balance and such of the bike, although I did fall once going up a steep incline offroad as I was leaning too off to the side. Plus, I haven't really biked since my last bike was stolen 3 or so years ago... although my job is fairly physical-labour intensive, biking certainly uses different muscles.
Anyway, I hope to see how long I can not use my car!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sour Hefeweizen

So we brewed this hefeweizen to be shipped to Korea (neat, eh?). When it got there, the client called and said it had become quite 'sour'. Well thats bad!
We tried the stuff we kept in the fridge... it was fine. But it just so happened one of the owners of the brewery had taken a keg of some of this hefeweizen (which is a cloudy unfiltered wheat beer, btw, and quite tasty) out over the weekend and left the remaining 1/2 keg in the car in 30 C weather for a few days. We tasted it, and it was indeed sour. But not really in a bad way... it was a pleasant sour. Kindof like a mild lambic or berliner-weisse. It left a great aftertaste in your mouth.

So I've since taken the keg of sour hefeweizen home to my keg fridge and serving it. I like it, and so do my friends. Its actually too bad we won't be brewing it again.

Why sour?
Well, we did some thinking... it doesn't really taste like contamination from lactobacillus or other spoilage bacteria, the sourness is too mild. We think that perhaps at warmer temperatures either the yeast strain produces the sourness in response to being so warm, or just the natual oxidation of the compounds in the beer is accelerated to produce a sour flavour faster. Perhaps the ester compounds produced by the yeast (bannana aroma normally) cleave into these sour compounds.
Any other thoughts?
Keep in mind that the beer was unfiltered, and we added dextrose to create natural carbonation. The kegs we kept at the brewery were left at room temp for 10 days then refrigerated. The kegs that were shipped were left at room temperature for 3 days then shipped at god knows what temperature (apparently warm...).


Tuesday, July 18, 2006


For all of your travel-nerds out there, check out CouchSurfing. Its a pretty neat idea. People just offer up a couch for a free place to stay when you are travelling. I just offerd up my couch. You can see my profile here... although you may need to be registered to the site to see it.

It should be a great way to meet some travellers and show them around the city a little. Plus, I think the fact that I'm a brewer at a small craft brewery and can offer a fairly unique experience (and free beer...) might interest some people. I love to talk about beer and brewing, so I'm sure this will give me the chance! (speaking of which... I really should post more beer-related blogs...)

Plus, in a year or so I may be going to school in Scotland, which will also include jumping around all of Europe at some point. It would be good to build up some friends and 'cred' so when I travel I can couch surf!

Anyway, go check it out. It seems like a great community of people who like to share and be social.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Pet Cricket

I am apparently the proud owner of a cricket. This is odd, since I live on the 10th floor of a concrete condo building. It has taken up residence on the inside of my wall near my bathroom beside my room. As you may know, crickets make that chirping/cricketey sound at night. At first, he'd stop making sound as soon as I moved or turned on a light. But I guess he knows I can't get to him without destroying my wall so he crickets away all evening and all night.
But I think I've gotten used to the sound... its almost soothing. Like living near grass or something. Its very repeditive too. Although his sounds keep getting faster.

So I've stopped trying to kill him. I imagine there can't be much to eat in my wall anyway. Plus I've named him Tommy.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summer Ale

At the brewery where I work, we brew a beer aptly titled "Summer Ale". It is a saison style of ale with a decent body, light orange colour, fairly malty, crisp clean while slightly floral hopping, plus citrus orange, grapefruit, and black peppercorns. A fairly complex brew.

And a complex brew means more stuff added to the boil kettles (we add the oranges, grapefruits, and peppercorns right at the start of the kettle boil).

Unfortunately for me, this also means that these extra ingredients need to get out of the kettle somehow after the boil is done. Naturally, the crushed oranges & grapfruits clog the drains, and the peppercorns seems to coagulate things in the drains to cause quick clogs.
The only solution... cool the kettle down as much as possible, jump in, and remove all of the oranges & grapefruits by hand. But even then, if you mis a small peice of orange skin in the truby muck it clogs together with the pepper and hop trub to clog the drains. So I have to backflush again, climb back in again, find the peice, and basically repeat until the drains run for more than 3 seconds and actually empty the kettle.

This is my fourth (and fortunately last) time doing this now... anyway, just a little grumbling, I'm sure it doesn't even really make much sense. But if you take one lesson away from reading all the way to the end of this, let it be:
"If you put ~40 L of oranges + grapfruits crushed with a wad of peppercorn in 2400 L of boiling sugar water with hops, be prepared to get dirty getting them out".
Yeah. Good lesson for all I say.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Food Poison'd

I was out paintballing this weekend, and in the middle of it I surcame to food poisoning. I evecuated everything I had from both ends. It was horrible, and I never want to relive it again (although I probably will). I think one of my jerk-ass friends took a picture of me puking, I'll post it when I get it.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Beer More Healthier Than Wine

See this link. Just a quick update... no real comment other than I'M DYING working in the heat of the brewery.

Oh, and I guess all the batches of homebrew I made several months ago are ass now, thats what happens when you have good beer for free and leave all the homebrew sitting on the yeast (although at 2 C).


Monday, July 03, 2006

Beer Fridge!

Ok, sorry, I suck. I haven't updated for a week. I know. Anyway, here are some pictures of my beer fridge!

As you can see, there are two taps and I can fit 2 x 20 L kegs (or some 18.9 L homebrew kegs with some conversion of the lines). I put cardboard in the fridge door to keep beer-killing UV light out (its near a window). You will notice that there are actually bottles of Budweiser on the top... no, I did not buy them. Some guy showed up to my house for an event I was having and didn't know that I had good beer on tap. Oh well. I drink 1/2 of one once and awhile, then dump the rest out. I think its important to taste a full range of beers, including the bad/tasteless ones to keep the senses sharp.
Anyway, if you're in edmonton you're welcome to come by for a beer or three ;)