Racking the IPA to Glass Secondary

Well its been about 5 days in the primary fermenter, and it looks like most of the activity has dropped off. Right now the airlock only bubbles about once in a minute, if not a little bit longer. I did a gravity read, and at 80F it had an FG of 1.008, so that would put the ABV right around 4.3%. Keep in mind that if I had 70% efficiency (which isn’t a lot to ask) the ABV would have been 5.3%. C’est la vie. Continue reading

Potato Chip Review – Sabritas – Habanero Limón

Now these were some really good chips. There is a nice balance between the heat of the habanero and the sour of the lime (citric acid). For some reason when you combine the two you almost get a mild cumin flavor.

From looking at the bag, with all the “fire” graphics. I was excepting some really hot chips. So I had put off eating them for the longest time, since I was concerned about the “side effects” after consumption. But it turned out that they brought just enough heat to keep things interesting. Giving you a chance to actually taste the habanero & paprika on the chips. But not so much heat, that you would get a sunburn inside your mouth.

When you team these chips up with a cold beer, oh’ boy. Its like a bar owners wet dream. The heat of the chips makes you thirsty, so you have some beer to tame the heat and the cycle keeps repeating of heat & beer enjoyment.

I actually had to take a break while eating them, because I was going through the tiny bag to quickly. I’d like to at least enjoy a little bit of the flavor, before I inhale the rest. But thumbs up for these bad boys, and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled to get another bag.

Potato Chip Review – Lay’s California Cool Dill

What a surprise, how similar these chips taste to Lay’s sour cream & onion….except that they changed the green onion for dill. It’s a nice subtle change from sour cream & onion, without any heavy R&D costs on the part of Frito-Lay (Which I’m sure they blew on the WoW Mt. Dew flavors.) Right now if I had to pick between sour cream & onion vs dill, I would say that it is a toss up. So if you like Lay’s sour cream & onion, you’ll like the slight change up with the Lay’s California Cool Dill.

Fresh centennial hops IPA

This beer has so much fresh hops that it is ridiculous, 10.5oz in total. If you were to measure this amount of hops by volume instead of weight, it works out to about 1.5 gallons of hops. Just the pics alone demonstrate how much hops this represents. Keep in mind that 2009 has been a slow homebrew year for me, in that this is only the second batch that I’ve made this year, with the other being a pale ale for a St. Patty’s Day get together. Out of that pale ale I ended of racking and saving the yeast, and repitching it for this IPA.

So here is the breakdown of the recipe I hashed out with JRR for a ~5gal batch: Continue reading

Yeast starter for weekend brew session

It looks like the centennial hops have reached there peak, so it’s time for a brew session on Saturday. After quickly hashing out an IPA recipe with JRR (recipe and brew session to be posted later.) I made a quick trip to my favorite local homebrew shop to get all the grains for the brew and some light DME for the yeast starter.

My mixing ratio for the yeast starter was 2 oz (by weight) light DME to 16 fluid oz of water. I put the mix on the stove and brought it to a boil, letting it boil for 15 mins. I then cleared out my ice maker of all the old ice, dumping it in the kitchen sink. Putting the pot on the ice pile to cool it all down to room temperature. Keep in mind that the separated yeast that I am using has been sitting in a growler in the back of my fridge since St. Patty’s this year. So hopefully this starter will get the yeast alive and kicking again.

As kind of a side note, it’s amazing how cheap a brew session can get when you don’t have to get hops or yeast. All the grains for this weekends 5.5 gallon brew session ran $17.23 (not including tax.) That’s nuts, when you consider that it costs ~$18 for 4 oz of dried hops and a vile of White Labs yeast. No wonder a lot of guy/gals are now starting to grow their own hops and reusing yeast. The money saving is just undeniable.

Off for the weekend

I’ll be gone all weekend. But don’t worry I’ve got plenty of posts in the pipeline to finish next week. Such as a couple new chip reviews, making bloody mary’s and chili from scratch and a bunch of other stuff. So see you next week!

Tomatoes and cucumbers growing – Garden – Mid-July 2009

Here are a bunch of garden shots from the past week. I ended up installing a bunch of the aluminum watering rings that I made last year. Right now I’ve got some sage and basil ready for a light picking, as well as a lone green haberno. As for the tomatoes, there are only about 4 to 5 small tomatoes and about 3 to 4 cucumbers that range from barely 1″ long to about 4″.