Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kick Ass Weekend of Independence

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Yes, another year has come & passed... and America is now another year older and... maybe more senile? I don't know... that's another blog out there. This blog is about my weekend more than any of that controversial stuff. There's is NO controversy... that this weekend was pretty cool. True... there was some unfortunately news the week before with my Wingman's father passing away... and my stepmom's mother as well... but that was last week. So without further ado... here it is...

Friday was the official holiday... and we decided to spend it by enjoying a 4th of July Barbecue in San Jose at the home of a friend of Izzy's from childhood that we'll call Bob Burgers. He & his new bride hosted a wonderful barbecue... I got to meet him, his friends, his family... and like all great parties, it involved a lot of beer & Cards Against Humanity. He's also a fellow Jeep owner... so he's obviously a bad ass.

Friday night, while others were out watching the fireworks (it was really foggy where we were in the Presidio) we instead spent our time... playing with our new Food Dehydrator... and we dehydrated strawberries, oranges & honeydew... and they were pretty amazing... and only took a few hours to dry them out & preserve them. Why do this? Well, fruits expire quickly... these don't. Also, down the road, we will probably want to involve them in a nice homebrew experiment... like adding them in secondary fermentation to get some of that sweetness into the brews even when the fruits are out of season... but that's for another entry.

We also started marinating for what we really got the food dehydrator for... JERKY!!! This first entry was to be a Cherry Pepsi Spicy Jerky recipe that we found... and so far so good, but it takes a few days for end results. Fun fact about food dehydrators: The smells coming out of them are amazing... either potpourri if it's fruit, etc... or like a smokehouse if it's jerky. Good times.

Saturday morning, we stopped by the store & found a new Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Variety Pack which was a mix of 12 collaborative brews with some other great breweries... and the beer was great. Some of the real highlights are two bocks (tropical & rye), Coffee Milk Stout & the Imperial Dark Ale... but all of them are pretty good thus far. Try them out while you can. Spoiler: It's going to cost about twice as much as a standard twelve pack.

After starting up some beer bratwursts marinated in our red ale, we then transferred our Bock from the primary fermenter which he had kept fairly cool (about 45-50 degrees in our sleeve mentioned two weeks ago) to an empty keg so that we can put it in the kegerator & keep it about ten degrees colder for lager fermentation. About the most interesting thing out of this transfer... was what happened when it was nearly full... and the foam started to rise...

While transferring, we also started up JJ's award-winning recipe for California Common... and it smelled amazing... and we actually got a great sparge this time around (we've had all-grain mistakes in the past) so we're really excited about this one. About the only mistake thus far... we forget to add the gypsum or whirfloc tablet for clarity... but hell, I'm okay with dirty flavorful beer. Cold crashing will help out too... but here are pictures...

Izzy also made some Spent Grain Bread and it turned out pretty amazing...

After all that, we were pretty exhausted... and this next week should be pretty exciting but I'll save all that for next time. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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