Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rainwater Cooling

When you capture rainwater for garden use in-between rains, and you are limited as to how much you can hold in your miscellaneous buckets and barrels, you often watch as the buckets and barrels fill almost immediately, at the beginning of a heavy rainfall. Then you watch all the rest of that valuable stuff go pouring away onto the lawn, which, being already wet, gives every appearance of ingratitude.

Yesterday during one of the rainfalls we managed to use some captured water immediately. Martha was making beer -- which requires, firstly, spending a goodly amount of time keeping the wort hot, and then, secondly, spending as little time as possible bringing the wort temperature down to a level agreeable to yeast.

Thick snow-cover, this past winter, meant we could cool a wort anytime -- had we wort to cool. Martha only reinvigorated her beer-making late in the season -- and I only fooled around with sorghum beermaking now and then. After she had made her first few batches, a sudden warming hit the region, accompanied by a thorough wiping-away of our treasured snowbanks -- which meant then using tap water and ice cubes to speed the cooling of any worts we happened to have around.

Yesterday, though, I volunteered to bring in some buckets of rainwater to fill the galvanized tub, into which the hot pot of wort would be set. It took only a few trips into the wet to do this; and it felt satisfyingly practical, to use up some rainwater while the sky's taps were still running and apt to refill quickly any container we could empty.

The chill rainwater was quicker at the job than tap water, to boot.

Cheers ...

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