Archive for the ‘Chickens’ Category

You Brew Your Own Beer? Pretzel beer?

I am taking a break from brewing starting January so I can prepare for my Professional Engineer exam in April. I have some backstock ingredients so I have been working them down. Today I brewed an experimental beer that I hope reminds me of pretzels.

Here is the recipe for 1.5 gallons:
10.00 g Sea Salt (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 –
1 lbs 10.4 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 69.5 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 10.5 %
4.0 oz White Wheat Malt-toasted (2.4 SRM) Grain 4 10.5 %
2.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.3 %
0.30 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 6 23.1 IBUs
1.6 oz Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 7 4.2 % post krausen

I did a step mash, biab, stovetop. The first rest was 122F for 30 minutes. The second rest was 152F for 60 minutes. I did a 90 minute boil. I didn’t have any beer yeast, so I used a packet of Montrachet. Hopefully it rips through the sugars, I’m not looking for yeast character on this one anyways. Hopefully the acid malt gives the hint of sourdough, the salt, well salt, and the toasted wheat that toasty outer crust of a pretzel. The wort tasted pretty good going into the fermenter.

I used a 5 gallon paint strainer for this BIAB on my stovetop

The mash, really light with the white wheat

Sleeping bag wrap for the rests

Almost the scale of steeping grains in extract brewing…

Back to the kitchen sink cooling

While I was brewing, some other things were going on at Little House on the Sandpit…

Panels for gingerbread houses were made

I tried some pine needle and spruce tip tea

and our sick chicken started to feel better, she can stand without falling over now.

A smaller flock – Goodbye Dinner

Yesterday we gave our first rooster away. We have 6 hens, and two roosters were one too many. We decided to give away the larger of the roos (the kids named him Dinner when he was a chick) because he was really doing a number on the hens. We had to make saddles and he would rip them off. He was a really big bird and beautiful rooster. It as a semi-difficult decision, we raised him from chick afterall. I remember he was the aggressive chick that would peck at me but run away when my hand got near him. He was skittish, but if you picked him up, he would be calm. He had a big, loud crow and he owned the chicken coop. If he hadn’t frostbit his comb on the roof, we would have had the kids show him for 4H. But he did stifle the other roo. He wouldn’t let him crow and the smaller roo only got the hens after the big one had a go at them first. He will be happy though, he is going to a farm in Berkley with a lot of chickens and other roosters to free range. I wish we could free range our flock, but there are too many dogs and cats around here. Our other roo started crowing this morning for the first time. A pathetic attempt, but he will grow into it. He is also making the adjustment to the top of the pecking order, keeping his girls in line.

Dinner, strutting his stuff.

Gavin saying goodbye.


Got two chickens saddled up-those roosters are relentless, leaving the girls featherless in patches. These saddles should protect them.

Saddleup! I was hoping for camo or black leather...

They take a little bit to get used to.

One of the cowboys

The rough boys

Hey, where's my saddle? I want one too!

My girls (and a couple of guys)

Made some changes to the coop last weekend. Added a couple roosts and a nesting box. Should be starting to lay pretty soon I hope.

New addition: a nesting box

Drop side for egg access.

Checking it out

Not sure about this.

The wood chips taste pretty good.

Checking out the changes

The big roo

The small roo

The girls

The big roo is the boss of the coop

He stands tall over the ladies

Strutting his stuff

Gummy Chickens

I just love the eggs when chickens first learn how to lay.

The structural integrity is slightly off. Who laid a waterballoon?

7/18/11 Mini gahden tour between raindrops and lightning bolts

Gahden view from above

More gahden from above

Welcome to the Jungle

Yahd stick for leaf size reference

Yahd stick for height reference

The girls are growing up fast

What can I say, Chicks are naturally attracted to me.

Hey! Who turned out the lights!

Our girls (and maybe one boy) are growing up fast. They spend their days out with the mama hens and the nights inside. They are not thrilled with the dark yet so they all crowd each other in the corner. The mama hens are treating them great, no issues at all. Hopefully this will kick start the egg production now that the molting is over too.

Bonus points to whomever gets the reference.

Hey! Like our new trick?