August 9th, 2005

The gentleman is always properly dressed

Man, it's been a while since I rambled like this.

There are many things that are significantly more unpleasant than a summer cold, but at 3AM on the second wakeful night of sneezing and snuffling, it's very difficult to think of any of them. The only thing that's made the past couple of nights even remotely bearable in the the extra a/c that Paul and Brenda lent me. I may have tried to smother myself with my own pillow otherwise. I'm guessing that would have failed because, let's face it, no one wants to stuff his own face into a pillow when it's this hot.

I know exactly where the cold came from, too. At brunch at the Neighborhood (which is very pleasant under the canopy of grape vines), Marty stood up at the picnic table and full on sneezed in my direction. I cringed, knowing full well that my immune system was going to have to fend off a microbe assault, a dicey proposition at the best of times. I managed to make child very angry with me later for stopping him pouring his orange juice out onto the ground. He was so angry that he turned his back to me in the car for the entirety of the ride home. That was hard core. Now I have his cold.

To be fair, Paul (who's got it, too) is is worse straights since he's working outside. I would fall down.

The 'cue went well, though we missed some company for all of our bent-legged running about. It was quite entertaining to have Pete asking if his mouth was supposed to be on fire, and then telling him to relish it until the endorphins kicked in. I think that the next couple of weeks will feature less ambitious menus or else will follow a lot more prep. Fresh smokey salsa is delicious, but really should be made a day ahead of an evening gather.

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Instead of prepping the day previous, we got chased around by a sad-looking Ringwraith in a game of LotR Trivial Pursuit.

The game threatened oblivion at the Dark Rider's hand - very SPOOOKY. In practice he didn't do a whole lot beyond adding color and a vague sense of danger to the board. It's a fun game, even if there are a few too many "Ralph Nader Gollum" answers and far too many, "How many..." questions. That, and most of the questions read better if you add "... at Helm's Deep" to the end. Just trust me on this.

Before I forget, from 7shots:

#15: 62 MPH

How are you?
Beer Brewing Monkeys of Borneo

A few thoughts concerning current brews

Both the Apple Wit and the Umlaut Kölsch got bottled last night. My feelings on them are mixed, even though they've both come through the long ferment in the heat relatively unscathed.

The Apple Wit came a bit more cidery than I had hoped, and mind you, this is hard cider and not the sweet commercial ciders like Magners and its ilk. It's tasty, but I'm almost thinking that the Granny Smiths might have been too much for a simpler beer style. I think I'd like to try running fewer than ten lbs. or perhaps a different variety for another attempt at a wheat. The other thought I had was to go all out with a golden ale and spice it like apple pie. Either route has promise.

The Kölsh is a bit more spicy than what I'm accustomed to from the style. I'm not sure if it's because of the less than ideal conditions of the ferment, or if I should cut back on the hops in the boil. Again, it's emminently drinkable (and pretty, too), but I'm pondering ways to make it balance better. I will be very happy once the summer heat breaks and I can have better control of temperatures and results.

I'll be cracking both sometime next week. I'm also thinking that I might do a q&d brew one night this week and an actual Sunday moot sometime soon.