Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pulled Pork Two Ways

Who doesn't love Pork? Okay a few people including my fiance. We love it, don't we. We love sweet smoky pork, but doing the same thing over and over becomes familiar. Familiar can be good like a cool vanilla ice cream on a warm day, but new can be exciting like the first time you had Ben & Jerry's. Sometimes you just need inspiration to get you out of your rut. I found my inspiration in a disappointing sandwich, But that's a story for after the break.

(please read more after the break.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I needed to brew (Pecan Porter)

It's been a long time. So long that I'm forgetting things that I've learned. Brewing is a skill like any other; use it or lose it as they say. So I thought about recipies, cleaned up all of my gear, and set to work. I wanted to brew something that I'd like to drink so I thought about what I could put on tap at my new house and enjoy drinking through summer into the fall. So nothing too sweet, nothing too heavy, nothing too much... I settled on a porter since my last beer was an imperial IPA with all of the hops.

So I went to the AHA webpage and looked for inspiration. Enter the recipe for 512 Pecan Porter. It was a good jumping off point, but what I wanted to change was the potency; 6.8% is a bit heavy for a summer beer. So I dialed it back down to a more modest 5.3%. I reduced the ingredients by 20% keeping the recipe ratios the same.

(Please read more after the break.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Home Brewing, Part II

What a weird year. So some backstory: I switched jobs last fall and gave up my small place. I moved home to be by my fiance and find a house to buy. That didn't work out. I lost my job right after our busy season. So I went back to work finding work and that went slowly until the fall and now I'm going back to work soon. I'm back at home though for a few more months so brewing will be impossible until my fiance and I get our home.

I'm ready to brew again, I don't want to say I was burned out, but I was frustrated. I got started home brewing thinking that it would bring me closer with my friends but they never really took to it. Derek lives in Chicago so everything sucks, and Kyle's house was like 1000 degrees in the summer so everything was harder there.

There were some other problems too. I brewed more than I could drink and wasn't drinking all that I brewed. I also over bought commercial brew so that there was way more than I could conceivably drink. It became a big problem that I can admit to now. So I stopped brewing, started drinking some of my beer, and stopped buying commercial beers. The boys and I have made a dent in the beer; in time maybe we can overcome that problem. I'll probably dump some home brews moving forward to recycle the bottles and free up kegs but if I don't over brew as much I won't be as wasteful.

I like home brewing. I know it's a great way to get fine beers catered to my own tastes at affordable prices. It's a fun way to explore my creativity and the things I find interesting about beers. I'm still competitive and I'd like to win more award than second place in an obscure category at my local home brew store.

Anyways I should start brewing again soon, I am thinking an easy drinking saison and a Russian imperial stout. It'll be the second act of this hobby; it'll be where I start over, relearn some old lessons, and learn some new ones. I won't depend on friends for the enjoyment of something that I am doing because I enjoy it. Anyone who still reads this thanks for hanging with me, and to anyone who stumbles upon this blog in the future now you can understand the lull.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Award Winning Homebrew

At Siciliano's 12th annual homebrew competition I finished 2nd place in category 17 F. My beer was position three in a flight of nine. I won a silver medal for my effort and the store employee said congratulations (that praise was an award unto itself). My beer was scored by two judges and was awarded a final score of 38 which is the bottom of the Excellent classification.

(read more about my 'excellent' award winning home brew after the break.)