Friday, November 13, 2009

Charles Krauthammer : Medicalizing Mass Murder -

I was just talking to my wife about this last night. What's the reason the papers and TV are trying to push his religion under the carpet or even call this a new diesease? How is it that according to the DHS I and other veterans can be considered an "extremist" but not the actual extremist? I find that offensive.

Charles Krauthammer : Medicalizing Mass Murder -

Friday Morning Stars - The Center of Our Galaxy

An absolutely beautiful shot of the center of our galaxy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Military not told about Ft. Hood suspect's e-mails --

Isn't this some of the same BS that happened prior to 9/11? The lack of communication between our government agencies is staggering.

Reporting from Washington - Two high-profile anti-terrorism task forces did not inform the Defense Department about contacts between a radical Islamic cleric and the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in last week's rampage at Ft. Hood, a senior Defense official said Tuesday.
Military not told about Ft. Hood suspect's e-mails --

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Christmas Ale of 09

Grain Bill
94% Marris Otter English 2 row Pale
2.5% Crystal 120
2.5% Victory
1% Black Patent
Horizon 9% Alpha added at 60 minutes
Secret Spices
Oh come on! It wouldn't be a secret if I told you. ;) I'll be nice and let you in on them after I have a few tastings.
London Ale (Wyeast Labs 1028) I made a 1.040 gravity starter 24 hours prior
I started this yesterday (7nov09) morning about 8am. I had a very late night fixing my latest gadgetry. It's a called a mash tun. What's a mash tun?

In laymen terms it's a vessel where I can steep the grains used for making beer. When the grains are steeped at a given temperature they release sugars. These sugars are food for yeast. The yeast eats the sugars and produce alcohol. Why the late night? I had to rig the mash tun so the grains wouldn't get stuck in the drain valve. Normally an easy job but I ordered the wrong size (or so I thought) false bottom pictured above to the right. Anyway I fixed/rigged it and everything went pretty smooth.
After the grain gets soaked in the above mash tun (approximately 1 hour@155-160 degrees) it gets drained and hotter temp water is showered over the grains to rinse the leftover sugars off the grains. I didn't rinse the grains immediately like I'm supposed to so I missed some of the sugars. After measuring the gravity/plato my efficiency was around 55% of what I'm supposed to have. This means I'll have a 9.8% alcohol by volume in the beer instead of the 11 or 12%. This may also help me in the end so I may have screwed up in a good way. We'll see in three weeks. After I drain the mash tun and after a recirculation of wort back into the grain bed I bring the wort to a cautious yet ferocious boil. About 5 minutes I start to add hops. In the last minute of the boil I add the "secret spices".

I let it boil for another minute, remove it from the heat and stir it clockwise (doesn't matter which direction) to create a whirlpool effect. This pushes all the extra "floaters" to the bottom. When I'm done stirring I use an immersion chiller (above right) to cool it down. I highly recommend getting one of these. Before I had one I had to put the hot wort into an ice bath and wait sometimes 2 to 3 hours for it to cool. You have to let it cool before adding the yeast otherwise you can kill the yeast. With the use of a chiller the 200+ degree wort can cool to 66 degrees in as fast as 7 minutes! The faster the cooling the less time you wait and the less time the beer is exposed to the air which could lead to nasty infections. After the cooling I take a gravity reading with a hydrometer. It measures the weight of the sugar in the water. When the fermentations finished I'll take a second reading and the difference will equal the alcohol percentage. In this particular instance my OG (original gravity/initial reading) is 1.080.
So for now it's sitting in my fermenter chiller at 66 degrees.

Stay tuned!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Morning Stars -

I swear I woke up this morning, looked out the window, and BAMM! There they were. So of course I took a photo.

12 Dead 31 Wounded

God bless the families of everyone involved.

The good news is the shooter's still alive. From my understanding Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is a muslim psychiatrist who's been in the Army for several years. Who has also been very loud in expressing his views against the war even so much as cheering when Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad of Little Rock Arkansas shot two soldiers outside a recruiting station earlier this year.
I'm waiting for more history on him but it'd be nice to hear he's sitting in general population awaiting his trial. It'd be very difficult to have to be one of the soldiers standing outside his hospital room waiting for him to return to health. What of the other 2 or 3 people sought in connection? I don't know. We'll see how that goes.