Hobbies and Hiatuses

Or “a not so brief description of what I’ve been up to” possibly. Buying and drinking beer apparently. I have also been making it though. This was the fridge a couple of weeks ago after a particularly interesting visit to Sainsbury’s outside Belfast. I’ve tasted about half so far and there’s only one I took an instant dislike to. Yes, it was the Badger. I also took the opportunity to further my home brewing exercise with the purchase of a couple more kits. While doing so I realised that I’ve outgrown kits. It’s all just too straightforward. Boring maybe. Open a can, whack the contents into a bucket. Fill the bucket and stir. 5 weeks later you have somewhat acceptable beer. If I’m going to be going through the motions in the first place, I want a good result. So with that in mind, I’ve decided that once my last kit is out of the fermenter (in a few days time) and half the batch of St Peters Golden Ale I’m currently bottle conditioning is consumed, I’m going all grain. That being, making beer from scratch. As in, here’s a bag of grain and a couple of bags of hops; Now go make some beer. I briefly toyed with the idea of moving from kit brewing to extract brewing but I know I’d only end up a few weeks into that and I’d want to move onto all grain anyway. I’ve already taken the OCD step of building a portable activated charcoal water filter (which, by the way, does a bloody brilliant job on the tap water) so I figure going all grain is the next step.

I did the two kits I wanted to do when I was thinking about getting a homebrew kit. Those being the St. Peters ale and Coopers Irish stout which apparently tastes like stout made from coffee if you make it with dark malt extract, which I did). So next I guess it’ll be scouring the internet for recipes or God forbid, masterminding my own.

Ah but the camera. Or the cameras even. I almost forgot them. I took out my 5D to take the above photo and had to think for a few seconds how to use it. It all came rushing back after taking the first frame however. I find, like many I suppose, I’ve been tending to do most of my photography lately with my iphone. It’s the camera that’s always with you I suppose. I think I just need to throw the X100 into the car. Now that I’ve thought of that, I’ll charge the battery and put it in there tomorrow. There’s been a distinct lack of photowalking so far in 2012. Maybe I just haven’t been aware of any walks that were happening. Either way I need to get my arse in gear and get out with at least one of the cameras. Perhaps that’ll entertain me while I’m busying myself not getting the bike serviced because I know it’s going to cost me a few hundred quid. But roll on August and the trip to the Alps. There I’ll be able to combine all my loves; photography, motorcycling and drinking fine beer. Oh, and Julie of course.

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