Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beer and Working from Home

Not a full beer post, but here's some pics from the bottling of our most recent beer.  Both me and J's families are full of medical professionals and engineers, so making beer is basically the only time we get to feel like scientists. The above photo is the post-fermentation measurement of the alcohol content: the floating thing is a hydrometer, which floats higher or lower depending on the density of the liquid.  The higher it floats, the denser the liquid, the higher the remaining sugar content.  Floating lower means more of the sugars have converted to alcohol. 

And here's our bottling set up.  The top jug is emptying into the bottom jug to mix the beer with the priming sugar (what gives the beer its carbonation after it's bottled) in a controlled way, but the priming sugar can be added straight to the first jug if you don't have a lot of glass jugs lying around.  (Which we do).  Mixing your beer with your priming sugar this way lets you get less of your dead yeast in your bottles. (See that pale layer in the jug on the chair?  That's about an inch of dead yeast sludge.  High in B vitamins, but gross tasting and looking).  

So why have I not been posting?  (The beer certainly hasn't needed any supervision).  I've made the transition to summer without making the transition to summer schedule.  This is the first summer in grad school that I haven't had a clear direction to point in: the first summer, I had a finite research project to work on, and the second summer I had exams to prep for.  This summer (and, let's be honest, basically since I finished my Master's exams) I've been at loose ends for a direction to go in.  Writing fellowship apps helped, because although I hated them, they were a direction to go.  This limbo (still haven't heard about where or when we're moving) certainly doesn't help, because I can't buy plane tickets for research trips six months from now if I don't know where we'll be 6 months from now.  That really shouldn't keep me from working on near-term goals, like going through photos from research trips I've already done, but that's so boring compared with planning trips to places I've never been.  

Which is all to say: working at home is hard, and snuggly cats don't help.  Pout.


  1. That setup with the hydrometer makes me think of you with your green halloween hair. (I feel like I should insert an evil cackle here, or something.) The homebrew you sent me home with the other night was DELICIOUS. Also, last week I hung out with a 2 and 1/2 year old who does the best pouting I've ever seen. EVER. Including Boh. Alright, that was a lot of disconnected comments. More soon!

  2. I agree, working at home is rife with distractions... cuddly cats notwithstanding. Nice brewery in the making!