Monday, December 26, 2011

Hitting The Stream

So I had today off and decided I was going to fish. Fly fishing is probably my favorite hobby, so you're gonna hear a lot more about it if you are tuning into my blog. It is one of the most relaxing, yet exciting, things that I have done in my life. Anyway I went to a stream today that I have been wanting to go to for a long time but I just haven't made it a priority enough to get there. It's hard going to other streams when you have world class streams like Spring Creek, The Little J, and Penns Creek all within roughly 45 minutes of your house, but I try to do it. I love discovering new streams and it is even better when I am catching fish like I did today.

It was cloudy and cool when I got to the stream at about 11:00 a.m. I didn't take the water temp but I know it was cold, I could feel it through two pair of socks and the neoprene booty's on my waders. The water was on the high side and a bit off color but coming down. I had a good feeling about today..... I took quite a long walk up stream to get started, I had a feeling that I would be using a bugger all day so I wanted to work down stream. Well my feeling was right I hit the first pool, stripped the bugger through a few time then Wham! I wasn't expecting a hit like that with the water being as cool as it was, but a nice brownie hit it pretty hard. Turned out to be a decent sized fish, and the beginning of a pretty good day fishing. For most of the day, if it looked like there should be a trout somewhere there was and they all hit hard. The day was also mixed with various types of trout. I brought hold over, and wild browns, hold over, and native brookies to hand today. Nothing huge but nothing really small either. I think the biggest fish was 14" and the smallest being about 9".

The plan was to fish this stream the whole way down to the river. I have heard tales of monster wild brown trout living between this stream and the river depending on the temperature. Needless to say, I didn't leave myself enough time to make it the whole way to the river. So I will have to go back and maybe start at the river next time. All in all, it was a great day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Next Steps

The next step in the brewing process is what "they" call cooling the wort. Basically you're taking the pot and plunging it into an ice bath until the brew soup hits a certain temperature, pretty simple really. After the brew soup has hit that temp you pour all of it into a fermenter and add the yeast. This is where I am pretty sure that I will change the process next time, next time I will use a bucket for the primary fermentation. The mess is almost impossible to clean out of a carboy. To be honest with you, I am still not sure exactly how I am going to clean out the carboy. Anyway, it was time for fermentation I really wasn't sure what to expect her but I found out, this is where the magic happens. When I put the carboy in the basement I put it in a big tub because I thought there could be some blowout. Little did I know that it would create so much pressure that it would blow the air lock across the room, and splatter the hop goo all over the ceiling. Not once, but twice! Needless to say, the wife was not happy, but she'll get over it like she always does.
 And as you can see the hop goo on my ceiling!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

First Brew

First of all I think that I should tell you that I'm currently brewing a batch of beer with a friend. I got this recipe form another friend who has some experience with homebrew. He says this is the one to start out with, it's easy (we shall see), tastes great, and has a quick turnaround time. This is key because my friend that I am brewing with is very impatient and wanted to have it ready for Christmas. I did an ample amount of research on the brewing process, or so I thought. As soon as I thought I knew enough about it, and we had the ingredients, we started brewing. Well as soon as we started I realized that I already had no clue what I was doing and that this may not turn out so well. But like anything, experience is the best teacher and I know it's the best way to learn.

We started brewing on December 6th, the first thing I learned is that brewing on a Tuesday is not a good idea. It was just too much rushing around, in the future I'll be doing this part of the process on either a Friday night or a Saturday. Plus you want to have a couple beers while you’re doing this and enjoy yourself.  I mean that’s the point of a hobby, right? I am not saying I didn’t have fun during this part but, it could have been better. Anyway the first step of the brewing process is (other than clean and sanitize, clean and sanitize, clean and sanitize) to boil all of the ingredients. I am just going to leave it at that. It is not that simple you have to boil the extract for so long, add hops, boil, add hops, boil, add hops, ect. If anyone would like me to go into more depth just let me know and we can do a step by step.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Beginning

A friend and I were talking the other day and somehow the topic of a blog came up. I said that I would like to do a blog on the brewing process (he said I wouldn't do one) that we were going through brewing our first batch of beer. To me this is exciting stuff, but could I really find enough to talk about just on brewing beer. Then it occurred to me that I have a ton of things to talk about just in my hobbies alone. So, partly because my friend said that I wouldn't do it, but mostly because this is something that I had been thinking of doing this anyway, I am starting a blog. I don't know how often I'll be blogging, I guess as often as I have something to say. I'm going to talk about my hobbies, what ever they may be at the time I'm writing. I will post pictures along the way, and throw in comments about other things that are going on in my life, but I will try to stick to my hobbies as much as possible. I am not an English teacher so commas may be misplaced, and I will probably never use a semicolon because, well to be honest with you I'm not sure when they are supposed to be used (other than I think that I should have used on right there) so please don't get too caught up in the grammar because I won't and to be honest I don't care.