Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The G-Men

Well my plan for watching football went off without a hitch, thanks to my cooperative family. Both games were great but didn't turn out as I had hoped. I was shocked that the Giants beat the Packers at Lambeau! It was great game and now I'm torn as to who to root for in the Super Bowl. Part of me wants to see an undefeated team pull off the impossible. So for that reason, I wouldn't mind seeing the Pats win. On the other hand, you have to like Eli Manning. How great is it that he's been in his brother's shadow his whole life and now he has a chance to stake his claim to fame? If he can pull off the impossible and beat the Pats, he'd be even with Peyton in Super Bowl wins. Either way, it should be a great game. Crazy that the Giants have won 10 road games in a row. Unheard of in pro football. Since my Ravens were counted out early on, I was pulling for Green Bay, but now it looks like I'm going to have to look to the NFC East and hope that Eli can make it happen. Go G-Men!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Sports Day

First I must say "Congrats" to the Terps Men's Basketball team for their stunning win over previously undefeated North Carolina. It was a great game and I'm glad I got to watch most of it. For all of their ups and downs this year, this certainly has to be the best so far. I love it when we beat UNC or Duke in basketball. It is such a great feeling for a short while and then it is back to real life. Hopefully these young Terps can use it to build on, because I still think this will be a long season for them and it should help them with their confidence.

Today is what I've been looking forward to all week. This appears to be two great football games today for the AFC and NFC championship games. Add to the matchups on each side, the blistering cold and it should make for a long afternoon in front of the television. I guess I'm with the majority of the country in thinking that it will be Green Bay and New England prevailing. I hope so, because how great would it be to see Brett Favre be the guy with the shot to end New England's perfect season? GO PACK GO!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale

Wow! I just poured a glass of Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale. Wow! Per the label on the bottle and the great website,, this brew is 10.5% ABV and packs 85 IBUs. For anyone reading this who might not know, IBU are the bittering units a beer has. 85 is pretty high and this brew is certainly hop, hop, hoppy! I like it though. It is surprisingly good. I guess my tastes are evolving because a few years ago, I don't think I'd be able to tolerate this one.

I am encouraged though in that my ESB that I just racked over to my secondary fermenter was calculated at 56 IBUs. It should be hoppy, but not over the top. My only reference to an over-the-top hoppy ale was Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. That is apparently 90 IBUs and was too strong for my liking. But after trying this Double Dog, maybe I should give the 90 Minute IPA a try again. Dogfish Head also makes an insane IPA called the 120 Minute IPA. It apparently has 120 IBUs and is 21%!!! That will remove the enamel from your teeth!

If you get a chance and like a hoppy beer, give any one of the beers I mentioned here a try. I'd be curious if anybody else has an opinion on hoppy beers and would share any in particular that they like.!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Fantasy Bug

The fantasy sports bug has bitten me again. Last week, I signed up to play the Fantasy Golf Best Ball Challenge on ESPN. It was free, so what the heck right? I don't know a whole lot about the PGA, but I do hit the links a few times a year, so what's the big deal? The idea is that given a $50 million play budget, you select 4 golfers each week for the scheduled tournament that is being played in reality. The team with the lowest overall scores among their foursome gets the most points that week. The best part is that you really only have to worry about setting your lineup once per week, much like Fantasy Football. So, I can enjoy another game that won't take up too much of my time. Since I haven't spent any real money on it, it should make for a much stressful game to participate in. So I raise my pint, and say Cheers to Fantasy Sports online!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

What was I waiting for?

Yesterday, I was finally able to brew my ESB I've been going on and on about. I did learn a thing or two while I labored away, such as my dutch oven pot is not big enough to steep two grain bags with 2 lbs of grain in each. Next time I'll split that job into two pots, but I think the beer will still be ok.

The biggest thing was that I got to use my new wort chiller for the first time and I must say, "What was I waiting for?" In the past, after boiling the wort, I added it to my primary fermenter, topped off the concoction with cold water to get to my 5 gallons and then waited for 24 hours for the temperature to come down to a level that I could pitch my yeast. Not anymore! Yesterday within 10 minutes, that chiller took my 2.5 gallon batch of wort from boiling down to 68 F! Wow. I was always told that it is a handy piece of equipment for brewing, but I had no idea. I would definitely put it at the top of any homebrewer's wish list if they don't already have one! I was able to pitch my yeast without delay, further reducing the chance for contamination. Now, I wait and watch for the flurry of fermentation action to begin. I think I better go check it now for some action. Cheers!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


It is time to take down Christmas. Time to take down the decorations and the outside lights. I can't wait. I felt like Clark Griswold out there in December trying to get everything right. I really hate messing with Christmas lights. I only do it for the kids though. One day when I'm old, I'll either scale back or have my kids come over and decorate the outside of the house. Put them to work!

If all goes to plan, tomorrow will be brew day and I'll put that new chiller to work!