Will Walk for an IPA or Two or Three

My daughter Lisa is prepping for the Avon Walk in Houston on April 20 & 21, 2013. It is 26 miles on day one and the strong and fit walk another 13 on day two. We have been walking together four or five times this past week. Today we decided to do a triple digit day – it wound up being 11 miles out at Lake Houston Wilderness Park. The park is a bit of wilderness heaven that is relatively unknown. Eleven miles is about 5 more than our previous best distance…..but it turned out to be a great walk, trek, hike and challenge. The park is amazing and filled with wildlife. While walking we saw 2 coyotes, a bald eagle soaring overhead and a wild sow with 8+ piglets crossing the road in front of us. I carried several cameras on this walk but only captured images of the sow and piglets.

Here is mom....look closely and you can see she has been nursing the mob following behind her.

Here is mom….look closely and you can see she has been nursing the mob following behind her.

Unfortunately I missed the line of little ones following mom...not familiar with the continous shooting function on the Nikon J1....I know now!

Unfortunately I missed the line of little ones following mom…not familiar with the continuous shooting function on the Nikon J1….I know now!

The walk was scenic and fortunately devoid of mosquitoes – a real blessing. Just past the 5 mile mark on the Ameritrail Loop was a little lake ringed by Cypress trees – the photo doesn’t do it justice. At the turnaround area we discovered a guy in a little “boat” with a trolling motor casting for ??????? fish of some sort.

Beautiful reflections across the water. The Cypress trees were just awesome....click to view larger!

Beautiful reflections across the water. The Cypress trees were just awesome….click to view larger!

Tiny boat but probbaly perfect for that part of the lake.

Tiny boat but probably perfect for that part of the lake.

We were thirsty upon returning home……brief stop at the Kingwood Town Center Farmers Market – fresh sourdough and some grass-fed Beef

T-bone steaks. Yum – and the piece de resistance was the trio of IPA’s during the dinner prep, grilling and dining.

The Celebration form Sierra Nevada was my favorite the other two were dang good!

The Celebration from Sierra Nevada was my favorite the other two were danged good!


Lisa is getting close to her fundraising goal so if you are inclined to help her out click the link below.


Drink Local & Drink Responsibly




My IPA is Tapped

My American IPA is tapped and in the fridge.
I put this batch in 6L mini kegs dispensed with 16 gram CO2 cartridges. The dispenser has a lock on it to prevent accidental discharge. Why am I telling you about the lock…..more of a reminder for me. The last time I used the mini kegs I tapped the first one….a 5 gallon batch fills three of the mini kegs. – Well – I needed to sample the beer just because. I pulled a short glass off of the keg about 9:45 one evening, pushed the lever back to the closed position but, this is the sad part, it was very, very close to being totally closed. It was March 11th, the evening before my birthday and off to bed I went.

My son comes home from a date and at 11:30 or so goes to get something to drink from the fridge. There is beer all over the floor. The tap emitted a fine spray of beer inside the fridge, emptying 6 L of lovingly handcrafted beer all over. I told this story once before on this blog and if you remember – I have a loving and wonderful wife…..due to the proximity of the evening to my Birthday she let me sleep as she cleaned up the mess. I am still in her debt and may be for another 30 years.

By the way…this IPA is very nice – it is a kit beer but they can be very good! This one from Williams Brewing, an American IPA is top-notch as a kit beer.

Here is my Tap-A-Draft set-up in the fridge with the red lock set!

Beer in hte fridge…..tap lever in locked position! iPone photo




Brewing Day has Arrived

Finally dug through my brewing kit and found a “roundtooit”!!! I always seem to be saying that I will scratch this or that off my list once I get around to it! I found “it” and the brew is in the kettle!

The batch is 5 gallons of an American IPA. While brewing I decided to try a Sam Adams ” Grumpy Monk” Belgian IPA. Pretty tasty! I thought I tasted cloves in addition to the hops- read the label and I guessed right! On my tongue is a lingering citrus, bitter orange taste. A bit like a beefed up Blue Moon. Not a Blue Moon that my wife prefers but one that is savored and enjoyed by my increasing fondness of all things IPA!

My next challenge will be fermenting temperatures! Last year’s AC work on the house has left my bedroom 6-8 degrees cooler than the rest of the house and the electric bill is nearly cut in half – two very good things in Houston. Now the dilemma!

Sweetheart, dearest one, we will need to share the bedroom with the fermenting vessel for a couple of weeks. I promise that it won’t cause any problems! I promise to not let the 6L mini-keg leak out into the back fridge like a recent event. I promise to provide back rubs on demand until this batch is properly kegged and conditioned!

Guys, did I over commit? I will look at the cost benefit ratio over the next few months. I may or may not be able to report back in much detail.

The Sam Adams with the brew kettle steaming away in the background. I also enjoyed an Amber Ale brewed by a local friend while making sure the watched pot continued to boil.