31 May, 2011

Oakshire Brewing O'Dark:30

Oakshire Brewing O'Dark:30
6.3% ABV

A nice hoppy Cascadian Dark Ale. I've had a few different CDA varieties lately, and this has been my favorite so far. Fairly mellow aroma, but a nice mix of malt and hops in the flavor profile. It has a fair bit of bitterness on the back end, as the 70 IBU count would suggest.

A nice offering from Eugene, Oregon.


Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
15-20% ABV***

As is usual with DFH offerings, not my favorite. It may be brewed with "ridiculous amounts of barley", but that doesn't make it good, IMO. I got very little stoutish flavors, and mostly just had a mouthful of strong alcohol notes. No ABV was given, but DFH's web site says 15-20%. And I believe them.

Still fun to try strange offerings, even if they aren't my cup.


21 May, 2011

FV "Big" Engine Kablamo Teardown

Roughly a year ago, the "big" engine I had built for the FV went kablamo. I think I over-revved it on a downshift into Turn 14, as I heard a slightly off pitch sound. Then across the finish line it went kablamo in a big way. I found a hole in the block, a loose piece of piston ring, and some chunks of random aluminum.

In anticipation of taking my 1200 motor up to Oregon for Mr. A to rebuild (it isn't broken, just needs a freshening) I needed to grab the flywheel and clutch assembly off the kablamo engine. So I set about getting the car into position for working on:

After an hour or so of work, I had this:

Hello hole, how you doin?

Rockin' the headband and dirt knees:

Cylinder #3. That is what remains of a piston, piston ring, and connecting rod:

Buckets of bits, and a handful of rod, complete with piston pin still attached. I'm thinking the piston took a beating:

The other side of the engine, cylinders 1 and 2. Lots of debris in the cylinder/combustion chamber. Looks like some carnage from cylinder #3 got pulled through into the intake path:

I'll probably split the case apart tomorrow, to see how much carnage the crank and cam suffered.


17 May, 2011

Bridgestone BS-7/D Engine "Unfrozen"

After removing the piston last night, I had decided to soak the crankcase on the Bridgestone with a mix of ATF and Acetone. This seems to be an internet phenomenon when it comes to a cheap and extremely effective penetrating fluid. As it happens, the Bridgestone BS-7 engine lent itself to this treatment because the center portion of the case that the crank rides in seems to be completely sealed. There is even a tiny little drain plug bolt under the engine that drains just this chamber.

So I filled up this area with the ATF/Acetone mix and let it sit for about an hour. I intended to soak it overnight, but after an hour I went out just to see how much I could rotate the crank. Before the treatment, I got about 5-degrees of rotation by turning the cooling fan back and forth by hand. After an hour, I was able to get another degree or two each time I went back and forth. After a minutes I got about 45-degrees of rotation.

So I let it soak a bit longer, then was able to turn it over a full 360. I drained the old fluid, added fresh fluid, and rotate the crank over several times. After a couple minutes, it turns freely with a single finger's worth of "force" on the fan assembly. I snapped a few pictures.

Central galley where the crank rides:

Circumference of crank is very clean, with no signs of corrosion. The needle bearings on the big end were even shiny:

A bit more progress each day.


15 May, 2011

Bridgestone BS-7/D Engine "Unfreezing"

The engine on the BS-7 was a bit stuck, so I had been soaking the upper end in penetrating fluid for a couple weeks. Thanks to a little mount I built, I was able to have the engine sitting "piston up" on my work bench. And luckily, the piston was high enough in the cylinder that the intake/exhaust ports were covered up, so the penetrating fluid was able to do its job.

I was able to move the cylinder a little bit by hand, but I needed a little bit of persuasion from a simple puller tool. Thanks to the longish cylinder studs, I was able to pull up on the barrel using a gear puller. I was very careful not to pull up on a cooling fin, and instead used the beefier intake and exhaust port castings:

Success! Don't be fooled by the color of rust, the cylinder is surprisingly free from corrosion and scratches. I think it will hone quite nicely. Also, the piston is very clean too. The piston pin clips are a bit corroded, so I'm soaking them in fluid too. I'm thinking a set of clips from a Honda 50 engine will work as a replacement:

The engine isn't entirely "unstuck" yet though. The connecting rod only moves a little bit with light pressure, so I'm assuming the bottom end has some corrosion issues too. Which is somewhat surprising, as the oil I drained out of it looked perfectly clean. It looks like this engine will require some internal work to bring back to life.


02 May, 2011

More Bridgestone Teardown

I managed to get the Bridgestone BS-7D stripped down to its chassis tonight. This took quite a bit longer than I thought it would. I have to give it to Bridgestone, they managed to use three times as many fasteners and brackets and other misc. shit to hold this bike together, than any comparable Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, or Hodaka of the same vintage.

But now I can get to work cleaning. Which is my least favorite part of the project. So much so, I might invest in a little ultrasonic cleaner to get all the fiddly small parts cleaned up.

BS-7D mounted on my new rolling work bench:

Stuck piston, soaking in some penetrating fluid:

Underside of cylinder head. Yep, it's small:


Chico Home Brew Club Competition Judging Day

Susan and I worked the annual home brew club judging day, as stewards. Which meant we made sure the judging table we were assigned to had their proper score sheets, a beer to judge, water, and french bread. Luckily, we also got to sample all of the brews being judged at our table. Double lucky, Susan and I had tables next to each other, so we got to sample each other's tables too!

After the judging, we got a nice catered lunch from Sierra Nevada, and a tour of the facility. Our tour included grabbing as many hops as we could cram in a 1 gallon ziploc, and a few samples off the fermenters. Overall, we had a blast!

Results won't be announced until this weekend. Random photos below.

Our little prep table, with score sheets and the next beer to be judged:

The Big Room at SN, packed full of brews, judges, and other workers like us:

This was my table. Doug (my neighbor) and Dawn (owner of the home brew shop) were very studious, keeping to themselves then comparing scores afterward. That's when I got to sample. Susan's judges were a bit conversational, and offered her booze earlier:

Susan was a lucky girl, as her table was judging Scottish Ales, Strong Ales, Irish Red, Sours, and Ciders. I was stuck with Blondes, Cream Ales, american Wheats, and Ordinary/Best Bitters. The last couple bitters were very good:

Why hello sample cups:

Free lunch consisted of chicken, salad, rice, and of course Sierra Nevada opened up the taps. I enjoyed my first Summerfest of the year:

During our tour, we were each handed a 1-gallon sized ziploc bag. And set free in the Sierra Nevada hop room! I grabbed a bag packed full of Magnum and a bag of Cascade, both varieties I use frequently:

A happy man:

The main fermenters are suspended from the upper floor, so the bottom floor is very open:

During our tour, we got a chance to sneak a peak into a new room for trying out "smaller" batches. Our tour guy opened up a tap on a fermenter of Kolsch, which was nicely chilled:

Overall, we had a great time. We both agreed that being stewards was a great job that suited our ability to keep track of things.

I entered three beers btw, an American Pale Ale, American Amber, and an American Stout over Cedar (wood-aged category.) Usually they post the results online, but have decided to wait to announce the winners at this Saturday's awards party.