11/30/14

Brew & Beast Winter Ale Recipe

The latest brew day recipe for a strong hearty winter ale.

 

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 14.7 IBUs 29.3 SRM 1.089 SG 1.020 SG 9.1 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Christmas/Winter Specialty Spice Beer 21 B 1.03 - 1.11 1.005 - 1.025 0 - 70 5 - 50 2 - 3 2.5 - 12 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) Canada 13 lbs 76.47
2-Row Caramel Malt 60L 1 lbs 5.88
Munich Malt 1 lbs 5.88
Chocolate Malt 0.5 lbs 2.94
Maple Syrup 1.5 lbs 8.82

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Goldings, East Kent 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 5

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
London Ale Yeast () White Labs 75% 64°F - 69°F

Notes

Basic infusion mash at 150. Soaked 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. ea nutmeg and cloves, 1 T fresh ginger and 1 t. vanilla extract in 1/2 c. vodka to add at bottling.
10/4/14

It’s Back! Egg Nog.


Rum & Egg Nog
Egg Nog was in the stores, at least for the Thanksgiving (Canadian) season.

Rum & Egg Nog
A super easy holiday drink to make.
Servings Prep Time
1Drink 2Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0Minutes 0 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1Drink 2Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0Minutes 0 Minutes
Rum & Egg Nog
A super easy holiday drink to make.
Servings Prep Time
1Drink 2Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0Minutes 0 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1Drink 2Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0Minutes 0 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 1Cup Egg NogYou can use regular or light
  • 1oz Spiced Rum
  • 1Pinch NutmegFresh is best, use a microplane if you have one
  • 1Pinch CinnamonFresh is best, use a microplane if you have one
Servings: Drink
Instructions
  1. Simply measure out an ounce of rum and pour into a old fashion glass or punch glass. Add the one cup of Egg Nog and give a light stir. Finish with the Nutmeg and Cinnamon.
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04/25/14

Cinnamon Buns in the Tropics.

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I made these one evening while visiting my father down in Belize. Cream cheese icing and all.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup warm water
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 package of dry active yeast
4 cups all purpose flour plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup icing sugar
1 package of plain cream cheese

Method:

1. Proof the yeast in the water with the white sugar until it starts to bubble.

2. Mix in the flour until you form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Knead for a few minutes and then let rise in a warm area until the dough roughly doubles in size.

4. Once risen, punch down and prep a flat clean area with flour to roll the dough.

5. Roll the dough into a 18″x16″ rectangle, adding flour to your surface as needed to prevent sticking.

6. Melt the butter and liberally coat the entire surface of your rolled dough. Also place some in your baking dish to reduce sticking.

7. Sprinkle out the brown sugar and cinnamon in an even pattern over your dough, making sure to cover the edges.

8. Roll your dough up into a single long cylinder as tight as you can make it. Then using a sharp knife, cut into 1″ sections.

9. Now place the sections on their sides evenly spaced in a walled baking pan.

10. Let the buns rise for roughly 30 minutes or until they almost double in size. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes depending on how chewy you want them.

11. For the icing, let the cream cheese reach room temperature and beat in the icing sugar until thoroughly whipped up. You can add more or use less depending on your sweetness preference.

12. Spread the icing on while the buns are still warm out of the oven.

01/25/14

Bacon Review: What We’ve Learned so Far

As we fine-tune our bacon techniques, we always like to try different flavor combinations rather than sticking with a ‘plain smoked’ or ‘maple’ (albeit, the classics always hold a special rack in our smoker!). This week’s test batch was made up of two new varieties, which we lovingly dubbed ‘Maple Magic’ and ‘Asian Delight’. Our method was quite different from our last big run, and we both agree that it is much better.

 1. Curing:

  • Last time: We mixed the Kosher Salt and the Prague Powder together then covered the pork belly. After thoroughly rubbing it down, we then covered it in our flavors of choice. **Remember to leave the skin on during this stage**
  • This time: We mixed the kosher salt, Prague Powder, and flavoring together in a bowl, then applied it as a pre-mixed seasoning/paste to the pork belly. **Remember to leave the skin on during this stage**
  • What we learned: Too much salt the first time! the second method of application was much more effective, and allowed the flavor to permeate the meat more effectively, without having to worry about an over-abundance of saltiness. The flavor on our test batch was much more balanced (and full of yummy bacon goodness :) ).

2. Storing:

  • Last time: We thought we would save space and really push that flavor into the bacon by taking the pork belly chunks (about 1lb each, although this is because the meat was pre-cut. If cutting your own, I suggest cutting 2-5lb chunks to make it easier on you when it comes time to slice it up) and vacuum sealing it, then labeling the variety. We then stored them in a standard refrigerator for 1 week.
  • This time: We simply rubbed the cure onto the bacon while it was in a casserole dish, then left it in there and saran-wrapped ourselves a lid onto the dish. Stored in a regular refrigerator for 1 week.
  • What we learned: The vacuum sealing, although making us look super organized and very clean/compact, did not allow the moisture to be drawn out of the pork belly properly. it simply held all of the cure in place. When we saran-wrapped the second test batch, it allowed the moisture to be drawn out and the cool air to circulate around the pork belly more effectively. This way, we were also free to turn the chunks over every couple of days to really stir things up :). The pork belly was much firmer this way as well, which is your telltale sign that moisture has been drawn out.

3. Smoking:

  • Last time: We left all the cure on the bacon, and smoked it as is. Each batch was smoked for approx. 2 hrs.
  • This time: We rinsed the pork belly first, then patted dry with paper towel. We smoked for approx. 2 hrs.
  • What we learned: Definitely a better idea to rinse your bacon off before smoking! It allows those flavors to really shine through, and not be overshadowed by the saltiness in the cure. The salt is meant to draw moisture OUT, not put flavor IN.

4. Slicing:

  • Last time: We used a meat slicer (picked an electric one up at Excess Cargo for about $30, you don’t need anything too fancy). The bacon was left out overnight to dry and firm up even more, which helped. we adjusted the blade to our desired thickness and sliced away. We then vacuum sealed our portions, labeled them with the different varieties and away we went!
  • This time: Using a second meat slicer of the same variety (the first one got burnt out, I wonder why? Couldn’t be the ENTIRE DAY of slicing bacon…) we selected the nicest and most symmetrical chunks of bacon and sliced them up as per above. With the more awkward pieces, we cut them into cubes (or “Lardons” if you want to be fancy about it) so we could use them for other applications. Instead of leaving them out overnight, we put the pieces in the freezer until they were nice and firm.
  • What we learned: Both methods worked well, but the cubing of the awkward pieces saved a lot of time and fingers, and it also gives us another way to make the bacon. These were typically pieces that were extra fatty and are better off used in a fried rice or stirfry of some sort. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use freezer-friendly ziplock bags so long as you remove all of the air from it before sealing.

***REMEMBER TO TEST EACH OF YOUR BATCHES TO MAKE SURE YOUR FLAVOR WORKED OUT…AND TO GIVE YOURSELF A TREAT FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK!!**

*Hint*: If you have the opportunity to cut your own portions, stick with 2-5lb rather than 1lb. It's much easier and less time consuming in all stages.

*Hint*: If you have the opportunity to cut your own portions, stick with 2-5lb rather than 1lb. It’s much easier and less time consuming in all stages.

bacon

12/4/13

Brew Review: Mission Springs Fat Guy Oatmeal Stout

Mission Springs Fat Guy Oatmeal Stout

Mission Springs Fat Guy Oatmeal Stout

Name: Mission Springs Fat Guy Oatmeal Stout
Style: Stout
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
IBU: N/A
Brewery: Mission Springs Brewing Company
Source: 650ml Glass Bottle

 

This brewpub is about 45 minutes from where I live and have spent more then one evening drinking a brew or two at this rustic eatery.

Appearance: Dark black with a light head and carbonation, typical of most stouts. Body is light, unlike a Guinness.

Smell: A hint of molasses and chocolate. No real noticeable hop aroma.

Taste: There is a subtle flavour of the oats, but leans more towards the coffee taste.

Mouthfeel: I found it a bit thin and watery for the style.

Overall: I was expecting to get a wider range of flavours from this beer and have generally been pleased with their other styles, I will have to revisit this one in the future to see if it improves.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

 

12/1/13

Our Beer Review Categories

With some searching around I found the categories that we will use to review the various brews on here from time to time. Below is an excerpt from the Beer Advocate guide on how to review a beer and the categories to note.

Appearance – Note the beer’s color, carbonation, head and its retention. Is it clear or cloudy? Does it look lackluster and dull or alive and inviting? 

Smell – Bring the beer to your nose. Note the beer’s aromatic qualities. Malts: sweet, roasty, smoky, toasty, chocolaty, nutty, caramelly, biscuity? Hops: dank / resiny, herbal, perfumy, spicy, leafy, grassy, floral, piney, citrusy? Yeast will also create aromas. You might get fruity or flowery aromas (esters) from ales and very clean aromas from lagers, which will allow the malt and hop subtleties to pull through. 

Taste – Take a deep sip of the beer. Note any flavors, or interpretations of flavors, that you might discover. The descriptions will be similar to what you smell. Is the beer built-well? Is there a balance between the ingredients? Was the beer brewed with a specific dominance of character in mind? How does it fit the style? 

Mouthfeel – Take another sip and let it wander. Note how the beer feels on the palate and its body. Light, heavy, chewy, thin / watery, smooth or coarse? Was the beer flat, over-carbonated? 

Overall – Your overall impression of the beer.

Check out the entire article Here to see what other factors go into reviewing a beer.