Tag Archives: beer

Best of the Week – 3512

Here we go with with this weeks edition of Best of the Week.

Movie Trailer of the Week: 
Taken 2 – In theatres October 5th, 2012

Need I say more, then this is the sequel to the film that gave us this legendary quote:
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. ”
And who doesn’t want to see more of Liam Neeson.
P.S. Same plot as the first one… basically.

Video of the Week:
Tinker vs. The Caterpillar

I shot this one, and it’s my doxie… what else can I say.

News Article of the Week:
Elderly lady ‘restores’ church fresco.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19349921
The great Spanish Fresco last week

 

An elderly parishioner took it upon herself to restore 100+ years of moisture damage to ‘Ecce Homo’, and the results were, well, shall we say a little shocking… Except to the internet, who have adopted it as it’s newest meme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eBay Auction of the Week:
Genuine Black Leather Pony mask Carnival Roleplay Horse Mistress ponyplay New
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Black-Leather-Pony-mask-Carnival-Roleplay-Horse-Mistress-ponyplay-New-/320969764835?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4abb49efe3#ht_955wt_1397
Suppose you’re into leather? Suppose you’ve recently finished reading 50 Shades of Grey? Suppose you like My Little Pony? Now you can combine all your favourites with this leather bondage horse mask?????

Awesome Software of the Week:
Planetside 2
http://www.planetside2.com/
The long awaited sequel to one of my favourite MMO‘s is now in closed beta. Planetside is one of the only MMOFPS games ever, and probably the most popular. I was a big fan of the never ending combat, and the ability to jump online, run around for as long as I wanted, and then just leave… something that is hard to do in other online games that require, among other things… RAIDS. I can’t wait for it to come out, or when I finally get my beta invite… and best of all, it will be free to play!

As always, I’m still open to suggestions for other categories, and for nominations to get included on the list. You can let me know at: oftheweekATleighcDOTcom

The Colby 2012 Campaign – The Forgotten Cheese

Inspired by the massive attention that was given to the Kony 2012 campaign that was started by the non-profit group Invisible Children, I decided to step into the game with something else that needs attention, Cheese.

I give you this: Colby 2012

Colby is a cheese, and a damned good one. It is time to raise awareness for this often forgotten and misunderstood dairy product.
Let’s begin with cheese, I’m sure you all know what it is, but in case, we’ll give you a quick education (or maybe a refresher).

Cheese is a rather generic term for a group of milk based products, that vary in texture, colour and taste. Not only is it made from the milk from cows, but also from goats, sheep and even buffalo. The cheese is produced through the coagulation of the milk into curds, which are created by adding an acidic enzyme. These solid curds are pressed together and have the moisture (some times not all of it) removed, and are shaped, aged, coloured and/or flavoured. Shapes can be wheel, brick, block or even the favoured Colby shape known as Longhorn (think a tube of cheese). Age should be self explanatory… seriously. Flavour can be added by using Herbs, Spices, wood smoke or even using molds, either in the cheese or in the rind. I summarized the cheese wiki page, you can get more info from it too.

Now that you know a little more about cheese, let’s get to Colby. It was developed in 1874 by Joseph F. Steinwand at his fathers factory, which was located just outside of Colby, Wisconsin. Colby is very similar to Cheddar, but does not go through the ‘cheddaring‘ process, thus producing a cheese that is softer, milder and moister. Colby is considered a semi-hard , and goes through a washed-curd process, where the whey is replaced by water, resulting in the milder flavour. Colby is created in a fashion similar to Monteray Jack, although the Jack is not coloured and is softer, and sometimes the 2 cheeses are combined to create Colby-Jack. Colby should not be aged, as it dries out rather quickly.

It is now time to free Colby from being a table cheese. No longer should it only be grated or shredded as a topping for salads and snacks. No more time spent on the grill. No longer bound to nachos. It is time to make Colby the cheese we choose in 2012.

#colby2012 #savethecheese

Cheese and Colby information taken from Wikipedia, credit belongs to the Wiki authors. Thanks guys and gals.

The Beer is ready for consumption!

Now that the waiting is over, I finally get to taste my Cowboy Golden Lager that was part of the Mr.Beer Premium Gold Edition kit I ordered from Amazon before Christmas. You will probably have to go back through some of my previous posts to follow the process from start to finish, but it’s all written down somewhere.. (Specifically here, here and here.) Now, I’ve tried numerous different beers over the years… Stout, Pilsner, Lager, Wheat, Ale, Bitter and Cider… and this was my first venture into brewing more complicated then my 2 litre Mister Beer Bottle Brew‘s.

I had taken the time to place the beer in the downstairs micro fridge on Friday before heading to work, with the intention to have it ready when I got home, but other things came up and I was unable to consume it that night.  Finally, Saturday and lots of free time, so fire up Netflix, find some episodes of Battlestar Galactica, find a clean glass from the bar and finally try my first real home made beer.

Wow. Light. Smooth. and even slightly bitter (umm… extra hops). I was slightly surprised by the bitter taste, but it wasn’t over powering or anything that would put me off drinking the rest of the batch, though I would not drink it all right away.  Two and a half glasses later, and it was all gone… though the last glass did have a cloudy experience due to the sediment. One bottle down, 7 to go… should be fun, though I may share some with a few other beer fans… I hope they will let me down gently.

P.S. I know it has taken forever for me to finally post this, but life has been busy and my free time hasn’t really been there… hopefully, I will at least be able to post some other things more frequently.

The Beer is ready to drink… almost.

[singlepic id=12 w=320 h=240 float=left]A bit late with this one, but it’s time for an update on my adventure with making my own beer. It was just over 2 weeks ago that I re-checked my keg to see how the fermentation of my wort was coming along, it still had a slight cloudy appearance to it, but had lost any hint of sweetness, so I decided that it was a good time to go ahead with the bottling. The instructions called for adding 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar into each bottle, so I used a funnel to get that in, then slowly add the fermented beer wort into the bottles, and fill them up to the spot right around where the neck of the bottle starts.

[singlepic id=11 w=320 h=240 float=right]After I filled all 8 bottles, I had to gently flip the bottles a few times to make sure that the sugar was fully mixed in. I then had to move all the beer back to my office, again to spend the next 10 to 14 days with temperatures between 20’C and 24’C. I also took the time to add a label to each bottle with the bottling date, ready to drink date and expiration date. All this waiting is going to leave me extra thirsty… thank goodness I’m making a lot of beer!

Now to speed up to 88mph and jump ahead a few days…
[singlepic id=13 w=320 h=240 float=left]The fermentation is done, and the bottles are nice and hard, and the beer has become clear. Now, this doesn’t mean that I can just crack open a bottle and start drinking… at least not without chilling the beer, no one likes warm beer, right? I am living up to following the instructions, and will do the conditioning step, which has me setting the beer aside for 2 more weeks minimum (up to 3 months). So, now I am setting a date of 3/3/12 to enjoy the first sip of my first batch of home brewed beer, at least, that didn’t come in a 2 litre bottle, though I still enjoy my Mister Beer too.

Where was I last week

Well, it’s doesn’t seem like a week has passed since my last update, but it has. I didn’t get to bottle my beer the last weekend, but got a chance on the weekend that just finished, and I also got to setup some carpooling for work.

Most of last week is long forgotten now, but I did my first ride-share on Friday, having a passenger named Jordon, who needed to get up to Fredericton to finish up some stuff for his passport. The weather tuned crappy, so I decided to leave Fredericton early, and it took almost 2 hours to get home due to the snow, rain, and sleet.
Using the power of a Facebook group and Kijiji, I was able to arrange for a full time passenger for this week, along with help a young lady get home from Fredericton tonight. My passenger this week has his own car, but it was damaged last Friday morning and is currently not road worthy, so for now I get to drive into Saint John to pick him up. I am also thinking that we might be able to get one or two additional people into the pool to save on costs.

On the weekend, I happened to enter a random Facebook contest put on by the Saint John Sea Dogs, the local major junior hockey team, who also happen to be the 2011 QMJHL and Memorial Cup champions. Yeah, I won 2 tickets for the game on Sunday, which the Sea Dogs managed to win 6-3.

I also re-tested my Mr.Beer mix to see how it was doing, and decided that it was ready for bottling. Luckily, the bottles were still sealed with the sanitizer, so I was able to use them. I added 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, since that was the recommended amount for the 1 litre bottles, then fill them up to just about where the neck starts. I have some pictures, I’ll get them added later. The bottles have been placed in storage, again in my office due to the nice 21’C temperature that it likes to hold. The bottles should take between 7 and 14 days

to fully carbonate, and at that point they are ready to drink, though I plan to condition them at least another month. While I wait for my home brew, I picked up some Mister Beer bottle brew, which is the easiest home made beer ever… just pop in the yeast pill, wait 10-14 days (store between 20 and 24 Celsius), then chill for 12 to 24 hours and it’s ready… easy as that, and it tastes decent too.

And to end off on a fun note, I picked up a celebrity follower on Twitter today! My new follower? It’s Amber MacArthur, you’ve probably heard of her. If not, check out her page, her facebook, her twitter or Google+.

 

Beer bottling day has arrived…. or not.

I have waited the 14 day period to let me Mr.Beer keg ferment, and am ready to start bottling my beer. Now, I have had the keg resting out of direct sunlight, in the only room that I know will stay between 20’C and 24’C, my office, as having 3-4 computers always powered on does generate a decent amount of heat, and I only set the thermostat to 16’C just in case, though I did have to keep the door closed over night to keep the heat in. I checked the keg with an LED flashlight to check on the state of the contents, but it’s hard to tell the cloudiness inside the brown keg.

[singlepic id=7 w=320 h=240 float=left] Now the instructions directed me to sanitize the bottle that I would be putting the beer into, and lucky for me, the Premium Gold Edition of the Mr.Beer kit, came with 8 1 litre bottles. So, using the remaining sanitation mix, I prepared 4 litres of cleaning mixture and filled each bottle half way, capped them, and shock the crap out of them, before letting them sit for 10-15 minutes in the sink, and then shaking them again just to make sure the sanitizer had made contact with all surfaces.

[singlepic id=6 w=320 h=240 float=left] At this point, I brought the keg out of hiding, in preparation to dispense the beer into the bottles. I was able to see a nice layer of sediment built up along the bottom of the keg, and double check the clarity of the contents, and it did appear a tad cloudy, so I would have to draw a sample to verify that. If you look closely, you can see how far up the beer mixture is in the keg, just shy of 2/3’s full.

Here is a good look at the sediment.
[singlepic id=8 w=320 h=240 float=left]

 

 

 

 

 

And here is a look at my sample, after I took a taste test.
[singlepic id=9 w=320 h=240 float=left]

You can see how cloudy the beer still is, and I was able to detect a some sweetness in the taste, but it did almost taste like flat beer, which is what I am aiming for. Now, I’ve never tried the Cowboy Golden Lagar before, so I’m not quite sure of what the taste should be, but I’m guessing something close to flat Budweiser.

Well, with the beer not quite ready, I’ll put the keg back into storage for 2-3 (probably more like 7 days), then do a sample draw again to check for cloudiness and taste. For now, the sanitized bottle will remain sealed. For now, you will just have to wait another few days, just like me.

 *All pictures in this post are mine. I took them with my camera. If you want to use them for your own non-commerical use, go right ahead.

 

Mr.Beer, round 1 begin!

Mr.Beer Logo

So, I picked up a Mr.Beer Premium Gold Edition kit from Amazon.ca just before Christmas, and it arrived last Monday.
After lunch today I opened up the kit and decided to start the process. Step 1 was to sanitize… everything, the mini keg, the can opener, a few spoons and a measuring cup. Step 2 was to create the Wort in a large sauce pan using some water and the ‘Booster’ which appears to be corn starch, bring these up to a boil and then mix in the HME, which is the ‘Hop Malt Extract’, which was some funky glue like substance that was really dark brown.

Here is what my first batch of Wort looked like.
[singlepic id=4 w=320 h=240 float=left]

Once the Wort was ready, I prepared the keg by adding in 4 quarts of nice cold water (keg warns about pouring the hot liquid into the keg without it) then added in the Wort mix into the keg and stir well. Had to top up the keg, with an additional ~3.5 quarts or so, again with cold water, until I hit the 8.5 quart mark on the keg. Added in the brewers yeast and waited the 5 minutes that were instructed, then stirred in the yeast and capped the keg.

Here is what the keg with the Wort and yeast looked like, just before I stirred in the yeast and capped the keg.
[singlepic id=5 w=320 h=240 float=left]

Now the keg is placed in a spot where it will stay between 20′ and 23′ Celsius, which is my office (Computer heating… can’t be beat), and it should be ready for the bottling stage in 7-14 days, though I’ll probably give it the full 14. And in case you are wondering, I decided to start off with the Cowboy Golden Lager.  I have also decided that I will have to order more bottles, and possibly another keg so that I can always have a batch on the go and a few ready to drink.

I will update more on this when I get to bottling.