Friday, December 3, 2010

Zone control and eHLT..

I think I pretty much failed to capture any of it in photos, but me and Jeremiah took the eHLT for a spin last Friday and brewed up a batch of stout with the new eHLT in action. It performed flawlessly and I love the conversion. I am, so far, highly recommending this procedure. The new stout uses 12% roast barley, up 2% from the last batch, and I dropped the chocolate malt 1% as well.. we'll see hw this works out. Unfortunately, when I got home I found the Breiss Roast barley is only 300L instead of the normal 500L of most other brands.. but the SRM numbers came up into Stout territory, so we'll just have to check that color when it's in the glass. That beer is still in the fermenter, and the Amber is up next on deck.. so it'll be a few weeks before it's test time. Stand by for that..

Otherwise, I had a bit of a run in with this thing a couple of days ago:

That's a zone control power head motor you're looking at there in the top picture, and the housing it normally is bolted to in the lower picture. The motor itself failed, the housing was fine. In my particular heating setup, with a hot water boiler, a circulator pump and a couple of zone control valves, this things job is to either open or close the appropriate zone valve to let hot water through into the correct baseboard heater. If you failure, like I did here in the upper lever of my house, you might get a valve stuck in the OPEN position.. which results in unbearable heat all the time, unstoppable, unless you turn off the boiler and kill the heat. Since this broken condition was discovered at midnight when I got home, I had *all night* to think about it, and no idea what was actually wrong with the thing. Long story short, the next morning I got up, packed the kids off to school and sent the momma to work.. and then broke out the internet and became an expert on hot water heating systems in about two hours. After I got my education, I started diagnosing the issues from the thermostat to the boiler.. and eventually found this thing to be the culprit. A quick trip to T-town and $37.37 later, I ha the new part installed and it's been working fine ever since.

Who's the man?

Tis' all for now.. tomorrow, I have that Salsa making class to go to and then the Commando party in the evening after the kids concert. Maybe get some pics from the party to post up.. then, I'm gonna cut down all the lettuce and arugula in the hoop house and call that project finished. I just noticed I had a couple of lettuce plants keel over and die, so I think about mid to late November is about all I can really expect from a hoop house for keeping things alive. Time to get the rest of the nutrients into that lower bed and get some manure in there to do it's thing over the winter. Good times!

Oh yeah, also got my new sourdough starter fired up and I'm trying to get my first firm starter to do it's thing as I type this. We'll see how that goes..