Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Life is crazy

Wow, it's been a week since I last posted. There is nothing like a new baby in the house to totally disrupt one's life. I am not complaining. Having a new little girl is fantastic. But, the fact remains, I'm getting a lot less done. Especially blogging. Obviously. I've been meaning to follow up on some beer SPME things I've done, but things like that are on the back burner. In fact, I added several back burners to my proverbial stove to accommodate the increase in back burner eligible materials.

Tonight I have a moment to sit and write a little. But, what to write about.. so many things. I could write about how the Y chromosome level has dropped to 10% in my house. Or I could write about some research I've been doing related to carbohydrates in swine manure. There's always the General Chemistry test I just wrote. Or the fact that U2 NEVER made a bad album (I'm listening to Achtung Baby right now). Or maybe some stuff on eicosanoids that I have been learning more about lately.

Instead, I'm going to talk about beer, my beer.

This homebrewing stuff rocks. I started homebrewing in 1996 when I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. I got all of my goods from Kirk at Kirk's Do-it-yourself homebrew. I took a bit of time off while finishing my Ph.D. (am I the only one who always writes Ph.D. as pH.D.? It drives me crazy) and started again in 2006.

Since starting again, I have probably brewed about 18 batches. But, this time around I have really gotten into the science of it. The science is fascinating. One of my goals with this blog is to convey what I learn about it. To do so will require me to know my subject matter very well ("the best way to learn something is to teach it").

For now, I just have a few pictures to share.

I love stouts and I made an oatmeal stout. My goal was to make something similar to Samuel Smith's Oatmeal stout. According to legend, oatmeal stouts and/or cream stouts were developed as a drink for lactating women in the 1800's. Of course, in the 1800's the top treatments for any ailment were bleeding, induced diarrhea, induced vomiting or mercury. Here is a picture of my oatmeal stout:

Yes, I drink from beakers. A 600 mL beaker is great for a 20 oz beer, a 400 mL beaker is perfect for mixed drinks [It's not as great as a pint glass for beer, but will do in a pinch], a 250 mL beaker is perfect for scotch or sippin' whiskey and a 100 mL beaker is perfect as a shot glass.

I also made a bitter. I am really starting to like bitters. They tend to be lower in alcohol but higher in flavor. Here is my bitter:

This beer is featured in a glass from Montana Ale Works found in Bozeman, MT. Their beer is great, the food is superb and the scotch selection is excellent. It has been years since I was there.

Finally, what does wort look like? Here's a look at my brew kettle.

This was during the last 10 minutes of a 60 minute boil. I had just added my wort chiller (the copper tubing) to sanitize it. At this point, it was only 2 weeks away from "mmmmmmmmmmmmm beeeeeeeeeer."

One thing I have learned from reading blogs is that, no one wants to read a 3000 word post. Unless you can write well (or is it good?) like Matt. I can't, so I am going to stop now before I expose my weakness.


Matt Jenks said...

The truly sad thing is when responses in the comments section get up to 3000 words.

I've often professed my weakness at being overly verbose (and it is "well"...unless you're done here, where it's "gud").

Ph.D. = -log (Home Depot)?

Oatmeal stouts are my favorite kind of stouts. The reach, creamy mouthfeel of the brew as it plays over your tongue and slides down your throat is enough to die for. And, I think I've expressed my love for bitters several times.

I worked with a guy who post-doc'ed in Bozeman. He also spoke highly of the Ale Works. When I get around to visiting Montana, I've already promised him that I would stop there (you know, get those wild horses whipped into a frenzy to drag me that way).

Ψ*Ψ said...

I've always wanted a 50 mL beaker for use as a shotglass...

Chemgeek said...

I actually meant to say "a 50 mL beaker makes a perfect shot glass." But, there are days when the 100 mL shot is called for.

Matt Jenks said...

I remember once in the Science Surplus catalogue you could get the coffe mug beaker, equipped with the handle on the side. I think there might have been taller beakers for beer mugs. I always wanted to buy them, but never got around to it. That's the kind of kitsch that my wife would poo-poo these days.

Anonymous said...

jay-sus. We'll suppress what happened when I saw the pix, and I'm not even Irish. Your cream ale is truly luscious looking stuff...