My life must have settled into a routine: I don’t seem to have much to talk about other than eggs, running, and alcohol.
On the egg front, our ladies are doing very well these days. I’ve started tracking their egg production in a spreadsheet, which informs me that over the previous 7-day period (August 31 - September 6) the chickens gave us 17 eggs, including a total of three 3-egg days. They’ve been rewarded with a variety of greens and a lot of spent grain from my brewing endeavors.
The running has been ramping up just as fast as our egg production. Amanda and I ran 17 miles last week, 15 of which were run together. Our long run of the week was on Saturday morning, when we completed a nice 8-miler through our neighborhood. We ran a 6-mile loop followed by a 2-mile loop, as the 8-mile route I have mapped out is extremely hilly for the first and last miles. The weather has been cooperating on our runs, at least: the cooler temperatures make the longer mileage runs significantly less exhausting. This week we have two 2-milers, a 6-miler, and another 8-miler.
And then there’s the brewing. I’ve become mildly obsessed with my new hobby, I think. I bottled my Oktoberfest (dubbed “OktRoberfest”) this weekend, and it should be ready in a couple of weeks — just in time for the opening weekend of the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest in Munich. If the samples I tried this weekend are any indication, this might be my favorite homebrew to date.
I also started a new beer going this weekend. It’s a nice strong bock (~6.7% ABV, I estimate), which should be a nice beer with which to enjoy the fall months. I let Amanda name this one, since she complained about the last two beers I named. She dubbed it “Bock Bock Bock” in honor of our chickens, so I don’t think she’s allowed to name our beers either. This was my first attempt at putting a recipe together by myself instead of just modifying a kit recipe like I usually do, so I’m very excited to see how it turns out.
In addition to the beer, I started a gallon of honey mead going yesterday. That was an adventure. Things learned:
Add the honey mixture before the extra water. I added the water to the carboy first, only to discover I hadn’t left enough room for the honey mixture. As a result, I have less honey than anticipated, and the resulting mead will be slightly dryer.
Leave plenty of room for the fruit additives. Once I had my honey in the carboy, Amanda and Tom politely pointed out I’d left no room for the orange and raisins I needed to add. I had to dump out even more liquid to make room.
Leave EVEN MORE room at the top for fermentation. This was my first time fermenting in a traditional carboy, and I was NOT prepared for the ferocity of the initial fermentation process as it relates to the small top opening. After about an hour, the mixture was shooting sticky mead-juice through the top of my airlock, so I cleaned it up and reattached. Then we went to a movie. When we came home, the top of the airlock had shot off the carboy and snagged on kitchen cabinet. It was pretty impressive.
So, basic lesson learned: leave plenty of room at the top of the carboy. We also learned that watching mead ferment is nearly as cool as a lava lamp.