Thursday, July 4th, 2013

I am officially too tired to type, so this would of course be the perfect time to blog because why would I want this to make sense? See if you can follow me all the way to the last full stop.

My exhaustion stems from waking up sometime shortly after three o’clock this morning. There was a pot luck at work yesterday with so much good food that I have to admit that I overindulged a tad, leading to an after-midnight bout of indigestion. I sat up for a little more than an hour drinking glass after glass of water which eventually cleared my stomach and quieted my gut, but when I crawled back into I couldn’t get back to sleep. Also, I had developed a case of positively toxic gas that I had to release, but I didn’t think it was fair to do that to My Darling B, even with the ceiling fan going, so I got out of bed again just before five o’clock and put the kettle on to make a pot o’ joe.

After a cup of coffee I hopped on my bike and had a ride over to Save Big Money At Mendard’s. They opened the store as normal at six o’clock this morning but will be closing early at eight o’clock tonight due to the holiday so their employees can spend quality time with their families. I may have been the only customer in the store. I didn’t see anybody but employees, but it’s a big store, so there may have been one or two other customers hiding out in a far corner, several miles away.

My mission at Menard’s was to find brass fittings for my wort chiller. What’s a wort chiller? It’s anything you can use to bring the temperature of boiling wort down to room temp so you don’t kill the yeast that turn wort into beer. When I brewed on the stove top in the kitchen, I simply filled the kitchen sink up with water and ice and plopped the kettle in it. Later, I made a wort chiller out of 25 feet of copper pipe by wrapping the pipe around a paint can and running cold water through it.

I’ve still got that wort chiller and it still works great, but I made it for a kettle that’s just ten, maybe twelve inches deep. The electric brew kettle I use now is at least twenty inches deep, so I had to straighten some of the pipe to make a neck long enough to stick out of the top of the kettle. And it leaked, which was not a problem before because all the water dripped outside the kettle, but I didn’t want to count on that kind of luck after I re-engineered it. Hence, the search for proper brass fittings to make a leak-free connection.

I’ve complained before about how hard it is to find anything in Menard’s after they expanded the store to make it approximately as large as Montana so they could fill it with aisles and aisles of snack food and toilet paper. I wandered around for about ten minutes before I found what I was looking for. Mind you, that’s ten minutes of wandering around in the plumbing section. I wasn’t randomly wandering the aisles over in gardening, or electrical.

fittingsWhen I finally found the brass fittings, I had to figure out what I needed, which was a compression fitting that would screw into a hose barb. A compression fitting is a ring of brass that slips over the copper pipe and gets compressed by a nut that you can tighten over it. After everything’s screwed together, the pipe doesn’t leak. It’s a kind of plumbing magic that I don’t question. I’m just happy it works.

A hose barb is a brass tube that fits inside a hose on one end, and on the other end screws into a compression fitting. Or it should. Funny thing about compression fittings: The hose barbs aren’t made to screw directly into the nut. They’re made to screw into an adapter, which is made to screw into the nut, so hand over an additional two ninety-five, please. I’m sure there’s a good reason for doing it that way, other than to screw me out of a couple extra bucks. Maybe someday I’ll find out what it is.

Back at home I put everything together, hooked it up to the spigot and ran cold water through it full-blast to see how much leakage I would get. Result: None! Much happiness and joy followed. I will be even happier after I brew beer tomorrow and can dunk a drip-free wort chiller into the brew kettle.

I was finished with that before eight o’clock this morning. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so productive on a day off. But it was way too early in the day to take a nap, so I hopped on my bike again and headed north through Monona to see what kind of goodies were on sale at Batch Bakehouse. They had lots, but I had to go with my favorite, a raspberry oat bar, which I ate at one of the tables out front and washed down with a cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice before I got back on my bike and headed home.

I hadn’t intended on riding all the way around Lake Monona, but I was already halfway there so why not? Instead if turning around and heading back I went on up Williamson Street into town, around Monona Terrace and down John Nolan Drive to go home through the Waunona neighborhood. There’s a lot of places around here named with what appear to be random vowel strings.

Got home at nine-thirty. Mowed the lawn. Nothing much to tell you about there. Bet you’re relieved as hell to hear that.

After a few more chores around the house, I finally laid down around noon to see if I could get a nap. Nothing doing. How can that be? I’m dead on my feet and I can’t get some shuteye?

I laid there for an hour or so before I gave up, rolled out of bed and banged out this drivel. You’re welcome. How’d I do?

limping along | 3:24 pm CST
Category: beer, entertainment, food & drink, hobby, homebrewing, play
Comments Off on limping along

Comments are closed.