Monthly Archives: September 2012

Slow Happy Brewing is getting underway, slowly and happily

The first batch of Slow Happy Brewing beer is bottled and will be ready for tasting in less than a week! We used an extract recipe described as an amber ale. Given our adventures with the smoky stove and the emergency call to the fire department, we’ve named this batch “Call 911 Amber Ale.”

After the initial brew day, this first batch has proceeded rather smoothly. We’ve learned how to siphon from one container to the other without spraying one another with beer. We’ve learned how to use the nifty bottle filler that simplifies the delicate task of getting just enough but not too much beer into each bottle. We’ve mastered the art of using the bottle capper.

Based on original and final gravity numbers (OG and FG), we think the ABV will come in at about 4.2%.

With all the work we’d put into it, we were hoping for a bit higher ABV! So for our second batch, I (LKS) looked for a recipe with a larger amount of grain (more grain going in equates to more alcohol at the end). We agreed on a porter recipe that leans toward the “robust” end of the porter family. My nifty iPad brewing app indicates that we can expect an ABV of about 7.3% from our eleven pounds of barley. That’s more like it! I’ve developed a taste for porter of late — a taste that verged on an obsession when I experienced Dechutes Brewery’s special “Black Butte XXIV” anniversary porter at their brewpub in Bend last week. YUM!!!

We’re brewing our porter this afternoon and will rack it to the secondary fermenter a week from now… right about the time we plan to open our first bottles of Call 911 Amber Ale!

We’re thrilled that, when we attend our next local brewer’s guild meeting in mid-October, we’ll be able to bring a sample of our own beer for others to taste and praise (or not). Our porter won’t be ready to drink before late October, so we’ll plan on bringing that one to the November meeting.

Eventually we plan to have multiple batches going concurrently so that we’ll always have a selection of Slow Happy Brews available for drinking and sharing with friends. Hey, maybe that’s you — why not stop by when you’re in the neighborhood?

Here’s the initial blog post about my (LKS) latest half marathon. I’ll post more details later.

Slow Happy Runner

It wasn’t easy, especially during the last four miles when it got warm and the trail was bereft of cheering spectators.

It was a great relief to feel chilly at the starting line! It was 52 degrees and I actually wore a light jacket until just a few minutes before the start. Approximately 900 runners began the 2nd annual Rogue Run from Talent to Central Point in southern Oregon.

I went out feeling great and ran the first several miles just ahead of my planned 10:15 pace. I hit the halfway point (6.55 miles) at about 1:06:30, which would have meant a 2:13 finish. But I started to get tired as the weather began to heat up to the 70s in the later miles. I could have kept pushing, but I managed to remember that this was a TRAINING RUN for Victoria BC two weeks from now. So I walked…

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Yesterday I (LKS) wrote this post over on Slow Happy Runner. It’s me not being very slow and happy, but rather stressing out over an upcoming half marathon. I’m re-blogging it here as a reminder to all of us to “relax and have a home brew.”

Slow Happy Runner

What is it about tapering for a race that brings out every hidden anxiety, every imaginary ailment, every outrageous scenario of what-could-go-wrong?

All along I’ve told myself (and you, dear readers) that my race down in Oregon this weekend would be “my last long training run” before Victoria, BC. Even so, I’ve treated it as a race that required its own training plan and preparation. I’ve ramped up the training miles and effort, and for the past week or so I have been tapering the miles and effort. I had originally set what seemed like a reasonable goal for this race. I figured that on an “all downhill” course I could run a 2:15 without overdoing it, which would be a modest personal record, one minute faster than my hilly race in June. I figured I could do that, rest up, and then shave another couple of minutes off two…

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Living and blogging the Slow Happy Living way

We (CFL and LKS) have been dreaming about starting a blog called Slow Happy Living for a while now. Between us we have a whole lot of ideas that we’d like to share with all of you. But, because we are SLOW and happy, it can take a while for us to launch new things. Sometimes we’d both rather just dream about them, keep perfecting those dreams until they are designs for the most amazing things we can possibly imagine. Sometimes we get stuck in the design phase. That can happen when two designers get together.

But life doesn’t always leave time for the launching of perfect dreams. So we’re going to start now, imperfectly, and see what might develop.

Right now, between the two of us, we’re:

  • brewing beer
  • teaching home school classes
  • finishing up training for two half marathons to be run in the next three weeks
  • hiking as much as we can before autumn sets in
  • doing a little home remodeling (new windows? maybe a skylight?)
  • making sauerkraut
  • writing, writing, writing!

You know, the usual stuff that two busy people do in the too little available time we have for the fun things in life.

Trying to juggle all of this and still be slow and happy can be a challenge sometimes, but sometimes the challenges are funny in themselves.

We hope you’ll join us on our adventures, and we hope you’re slow and happy too!