Archive | January, 2014

The Bottling Process

13 Jan

20140111_212452This Saturday it had been two weeks since we brewed our Everyday IPA from the Brooklyn Brew Shop and it was time to bottle. The directions we were working with that I printed from the Brew Shop’s website was not very descriptive of this step but their video was much more helpful. It took us a little under an hour and we didn’t loose much in the process.

We first had to siphon the beer out of the jug into a pot with 3 tablespoons honey 20140111_213832dissolved in 1/2 cup of water leaving the settled yeast at the bottom. Supposedly the sugar from the honey adds carbonation. Then we had to siphon the beer into each of the bottles. We got almost seven full Grolsch bottles, which are 15.2 fl oz so slightly larger than a regular beer.

I don’t know how I would have done this step by myself. It took all three of us to make this happen. Now in two weeks we can put it in the fridge overnight and then drink! I’m hoping after all this work that we actually did it correctly and it will taste like beer.

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New Year’s Eve at The Wine Studio

3 Jan

IMG_20131231_195652After much searching for something relatively cheap and grown up to do for New Year’s Eve this year I found the perfect place off Henderson in Tampa called The Wine Studio (which was voted Best of the Bay in 2013 by Creative Loafing for Best Wine Bar). They had a $75 special for a prix fixe menu including three courses for couples that night with a delicious menu. $75 for two people is a great price. It came with a complimentary appetizer that we could choose between something with shrimp or a cheese and strawberry preserves spread with crackers. We went with the cheese spread and it was actually quite tasty to mix the cheese with the preserves on top of crispy, sesame seed covered crackers.

The next course was an apple walnut salad with a zesty house-made vinaigrette dressing that was mouth watering. The main course was the best part. It was a steak bourgeoisie fondue. They set up the fondue pot with some flavored broth and give us each a cutting board with chopped steak tips, broccoli, mushrooms, bread and three dipping sauces (A1 steak sauce, bourgeoisie with capers and some type of horseradish sauce).  It was so much fun to cook our own food and perfectly time consuming as our reservation was at 8 p.m. and we planned on staying until midnight to see the ball drop on their projector T.V. The classic movie lover in me appreciated their choice of playing the Turner Classic Movie channel until closer to midnight.20131231_202308

I forgot what the desert was called but it tasted like a mix between chocolate pudding and frosting served with a fresh strawberry on top. It goes without saying but it was amazing. The smallness of the restaurant made for an intimate experience that was amplified by the classy decor of string lights, candles and paintings from local artists. They even gave us glow sticks and party horns to celebrate with. All of that paired with a bottle of champagne was the best way I could imagine to ring in the new year. This place is definitely worth the drive.