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Posts posted by Schielke

  1. hmmm, how much material is floating on top? It could certainly be yeast, but keep an eye on it. Also note how the beer smells at this point.

    This weekend, we bottled our scotch ale and are waiting for the bottles to carbonate.

    We also brewed a belgian white that is sitting in the fermenter now. I can't wait!

  2. Great! It sounds like you are on the right track. For sure replace the sugar.

    If you opt to boil instead of pour boiling water on top, do the following:

    1. Boil your water (use the same amount suggested in the kit)

    2. Put the remaining amount of water in the fridge or freezer to get really cold

    3. Add the malt and stir to dissolve (don't let it burn on the bottom of the pan!)

    4. Boil the mixture (wort) for a half hour (normally an hour or so, but you are not adding any hops outside of what is in the mixture).

    5. While this is boiling, start to activate your yeast in a small amount of warm water (boiling it and cooling it is best for sanitation; you could fesably use some cooled wort)

    6. Cool the wort down as fast as possible. I use a wort chiller to help this (copper coil that you run cold water through). You can put the mixture in an ice bath and add the chilled remainder of your water. How you do this will depend on how big of a pot you have. The key is to get it cooled to about 80 deg to be a nice home for the yeast.

    7. Once cooled and in your fermenter, add your yeast and mix well.

    8. Pop the top on and add your airlock.

    9. You should see some bubbles the next day.

    Remember the whole time to work with sanitized tools. I use Star San, which is a great sanitation solution.

    Enjoy the process!


  3. Hmmm, I dont want to mess with kit instructions, but regular sugar in your beer is a big no-no for real beer. It is just a cheaper way for kit makers to get a desired alcohol level out of a beer. Also a pre-hopped extract is usually a poor alternative to boiling real hops.

    I would say do as your kit instructs but then look into buying your ingredients from a good brewshop. They will be able to hook you up with good recipies and ingredients.

    If you want to do one thing that will make a difference in this batch; get a better yeast than what came with the kit. Find a good brew shop and ask for a liquid yeast that matches your style of beer.

  4. Wow, it only took me three years. Myself and a couple buddies took the plunge and got some brewing equipment.

    There is a great brewshop up on 145th and Greenwood called "The Cellar", they also sell wine and cheesemaking supplies.

    Our first beer was a pale ale that turned out ok, it seems to have a slightly off aftertaste that I can't really put my finger on...but it will get cha' drunk!

    We moved on to brewing a scottish ale that is in the secondary fermenter right now and smells fantastic. I can't wait to bottle it up. At the same time, we expanded our operation by another carboy and are in the process of brewing up some hard cider. The fermentation went pretty crazy and the yeast decided to spout off some Sulphur in the process so I just have to cross my fingers that the smell will go away.

    Brewing is fun!


  5. The Ladro I go to is on 1st and Union. They seem to do a good job, but the milk just isn't right.

    There are a bunch of cherry st. locations downtown and due to this they are kinda all over the board. In some cases you get just ok stuff, but some of the baristas know how to properly microfoam. Their straight shots are usually quite serviceable. I usually end up at either the one on 4th and Marion or 1st and Cherry.

    Yeah, Top Pot's coffee is fairly meh... Zeitgeist used to be pretty decent, but I have not been for a while. You are right though, doughnuts are great.

  6. I am not sure that I agree that Italy always has great espresso.

    I have had espresso, capuccino and caffe latte all over Italy, and although there are some good places (Sant Eustacio in Rome, Tazza d'Oro in Rome, a good place in Florence...)  But most of it is OK to average.

    For one thing the cost of espresso is regulated by the government!  Hard to believe, but true.  The cost of espresso or cappucino if you drink it standing at the bar is a government regulated commodity with a standard price everywhere - and not a very high price - like 80 Euro cents to 1 Euro.  If you sit down at a table it can be very much more expensive because it is not regulated - like 4 to 5 Euros.

    Which is why most Italians stand at the bar.  A number of Italians who are into quality food and wine have complained to me that the regulation means that there is huge incentive to use cheap beans in their blends.  Perhaps this is not the case, but that is what I've been told.

    Italy does not appear to have the intense focus on custom roasting, special blends, special pours.  Instead, most caffes serve standard products from big companies like Illy.  There are exceptions - like Sant Eustacio and Tazza d'Oro, but those really are exceptions. 

    Italy does not seem to have obsessed baristas modifying machines to add PID temperature control, sawing the bottoms off portafilters and so forth.  I think all those innovations are driven by people in the US.  I don't mean to slight any Italian innovators accidentally, but so far as I know the espresso quality movement from a technical stand point seems to be American (and within America, driven from the west coast, and within the west coast, from the Pacific Northwest, and within the Northwest from Seattle).

    Granted I live in Seattle, and that may not be a dominant point of view.

    At the very high end, for the really best espresso drinks, I think that Italy has a couple of places that I really like.  But I suspect that there are more really fantastic espresso shops in Seattle than there are in all of Italy.  There are certainly more in the US than Italy - I don't think it is even close.

    This is totally true. I recently had my honeymoon in Italy and I don't think that the quality is even close to the best of the bunch in Seattle. What Italy does have though is a much higher base level of quality. While we have Starbucks etc.. here, the average espresso joint on the corner in Italy is much more concerned about proper espresso.

  7. My thoughts on the Seattle scene:

    Vivace is far and away the best and most consistent shop in town.

    The following places are also great, but in my experience have some consistency issues:





    Downtown Seattle for some reason doesn't have as good of coffee as the immediate surrounding area. The following places are good:

    Cherry St. Coffee


    Cafe Ladro

  8. Great new place in Shoreline/Seattle

    Fu Man Dumpling House does all homeade dumplings, noodles, soups, etc that are really great. I went this last weekend and had a great meal of steamed dumplings, hot and sour soup (the real stuff), chow mein, fried rice, and a "hamburger".

    Seriously, check it out.

    They are on the east side of Greenwood just south of 145th.


  9. Had another awesome meal at Mistral last night. It has been way too long since we had last been, but we have made it tradition to go to Mistral on our Aniversary so we finally made it in. God I love that place.


    I am trying to remember it now and it is a bit fuzzy since I didnt take notes so I am going ot hit you with the highlights:

    Hamachi & Kampachi Tartare w/ pinenuts and cucumber water- great opener as always, the toasted pinenuts were very present and played nicely with the smooth fresh fish.

    Fluke (I think) w/ shaved asparagus, green olives, and I forget the rest, I think there was a slice of lime!- I remember this being a very bold dish that worked very well. Kudos to the chef.

    Diver Scallop corn chowder w/ carrot cloud- The scallop alone is worth the price of admission. Just some top notch cooking and top notch ingredients.

    Lamb, potatoes zatar spice- you all know the potatoes. Need I say more?

    Spiced Mango puree w/ lavender ice cream- the mango was great, slightly spiced and quite interesting. I think the dish had lavender ice cream, but I am pretty fuzzy at this point.

    We also had some great wines to accompany the dinner, the pairings were just great. I always forget how great a good wine pairing can be, but I was reminded last night.

    Mistral News-

    There is a brand new branch of Mistral in Bangkok! Mistral is a chain now. :P William has been working very hard between the two locations to what appears to be great success.

    Look for a future Seattle based project coming up. Sweet.


    p.s. I just started working downtown. Lunch is much more possible!

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