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10 Gallons?!!!

So yesterday, I brewed my first 10 gallon batch of beer.

This past spring, I bought a 20 gallon kettle (which ended up being only about 18, but that’s another story) for the purposes of making more beer than 5 gallons at one time. My old kettle was only 5 gallons, and I could barely do a regular 5 gallon batch. I used to have to do a smaller, more concentrated boil, then top it off with water when I was done. This new kettle solves that problem, and I can do full strength 5 gallon boils, as well as full strength 10 gallon, and (potentially) 15 gallons, but with the discrepancy between my “20 gallon” and the actual 18, it would be tricky, and I would probably have to concentrate it and then top off with water.

New Boil Kettle

I’ve been anxious, but reluctant to brew my first 10 gallon batch. 5 gallon batches are easy with my new pot and setup, and I’ve gotten very comfortable doing them.

So this was my first attempt at 10 gallons, and my brew day did not start off well. I was a half pound short of the single malt in my grain bill. OK, no problem, just substitute with something I have on hand (like flaked barley). Then, while heating my strike water, I ran out of propane. Pain in the ass. At least it didn’t happen during the boil. So I ran out and got more.

Then, while waiting for the mash, I was re-organizing my brew area, and I had a half full keg with picnic tap attached and hanging by the trigger from the hose. I stepped on the hose accidentally twice, pulling the trigger, and spraying beer all down my leg. Sheesh!
So I devised a new way to hook up my picnic taps to my kegs; Zip ties are my savior. It’s only a bit of a pain when changing out the keg, but worth it.

The Old Way
The new way! Awesome!

But all in all, my first 10 gallon brew day completed successfully. I can’t wait to taste it.

Halloween… again…

Yep, it’s halloween again.

And I’ve got a gripe.

I was shopping for costumes recently in one of those Spirit halloween stores with OnlyWife. Now I’m not one to shy away from horror flicks, or scary things, but… there definitely is a limit on what should be shown to certain people, age groups and the general public. For horror movies, they have ratings. Some are PG-13, some are R, and some are even NC-17. These rating allow you to choose which content you see, and choose which content your children see.

While in the Spirit halloween store, I saw halloween decorations that I would not want my 13, 10, or 4 year old to see. Dismembered bodies with entrails hanging out, zombie babies, etc etc. These decorations would definitely warrant an age rating in movies, but it’s OK for someone to put it out on their lawn as a halloween decoration for all to see? That takes away my choice and decision af what is appropriate for me and my family.

I just think we’ve gone a bit too far.

Mother nature is a…

OK… I’ll be nice.

But seriously; the weather? Sheesh!

First, we had a warmer than usual spring. Then it got cold again.

Because of the warmer than usual spring, our pool (which has been covered) got a lot warmer too, and when we finally opened it was FULL of algae. Of course, being the only boy, it’s my job to clean it up and get it ready for swimming. It took me just about a week to clean it out, clear up, and balance the water so it would be ready to swim in.


The temperature goes back down to near freezing for the typical pool opening weekend; Memorial Day. WTF?

Thanks Mother Nature!

Glitter… it’s EVERYWHERE!

Living with girls produces a phenomenon that any man who does knows as “the glitter problem”; they have clothes and accessories that have glitter on them, and that glitter winds up wherever they go. Since I live with 5 girls, the problem is multiplied by 5. There is glitter EVERYWHERE.

It’s on the carpet.

It’s on the couch.

It’s on the TV remote.

It’s on the doorknobs.

It’s on the kitchen table (actually, won’t come OFF of the kitchen table).

It’s on the walls.

It even wound up on my underwear. Seriously; my wife washed them with glitter clothes and they wound up with glitter all over them.


Beach Vacation? Or Wait Fest?

So… We’re on vacation at the beach with my brother and his two boys. (thank god; some testosterone!)

We’re all getting ready for the beach in the morning; the boys? Ready to go at 8:30. The girls? Still struggling to have “everything they need” at 10:00.

The boys ended up getting tired of it later in the week and just started taking off and meeting up with us later.

Welcome to my world, boys!

So we got a dog…

Is it a manly dog? Man’s best friend?

You decide…


A tiny ball of fur. So cute, how could you not love her? (yes, her; there is ANOTHER woman in my house!)

But manly? nope.


Lavender soap. Do we really need lavender soap? Oh yeah. I live with 5 girls.

Bus stop?

Some facts:

  • I live with 5 women
  • it snowed last night
  • we have a big driveway
  • it is 10 degrees outside
  • our first middle daughter is afraid of… EVERYTHING

So, I’m out shoveling the driveway, and the first middle comes out to go to school. I’ve already shoveled and salted her a path to the street, but I have to hold her hand all the way down the driveway.

Next, she goes next door to meet the neighbor girl to walk to the bus stop with, but she comes back shortly and says “I don’t think she is coming today”.

So I walk her up to the bus stop, because I know she is afraid to go by herself.

While we’re standing there (in 10degree weather), the neighbor girl comes walking up.


Icky sticky paws

So the whole family came out with me tonight to the cell phone store to activate my new phone (yep, finally upgrading and dumping AT&T!)

The girls were good, so only wife thought we should go for ice cream. Not the good stuff; just McD’s. Everyone decided to get caramel sundae’s, and only wife just went through the drive through and parked.

After we were done and we were leaving, the little one said, “My seat is all sticky!”

And I said, “That’s ok babe, the whole car is sticky now.”

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