elizabeth_mn: (socks)
On Sunday the women's homebrewing collective went on a feild trip to the local brewery store.  The ladies were really excited, having never been there before.  They do have all kinds of neat stuff!  We got some ingredients and went back to my house and brewed some new beer that we called Dark Crystal Stout - this came from a long string of jokes about dark, bitter, opaque, black, mwa-ha-ha looking beer, and then since there is a variety of malt actually called dark crystal, we couldn't resist.  Since there aren't usually a lot of women in the brewing shop, I think the male employees were a little surprised at us three running around giggling for half an hour, but they were even more surprised when we started takling to them and they realized that we didn't just stumble in off the street and we actually knew what we were talking about!

So yeah, the brewing went well, the collective is lots of fun!  If any other local ladies are interested, do let me know!  We usually brew on Sundays.  I want to start trying some new styles, like maybe Belgian, which tend to be kind of weird; the collective ladies want to do a fruit-flavored beer.  And yesterday the man and I put in the air conditioners, so if it gets really hot outside, we will still be able to stand being in the kitchen with the hot wort for a couple hours.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
So far, of the 11 dresses I need to make, 3  are done, 3 more are about 2/3 complete, and I'm starting more this afternoon.  I decided that since I have only 2 more opportunites for fittings, but I still have 2 weeks to finish, I will just begin the remaining 4 dresses now instead of finishing the other ones first. Then I can fit them this Sunday and do all the details afterward.  I wanted to take photos at last week's fittings, but everyone was just running around all crazy-like with New Dress!! excitement.  This week, I think I'll ask people if I can take photos before they put the dresses on.

For some reason, on the last 3 (the 3 now completed) the zigzagging didn't distort much at all.  I lowered the presser foot pressure to almost nothing, and I sewed from the bottom up so I'd be working along the grain.  But with the 3 I'm working on now, I'm doing all the same stuff and the seam allowances are rippling a lot!  I just hope they don't show through all bumpy-looking from the right side.

I'm still trying to figure out what to call this fabric.  I got it at S.R. Harris, the local warehouse fabric store, and they don't have much, if any, info on most of the bolts.  It's smooth, non-shiny woven silk. It's fairly thin, but heavy and drapey, and pretty stretchy along the crossgrain.  And it's a double cloth; two layers are woven together.  Any ideas, anyone?  

In beer news, I transferred the current batch to a secondary fermenter a couple days ago.  It's pretty quiet now, though, so I think I'll be bottling it soon.  Then 3 more weeks until it's drinkable!  I hope it turns out yummy - I am just kind of making up my own recipes at this point.

Beer notes

Feb. 13th, 2007 09:09 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
The beer took off really well this time.  It's been 2 days and it's just bubbling away now.  I'm always a little concerned because it is so vulnerable to bacteria and such  in the time between when the wort cools and the yeast becomes active.  My basement right now is about 50 degrees so I put this one in my dining room where it is closer to 65.  It's possible the extra warmth gave it a boost, but I think it's more likely that it's doing well because I actually left the yeast out of the fridge for an appropriate amount of time this batch.

I used some different hops this time, English Challenger for one, which has a pretty high Alpha Acid content (how one ranks hop bitterness).  I'm calling this beer "freestyle bitter" because while I guess it will be like an English style bitter, it doesn't really confrom to all the definitions of the style.

Anyway, yay! beer! 

Ok, I should really go sew now.
elizabeth_mn: (winter)

Today was another beer brewing day (for those who don't know, I'm completely in love with homebrewing and I've been doing it for about 5 years -a fantastic hobby!!).    However, I had a few female friends over to help and learn how to brew themselves and we got to talking and decided we ought to start a women's homebrewing collective.  See, this is a great, fun hobby, but it is extremely male-dominated.   It is hard for women to have a voice in the brewing community.  It's even hard for women to shop for brewing supplies without getting rolled eyes and general disbelief.  So today was the founding meeting of the St. Paul Women's Homebrewing Collective!  Yay!

If any other ladies in or near MN are interested in learning to brew or just hanging out and helping, do feel free to let me know!

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