Archive | December, 2013

Home brewing with Brooklyn Brew Shop

27 Dec

20131225_134457I know it’s probably been close to a year that i’ve had my home brewing kit my uncle gave me from the Brooklyn Brew Shop and i’ve talked about how I would be brewing soon, but I finally did it! I’m so proud of myself. This Jewish girl spent her Christmas brewing her own beer with her dad and this really good looking guy I know. After reading the instructions I remembered why I waited so long to attempt this feat. It literally took hours. I started around 1:30 p.m. and finished around 5:30 p.m. Granted it takes an hour to mash and an hour to boil, it should have only taken about 3 hours. But, because I had no clue what I was doing, and because I didn’t have all the right tools (I had to use cheese cloth to drain the grain after mashing because my strainers holes were too large which took SO LONG) it took exponentially longer that expected.

It’s not really that complicated of a process, it just takes time. I’ll give the 20131225_165625simplified version. First you have to sanitize everything because the yeast is touchy and you don’t want germs messing up your beer. Then you start with stirring the grain in some water and mashing it for an hour, stirring every ten minutes all while making sure it stays at a certain temperature (no, you can’t just set it and forget it). Then you strain the grain out, twice, adding more water the second time. Then you boil it for an hour adding in hops (which looked like weird rabbit pellets) about every 15 minutes. Then you strain it again and bring the temperature down in an ice bath. When that’s all done you put it in a jug with the yeast, shake it and insert the tube to let the gasses escape.

20131226_082540Now i’m waiting two days until I can change the tube in the jug to the fancy aerator thing which will then sit in a cool dark place for two weeks. It makes about a gallon of beer so it’s not really that much for quite a bit of work. But i’m sure it will be the best tasting beer i’ve ever made. The gallon kits are only $40 on their website and they have some interesting flavors like Jalapeno Saison in case you’re interested in making some yourself.


Sketch and Sip

23 Dec

20131217_185118Anyone who lives near Bloomingdale and has any type of artistic interests at all needs to check out Sketch and Sip. It’s this cute painting studio in the Winthrop Plaza (Bloomingdale Ave. & Providence Rd.) where each night an instructor teaches a class of about 30 or less how to paint a specific picture step by step. It’s between $30-$45 for a class which includes the canvas and all the painting supplies. Wednesday nights it’s only $15 to paint a wine glass. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own snacks and drinks to enjoy the class in a laid back atmosphere.

I went to a class last Tuesday for the second time to paint a peacock . Although it seemed challenging the teacher went through it step by step and it was so much fun. I also brought a bottle of ice wine I got for $15 from The Rolling Pin. I didn’t bother to take notes since I was too busy painting but it was quite tasty. The brand was The Stump Jump and it was a 2010 vintage. It was a blend of Chadonnay, Riesling, Semillon and Pinot Gris. It reminded me of the Samos wine from Tarpon Springs with a honey flavor but not as strong, so I liked it better since I don’t really like honey. Great desert wine and perfect for the class.



Covington Brewhouse Strawberry Ale

22 Dec

IMG_3400Another Louisiana beer my dad brought back for me to try from his recent trip to my grandparents is called Covington Brewhouse Strawberry Ale. Sounds fruity but it’s not as strong as you’d expect, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your preference to strawberries.

It is a malt beverage with natural strawberry puree infused into Covington’s classic cream ale (which also sounds delicious). It has a really neat redish color in the glass and smells like a regular beer. It tastes similar to a strawberry soda and was a little syrupy and leaves some phlegm in your throat after a few sips. Overall a good beer. I would drink a few but maybe not with dinner, just desert. IMG_3403