Racking the XPA to a Secondary Fermenter

He’s laughing because I showed him the look of ecstasy in the second picture.  I know I like to see when people like my beer, especially the beer I produced as a total newb.  Chris was here to help me “rack” my beer–which means move it from the primary fermenter (A GIANT BUCKET) to the secondary fermenter (a glass carboy).  Racking is important if you’re going to ferment for more than two weeks, because a “yeast cake” forms on the bottom of your primary fermenter.  When the yeast starts to die, it releases off-flavors into your beer.  Which is bad.  One that I’ve tasted in even professional breweries is a red ale with a smacking of the kind of banana flavor you’d expect from a Hefeweizen, and that tastes really bad in a red ale.

Sanitation dilemma

Unfortunately the spigot on my giant bucket was as pictured above–crusty with beer that had seeped out during my initial brew-and-fill before I tightened everything.  The beer needed to go out through that spigot, through plastic tubing, and into the carboy, and if it passed across this crusty mass there was a risk of contaminating the batch.  What to do?
Luckily, I am endowed with rudimentary problem solving skills and a racking cane, so I filled the spigot full of sanitized water with the racking cane and let it soak for several minutes, then flushed out the spigot before applying the tube.

Next I filled the carboy (this is starting to get old) with beer, which consisted of me standing in this position for awhile and eventually tipping the bucket toward myself to get out the last of the XPA.

The finished transition with shy-hound.

I’m not sure why there’s so little, since I didn’t splash or spill nearly as much as last time.  I’m thinking next time I should add more water than five gallons to the initial process so it doesn’t get boiled off or combined with the mushy crap at the bottom of the bucket (not pictured–you’re welcome).

After beer-maintenance, we watched Don’t Look Now starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie.  Maybe this is blasphemy, but I really didn’t like it.  I didn’t think it was a piece of garbage, because clearly some talented people worked very hard on it, but we fast-forwarded through a lot of the film.  It was visually striking, but in such a way that I felt like my Film 99 teacher was gripping my pony-tail and screaming, “LOOK AT THE THEMATIC ELEMENTS!  TELL ME ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MIS EN SCEN IN THIS PART!  BEHOLD THE SYMBOLS!”  You can ask any redhead–we don’t like people touching our hair.  Also, I don’t mind sex scenes, but I do mind protracted and unnecessary sex scenes.  Maybe it’s Donald Sutherland’s mustache that ruined it for me, but I’m pretty sure it was the irrelevance.