9 November 2010 (Tuesday) - Another Day Off

Many years ago (1985), as part of my studies at Bromley Technical College I performed a rather major research project into the life cycle of yeast. Specifically fermentation. So I know how long it takes for yeast to get going and to start fermenting, and how long it takes for yeast to reproduce enough for fermentation to actually be apparent. As I added the yeast to my stout last night I actually said to myself that I couldn’t expect to actually see anything happen before 8am this morning.
None of that stopped me getting up at hourly intervals during the night, getting more and more worried that my home brew wasn’t doing anything. Fortunately for my nerves, when I got up (properly) this morning it was bubbling away quite happily. A regular “blopping” followed by periodic  more extreme releases of gas. A bit like my stomach, really.

A phone call: “My Boy TMhad gone beach fishing this morning. I heard him going. I expect my loyal readers in Alberta and Wisconsin heard him going as well – he doesn’t go fishing quietly. He phoned to say he’d caught a bass, and to ask if that was normal. I expect it is. I’ve seen bass caught from the beach before. Not that I do much sea fishing. I don’t like sea fishing. Pond and river fishing is peaceful, done during the summer in pleasant weather. In my experience sea fishing is a test of one’s macho qualities. No one ever goes sea fishing unless the rain is torrential and the wind is at hurricane force. I don’t know why that is, I merely offer it as an observation of life.

And with the weather being against us again, we again decided against going to the zoo. Instead we settled for second best by having a look round the snake shop in Bethersden. They had some nice beasts, but I wasn’t tempted to get any. I’m not keen on doing the whole “reptile thing” again. (Been there, done that!). Whilst we were in the area, we’d heard that Tenterden garden centre had their Xmas decorations out, so we went to have a look at those. They weren’t overly impressive. But whilst there we had a look at their reptiles and Koi too. For me, seeing the reptiles and the Koi at a pet shop is every bit as good as a zoo. I get to see the animals I’m interested in, and I see them much closer up too.

We then drove on into Rye. With the bonfire parade only five days away we needed to check that all was in readiness: it wasn’t *that* far from Tenterden really.
I’d heard reports of a pub that was under new management that I wanted to check out before this coming weekend. The Queens Head is probably now in my top twenty pubs, if not my top ten (must actually write that list!). In the past Rye has been a venue for pub crawls, and the Queens Head has never once featured on any crawls. Now under new management it has friendly bar staff and a wonderful beer selection. A hard choice had to be made – deciding against the Crofter’s we settled down to a pint of Espresso – this pub is only the third place that I’ve seen Espresso on the hand pump, and it’s the only place I’ve ever seen (apart from the FILO) that has beer from the FILO brewery.
I would suggest changing our plans for the weekend to relocate to this pub, but it is right on the bonfire route and will be heaving. Our usual haunt for Rye bonfire parade is a little bit off the procession route, and will have space to breathe

And talking of our usual haunt, whilst in Rye we thought we’d case the joint and check that they were ready for the weekend. The nice people at the Union Inn assured us that they would have barrels of beer on the counter, and we had a pint of Cumberland Ale with a plate of dinner. Having assured ourselves that they were ready for the weekend, we moved on. Another pub that I wanted to check out before the weekend was the Mermaid. I’d heard so much about this place and…. let’s just say that it’s never appeared on previous pub crawls round Rye, and it won’t appear on any future ones either. If any of my loyal readers are in the area and they want to impress a boyfriend/girlfriend, or just be pretentious by paying vastly over the odds for poncey food accompanied by very average ale, then this is the place to go.

And then home to find that in my absence my box of stout had had an episode. Presumably there had been a rather excessive build up of fermentation gases; water from the air lock was sprayed everywhere, and one of the corners of the box was rather soggy. I’ve given the thing a larger air lock, and am hoping that over the next two weeks the box will dry out somewhat. If it don’t I shall boss it together with packing tape.
I suppose that I shouldn’t complain really. As the first brew (possibly of many) it is in many ways something from which I will learn. And lesson #1 is that wet things shouldn’t be kept in cardboard…

1 comment:

  1. We thought the Wisconsin volcano, which we don't have, had erupted this morning.
    Good to hear it was just Dan going fishing.