Sunday, February 23, 2014

Many local buildings collapsing, but the dome stands strong!

Last weekend's storm really put the strength of the dome to the test.  Roofs were collapsing all over Berks county, but after inspecting the integrity of the greenhouse film, everything still looks perfect!  Not even stretched.  That plastic is strong stuff.  And now I know that a few hundred dollars spent every four years is much more efficient than spending thousands on multi-wall poly.  I wish there were a seam tape out there that held up to UV, but that is only a minor cosmetic problem. Oh well.  I am very happy!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Do you want to see a monster snowdrift?

The endless winter:  Over the past month we have gotten about 18 inches of snow.  Remember that the base of the greenhouse is about 26" above grade and is completely buried!  Luckily, the warmth and the shape don't allow the snow to build up on the glazing, especially on the south and east sides.  If the wind is blowing, snow won't even lay on the greenhouse. If it does manage to lay, it soon slides right off.  The tape on the seams is suffering, but the plastic is still holding strong.  I guess the 10 inches of snow this morning proved too much...that drift on the left is about 7' high.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Do yourself a favor and buy a beer bottle cleaner!

The great Charlie Papazian said that this little tool was invaluable in making the most tedious part of homebrewing a bit more enjoyable.  For several months I told myself "it's just a little more work to wash them with a brush."  I will have to live with that regret and lost time for the rest of my life!  Cleaning 60 bottles now takes about 10 minutes.  For truly effortless cleaning, just make sure you rinse out the bottle right after you drink the beer, then when you go to clean them before bottling you wont have much to clean.  Just a quick soak in some warm water (soap or cleaner optional) and the jet does the rest!  Amazing and only $15 or so.  I picked mine up at Keystone Homebrew.

It screws right onto any faucet with a hose thread.  My utility sink is perfect for this kind of work.