Sourdough Bread — Ramblings on Bread

I love bread.  Not the mushy, squishy doughy soft mess you cut the crust off of from your childhood, but the real, stuff.  The bread with a crisp crust and a crumb that is both moist and chewy.  The bread that is as good by itself as it is with butter or smoked salmon.  Bread [...]

Homebrew = Omelette

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Hops — Harvest time!

Well, it is about that time of year.  Hop cones are ready to be harvested from mid August to mid September.  I checked them, and they were a light shade of green, with plenty of lupulin grains at the base of the cones, and have a papery feel to them.  I would have loved to [...]

Mead — My Muse and Nemesis

I love the idea of mead.  The oldest alcoholic drink known to man, it predates farming.  Mead surfaces again and again in historical texts.  It is found in the Rigveda, the ancient texts of India, written in Sanskrit.  It can be found throughout Greek and Roman literature.  Beowulf, the oldest surviving piece of English literature, [...]

Saison #3 — now with Brett!

I decided to continue my exploration of the Saison style, but this time, adding a touch o’funk.  Saisons are often innoculated/infected by brettanomyces, and the flavors they bring are considered appropriate for this style.  Orval probably best represents this, using brett to bottle condition their beers, it brings that earthy funkiness to the beer, without [...]

Well, here we are, July 22nd, and the hop vines are starting to flower.  In a few more weeks, probably sometime in September, I will cut down the vines, and dry most of the cones (the flowers).  However, some are destined for a wet hopped English Bitter.  The middle plant is the Nugget, which is [...]

Ok, I am done with the coop.  I finished putting the roof on about 5 minutes before a storm came through, nothing like a trial by fire.  Overall, I am pretty happy with it…but mostly I am pretty happy it is done.  I am sure we will have a few things to tweek, but the [...]

June Hops update

About 1 month ago I posted on the hops growing in the backyard.  I thought I would update that now, just over 4 weeks later. What can I say, if you live in the north, and you have something you want to cover up with some foliage for the summer, like an arbor or the [...]

Mud and Brick Ovens — hey, it involves wood!

I remember the first time I had a wood fired pizza.  I was in Italy after college, and I decided to get some lunch.  Pizza looked like a good idea, especially since it was cheap.  A 1/2 liter of wine and a pizza was running about 8000 Lira, which at the time was around 5 [...]

Hops — Early Spring

Hops are a herb used in brewing to help bitter the beer.  When boiled, the resins found on the flowers of the female plants turn into intensely bitter compounds that act as the foil to the sweetness of the malt.  They also have natural antibacterial properties to aids in preserving the beer.  The addition of [...]

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