Dec 02 2008
Not much bike stuff here. No racing lately. Just enough training to push myself but not overload. I’ll go fairly hard today and tomorrow and then back off until Saturday. I’m only going to race Saturday since Rachel has stuff planned on Sunday. I may go out and watch. We’ll see.
After the race, it’ll be time to break down the bike and put it away for the winter. I’m strongly thinking about having Jacob Rathe clean it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the work he’s done.
Also sort of up in the air about a new bike next year. Not ‘if’ but ‘which one’…road or mtb. I’m about 90/10 towards the mtb based on a) my existing mtb is running like a beat up 1988 Dodge K car. Not good. b) I can probably squeeze one last good year out of the Lemond. And c) Presto has a lot of off-road riders. I’d like to race more with them.
Based on that, we had a meeting last week to look & hear about the new rides. More than a few of us were looking hard at the Anthem X2. All XT. 4″ of travel. Solidly made. I’m having a hard time thinking that I need any more ‘bike’ than that as it’s a steep jump to XTR or SRAM X.0 and better brakes & shocks.
Anyway, there’s tons of fun stuff going on.
First is the delightful Kolsch I made Sunday. First brew in the new fermenter which is very exciting. It’ll take a couple brews to work out how best to use it. For now though, it’s a champ.
The beer itself should come out great. I hit all the target temperatures, didn’t abuse it during transfers, stayed clean through the cooling, and pitched plenty of yeast. I even dumped the cold break.
For now, it’s set in the garage with the temp. controller on 56-58°F. My work is largely done so it’s all up to the yeast. I’m trying a forced ferment in the basement on about 200 mL to quickly find the final gravity. I’ll use that to determine when the main ferment is done.
For the most part, my brewing techniques haven’t changed much. It’s been about 9 months since I brewed last and since then I’ve read a few of the newer books on the subject and also picked up the new fermenter. I’m trying out a few new things here to see if they make the process any easier or more predictable. But basically, the bottom line is if any of these changes will produce a better beer. We’ll see in a few weeks, maybe by the holidays.
Next is a bunch of basketball. Owen and I are going to a couple games coming up. First is the Blazers next Friday. He got a free ticket from the Summer Reading Program through the library so I just needed to pay for mine. The seats aren’t great but it’ll still be fun. If we’re too far up, we’ve got the Jumbotron to watch although Greg Oden’s head should be easy enough to see without it. All I can think of is So I Married an Axe Murderer. HEAD! MOVE!
The one I’m really excited about is the one in Seattle: UConn / Gonzaga. Both will likely stay ranked in the top 5 assuming UConn can run the dreaded Buffalo and Stony Brook gauntlet and the Zags can get through Indiana, WSU and Arizona. Owen and I will take the train up and back. Should be a really fun day.