Year #2 Plans

This is to add to last week’s post about where this blog has gone after a year.  I’m planning where things are going over the next year and trying to pull back from doing things I’m just not ready for (like a kriek lambic).

Brewery Upgrades

I’m doing five things this coming year to upgrade the brewery: capacity upgrades, boiler upgrade, control panel, cooling, and better fermentation temperature control.

I’m buying another fermenter or two.  The reason is simple: I like certain Ales, like Pale ale and IPA, but I also like some lager styles, like bock, Märzen, and pilsner.  These styles have a long lager phase and can tie up a fermenter for up to 2 months.  That’s a long time!  Plus, I want to move to PET carboys – I have a bucket (which is good for ale fermentations, but I’m concerned about oxygen and air for long fermentation/lager phases.

My boiler is currently 7.5 gallons.  I tend to start with around 7 gallons of wort into the kettle, so I’m nervous for a while until the wort boils down a bit.  And I’m doing this with 220 volts connected to the side of the kettle.

Screenshot 2015-08-15 10.42.36

The control panel is a needed improvement due to the lack of safety in my brewery.  I need to make things safe.

This is NOT the way this should be done.

This is NOT the way this should be done.

Cooling will be the first thing to happen.  My current solution doesn’t work well.

The fourth is fixing the fermentation temperature controller.  I’ve learned a ton about op-amps (specifically differential amps) and how it works and why it is important.  I’m not going to go into more detail about that here (if you want more detail, I have an amateur radio blog where I post things like that).  The current solution is a hack that works… somehow.  The rebuild will be a better solution.


I know more cider geeks than beer geeks.  That being said, I might buy a keg and a regulator for my CO2 tank so I can back-sweeten and carbonate ciders.

Non-capital Plans

I recently submitted a beer to a competition that scored a 35.  I don’t know what that really meant, so I asked what the scores were of the top three in my class.  Turns out, I tied for 3rd and lost the tie breaker. I missed second by one point.  So that recipe is going under further development to become a winner.

I’m going to redesign this blog.  I’m using an incorrectly-modified version of a free theme, and I’ve already started to design a new theme.  It won’t be really different, but it will look nicer and look more like Running on Beer.  I’m going to add ads, mostly because I want and need money.  I have a few other ideas to make some money as well, but those are in the planning stages for now.

Running Plans

I alluded to some running posts in the last one.  I’ve done something incredibly stupid over the past year and I only ran.  I ran a lot (34 miles per week), and didn’t stretch too well and strength train.  I’m recovering from a fractured sacrum and a slipped disk.  I am going to make this recovery last a decade, and that will be partly by doing things other than just running.  Weight training and stretching will be a part of this.  Of course, everything will be ‘what I do’ things with listed sources – I’m not a doctor, coach, or anything other than an average runner… that wants to someday run in the Boston Marathon (and preferably before I’m old enough to where the qualifying requirement is just to finish an approved marathon).

Things I’m Not Doing

I bought American Sours (referral link) because I thought I wanted to make a sour, particularly a kriek lambic. I decided that eventually I will do it, but not right now. I’m going to concentrate on perfecting my ales and lagers before moving to sours. I’ll stick to buying them for now.