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The Best Beer I’ve Ever Brewed

That’s right, after mowing the lawn it was decided by a power much greater than my self that it is time to partake in the first batch of Eichenlager. I have to say, I’m very pleased with the results. The brew is flavorful and smooth, but not terribly heavy. It doesn’t have the bitter beeryness that many beers have. Overall I’d have to rank this right up there with my top ten beers of all time. It’s too bad there is a limited supply.

This beer was pretty much your standard European style lager. It also happens to be the beer that one makes after purchasing a home brew kit from Von Klopp’s Brew Shop.

Here are my notes:

1 can Laaglander Dutch Light Lager liquid malt extract
2 1# bags Munton’s extra light dry malt extract (DME)
1 7-gram packet Irish Moss
1 7-gram packet dry yeast (comes with the can of liquid malt extract)

I used tap water for this batch. I don’t notice any problem with the flavor, but in the future I would like to use bottled water from the grocery store. That will let me cool down the extra water before mixing with the boiling wort. This means less time waiting for the mixture to reach 90 degrees, and therefore a smaller chance of contamination. (it has to be 90 degrees before you add the yeast or your yeast dies a horrible death)

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My Dog Fred

This is for those of you who never believe me when I say that Fredly can run.

Fred Running

Imminent Impact

And, of course, here he is being the good boy that he is. The secret? He thinks my camera is food.

Fred Sitting


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The Planting of Trees

Last night I finished my tree planting project. In addition to the three Ironwood Carpinus caroliniana trees that I planted a few weeks ago I now have a Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor. Hopefully all four of these plants can survive the harsh soil conditions in my back yard.

I am really looking forward to my soil class this fall. I’ll be able to scientifically prove that the soil in my yard is horrible. As far as I can tell I’ve got six inches of heavy clay on top of coarse, poor quality gravel. This did not make for fun digging. It took me about an hour average per hole. Is it true they sell dynamite at Fleet Farm?

Anyway, here are the trees:

Tony's New Trees

Tony’s Back Yard

Yeah, I know. They’re not much to look at right now. Some day that one in back will be 70 feet tall and the smaller ones will be 30. Maybe.

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A Trip To Nebraska

Carol and I drove six hours to Nebraska this past Sunday. I have to say the drive went fairly quickly and didn’t really bother me at all. Most long car trips have two distinct phases. During the first phase I am comfortable, fully alrert, and generally in a good mood. This can last anywhere from two hours to about ten. On Sunday it lasted about 5 1/2 hours. Right around the time we left the main road both of us got noticibly less comfortable. It might be the fact that the road got considerably bumpier, or maybe just the fact that five hours in a car is a really long time.

Despite the long car ride the wedding was a lot of fun. I know they say weddings where you don’t know anyone are supposed to be dreadfully boring, but I just don’t agree. After some carefully controlled scientific experiments it was discovered that this event contained what can be described as the Three Keys to Fun. These things, in no particular order, are free food, free wine, and the chicken dance.

Oh, and it should be noted that my wife can still swing dance, despite being eight months pregnant.