Been off for the last couple weeks – and the weather’s been glorious. Last weekend was the Calabogie Blues and Ribs Fest which I volunteer at very year, and also do a fair bit of partying with my RV buddies – so needless to say, a couple day’s rest was needed when I got back home. Now that I’m back in the saddle, it’s time to brew again, even though my pipeline is fairly full. This time, it’s an American style IPA, or as I call my particular recipe, “Jim’s I Pee, Eh?”. Beer is known to have that effect on occassion.

For fun, something I started this year was growing hops. Just two vines, but the instructions said they’d only get up to about eight feet high, and no hop cones the first year. Ya right! It’s up at least twelve feet, and the hop cones are maturing quite nicely. And just recently, have been developing their characteristic smell. Cascade hops are very aromatic, and are used in late-hop additions and dry-hopping, which this IPA will receive. Along with commercially bought hops (see pic), I threw in a handful of my own cones just to say this batch has my hops!  The image shows three forms of hops: fresh (mine), dried, and pellets.

But – before brewing, I had mother nature to deal with. While away for my weekend of eating ribs and listening to live blues, SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) got stung by an angry wasp, causing swelling over her eye and left hand. REALLY bad swelling. Seems a nest of these little buggers set up shop in an outdoor speaker I installed a few years ago. The speakers are bass reflex, meaning they’re ported, which to these wasps was an open invitation to call one of them home.

So, being the chivalrous man I am (…and wanting to brew this week on the deck), I first tried to block the ports with rags and paper towel… didn’t cut it, so I acquired a can of wasp spray with which to rid these stinging pests. The stuff works great. Killed’em all off, and proceeded to brew up a ten gallon batch of my IPA. At thirty degrees celcius, it was a beautiful day to spend in my outdoor paradise, otherwise known as our covered deck.

Till next time,
Cheers for Beers!

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