Sunday, March 8, 2009

Progress Report - 3/8/09 (now with MORE BEER).

Progress and beer!

Last weekend's tournament didn't go so well for the Beer Gut Tribe. The Ogres fought bravely against swarms of Lizardmen, a wall of Goblins, and the hordes of Chaos Daemons, but in the end victory was not achieved. All in all it was a good time, and I learned a few new things about playing the game, and that is what matters (although winning is welcome too).

I didn't take very detailed notes so I will spare you from a rambling recount from memory over a week later. I am in the process writing my final list for the upcoming (and first ever) Austin IGT. The event is called Capital City Carnage (great name by the way) and it will take place in early May at the Austin convention center. I am planning on taking the Beer Gut Tribe as it seems unlikely that I will have my VC fully assembled, based, primed, and even partially painted. Speaking of painted models, here is another completed Irongut from the series of pictures I took a few weeks back! I really like the first one as the IG looks quite menacing!

In other news, I have discovered I have a fairly acute allergic reaction to the super glue I have been using. I switched brands last October, but did most of my major gluing and modeling in the months since December. During that time I have developed crusty spots on my lips and eyelids, red itchy bumps on my hands and fingers, and some rather nasty wounds in my throat and sinuses. I finally realized it was the glue doing all of this (and that I wasn't turning into a zombie yet), so I switched brands again. I glued a little bit yesterday (still recovering from the last time I used the old glue) and I noticed a big difference. Sadly, I got a little on one finger and it is itchy and red today. Maybe I need to wear gloves while I am working with it?

All in all it is a pretty crappy allergy to have for someone in this hobby and I don't recommend it. It has really slowed down the progress of my Vampire Counts army even though I have plenty of models to assemble and convert.

But enough about models and allergies and tournaments. What about the BEER?! Oh .. well there is beer, or there will be in a month or so to be more precise!

We (the girl and I) have purchased our first home brewing kit! Went out and picked it up yesterday, as well as the ingredients to make our very first batch of beer. It will be a Pale Ale (although a fairly hoppy variety, not an IPA) and it is already bubbling away.

Making beer is fairly simple really, but it can be quite complex if you want it to. We opted for the simple method of Pitchable Yeast. This saves some time and it is easier for novice brewers like us.

The only problem we ran into was finding a vessel large enough to cool down the multiple gallons of boiling wort (the mixture of grains, malt, and hops pictured above) to stop the last bit of hops from losing all of its flavor. We ended up putting it in our bathtub and cooling it down there (though not quite fast enough so we may have lost a little of the hops flavor from the last addition).

It can be quite nerve wracking to have this (possibly) living thing hiding away in a bucket where you can't see it (sort of a Schrödinger's beer cat). We finished the beer at about 7pm last night and woke up this morning to find it bubbling away! It's alive! ALIVE!! Now for another 5-7 days of yeasty action and we will transfer it to the secondary fermenter (the box on the left) and add more hops. Another few days of that and its off to the bottles (with some priming sugar) for aging and carbonation.

Then we will have some beautiful baby beers to drink. I can't wait to try it!

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