A miscellany. Life has had too much happening to have blogged it all in detail. I may get around to telling some of it in more detail, but, like all other Good Intentions, don't hold your breath.
Last week was a trip down to Cape Town to chat with all the microbreweries between here and there, gathering some basic data for a business idea I have. Along the way was a most interesting visit to the SA Barley Breeding Institute! Many thanks to the kind folk there who were so generous with their time!
CT was a bunch of hectic running around sourcing various materials for the brewery, culminating in a get-together with the SouthYeasters Brew Club on Wednesday evening. My good friend Franz kindly gave me several new yeast strains, including a couple of Belgian abbey strains, so I'm looking forward to brewing some Belgian Ales in a little while.
Cut the trip a little short and returned home on Thursday, as the OB Dog was obviously very seriously ill. And I am very glad we did. We spent a last few hours with her on the vet's lawn last Friday. That evening I had to take the very sad decision to let her go... she was suffering from an inoperable liver tumour that was causing her all sort of grievous problems. We're still very sad about losing her... tears come to my eyes at the oddest moments. I've had many special dogs in my life, but none as special as OB. She taught me things about what it is to be a wolf/dog, and also things about what it is to be a human. The truest friend anyone could have had, we were extremely fortunate to know OB -- most people will never experience that privilege!
This week has been a bunch of gardening, still trying to get beds cleared, Tomatoes transplanted, squashes in,... I've left the bloody Fennels too long in the seedtray... endless litany of weeding and clearing.
Culled a couple of roosters on Wednesday morning, only to have someone leave the chicken-house door unsecured that evening, whereupon the Ratel (or maybe a Gennet or a Lynx) got in that night. Rudely awakened at about 10.30 to the squawking and screeching of dying chickens... the bastard took out 2 roosters and 3 hens, which amounts to half the flock. So I got to spend Thursday morning plucking and cleaning Still More Chickens. Too late did I read Hedgewizard's Really Good Idea... Would have saved me a bunch of work, I can tell you! The only consolation is that I was planning to cull those two roosters anyway.
Also started on making another batch of malt. 2kg of Barley soaking, half of which I'll make into ordinary Crystal Malt, the other half will get roasted much longer in an attempt to make something like a Special B Malt in preparation for those Belgian Ales. I'm thinking of brewing a special Belgian style beer to be named for OB. (She was a Belgian Shepherd.)
And the drought goes on. It's even too hot to brew!