Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spongebob Half Life Spongebob Half Life!

My six-year old came to me wondering if we could play Half-Life (2). It seems he has a yearning desire to watch me play ever since he saw me a couple weeks ago taking a needed break from studying. He told me as soon as I'm done with "whatever your doing at the moment" to let him know. Until that time he'll be watching Spongebob. I thought it was kind of odd to go from Spongebob to Half-Life but that's my boy! He shares a lot of my personality. I used to love Spongbob but I can't stand it anymore since it seems to be playing non-stop around here. I just hope the same thing doesn't happen to Chowder. I love that show.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 - 3 User $18.49 at Amazon

This is one of the top computer security software companies around. Always voted in the top 5 for it's ease of use, effectiveness against new spyware and virus threats, and very lightweight on system resources. If you want to buy your next internet security suite I would grab this deal pronto.

Hoppin' Frog Brewery Special Release

Normally I'd want to keep this to myself but I thought I'd be nice this morning. Hoppin' Frog Brewery in Akron Ohio is having a special release party for their Hop Master's Abbey, Belgian-style Double I.P.A. I love this style and if HF is making one I want to try it. The release will be held at the brewery on the 14th of August at 1pm. They stress a limited quantity so get there fast.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cap'n Crunch French Toast - Crazy Good

I had this recipe sittin' around when Cap'n Crunch cereal was brought up by friend on Facebook. Believe it or not I'm not out to kill you with the calories in this sucker. Moderation (like in my beer) is the key! I can't remember where I got this from otherwise I'd give them "props". It's only food right?

3/4 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups Cap'n Crunch cereal
8 to 10 slices thick-sliced white bread (fresh French is the best)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries (or any other fruit you wish, I like peaches as well)

1. Mix the eggs, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

2. Crush the cereal in a large bag until it resembles something like graham cracker crumbs (not too fine it'll mess up the crunchiness) Transfer it to a shallow dish.

3. Dip a couple slices of bread into the cream mixture until soft (not soaked). Let excess cream drip from the bread.

4. Press into the cereal crumbs to coat evenly. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with the remaining slices.

5. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, add butter as needed, and cook the bread until it is caramelized on both sides. About 6 - 8 minutes total depending on how it looks.

6. Beat the cream, confection sugar, and vanilla with a large bowl in a hand mixer until you're happy with the consistency. Top off the French toast and serve with the berries.

Some back to school deals at Amazon

Fermentation sign, the Amber has awaken!

It was a stretch but there is a very subtle reference to Dune in the title (yep very nerdly indeed). OK So I woke this morning to find the hefe at 62 degrees which means my chiller is working properly - awesome (like I expected anything else?). What else did I see? An actively fermenting Amber. What a relief to have this sucker finally kickin in on day 3. (Note to self....make a damn starter next time). I also need another "fermometer" for the second carboy.
My son caught my excitement this morning and wanted to know why I was jumping up and down making an arse of myself at 7am. I explained to him that "daddy's" beer is fermenting. Not too many 6yr olds know about fermentation. I explained that there are little creatures, so small that you can't see them, these creatures (I call them the Yeastie Boys for reference since the Beastie Boys are his favorite band right now) eat sugar in the beer and produce alcohol. During this time they "fart" leaving bubbles in the beer. He laughed and went back to his cartoon which I think is "Johnny Test" right now. It's about a boy, his dog, and his two genius sisters who perform experiments on them. Hilarity ensues.
Below is a video of some active fermentation. Not mine, only for demonstration purposes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

66 Degrees

Daft! My fermentation chiller isn't keeping the fermenting hefe at the temperature I wanted. I'm shooting for 62 degrees yet it seems to stick around 66. After this batch I'll have to make some modifications to the unit. For now it seems I'll just trying to get it down by adding more blocks ice. The amber still hasn't started. Curse my laziness. On the other hand it could be the yeast. I'll give it another 24.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Brews Brew News

I started a Hefewiezen and a West Coast Amber yesterday. Double batches can be a pain (especially w/no help) but "I do this for the people" ;). I wanted to start at 7:00am but didn't get going until 8. The entire process took about 5 hours. I'm trying to manage the time a little better so I can do less running around in the least amount of time. Brewing should be a relaxing hobby.
Both beers are in the process of fermenting. The hefe started very fast (under 12 hours). The amber is taking it's precious time. Sometimes it could take 48 hours before fermentation begins. It helps when a starter is made. It adds more yeast to the wort. More yeast means faster fermentation "liftoff". I made a starter for the hefe but not for the amber and the proof is obvious. Other than laziness I can't think of any other reason why I didn't make a starter for the amber.
When they finish I will have approximately 10 gallons of home made brew which gets put on a tap system I built. 10 gallons of wonderful fresh beer. Now 10 gallons equals 106 pints (16oz). I spent about $100 on both batches so for my beer costs me approximately 97 cents a pint or around $6 for a six pack of beer that even Budweiser couldn't make any fresher. That $100 is very expensive for homebrew too. Buying the ingredients one batch at a time gets pretty pricey. I'd like to buy in bulk but I don't have the storage yet.
Below is a picture of the last hefe I made. It had to have been one of my best batches to date. Zero complaints from all who drank it and I even had someone tell me he'd definitely buy a sixer the next time I made it. Cheers!