February 1st, 2006

The gentleman is always properly dressed

A brief parable

A few years back, I was in A-1 Cycle in March picking up a pump when a guy brought in a very muddy, but very new mountain bike for service. When he got to the counter, he explained his problem to the moonlighting bike courier who was likely to do his tinkering for him. "I think I wrecked my drive train over the weekend," he said.

Moonlighting bike courier asked, "Oh yeah? Where were you riding?"

Assuming the query indicated enthusiasm, broken bike guy responded. "Oh, we were up in the Fells mudding, and it was awesome until I got hung up on a log when I was climbing..."

"Karma's a bitch, ain't it?"

Broken bike guy stopped quite suddenly. "What?" he blustered, "...why do you say that?"

"The Fells are closed to mountain bikes from January through April 15 to cut down on the erosion damage we do." Moonlighting bike courier lifted the broken machine onto a stand and tinkered a bit with the pedal levers. "Yeah, it's fucked," he said. "Serves you right."
Beer Brewing Monkeys of Borneo

Because I know you are all fascinated by 'to do' lists

Tonight, the cranberry liqueur that has been steeping since the beginning of January will be filtered and bottled so it can begin aging for a few months. First taste proved to be lively, tart, and just a touch bitter, so it should mellow into something pretty magnificent in small quantities as a palate cleanser/aperitif. I've plans to get an Earl Grey tea liqueur going, and shortly after, a brandy-based raspberry cordial. Fear my booze.

Also happening soon is the much awaited bottling of the 2005-6 "First Snow" old ale. I've stuck with the base malt bill I've used previously, but tinkered a bit with the hops to see if I couldn't coax a little more flavor out of the beer once it's been aged sufficiently. As part of the final conditioning, I floated a single vanilla bean in the carboy. I anticipate that this will seep just enough vanillin into the beer to give the illusion of mild oaking without overpowering the nose or otherwise feeling forced.

With Johanna's wine still conditioning and the Wit planned for Saturday's HKAB, the closet will not be completely void of carboys. Still, we hates us the lonely carboys, so if you've ideas you'd like to pursue please speak up. Left to my own devices, I'll just brew more bitters and maybe try my hand at mead.