Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
This was my first try at brioche dough. It's more involved then the typical bread dough. It has eggs and butter. Lots of eggs and butter. Normally when I mix up dough, I have a helper. This time was no exception!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
10 lbs 2 Row Pale, 10 oz. 40L Crystal, 1/2 oz. Peated Malt, 1/2 oz. Roasted Barley
Yeast (Northwest 1332) and Hops (Northern Brewer and Cascade)
Siphon to primary fermenter
The 1/2 oz. peated malt is something different. This is a U.S. Amber but peated malt is smoky and more Scottish, so it's supposed to have a "Scottish Accent."
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Mash for 90 minutes then boil for 90 minutes. This shot shows when the proteins get so hot they boil over, so you have to spray water or blow on it..until they are hot enough and sink back to the bottom. "Hot break"
After cooling the wort add some of these sadistic sugar monsters.
After a couple of weeks, into a keg and carbonate, then put it in my 3 tap kegerator. I just replaced the single tap with a 3 tap...variety is nice. Right?
Hefeweizen is a German wheat beer. Residents of Munich are said to drink 75 gallons of beer per person per year and in the summer a good part of that is Hefeweizen. Oh well...it's spring but in Texas that's hot enough for some light beer. Hef is a light golden beer with an off white head with hints of citrus and banana. It's often served with a slice of orange. 2 weeks til drinkability...I think this one is going to be great. Expected alcohol content 4.5%, average to low compared to many beers...and I thought the Germans could drink. I think I'm part German? Speer drinks beer, ya that sounds right.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
My first try at a new type is always a learning experience. My first ciabatta was a bit sunken in the center. It was still tasty, I brought it to Bunco along with some sun-dried tomato bruschetta and it was gobbled up!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I had tried my hand at baking bread at home on occasion, both by hand and with a bread machine. I was never excited about the results. The loaves were usually dense, and lacked the chewy crumb and crisp, caramelized crust that just *makes* a good loaf of bread. Not only were the results mediocre, the process was somewhat labor intensive and uninspiring to me. I've never been much of a cook. I resigned myself to getting my kicks from the bakery section at Central Market.
I saw a thread on www.thebabywearer.com that was dedicated to a technique of baking from the book, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." The thread provided a link to the master recipe and instructions from motherearthnews.com. The thread on thebabywearer had many replies raving about the success they had thanks to this technique. My interest was piqued.
The master recipe contains only four ingredients, flour, water, yeast and salt. I had all the ingredients and supplies in my house, so I decided to give it a whirl. My first attempt at the boule wasn't perfect, but it was delicious. And it was chewy, and crusty, and amazing. I could not BELIEVE I made it myself, in my own kitchen, and it was so simple to do. I was hooked.
Since then, I've baked a loaf, sometimes two, every day. I've branched out in to different variations and techniques. It's an adventure, and normally my first attempt at a new variation isn't as pretty as it's supposed to be. But they have all, with the exception of one fail, been delicious!
If you'd like to give it a try yourself, the master recipe can be found here. If you make it, let me know how yours turns out!
The bad news is that Cooper's mixes didn't produce very tasty beers, so I decided to give all-grain brewing a try. Using a kit (extract brewing) versus all-grain brewing is kinda like baking a cake from a mix versus from scratch. There's a local store in the area, Homebrew Headquarters, that sells the grains and other ingredients and supplies for all-grain brewing.
I chose a nut-brown ale to start.