Thursday, June 21, 2012

Apples and Steel

Lots of pretty cool happenings around here. After years of suffering the insufferable in corporate gyms, I finally found a good deal on a rack, barbell, and weights and got my home gym started. Have already broken it in with a couple of lifts, and clearly I need to adjust the Feng-Shui of the set-up and build a platform as well. Loving it, though. Happy Father's Day to me.

My awesome wife also got me a legitimate pair of weightlifting shoes for Father's day so I can finally squat without my knee exploding every few weeks.

I haven't competed in a Highland Games since June, and I will be back at it in Huntsville, TX the first week of August. Looking forward to coming off a long rest and a couple of training cycles to get my throws locked in. I am really trying to emphasize hammers and sheaf, as I have really been disappointing in those events. Caber is a monster I need to conquer, but that might take a whole off-season.

Here's me throwing the 20 lb. sheaf in my front yard. It's feeling more natural every time I touch it.

I am down to the last few pints of my very first all-grain batch, the "Ill-Advised Pils." I am happy with this beer overall, especially the color and clarity. I am a believer in secondary and cold storage/lagering more than ever after this batch. My gripes are a touch of diacetyl, and a little unwelcome bitterness from using whole leaf hops and leaving it to sit on them for far too long. I think this is a good start to getting a regular, easy-drinking beer ready for tailgaiting season, though.

Next up is a hard apple cider I decided to try making on a whim after talking to Forest Rogness, owner of Austin Homebrew Supply. It's super simple: 4 gallons of apple juice, 2 lb. of dried malt extract and Belgian wit yeast. It's now in cold storage and I am gonna try force-carbonating and kegging it for kicks. Boom.