Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"where she's from the birds sing a pretty song"

Kwe!

"Kwe" is an eastern Algonquian way to say hello. "Kwe", instead of, "Hello English people", would have been the greeting Tisquantum would have spoken to the Puritans if he hadn't learned English during his prior enslavement.
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Happier news: girlfriend chuggans made a cake for election night (yes, I know that was a while ago).

Here it is:

Also, she hinted at there being a "democratic surprise" inside. This was my favorite part.









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This Sunday I brewed an experimental batch of beer. It was made with brewing leftovers: Peat smoked, roasted and flaked barley malts (not malts one would traditionally use to constitute an entire recipe), and a portion of vienna malt. It is my first attempt at designing a recipe and I must say that doing so is crazy hard! There is math involved. I soon found that the calculations in the math hardly mattered because my brewing method was so imprecise. I tried to mash on an electric stove in a single kettle in an attempt to have a greater amount of control over the process, but electric stoves are not designed with temperature control in mind. I want a gas stove. Here are pictures of what happened:
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I have no idea of how to format these posts better, sorry.

So what you see: Mashing,
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), the yeast, and the beer! Flavored with the citrusy and tannic evergreen Hemlock, and made of black, smoky malts, this brew evokes the dark spirits living in our woods. It is called Black Lodge (Chuggan's suggestion). Hemlock has been used by settlers for its high vitamin c content to ward off scurvy and by natives for brewing a soothing tonic. I used it for there ain't no hops and thought it might complement the rough flavors. It sure does, and this beer lives up to its name. It tasted thick and evil, though not necessarily bad... I think I used too much hemlock because when I tasted it, it made me feel a little dizzy.