Citizen Journalist

I did an interview today with Minnesota Public Radio. Except that I was the one conducting the interview.

I wrote up Fantasy Legislature on MBTC last week, and the guy in charge of it, Bob Collins, left a comment. I wanted to know more, so I emailed him about it and then I talked to him on the phone today.

I totally didn’t realize how high up he was until just now when I looked up that link to his article archive.

I wasn’t sure how to go about it at all. Didn’t really want to go the trouble of arranging a meeting. I knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate enough to have a conversation and take notes. Email didn’t seem adequate. So I ended up talking to him on the phone and recording the conversation as best I could on my laptop with Audacity. I’m sure I was a sight, holding the mouth end of the phone to my mouth and the ear end to the mic on my laptop. The recording came out pretty well, though.

It was sort of intimidating, him being a journalist and me being… not a journalist. Bob made it easy, though. I just asked a few questions here and there and he talked and talked. Very nice and friendly, too.

Now I gotta translate 25 minutes of conversation into something blog-ready.

And then there was blow off.

I brewed my beer yesterday. It smelled so delicious. Lots of malt, and some cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. The wort was sooo thick. The other brews I’ve done, the wort was still pretty liquidy at the end. This definitely started to take on some syrupy characteristics.

Put it in the littler glass carboy, pitched the yeast, put the fermentation lock on top, and when I got home today there was a little puddle on the floor.

The fermentation lock has water in it, so gas can bubble out, but air from outside can’t get back in. Blow off is when there’s so much kraeusen (the foamy product of fermentation) that it can’t be contained by the fermenter and stuff backs up into the fermentation lock, actually blows it off the carboy, or, in rare cases, plugs the fermentation lock and blows up the carboy.

So I took off the fermentation lock and took out the cork and instead I have a big rubber hose in the neck of the carboy, and the other end of the hose in a pot of water (again, so the gas can bubble out, and the water blocks air from getting in). Stuff keeps bubbling out, and the bubbling in the pot of water sounds like my faucet is dripping. It’s driving me nuts!

The bag of boiled grains is sitting in my trash can. I swore I could smell it from my bedroom last night. I went to bed a little hungry, and not quite tired enough, and this was driving me nuts. And then when I returned home today the grain smell was quite obvious. I might have to fish that out of the trash and take it out to the dumpster.