Monday, January 21, 2013

Growing Hops & Brewing Beer

Here is a little update on the hop growing and beer brewing. Gary and Linda have been growing hops in their back yard for me to use for making beer. It's been really neat to see something we planted grow and produce an ingredient for the beer I brew. Here are some pictures to show our progress.

Here is Gary picking some hops.

After picking them we let the hops dry and then seal them up in zip locks and put them in the freezer. I've noticed that using home grown hops does a lot for the flavor of the beer. It's been really neat to make beer using something I saw as it grew and then share it with friends and family to see their reactions.

Putting the hops in the boil.
Siphoning from the fermenting bucket to the bottling bucket.
A tasty (half drank) home brew. Delicious!
The hops come back each season stronger and more full. I'll try to get a picture so you can see their progress at the end of this summer. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stand Up Desk

My brother-in-law Ben asked me last Summer to make him a standing desk. A standing desk is exactly what it sounds like, a desk that you stand at. Being a PHD student at the University of Toronto, he does a lot of reading and a lot of paper grading which means A LOT of sitting. He wanted something that could collapse down into a compact space but still be sturdy and offer a decent work surface. I came up with the following.

I then felt inspired to convert my own desk area into a stand up work space. Using some defected futon frame parts I created a little stand to use with my current desk so I now too have a stand up desk! The first week of using it I have to admit my legs and feet were sore, but after about two weeks I had made the adjustment and now I barely even notice I'm standing. My posture seems to be much better and I do actually feel better at the end of the work day because I haven't been hunched over in my chair for 9 hours.

Thanks for reading!