The beer was actually good (at least one bottle of it!). I half-expected to encounter a heavy, sickeningly sweet, flat and hazy fluid. Instead it was clear, properly carbonated, and nutty with only a slight hint of sweetness. Kind of reminded me of Newcastle brown ale, only a little nuttier. So I can call the first brew effort a success. I have a seasonal sage bear in the fermenter right now -- it can be bottled this weekend. And a mix for an IPA to make next. When I do so, I will be trying out some new equipment, a nylon bag to hold the grains/hops, and to make the beer clearer going into fermentation. I love to experiment and try new things.
On a more sober note, the house is currently filled with the smell of burning electrical insulation. When Paula went in to wake the twins this morning, the PTAC (compact heating and air conditioning unit -- like the ones you find in some motels) that heats their room was off. She started it, and it sparked a couple times, but began running. When I went in a few minutes later, it was sparking again, and smoke was billowing out of it.
Thank God this happened in the early morning, rather than late at night -- I could easily imagine the thing starting fire.
Now the smell is everywhere.
Of course, Thomas, whose bed is forty feet away, slept through the whole thing, and had no idea what I was talking about when I ordered him out of the room in the midst of all that smoke. Man, that kid sleeps deeply.
Now awaiting the arrival of the HVAC repair people. Undoubtedly this will be expensive, but at least no one was hurt and the house is still standing.