Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bottling Day

Well I have officially made beer. Well atleast flat beer beer. It gets its carbonation in bottling phase. The yeast use the priming sugar to create CO2 and a little more alcohol. So in about 2 weeks I should have a drinkable brew. I tried a little of the flat beer and it was rather strong and hoppy so hopefully the few weeks in the bottle will melo it some. I will like it as is but I think most people would like it to be a little smoother. Now the only thing that I have to worry about it bottles blowing up and if I capped them properly. I think I did and there were no leaks in the cap area so I think I will be ok.

Now the waiting begins. I am probably going to try it in about a week and see how it is coming along and then I will try it a week after that. If it is good then I am going to have to plan a first release party. If its not I may any way. I will need the bottles for my next attempt and I don't just want to dump it. ;-)


Talk to you all later. I will also have a beer trip to Fresno next weekend. We are going to see George Strait for my wife's Chirstmas present.

L8er

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I got bubbles!!!

Hi all,

I am very excited. I have bubbles. I am not out of the water yet but in the next 24-48 hours the air lock should be rattling like crazy. I really hope this works. I tried brewing beer with mister beer a about 5 years ago and it was a major disaster. The beer tasted horrible it didn't carbonate and I don't think it ever really fermented. Well I am going to make this work if it takes a bunch of batches. If you haven't figures this out from past posts beer is one of my few passions. What better way to kick up you passion then to do it yourself.

I will keep you up to date on the progress. Next weekend I should be able to bottle. Then 2-3 weeks after that I should have a good homemade homebrew.

Matt

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Making the Big Leap

Hi all,

Well I took the big leap today. I started brewing my own beer. Over the last week or so I was getting packages from a few different brewing supplies stores. I don't get many packages so its always nice to get packages even though I paid for most of it. I chose to brew and amber ale for my first beer. It is currently in the primary fermenter and I should know in 24 hours if i did everything correctly and that fermentation is taking place. I will let you know tomorrow what is going on. If everything goes according to plan i should have the first release of my beer in about 4 weeks.

Matt

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My Favorite Day of the Trip!!

Hi All,

Well my favorite day of the week on vacation was Christmas day but not for the reason you think. Don't get my wrong I got some nice gifts and the money I needed to get my beer brewing kit but because of food and beer. We started out with a brunch that included my mom's lasagna, her meatballs and sausage, and a nice salad. I think my mom's lasagna might be my favorite dish of hers. Also NY seems to be the only place that I can get really good Italian sausage. So I was really happy with brunch.

At 7pm was the event of the week for me. It was the beer lovers dinner. They usually cap it at 25-30 people and it was supposed to be full but there ended up being only 6 people. This worked out really well for the people there. The Beer Sommelier (Beer Guru) was able to actually sit at our table and eat and drink with us. We had the whole 2.5 hours to ask him questions, learn and here some of his beer stories. There beer dinner was a 5 course gormet dinner with a different beer for each course.

The first course was a smoked chicken quesadilla with a chipotle aiole dipping sauce paired with a Rogue Dead Guy Ale. This was an awesome match. The slight spiciness went well with the refreshing lightly hopped beer.

The second course was a Caribbean Pepper Potato Soup paired with a Stella Artois. I don't really know how to describe this pair other then it works. The soup was awesome I could have easily had another bowl and I hope I can find a similar recipe to make at home. The Stella is just a good smooth drinking beer. For me there isn't any major characteristic to describe. I say try this one it is available nationally at a lot of places.

The third course was a sliced fennel, red onion with an orange vinaigrette paired with a Star Hill's The Love Wheat Beer. This was an amazing match. The sweetness of the fennel, the citrus flavor of the orange, and onion flavor match perfectly with the smoothness and the natural citrus flavor of the beer. It was like these two were made for each other. Also the beer guru was a guest brewer at Star Hill and he actually produced this.

The fourth course was a Seared Medallions of Pork with Porcini Sabayon paired with the Heavy Seas Loose Cannon. This was another amazing match. The pork was perfectly cooked and the mushroom sauce went really well with it. The beer was everything I ask for in a beer nice and hoppy. This a triple hopped beer with emence flavor. Nice and spicy. I liked this beer so much that I got a growler of it and brought it home. If you can find and handle a real beer then I say try and get this beer.

The final course was Cream Puffs with Chocolate Sauce paired with the Star Hill Dark Starr Stout. As you may have read before I am not a big fan of the stouts or porters but this was really good. Think of eating cream puffs with a mocha latte. It was a great ending to a great evening.

If you ever get a chance to do a beer pairing dinner you should do it. It is so much fun and informational. Also remember there are local microbrews almost everywhere so if you are on vacation and like beer stop at a local brewpub or go to a grocery store and pick up some local brews. I think you will enjoy adding this to all your vacations. You need to to eat and drink don't you??

See you all later!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Overall Trip Summary!!

Hi All,

I am not really in the mood to post today so this is going to be short and sweet and just be a summary of my trip to the Mid Atlantic. I will then do the details over the next couple of days.

We left Cali on the 22nd and flew to BWI (Baltimore/Washington) and then drove to Massanutten Resort near Harrisonburg, VA. My mom, wife and I were the last to arrive so we stopped at The Cracker Barrel for dinner. I actually had breakfast. They make the best cheesy hashbrown casserole. I so wish the Cracker Barrel was in Cali. Then we got to the Condo and had some wine.

On Sunday we just chilled and relaxed as everyone had a busy travel day on Saturday. We had some wine and beer of course.

On Monday we had a Christmas eve dinner of ham, baked potatoes and some veggies. It was pretty good.

On Tuesday Christmas we had lasgna and sausage and meatballs for brunch and then my favorite meal of the week the beer lovers pairing dinner.

On Wendsday the girls went shopping and I slept in.

On Thursday we went to a Virginia Wine Lovers Dinner that was ok.

On Friday we went to a Brew pub for some appetizers and beer tasting.

On Saturday we left the resort and headed to my cousins to visit and then on to my college friends house in Maryland.

Satuday - New Years day I hung out, played video and board games ,drank and ate with a bunch of my friends.

Tuesday New Years day traveled home and did some beer sampling at the Denver Airport.

Overall it was a great trip and I was able to see my friends and family,drink some good beer and wine and eat some great food.

Talk to you tomorrow,
Matt

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!

Hi all my avid readers out there,

I hope you all had a great Holiday Season. I know I did. I spent 10 days in the VA/MD area visiting family and friends. Knowing me I am sure you all know that I did have some beer and wine. Over the next few days I will catch you all up with everything I did. So stay tuned and check back frequently!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Matt