Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chapter 3: Modeling Clay... er, Bottling Day

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Sorry, been really busy the past few days… but more on that later. First up… BEER!!!
Chapter 3 – Modeling Clay… er, Bottling Day
Yes, it was finally time to bottle our first batch of Irish Red Ale… which means in less than two weeks, we’ll have about 50 bottles (of various shapes & sizes thanks to our scavenging of empty bottles & luxurious taste for brew variety) ready for consumption… and of course, sharing. Pictures…

An extra pale ale... just playing, it's a carboy with cleaner...
The next step was transferring our 2nd batch, the Pumpkin Ale, from the 1st carboy to the 2nd carboy for secondary fermentation. The transferring gives the beer a cleaner appearance by taking out the stuff on the bottom… and then allows it to continue Science for another two weeks before bottling…
Now, because we were a little pressed for time on Sunday, we didn’t get to start our 3rd batch, Hefeweizen. However, it’s okay because the batch doesn’t take as long to ferment being a bit of a lighter beer… so we’ll be back on track before you know it making another batch in sequence. Now for the rest of the week that was…
Last week, Dizzy & I finally watched “Iron Man 3” starring Robert Downey jr, Don Cheadle, Sir Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce & Gwyneth Paltrow and directed by Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”). This installment in the Marvel’s “Iron Man” series was set shortly after “The Avengers” and apparently Tony Stark/Iron Man (Downey) is having a little PTSD after nearly dying in the previous movie’s climax (spoiler alert?). At the same time, there’s an extremely Osama-like terrorist (with some kind of ridiculous accent like Walter Cronkite) named The Mandarin (Kingsley) bombing all over the world & sending threatening messages to the United States. Well, Tony pokes the hornet’s nest… and the threat comes to his front door… or more specifically, through his floor-to-ceiling windows facing the ocean on his Malibu home dangling over a cliff. You’ve all seen the previews. Then after he narrowly escapes from that attack… he randomly finds himself in the middle of BF-Tennessee (seriously passed out & woke up there in the snow), befriends a kid, and has to piece together what’s happening. There was a LOT of… disbelief involved in this movie… and there are still a LOT of questions to a LOT of scenes but… I’m not going to give too much away. It’s what you expected… and not in a particularly good way… but still worth a watch I guess if you’re into the genre. The whole climax & ending is just… pretty bad. I place this one by “Thor” as a “eh… I might watch it a second time… if I’m in the mood” but Thor at least had Natalie Portman every so often. My big question… what’s the deal with his suit shutting down every time somebody touches his wrist? It goes into complete paralysis… I feel like Iron Man’s suit can be rendered inept by reaching into an oven to get a plate of brownies or something. Anyway, it’s… okay.
Saturday, Dizzy & I went to the 1st annual San Mateo Bacon & Brew Festival in their Central Park. They had live entertainment by way of a 70’s rock cover band named Dutch Uncle (actually pretty good), plenty of food… and of course… dozens of local & regional breweries with a few of their staples. Since it’s late September, it only makes sense that about half the beers were Oktoberfest brews (wait, does that make sense?) but there were also plenty of light ales to compliment the gorgeous weather… and we got some Pork fries that were quite amazing. We ate & drink like kings for about $40 total… and that’s with souvenir mugs. Maybe we’ll see you at the 2nd annual B&B festival next year.

Afterwards, we attempted to see Devil’s Canyon Brewery… but apparently it was bought out for a ten year high school reunion… so instead we tried Anchor Steam… and they were closed… so we went a block away to the Whole Foods Steep Brewery and tried a few things there. We actually had our first experience with sour beers… and Biere de Garde… and I think we’re going to investigate making those very soon… definitely a batch or two by summer.
Next was heading over to J-Mo’s apartment for another “Bomb Squad” Gaming Party… and this one was a lot of fun as well. We ended up staying about six hours, eating pizza, drinking beer, ordering hot wings, just having a fabulous time. Not a bad Saturday at all… followed up by a beer making Sunday (discussed earlier), watching a little football, laundry, and all that other stuff.
Tuesday night was our Softball team’s Playoffs & Championships. I played leadoff hitter & right fielder the first game and we won something like 19-6… and then it was the championship against the only team that had beaten us earlier this year… and honestly, the only team have beaten us the past three years that I’ve been with the club… so I would say OUR RIVALS!!! Well, we had the rest of our usual team (you know, guys that played in high school, college & still play in tournaments outside of work) so I was moved to Designated Hitter… but basically for the day I was 4-for-5 with a run & 3 RBI… and of course a walk. In the championship game… we got out to a great lead of 9-0 after the first four innings & basically shut them down defensively with some great field play (and cheering on my part). Then they started to score a few… and I’m not one for drama… but we ended up crushing them 9-4… so now we’re back-to-back champions… and we went to Friends Bar in Portero Hill to celebrate for a bit. WAY TO GO TEAM!!!
Well, that should do it for today’s update. Quite a big one… hope you enjoyed it… until next time, which I’m sure will be awesome… have a great day everybody!!!

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