Unexpected Christmas Gifts

I'd planned on going shooting with some of my family on Christmas Eve.  After an unsuccessful duck hunt I gathered up my son, my brother, and my soon to be cousin-in-law and headed to the shooting spot by the dump.  We shot the AR-15, the 15-22, and for the first time that I've owned it the Mosin Nagant.

In order to be accurate, the bayonet was affixed.  The fact that some previous shooters had left a rather large and only slightly shot SpongeBob was an unexpected early Christmas gift.  After poking several 7.62 mm holes in SB, my son was given the honor of finishing the poor sponge off.

One would think he'd been hanging out with Jay G


Gun Gifts

There's an interesting poll up at MSNBC of all places asking about thoughts on giving guns as Christmas gifts.  The results are somewhat predictable.  After all, guns are one of my favorite gifts to give or receive.


The Best Beer I've Made

Among my many hobbies is beer making.  I may be a jack of all trades and master of none, but in my own not so humble opinion I make some good dark beers.  The best beer I've made to date however, wasn't dark and was mostly an accident.  It goes like this:

  • 6 lb Light DME
  • 2 lb Wheat
  • 0.50 oz. G. Northern-Brewer Hops - Boiling hops (60 mins)
  • 0.50 oz. Cascade Hops - Finishing hops (15 mins)
  • 1.25 oz. Hallertau Hops - Finishing hops (15 mins)
  • 0.50 oz. G. Northern-Brewer Hops - dry hopped
  • 0.75 oz. Hallertau Hops - dry hopped
  • 1 tsp. Irish Moss
  • dry ale or kolsch yeast
The hops bill will likely change depending on what I can find (which is how I ended up with the above).  The original recipe was for a Kolsch, but this beer is much more wheaty.  The original called for only 1/4 lb of wheat.

The procedure is to crack the wheat, place in a grain bag, and steep for around 10 minutes at about 165 degrees F. Remove the wheat and add the DME and the boiling hops.  At around 45 to 50 minutes add the finishing hops and the Irish moss (this helps to clear the beer a bit).  After the wort cools add the yeast.  I used a dry ale yeast as the brewery supply store I was at didn't have a kolsch yeast.  After primary fermentation has slowed add the dry hops.  Rack at around two weeks and then bottle (or in my case keg) after two or three more.

The beer is full without being heavy, hoppy without being overbearing, and sweet without the typical citrus of a wheat beer.  This is a beer I will be making again and again and again.