Fermenting Solutions Issue 5: Can't Quoit for Summer

Published: Sun, 03/27/16

March 28, 2016 View in browser

I can't remember too many summer time outings as a kid where the game of Quoits wasn't nearby.  It was such a naturally expected feature of any outdoor event that I found it shocking when no one seemed to even know the game when I moved to the Philadelphia area.  I love to play the game and it is one of the first things I setup as soon as I moved into my house.

Many of my local friends have never played the game before I rope them into playing, but just about everyone has played something similar.  A friend of mine from Kentucky and a handful of others that grew up around Pennsylvania Dutch areas were already familiar.  I always thought of quoits as a "PA Dutch" thing. I've seen and purchased sets in places traditionally known for large Mennonite populations. I was definitely surprised when I learned that historically it had been a predominantly English game.
Wikipedia describes several different varieties of quoits, but in my mind the only real version is the Traditional American 4 lb.  I've played some of the others, but nothing compares to the variant that I played all my life.  For this game, you need proper pits that are more or less a permanent fixture wherever you want to play.
So I hear you... a bunch of people hanging around with beers in one hand and throwing 4 lb metal discs at pins stuck in the ground doesn't sound like something you want in the same backyard that your kids and their friends play in.  I didn't either, so that became a prime motivator for me in this project.  What made this problem even worse is that I wanted the ability to keep the game going until after the sun went down.  This meant that the pit location had to get closer to the house or I had to run supplemental lighting.

I opted to go closer to the house since I already have some pretty powerful flood lights in a more or less perfect spot.  This also solved some other minor concerns of mine like the ability to be in close earshot of my outdoor speakers and having more options for putting your beverage of choice down to rest while you're throwing.

This really underscored the need for a good solution to my number one concern.  Anyone who's tripped over one at night can tell you all about the dangers of open pits and exposed pins.  Plus who wants to mow grass around either of them?
I found this design for constructing recessed covered pits and decided to give it a try.  It meets pretty much all of my requirements, and is a fun little project as well.  I'll provide updates on how well this addresses the issues with my current setup.
I cut everything to size this weekend and will be assembling it over the course of the next few days.  You can see progress using this shared photo album link.

I can't wait to enjoy a beer the very first time I pull these covers off to play! I can only hope that it's as good as...
It was likely the weather, but this week was full of Brettanomyces fermented beers. So many great ones to choose from, but this offering from Oxbow was probably my favorite. Dry, hoppy and with a bit of funk, its tropical earthiness was perfect after a night outside in the unseasonably warm air.
That's it for this week. I've got a lot of quoit pit digging to do.

Questions?? Want a deeper dive on something discussed here? Drop me a line to continue the conversation:
[email protected]

I'll definitely still be working on these quoit pits next week, but you can be sure that I'll start another project to discuss before then as well.

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