Friday, January 9, 2009

Beer Review: Timmay's Double Chocolate Stout

So yesterday I went over to Timmay's place for a beer. Timmay, as you may know, is the man, the brewer, the legend behind Hillside Brewing, based in lovely Torrington, CT. That's me in the photo there givin' it some analyzation.. drinkin' it, I mean.

Timmay invited me down for a sampling of his home brewed Double Chocolate Stout, so named because, well, it's a Chocolate Stout, and has a second helping of chocolate in the form unsweetened bakers chocolate. If memory serves, it was like, 4oz in a 5 gallon batch.

In any case, upon pouring (from Tim's draft system..) I found a dark, black beer, without too much in the way of foam. The head clung to the glass/liquid interface through much of the drink, but didn't put up much of a fight elsewhere. I could detect no roastyness from the aroma, but that's doable in a Chocolate Stout, I suppose. On first sip, I found rather low carbonation, but that's also fine in this style. The drink itself flavor wise, brought an immediate cherry flavor to this tasters palate, but not much in the way of roastyness. The beer was inordinately smooth drinking, and disappeared fast. It also left a lingering sweetness, though maybe not *too* much, perhaps a bit more than I would have liked.. a bit more in the way of bitterness, or, as Tim and I discussed later, perhaps a tad more attenuation when a high 1.020's F.G. was discovered, would have helped this brew go for the gold.

Overall, aside from either a touch too much sweetness, or not enough bitterness, depending on how you look at it.. this was a really enjoyable beer! The cherry flavor was a bit of an anomaly, perhaps derived from the bakers chocolate, but totally welcome.

Nice job, Tim!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Beer Review: Jody's Christmas beer

This here is my good friend Jody's beer. It's labeled as a Christmas Beer. It appears to be a bottle conditioned beast, based on the yeast on the bottom of the bottle. It should be noted here up front that Jody is a master brewer, well known in the competition circles, and a multi-medal winner. As a result, I expect only great things from this bottle of beer.

On with the show! On popping the cap, I've got a huge pop from the carbonation. I almost fear a gush of foam, but none appears. (Jody, watch for bottle bombs! This was a big bang!) I pour as best I can, but get a just a bit of yeast sediment in the glass. It's still very clear.. not quite perfect, but definitely see through. It's got a bit of a haze, but not much. The bubbles are really big on the foam, which doesn't last long.

The aroma brings a good size hit of lemon or lemongrass. Smells delicious! There's also something else here I can't immediately place, but the flavor soon tells me it's cloves. Jody, am I right? I expect a full followup with recipe and directions in a comment! :-) I'd say this beer is drinkable, as I finish it *way* too fast. As a master brewer, Jody doesn't hit you with a big slap to the face of over-the-top spices.. it's just right, and oh-so-drinkable. Then SNAP, it's gone! Just like that. I reminisce over a good clove finish, with a curious lemon flavor in a Christmas beer. Christmas beer? I dunno... damn good one? Sure! I'd recommend this to a friend in a heartbeat.

Thanks Jody! That was awesome!

Roasting Coffee Demo.

You can't really prepare yourself for a thing like this. It's the most exciting 8 minutes of video ever recorded. I'd suggest you be sitting down for when this sucker plays.

This is a video, from the very beginning setup to the very end of cooling of the coffee roasting process. This is the thing you're gonna point your friends to when they ask you "How do you DO that?!" It's an instant classic! Like, Gone With The Wind, type stuff. Dig it!

Filmed and edited entirely by myself, it's a real masterpiece. A testament to the power of the iMac. Behold, the coffee bean roasting film!

Wow. Now I'm spent!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

La Pavoni Double espresso from Jan 2nd 2009

Hello peeps!

So here's the first *real* post, a video I took a couple days ago from my lever machine (La Pavoni Europiccola, Millennium model) with the wife's video camera. The lighting sucks, I know.. first time I've really used the thing for any of my own devious purposes. More to come, I'm sure.. Anywho, I took a two minute plus size video and edited it down to whatever time it's at now, which is about a minute or so, using iMovie on my iMac. I love my Mac.

And yeah, that's Maggie the dog makin' all that noise in the background. :-)

While this thing is uploading, I'm drinking a really nice cup of Colombian Gedeo whipped out of my Aeropress brewer. I'll be taking some video of that thing pretty soon too. Stand by on that. I've rarely been this impressed with a coffee brewer so quickly. I was an instant convert on my Yama 5 cup machine, and my Hario 5 cup vac pot too, but most other methods leave me cold. This one, lovin' it.

Hey Kevin and Adrienne, I think you guys are now on the email list.. let me know what kind of notification and what form it comes in (i.e. just an email saying "There's a new post on Mike's retarded Blog" ) or how that comes across, OK?