Oscar’s day out

Oscar the destructive little porcupine
Oscar the destructive little porcupine

After the snow melted off for the first time this “spring” (oh it’s back again now, well played Alberta, well played — “it’s spring time…haha jk gotcha!”) we began noticing a number of trees that had been more or less decimated by a certain little porcupine.

Surprise, winter’s back!
Surprise, winter’s back!

Last fall we were also having issues with a porcupine who ate down an entire row of raspberries, but were unable to catch him in the act. After an unofficial vote, we decided to humanely relocate him rather than resort to the 25cent solution. Last week we set a cat trap for him baited with a trail of apples and caught him in a matter of hours. However we seriously underestimated his resolve to remain a tenant underneath our barn, and he was back the very next week! After all he had a pretty sweet setup going here.

Oscar sulking in his cage enroute to his new home
Oscar sulking in his cage enroute to his new home

So we set the set and baited the trap again. The first night Oscar the porcupine (of course he had a name by now) managed to fight off the urge to go after the apples within the trap and was content to fill his belly with only the surrounding apples. However the temptation proved too much the second night, and Oscar was there, sulking in his cage, this morning — caught red handed. After the first failed eviction, we settled on a peaceful quarter section, far far away, that Oscar could truly call home.

As winter is back, I can’t really work on the trailer, so I’ve taken the opportunity to get my home brewing operation up and running. After scanning the classifieds for a couple weeks, I managed to pick up everything I need for $60: glass carboy, air-locks, bungs, siphon, primary fermentation bucket, thiefs, hydrometer, sanitation solutions, bottle capping tool, bottle caps, and concentrated mash kit. I was a little worried the yeast may not be potent anymore as the kit was almost a year expired, but after less than 24 hours the burping airlock indicated that fermentation was going strong.

After ~48hrs fermentation was perhaps going a little too strong and the krausen began breaching the airlock. So I decided to rig up a hose to drain off the excess CO2 and krausen to avoid an overflow, plugged airlock, and potential blowup of the primary over the next few days of fermentation. The offgasses smell good enough to drink already; can hardly wait to try the first glass of ‘Oscar’s Day Out’ — as this brew’s inevitably been christened.