• Beer,  Food,  Garden

    How’s It Growing?

    I want to obsess over my yard for a moment. I have always lived in small towns or rural areas until I moved to Charleston, WV, which at around 50,000 people isn’t that powerful of a city. So, I was wondering if I’d be miserable moving to Columbus, which has over a million people in the metro area. But, I’m not! I love it! We have a tiny house with a south facing yard next to a river. Aaand we are within walking distance to a vegan bakery! I often say though, you can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the trash out of her…

  • Beer,  Canning,  Food,  Garden,  Uncategorized

    Apple Time!

    This was really one of our first free weekends since July so we went to an apple orchard. We were going to go to a Paw Paw festival, but eh, it was an hour and a half farther away. We saw they had boxes of “seconds” or “canning” apples for $5 a half bushel. So, we bought four. Then we walked around the orchard for a few hours, not picking any, because our trunk was already full. Are we crazy? What if I told you we’d already bought a half bushel of apples at the farmers market that morning? What if you have no idea what a half bushel is? I…

  • Beer,  Other Stuff I Made

    Elderberry Wine Part 2

    This is our Elderberry Wine at 3 months. We started it back in January. Almost ready to bottle. It takes like straight up hooch. Like straight out of some old-timer in West Virginia’s liquor shed. The alcohol content is “Lots.” It will be perfect for campfires at this point. It might mellow out after a few months (years?) in the bottle and become something that it is respectable to drink indoors. I’m listening to Lovin’ Spoonful and daydreaming about sitting around in the woods drinking our fab elderberry hooch.

  • Beer

    A Beer Engineer

    Matt and I went to Boston at Christmastime (to visit with his cute baby nephew, and oh yeah, the rest of his family) and made a stop by the Harpoon Brewery (we didn’t bring the baby nephew). We sampled the free beer like a couple of heroes, and I got excited about trying some of their ideas out homebrew style. 1. Pilgrim Beer (or something) brewed using only stuff that would be available to pilgrims for a reality tv show. They used sage instead of hops. It was sage-tastic. 2. Hard Apple Cider – brewed using beer yeast instead of champagne yeast, giving it a sharper, less sweet crispness. 3.…

  • Beer

    The Biscuit Beer Mystery

    Let me know if you  have any answers to this mystery – so, one of the flavor characteristics you see attributed to some kinds of malts is “biscuit.” As in, “If you put this pile of grain in your beer, it will add a biscuity-flavor.” But do they mean biscuits as in British biscuits (which are actually cookies, tricky tricky!) or American biscuits (as in biscuits and gravy…mmmm)? Neither of these things are really all that good with or in beer, in my experience.

  • Beer,  Product Placement/Reviews,  Tutorials

    The Difference Between an Ale and a Lager

    One of the hardest things about brewing your own beer is that so many people who brew beer are jerks and snobs, and also, douches. Though, this is obviously a nice perk if you are a douchey, snobby jerk. That is not to say that there aren’t many lovely beer swamis out there, and there are certainly endless layers and levels to beer knowledge that are very interesting, but just to say, it’s not that hard to dump some yeast and grains in a bucket. There is some science involved, though biology doesn’t get much more basic than: “Yeast eat sugar and crap out alchohol.” (Complicated?No. AWESOME? Yes.) I think…

  • Beer,  Uncategorized

    Elderberry Wine

    For Christmas, from our lovely friend Rory, we got a bucket of elderberry wine base that is supposed to make 3-5 gallons of wine – wahoo! I’m pretty excited about it, it is the project for the day. We brew beer fairly regularly, but I have never brewed wine. I am trying to learn about it, but it feels so jumbly in my head, like there is not room for information on wine with all this info on beer bubbling around in there, it’s so similar, but so different.  Like crocheting vs. knitting? Or maybe I am just really drunk? No, not actually. So, Matt is in charge of making…

  • Beer,  Tutorials

    Wrapping the Beer in an Electric Blanket

    It is so cold outside that it is past the level of cold and just dumb. Come on! One thing that is nice to do on a cold day is to make beer, which Matt and I did this weekend. It involves standing over and stirring bubbly pots in a cheerful warm kitchen for several hours. However, the next stage involves keeping the yeasties from freezing to death and/or over-heating for a week or more while they sit in a bucket and eat up all the sugars to make alcohol.  While I won’t disclose what temperature we are keeping the house at, I will say it is 35 degrees more…