Friday, July 02, 2010

Hey, is anybody still out there?

This was the ringtail cat that was living in my toolset at work. Isn't she/he a cutie???

OK, I took a break from blogging for a couple of years to let life pass me by. Time to get back into it. I am still hanging out on Facebook doing the farm thing but I need to put my brewing, knitting, spinning, weaving and SCA stuff somewhere so I thought I would bring this blog back to life...

Currently, working in the solar industry for about another week, then off to find greener pastures where my engineering skills will work for me :-) I am excited about a change in life right now.

This weekend will be fun. We have a Pumpkin Pie Ale ready to brew (all-grain) and I am going to mix up some Sangria for the weekend. No big plans, just cleaning, playing silly farm games and brewing beer. I hope to be able to get the mead bottled (that I made a year ago February) but that depends on how well the back holds out. Right now, it is not up for bending over a bathtub and washing out a few dozen wine bottles. I am dying to take a taste of it (18 months worth of aging, it should be OK right about now...) and will try it once I get it bottled.

SO GLAD that I keep recipes on the blog. It makes for a great place to find things when I lose them. So here is the recipe for this weekend's Pumpkin Pie Ale:

8 lb 2-row Pale Malk
1 lb British Caramalt
1 lb Toasted Malt
1 lb wheat, torrified
1 lb rice hulls
60 oz pumpkin
.25 lb molasses
1/2 oz Magnum hops
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove.

Bake pumpkin uncovered for 1 hour at 350F to caramelize some of the sugars and gelatinize starches. Mash at 152F for 60 minutes. Pumpkin should be included in mash. Be sure to use rice hulls as the pumpkin will make a sticky sparge. Boil for 60 minutes. Add Magnum hops at the beginning of the boil. Add Molasses with 10 minutes left in boil and add spices with 5 miutes left in the boil. Cool and add English Ale yeast and put in Carboy for 3 weeks. Bottle and allow another 3 - 6 weeks for carbonation.

Time to head to the brew store and the SCA meeting tonight.