Have 2 Batches of Beer Brewing, Hobby & Stress Relief

I discovered beer brewing through Mr. Beer, a company that produces and supplies all that is needed for beginner and easy home brewing. I found that brewing beer is a great hobby and a stress reliever for me. Using Mr. Beer, keeps it simple, but gives me enough freedom to develop my own recipes. I just bottled 2 different batches that are my first attempts at my own recipes.

I will share more about Mr. Beer and my recipes, but the reason I am writing this blog is to share one aspect of relieving stress. Stress is a killer in my life. I let it build until I am not able to think straight or I have an outburst of anger (really frustration). There are a few activities that help me, stop my routine, give my mind a rest, and have some enjoyment that also provides some sense of accomplishment (can’t get too serious or it’s no longer a stress reliever). Brewing beer, riding my rode bicycle, running, backpacking, and believe it or not, playing Halo on my xBox are some activities that help relieve stress. These either give me time to exert energy, to “not think”, to loosen stress-tight muscles, zone out, or time alone to think. It just depends on what I need to get rid of the stress. This doesn’t include the spiritual aspect. I will deal with that at another time.

So back to my brewing…

Mr. Beer offers kits to get a quick start, or you are able to purchase each item separately customizing your brewing operation. I chose to purchase my items separately, because I wanted glass bottles with swing tops, so I will be able to use them over and over. I ordered the plastic brewing keg and a few other accessories.

I also chose to order the items separately so I was able to order the type of beer I wanted to drink, not the type that came with a kit. I started by brewing the Bewitched Amber Ale first. I tried a few other kinds, before I put together my own recipe–I started with Bewitched Amber Ale Extract, added Brewmax DME smooth, Cascade hops and I used Safale S-04 Dry Ale Yeast. The other recipe I developed started with American Classic Ale Extract, Brewmax DME pale, Cascade hops and Safale S-04 Dry Ale Yeast. I follow Mr. Beer directions with some modifications: I add the DME while boiling for 5 minute cook with hops. I remove from heat and add the Ale Extract. I remove the hops before I pour the mixture into the brewing keg. I follow the brewing, bottling, and conditioning instructions Mr. Beer provides.

Part of the process for me, also includes inviting a friend over to have a beer or two, while we bottle the batch that is ready. We grill a steak, catch up on what’s knew in each other’s life, drink a store-bought beer or two, and laugh about the last time we bottled beer together.

My Classic Ale is in the refrigerator conditioning. My Amber Ale is bottled in a dark cool place carbonating. I hope it taste good, but it really doesn’t matter to me, it was the process. Stress relief. Enjoyment in life. And maybe, just maybe, some good beer to drink.

New Hiking Backing Boots, Oboz Bridger Mid BDry

I bought a new pair of Oboz Bridger Mids. I purchased them for my backpacking, hiking and daily wear. The last boots I bought were Ahnu, before those I purchased Merrells. I am anxious to see how these work. The Merrrells were terrible for me, I ended up with blisters on my first day of an 11-day hike that began in the Sequoia National Park. My Ahnu’s were great, they lasted two years of 7-day hiking in Emigrant Wilderness, the mountains of Honduras and daily use.

I have a wide foot with a high instep. These boots have a special insole called BFit soles. Here is what Oboz says about their insoles on their website, “BFit Insoles: Align feet biomechanically. Every pair of Oboz comes outfitted with a supportive, quality insole—on par with premium aftermarket insoles, but engineered just for our shoes.” I think this will be helpful for me, with my high instep and wide foot.

The boot is what Oboz calls BDry (waterproof), because of these three components, “The crux is our proprietary tape-sealed polyurethane film bootie, which waterproofs shoes but still lets sweat escape. Second, all of our BDry shoes come with hydrophobic upper materials, meaning the rest of the shoe won’t absorb water. And finally, the textile lining inside BDry boots wicks sweat away, so feet stay dry from the inside out.

They also have BFit lacing that helps lock in your heel to the molded heels the boots have. All these features along with the outsoles called Granite Peak, caused me to believe these will be the hiking boot for me. The Granite Peak outsoles are described as, “The quintessential hiking outsole, featuring a nylon shank for stability, toothy side lugs that hug off-camber trails, and 4mm directional lugs studding the sole. A lightweight TPU chassis boosts stability and prevents stone bruising without inhibiting flex.”

I started wearing them immediately, to break them in, which seems unnecessary. They have been comfortable and with a great feel from the day I put them on. I wear them daily for about 8 hours per day.

These will be the boots I wear for my 11-Day backpacking trip from Mt. Whitney to the Sequoia Nat Park. (I will be doing a couple 3-4 day hikes before then as well).

I will let you know how they wear and feel after my Mt. Whitney trip which will be in July.

Stay tuned: I am planning a 21-Day Backpacking Trip in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains in 2018 and I have started long-range planning for my Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2019 or 2020.