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Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

I haven’t done a goals post since the beginning of 2012! That one was focused almost entirely on home brewing. This one will be a bit more broad. Our little family has been through lots of changes since then- many of which I could never have predicted.  Though life is never predictable, it’s a nice excercise to lay out your expectations. It’s always interesting to look back and see where you are, vs where you thought you’d be.  Let’s start, shall we? I started this post with an overwhelmingly positive attitude and a whole sheaf full of goals for running, outdoors activity, homebrewing, and family life in the new year.  Then I strained a calf muscle running, and I’m forced to re-evaluate.  I suppose this is healthy.  Prior to my injury, running goals were at the top of my list of priorities. Perhaps now is a good time to step back and figure out where some other things fit it.

Lets break it down for 2014:

Family Life

The wifelette and I are expecting a new addition to the family around the end of March! We will get to refresh ourselves on the joys of raising a new baby and all the sleep deprivation that goes with it.  We are a little nervous, and a lot excited. That change will drive the rest of our priorities for the year. At this point, a swing and a bassinet have been purchased, and the crib is assembled.  The room is painted a lovely shade of lavender.  I’m working to repaint Wifelette’s old dresser sparkling white, and then we’ll be ready (as we can be) for the little one to show up! Anyone have a good story on how adding a second kid changed things? We’ve been practicing man-to-man defense.

Home Brewing

So… I made two beers in all of 2013.  Running ended up taking precedence over all of my brewing, especially once I started dedicating myself to long runs on the weekends.  This year I’m looking for more balance.  We have nearly settled completely into the new house, so it’s time to get the equipment out and make some beer! Goals for 2014:

1. Replace all of my tubing and cold-side plastic gear. I’m blaming old tubing and plastic for fouling my last beer, a hefeweizen that never tasted right. Replacements are on the way!

2. Brew a beer for the new baby’s arrival.  Not for the baby, of course, but for mom and dad! Perhaps a repeat of the B^4 Baby Bailey Belgian Blonde?

3. Brew at least once a quarter.  That should help me stay in practice, and have something nice to drink regularly. I missed homebrew a lot last year.

4. Enter a local contest. I had good luck with contests back in North Carolina, and It would give me something to shoot for.

5. Stretch goals- improve my mash tun to achieve 10-gallon capacity, and start kegging.

Any advice on work-life-brewing balance?

Running

Lets not tie this up with the injury discussion; you can read all of my whining about my bum leg on twitter. I am hopeful that I can still accomplish my major running goals.  If this injury is truly a grade one calf strain, I should be back in business in 2-4 weeks. Strikethroughs used to show what’s being dropped or moved.

1. April 19th. Run The Race To Robie Creek, the toughest race in the northwest. There. It’s in writing.  If I can get in, I’m running up and over Aldape summit in April. I understand that registration can be tough because so many want to enter, but I’m hopeful.

2. January 18th. Run the Wilson Creek Frozen 10.8 mi Trail Race. Seems like a nutty fun thing to brag about, and a good way to stay in shape for Robie Creek. Cancelled due to injury. Sigh.

3. March 1st. The Les Bois 10k Trail Run. This was my first race in Idaho last year, and my first sub-1hr 10k. It’s a tough course, but if I get back on the training horse in February, I could come close to my personal record for the distance. It will be my checkpoint to see how ready I am for Robie.

4. Train seriously for Robie during the 7 weeks between March 1 and April 19th.

5. May 24th. Take revenge on the High Desert Trail Run Half Marathon.

6. Run something fun and new. Perhaps the Sun Valley Half Marathon on June 7th, or the River of No Return 25k on June 21st?

7. August 31st. Actually make it to the Payette Lake Run 30k. I cancelled last year due to lack of training from an extended fire season. Perhaps I can make it this year. If I do, it will be my first race longer than half-marathon distance.

8. October 5th. Barber to Boise.  This should be a great, fun 10k that I can walk to from the house. I didn’t do it last year because I was aiming at the City of Trees half-marathon.

9. Ski for cross-training. I have moved to a place with a real winter climate and big mountains that catch plenty of snow. On to of that, wifelette got me Nordic skiing lessons for Christmas! I’m going to take advantage and enjoy the winter outdoor sports.

10. DON’T GET INJURED (again). Enough said.

That’s enough running to get me back around to the holiday season. I will probably also work in some things that don’t have dates yet, like the Ash Dash 10k, once they get scheduled. How far in advance do you plan your running and racing schedule?

After reading through all this, I’m excited. Also, I may be certifiably insane. But I figure, as long as I’m focused on living a full life, instead of focused on being “busy”- things will work out right. Happy New Year, friends.  May you be happy, and full!

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As my father-in-law said when he saw the name of this beer: “That checks most of my boxes”. Bacon, maple syrup, doughnuts, and beer: check. I thought the same thing when I grabbed a bright pink 25-oz bottle at the Rogue Taproom in Portland, OR two weeks ago.  I brought the bottle home in my luggage, and finally had an opportunity to drink it last night.  It accompanied a dinner of ceasar salad, ribeye steak, and baked sweet potato with butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

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At my wife’s request, I’m going to try and recreate my Belgian Blonde ale. The last time we made it, she couldn’t drink it due to the imminent arrival of the beer’s namesake baby. Now that Daniel is here, its only fair that she get to try some of the tasty brew he inspired. (more…)

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NC State Fair adds Homebrewing and Craft Beer categories to 2012 State Fair!

Thank you, NC State Fair, for recognizing the craft spirit alive and well in NC homebrewing.

Finally, I can enter something alongside my wife’s entries in the fair. She’s been a award winning knitter/yarn spinner for a few years now. Now I get the chance to add a Fair ribbon of my own.

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Saturday Afternoon

Brewing a hefeweizen, drinking a stout. A perfect Saturday afternoon.

Brewing setup on a beautiful saturday.

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Sham-ROCKED!

I am very excited to report that I brought home two first-place rankings in the 2012 CARBOY (Cary and Raleigh Brewers of Yore) Shamrock Open Homebrewing Competition!

My water, temperatures, and technique must be good for Belgians and Wheat Beers- I won 1st for my Baby Bailey Belgian Blonde (B^4) ale, and another 1st for my Thanking The Babysitter Dunkelweizen. None of the other 3 beers I submitted placed, but that’s ok with me. I can’t believe that two of them not only placed, but won! Hopefully I will get some notes from the judges that I can use to improve all of my beer.

What a great experience!

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New Hot Water Tank!

One of my favorite things about homebrewing is tinkering around on the myriad projects that the hobby affords. While getting a hot water/liquor tank sized for 10-gallon batches had been on my to-do list ever since my wifey got me a 20-gallon kettle, this latest project didn’t get kicked off until I saw this NC Home Brewing post. I was motivated- the price was right (cheap) and it had enough DIY to make it fun. (more…)

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