Saturday, December 20, 2014

Spiced Cider

Big beautiful bottles of delicious spiced cider.  Its sharp and clean, the spice is in there, but not like it is in the Winter Spice Ale that I put the exact same spices in.  The ale is sweet and gingerbready, this cider is more like a white wine with really spicy notes.  It's different and very good.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Peppery Goodness

Whether Peter Piper picked them, we'll never know.  It seems unlikely, since some of them came from an asian grocery and some from a Mexican grocery, but maybe...

Salted, weighted, and waiting.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Spices

So I put this New Year's Ale together back in September (now I'm calling it Winter Spice Ale) and it's time to add the spices.  I have a cider in an extended fermentation (I *always* have a cider in extended fermentation, because you never know) so I decided to do a little experiment and get two beers into the holiday spirit.  Both batches got the above spice blend: cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, whole cloves, and some nutmeg.  I think that's the "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" of Xmas.  I wasn't sure how much to add, so I looked in the joy of cooking under spiced apple pie and put in enough spices for a whole pie.  A good spiced beer is like a slice of pie, right?

If you want to taste them side by side, hit up for the December 2014 tasting, they'll be there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hot Sauce Fever

Sometimes foods have indescribable tastes.  

That can be either a good taste or a bad taste, but there is a sensory X-factor that you can't put your finger on.  Good Barbecue has it.  Sometimes barbecue is just warm meat with sauce on it.  Sometimes its something else.  Something more.  Something that keeps you coming back and signals that everything important was done right.  

Every decision to add (or not add) an ingredient was made with the final product in mind.  Every opportunity to act or wait was taken or skipped based on the clock of the thing being made.

This hot sauce has that thing.  As soon as I whipped it up and tasted it, I thought, "Oh no, I'm almost out of hot sauce!" because I knew it was going on e'erythan'.

Thanks to Lou from who taught the Fermented Hot Sauce Class at Fermentation Fest, and let me take this pint of peppery perfection.  There's more coming.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Kimchi Out, Kraut In

This latest batch of kimchi was ready to go into jars.  The flavor is good, all the characteristic ginger, garlic, scallion, chili, etc tastes are there for kimchi, but it's a little weak, because I stretched the spice paste over too much cabbage, and it's a little salty, probably from the brine step.  Totally edible, don't get me wrong, and I think it will only get better.  There was a bunch of extra brine, which was delicious, and struck me as being very "meaty."  The whole process is getting smoother.

And this carboy-kraut was more than ready to hit the crock.  I fermented it in a carboy with an airlock, so while it was totally protected from all sources of oxygen, and did not grow any mold or fancy-colored bacteria for two weeks, it was not entirely submerged in brine.  Opening up the carboy for the first time there was a vaguely "off" smell, mostly carbon dioxide, which took me aback, and some sulfur-y smells, maybe a little like horseradish?  It was very soft, but not very sour, so I packed it into a crock.  There was also lots of extra brine in this one too, and it was strangely sweet.  I'm hoping it sours up nicely now that it's submerged and exposed to a *bit* of air.  I kinda like soft, pungent kraut.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Crocks of S#!*

Sauerkraut production is in full swing.  I went to the Fondy Food Center and picked up a ton of cabbage to start a new batch of kraut and a batch of kimchi.  The kraut above is an experiement in lacto-fermentation with an airlock.  That's a widemouthed carboy, and the contents are just salted cabbage.  I chopped it with a knife, which is pretty fast and doesn't require much cleanup, but the result is pretty coarse, especially once you get to the fifth cabbage.  You will notice that it is not weighted, which is a big no-no in the brining world, but it's been nearly a week with no sign of mold or discoloration.  More on that in another post.

To make room for the kimchi in my new stoneware crock, I first had to package the last batch of sauerkraut, which has turned that delicious pale yellow-green color and is pleasantly sour.  It is flavored with dill seed and some lemon juice was added, so it tastes pickle-y and fresh.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it continues to age and change in the fridge.

Then I chopped up 3 big Napa cabbages and a big bundle of scallions.  They spent 24 hours in a water brine, and then got drained and packed in with chili-ginger paste.  Bubbles have commenced.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

1 Unit of Standard Kraut

I have returned from Fermentation Fest.  Reinvigorated with fresh culture.

I took a class from Kirsten Shockey and got a signed copy of her book: Fermented Vegetables, and the crock above is filled with a batch of basic sauerkraut using her methods (which is to say that it's one of the simplest recipes for sauerkraut there is, not that that's a bad thing.)  I got the crock from Ace Hardware, which is a remarkably good source for fermentation / food preservation supplies.

Ma femme noticed that on the back of the book, the two recommendations at the top are from Sandor Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, and Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy.  She then pointed out that Vegetable Literacy is currently on her nightstand, and Katz's book is currently on the dresser by my side of the bed.  That is serendipity if ever there was; this is the right book for the right time in our household.  She even found a recipe for a ferment that she wants me to try, and I never thought that would happen.  We've got a bunch of surplus garlic from a friend, so I'm going to turn it into a fermented garlic paste that can be used in place of fresh garlic, but all the peeling and processing is already done, plus it takes the edge off of raw garlic.  If it's good, it might become a regular thing.

In other fermenting news, I have about had it with vinegar.  There's something I'm just not getting.  One jar got fruit flies (I didn't even think that was possible, and it makes me believe in Spontaneous Generation.)  One jar tastes like puke, and one jar tastes like ashes.  What.  The.  Heck.  I'm done trying to turn shitty beer into amazing vinegar, I think that's a "garbage-in-garbage-out" proposition.  I tossed a bunch of failures out this weekend, and started a fresh batch with a nice hunk of mother and a bottle of Cabernet.  I set it up on the counter so I can see it every day, with a clean piece of cheese cloth.  If this doesn't work, I'm giving up for a while.

On a more positive note, the New Year's Ale remains steadily active, in the way that those big beers do.  There's less of a burst and retreat, the way a smaller beer can be ready to go to secondary (or straight to bottling) after just a week or two.  This beer is just marching, with about an inch of kreusen and a relentless bobbing of the airlock; it shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

I transferred my Chianti, and it tastes bold and belligerent.  It will benefit greatly from another six weeks of slow maturation, followed by some heavy toasted oak.  The Sour Series continue their patient slumber, with the Berliner Weisse starting to get really clear almost all the way to the bottom of the Carboy of Truth.  By Early November, it will be ready to make way for a new resident, and join its brothers in silent watchfulness along the wall.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fermented Grape Jelly

The post title is a bit of a misnomer, since what I'm making is actually wine jelly.  I could have written "Fermented-Grape Jelly" to distinguish it from "Fermented Grape-Jelly."  The recipe is from the Cook's Illustrated D.I.Y. cookbook, and it was pretty easy.  Ma femme and I don't eat a lot of sweet stuff like that, so I doubt it will become a regular thing, but the few licks from the spoon I had are very tasty.  It has a rich, tart fruitiness, rather than a purple candy flavor you can get with grape jelly in a packet.  Also, apparently wine has a hot break, I would not have guessed that there would be enough protein to make that happen, but there it was.

On the back burner (about which I will not attempt to make a pun) there is a quart of honey that I softened to add to my New Year's Ale.  It took a solid four days for the lag phase to end and that beer to develop a kreusen, and it never got more than an inch thick.  Potential causes: Under pitching, since the yeast pack spent two months in my fridge, and was on clearance when I bought it anyway.  Low temperatures, since the temperatures are low and I set it on the basement floor.  High gravity, which I should really start measuring, but aghh.  The big beers I like to make for long term bottle aging need big starters to get going.  I have had so much success with beers that took forever to get going that it's not really motivating to try any harder.  I'm in no hurry, so if the yeast need an extra week in primary or an extra few months in secondary, well then they can have it.

I will say that things took off again after the addition of honey.  The blow off hose had settled down to maybe a bubble a minute, but after just a few hours with some extra sugars, it's up to once every few seconds, once it settled back from vigorous emissions of gas after being agitated and having a bunch of warm honey lobbed at it.  I want it to be drinkable by the New Year, so I moved it up off the floor, and it will get Champagned soon, perhaps as early as next weekend.  I very rarely brew a beer with a specific deadline, and I still reserve the right to delay the release if that's what the beer needs; I shall not compromise my vision!  

LOL j/k, no srsly.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


The transformative action of microorganisms naturally tends to produce a surplus.  Making five gallons of beer or wine is no more work than one.  Chopping, salting and packing into jars turns a extra vegetables that would otherwise spoil into delicious krauts and pickles to share.  Giving and receiving the things we make by hand reinforces the bonds of friendship and strengthens our culture. 

I cannot get over how intertwined the different meanings of that word are: culture.   It's everything.

I was so happy to be able to give away some of my surplus ferments this weekend; whether it was for old friends, new ones, just saying hi or thanking someone for their hard work, I got back joy and a sense of belonging that I cannot brew up alone in my basement.

I also got some fermented products in return, and it was that pinnacle of exchanges where each party thinks they are getting the better deal.  I was just giving away my silly wine, and I got back exquisitely crafted cheese and sausage.   Getting something that someone else has poured their time and resources into makes you feel special.  

I could go on like this forever.  There were many wonderful things to reflect on today.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fermentation Fest Day 1

Good food, great exchange of knowledge, new friends, and some vaguely familiar faces.  

Takeaway points:
1). Organic peanut butter might give you cancer.  Don't you wish you didn't know that?
2). For best kraut flavor, chop your veggies, add salt, and press well to create a brine.  Add brine from a previous batch or some lemon juice if you need more liquid; try to avoid adding just salt water.
3). Slip into a groove, visit those common spots, and don't be afraid to say hi to that dude from that class when you see him later at the coffeeshop.  Culture culture.

Reedsburg feels strangely like home.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Year's Ale

This is going to be a holiday spice ale for one of our pregnant friends.  She misses beer, and her baby is due right around the new year, so the style is apropos.  I hope she likes it.  It's an extract batch, because I had a bunch of extract that I was saving for something.  Turns out I was saving it for this.

There comes a certain point in one's homebrewing journey when you say, "I'd like to make beer today" with no planning and no recipe.  You go down to look at your stash, grab a little of this, and a little of that; some hops out of the freezer from that time (or timeS) that you bought too many hops... and compose something, like jazz.  It has structure within restrictions, but it is improvisational.   

6 lbs Maris Otter extract
3 lbs Munich Malt extract
3 lbs Rye Malt extract

1oz UK East Kent Goldings @ 60 minutes
1/2 oz UK Fuggle @ 30 minutes

Wyeast 1028 London Ale

I will add some honey once fermentation has peaked, and I will add some mulling spices in secondary, about a week or two before bottling.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hops Don't Stops

Harvest time is upon us, and that means hop picking.  It was a pretty good year for growing stuff in my backyard, and hops were no exception.  I decided it was time and tore into it, snipping of bines, plucking off cones and dropping them into a big blue tub.  It was a few hours work, but it was quite pleasant.  I had a beer (The Tim Brice) and I had a little help from a little green buddy.

I also experienced something like Cheeto-fingers, but with hop resin.

And when I was done, I had lots of hops; now drying.  I do plan to weigh them and report a total 2014 yield (the 2013 haul was one full pound, so that's the number to beat.)   The cascade plant did so well, and the Mt. Hood and Williamette plants did so meh, that I am seriously considering trimming them down and just having one plant.  But that's a decision for another day...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Berliner Weisse

This just looks beautiful to me.  It's not just the colors and textures, but for me it evokes the beauty, and in this case, simplicity of brewing.  It's mash hopped, because in the most traditional methods, it's not boiled; the wild yeast (and bacteria,of course) are introduced along with the grain itself.  The hops are the last of the 2013 backyard harvest, and the grain is 70:30 Pilsner:wheat.

In this case, I'm putting it on the lambic blend inside my Widemouthed Carboy of Truth.  It replaces an Oud Bruin that now sits patiently in secondary alongside a honey wheat.  They are keeping each other company in a row on the wall, all dated and named, observed but rarely prodded.  Waiting.  Evolving.  Waiting.

Shane kept a log of the days events, when each beer was mashed, sparged, boiled, etc., so I believe that he is going to put together a "day-in-the-life-of-a-brewday" post over on  You should check it out.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Brined at 4% by weight.  Added some dill, cloves, and mustard seed.  We'll see what happens.  

I've been getting better at this: instead of letting things go for weeks at room temperature, I'm getting them in the fridge before too long.  I've only had a few things that I had to throw out, but the things I'm making are *much* more delicious.  Or at least much better suited to my tastes. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hops update 8/14

The lighting's a little off (mostly because these pictures were not all taken at the same time) but once again, I have plenty of Cascade hops.  I'm going to harvest them a little earlier this year than I did last year.  I think they got sunburned and overdry on the bines while I was waiting for them to get "papery" or whatever I had read on the internet about hop cone ripeness.

There's also a decent showing from the Mt. Hood and Williamette plants.  The clothesline is drooping, as expected; but it's drooping way *more* than it did last year.  I had considered a taut stainless steel cable and some sort of tensioning system, but I think I'll use some intermediate support posts next time.  They can serve the dual purpose of training the bines up to the line, and supporting it once the plants start getting heavy.  Mo' vertical, mo' hops.

I wonder how things are going in Minnesota?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Herman & Sherman

I think this may actually have worked.  I mixed some cheap olive oil with a lye solution, heated them up, stirred them up, and it looks like we're in business.  

I made the mistake of pouring it into an aluminum roasting pan to mold it, and that didn't agree with the strong base.  But it cooled off on the basement floor, and it's starting to set up.  Hopefully in a few weeks I can unmold it, cut it into bars  and start getting myself clean.  Based on the little samples I've scraped out of the kettle, this stuff will wash away your sins. 

A Tale Told by Time

It's a little bit wild, but it's very mild.  

And well balanced (didn't want to mess up the little rhyme I had going there.)  you certainly can't say that it didn't drop bright, based on this photo. 

It has inspired me to begin my own series of sour beers, a journey best suited to the patient.  However, once a Bucket of Truth has been started, the truth can be revealed in many ways; which is to say that you can ferment all kinds of things once a lambic blend gets going.  

To that end, I have a Honey Wheat in its long, slow secondary, and an Oud Bruin in a gloriously ugly primary.  Behind that in the pipeline, I'm planning a Rye/Munich mashup, and a Maris Otter "Englishman's-vacation-to-the-low-countries" thing waiting for their day.   


Step 1: acquire beef brisket. 

Step 2: brine it. 

Step 3: smoke it. 

Step 4: steam it (pictured above.)

Step 5: sandwiches. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Cabernet Sauvignon.  Pitched.  Transferred.  Transferred again.  And again.  And maybe a third time (or is that four?)

Finally oaked.  In this case French light toast.  I like vanilla.

also I took this picture at least eight weeks ago, so it's been bottled already.  It still has a tinge of youth, despite all the shaking and racking and incalculable tracts of time.  But it has the makings of greatness.  

For now, we wait.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

To Serve with Liver

One red wine is in bottles, another goes into the carboy.  This time a Chianti.  In my mind this is the wine that comes in the big teardrop bottle with the wicker cover; cheap, but great with a steak or even just a good bowl of spaghetti.   

Now I'm hungry for lasagna.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Exploded vs. Unexploded

My ginger beer done blew up on me!  It was disappointingly flat for months, then suddenly (though coincident with the recent seasonal rise in temperature) they started being REALLY carbonated.  

Then they started blowing up.  

That's never good; so one day, I just uncapped them all, dumped them into a clean bucket, and transferred that to a clean carboy.  I threw an airlock on it, saw little to no activity, and after a week or so, re-bottled it.  The flavor has changed: it's definitely picked up a little bit of a sour character, and I have to say that it's not quite as gingery as it was.  If you had any of this beer the first time around, you know that's an acceptable loss.  This shit was gingery-er than ginger.

I'm getting ready to make it again, maybe.

Dark Mysteries of the 50's

She walked into my office after five.  After the sun goes down below the Chrysler Building and Janine goes home to her cat and her book and her curlers.  She walked in like she had already hired me and I was late getting back to her.  Her face was obscured by her hat and the shadows from the Venetian blinds, but the rest of her wasn't, sliding past oak desk chairs and overflowing wire trash bins in a silky black dress and gams that wouldn't quit.  "What's your name, doll?"

"Pinot Noir."

Stuck vs. Unstuck

In the summer of 2012, I brewed a Honey-Wheat beer using the harvested yeast from a bottle of Lakefront's Wisconsinite.  It was light in color, flowery and Belgian in taste, and I liked it more than I thought I would, even when I was drinking it; every time.  This spring, I thought, "Hey, let's do that again!"  And this time, I planned to use the harvested yeast from the bottom of a bottle of that beer I made, continuing the strain out another generation.  "They" tell us that you can't do that too many times with a commercial strain, or it starts to drift from the flavor profile and other characteristics of what you bought.  But this is a wild strain, a perfect natural balance of multiple strains that should propagate indefinitely, just as it has in nature for millions of years.  

Unless it's been starving in a bottle in the basement for two years, and you don't bother to make a starter out of it.  Then maybe nothing happens.  So maybe you throw in the trub from a bottle of some other Belgian thing you've got going, and maybe that does nothing as well.  Then maybe it starts to get a telltale white film on it and you've never really seen any bubbles out of the airlock for like six weeks now.  That's when you know it's time to forgo your hippie plans to live off the grid with self-perpetuating yeasts, relent to the military/industrial commercial yeast powers-that-be, and bring out the big guns.

Wyeast 3278 Belgian Lambic Blend.  

If this batch was funky before, no one will ever know.  Within 12 hours of pitching these beasties, it had an inch of kreusen, and within 48, it had crested and come down.  So I added three pounds of honey, and that kept things frisky.  Also, note that I'm not using an airlock just yet, but a piece of cheesecloth, just to keep things clean.  This is a foray into open fermentation, albeit a very controlled one.  It's also an experiment in sours, which are not a genre I typically like.  Just as Dan has his Bucket of Truth, I now have this vessel; long may it transmute the ordinary into the extraordinary.

It just needs a name...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pitching like a Champ

This is the second transferring of the Stout Coffee, and while it has been bubbling away slowly, and is significantly reduced in sweetness from the first tasting, the ale yeast has had its chance to plow away at the sugar, and it's time to bring in the big guns.  If you know your Red Star yeast packet colors, you will know that this is Champagne yeast, and it's the pseudo-secret weapon of some of my higher-gravity brewing adventures.  It. Eats. Everything.

The coffee flavor is definitely hanging in there, maybe even a little overwhelming, but that's really what I wanted.  I think this might work better as a lower gravity beer.  Something that would be ready in just a few weeks, while the coffee flavor still had some semblance of freshness.  When this is finally ready, it will be 4-month-old coffee.  The sweetness is fading, but it's still syrupy.  

Also, I went really short on the dark malts, thinking that the coffee itself would make it black; in the end, it's a very milky brown yet.  I think some additional darkness would reinforce the coffee-ness of it.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


This variety are apparently vigorous growers in SE WI.  

This is year three, people.  This is supposed to be the year that you get all the hops.  And since I got a whole pound off of this plant last year, that seems like it could be a reality.  I have already pruned it back so much at the base and with all the extra little shoots coming off of the base (not to mention the shoots coming up three feet from the base and out into the yard.  It already has laterals that are a foot long.

My Mt. Hood plant is running a distant second and the Willamette is third.  I had a Nugget plant that did not make it through the winter.  Too bad, so sad.  But it is an interesting experiment in which varieties like this climate.  We'll see what happens this year, but I could almost be OK taking the other two out and just letting this guy run wild.  

Musical Carboys

OK, yeah.  *That* needed to get transferred.  I am not impressed with these big-mouthed carboys.  The airlock dried out and in about 4 days, I had a nice thick film on the beer, once air had gotten in.  We'll see how fermentation picks up in secondary, but I think it will recover just fine.

In order to make that semi-emergency transfer, I needed an empty 6-gallon carboy, so I ended up transferring it into a carboy which previously contained:
a Pinot Noir, transferred into a carboy which previously contained:
a Cabernet Sauvignon, transferred into a carboy which previously contained:
a cider, which I bottled.



Every story has a beginning,

a middle,

And an end.

In this case all three are bacon.  It's so smoky, peppery, salty, & porky.  It's intense.  I think it balances those things well, but it's a flavor explosion in your mouth.  I suppose that is part of the point of bacon.

The charcoal fuse method worked well.  I still think there are ways that I could slow down the fire and "smoke" the meat without "cooking" it.  There's a nice, slightly uncooked section in the center that will fry up perfectly in the pan.  It even has just a little bit of that iridescent shimmer that bacon gets on the exposed grain of the meat.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bacon 2.0

Alright, alright, alright, alright.  We're going to try this again.  This time I am wet-curing the porkbelly in a 5% salt brine.  This will make it much harder to add way too much salt, and much easier to adjust the salt level for future iterations.  

Step two is smoking it, of course, most of the flavor that we consider to be "bacon-y" is actually degraded lignin from the incomplete combustion of wood.  The previous time, when I was smoking the first piece of bacon, the fire got too hot and did not last as long.  I did some research and found an interesting idea on for what they called a "charcoal fuse."  This is basically a stainless steel drywall mud pan full of holes.  One step-bit later:

Oh, my aching shoulder.  That was a lot of holes.  I was literally dipping the bit in water between holes and taking breaks to let the thing cool off.  Fill it up with charcoal, top it off with some pieces of wood, and we're ready to smoke something.  The idea is to start a fire at one end, and it will slowly burn down to the other, maintaining a slow, steady heat.  Throw wood chips on top, and you've got a continuous source of smoke.

Now, when I got the porkbelly from Bunzel's, I got a six pound piece.  That turned out to be a little too much for my brining tub, so I sliced about a pound off, made a little salt/pepper/herb rub (with a dash of cayenne) and went to town.  I lit the fuse with a little handheld Bernz-O-Matic torch (I'll never use another method again) and let'er rip; vis:

It tastes like little bits of roasted pork dipped in butter.  Mang.  It's not bacon, of course, but it's not meant to be.  I'm on to something here.  The fuse method needs some refinement, it did a fantastic job of maintaining the temperature longer and with less intervention than most other things I've tried, but it was pretty hot for how I want to smoke bacon.  It will be awesome for the next time I make pork shoulder though...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Seven Weeks

We brewed again last week; style.  All I made was a Nut Brown.  I need to make a few recipes and get them up here, for that and also for the Honey Wheat I made the week before.

We were visited by the famous (or infamous) {or maybe both "in" and famous} Topher Starshine, who brewed a beer (or rather had a beer brewed for him) in the form of an Oatmeal Stout.  The working title was Haute-meal Stout.  J'approuve, Topher.  J'approuve. 

I got to put my big new burner through the paces.  It was pulling pipe-duty, and that's not a job for a lazy, slackaday burner.  We're still not totally on top of how to keep up with all the hot water we need, but in our defense, sometimes we need 40 gallons of 180 degree water all at once.  I just feel like we could do better.

Oh, and the post title...  I give blood every eight weeks.  I was a little late the last time around because that was my day to give.  (I hate to skip it, because the vampires at the blood center start calling.)  Anyway, when we were scheduling this brew day, I noticed on my calendar that I would *not* be late because of donating because I was due the next weekend.  Which meant it had only been the seven weeks since the last time we brewed 60+ gallons at once.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mixed Drink

Ginger Beer was the cult hit of the ILB tasting.  Just like looking straight into the sun leaves a dark spot in the center of your vision, it leaves an impression on your palate.  It's like your tastebuds freak out, jump up, and leave a ginger-shaped hole in the doorway of your mouth.

Anyway, one of the consistent ideas was to use it in mixed drinks, ergo, this was done.  I mixed it with some scotch and it was amazing.  

Three Tiers

I'm one step closer to efficacious homebrewing, this time in the form of a big old propane burner; no more almost boiling on the stovetop.  Also, in the great homebrewing tradition of finding new and better ways to burn yourself with hot sugar water, I have improvised the above-pictured three tiered sparging stand, consisting of:

Top: mah Grillz
Two: a bench
Bottom: the dirt.

It's super-effective.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Not to be confused with the IRB.  I got to be the featured homebrewer at the ILB Beer Club tasting, which was held at the Rumpus Room.  I got to go in the cooler and took this apparently very excited selfie with teh beerz.

The theme was sort of loosely gathered around beers that aren't "beer," and so I brought some cider, which has a lot of honey in it, making it technically a cyser.  There's a name for everything.  Beer number two was my Pumpkin Spice Ale, a basic American Brown style with spices.  Finally there was the Ginger Beer, which was a big hit.  Probably more because no one had ever had anything that before then whether it is objectively "good."  Fine... it's pretty good.

Afterwards, I had a great discussion with Chuck, the organizer.  He also organizes the Bay View Gallery Night and Made in Milwaukee events.  He's a great guy who loves our fair city and works to make it better.  We chatted for a while over bonus samples, then this happened:

That's always a treat.