I think I started this update process on Wednesday. Its finally done today. There were so many conflicts and issues when moving over to Systemd, which I had not even realized was needed when I started, which took up a lot of time. I was causally dealing with emerge issues until Friday. After emerging Gentoo all those times and finally figuring all that out, I finally had to go read the systemd page to make some changes to my Grub 2 configuration, as well as get my network manager running. I like the way you just enable services with Systemd. All seems to be well now. In fact it actually works better than before using Openrc. Everything boots up faster.
This May I finally made the switch to all grain brewing. I kind of wish I did it sooner. My first three extract batches were the best, but the others were lacking in one area or another. Varying ages and qualities of different malt extracts from different sources can lead to less than desirable things. Now I can really tweak things and save money in the long run.
My first brew was an all Simcoe hopped IPA, and it was amazing. I over shot my water calculations a little bit with my new system, but I worked out the kinks. It is hands down one of the best IPAs I have ever had.
The next up was a Saison which came out very good. I recently had one out at Goodnight Irene’s Brew Pub in Wildwood that I considered identical. A word of warning, they don’t actually brew anything at Irene’s.
I followed that up with an American wheat beer, four gallons of which sat in a secondary fermenter with strawberries for 2 weeks. I was lucky enough to come across some Amarillo hops the same day they came in at the local shop. They have been very elusive this year due to a bad crop/harvest. The gallon I bottled without sitting on the strawberries had a somewhat strawberry flavor from the hops to start with. The final product is pretty hazy, but damned delicious. The strawberries didn’t effect the final gravity either, but I don’t know how that is possible. There was a bunch of really gross haze at the bottom of the fermenter that I left behind, but could everything above it really have been left unchanged? That would mean the strawberries really fermented out well.
I also brewed up another IPA, this time using all Amarillo hops, and the same malts as before. I am not a big fan, but the wife loves it. It has a really strong earthy and organic hop smell. Unfortunately, I just don’t think I really like the earthy flavors in an IPA. Not without some other variety of hops at least. However, that would mess up the point of this whole experiment. I really want to be able to pinpoint hops, especially those outside of the usual C varieties, like Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, etc.
In the works will be a black juniper ryePA, a style I have seen nobody do at this point. I also never really understood its naming. How can a pale ale be black? After that, it should be time for an apple wheat before getting into pumpkin brews and maybe a barleywine for the holidays.
I once attempted to get Gentoo up and running on a several year old PC with no success. That was around 2003. I don’t remember the issue, but I don’t think I could even get the system to boot to the shell. After getting a new laptop today, about 10 years later, I decided to give it another go.
I quickly ran into a few issues from old documentation, which plagues the open source world. After compiling my kernel, I tried to boot with no luck. The kernel needed options not listed in the set up guide, and I am not sure how it would ever work without it. No big deal though. I added it. I also find it funny the kernel is compiled in x86 and not x86_64, and until I finally got it booted, I wondered if I was actually going to be running a 64 bit install. The instructions mentioned yet another directory, i386. I think it might be time to update that one fellas. It doesn’t even exist anymore. The instructions also mentioned eth0, which the distro killed off. I had to use its new name. The modules needed by the kernel for my card were the next-gen ones apparently, so I had to correct my mistake there. After all of that I was finally on the laptop and connected to the Internet.
Now its just time to compile everything and search for any missing packages.
I picked up a Motobecane Fly Team SRAM XO Ti 29er for myself and a Gravity 29Point1 for the wife from www.bikesdirect.com. You get some pretty good stuff on the higher end. I probably could have gotten something similar to the Gravity in a shop for just a little more. The Motobecane was a deal though. The components alone are worth the cost of the bike, and then you get a sweet titanium frame out of it. The Gravity went together in a snap. However, when it came time to assemble the Motobecane, the dérailleur hanger was shot. Hairline crack in it and it was pretty bent. They were quick to replace it, but when I got it, the dérailleur was facing the wrong way on the chain. Trying to fix that I got a loop in the chain, then the dérailleur cable was caught in it. I had to take the cable and the cap off. Of course this lead to the cable splintering when I went to feed it back through. I will need a new one sooner than later, but its all of %$5-10.
The thing is scary lightweight. It takes a little getting used to. I felt like it should snap underneath me at any moment when I first hopped on, but it is warrantied for 100 years. From what I have read, they do honor it too. Its fun to ride, but I think in some instances there is a benefit to a heavier ride, like more momentum. Hard to say as I don’t really have my legs about me just yet at this point in the season. We had a cold Spring. The bike is a little taller than my old one with about an extra 1.5 inches stand-over height and an extra inch or more in effective top tube length. Still, I see to have to put my seat up pretty high. No back pain though, which I dealt with a lot before. I also think the seat has to go up so high because the pedals are actually higher off the ground than before.
With the wife on a bike too, I hope to go hit the trails a lot this year. I am pretty excited about that.
I brewed up a batch of beer that I called Big Red a few weeks ago. It came out to about 7.2%, but it is a big beer regardless. A lot of flavor, mostly from the malt.
I just steamed some oak chips to add to the secondary on my old ale, Old Oakie Dokie. Wow,is all I can say. A lot of the flavor was there up front after sanitizing the oak. I will give it 1 week on 2oz of oak chips. This beer will be a beast. IT fermented down nicely. 8.2%. I am kind of tempted to let it sit on the oak for a long time and enjoy it come fall.
Saison season is almost here. I hope to brew and IPA in a week or two.