More Craft Beer Reviews

October 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Maui Brewing Company, Mana Wheat (American wheat beer brewed with pineapple): 2.0
The only thing offensive about this beer is how forgettable it is in its mediocrity. The pineapple adds an unusual taste, but I would not have guessed that it was pineapple, it’s so faint. It was worth a try, I guess. Disappointed. If you like beer that goes down easy and doesn’t impress you or make you think about it, much less savor it, this is one way to go.

Rogue Ales, Chocolate Stout: 4.0
Very nicely balanced. Sweet, but not cloying, and a perfect amount of chocolate flavor. Very well done.

Red Seal: 3.5
A nicely balanced, slightly bitter red ale. The aroma is very nice. There’s something about the taste I don’t quite prefer, but J sure digs it. I certainly wouldn’t refuse it if it were offered.

For the scale, see previous post.

Orbitz Customer Care

October 18, 2011 at 7:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And the winner for the worst hold music ever is, Orbitz! With their distorted and out of tune rendition of Ode To Joy From Hell, they have made the experience of waiting on hold more torturous than was previously thought possible. In a recent poll, even Ani DiFranco’s music was more preferable than the Orbitz hold music. Orbitz public relations insists that the sharp spike in the national homicide rate which coincided with their change in hold music is only a coincidence.

Being cultured

October 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Have you ever gotten a friendship bread starter? It’s a cup of smelly liquid often given in a ziplock bag with instructions that take about 10 days to follow; some days you just stir, some days you add sugar, flour, etc. At the end, you have a loaf of sweet bread with three cups of starter to give to your friends.

The process, of course, is culturing bread yeast. After giving the yeast food and oxygen for days at a nice temperature, the yeast multiplies and voila, you have enough for several batches.

I don’t bake bread often, but I do brew beer, which also requires yeast, beer yeast. A different organism. I can get dry yeast from my supplier, or I can get liquid yeast. I generally get the liquid kind which come in lots more varieties. But they cost $6.50 a pop just for the yeast. So, I decided to get some culture.

Following the directions in Charlie Papazian’s great book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing I took a batch of a yeast I use often and am multiplying it times three. More details and pictures to come.

I’m calling my next batch of beer made with this yeast “Friendship Beer.” And if I give you a bottle, you won’t have to wait 10 days to drink it.

EDIT: Apparently beer yeast and bread yeast are different strains of the same organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, not different organisms. See the Wikipedia entry. Thanks for the correction, Virgil!

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