Archive for December, 2010

Mixing My Depressants and Stimulants Again

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2010 by bencycles

What’s this? A weekend without a race? Whatever shall I do?

Riding in the morning. Brewing in the afternoon. Roasting in the evening. I took full advantage of the first race free weekend in about 3 months to…

Go ride!

I woke up ’round 5AM and drove up to the San Juan trail at first light on a beautiful SoCal winter day. I’ve been kind of sick and haven’t been on a mountain bike in a while, so it felt great to just get out and ride. Kinda like when all the different microcosms of mountain biking were still just all “mountain biking” and not xc or dh or endurance or short track or freeride. Just riding, getting dirty, and having fun.  It’s like taking out the longboard on a summer afternoon when the waves are small and the sun is low and the water looks like soft golden frosting. Just riding.

Clearly, I’m drinking…

Which is a perfect segue to that afternoon.

I like brewing beer. It’s fun for so many reasons. You take this common thing that people drink every day and make it. It’s a very satisfying feeling. You can share it with friends and impress girls. Plus you can get drunk on it when you’re done! What’s not to like? But I just found out from a Japanese friend that it’s illegal to brew anything at home over 1% in Japan. He’s an avid beer drinker, so it was time to take action. We went to the local homebrew supply store, then stopped at the taco shack for some fresh ahi burritos, and finally grabbed a couple six packs to help us brew, loaded some Japanese hip hop on the speakers and got to business.

We sort of spliced up a strong IPA with a little extra malt for flavor and a Belgian Abby yeast just to see what would happen. I figure it’s either gonna taste like sweet divine heaven or it’s gonna be awful. Regardless, I know it’s still gonna be drinkable, so I’m cool with it.

Mmmm, hops. I love hops. Pellet hops, loose leaf hops, it’s all going in.

Steeping some grain before bringing the water to boil.

A good rolling boil

Adding the final round of flavor hops

Chilling the wort with my home made wort chiller

Racked into the carboy, yeast pitched, let the magic happen

Woo hoo, that’s all there is to it. Time to clean the kitchen.

Next up: Time to roast some coffee. A buddy of mine is starting up his own coffee roasting business and was having an open house to demonstrate the process that same evening. Freaking cool, for pretty much all the same reasons as brewing beer, well except for the drunk part.

Open roast night at Revolution Roasters

Unlike brewing my 5 gallons of beer, the equipment for coffee roasting is big and expensive. The roaster on the right which feeds exhaust into the massive afterburner on the left

Coffee beans before roasting

It was cool being able to hear the first and second crack of the beans as they roasted. The process is surprisingly fast after the machine is warmed up. Maybe 10-15 minutes.

And the freshly roasted beans smell so good. I think I got a caffeine buzz just from standing there.


Fresh from the roaster to the bag

Well, there you go. Ride, brew, roast. Just another day.