Saturday, January 31, 2009

The beer worked and it's really good!

I tried one of my beers tonight with dinner and it's great! It carbonated, had a nice head, and a light golden color. The taste I have to say is almost if not my favorite of any beer I've ever bought. It is not bitter at *all* but has a very light, refreshing taste with a clean finish. It took a month, but it was worth the wait. Now, I am interested to see what the difference is when I leave the beer to condition a while.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Now that I'm not dying of the plague...

Ugh...I've had a cold the last few days so I haven't posted. Still coughing now, but better enough to go to work and kung fu yesterday. I got to help out with the kids' class, which was a hoot. Even the littlest one, a five year old, was really paying attention and doing well. Then in the adult class, instead of a normal class, after warming up we were each asked to teach something for five minutes. That was so much fun, and a pretty non-threatening way to practice teaching.

Beer update:

The Mr. Beer is bottled and fully carbonated! I'll be moving half to the attic steps (for warm conditioning) and half to the fridge (for cold conditioning) this evening. I'll try one on Sunday and let you know what it's like.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mr. Beer is Mr. Slow

I can't believe's been over two weeks and is still not ready to bottle. (Fine bubbles are still rising in the keg.) The cold snap must really have retarded the fermenting process.

Friday, January 16, 2009


from Bard's Tale Beer Co,

This is a sorghum malt beer, with no wheat, barley, rye, or oats. I'm really curious to see what this will taste like.

A very bubbly beer, without a head. (Is it my pouring method?) A bright coppery color. A "bready" smell. The taste is not hoppy. It's a very balanced beer, with both sweet and bitter tones. A unique flavor, as of course there's not the barley malt aspect. This is a beer to drink slowly and think about it as you sip, not one to slug down quickly at a ball game. Much less bitter than yesterday's. A maple-ish, woodsy undertone. I feel like I should be sitting in a dark rathskeller, possibly smoking a cigar, discussing Important Things.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale

from Clipper City Brewing Company, LP

from the bottle: Our Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale is a hop shot across the bow! Hops, hops, AND MORE hops -- over 3 lbs per barrel, at 3 different times in the process. Herbal and aromatic: an amazingly delicious American IPA. 7.5 abv

My review:

With the stated hoppiness, I'm expecting a bitter taste. Upon opening, the smell is revealing--indeed very hoppy. Upon pouring into the glass, almost no head, but an attractive reddish-golden color. First! If you were looking for an IPA, I think you've found it. If you favor malty, sweeter beers you probably wouldn't care for this. Indeed quite bitter, but not in an unpleasant way. Goes well with salty foods; right now I'm having some brie and crackers. Leathery tones, a clean finish, no lingering aftertaste.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hot Apple Cider Tea

again from the Republic of Tea. Their description: When Autumn leaves begin to change and the chill returns to the air, this cozy, naturally caffeine-free blend of apples and spices will surely warm you up. Enjoy the luscious aroma of cinnamon and cloves as the steam rises from your cup. Pull on your coziest sweater and embrace this golden season.

Brew time: 5 minutes

A rather pale tea, the color of apple juice. Very strong cidery smell. Too hot, must let it cool a bit. Again, could use a little sweetener. Yes, that's more like it. Honestly, a bit disappointing. It smells much better than it tastes. Not that it tastes bad, it just doesn't have much of a taste at all. I probably would not buy this flavor again.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I am back, with dinner (pizza) and a new beer: Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus.

As you uncap the beer and smell the "smoke" that rises from the bottle, you definitely smell the lime, with a hint of the cactus. Tasting it, the lime is definitely there, and the sweetness of the agave (cactus) ameliorates any bitterness. I'm so tired of "flavored" beers where you can't actually taste any of the flavor. Tart and sweet, a little reminiscent of a margarita. I need a big plate of nachos now. I will definitely buy this again.

New year, new committment to blogging

Well, that, and I want to be in the next round of the Hogwarts Swap, and you need to be a regular blogger for that...though I do think I will make an "in character" blog this time.

On to beer...

I recently bought myself a Mr. Beer kit and it's fermenting as we speak. The premier starter kit, listed as $50 on the website, I got for $15 at Rite Aid! I am not kidding! Is it ready to bottle yet? Let me go, not yet, probably because my basement is slightly colder than the optimum temperature. There will be another beer review soon, but it's a little early in the day right now.

So, since I also like tea and it is very cold and snowy today, how about some tea reviews?

Vanilla Almond Decaf, from The Republic of Tea. Their description: The rich smoothness of real vanilla takes over the first sip of this tea, sweetening the cup. A nutty almond note follows, which sends it soaring into the realm of dessert. Top a strong brew with steamed milk for a creamy tea latte.

Brew time: 4 minutes

I can definitely smell both the vanilla and the almond notes. Tasting the sweetness? Not so much. Let me add some honey. (Can I find the honey jar? No, of course not. But, important tip: Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits gives you honey packets when you get takeout. Snag some today for your future tea or lunchbox needs. Found one! Back to your regularly scheduled tea review.) Ahhh...yes, that's better. You know what would go well with this? A Zero bar. A good tea for an afternoon break. As I have no Zero bars at this moment and don't wish to brave the ~ 10" of snow to walk to the store just for that let's see how a piece of chocolate from the box my wonderful husband :-) gave me goes. Mmmm...chocolate caramel. Well, not bad, but I still think the Zero bar would have been better.

Knitting update:

All scheduled Christmas knitting was done on time. I made my mom a potholder and a hat from the second Hat Attack. My daughter got a pair of zebras for her Noah's Ark, my husband got a pair of socks, and my dad got a scarf. Now I'm making my daughter a pair of mittens, inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman. (The ones with the snowflake pattern.) I'm using up my oddballs of Andean Treasure (baby alpaca from KnitPicks). I want to make myself a pair, so hers are kind of a swatch for mine. I just finished the cuff on the second one. Also, I just heard that an old friend is getting married this fall :-) :-) :-) so of course I'm off and knitting! I just wish either a) WalMart stocked Peaches N Creme in more colors, b) postage wasn't so much, or c) Bernat, Lion, or Lily made 1 lb cones of dark green cotton. Oh well, or in-store at Pat Catan's are both pretty reasonable.'s getting on toward dinnertime, so I will sign off for now. Keep warm!