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Projects aplenty

Another busy weekend of projects, although this time it was at home instead of my Parent’s house. After 3 years of fighting limited power availability in my basement “brew room”, I finally took the initiative to install more outlets on an existing 20A circuit. Its crazy, but the existing one only had a single, extremely inconveniently placed outlet that never gets used; I pulled wire from the panel box all the way back to the outlet and put in a 6 new outlets. I can actually plug in my wireless router, phone charger, stir plate, grain mill, yeast fridge, and a few other devices without having to gang several power strips and extension cords together. It also allows me to get some stuff up off the area I typically work at when doing soldering and wiring work.

The entire circuit is also GFCI protected, which apparently is a relatively new code requirement for basement, garage, kitchen and bathroom circuits… One that our contractor did not follow when he finished our basement several years ago (cringe). I also swapped out the first outlet in our new garage circuit with a 20A GFCI to comply with code… One of these days I really should get a copy and read it cover to cover and see what else should be done.

The most frustrating and time consuming part of the entire project was trying to drill holes big enough to anchor some things to our basement concrete walls, which have been curing for nearly 20 years old at this point. That concrete was so hard I had to borrow a hammer drill from my neighbor down the street to make it happen, and even then it took several hours, an arsenal of drill bits, and a few battery re-charges to make it happen. I was drenched in sweat when it was all over.

I did get one minor brewing-related item accomplished – I racked my most recent pale ale to secondaries where it is currently resting comfortably atop 1/4oz Amarillo and 1/4oz Summit whole hops. I am a little nervous about what the Summit will do as a dry hop – but so far it smells very nice with heavy citrus (orange / tangerine) aromas. So long as the Summit doesn’t impart a funky hop flavor, I’ll be really happy. And yeah, that’s one of the new outlets peeking out from behind the carboy there.

I’m hoping to brew another 10 gallons of American Brown this coming weekend. I saved the WLP001 yeast from this pale batch and will re-pitch – perhaps building up even more yeast for a 20 gallon batch yet to be brewed. I am also thinking about going Belgian soon while I’ve got the hotter temperatures – Maybe a nice amber / brown beer using pureed dried plums as a late-addition kettle sugar… Or perhaps a nice summery low octane wheat with belgian overtones. We’ll see.

Categories: Miscellaneous
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