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Homebrewing Adventures!

3 Jul

Before my car accident a week ago Sunday I planned on brewing up a brew last week. After the accident I wasn’t in a mood to brew and had a lot of insurance calling/emailing to get all my ducks in a row. Due to the holiday (tomorrow is July 4th) I had a few days off this week and decided I would brew not one but TWO beers!

The first I decided would stretch my abilities to build a recipe (made so much easier by the internet and BeerSmith software) and stretch my equipment.I decided to brew two gallons of an Imperial IPA.

Label made with BeerLabelizer.com

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Gender Roles in Toys

13 Feb

I’m not going to claim that I know anything about kids or parenting, but I have always thought that kid’s toys send the wrong message at times.

A couple weeks ago JC and I were out having some adult beverages after an amazing concert of hers. Before heading home we decided to grab a quick bite, and nothing is better quick drunk food than a McDonalds Happy Meal!

It just so happened that they were doing a boy toy and a girl toy. So we got one of each.

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I remember the hot wheels vs Barbies from when I was a kid!

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Both toys came with stickers! But wait a minute. What’s wrong with Barbie?

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She is a doctor, but she seems to be wearing something I would expect from Spencers on Halloween. Look at that skirt! What real doc wears that? Mine sure doesn’t! Well actually that is a good thing because my doctor is a dude.

Also, did you look at the stickers? The boy set is flames and skulls, but for Doctor Barbie? A stethoscope and one of those ear light things as you would expect. But wait, there is more! A pacifier, baby bottle and a brand new baby!

So she is dressed like a stripper doctor and has a baby? Or she is in “her place” taking care of babies? I just don’t get it I guess. Hey little girl, you can be a doctor and take care of babies, but that’s it!

Maybe it is good that I don’t have kids. I’d be buying them all the wrong toys…

Would you like a little rock in your whiskey?

24 Jan

Another of my late (but awesome) Christmas presents from my parents was a set of Whiskey Stones. What are Whiskey Stones? They are rocks that you put in your whiskey of course!

Rocks in my Whiskey

So the idea is simple, ice is made out of water and water is watery and watery things will water down your precious Whiskey! So instead you take polished stones and put them in your freezer. They will then keep your Whiskey chilled while you sip it, but will not water down your precious alcohol.

My Jack Daniels is chillin!

Yesterday I took the opportunity to try out the stones and sure enough I was sipping my Jack Daniels in style. Plus I get to say I have rocks in my Whiskey!

My First Brew!

17 Dec

My last post was about how I had started home brewing and I used a picture of my first ever brew fermenting in my pantry. Here it is again:

My Everyday IPA fermenting

That is from the Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA kit. The kit came with 95% of what I needed to make beer! I mashed, sparged, boiled and then put it in the pantry to ferment (what you see above). After a couple weeks I bottled (which is probably the messiest part) and then the bottles went back into the pantry for two more weeks.

The two weeks ended yesterday, so I popped a couple test glasses in the fridge to chill and finally got to taste the fruits of my labor.

It's Beer!

In my head (after reading many online forums) I imagined flat beer or sour apple tasting beer. I thought for sure that the little yeasts were all dead and there was going to be no head. Well, as you can see it had head!!! Maybe a little over-carbonated, but it had a good aroma and nice lacing as I drank. Best of all, it tasted REALLY good!

You’ll notice the awesome flip top bottle. I happened to have purchased that full of Flensburger beer! I emptied the bottle (into a willing mouth) and then cleaned and sanitized it before filling it back up!

Right now in my pantry I have a custom Festivus Winter Spiced Ale fermenting (with all the good holiday spices in it) and next week I plan to make a recipe I designed called JC’s Strawberry Moon with the famous JC!

Home Brewing

14 Dec

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I mentioned yesterday that I have begun home brewing my own beer! I got an awesome kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop (follow them on twitter @bklynbrewshop) that has started me off. Thanks to their kit, this Friday night I plan on tasting the first ever beer brewed in my apartment!

Their kit made under a gallon of their Everyday IPA and I’m excited to try it.

Thanks to the reusable nature of the kit I immediately jumped in to my second brew. This time I used the Internet and put together a custom recipe for a Winter Spiced Ale. I’m going to call it the Festivus Winter Ale.

My mom also found an awesome home brew shop in Sanford, the Sanford Home Brew Shop! I took a class there and picked up some tricks and tips while brewing two more types of beer.

I got to take home a little over a gallon of beer. A stout and an English Pale Ale. The class was fun and the two teachers were entertaining and knowledgeable! Definitely check them out… If you don’t like beer, they are located next to a German Deli!

I uploaded some photos from my brewing. Check them out!

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Free Glasses from Sam Adams!!!

13 Dec

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You have probably seen the commercials that Sam Adams has designed the “perfect glass” and it is pretty cool.

Well they are giving them away! Just buy a six pack or bigger of any of their brews then text “PERFECT” to 75309. They’ll text back with some questions and you’ll need your birthday and the UPCOMING, but you’ll get back a code for two free glasses! You just have to pay for shipping!

I got mine today. They look cool but are made in Slovenia? Isn’t Sam Adams a big American company? Could they have not made it here??

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But I digress… Free is free and these are pretty darn cool! Check out the pics! Also, if you want a cheap Christmas present for me I’ll take two more!

Great Orlando Beer Festival 2010

20 Apr

This past Saturday JC and I relived one of our early “dates” and had an amazing time. In 2009 shortly after we started dating we attended The Great Orlando Beer Festival at Cranes Roost Park at Uptown Altamonte. 2010’s edition was a month earlier, but was just as good. How it works is that you pay for entry and they give you a wristband and a small plastic cup.

You then walk to any of the many many small tents and have the smiling people from breweries and distributors fill up your cup. Then repeat. And boy did we repeat!

I don’t remember the whole day, I know it was fun and I know I had a LOT of great beer along with some not so great beer and it was a great time. Early in the day I decided to collect beer coasters and every booth that had them I grabbed one (or two if they were different) and put them in my cargo short pockets

When I got home later that day I was in for a big surprise! I ended up with TWELVE coasters. I really thought I had about five, but look at these beauties:

I also remember that there was a booth serving deep fried bacon tossed in hot sauce! Mmmmmmmmmm Beer & Bacon for the win!

So two years in a row we had a great time, which brings up a not so great drinking festival we went to at Cranes Roost, Wine Stock.

Wine Stock was set up the same way as Beer Fest with one major difference…Wine Styles (at Uptown Altamonte) was selling cases of all the wines that were available for testing. This meant less wines and a lot less product. Well before they ended they were running out of wine and the long lines meant that you spent so much time in line it was hard to get going. A sip of wine before standing in line for 10 minutes for another sip of wine just doesn’t cut it.

The Great Orlando Beer Festival did it right and we loved it! We’ll be checking it out again next year and I hope you do to!

Sake by SakeOne

26 Mar

As I’ve told you before I enjoy Woot.com and its sister sites. I’ve purchased many a shirt from Shirt.Woot and gadgets from Woot! What I have never written about is the fact that I have also purchased my fix of wine from Wine.Woot!

The booty!

The booty!

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BJ’s Imported Winter Warmers Beer Tasting and Dinner

14 Mar

On Tuesday March 10th I attended BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Orlando’s Imported Winter Warmers Beer Tasting and Dinner. First question you may have, is why is BJ’s doing a “Winter” event in March in  Florida. I know, it didn’t make the most sense since it was 80+ outside, but I’m not going to turn down a 5 course beer and food dinner!

If you have never been to BJ’s, I recommend you find one and go! Check out my previous review. My parents and Rob joined me at BJ’s for this wonderful meal, and oh boy was it wonderful!

Here is the menu:

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A Sad, Sad Day

11 Jan

My parents, Rob and I are heading down to Busch Gardens Tampa Africa today to have our last turn at Busch Garden’s Brewmaster Club.

As you probably know, a foreign company has purchased the previous “All American” Anheuser-Busch. That company InBev has already started doing what I expected them to do. They are laying off thousands of Americans in order to ship their jobs overseas, they jacked up prices at the theme parks (that they don’t really want) and now are doing away with anything at the park that doesn’t make money. Free beer doesn’t make money…or as they say “it has limited appeal.”

I don’t know about the regular tourist, but I’ve never seen the Hospitality House (at either park) not have a line for the beer and the Brewmaster Clubs have plenty of people getting reservations. That lets me know that the “appeal” isn’t quite so “limited.”

About the money thing, yes, it is free beer. You can get two free cups of the beer of your choice inside the Hospitality House AND you can sign up for the Brewmaster Club which allows a sample of four different types of beer. Each sample is about 1/4 of a beer. So that is three free beers for everyone, but not everyone will take full advantage. Also, there are many AB beers that I had never heard of, nor tasted before my Brewmaster Club experience.

Some of these I have purchased. For example, I currently have Winter Cask Ale, Stone Mill Pale Ale and a variety of Michelob “craft” beers all BECAUSE I went to the Brewmaster club. I absolutely would NOT have purchased these beers had I not sampled them first.

The Busch family wasn’t just giving away free beer, they were giving away a sample as a lure to get you to buy more beer! And it works!