Friday, October 16, 2009

Eggs and Imperials..

Somebody in the hen house fired off another egg this morning.. not sure who, though. It's on the small side, at 42 grams.. I'm not sure it was the Barred Rock who layed the other day.. but it might be. That makes her on a less-than every other day cycle already. Good times! Today is the ON day for my R.I. Red, if she's gonna stay consistent. Fingers crossed..

In other news, I drank this beer:

last night with [Person's name withheld to protect the innocent]. Heh... me and [Person's name withheld to protect the innocent] also had a few "virtual beers" with both Timmay and Pete W. via Skype, making for a bigger party than originally planned, and neither Timmay or Pete had to drive home when we were done. In retrospect tho, it sure seemed like Timmay might have needed a hand getting up the stairs to his bed at the end, there.. 

In any case, on sale for $2.99 a Bomber at The Depot, this creation was a great beer! Eel River's 'Raven's Eye' Imperial Stout. 9.5% on the scale, it also clocked in with *huge* coffee/chocolate cake flavor. Big body for this thing, and went down a lot smoother than one might expect for a big beer. I quite enjoyed it, and would recommend it to the masses. Strangely too, it is labeled as certified organic, making it possibly the first organic beer I have ever really enjoyed.

I'm not sure if I've ever posted this before, but, as a general rule, organic beers suck. Organic anything is all fine and well for the planet, and I dig the idea.. but in general, I find organic stuff lacking in the distinct flavors I expect from non-organic beers. I'm not sure this qulaifies for stuff that isn't beer, but I'm no expect on lettuce or chives to say for sure wether that makes a difference in that particular ballpark. But yeah, as far as beer goes, organic has not impressd me.. until now.

Carry on.. nothing to see here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another chicken laying!


Heard a lot of commotion out inthe henhouse a few minutes ago.. when I went to check, I found the Barred Rock just climbing out of the nest box. Inside, I found a TINY little very warm egg, having just been fired off by said Barred Rock, and a much cooler one, that was apparently shot out a few hours ago (see previous post..) by the R.I. Red. Great! The R.I. Red egg is the biggest yet at 47.6 gram and the little Barred Rock egg checks in at just over 34 grams. That makes the Rock egg a PeeWee class, but the Red egg just squeaks into the Small category! We're getting there! Both chickens should eventually lay Medium and Large size eggs, when they're fully grown.

Here's how I found them, just after the Rock climbed out of the box..

Here's the two side by side:

And here's a size comparson with my thumb. Tiny!


Good times!

Abid Clever brewer and another egg..


So, the new Abid Clever coffee dripper/brewer arrived yesterday, just before I left for work. I was just able to put it through it's first run just a couple hours ago, and man, am I impressed! I did a 15 gram brew for a standard 9oz mug, and it was *bright*, really bright, and had huge flavor. I did an identical brew with the same amount of coffee to water ratio in one of my vacuum pots and the resulting cup was also very delicious, but notably less "powerful" in the cup.. as if I had used less coffee (which, as mentioned, I did not..) and a pretty fair ammount LESS of bright acidity in the cup. It was a faulous cup of coffee in it's own right, but just radically *different*. The vacuum cup was actually what I'd consider a normal strength cup.. the Abid brew was actually sort of "over the top". And that's something, coming from me! It's exciting news to me, because it shows that, with the same bean, I can emphasize or de-emphasize certain charecteristics based upon what I want the cup to taste like.. sorta like "do I feel like brewed coffee this time, or an espresso?" i.e. same coffee, different result, because of brew method.

One disssapointing aspect? Packaging! I bought this from Spronomy, in PA, and the crazy bastards put a label on it and sent it off in the box it's supposed to be on the store SHELF in.. no other packaging in sight. Check it out:

In that photo, I'm pointing to a large dent in the box.. but you can also see the bottom of the box is just bursting open, about to let the brewer fly free into the Post Office room floor. Un-sat!

Here's a pic of the thing in hand:

 In this one, I'm pointing to the Sweet Maria's logo on the side, a well known and respected green-bean re-seller. Weird how it's on my particular brewer, since I didn't order it from them, though..

I'll get some more brewing tips and info, and maybe an action shot or two in a later post, when I learn a bit more about this thing. Stand by for that...

In chicken news, I'm sort of expecting another egg today.. I'm thinking it's an every other day sort of project for my R.I. Red so far, and I'm sort of thinking we're gonna get another one today. I was just out in the garage a second ago, when I heard an amazing cackling song from one of the birds.. I turned to check it out, and found the one egg laying Red was in the coop, fussing about in the nest, arranging feathers and wood shavings in there. She had sung this fantastic song, and I think it's the famed "egg song" I've heard so much about.. she's still out there messing around in the box, and no egg yet, but we'll see how that goes.

I also just switched 'em all over to layer feed, too. Maybe that'll help the process as well..

Sunday, October 11, 2009

An egg!

So! Yesterday we went to a party in NY State, at Erin and Kevin's house for his big birthday bash/Octoberfest combo party. I had let the chickens out for a couple house prior to us leaving, so they'd be able to run around a bit before getting locked up for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, the kids seemed to scare 4 of the 5 away into some place we couldn't find them *just* before we left, so we had only the one lonely hen in the coop.. and then it was time to leave, so they were out for the rest of the day, on their own.

Just before we left though, I checked the box one more time, and saw my biggest R.I. Red was actually sitting in the next box.. I thought that was curious, but didn't think much of it cause I was still a bit irritated lookig for the rest of the flock which were quite cleverly hidden still. Come back to this in a moment..

So, we go to the party, and good times were had by all. It was a great fest, and the 'brats were really tastey, and there was a good cheese selection as well. Yumm!

On arrival at home many hours later, it turns out that the coop was all locked up.. seems our friendly neighbors to the east were able to locate the birds that evening and secured them up for us. Thanks guys! In addition to all 5 chickens being found, when  I opened the nest box door for a cursory glance inside, I found this:

I almost pee'd my pants, I tell you! 20 weeks, 2 days and one evening later, my chicken's first egg!  Of course, I suspect the R.I. Red that was in the nest box just befor we left.. she's one of only two really developed enough to produce an egg at this time, and she was last seen in the area.. so.. you do the math. Here's an up close pic taken during daylight in front my my computer here:

As you can (?) see, it's a slightly odd shaped egg, a bit long and pointy shaped... and quite on the small side.  Actually, a quick trip to the gram scale (at 41.2 grams) puts it on the high side of the "peewee" class.. the smallest size egg recognized by the USDA! It's normal, according to my research, to have chickens start out with small and unusual sized eggs, so I'm not worried.. just sorta curious when the rest are gonna step up to do their work.

As a side note, I'm drinking a vac pot prepared coffee with 14 grams of coffee per 9 oz of water.. this is a deviation from my now normal 18-15 gram hit in the morning. Just wanted to step back to my old standards and see how things tasted. Well.. weak is the word. I don't like it. Time to re-brew and start the morning off right.

That's all for now..