28 November 2005

here are some more honeymoon photos that Di just sent to me...

jay and i bottled the IPA yesterday and racked the porter to secondary. we also saved the yeast from the porter batch to re-pitch into our next batch. we're probably going to use that yeast for another batch... some type of english ale (maybe a bitter or ESB). right now the yeasties are hibernating in a sanitized jug in jay's fridge. sleep well little yeasties.

i think this story might have some legs... apparently a memo has surfaced that shows bush considered bombing the al jazeera cable network earlier this year. (thanks to keagan for the tip.)


26 November 2005

Da Brewery is up and running. check out the website jay is buildingto document our homebrewing adventures. it's still a work in progress, but stay tuned. we'll probably have pictures up soon.

the beer goggle effect has finally een researched. there's actually a mathematical formula to determine the extent of the beer google effect... it involves coefficients and multiplications of factors such as amount of alcohol consumed, smokiness of the bar or club you're in, etc.

there's a brewery in belgium called A Chouffe, click here to hear its theme song. i think it was performed by multilingual brewing elves.


25 November 2005

any out there looking to run an authentic english pub out there should come see me. you bring the capital. i bring the management know-how and killer people skills. let's make this happen people!


22 November 2005

jay and i brewed again on sunday... which provided a welcome respite from the horrible season the eagles are having (they lost another humiliating game to the giants that day). anyway, we ended up brewing James Bond Porter (an english-style porter, for lack of a better name) and transferring batch #3, Badass IPA into the other carboy for its secondary fermentation/conditioning.
anyway, we're really optimistic about both of these beers. the porter will be great, we hope. for this batch we used a combination of malt extract, chocolate malt, roasted barley and black patent malt to give the wort a nice black color. then we added fuggles hops for bittering and two additions of east kent goldings hops for bittering and aroma.
we also used a liquid yeast... white labs WLP013 London Ale, which should give the beer a nice "english" character and complexity. we also did our first yeast starter, which is the process of adding the yeast ahead of brewing day to a small wort, which allows the viable yeast cells to multiply and results in a better fermentation. it must've worked, because when i talked to jay yesterday, he said the porter was bubbling away like mad.
there's even the possibility that we might go for batch 5 right away. we might actually repitch more wort right on top of the yeast cake from the porter. yeast are living critters, so as long as they're still viable, you can reuse the same batch of yeast for multiple beer batches. professional brewers some times reuse a yeast cake as many as 10 times before pitching fresh yeast.

sorry for the lack of blogging lately. things have just been kind of hectic lately.
i posted a week or so ago about my search for new sneakers. damn i love sneakers -- the more retro the better. i ended up picking out a pair of blue ponys. pony is a brand that, like kangaroo and saucony, really nose-dived after the 80s. but they re-issued a bunch of old shoes recently and they definitely look good.


17 November 2005

here's a poem that britney spears (aka mrs. kevin federline) posted on her website recently. It's about their honeymoon. I think she's this generation's robert frost, frankly.

A honeymoon at last, to get away from it all
My assistant Fe gave me the call.

I remember it well, as she was smilin'
She said it was called Turtle Island.

I packed my bags light and quick,
Then grabbed my pink dress & favorite lipstick.

We hopped on a plane and took our flight
I slept really well, all through the night.

As we arrive, I turn and look out the door,
People are greeting us right at the shore.

A meal, a shower and some ice cream
Then I threw my man down, you know what I mean!

Magical nights filled with stars
Silence is golden, no running cars.

Private dinners, romantic fires
Little piece of heaven, whatever your heart desires.

Friendly "hellos" and never goodbyes
When you're having fun, oh, how time flies!

As we sit and prepare to make our part
I thank you, Turtle Island, with all my heart!

~ Britney


13 November 2005

i really do dig this place for my shoe buying. it's great because customers can actually rate the shoes they bought and are wearing - amazon style. here's a pretty typical comment about pony brand shoes (which i dig)...
awesome fresh dopeness!! These shoes are so ill!! Nobody got these, everyone else is rockin Asics, Puma, Adidas, blah blah blah. Pony is uniqueness!!! They're sharp lookin, wear these and you get lots of compliments!!

i'm really jonesin' for some new sneakers. i really dig the old school, retro 70s looking sneakers... puma, adidas, pony, saucony, new balance, etc. i'm also on the lookout for a pair of these...
the impossible-to-find kangol warwick... made by the company better known for their caps. unfortunately, it appears this show has long been discontinued. if anyone knows where to get them, email me.


12 November 2005

finally, hookers are becoming a lot easier to find in rhode island!
no, not hookers in the solicitous sense of the word. actually, the thomas hooker beers are available here. they're brewed by troutbrook, a small brewery in hartford. they make some seriously amazing beers. just a notch above a lot of other microbrewers. i'm just having their oktoberfest right now and it's sooooooo drinkable.


09 November 2005

it's on....

the eagles play the cowboys in philly next monday night. yes, i know, it's been a profoundly embarrassing week for the club, what with T.O. making us look like fools with his traitorous antics... but all that is behind us now and I for one am relieved that the team is moving on without him.


07 November 2005

jay and I got around to brewing on saturday. we had a great time. we had hoped to finally use liquid yeast for this batch, but liquid yeasts require a starter (basically a mini-fermentation that allows the yeast cells to propagate and increase the cell count before pitching onto the wort). a starter has to be done a day ahead of time, though, and jay and i were so hungry to brew saturday that we couldn't wait a day.
so anyway, we trucked up to woonsocket to check out blackstone valley brewing supplies, a local shop. we met the owner there and he was very helpful. we ended up making only a few small changes to the recipe i had come up with earlier.

"Joel's IPA" should come out to around 7% abv. we ended up using 7 lbs. malt and one pound honey for the fermentables. we also used a dry yeast called safale us-56, which is the dried version of the "chico" strain... essentially the same exact yeast used to make sierra nevada pale ale.


05 November 2005

lately i've sorta realized how much of an anglophile i've become. i'm not sure why, but i've always had this deep interest in english culture. shit just fascinates me. one thing i never understood, though, was why they call their elite boarding schools "public schools." this just never made any sense to me. anway, here's an excerpt from wikipedia that i think explains it a bit...
"Until 1902 there were no publicly-supported secondary schools in England. Public schools were schools supported by an endowment, with a governing body, available to all members of the public, provided that they could pay for tuition costs. Private schools were run for private profit.[1] In recent years all schools formally called public schools now refer to themselves as independent schools, but the national press and many other still use the term public school when referring to independent schools, in particular the older, more prestigious fee-paying schools such as those mentioned in the Public Schools Act 1868: Charterhouse, Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Shrewsbury, Westminster, Winchester, Merchant Taylors' and St. Paul's."

i don't mean to alarm you, but i laid out all or part of 18 pages tonight at work. basically, probably 40 people's jobs depend on me gettign my work done on any given night and not completely messing up. it's kinds of a lot of pressure... which i think is tough for others not in my seat to understand. the entire operation is so dependent on bill (the other editor) and i that it's starting to wear us down. night-in, night-out, we're being asked to carry A LOT of weight. so far, we've done it well, but i just hope things don't come crashing down one night when one of us is alone on the news desk and overwhelmed. the paper we work for was started 123 years ago. i don't want to be the guy responsible for killing it off.

that's the signature call for my boy richie spice. richie's music has me hooked lately. he's a reggae singer who really mixes well the whole dancehall style with the roots reggae singing of bob. we jamaicans just refer to mr. marley as bob, by the way. for real, though, richie spice has this soulful element in his music that is SOOOOOO different from a lot of dancehall nowadays that seems to borrow more from american radio-friendly hip-hop. richie kinda remembers of some of the 80s singers who really kill me... barrington, super cat, yellowman. check out his song "youth are so cold." hard-edged political lyrics, smooth reggae keyboard riffs and an absolutely ass-rattling bass line. the kind that makes your car sound like it's about to crack in half like an egg. oh yes.


03 November 2005

my boy jay and i haven't been able to brew at all lately, mainly since i've been so busy with the wedding/honeymoon/move. batch 1 was an english-style pale ale that came out pretty well. batch 2 was a wheat beer that came out really well. batch 3 will most likely be an india pale ale, a nice hoppy ale with, according to my calculations, 7.1% alcohol and 68 IBUs (international bitterness units, which basically measure hoppiness). here's the recipe i came up with. it might get tweaked, but hopefully we'll brew SOMETHING this weekend.

Batch 3 IPA

5 gallons
7.1% ABV
68 IBUs
original gravity 1.074
final gravity 1.019

8 lbs. light dry malt extract
1 lb. crystal malt (30L) steeped
1 tsp. irish moss (for clarity)
1 oz. centennial hops at 45 min.
1 oz. cascade hops at 30 min.
1 oz. liberty hops at 3 min.
Wyeast 1056/WLP001/US56 American ale yeast

primary fermentation 7-10 days
secondary fermentation 2-3 weeks for improved clarity

It is so nice to be finally settling down after th past two months of craziness. i swear, from the week or two before the bachelor party in september up until this week, things have been out of control around here. just a lot of planning and things to worry about and houseguests and appointments. Now we plan to relax a bit in our new house. yeah, we're renters, so it's not like we own the place, but it's still nice to have a change of scenery. we're living in east providence, right in the middle town. it's right across the river from providence. very convenient location.
here are some photos....

the sun porch

our living room with our new couch... the first non-futon we've ever bought


01 November 2005

di and i were constantly amused by the horribly mistranslated english that we read at the resort in mexico. it reminded me of old vcr manuals written in scary japanese-to-english techo-pidgin. here's our favorite excerpt from the portion of the room service menu called "For the Kids."
We know how important it is for you that your kids have a balanced food, mainly in this first stage, where a good physical condition will let them grow up and become strong and wealthy teenagers. utside (sic) it is difficult to have control of their food habits, specially during vacations, but in the privacy of you (sic) room, like in home, it is easy to handle it. That is why our kids menu is conformed with a balanced and at the same time "attractive" to the little ones, reducing grease to the minimum.
that just cracked me and di up every time.


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