Monday, February 26, 2007 AD

Legal Moonshine?'s Washington Wire:
These days in North Carolina, real moonshine is going commercial, too. A transplanted New Yorker has started distilling a legal — and nontoxic — version called Catdaddy, to answer the growing demand for ‘shine among southern yuppies. And even the old-fashioned untaxed kind is being flavored with peaches to ease the burn. Or so they say.
Can I get a tax break for using this alternative fuel for, uh, non-fuel purposes? :)

Friday, February 23, 2007 AD

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 AD

Homebrew Update

On this, the 2 year anniversary of PDD, I'll give some updates on the homebrew situation here.

I'm glad that one is permitted to drink beer in Lent without violating fast "rules", so I'm planning on doing just that. Tomorrow I'll bottle my first two all-grain beers: my "fell in the snow" IPA, and an amber ale I'm gonna call "Covenant Elite: Amber Ale". (wort, wort, wort!). I'm nervous that my IPA is infected, because it has a scent that seems sour to me. The amber smells a bit off as well, but I think it may be ok. I'll bottle them both and we'll find out later if they really are infected. Slow fermenting was the problem I'm sure, since it's so cold in my house (55 downstairs, 60-65 upstairs). I know of a few places where contamination may have occurred (mainly, my wort chiller which leaks a bit of tap water into the wort... gotta tighten the connections up more somehow) and I"ll try to fix those before the next batch.

The BVM milkstout is almost ready to taste. I'll crack the first one open on Friday the 23rd (Commemoration of St. Polycarp, Bishop & Martyr).

Upcoming beers include a Belgian wit that I'm calling "Il bianco e dulce cigno" (The sweet and white swan, a famous renaissance text). Also another IPA attempt, as a "Farewell to Grand Rapids" brew. Also a simple Pale Ale to make new friends at the seminary during summer greek. Fall beers may include a spiced pumpkin ale for October and a doppelbock (my first lager) for Advent. I started a google calendar for my beer brewing schedule. You can all view it here

Blessed Ash Wednesday tomorrow!

Pro Christo Da Mihi Potum

This "Fat Tuesday" it seems appropriate to link to an entry on Timotheos's new blog:
But in light of this past quarter, I reproduce a Latin quotation which seems so apt at the end of every quarter:

Nunc scripsi totum, pro Christo da mihi potum.

[”Now I have written everything, for the sake of Christ give me a drink”]

Saturday, February 03, 2007 AD

Best Bang for the Buck

Since this blog has been inactive as of late, let me ask a question of everyone who posts here (I will answer it too).

What beer do you think is the best value? I don't mean which beer is the best, but which beer do you think delivers quality at a good price. At one time, issues of a wine magazine would hit my desk (the advantage of working at a place with "library" in the name but without any books). In there, they would rate wine on a 0-100 scale. Every once in a while, you would run across a wine which would get above an 80, but be under $10. That is what I want you all to think about. Quality and price.

What made me ask that question? I was reading an article about the efficiency of different rifle cartridges.

What is my answer? Leinenkugel's. They produce wonderful beers that won't break the bank. It definitely isn't American Macrobrew. Are they the best beers? No, but they are a good value. I can't pay $2-5 for a bottle of beer every time I enter the store. So Leiney's is my every day beer. I'm drinking a Doppelbock right now, and it tastes better, IMHO, than many of the doppelbocks out there that cost more. That, my friends, is value, and Leiney's is a great value brewery.

Friday, February 02, 2007 AD

The B.V.M. Stout.... on Candlemas!

It seems to be something Divine, that without my planning, the Blessed Virign Mary Milkstout will be bottled on Candlemas, a feast of Mary and of Christ (Purification of and Presentation of respectively). Today I bottle, and hopefully I'll get a good number of bottles. Hopefully the beer is as wonderful as I anticipate it will be also. Here's the label I've devised (to be printed on blue paper naturally). I may have to change the notes about how it tastes, but that day comes in two weeks, or perhaps a month.

In other beer news, I brewed my first all-grain beer last Tuesday. No pictures, sorry. I need to find a friend who'll wake up early and spend all day out in the freezing cold with me drinking beers and boiling wort. Once I do, I'll get him/her to take pictures so we can all see how I do all-grain brewing. Tuesday's batch will be called "Fell in the Snow" IPA because I dumped the box of milled grains in the snow on the way to the mash tun! :\ I figured it's all just water, and I'll be boiling it for an hour to kill any germs anyhow. So I just loaded up my mash tun with scoops from the thick and still-falling snow, and the only negative result was a lower-than-optimal rest temperature (145 instead of 150-152). We shall see how it turns out. Here was my recipe:

13lbs American Pale Ale Malt
1lb American Crystal 40L
-mash for 60 minutes with 170° water (152° rest temp)
-batch sparge with 180° water

American Pale ale Yeast (Whitelabs)

60 minute boil.
1oz Galena 60 mins
1oz Galena 15 mins
1oz Cascade (Aroma)
-IBUs: 61

We'll see how it goes. My next beer I think will be an all-grain red ale. Hopefully I'll brew it next week, maybe Wednesday.

Thursday, February 01, 2007 AD


You know that I do have a taste for the quirky and weird, but the Japanese definitely have me beat. It's a whole country of people constantly trying weird things.

You’re a Japanese dairy farmer. You’ve got a huge surplus of milk. Do you:

– sell it on the cheap to starving Africans?
– freeze it for formula in case your country’s birthrate ever creeps back up to 1.0?
– design a cutting edge milk-powered Japanese robot?

Nope. Obviously, you turn it into beer so that the elderly can get ripped and fight osteoporosis at the same time.

HT--Hot Air