The rain is starting to take a toll on my mental condition. It\’s not some sort of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Not only do I not mind overcast weather, I prefer it to the blazing southern sun. The problem with Atlanta\’s weather this summer is that we keep getting tossed from blazing upper-nineties heat to these ridiculous thunderstorms over … and over … and over … and over. Going through my house and resetting all the clocks has become an almost daily task, which, now that I think about it, IS TOTALLY UNREASONABLE. In addition, my lawn is rotting because it hasn\’t had a chance to dry out since May, and the tropical weather has the weeds and malicious junk plants growing a foot a day.
Living in Portland, the rain never bothered me. Six straight months of drizzle is an indigenous part of the geography and the culture and I found it endearing. Here, every single afternoon, the sky opens up and we get 1-2 inches of flood waters in a span of about 30 minutes. The water finally beat my yard this weekend, which I\’ll explain in a second, but first there\’s some good news.
I kegged a batch of Amber Ale (MacTarnahan\’s clone) this weekend, and if it is successful, and there\’s no signs that it shouldn\’t be, I will be hard pressed to ever bottle anything again ever. Kegging is so much easier. Why did you people let me go on bottling for so long? I\’m looking at you, everyone.
- Boil 3/4 cup of priming sugar and cool to room temperature
- Sanitize bottling bucket
- Sanitize bottle tree
- Sanitize 48-54 bottles
- Sanitize auto-siphon, racking cane and tubing
- Sanitize bottling wand and tubing
- Sanitize caps
- Rinse bottles and dry on bottle tree
- Pour cooled priming sugar mixture into sanitized bottling bucket.
- Rack beer onto priming sugar being careful not to agitate/oxidize
- Fill each bottle, place a cap on top and set aside
- Cap each bottle
- Wait at least ten days, usually longer, for beer to carbonate in the bottle
- Sanitize auto-siphon, racking cane, and tubing
- Sanitize keg
- Rack beer into keg
- Force carbonate with CO2 for three days
In all the excitement, I forgot to upload a picture of the kegging process, so close your eyes and picture my garage. Along the pegboard wall, stands a full chorus of naked NFL Cheerleaders belting their way through the Fourth movement of Beethoven\’s 9th. Perched upon my orange toolbox, at the feet of the Black & Decker Workmate 425, is a blinding aura of joy and satisfaction. Before this altar of glory, picture me, dancing like a character from Peanuts.
While I was completing this project, it was raining like a racehorse pissing on a flat rock. At one point, I glanced out of my garage to see water flowing through my backyard. Behold:
Normally, in rain that torrential, I wouldn\’t have thought anything odd about some extra water making its way to lower ground, but our end of the neighborhood has a rather extensive underground hydrological infrastructure to prevent these little creeks from getting lost. Brace yourselves for the foreshadowing. Remember, a couple weeks ago when I got all silly with the nature eraser? Remember the logs I found lodged in the catch basin? Remember that strange extra hole I found a few feet uphill from the catch basin? Refresher:
Remember now? Well, check this shit out:
It appears the logs have finally clogged the catch basin enough to where they are backing up the whole system. That hole up the hill is where the backed up water has forced it\’s way up out of the pipe. Look at the water shooting out of the ground:
If only you were oil.
The whole scene:
This, coupled with the quickly deteriorating detention pond, is starting to reek of a major drainage project. I\’m not sure how much is the city\’s responsibility and how much is our responsibility. With my luck, it\’s all our responsibility, and as part of the repair, we will be obligated by law to make upgrades to account for modern water quality regulations. I expect this project to cost me no less than $100,000 and take until 2010.