Last weekend when heating up caustic last weekend to clean I burned the USB cord on the HLT temperature and float sensor. Multi tasking the boil, hop additions, manning the pumps and trying try to get the hoses all sorted out I failed to notice the cord got pretty close to the high output burner. Didn’t notice the issue at first but the temperature shown on the screen was decently far off so I ran the troubleshooting menu and noticed the mis formed cord sheathing. It felt a bit crispy. I cut off the burned section and decided to put a female connector up higher and use a USB extension incase it happens again I can just use any USB cord vs having to do this again. Once I opened the cord it occurred to me that this will be somewhat of a chore to solder and repair. I got the tools and order the cables and gave it a shot.
Once the outer sheath is pealed back there is a mesh weave that has to be cut, this provides pull strength on these types of cables. Once that is gone peal back the foil and you will be presented with a red, black and three shielded pairs (some string and other strength wires as well). Pull off the plastic and foil on the pairs and separate them all out , you should have 8 separate wire at this point. Get them all organized and straight, strip a short section off each and start splicing them together. Once the pairs are spliced together hit the wire with the fine tipped solder gun, apply the solder to the wire and wait for it to flow on to the wire, making a one piece connection. Once a good splice it made I went with liquid electrical tape to each connection to minimize a short. When its all sealed and your happy with you work apply some heat shrink wrap over the splice and give it enough heat to make the joint nice and smooth.
A splice in wires this small will never be as good as one solid piece but it works and was a good way to save a chunk of change over buying an entire HLT sensor. They only sell this entire assembly so stainless and all.
I would like to see MoreBeer make a connection near the top to one could just buy new cables as I am sure this will happen again. There is no way to keep the cord entirely protected when they are cut to specific length and the HLT burner kicks out some serious BTU’s.
All done and tested, success. It lives to brew another day.
While the mad dash to go shopping amongst thousands of nut cases has never drawn me in, I do find it fascinating. Wake up at the crack of dawn, stand in line shoulder to shoulder with tons of people to save what you spend on Starbucks in a week? I digress. Set out to brew a darker style amber with the hops we had on hand. Brew day went as planned with the exception of over oxygenating the wort and over flowing the conical. Excited to see what some of the lesser known to me hops taste like. I scored about 20oz of free hops at the Homebrew shop a few weeks ago, mostly European but some common ones as well.
First casualty of the brew stand also occurred, the HLT prob cord got a little toasty and started malfunctioning. At $75 for a new probe I decided to cut off the melted section and perform a bit of surgery. It appears to be a standard USB with temp shielding. The plan is to place a female USB end up high and use a USB extension to make the run past the burner in the event it happens again. The cord is shielded, has a red and black and three sub shielded pairs carrying data. Utilizing a USB extension will also give the ability to make this cord run around the heat source and minimize the chance of future issues. I will perform the cord surgery this week and post a short video of the repair.
Other Brewery tasks completed:
Juice Box NEIPA was Kegged and placed on tap.
All Kegs cleaned, sanitized and purged
Ordered a second Tilt Hydrometer. These are great and a good way to monitor fermentation from afar.
Anchor Christmas in large format was consumed, it was OK this year. Definitely was not my favorite year for it or my tastes are going away from spiced beers. Nonetheless it has become a tradition at this point so I will endure on.
Brew Stats for the Pale Ale (Euphoria Pale) brewed
With a break in the rain forecasted I took another opportunity to fill the kegerator. I have always favored ESBs and the ordinary Bitter style but never seen to brew them. I brewed a delicious version of a ordinary bitter last fall and decided to make V2. Brew day went as planned with the exception of brewing a 10g batch on a 15g recipe. When milling it felt like a large amount of grain for a supposed low abv beer but I pushed on. Curiosity got the best of me and I consulted BeerSmith and like I thought, far too many fermentables for a 10g batch. Guess I am brewing a Strong Bitter. Wort smelled of the bready, malty overtones that Marris Otter yields, this will be a great, yet big bitter. Wrapped up, pitched yeast and dropped the Tilt Hydrometer in and went inside to devour the delicious Pork Butt that the smell had been a major distraction all day. Beer went into the conical at 1.070 and Imperial Pub yeast was pitched so we shall see a 7ish ABV Bitter in a few weeks. Tasting notes too come.
Looking forward to welcoming winter with a chilly brew day. We will be brewing a NE style “Juicy” IPA with homegrown Hops on Saturday.
11/06/2017 Brew day was a success! 10g of a home grown hopped NE style IPA is in the conical and the yeasties are going nuts. Being the first time brewing in almost a year it was a little chaotic at first but like riding a bike, it comes back pretty quick. I was pre occupied with trying to squeeze in truck maintenance on the same day but it all worked out. The weather was kinda nuts for the beginning of November, snow all weekend. Looking forward to trying this brew in 7-10 days. Cheers!
For the long weekend I decided to check out the Chilcotin area and Cariboo region that I have heard so much about. With no real plan other than to see the Gang Ranch and end up in Bella Coola, BC I headed north.
Seattle to Hurley Pass BC
Pulled out of Seattle around 3pm and headed North on I5 to Sumas to drop off a jacket that I sold. After the exchange and stop at Tim Horton’s I headed north on 99 with a burger in Pemberton in my sights. Stopped at the favorite eatery in Pemberton, The Wood, for a delicious burger before grabbing some beverages for the evening. I Headed out Pemberton Meadows to attack the Hurley before it got too dark, with the long days there was plenty of time to get over the pass. After summiting and starting the descent I pulled off and camped just over the summit along the river. Great remote spot with amazing views. After a few BC brews to dull the thought of becoming a bear snack, I passed out to the sound of the glacier fed river near the tent.
Hurley Pass to Gang Ranch
Got up at a decent hour, made some coffee and Spam breakfast burritos before heading out of camp on the first real morning. The road down to Gold Bridge is pretty tame, allowing you to take in the ample views on the way down. After crossing the river in Gold Bridge there is a section of surprisingly good pavement almost all the way to the dam at Carpenter Lake. I watched the crew at the dam picking up driftwood for a while then headed in to Lillooet to refuel and grab some snacks for lunch. Headed north out of town to W Pavilion Rd and set the GPS to the Big Bar Ferry. By this time it was 1pm and the last ferry run was at 6PM if I recall, so I had plenty of time. As the canyon started to open up to some amazing views so did the sky making for some baby shit like conditions on the road. The baby shit definitely slowed progress on the 1200 but nonetheless made it to the ferry in plenty of time. The canyon heading in is quite the sight to see, so much wildlife and many views along that stretch. Boarded the cable ferry and spoke with the captain during the crossing, what a guy. He has seen some shit. Took the road out of the canyon, once across the ferry and headed toward the ranch. The road traverses some farm land and huge grazing ranches across an abundance of cattle guards. The slick conditions continued, dry and fast in some and slick as hell in others. After almost going down while hauling ass around a super slick corner I decided to take it slow since I hadn’t seen anyone pass in a while. Might be sitting in agony for a while if I kept up my shenanigans. Crossed the Gang Ranch bridge and setup camp on one the bluffs looking over the river. It was an epic place to camp. While it’s not an “Approved” campsite I was way out of sight and took care to leave it untouched when I left. Didn’t see anyone the whole night other than cattle which made sleeping a bit easier. The mindset was that cows would be an easier and tastier target for the bears than a stinky dude on a bike.
Gang Ranch to Bella Coola
Waking up on the ranch was epic! After coffee and breakfast I headed out of the ranch and set the sights on Farewell Canyon. The rain held off for most of the morning so it was a quick trip out. Sent the drone up and got some epic aerials of the canyon surround area. This area is worth the trip alone! Took in all the cool scenery I could as it rained and headed north to find some fuel. Fuel is a little short in these parts but the little reservations usually have it if you have CAD cash. After fueling up I headed west to Bella Coola. The highway there is pretty uneventful till you get to Tweedsmuir park which is gorgeous and fairly untouched. After leaving the park you start to head over “The Hill” which is the pass that leads down to town. Bella Coola being much smaller than I expected the food selection was not great but I found a spot to grab a burger and a shower was in order so got a hotel for the night. Headed down to the marina after dinner and grabbed some shots around dusk of the old cannery. BC has a ton of interesting maritime history. Got some Kokanee’s from the hotel, showered and hit the sack.
Bella Coola to Watch Lake
Packed up and headed out after a quick continental breakfast at the hotel. Today was mostly back tracking the previous day so not much to report other than a bear sighting in the park. Stopped in Williams Lake to get some provisions for the night and enjoyed the great sunset with a campfire at Watch Lake.
Watch Lake to Home
Loaded up the bike one last time and headed south with home in sight. The weather was great and the roads were nice. Boston Bar, Hell’s gate and riding along the river were fantastic. Sent the drone up one last time at one of the overlooks and got some good river footage. From Hope BC to home is pretty uneventful but provides a good transition back to the day to day routine.
All in all was a great trip that is worth going back to see. I would cut out the long trip out to the coast since other than the park it is pretty uneventful. The ranch and canyon is amazing and I will be back to explore further. END OF REPORT
Have gotten a little behind on the ol’ blog, been busy. Looking back its been a little motorcycle heavy so here are some hikes that have been had lately. Epic views rain or shine. Its hard to beat what the northwest has to offer as far as scenery.