Jul 14

Autosub Smoke and Steam 2014

00-IMG_5113The Automatic Subconscious “Smoke and Steam” fundraiser was a grand success! The weather was lovely, the food was amazing, the beer was tasty, and the steaming was awfully good and relaxing. And well, the company was excellent, too.  🙂

Mad props to Talena and Adam for doing a great job on the organizing. The pork was delightfully smoked by our man, Dewb. And Fig brewed a killer Nut Brown Ale. (And people liked the Ginger Cider that I had brewed for S&S last year, but somehow was never served in 2013.)

Thanks to everyone else who helped out and also to Jeremy for letting Autosub use his awesome house for this purpose. It’s always appreciated!

Photos of Smoke and Steam 2014 here


Jul 07

My Philadelphia Experiment (PEX) 2014 experience

Aged plywood PEX Sign

For a long time, I had heard about this thing called PEX that took place in the Philadelphia area. Only 1 or 2 of the people I knew had ever gone, mostly because it coincided with when Firefly took place. So this year I decided to skip out on Firefly and check out PEX 2014 — aka. The Philadelphia Experiment.

What did I find?

In short, PEX is a lot like Summer Camp for Burners. It’s a lot like a regional Burning Man event, except that everything is “less hard-core”. (read: easier)

For example, at Burning Man and most regionals, there is no garbage cans, no recycling bins, no butt buckets, no water spigots, no electrical outlets, no showers (hot or cold), no nothing! You bring everything you need in and you pack everything out.

PEX had showers, flushable toilets, garbage cans, recycling bins, butt buckets, water taps, electricity, etc… Oh, and there is a swimming pool, too. Which means one thing: pool party! (And a pretty awesome one at that.) Some would see this as a plus, others as a minus. In the end, I suppose it just is different.

Regardless of how you slice it, I met a lot of lovely, wonderful people there and took a lot of pictures.

Please check out my photos of PEX 2014 and let me know what you think!

Jun 08

Project MUM Spring 2014 Timelapse

Project MUM Spring 2014 Timelapse from Ranger Pretzel on Vimeo.

Feb 24

Stopping the cider fermentation and re-sweetening (or: How to brew hard cider, part 3)

partially-siphoned-ciderThe last post on brewing hard cider was on monitoring the fermentation. It was observed that after a week, the gravity was around 1.030 and it looked like it needed a few more days to reach the 1.012 range. Well, unfortunately, I fell sick and had trouble getting out of bed for a few days. By the time I was well enough again to get out of bed, I realized that my cider had over-shot the target and ended up at 1.010 — oh noes!

Fortunately, that’s not really a problem. It’s just an opportunity to talk about re-sweetening or back sweetening, as some people like to call it…

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 01

Monitoring the fermentation of hard cider (Or: How to brew hard cider, part 2)

The first post in this series covered a very sicider+airlockmple way to start the fermentation of hard cider where it was noted that sweet cider has a specific gravity of around 1.050.

It has now been about 3 days and the cider has started up quite well and fermentation is really going well. The airlock is bubbling away letting of CO2 and the color of the cider is beginning to change as well as the pectin and tannins are beginning to settle out.

Now that we have a solid 1/2-gallon of cider full of active yeast culture, it would be a smart idea to transfer the remaining 4.5 gallons of sweet un-fermented cider to a fermenting vessel to begin the full 5-gallon batch.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 26

Sweet Cider has a 1.050 specific gravity (or: How to brew hard cider)

sweet-cider-is-1050As many of my friends can attest, I have a knack for brewing hard cider. It’s fun and it’s different than brewing craft beer. It can be a simple straight hard cider, or adjuncts like ginger or pear can be added for more fun. This post is to show that sweet cider has a starting gravity of 1.050. (Click on the photo to the right for a close-up.)

When I took this photo it happened to be 61 degrees Fahrenheit in my house, so the measurement you see is the measurement we get: 1.050 — No need to perform temperature adjustment calculations — And I can say that anytime that I’ve brewed cider in the past, the starting gravity has always been 1.050. But that’s just the beginning of brewing hard cider…


Read the rest of this entry »

Older posts «

» Newer posts