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May 29, 2015


My favorites: the books in the oven, the 4th of July, and the Chinese statues.

...followed by an Allagash Dark Stout

what russell said

Allagash Dark Stout

is that the same as the "Black" ? cause i dig Allagash Black. plus, it rhymes, and scans like "Jumpin Jack Flash" so i can drop it right into the song.

Allagash Black
It's a gas gas gassss

When folks complain that we need better trolls, Ken M. is what they have in mind in the betterment department.

The guy is a walking rim shot.

I mean, if you can get Chef Boyardee himself (and the world at large) to serve as your unwitting straight man, this is the guy I want to be when I grow up.

As Johnny Carson would say, "That is some wild, wild stuff, hunh Doc? His wife is a practicing agnostic? I did not know that."

I don't know why, but I liked the Walmart stunt when he said "I don't need bloated wages because my boss gives me fair and competitive sardines."

It sounds so off the wall, but actually sardines at one time were so expensive that they were traded like currency for the sake of trading, not eating.

"Seth A. Klarman in his iconic investment book "Margin of Safety" tells the story of how the phrase "trading sardine" entered the modern day investment vocabulary. "There is the old story about the market craze in sardine trading when the sardines disappeared from their traditional waters in Monterey, California. The commodity traders bid them up and the price of a can of sardines soared. One day a buyer decided to treat himself to an expensive meal and actually opened a can and started eating. He immediately became ill and told the seller the sardines were no good. The seller said, 'You don't understand. These are not eating sardines, they are trading sardines.'"

And, yes, come to think of it, what was wrong with those people in Pompey that they should be caught for eternity in the fetal position?

Re: sardines, I believe mackerel were in use as a prison currency for a while.


Yes, Allagash Black, not Allagash Dark.

It's yummy!

For ciders, my favorite is Harpoon, because the list of ingredients consists of one word, and that one word is "apples".

There's also a good craft cider guy who just opened shop next town over.

i like the idea of hard cider, but most of those that i've tried taste suspiciously like apple-flavored Zima: as if someone has taken generic 'malt beverage' and added apple flavoring. [that's exactly what Redd's Apple Ale is (and they don't try hard to hide it)].

So, Russell, why do you wear your pajama's inside out?

yer onta me!

i like the idea of hard cider

I highly recommend you make some yourself. It's trivially easy to do, cheap, and after you try it a few times and get comfortable with the basics...you can flavor and adjust until you get a style that's right for you.

By trivially easy I mean: buy a gallon of pasteurized apple cider in a milk jug format.

Add yeast (Different strains give different flavors. I use: http://www.amazon.com/Fermentis-Safale-US-05-ct-11-5-Packs/dp/B007O2PEIK ).

Seal it with an airlock (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E62PXA/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
http://www.amazon.com/Piece-Plastic-Airlock-Sold-sets/dp/B000E60G2W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432401907&sr=8-1&keywords=airlocks ).

Add a little bit of soapy water to the chamber of airlock.

Let sit for ~7 days at ~68F. Chill and enjoy.

Carbonation and bottling is a *little* more involved, but not much.

hmm. that sounds easy enough.

i will try that as soon as my experiment with getting S. cerevisiae and L. sanfranciscensis to happily co-exist in a habitat of flour and water (so that i may later cook them to a delicious, sour and yeasty death).

...as soon as i finish my experiment ...

(blogs with editable comments have completely ruined me for proofreading)

Edible comments might go down easier.

(so that i may later cook them to a delicious, sour and yeasty death).

Sigh. Before I moved, I had friends who would pass around a sourdough starter. It was great for making the occasional loaf, without the burden of having to make one every week or so.

i'm on my 4th attempt. 1st one worked fine, and made one delicious loaf. then it got contaminated somehow and i had to throw it out. the next two failed to start. current one is sluggish, but i'm determined to make it work this time.

should be easy: it's just flour + water and patience. but it's not easy. the little critters don't care about what humans want.

Cleek: (On sourdough starter) True, but delicious. I've split my starter for others--the pass it around idea sounds interesting, but I've never heard of it.

Blackthorn is a cider I've enjoyed, as is Original Sin. Stay away from Woodchuck, except for the pear on ice on a hot summer day. That's a surprisingly nice, mildly alcoholic beverage when drunk in the proper context.

Yes, hard cider is absurdly easy to make. The only catch is, you can't make it from supermarket cider. You've got to buy fresh cider at an actual cider mill, when the apples are in season. Otherwise you'll get applejuice, not cider.

BTW, my trick for making sourdough starter is to use fresh cider as the liquid. It's lousy with wild yeast, which is why the real thing starts fermenting on it's own almost immediately.

I suppose that may be necessary east of here. But the tradition for San Francisco Sourdough (or sourdough elsewhere in the area) is to just let the dough sit out in the open air. The necessary wild yeast appears. And the taste is unequaled.

Yes, hard cider is absurdly easy to make. The only catch is, you can't make it from supermarket cider.

You are technically correct. The best kind of correct.

But I assure you, if you take some pasteurized store brand apple "cider" and add yeast...you will end up with a crisp, refreshing hard beverage in a week. Generally I add some cans of frozen concentrate to the mix, enriches the flavor and adds some nice, fermentable sugars.

i like the idea of hard cider

Prefer mine wet...

Current favoured brew:

cleek skrev :

the little critters don't care about what humans want.

The "Harvard Law" [ of biology ] :

Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, humidity, and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.


I can vouch for that law...and it is the bane of my existence :)

So I bought a 6-pack of Original Sin tonight, since I mentioned it earlier today and hadn't had it in a while. The last time I had it was on tap at a great bar on a beautiful day. It tasted better then.

It's not bad or anything now. It just doesn't have that same quality I remembered.

Sometimes it's just the moment.

Ken M. makes me want to create an alias and give it a try even though I'm sure I could never reach his level.

"Would that the citizens of Pompey showed the same steely resolve"

I will probably laugh when I recall that for the rest of my life.

Sometimes it's just the moment.

On tap makes also makes a surprising difference for some beers. Dale's Pale, which is near the top of my list for pale ales, is pretty good in cans but great out of a keg.

But, as you say, sometimes it really is just the moment.

BTW, my trick for making sourdough starter is to use fresh cider as the liquid. It's lousy with wild yeast, which is why the real thing starts fermenting on it's own almost immediately.

i get a huge initial fermentation from whole grain rye flour; much more than from whole wheat flour (and white flour does almost nothing on its own). it's the next step - getting that wild yeast to take up residence in white flour - that keeps failing for me.

i think i've discovered that my starter will not rise if i use Pillsbury AP flour, but will if i use King Arthur bread flour. why that should make a difference, i don't know. AP vs bread is just different levels of gluten, and neither of them have any preservatives. but, maybe the King Arthur flour is more attractive to yeast because it costs twice as much as the Pillsbury. hipsters.

Obviously your yeast knows something that human beings are mostly unclear on: white flour has minimal food value. It was great as a status market a couple of centuries ago, when only the rich could afford it. But today, it's worthless on pretty much all counts.

Absolutely true. Not really a problem for human health, very few people try to live on an exclusive diet of white flour. But a real problem for yeast trying to live on it.

The answer is either, don't use white flour for your starter, or, use this. Yeast can't live on honey alone, either, but I can still make mead with a little yeast nutrient added. Doesn't take much, either, that bag would probably last you a year.

Hey, are you a beekeeper, Brett?

No, I just like mead, and enjoy making it myself. (It's not nearly as easy to buy as wine.) Though today I just racked a batch of lychee wine.

I truly hope you'd been drinking green tea before the nose-spurting incident!

I live on green tea.

I live on green tea.

Open carry or concealed?

But today, it's worthless on pretty much all counts.

except that it makes bread that doesn't taste like stale granola.

And it keeps, exactly because it isn't nutritionally complete.

Not that flour lasts long in our house. Just made a loaf of banana/cherry/carrot bread, Saturday. Yummy!

"I live on green tea."

You should try this. We ran across their flavored black teas in a store, loved them, and found that they're quite affordable and delish. I hear their green teas are just as good.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I generally don't like flavored teas.

Sometimes green + jasmine is nice, but I actually really like the astringent, sort-of-like-dried-grass-clippings taste of straight up green.

My favorite is is Lung-Jing, which I get in bulk from Upton Tea, who are basically the bomb. If I'm traveling, the green tea at Starbucks is actually pretty good, and the Stash green tea bags are also good.

For whatever reason, I really like astringent and bitter stuff.

I generally open-carry my tea in a big 20 ounce glass. It's the biggest thing that fits in the cup holder in my car.

Texas seems to have de facto beverage open carry. Convenient store clerks will often offer a small brown paper bag to put said beverage in without being asked. Hmmm...maybe that's concealed carry...

Ok, I'm more of a fruity tea fan. My favorite is Constant Comment, but the family like those variety tea flavors. The variety pack is a good compromise here.

For a straight black tea, I like Zarrin. You ever shop for tea at Shahrzad? They've got some nice loose teas in stock.

my dad likes his tea to be very bitter - he'll let it steep until it looks like coffee. he also prefers French reds to all other wine - the dryer the better. if he could drink tannin straight from a cup, he probably would.

Bleah. The only bitter I like is bitter melon. Pity I developed this shelfish allergy, and can't have it the traditional Philippine way, stir fried with shrimp paste.

Probably wouldn't like that Zarrin black tea, then; It's got a particularly low tannin content, you can brew it as black as you like without it getting bitter.

today in microbiology, i learned that my kitchen is probably too warm (74F!). as such, i'm retarding the growth of good bacteria and yeast in my sourdough starter. instead, i'm growing Clostridium acetobutylicum. and that little critter turns sugar into acetone. and that doesn't smell good.

time to turn the AC down a notch.

I actually like the smell of acetone. Well, if one is a chemist, one better does since it is the main cleaning agent in the OC lab and the acetone still (for cleaning it up for the next round) is running more or less round the clock. ;-)

Green tea is OK. And I can deal with most black and brown teas, although some of them definitely take milk to make them really drinkable.

But the one I really like best is Orange Spice. I came across it years ago at a local breakfast place. But since they have gone out of business, Whole Foods does have something which isn't too far from it.

Was that an actual "Orange Spice" brand? Because I frequently drink Celestial Seasonings "Orange Spice" flavor.

It's Starwest Botanicals "Cinnamon Orange Spice".

also, I think I was premature on the "weather's finally nice" thing.

it's november in june!

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