Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Putting some Oak on the Maple Mead

Getting setup to rack the mead onto oak.
The next stage of the Maple Mead is to add oak chips and age for three weeks. As I have a little over two gallons of mead, I would need two 1 gallon carboys and a few mason jars to hold it all. I decided I would only be oaking the carboys, and using the mason jars to top up the mead when I rack it off the oak.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bicycle Trailer ep. 5 - Wheel Protectors & Hooks

At this point of the trailer progress, the concern was how the cargo would fit onto the trailer, and how to prevent it from hitting the wheels while they're spinning. I decided to make some sort of fenders/ wheel protectors which also served as rails for attaching bungee cords on.
First, I took some small pieces of bed frame angle iron, and welded a square. The square contains both fenders since I figured it would be easier to weld before cutting the pieces.
bed frame square welded
In order for these to fit properly on the trailer frame, I would have to smooth out the welds from before. First trying a small grinding wheel, but later deciding a file was faster since I don't have an angle grinder.
grinding down excess weld material

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bicycle Trailer ep. 4 - The Linkage

After hours (okay maybe half an hour) of getting the alignment of where I wanted the trailer to follow behind the bike, it was time to enter "fabrication mode" and make the linkage. This is when the concept of tolerance goes out the window, and metal just starts flying everywhere, and you're not done until every tool in the toolbox has been used at least once and not for its intended purpose. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating... but still, I remember this part taking a long time.
aligning the trailer behind bike
Doing some math to get the proper elevation and to make sure the two ends are parallel.
doing math to get trailer placement correct

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Maple Mead (Acerglyn) -- Mead Batch 2

The next item on my list of things to brew is another batch of mead. This time I decided to throw down and find a unique recipe that sounded like it would turn out fantastic. So I located this recipe for Maple Syrup based mead, known as Acerglyn. It would be pretty similar to making the first mead I did last year, but with maple syrup.
These ingredients look tempting

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bicycle Trailer ep. 3 - Trailer Hitch

I realized from the internet (and by observing homeless people) that there's really no right or wrong way to build a bicycle trailer hitch, so here's my story:
I was considering using a bicycle head tube and fork combined with the swivel castor I bought in the first post, but not having any spare bikes to take apart, I figured the steering mechanism from my scooter would work just as well. It was a great relief to finally destroy this thing after crashing on it at least once per day during my first week of college. Those small wheels just can't handle pavement deviations!
destroying a scooter
Video explaining the design:

Monday, August 8, 2016

Rye Stout Batch #2 Bottling

After (a somewhat explosive) primary and secondary fermentation, the second batch of Rye Stout was ready for bottling 3.5 weeks after brew day.
Setting up to bottle this batch of Rye Stout

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Press -- 2016 Estate Blend

For this year's estate blend, I left the skins in the fermenter to allow for more color. After a week of fermentation, the must had turned from it's original pink color to a dark purple. It was time to remove the skins by pressing the grapes.

The Syrah skins turned the wine dark