Sunday, March 29, 2015

Robust Porter

Robust Porter
6 gallons
brewed 1/27/14

Intended SG: 1.055
Actual SG: 5.5 gallons @ 1.052
SRM: 31
IBU: 46

Grain
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Gambrinus ESB Malt - 7#
Weyerman Munich (6L) - 4#
C80 - 1#
Chocolate Malt - .75#
Chocolate Wheat - .25#
Special Roast - .5#

Total - 13.5#

Hops
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Mt Hood (4.5%) 2.5oz @ 60 mins
Mt Hood (4.5%) 2.5oz @ 5 mins

Yeast
------------------------------
Wyeast 1968 cake from brown ale


Brew
--------------------------------
Mash at 152 for 60 mins
Mashout at 165

Fermented at 68 for ~2 weeks
Kegged 2/14/14 left in basement for almost a year

Review
--------------------------------
Finally tapped this at the end of Jan 2015, so almost 1 year in the basement

3/28/15
A: Almost completely black, but when held up to a bright light, there are hints of dark ruby highlights. Very thick light tan head that leaves a ton of lace, I would assume this is the chocolate wheat but there is only .25# out of a total of 13.5# so not really sure.

S: Not much going on in the nose, slight hint of roasted malts

T: Chocolate, light roast, slight bitterness, distinct maltiness (Munich?)

M: Creamy and dry at the same time, might be a touch of tannins, but probably just the roasted malts and the Munich coming across as dry on the tongue.

O: I really like this beer, I am going to be disappointed when this keg kicks. I don't know if it is the long "lagering" or something else, but this beer just works. The only thing I would do different is to sub a little C120 for C80, maybe .25# to try to add a little sweetness/flavor. Will definitely brew something similar again.

Note: picture taken on patio after 14 inches of snow (3/5/15)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pine Mountain State Park

We rented a one bedroom cabin at Pine Mountain State Park. I got to do a little hiking both with and without the kids.

Honeymoon Falls


For my alone time, I started at the bottom of the Laurel Cove trail and headed up to Chained Rock. Along the way, the trail passes under Powderhorn Arch



My guess is this trail is one of the original in the park and was built by the CCC. It basically goes straight up and only switchbacks where it absolutely has to, a tough way to gain 1000 ft in about 1.5 miles.



Then up to Chained Rock. I first headed out the Timber Ridge trail and around Rock Hotel (nothing worth a picture since my battery was low), then back down to the car. A decent hike, but a good workout, about 5 miles and 1500 ft in 2 hours.

Up a creek, no paddle needed

I was given permission to abandon the family for one night in the gorge. I had already figured out where my next trip would be after seeing a waterfall picture on kywilderness.com. I had never been hiking in this particular area before. This is a pretty well known area, but I see no reason to publicize the actual location more, so I won't mention the specific creek other than to say it is a well traveled unofficial trail.

I got to the trailhead around 11 and headed up the trail. The weather was about 45 degrees and cloudy. The multiple creek crossings were cold, my guess is the water temperature was mid to upper 30s. There were a lot of crossings.



It was not long (about an hour) until I started hearing noise and then came around the corner to a very large waterfall.

























I had brought my Nikon 5100 because it was such a short hike. I am glad I did, I had lots of fun remembering the basics of photography and was able to play with exposure times and shutter speeds. I took lots of pictures. There was an added benefit that the sun finally broke through the clouds.





























I then spent some time exploring the area. It was pretty easy to get up to the top and see the small creek that was making so much noise, kind of startling because it really was not that much water in the creek bed, but it made a very impressive waterfall.

video



In the exploring, I found some interesting sandstone formations. Again, a lot of pictures were taken.


































After that, I decided to hike back down the creek to see if I could find a couple arches in the area. The GPS on my phone was acting squirrelly and when I found a nice campsite, I decided to just relax. I gathered wood for a fire and enjoyed an Two Hearted Ale, got a fire going, cooked dinner, read my book, and enjoyed a Ten Fidy and some bourbon with the fire.

Obligatory campsite pic, note the "chair" that someone built. I have never understood this behavior, but I will use them when I find them.



The next morning I decided to save the arches for another day since there was another waterfall in the area I wanted to see. I hiked back down the trail to the car. Along the way, I saw an otter in the creek.


video



I got to the car with no problems and talked to a gentleman who had been out for a couple days and was waiting for his ride. Then, I started up another unofficial trail to the next waterfall. My understanding is that this is usually dry and it takes a lot of rain to make a waterfall.

Again, lots of pictures were taken.







































I was hoping to climb to the top of the waterfall where I have heard the view is awesome, but I had promised to be home at a reasonable time. I headed back down the trail and to the car and an easy drive home. All in all, a great 27 hours in the gorge.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A frozen day at Raven Run

I wanted to test out some new winter hiking boots and there was still 6-12 inches of snow in the backyard from a couple of weeks ago. I decided that with sunshine and temperatures in the mid-20s that it would be a good day for a hike at Raven Run.

I got out there around 10 and there was one runner just getting out of his car, no other cars in the parking lot. I caught up to the runner at the beginning of the trails where he was turning around to head back to his car. The crust on the snow made walking difficult, I could not imagine running on it. He had been planning on doing 20 miles (4 big loops) to train for a marathon. I think I passed him running on the road 3.5 hours later :)

Not many pics, but a good day.