Friday, May 28, 2010

Ash's Huffy Bike Build / Restore Step #3

So the bike is completely apart and I mean completely. I take all the metal parts that are chrome. I put these in a kiddie pool, you can use whatever storage container you have. The closer fitting to your parts is the best so you can use less water and oxalic acid.

Oxalic acid is also called wood bleach and the only place I have been able to find it is at Ace Hardware. It is a powder and all I do is sprinkle a few tablespoons in the container after it is filled with water. Then you walk away and the next day you will be amazed. All you will need to do is get a rag and wipe the parts down. This stuff is amazing, however it does not work very well on Aluminum or Steel. Yes, it is an acid but it is very mild and will not hurt you if it touches your skin. If you have sensitive skin wear some gloves.

Next with the bike frame.This is a huge area of debate. So do your research before you touch the frame and most importantly the paint. I have done considerable amounts and it all comes down to, what is you purpose for the bike.

1. If you want a collectible that will be worth money then don't touch the paint no matter how bad it is.

2. If you want an older bike that still looks original and you don't expect selling it, at least for much money, then you can refinish the bike (600 grit wet sand paper to remove patina, then clear coat) or do use touch-up paint (good luck color matching).

3. If you want a bike that looks new but has old style and feel, then re-paint it. You won't be able to sell it for much money but that should not be your purpose if choosing this option.

For this project I chose option #3. My wife likes things clean and shiny. Plus she wanted a white bike, and those are about impossible to find with original paint. So from here you have several options for re-painting a bike:

1. Take the bike to a professional body shop where they will sand blast the frame then powder coat it. This way the bike basically be brand new and the paint is very durable. The price varies considerably but expect in the hundreds.

2. Prepare the frame (Multiple choices on this also 1. If paint is pretty good keep and just rough up surface with fine grit sand paper 2. If paint is bad /rusting then you should strip the paint to bare metal, this can be done chemically(not my choice, stinks and toxic) or mechanically (with an attachment for an angle grinder or drill)) then paint with car auto body paint with a paint sprayer. Not sure the price and depends on quality of paint sprayer and paint (my guess $50 -100 for the bike, but cheaper after having the equipment)

3. Prepare the frame (as described above) but use spray cans to apply the paint. You will need a primer (auto body type works well), your base coat color or colors, then your clear coat (varying degrees of gloss). The price of about 5 spray cans ($15 -20), sand paper, and paint remover attachment ($30).
For this project I chose Option #3 just to see how well it works. If it doesn't look good or end up being very durable then I will invest in the spray gun.

So quick RE-cap of my process:
1. Angle grinder to remove bulk of paint
2. Drill attachment/ sand paper to remove in crevices
3. Wipe down very well to remove oils
4. Plug holes and hang with coat hangers
5. Spray 2 light coats of primer
6. After 24 hours, use 600 grit wet sand paper to smooth problem areas and give good surface adhesion
7. Spray 2 light coats of Base color
8. After 24 hours, use 600 grit wet sand paper
9. Spray 2 light coats of Base color
10. After 24 hours, use 600 grit wet sand paper
11. Spray 2 light coats of Base color
12. After 24 hours, use 600 grit wet sand paper
13. Spray 2 light coats of clear coat
14. Allow a week before reassembly
I think the next bike I'll try the paint sprayer and report back on that.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Aztec (SDSU) Amber Ale - Hoppy Graduation

My sister is graduating so we need some beer to celebrate. Now she is on the complete otherside of the beer spectrum of myself. She likes big hoppy beers, enough hops you can feel like you're eating your veggies. And she likes a beer to be bitter enough to make you wince. Well I can't make a beer quite that unbalanced because it needs to please a big mix of people at her graduation party.
So I decided to make sure the beer has a huge hop taste and aroma. But try to create a nice balanced beer so the whole crowd can drink it as I BBQ tri-tip the whole afternoon.

Recipe: Aztec Amber Ale
O.G.-1.057  F.G.-1.010   IBU-57 
SRM-15   ABV-5.3   Cal-165

Grain Bill (75% Efficiency):
8 lb 2-row (77.1%)
12 oz Crystal 60L (7.2%)
12 oz Munich  Malt (7.2%)  
8 oz Crystal 120L (4.8%) 
6 oz Victory Malt (3.6%)

1 oz Centennial, 9.7%, pellet, 90 min 53 IBU
.5 oz Cascade, 5%, pellet, 20 min 4.5 IBU
.75 oz Centennial, 9.7%, pellet, 0 min
.75 oz Cascade, 5%, pellet, 0 min
200 mL slurry White Labs WLP001 (Note: I tried to use yeast cake from previous batch but did not brew quickly enough so the air left in the carboy contaminated the yeast, good reason to keep dry yeast on hand)
1 packet S-04

Brew Day:
Brewed: 5/11/10
Kegged: 5/22/10

San Diego (Alvarado) Tap Water
1 campden tablet for 5 gal.

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.25 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 3.25 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 150F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 162F
Batch Sparge Volume: 4.25 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F @ 30min

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 6.5 gal
Boil Time: 90min
Post Boil Volume: 5 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.057
Ferment Temp: 68-70F
Length: 10 days
F.G.: 1.010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ash's Huffy Bike Build / Restore Step 2

The first thing you must do with every restoration projects is take as many pictures as possible. Especially take pictures at the important components. Also in places where you will need to reassemble multiple layers (headset). You cannot take too many pictures.
The other good trick is to lay out each part as you take it off. Then take a picture of this and you have your own exploded view.
Time to Dismantle:
There is no particular order you have to do this in. Just make sure you use the right tools to take apart the bike. Some of the bolts and screws on the bike can be difficult to find and replace so be careful when removing them. Also have some PB buster or WD-40 to help loosen rusted parts. Often times the part must soak over night or even for a few days. Be patient.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2009 Hop Gardens

Growing hops seemed pretty easy so last year I decided to go for it. I planted two varieties (One for my English Style Ales and one for my American style) in two different locations. I planted 2 Goldings rhizomes in my Mom's backyard and created a tower for them to grow on. It is an old tether-ball pole that I tied twin to the top of and then staked into the soil. I tried to treat the soil with a good amount of cow manure and potting soil. And then I ran the drip system to each rhizome.
RESULTS: Both rhizomes came up and grew about 12" then stalled and eventually died. I believe once the summer heat kicked in they did not get enough water. Also I think with the English varieties the So Cal sun is too strong so a sun shade might help.

I also planted 2 Cascade rhizomes at my Dad's house. For that system we install eyelets near the 2nd story roof and ran twine.This is the best way to do it, because when it comes time to harvest I can just release one side of the twine and the whole bine will come down. And I can even string it back up if I need to do multiple harvests.
RESULTS: One bine grew steady to about 5-6 ft and the other grew pretty tall at over 10 ft. But neither produced cones, so I have big hopes for this upcoming growing season.
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