Well my knee decided I needed to take it easy for another day.  Of course I was kinda of dumb in finishing taking things down to the basement to store and bringing up beer to bottle. That short flight of steps can really do a number on my knees especially when I’m moving something with a bit of weight.  My knees tell me there is a bit of nasty weather moving in to SW Idaho via the barometric pressure. I tend to be a couple of days ahead of the forecast so this weekend will be the time to top off the wood again and cut some of the mill ends for my party buckets.  I want to get in the habit of keeping the front porch well stocked with wood and not wait till the last minute like I did a few last year. I suppose a wood stove requires it’s own rhythm when stocking up and I’m still a relative newbie using wood for heat.

I need to run my old step ladder and a quart/infrared heater along with some of the green tomatoes I picked over to my sister. The ladder and heater are her birthday/Xmas presents that are a little early. The ladder will give her a way to do some of the higher work around the house a bit more safely than her standing on a chair and the little stove should provide plenty of heat and save on her electric bill this winter. If  a long term power outage happens I can take my small 3500 watt generator and some gas/oil and she will be able to stay warm and keep her fridge running for a few days. I can’t always do what I want to help out but I do try to do what I can to help family.

I managed to get my black ale bottled today and I have a nice selection of both the wheat and the black ale conditioning down in the basement. My alcohol content has really fallen off since I went to a 60 minute rather than the 90 minute time line of making the wort to boil with my brew in a bag system.  So I will do the lager with my old system of 90 minutes at 154 degrees F. and see if that does not get the alcohol content back up to the 6%-7% range rather than the 4%-5% range I’m getting now. I use the iodine test for sugars but it is not a perfect indicator of all the sugars being converted in my opinion. It seems that a longer time at that slow heat melds the flavors of the grains better and heck brewing your own beer is not a fast process so an additional 30 minutes is not a big deal.

My little jigsaw and extra blades arrived today so I have most of the tools on hand for doing small jobs around the house with minimal brute strength needed and which I am sadly lacking. Adding a couple of tools when on sale or as needed has helped a lot around the house. While I can’t always do everything by myself, having tools to share out with the good neighbors in return for work has worked out very well for both of us. I have a work around for my washer’s plumbing/ drain problem, getting the old pipe run cut out and made more simple is a task for the next paycheck and I now have the tools to fix it. I can understand that sometimes a person has to use what they have on hand to make a project work.  What I hate is a lack of planning and foresight that actually sets a person up for a minor disaster in the future.  It’s the Scarlet O’Hara problem solving of  “I will worry about it tomorrow” mindset.

I guess I have always had the mindset of that sometimes you have to make do because of your resources.  Sometimes it pays to buy high end products. I don’t think a person should pick either the cheapest nor the most of expensive option, but the option that gives the most value for the money you spend. That takes time, effort and research so that might be why so few people choose to do it.


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