31 July, 2010
I have no aspirations for being good at Trials, but I wanted to give it a go. Luckily there is a very active NorCal Trials group with half a dozen sites, including one in Orland. They run events that have multiple lanes, from novice to expert. Expert Trials riders scale huge boulders and hop over trees and ditches. Novice riders just try not to crash at 4mph. That is my speed.
A 50cc Cub is very small for a Trials bike, but I like small bikes. I figured a cub would be easy for me to build because I have lots of spares collected for them, including major items like engines, wheels, suspension etc. I also liked the idea of a 3-speed semi-auto transmission with no clutch. One less thing to worry about when I'm navigating the novice lane.
I gave all the parts a good thorough pressure washing this morning:
After a session of sanding and scuffing, I washed everything again. Then I primed and painted most of the key parts by early evening:
I need to clean a batch of nuts and bolts, then I can see about fitting some sub-assemblies together tomorrow.
Yummy cranberry and hops stew!
I had it all in the fermenting keg by about 3pm, and it is hanging out in the spare room. Should be interesting to see how this one turns out.
30 July, 2010
As it happens, they had a Mr. Beer Deluxe Kit. And then I piled on some extra items like a bottle brush, some real bottle caps, a bottle caper, some hops, and a few other odds and ends:
Then I set about brewing. The process is quite easy, and took me about an hour. But I added an extra 30 minutes into the mix because I steeped some hops to make my Pale Ale more hoppy:
I've got the fermenting keg hanging out in the spare bedroom, sitting in a cooler. The keg is elevated about 3 inches, and standing water sits about 2 inches in the bottom of the cooler. A thin towel is draped over the keg, with its ends wicking up water. Thanks to my little temp gauge, I've seen the temps hold steady at 70-degrees, despite the fact we keep the house at 78-80:
It has been two weeks, so I thought it was time to pour off a small amount to test it. It has just a hint of sweetness, and quite a bit of hop aromas and flavors. Of course it is flat, so Susan cringed as if she was drinking liquid devil, but I thought it was surprisingly tasty:
BTW, this was the standard Pale Ale recipe that came in the kit. I added about a 1/2 ounce of Cascade Hops to my boiling water, letting the hops steep for about 30 minutes before adding the extract and and following the standard kit instructions.
I'm going to let this hang out in the fermenting keg another week before I bottle it. I'm going to mix up my bottling process a little. The kit came with reusable plastic bottles, but I also wanted to try my hand at using real glass bottles. I've been saving up some 12 and 22oz bottles. I plan on using all three types of bottles with this first batch.
As it happens , I just got a package in the mail today. A second Mr. Beer Fermenting keg, with some more accessory items. I picked up a wheat recipe kit at the home brew supply shop when we bought the first kit, so I figured why not get a second brew going. I'm going to fruit this beer, as I love a fruity wheat beer on a hot day. I'm thinking blueberry or blackberry.
29 July, 2010
I thought about trying to adapt a telescopic front fork setup off some of the parts bikes I have. I got so far as to walk out along the side of the house, beer in hand, and look. Then I moved on with life and decided part of the fun of the old C100s is the leading link setup. After some head scratching, I realized I could both raise the bike up, and give it more wheel travel by lengthening the leading links.
The stock arm is pictured to the right, the new raw piece to the left:
The upper hole is where the link pivots, anchored to the fork housing. The center hole is where the shock mounts. The end hole is where the front axle mounts. I did some quick maths and decided to lengthen the arm about "this much." Luckily I had a hunk of thick steel in the scrap bin to work with, so I cut two lengths about 7.5-inches long, and drilled three holes. I'm hoping to use all the stock bushings and spacers to give a range of motion.
Depending on how artsy I get, I hope to finish the arms up with some rounded corners. Most of the arm is hidden in the fork though, so I'll probably just make the end that sticks out pretty.
The only other thing I'll need to do is make a little post that sticks out toward the inside of the "passenger" side arm, to hold the brake drum face from spinning. I may be able to do this with a bolt poking through the inside at just the right spot.
28 July, 2010
Me and my sweet head band had the bike mostly apart in about an hour:
My newish cordless impact driver with adapter for fitting sockets works great on stuff like this. Beats the heck out of hand tools.
I've decided it will be white. I think.
The seat was even freshly upholstered by a shop up in Paradise.
$180. How could I resist? Oh, and it came with a second stock chrome muffler.
I have plans for this beast. It includes riding around very slowly, going over (small) obstacles, and not falling over. I'll let you ponder that for a moment (don't tell them Sean, as I'm sure you can guess.) Hopefully, I can throw this bike together in a working fashion over the next week, and make an event next weekend. If not, I'll hit up an event in September.
Apparently my mixed up six pack of booze that Susan grabbed me this week has two offerings from Flying Dog. In addition to the Barley Wine listed below, I got this Hefe. Luckily it is significantly better than the Barley Wine.
However, it isn't that great. Even by Hefe standards, which are pretty low. Instead of a nice mellow yet crisp super cold Hefe, this is a slightly sour Hefe. Like a Belgian, which I hate slightly less than the Dutch. But it is drinkable though, so I will finish it.
I should work in the marketing department at Flying Dog.
I'm not sure what else to say, but this was horrific. The only redeeming quality was the high alcohol content, as I was able to get a slight buzz despite only being able to drink half the glass. Yep, that's right, I had to pour about half of it down the drain.
I like some Barley wines. But not this one. This was sour, flatish, and generally just bad. the bottle touts it being a "malty monster", but I got no malts, Just lots of bad sourness.
18 July, 2010
no abv given
A nice light wheat beer. Nothing particularly special about it, and in fact it was a bit boring. Not that un-fruited wheat beers are super exciting, but this one just seemed overly bland. It was very refreshing though, on a scorcher of a 108-degree day we had this past week.
no abv given
Another great offering from Abita, this time a delightfully hoppy pale ale. From the first crack of the bottle, there is a crisp aroma of fresh hops over a bed of sweet malts. Very well balanced though, but with enough strong hops on the front end to give it that pale ale kick, with enough malt body to smooth out on the back end. There is very little bitterness, but the hops manage to pop up and let you know they are still there.
11 July, 2010
Believe it or not, I liked this beer. But I do like bananas, so I wasn't surprised. It has a nice sharp banana aroma, with a nicely carbonated light body. It is quite well balanced though, with a nice smooth character with equal parts hops and malts. The light banana notes turn slightly sour on the aftertaste, but it is unique enough and not so overpowering to make it worth finishing.
If you like bananas, I think you'll enjoy this.
10 July, 2010
Why hello grey hairs!
I feel like a 20oz Pabst Blue ribbon suddenly
Oh hell yeah baby! Who's ready for a ride?!!?!
Anyone have a mustache comb I can borrow?
I'm usually not a huge fan of Ambers. I don't turn them down when offered, but most of the time the mixture of nuttiness and bitterness aren't my favorite. But when an Amber takes on more malty tones, like this offering from Abita, I find myself gulping it down.
It still has a great medium body a bit of nuttiness, but overall flavors are dominated by smooth matls from start to finish. So maybe this isn't a classic Amber, but I like it.
Susan picked up a 12-pack sampler of Abita from World Market. This sample pack differs from others, because it has two of six different offerings. So lots of great options to choose from, and I've only had one or two of them before.
This IPA is very good. It has a fantastic balance of hoppyness and malts. Neither of which overpowers the other, but they do have their own distinct moments. The hops hit up front with great aroma and a fresh bite in the mouth. Then the malts take over with a smooth body and a bitter free finish.
A very nice offering from Abita, yet again.
An exceptionally smooth porter, with great smokey undertones, just as the name suggests. It poured out very carbonated with huge head, and I was taking my time too. Wonderfully rich aromas of coffee, chocolate, and smokiness. Lots of great malt body with a syrupy like mouth feel. It finishes off exceptionally smooth.
A great Porter.
08 July, 2010
I brought it to work with me today, and have had it sitting out in the heat and sun for a few hours. It sputtered to life around 10am. It actually turned on, but the LCD screen was all black and funky. It acted like it took a photo, but this is what it looked like:
After a couple more hours in the sun, the LCD screen came back to life, although it is a bit cloudy. But, it takes pictures again:
Maybe by the end of the day, it will be back to normal?
04 July, 2010
Me enjoying an IPA:
Susan even chugged down some IPA, but she liked the Scotch Ale better.
We both liked the Pear wine, which Doug brewed for his daughter's wedding a few weeks ago. So we helped him finish off a bottle.
So basically, we chugged down about three half glasses of various beers and wine before noon. July 4th is excellent!
03 July, 2010
no abv given
I think this could be my favorite Lager of all time. Probably because Lagers are generally light and pretty bland. And partially because I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by how awesomely malty and delicious this Coney Island offering is.
As can be seen in the photos above, it pours quite a bit darker than a typical lager, with a nice carbonated body that coats the glass. Aroma is fantastic, with very full malt scents that remind me of that great smell you get at a brew house.
Let me just say, that I wouldn't consider this "well balanced," but that was fine by me. The bottle touts 8 malts and 6 different hops, but I don't get much of the hops. It is all sweet and full bodied malts. Even the aftertaste is exceptionally smooth and malty.
A great offering yet again from Shmaltz!