Thursday, August 23, 2012


Zorks are pretty cool. Basically, they're a synthetic cork-thingy. But unlike normal synthetic corks that mimic natural corks, Zorks don't need any tools to be put onto a bottle. And unlike normal corks, they don't need any tools to be opened, either. This is pretty cool.

So, if you happen to be a homebrewer who mostly deals in beer, but dabbles in mead, and would like to have a way to bottle his mead in clear wine bottles rather than brown beer bottles, but doesn't want to have to invest in any new tools (like a corker), this is the thing for you. The only downside it they only work for still (non-carbonated) meade and wines. Anything with carbonation will not work.

Now, the reason that all that is relevant to me is because I bottled two gallons of mead today. One gallon of Orange-Spice mead, and one gallon of Earl Gray and Lemon mead. I'll post pretty pictures of what the mead looks like in bottles with the Zorks tomorrow. Until then, the Zork website is here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Silks in Tuscon!!!

I'm in Tucson, AZ. It's hot. Really, really hot. Despite all of the sweat, it's a fun place.

I'm in the middle of a week-long vacation visiting my sister and her boyfriend. She's a yoga instructor, and he a poi-spinner and fire-prop maker. They're involved with a local circus group called Cirque Roots. Cirque Roots does quite a bit of hooping, poi, staff, fire, and other object manipulation, but is looking to get into aerials. They already have a silk and a lyra, and on Saturday, Sara and I taught a workshop on intro level aerials!!!

Because I'm feeling lazy, I won't write more about it now, but as soon as I get the pics from my sister, I'll put some of them up here.

Also, Sara and I did a photo shoot, so we will have pro-level pictures of us doing aerials.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Brewing Project List

It's been almost 8 months (gasp!) since I last posted, and quite a bit has happened in that time. I won't go into details, but I'll just say that I've been extremely busy. How busy? Now that one major project has (mostly) wrapped up, I'm back down to working only 55 hours/week.

However, today's post is not about the past. It's about the future. In particular, it's about what brewing projects I would like to attempt in the upcoming months. Things like:

 - SMaSH Lagers. SMaSH beers are Single Malt and Single Hop beers. They are usually brewed to gain a better understanding of a particular grain or hop variety, but can still make good beers on their own. I would like to do at least three lagers, all with the same grain and different hops. I still am unfamiliar with the subtleties of hop varieties, and this seem like a good way to get my feet wet with lagering, too.

 -  Free Beer. Seriously, Free Beer. Check it out.

 - Courthouse Ale. It's an English brown ale that I've already made twice. I want to make two more batches, to try to hammer down my accuracy in re-brewing existing recipes..

 - Soulless Stout. Again, a beer that I've already brewed. Unlike the Courthouse, I want to use Soulless as a base for other stout variations (Coffee stout, chocolate and vanilla stout, perhaps an oak aged version...).

 - A proper IPA. I don't usually lean towards hoppy beers, but I know too many beer drinkers who do. This is mostly to please them, but also to learn more about styles that I don't often choose to drink/brew.

 - A proper Dopplebock. Lagering AND decoction mash?!? It could be messy. It could be AWESOME!

 - Meade. I have two batches aging right now... I'd like to do several more.

 - Hard Cider. Doug and I made almost 10 gallons last year.  I'd like to see if we can get 20 gallons this year.

 - Sake. My mother has been bugging me about this one. Technically, it's similar to beer (converting grain to alcohol... easy enough, right?), but it is a very different process, involving various mold spores that produce enzymes that convert starches to sugars in tandem with yeasts... all done at lager temperatures.

 - Pumpkin Ales. Why? Because Halloween, that's why.

 - Gruit Ales. Gruits are this old-school class of beers that are brewed with various herbs, spices and plants in conjunction with or even instead of using hops (Beer without hops. Yes, it's still beer. Yes, it will taste good).

 - Gluten Free Beer. For Salle. She knows I brew, and she would love to try my beers, but she has Celiac disease, so I want to make a beer that she can enjoy.  For that matter, I also want to make sure that my Sake, Ciders, and Meades are also gluten free, so she can try them as well.

So that's what I would like to work on in the next few months... it's gonna be FUN!