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By MartiniPhilosopher (Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 06:33:03 AM EST) (all tags)
Got into my head a few weeks back that I needed to brew again. A few other notes about NaNo and games to be included.


The Beer:

2 lbs Rolled Wheat
4 lbs Bohemian Pilsen (2 row)
4 Light Malt Extract
2 lbs Honey

1 oz Saaz
1 oz Kent Golding

I'm not sure what to classify this as. I was aiming for the territory of Weissbier/Hefeweizen but I'll have to make that call when it comes out of the bottle in a few weeks. The color turned out a bit darker than I was expecting. On the dark side of amber and that was after I had diluted out the wort with the ice/cold water. It may still lighten up a bit once everything has settled out. The Saaz really came through in the aroma department with a wonderful spicy hit that hung around in the kitchen. Speaking of the Saaz, the ones my store has are strong this year. Almost twice as strong as they have been in the past. AA = 7.5

Overall, it went very smoothly. Much more so than in the past. Before I have had some trouble with keeping a good constant temperature, so I wouldn't get everything I could out of the grain. But this time? I nailed the 120-degree F mark and held it steady for a good forty-five minutes. Slowly took it up to 150, and was able to keep it there for another 15. Then it was just a matter of taking it up to 160 over another 15 minutes. It just worked. A quick taste proved it to be very sweet and a few swirls around with the spoon brought up a nice head. I was quite happy with the way it just worked.

Also made a starter for the yeast and the bucket was burping within a couple of hours. This morning when I was checking on it, the pantry was filled with the sweet, sweet smell of brewing beer.

One other note about the beer. I have had the worst luck when it comes to decanting the beer once I get into the bottles. It has gotten to the point that I warn people I give bottles to about standing back once they open it. And considering the trouble I had with getting the mead to ferment, it occurred to me that I might not be getting enough oxygen into the beer during primary fermentation. So I did something different this time around. I took out an extra twenty minutes and agitated the wort. Hopefully, this will help keep my bottles from getting too stuffy this time around.



NaNo Notes:

September has been my world-building month. So far, I've written up short biographies for the main characters and done quite a bit of note taking for the setting. But I hit a wall last week as I was working on the third edit of a character bio. Even with all of the background and attitude I'd put into the bio, I still didn't know how the guy worked. So I've had to jump into the October plan early.

The October plan was to spend that month writing a little bit each day and get a couple of short stories (around 10k words) to help fill in the world and characters some more. And to get the juices flowing. That sort of worked last year, spending the previous month making myself write a little bit each day. I'm hoping that the combination of world-building and writing a bit each day will make it easier.

Also, I plan on trying to get this NaNo published in one form or another this year, unlike the past. Which mean, I may have to do some heavy editing and rewriting. Not exactly something I've done in the past to any degree.



Games:

Efforts to convert A Haunted Night into boardgame form continue. I worked on the third revision while waiting for my beer to do its thing on Sunday.

Right now, I'm trying a sort of bottom-up approach with the game's rules and mechanics. That is I'm working on the basics: Movement, Encounters, and Resolution and getting them working well before moving on to add modifiers to those concepts. Been getting stuck on the Movement portion of the game. I can't seem to decide if it should be random or if needs to the same each turn or if some sort of token should be used. I could be play testing some more. Make that: I should be play testing some more.

< at first i was afraid | Onward HO! >
Beer entry for the first time in a while | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I must order supplies come pay day by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 06:36:34 AM EST
my keg of mediocre stout will run low eventually. Have you considered kegging? Once you keg, you never go back.


One of these days by MartiniPhilosopher (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 06:45:36 AM EST
I have found a certain aesthetic appeal in the way the bottle pops, in its weight, and how easy it is to press into a hand that is curious about the strange alchemy that is homebrewing.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

[ Parent ]
NaNo by ana (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 06:39:55 AM EST
Wow, a plan!

I'm thinking I'll sit November out this year, in favor of re-rewriting last year's NaNo.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

Impulsive, I know! by MartiniPhilosopher (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 06:50:11 AM EST
It's an effort to try and make writing a more regular thing for me.

A backup plan, so to speak. If I can get good at writing on a regular basis, the next time I get laid off or otherwise find myself out of a job, I just might not go back.

If.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

[ Parent ]
NaNo. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 06:50:48 AM EST
Last year's NaNo, I got discouraged at about the forty thousand word area because it all just seemed so BLARGH! ugly. This year I plan on spending a month or so building up the reference material beforehand. Problem is, I can't decide between writing something to be proud of, or wasting some time on some fanfic type stuff just to get my back in the groove. FanFic is easier from the writing perspective, harder because you know no matter how good you make it, you can never TRULY claim it. Original work is harder to write because the universe doesn't already exist in anyone's head but your own. And your own head can fluctuate that universe as you write.

Anyway, I just thought it was neat to see I'm not the only idjit that's actually putting some thought into NaNo a month and some change beforehand.



I suspect that by dr k (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:26:55 AM EST
75% of NaNo is now [shudder] fanfiction. It reflects the tastes of the people writing it, and these people are consumers of pop culture. Anyone taking NaNo seriously in their third or fourth year should stop kidding themselves -- if you are a writer, you don't need this cheesy constraint to produce something of quality.

:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
Fan Fiction has levels. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:46:36 AM EST
And just because you're participating in NaNo it doesn't mean that you are "above" fan fiction. Nor does all fan fiction have to devolve into slash fic. Unless you believe that taking NaNo seriously means "I'm going to publish this in hard copy."

And, in all honesty, if you don't need cheesy constraints, the idea that somehow you can sit on your hands for eleven months a year then produce something of quality in one month is rather ridiculous.

Frankly, I've gotten so rusty at writing that the idea of using some fanfic to push myself through a longish writing project just to brush up the skills appeals to me on a certain level. I'm sure that the intellectually elite will frown on the idea, but, you know, I'm used to being frowned at.



[ Parent ]
Couple of brewing thoughts by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 07:29:03 PM EST
I have taken to using aquarium stones and the oxygen tank from a Bernz torch kit to oxygenate wort.  The real kits with the stainless steel stones have dropped to like thirty bucks, a worthwhile investment. It really helps fermentation.

As to getting gushers, could be a couple of things.  Insufficient head room, sanitization, or incomplete fermentation resulting in over-carbonation.  Although that more often than not makes bottle bombs.  Have you been taking hydrometer readings?

As to the mead, mead yeast is picky.  It took ours a couple of swirls and about two months to finish out in the primary.  It's been aging in carboys for about a year and a half now.  Bottling will be soon.  It's about ready.

The Hefe sounds pretty awesome, I like Hefe's a lot myself.  We just kegged an Octoberfest and a Saison, both should be done carbonating by Wednesday.


Gedvondur

"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
Gushers by MartiniPhilosopher (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 05:19:13 AM EST
I had not thought about it being a problem with the headroom in the bottle. I've been using the wand as a measure of how much is in the bottle. I'm going to have to try leaving more room in there to see if that helps. Sanitation shouldn't be an issue. I'm pretty careful about that.

I'm going to have to look up that oxygen rig. That really sounds like something I need to be using.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

[ Parent ]
Beer entry for the first time in a while | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback