"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Today, Husband and I spent a little time brewing beer (Ale). We'd already had the yeast set aside and we set on about 2 gallons of water to boil.

After the water commenced to boiling, we added malt, stirred it up and eventually added hops. You have to be careful that it doesn't get all out of control and boil over. This batch was very well behaved.

Pearl wasn't sure what to think of all that. It is a pretty sterile procedure so she and Evelyn had to stay out of the way - they didn't like that.

I enjoy the smell of the malt but am not too wild about the raw hops. It is a little strong. It gets better.

I enjoy the steam coming off the pot. There is just something primal about brewing.

Pearl kept us company.

After the water/malt/hops mixture boiled for about an hour, we turned it off and let it sit. Meanwhile, we prepared the fermenter (a large glass bottle). It has to be pristine as do the funnel and the water added to it. The hops/malt mixture should have had all the bacteria killed out of it but we added bottled water rather than tap water to control sterile conditions.

It was a bit of a struggle to keep the girls from sticking their noses into everything and introducing germs. They REALLY were interested when we poured the water and malt/hops misture into the fermenter.

Altogether, we used about six gallons of water.

After everything was settled in the fermenter, we set it downstairs in the basement where it is cool. We gave it more time for the temperature to drop then added the yeast.

It was fun to watch the yeast infiltrate the water/malt/hops. In a few hours, it is likely to start bubbling and getting all excited.

It will sit for a week in that fermenter and next weekend we'll move it to a second fermenter to allow it to continue to age and remove some of the sedement (dead yeast, etc.).

Isn't Evelyn pretty?

Meanwhile, I also worked on my floral weave quilt, upstairs. I started out by replacing the blade on my rotary cutter. I take it apart and set the pieces down in order so I can remember how to reassemble it, properly.

I'd picked out some green batik fabric for the setting triangles (pictures later will show non quilters what I mean by "setting triangles"). The book that is chewed up? It is my essential quilting guide that has all the measurements I could ask for. My sister-in-law gave it to me and Evelyn ate it up. She was a wild child in her younger days. Like last year.

I stitched together the rows and added the setting triangles to the ends. Lots of places to match up seams. I always forget how tricky quilts are that don't have sashing. This is a quilt that creates a weave pattern so it is important to get all the pieces in the right spot. Thank heavens for glue stick.


Oh well, CRAP. Do you see it? Do you see the mistake that is going to take hours of work to fix????

Crap, crap, crap. I am going to have to dismantle the thing. I should have shifted that block in the circle so that where it is pink it is green. This is what you get for quilting and making beer at the same time. I wasn't DRINKING the beer but it was a distraction to keep going up and down the stairs - looks like I lost my place.

And just as an aside - see those dark threads? I have dark threads because, if you remember, I was using up all my partially filled bobbins on this quilt. I snip them away as I go because otherwise, they'll show up when I put the layers on to quilt and what a mess that would be.

Pretty darn productive day. I'd intended to write about a case I am working on but it is late and that story can wait until another day.


Miriam said...

You have had a very productive day. I love how the pattern weaves together.

I didn't see the mistake until you put a big circle around it!

i hope you enjoy that beer.

Anonymous said...

Call me when the beer is ready...I'd be glad to frog stitch that block out for you. I have lots of experience.


Shogun said...

Whew! That home brew process looks very complicated and detailed. And I agree - I wouldn't have noticed the mistake unless it was pointed out. It will be a very pretty quilt. Your dogs sure are pretty...have they ever rolled in the mud?

Suzanne Kistler said...

Hi Penny,

How frustrating to find that mistake! You seem to prefer perfection in your pattern - will you hate me if I tell you that the last couple of half-blocks on the left bottom don't look right either? It seems like their legs should be the same color, rather than one pink and one green.

I love the quilt and look forward to seeing how you decide to quilt it. Hope the unpiecing/repiecing doesn't take as long as you predicted!

Infinity Quilter said...

At least you found the mistake before it was quilted! It is very cute!