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Blogging Vacation - Safety Dance

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Don't you wish that you could be doing this instead of working? I sure do. So, in keeping with that spirit, I am taking the rest of the year off as far as posting on my blogs.

It's holiday time and time to make merry and enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas an the New Year.

So enjoy the time, and I'll be back right after Jan. 1

For Your Viewing Pleasure

And remember the true reason for the season

Spirit of Christmas Present: So! Is your heart still unmoved towards us, then?
Ebenezer: I'm too old and beyond hope! Go and redeem some younger, more promising creature, and leave me to keep Christmas in my own way!
Spirit of Christmas Present: Mortal! We Spirits of Christmas do not live only one day of our year. We live the whole three-hundred and sixty-five. So is it true of the Child born in Bethlehem. He does not live in men's hearts one day of the year, but in all days of the year. You have chosen not to seek Him in your heart. Therefore, you will come with me and seek Him in the hearts of men of good will


Patron Saint of Beer

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I just thought that this is pretty cool. A Patron saint for beer makers.

Saint Arnold was born to a prominent Austrian family in the year 580. Even back in those days the Austrians were famous for their love of beer, and admired for their brewing prowess. Beer was a proud Austrian tradition that was not wasted on young Arnold.

As a young man, Arnold entered the priesthood and began moving his way up that earliest of all career ladders. At the age of 32, he was given the title Bishop, and in 612 was named "Arnold, Bishop of Metz." (Metz is in France.)

He is said to have spent his life warning peasants about the health hazards of drinking water. Water was not necessarily safe to drink during the dark ages, especially around towns and villages. Nasty stuff. Arnold always had the well-being of his followers close at heart.

Beer, on the other hand, was quite safe. Arnold frequently pointed this out to his congregation. He is credited with having once said, "From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." It goes without saying that the people loved and revered Arnold.

In 627, Saint Arnold retired to a monastery near Remiremont, France, where he died and was buried in 640.

In 641, the citizens of Metz requested that Saint Arnold's body be exhumed and carried from the monastery to the town of Metz for reburial in their local church - The church where Arnold had so frequently preached the virtues of beer. Their request was granted.

It was a long and thirsty journey, especially since they were carrying a dead bishop. As the ceremonial procession passed through the town of Champignuelles, the tired processionals stopped for a rest and went into a tavern for a drink of their favorite beverage - Beer. Much to their dismay, they were informed that there was only one mug of beer left, and that they would have to share it. That mug never ran dry and the thirsty crowd was satisfied.

Every Saint needs a miracle. That's how the Church decides you are a Saint. The story of the miracle mug of beer spread and eventually Arnold was canonized by the Catholic Church for it.

Saint Arnold is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

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Yeast Culturing From Bottles

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Have you ever thought of cloning your favorite beer's yeast? Personally, I have never given it a thought but I had a reader ask me I knew how to culture yeast from a bottle. I found this article from Brew Your Own and it explains it better than I could. Enjoy.

Yeast Culturing from Bottles: Techniques Sep, 2005
by Chris Colby

Not every yeast strain is available at your local homebrew shop. For some, you need to hit the bottle. Everything you need to know about how to round-up yeast from a bottle-conditioned beer.

A wide variety of brewers yeasts are available to homebrewers these days. But sometimes the particular strain you want isn’t commercially available. However, it might be possible to culture it from a bottle-conditioned beer.

Most commercial beers are filtered, and some are flash pasteurized, before bottling and do not contain yeast. However, some brewers bottle-condition some of their beers. Often, the brewer will advertise this fact on the label of those products. If not, the tell-tale layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle indicates a bottle conditioned beer.

Keep in mind, however, that some brewers use a different strain of yeast for bottle conditioning than they do for primary fermentation. The yeast on the bottom of most Bavarian hefeweizens, for example, is a standard lager strain. Franziskaner, for example, is bottled with a bottling strain, not a hefeweizen strain. One exception to this rule is Schneider Weisse, which evidence suggests is bottled with its fermentation strain. British bottle-conditioned beers, more often than not, are conditioned with their fermentation strain. To give one example, Fuller’s 1845 reputedly is conditioned with its fermentation strain.

Read More at Brew Your Own

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Racking Wine

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

With the final harvests in, most winemaking goes through the "sit and wait" stage. The stage where you allow your wine to sit and have the solids settle to the bottom. Transferring the wine off the solids (racking) needs to be done from time to time prior to bottling. I found two good articles from the web and have printed a portion to wet your appetite.


"Racking" wine is the process of separating wine from its sediment, or lees, and transferring the wine into another container using a siphon.

Things You'll Need
  • Clamps For Wine Bottling
  • Clean Containers Such As Gallon Jugs Or Barrels
  • Siphon Hoses

Step One

Place the container of wine on a table.

Step Two

Place an empty container below the table, such as on the floor or on a lower table.

Step Three

Place the notched end of the siphon tube into the container of wine. Be sure the tube is in the wine but does not touch the layer of sediment. (The sediment should be at the bottom of the container.)
Read the rest of this article at

The fourth essential step in winemaking is to siphon the wine off the sediments (lees) into another clean secondary, reattach the fermentation trap, and repeat after another one or two months and again before bottling.

This procedure is called racking. It is done when necessary, not just two or three times as stated above. The rule is, as long as there are fresh deposits on the bottom after a regular interval (30 to 60 days), even if they are just a light dusting, the wine should be racked. Only when that interval passes and there are no fresh lees -- AND the specific gravity is 1.000 or lower -- is the wine ready to be prepared for bottling.

It is not necessary that the interval between rackings be 30 days, 45 days or 60 days, but it should not be less than three weeks. It is perfectly okay to leave the wine on the lees for three months. Beyond that and the wine enters a danger zone caused by dead yeast cells breaking down -- rotting. While this can cause off-flavors and odors if allowed to go on too long, the bigger danger is the formation of hydrogen-sulfide gas, which smells like rotten eggs and can be the death of the wine. But if the lees are stirred every week or so, neither the off flavors, off odors nor hydrogen-sulfide gas form. Indeed, the wine is actually improved by extended contact with the lees as long as they are stirred frequently.

Read the rest of this article at

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Picking A Holiday Wine

Friday, November 02, 2007

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Congressman Brew Beer

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cleaning out some old news feeds that I have laying around. Interesting reading even though it is dated.

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