A Monumental Week
It was a bright, crisp morning. The horizon was blanketed by fluffy, pink clouds and the air was rich with the music of songbirds delighting in the early light. The man stood ready, his long hose unrolled. Our eyes met and I smiled, my heart beating in anticipation as he slipped it into the opening.
“This was the moment I had been waiting for, for oh-so-long”
The pump started slowly, methodically, withdrawing everything that had been building for months. An ultimate release. Barely 10 minutes later he was done and everything was gone. It was the end, but I also knew it was just the beginning, the start of a brand new insertion. I ran to Paul to tell him the news, certain he would be as excited as I had been.
“Our old septic tank had been emptied” I gasped “it’s all going to happen today!!”
Ah yes, my mind goes to strange places sometimes. I guess several months of waiting for a new septic tank to be installed has taken it’s toll, and humor is one of the few things that keeps me on-track. That, and happy hour. As I commented to a friend recently, “If I survive this year with my sanity in-tact, I will consider it an act of genius”.
This week at least, my sanity got a welcome respite.
The Septic Installation Finally Happened!!
So yes, as you may have grasped by now our new septic was FINALLY, blissfully installed this week. After mountains of paperwork, months of waiting for various approvals, and weeks of looking at the brand new tank just sitting on our lawn, we actually got it in the ground.
Amazingly, once the work started it went super fast. Much of this was thanks to our wonderful installer, Mr Mammy Pascal, who specializes in terrassement (which basically means “earthworks” or anything to do with digging and moving soil). Mr Mammy not only put up with weeks of anxiety from me, helping to calm and reassure whenever I started to lose hope, but also got the entire septic installed in mere hours.
As soon as our old concrete tank was emptied (the first required step), he dug it up, then proceeded to efficiently dig a new hole for our 4,731 liter Tricel all-in-one sewage treatment tank. Some gravel, some leveling and the new tank was lowered into place. Mere moments later it was connected to the house pipe and ready to be used. Voilà!
Mr Mammy spent the rest of the afternoon digging a trench for the exit pipe to the communal ditch by the road. Then later that evening the Tricel consultant, Mr Darribes came by to hook-up the electricity for the air compressor, and take us through the yearly maintenance steps (basically just a set of simple, manual checks to make sure the compressor stays clean and everything is connected & working). Our 20-year guarantee was launched at the same time.
The only remaining, somewhat stressful part of the whole affair was our inspection the next day by the SMDEA (the water treatment authority for our area). We had all our approvals and felt we’d done everything we could to be “conforme”, but there were still a few potential gotchas, including some “possibly needed” additions that would have required some serious extra construction work. Thankfully the lady from the SMDEA approved us as-is, and declared us good to go. Phew!!!
So there you are. It only took around 15 weeks all-in-all, from June to September or in other words, most of summer, but finally, FINALLY our new septic is installed and working!!!
Let the unabashed poooping begin……
We Sampled A Grainy Experiment
The other new thing we did this week was sample a grainy experiment that I teased you about a few blogs ago.
I’m sure many of you may have guessed that it involved beer, or more specifically home-brewed beer. Technically this was our second attempt at this, having tried a Brooklyn Brew Shop beer kit back in Maine (in the RV) a few years back. That first brew turned out so-so, suffering from rather inadequate temp control in our RV bins, not to mention quite a bit of bashing about as we motored from Maine to Florida.
This time we decided to tighten up our parameters, which is decidedly easier in a fixed-house setting.
We found an excellent online brew shop Brouwland (https://www.brouwland.com/) located in Belgium and bought their Simcoe IPA brew kit, a nice little starter kit that comes complete with yeast, malt, hops, plus all the necessary brew equipment and bottles for the final product. A pleasant afternoon of brewing ensued, including some baking (I made a sumptuous German Biertreberbrot, or spent grain bread from the leftover grains), followed by several weeks of fermentation before we bottled and waited for the product to complete.
The final tasting was done this Thursday, right after our septic inspection, and although it wasn’t quite as exciting as the installation itself, it turned out pretty darn decent. Good hops flavor, decent color, and a pleasant head, but not quite enough depth. So we’ve got a few adjustments to make.
We’ve already got our next grains on order, and are planning the next, next brew which (if good enough) we’ll share with the neighbors too. Plus we’re mulling some other fermentation ideas.
“La brasserie du Sud” may yet come to be….
And So We Go On
And so that’s it for home projects, at least for the moment.
It feels almost….odd…not to be waiting for some kind of approval or another, or not have any immediate house plans. It’s that moment between the moments again, but it also means we’re free, at least for a while. So we’re plotting, thinking, maybe even daring to believe that the motorhome might go out for another spin? We’ll see.
In the meantime we have beer, and we can poop. That’s a lot to be thankful for….
My question for you this week, my friends. Have you ever home-brewed? Or home-fermented something else? Any good tips? Or interesting brew stories? DO share below!