Archive for February, 2014

carboy bottling-eleanor 48bottles
Today we bottled 48 bottles of Nic’s double IPA.  A week earlier, Nic had come out to siphon the contents of the original bucket (see previous post on this subject) into a glass container known as a carboy.  Today we (Nic, Alison, Eleanor and I) sanitized all the bottles, buckets, and instruments we would be working with, then added sugar to the beer to aid in carbonation, a process known as priming, and then siphoned the (currently flat) beer into bottles, and capped them.  Over the next two weeks, the sugar will interact with the yeast to create carbonation, the final stage in the beer-making process.

click here for more pictures with explanatory captions

Next day update: Labels!

3beers1-crop beerlabel-crop 4beers

First Tasting Update (Feb. 28):


moni-parkway moni-weath moni-greece

In the period following Monika’s death on January 17, 2014, I found it therapeutic to post several picture albums on Facebook.  I’ve now also posted these sets of pictures (with a few additions) to Picasa as well.   They bring back many happy memories for me, even if they inevitably remind me of the great loss I’ve experienced and am still trying to come to terms with.

Monika Wood (1947-2014): family pictures over the years  Facebook    Picasa

Graceful Moni: Grace Church and local community   Facebook    Picasa

Valentine’s Day: Remembering our trip to Mykonos and Santorini in 2007   Facebook   Picasa

beermaking1 beermaking2  beermaking3 beermaking4

Nic and Alison came out for the weekend, and we made our first batch of beer here.  (Both Nic and Tim have made beer elsewhere with friends before.)  This beer is the double IPA which Nic once made before; when he brought samples to the extended family here, everyone agreed it was one of the best beers they’d ever had.  Hence this attempt to repeat that success.

After a period of bitter cold, the weather was sunny and mild, and the chickens came by periodically to check on what was going on.  This remains a very difficult period for me, and so this exercise was a pleasant, though temporary, diversion…

click here for more pictures (with explanatory captions)


Actually, Saturday was just the beginning.  Our Grace Brewers Guild made a batch of English Brown Ale on Sunday afternoon.  So that’s 100 bottles of beer on the wall for the weekend!