Beer of the Day: Taddy Porter

The Famous Taddy Porter

Samuel Smith Old Brewery

Tadcaster, England

English Porter

5%

The Porter is probably the most important drink known to London Brits, yes, even more than tea. Porter reigned their pubs for decades. This specific porter is brewed with water from the same well they used to make this beer back in 1759 from 85 feet underground, not as high as an airplane flies but still pretty deep. This is the oldest brewery in Tadcaster and it is no surprise why it has lasted so long. If you see this beer, grab it. Courtesy to Liz for the photos.

Appearance – Dark brown, almost black. Creamy tan head with good lacing.

Aroma – Roasted malts, slightly nutty, caramel, slight hop aroma, hint of coffee.

Taste – Sweet. Roasted malts, another hint of that coffee, nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – Medium to heavy bodied. Slightly dry. Good carbonation.

Drinkability – Great brew. Porters aren’t my favorite but I love this one. Low alcohol makes for a good session brew with the boys when just hanging out after work or for a fun Friday night.

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Beer of the Day: Smoked Baltic Porter

Smoked Baltic Porter

Great Divide Brewing Company

Denver, CO

Baltic Porter

6.2%

I am pretty confused with this brew. It is a porter (Ale) yet on the Great Divide website they refer to it as a Dark Lager. If there is someone who can explain this please, I’m all ears. I got this brew in North Carolina at the Carborro Beverage Center. Porters used to be a lot stronger than todays standards. Well above 7%. The Baltic Porter was created to be shipped across the Baltic Sea. This brew would sometimes often be blended with sour ale. This specific Baltic Porter is given an addition of smoked German Bamberg malts.

Appearance –Beige one finger head. Dark brown with red hues.

Aroma – Light hints of chocolate and coffee. Very malty brew. Hints of the smoke

Taste –Tangy, Citrus. Smokey, slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel –Dry. Sharp carbonation and pretty thin.

Drinkability – Not the best brew I’ve had. Fairly easy to drink. It has been a few months since I had it and I feel like my palate has matured so I would like to try it again and see how I take to it now.

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Homade Sourdough Bread and Beer of the Day: Double Bag

Yeast are a group of unicellular fungi. More than a thousand species of yeasts have been described. The most commonly used yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which was domesticated for wine, bread and beer production thousands of years ago. Fermentative yeasts produce their energy by converting sugars into carbon dioxide and ethanol (alcohol). In brewing, the ethanol is used, while in baking the carbon dioxide raises the bread and the ethanol evaporates.

To make sourdough you must first have a sourdough starter. One of my Chef’s gave me a little of his starter so that I could make my own sourdough bread. Making a starter is easier than waking up at 6:30 in the morning. Mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of non bleached rye flour. Rye flour adds extra sugars and nutrients for the yeast. If you don’t want to continue with rye you can always switch but it is good for giving your starter a jump start. Let sit uncovered until you notice it start to rise and get of lots of bubbles.

What is happening is fermentation of wild yeasts and Lactobacillus Brevis. The yeast and the bacteria are already present in the flour and the air. Once the flour is hydrated the enzymes break down the carbohydrates from the wheat and converts into sugars which provide food for the yeast. The Lactobacillus then feeds off the byproduct of fermentation causing the culture to go sour by excreting lactic acid which prevents it from spoiling.

To feed it remove half of your starter and discard the other half. Whisk into 1/2 cup of water and mix with your hand 1/2 cup of flour. Repeat this process every day to keep your starter alive.

The day before you bake your bread feed your starter a cup of water and a cup of flour but do not discard any.

Sourdough Bread

  • 2 cups of water
  • 9.6 oz of sourdough starter
  • 4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c + 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1T+1t salt

Mix water and starter well in a bowl and then incorporate your flour. Let sit for 15 minutes and then add your salt. This process is first fermentation. If you have a stand mixer then mix for 2 minutes on low speed and then 2 minutes on medium speed. If you do not have a stand mixer you can do it just as effectively by hand. Just simply kneed the dough until it becomes elastic when you pull it apart. Place in a bowl and let sit covered until it has doubled in size.

After the dough has doubled fold three times and then punch flat and let rest for 60 minutes.The longer the bread is allowed to rise the more flavor it will get. The dough is folded over and punched to compress it and gives slight development to gluten.(Gluten is a 2-part protein consisting of Glutenin – provides strength, and Gliaden – Provides elasticity. Together these proteins allow the dough to stretch but are strong enough to keep in carbon dioxide for leavening). This step accomplishes four goals:

  • Expels carbon dioxide
  • Redistributes yeast for further growth
  • Equalizes temperature throughout the dough
  • Relaxes gluten

After an hour punch dough down again and cut in half and round the two halves into large balls, cover and let sit another ten minutes. This is known as bench rest aka secondary fermentation.

Shape into loaves and let rest for 1 hour and then place on a dusted sheet pan and cover and refrigerate over night.

After your dough has sat in the fridge over night it is now time to bake. Remove your dough from the fridge and let sit for an hour to warm up. Set your oven to 475*F. Place a pan of water in your oven for humidity. Take a sharp knife or a razor blade and make a few shallow slices along the length of your dough. During the cooking process the dough will split anyway, this step is to insure that it will split where you want it to and not where it wants to. If you are going for more of a rustic look then you can skip this step. Right before you put your bread in the oven give it a few squirts of water the help achieve a beautiful crust. Once your bread is in the oven reduce the temp to 450*F and cook for 12 minutes. Remove the water from the oven and then bake another 20 minutes.

You are looking for a nice golden brown crust that gives you that beautiful crackling sound when lightly squeezed. This sound isn’t something you can read about, you have to experience it to truly understand the beauty of the sound that a fresh loaf of bread can make. It might be life changing if you are not careful.

Place your fresh loaf of sourdough bread on a rack or some surface that can allow it to cool from every surface. If you place it on a counter the bottom can become soggy.

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Double Bag

Long Trail

Bridgewater Corners, VT

Altbier

7.2%

Double Bag is a beautiful thing. I was introduced to this brew last year when I moved to Vermont. It is definitely one of my favorite Vermont beers. They won the Malt Advocate’s Beer of the Year in 2001.

Appearance – Dark copper, amber, decent tan head. Good lacing.

Aroma – Very yeasty. Rich malts, caramel, slight hoppiness.

Taste – Nice caramel malts, pretty much tastes how it smells, somewhat bitter.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, not too heavy. Not too boozy, leaves mouth slightly dry.

Drinkability – Good beer, good party beer but not in a frat beer type of way. Although I would consider joining a frat that provided a keg of Long Trail at their parties.

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Flaky Biscuits and Beer of the Day: Old Stock Ale

Who doesn’t love that brand new blue can of Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Layer biscuits sitting in you fridge? Imagine, opening the refrigerator and feeling that nice cool breeze as you reach down to grab the cylinder full of deliciousness. Pinch the tab at the top of the can and pull until you hear that oh so familiar pop as the can splits, revealing your future meal in is pre-baked form. Set your oven at 425 and slide them in. after about 15 minutes you gaze upon the most beautiful sight you have seen thus far this morning. Break apart that first ball of baked dough to reveal layers upon layers of steamy soft golden flakes. Slather them in butter and grape jelly and enjoy with a nice cup of joe.

Okay stop drooling and grab a pen and paper and write down what I am about to tell you. A fellow culinary student and good friend of mine Adam Trombly was nice enough to share this flaky delicious biscuit recipe with me as I desperately sought his help with a flaky biscuit craving.

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 6 TBLS  Softened Butter or Shortening or a combination of both
  • 3/4c Milk
  • 1/4 Cup melted butter for brushing

Mix your flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Cut in your butter or shortening until it is incorporated completely and there are no lumps of butter in your flour mixture. Gently mix in your milk taking care not to over work your dough so not to over develop the gluten and make the biscuits tough. Once your dough has come together roll out to 1/4″  in a rectangular shape with the short end pointed towards you. Paint the top two thirds of the sheet with your butter and then do a tri-fold starting with the unbuttered 1/3 at your belly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat this process three more times and then roll out to 1/2″ and with a cookie cutter punch out your biscuits. Bake in a 400*F oven for 15 minutes and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Old Stock Ale

North Coast Brewing

Fort Bragg, CA

Old Ale

11.5%

This is another beauty from North Coast. The Old Stock Ale is a traditional Old Ale. It is aged a few months before it is distributed and is recommended that it be laid down. Old Ales generally can go for 5+ years. I used this beer as my desert beer in a beer dinner I once did and saved two of the bottles at my parents house.

In 2009 North Coast released their Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve. They took a batch or two of Old Stock Ale and aged it for 18 months in oak bourbon barrels and then bottled in some fancy looking setup. I’ve yet to try it but I hope to soon.

Appearance –Dark copper with a creamy tan 2 finger head with minimal lacing.

Aroma – Chocolate, caramel, sweet malts, raisins, currants, delicious.

Taste – Alcohol, Tastes as it smells.

Mouthfeel –Coasts the palate. Not too thick but just right. Stings from the alcohol.

Drinkability – Great brew. Makes me happy to know that I have drank this beer and still have two more to drink in the future. I love this brew.

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Home Brewed IPA and Beer of the Day: Curieux

I LOVE MAKING BEER! Me and Liz just made our first all-grain brew at home a few days ago. Well, we made one at beer club at school but with this one we were allowed to do it how we wanted. This beer is an IPA(India Pale Ale). IPA’s were made to be very hoppy and higher in alcohol than its cousin the Pale Ale so that it could make the long journey from England to India to get to the troops back in the 17th or 18th century. Hops are a wonderful preservative so most beers that are pretty well hopped will last a while with the hop flavor mellowing out over time. So say you bought two Imperial IPA’s and drank one today and the other one a year from now you would notice that the hops in the brew would be a little less bitter and a little more malty.

For this beer we mashed our grains at a temp of 155*F for an hour. We then boiled our wort for an hour using 2 ounces of two different hop varieties. We have it in primary fermentation right now and we will leave it there for 10 days and then we will rack it to secondary a week from today with the addition of some toasted oak chips to give it that oak barrel flavor and leave it there for probably another week, maybe two.

Here is our recipe for our “Oaked” IPA

9 lbs Marris Otter Pale Malt

1 lb Medium Crystal Malt

1 oz Pilgrim Hop Pellets (11%) 60 minute boil

1 oz First Gold Hop Pellets (7.5%) 5 minute boil

1Packet of Fermentis US-05

1/2 oz Toasted Oak Wood Chips

 

I will keep you updated on how things are going! Now for the Beer of the Day.

Curieux

Allagash Brewing Company

Portland, ME

Belgian Tripel ( Aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels)

11%

Curieux is a Belgian Tripel Ale Brewed in Portland Maine. This was my first brew to drink from Allagash and probably in my top 3 favorite brews. I even gave two of these as a gift to my Chef and Sous Chef at my internship. The story of this brew is that Allagash had a fermentation tank full of their Tripel Ale and their shipments of bottles were late. Well needing to do something with this beer fast they stored it in some Jim Beam barrels they had gotten a few weeks before and there is the birth of Curieux. I have a bottle of this back home at my parents house in Mississippi I plan on leaving there for a long time. The bottle that I reviewed was bottled June 10, 2010 and I reviewed it on January 23 2011 so this is a 7 month old brew. They had this brew at Three Penny on tap but honestly I think it is MUCH better from the bottle. Cheers!

Appearance – Nice golden and clear. Foamy white head that goes away kinda quickly. Decent lacing.

Aroma – Nutty, sunflower seed. Roasty, slightly malty. You can sort of smell the alcohol. a hint of citrus and vanilla.

Taste – Vanilla and coconut from the barrel, even a little hint of the bourbon. Toasted grains, really nutty.

Mouth Feel – Medium – heavy bodied brew. Stings in the mouth but doesn’t stay long.

Drinkability – Awesome brew. Definitely meant to be held on to for a while and not gulped straight down. At 7 months old this beer isn’t even close to being finished, give it 2 years.

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Beer of the Day and Homemade Soppressata

It’s odd that some of my favorite obsessions take a lot of time and patience, as these are two things I do not have very much of. Soppressata is a dry cured pork sausage much like salami that dries for 8-12 weeks before you can even taste it. It is one of Liz and mine’s favorite pieces of charcuterie so naturally we decided to make some. 

Here is our recipe:

  • 3 lbs pork butt cut into 1″ cubes and ground through a large die
  • 2 Tbl salt
  • 3/4 Tbl ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup red wine [or beer : ) ]

Cut meat into 1″ cubes and put into freezer for at least an hour. Pass through large die in meat grinder and mix with seasonings and cure for 48 hours in the fridge. Stuff meat into hog casings and twist at desired length and hang for 8 – 12 weeks at a temperature of 40 in your fridge. After it is done, slice and eat, or if you are really feeling sassy slice it thin and put on a pizza, bake, and enjoy!


Before I get started on the Beer of the Day I wanted to share a quick photo of our Stout we made a few months ago. It has been drinkable for a few weeks now I have just forgotten to share the pics.

Be on the lookout for a post in the near future for pics and recipe for our IPA we just made two days ago. It is happily bubbling away almost violently in the corner!

 

Beer of the Day: Hell Hath No Fury……Ale

Bell’s Brewery Inc.

Kalamazoo, MI

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

7.5%

This brew was intended to be a Belgian Dubbel, blending Belgian abbey-style yeast with a hearty stout-like recipe, but according to Bell’s website it “morphed” into something entirely different. Though not telling us what it is that it morphed into it is clear to say that whatever it may be, it is a damn good drink.

Appearance – Dark brown, almost black. Small tan head.

Aroma – Slight coffeeish aroma, definite hops with a more definite malt aroma.

Taste – Doesn’t taste like it smells. Slightly chocolate and roast flavors with a little bit of dark fruit. “For the color it tastes a little watery” – Liz

Mouthfeel – Thick like a stout. At first sip you get that notorious booze sting. Comes in heavy and goes down light.

Drinkability – This is a good drinker. Not a long shelf life so no use trying to age it.

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Beer of the Day: Horn Dog

Horn Dog

Flying Dog Brewery

Fredrick, MD

English Barley Wine

10.5%

I grabbed this brew at a beer store next to the Five Guys I ate at in Tennessee on my way to Michigan right before the New Year. It was a 2009 vintage so I picked up a six pack and saved one for aging. This beer is aged for three months before it is packaged and released. In 2009 their 2007 vintage won gold at the Great American Beer Festival.

Appearance – 2 finger creamy tan head. Brown/mahogany in color with very nice lacing.

Aroma – Malty and slightly floral with a hint of dark fruit in the background. Caramel.

Taste – Sweet, maybe mocha. slightly bitter. Light hints of fruit.

Mouthfeel – Acidic on the palate. Good booze sting. Medium to heavy bodied ale.

Drinkability – Great beer. Can’t wait to see how it mellows out after maybe a year or two. Great sipper.

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