March 30, 2006

skiing... finally

well, i ditched work today and put in my first day of skiing for the season. a friend arranged a day trip up to kirkwood, so five of us piled into a car at 5:30 am and headed up to the mountains.

it was great spring skiing. actually the best spring skiing i've ever had in the sierras. it was snowing earlier in the week and had never warmed up after the snow fell so the conditions were excellent. even driving up to the mountain there was 6 foot walls of snow on the sides of the road. on the mountain there were a few groomed runs, but on the steeps, in the canyons, and off trail there was a lot of soft crud. near the end of the day it started to get a bit heavy, but it was still a really amazing conditions. the main drag of the day was that i'm not in any good shape so it constantly stopping to catch my breath. it's really hard work cutting all those turns and busting through the crud. (i also had to try to keep up with some of the excellent skier that i came up with.) regardelss i enjoyed every out of breath second.

March 26, 2006


today i brewed a batch of Ray's Snowflake Smoked Porter", my first foray into brewing rauchbier. aka smoked beer. basically it's a normaly porter with a rauch malt added in for smoky flavor. rauch malt is simply normal malt that during kilning was dried with smoke. normally these beers have a pretty strong and distinct flavor. the two varieties of smoked beer that i've tried are schlenkerla and alaskan smoked porter, both or which are really good beers. i also picked up a book about smoked beer which funny enough is co-written by one of the founders of the alasken brewing company.

March 25, 2006

gypsy punks

tonight i went to slims to check out the gypsy punk revolution with gogol bordello. ronda was too tired from a day of hiking and horseback riding to enjoy the show, but i had a really good time and i have to give the man credit, he's an excellent performer.

March 22, 2006

whisky and beer explosion

so today after work i took the caltrain one stop south to palo alto to meet up with some friends for a compass box whiksy tasting. comapss box don't produce their own whiskies, but instead they take classic scottish whiskies (both grain and malt whiskies) and blend them. we tried six different whiskies and had a great time doing it. the session was hosted/narrated by john glasser, the founder of compass box, and he did a pretty good job of keeping us drinking, informed, and entertained. the whiskies were quite tasty, i learned quite a bit about whisky in general, and i had a really good time. i ended up taking the train back home at around 9pm.

once i got home i discovered that my latest batch of beer, the belgian dubble T2 had exploded. this is my first beer explosion. apparently the fermentation was quite vigorous and the krausen plugged up the bubbler on my fermenter. (my fermenter being a 6+ gallon heavy plastic bucket.) with no way to relieve preasure the krausen blew off the top of the bucket and splattered itself lightly over the wall and adjoining bookcase. next time i'll remember to use a blowoff tube. that said, the good news that that the beer may not be a lost cause. since the yeast was probably producing co2 very vigorously it's unlikely that the beer was oxidized or that any bacterial contaminants managed to fall into the beer. i'll cross my fingers and continue with the batch to see how it turns out.

March 19, 2006

belgian dubble, take 2

the last batch of belgian dubble i made was sooo good i had to try it again. and since i need to let it age at least four months, better to get a new batch started sooner rather than later. so that's what i brewed this weekend.

March 12, 2006

sea ranch

me and ronda took a day off of work to spend a long weekend up at sea ranch (about a three hour north of san francisco). we rented a house right on the coast. friday night we had a tasty dinner at the pangaea cafe (just up the road in gualala). past that we were barbecuing, cooking, hot tubbing, lounging around, drinking beer, and walking around. it was a great relaxing weekend.

i'll try to get some pictures from the weekend uploaded soon.