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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Beer and frugality



While settling back into our home I discovered the makings for a batch of beer. Home brewing beer shows faith in the future. It won't be ready for a bit, but there will come a warm spring day when a beer will be just the thing.

This is the first batch I've brewed since I got the cook woodstove. It's great that the big stockpot is in full contact with stove top. There's even room left for the big tea kettle and a couple fry pans. Dinner and brewing can be done at the same time.

In previous posts I've touched on how I can live frugally. Friends have pointed out that much of what I do would be difficult to impossible while working a full time job. They are absolutely right. A married couple, working full time, would be hard pressed to do much extra.

Even something as simple as heating with wood can stretch the time budget. The only way to really save money is to process the wood yourself. Then there is the care and feeding of the woodstove. When I worked a full time job, I'd load up my big woodstove, set the dampers, and hope for the best. It never gave me any trouble, but I did worry about it.

My home repairs and improvements, cooking from scratch, handling waste veggie oil for the van, all these things keep me busy. Of course, I do get a lot of free time by not watching TV. Then again, that time probably goes into Internet surfing.

My lovely wife used to have a full time job. The money was nice, I must admit. One day I woke up with the idea that by reducing our expenses she wouldn't have to work. Soon after is when we started traveling in the winters. My lovely wife would quit her job in the fall and reapply in the spring. They always said she had no guarantee of being rehired, but she always was. Even if they didn't hire her, we'd get by.

That was put to the test when my wife had to leave work for medical reasons. We went a year and half before her disability was approved. At the same time, one of my daughters and my granddaughter moved in with us. We got by. There wasn't much extra, but nobody suffered.

Which brings me back to beer. Like Ben Franklin said, “Beer is proof that there is a God and he wants us to be happy.”

Sure, I enjoy a beer now and then, but what I enjoy more is sharing with friends and family. It's one more way to keep the tribe together. Well, the fermenter's been cooling outside in the snow. The temperature should be just about right for pitching the yeast. Spring is coming and I'm going to be ready.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. Hey, it's healthier than Coca-Cola!

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  2. I've been pretty luck with my pellet stove since i moved it upstairs to the dining room and turned a closet into a hallway. Now my whole house is heated with that pellet stove! Thankfully I can set the thermostat to lower when i'm out for the day (and you know i have the occasional long day), and it's worked out beautifully. Now I mainly use the oil for just heating my water (thoughts on changing that down the road). Glad to hear you're still enjoying the new stove you put in last year. Last time I enjoyed something you brewed was your Maple Mead! And of course, I have a wooden sign with that Ben Franklin quote in my dining room... cause I'm classy like that!

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    1. Glad the stove works for you. Pellet stoves are more adjustable than my woodstove. Still, that cookstove works great for me. I'm still thankful for the help I had hauling it in the house.

      One advantage of being back is eary is that I'll be here for maple sugar season. With any luck, there'll be a batch of maple mead this year.

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  3. Damn you ! When ya'll went back north ya left the damn door open. Kindly close it behind you.
    We is freezing our Bonscardo By scubbies off down here....

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    1. Not my fault. Blame Canada. Their cold air keeps slipping across the border.

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  4. I check the wind map: http://hint.fm/wind/

    It shows today the winds coming from the south down here and from the north up there. Check it out.

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  5. Good luck with the beer.I have a large batch going now myself will bottle some and will distill some. Wish i could get my wife to quit work.I want to travel more the last 12 months have suxxed.

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    1. Hope you and your wife can work out some travel plans.

      I've got two more fermenters that I'll get going soon. First, I need a trip to the brewing supply store.

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  6. Now there is a post near and dear to my heart! My friends and I are going to brew up something a little stronger to enjoy together in the not too distant future : )

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    1. I might brew up a bit of that myself.

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  7. Keeping the tribe together.
    Another great concept...

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    1. The group that plays together stays together.

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  8. Our first batch of real grain based beer is kegged and lovely, I can't drink it (barley allergy), so plan to start some nettle herbal beer this weekend.
    But yes, home made beer is very nice indeed.

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    1. Seems that mead would be a natural for you.

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