Peru Norte Especial

May 21st, 2007

I don’t like it. Full city roast has a harsh first sip. I haven’t been able to roast and brew without a lot of bitterness on the back of my tongue.

Guatemala Quiche – La Perla Estate

May 21st, 2007

Sweet Maria’s Guatemala Quiche – La Perla Estate is a definite keeper.  Their description:

At City+ very mild, clean, sweet cup, cocoa, hazelnut, slight sage in finish

Ryan Adams

April 8th, 2007

I’ve listened to various Ryan Adams songs over the years, but never really gave him a shot.  Recently I became a big fan of his music.  Thoughtful, smooth lyrics set and great guitar work cement him in my “skilled” artist category.


April 8th, 2007

Wow.  Just got done tasting these for the first time.  I did the baking a bit different as I had a pork loin in the oven at the same time.  The salt was a bit much, I had a fairly fine sea salt, so that was probably the difference.  I’d probably mix the 1 1/4 C water and the flour and let it autolyze while the yeast hydrates.  An overnight first rise would add some nice flavor too.
3 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 1/4 cups water (room temp)
1/4 cup warmer water (not too hot; temp should be about what you use for baby formula…)
1 tsp. yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Active Dry)
2 tsp. kosher salt, use less if you’re using table salt
1/2 tsp sugar

dissolve the yeast and sugar in the 1/4 cup warm water, let sit for 15 minutes. combine the flour and salt in the food processor, process for a few seconds to mix. After yeast has proofed for 15 minutes, combine it with the water, and add to the flour slowly with the machine running. After a minute, the mixture will form a fairly sticky ball of dough.

Dump this into a largish bowl, cover tightly and let rise for 2-3 hours at room temp, or overnight in the fridge. (if you refrigerate, bring back to rooom temo to continue.)

Turn the ball of dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead it to deflate the bubbles and shape it into 2 baguettes or 1 boule (round loaf). Place on a baking sheet (sprinkling the sheet with cornmeal will help the bread to not stick), dust with flour, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise another hour. (preheat the oven to 450 F. )

When you’re ready to bake, slash the tops of the loaves with a sharp knife , spritz them with water and put in the oven. Spray them lightly every few minutes in the first 15 minutes of baking (this makes a crisper crust.) Baking time should be about 30 minutes; loaves should be a deep golden brown and sound hollow when you thump on the bottom.

Apfelwein – Apple Wine

April 4th, 2007

I started my adventure in home brewing this past weekend. I’ve always been fond of hard cider and really wanted to try making some last fall since I’m in the land of 10,000 orchards now. This recipe for high test (8.5% ABV) Apfelwein from EdWort of the HomeBrewTalk forums was selected for it’s simplicity and affordability. Store bought apple juice is cheap and available all year.
Original forum thread

5 Gallons Apple Juice (no preservatives i.e. benzoates et al, ascorbic acid is OK)
2 lbs dextrose
1 packet (5 g) Redstar Montrachet wine yeast

Clean and sanitize a 5 gallon carboy. Pour half a jug of apple juice into your carboy via a sanitized funnel. Pour a pound of dextrose into the half empty jug and shake shake shake to dissolve the dextrose and oxygenate the juice. Pour the dextrose juice into carboy. Pour half of another jug into the first jug and add half a pound of dextrose to each of those jugs, shake well and add to carboy. Now pour enough juice out of your remaining containers into the carboy so there is room to shake and oxygenate the remaining juice. Add your yeast packet to the last bottle and get all 5 gallons of juice into the carboy. Montrachet doesn’t have crazy krausen properties, so you don’t need a lot of head space. Top the carboy off with a sanitized airlock setup. Wait.

It took my yeasties about 18 hours to start doing much of anything @ ~ 66 degrees F. At that point, I had a little yeast colored krausen ring at the top of the liquid. 64 hours into fermentation and I’ve got a good CO2 bubble every 10 seconds and no krausen. I expect this to take close to 4 weeks to finish fermenting, at which time I’ll bottle with 3/4 cup dextrose primer for carbonation (optional). Add your favorite sweetener in the glass at consumption time if you prefer a sweeter cider.