It’s hot out here

I’m at the cabin, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. My god, how I hate Seattle sometimes. On the way here, I stopped in SoDo at my favorite brewer’s supply place to pick up some stuff for my latest batch of beer. I left there about 11AM, but didn’t get to the cabin until three-effing-thirty! Four and a half hours for a trip that normally takes a little over two! There was a wreck on I405 near the exit for 522, the exit I normally take. So I got off in Kirkland and tried to find my way cross-country to Duval and then on to Monroe. Instead, I got caught in the mass of people trying to get around the wreck. It made me want to get a smart phone, because my navigational skills in that unfamiliar area leave a lot to be desired. I finally started moving after almost getting lost in Woodinville, and now I’m in the peace and quiet of the woods with Farley and Sandy.

I hadn’t brewed any beer since last May, having found last year year that for a good chunk of the summer, it’s too hot out here to ferment the beer. The brewhaus is fully insulated and doesn’t get a whole lot of direct sunlight, but with temperatures over 90, the interior temperature can get to over 80 – too warm for good fermentation. So here I am in mid-September with temperatures in the 90’s. Fortunately it cools off enough at night that the inside temperature doesn’t get out of control. Right now, at 3:30, it’s 90 outside and 72 inside the brewhaus. I think (hope) it will be OK. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it because I’ve got a batch of Racer 5 IPA in the fermenator.

P1040799I’m brewing this beer for the third time. The first time, I kegged and then canned it, and it was one of the best beers I ever brewed. I threw out the second batch due to yeast contamination or something, so I’m a bit gun shy about brewing it again.

And of course, there’s some of my last brew to drink during the proceedings.

P1040802This is a Kolsch-style beer that I’ve really grown to like. It’s a bit lighter and fruitier than some of those super-hopped IPA’s I like to brew. A good session beer.

And no, I don’t have any fresh Elina pictures, so one of Farley relaxing in the shade on the deck will have to do.

P1040803And in closing – a Walter’s Book Club update. I did indeed finish the first volume of the Game of Thrones, and quite enjoyed it. I started on the second volume, but soon stopped. As I alluded to in a previous post, I’m not sure the finite hours of reading I have in this life are best spent on a medieval fantasy. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to the return of The Game of Thrones next spring on HBO.

So instead, I picked up Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz, a non-fiction book in which the author retraces the trips of Captain James Cook. It is a well-written and entertaining history of Cook’s travels interspersed with the author’s own adventures along the way. I quite enjoyed it, but sometimes wished for more Cook, and less Horwitz.

Next up is The Woman Who Lost Her Soul. This book spans over fifty years and covers everything from voodoo in modern-day Haiti to partisan warfare in post-WWII Yugoslavia. I’m not quite sure what the connection is, but I’m looking forward to finding out. I bought it because I heard a couple of rave reviews on NPR, and everyone knows that NPR never lies, right?

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