The Irish in Me

Last weekend we had some of Katy’s friends from work over to have a early St. Patrick’s Day party (I’m getting too old to do it on a work night I guess).  So I made Irish soda bread and Irish stew, I also made two special beers for the occasion, one being a traditional dry Irish stout and the other being a English pale ale.  This party also gave me the opportunity to try out my new cask ale jockey box that I recently made, so far I am delighted with the results, now lets just hope it holds up for the Cask Fest in a couple of weeks.  St. Patrick’s day always makes me reflect back on our trip to Ireland, I keep thinking I need to get back one of these days.

Speaking of our trip to Ireland, one of the foods I remember eating the most of in Ireland was Italian of all things so today instead of making the not so traditional corned beef and cabbage I decided to make spaghetti sauce from scratch.  Added a little Italian sausage and I must say it turned out quite tasty.  Katy sent me a recipe for beer and molasses bread today so I thought I’d give that a whirl as well.  I like molasses so I upped the molasses addition a bit and lowered the white sugar to get a little more of that molasses taste.  Oh man is this a good bread and it is way easy to make, it sort of reminds me of Otis Cafe’s black molasses bread, not quite as good but close.  The thing I like is that this isn’t a yeast bread so there is no need for prior planning, and it uses beer which is something I’m always trying to use up since there’s a lot around.  I’ll be making this one again simplyrecipes.com is turning out to be one of my favorite recipe sites.

By the way sorry for the sparse posting it’s been hard to find motivation to blog lately, just isn’t much in the way of excitement right now.

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Homebrew School

Today I hosted a private brew school for some of Katy’s coworkers.  We did a lot of BSing and had a lot of fun, and yet we still made beer (well assuming it turns out alright).  I’ve, over time, become of the school of thought that there is no need to stress too much about making beer, people get too intense about it when in reality it’s not rocket science, just brew and have fun doing it.  I like demystifying beer making for people, if people knew how truly easy it is I’m sure more would do it.

So today we made a Robust Porter, I’m calling it PNNL Porter after the company that Katy and her coworkers work for.  I did get most of this recipe from a clone brew book but I changed it up with things I had on hand, I also kind of guessed the hop additions on the fly, but from experience I know that it should work.  I haven’t done an extract batch in a long time so it was kind of nice to go back to such an easy process. The recipe is as follows.

PNNL Porter

IBU: 27

OG:1.059

FG:1.014

5 gal batch

60min boil

Malt

7lbs golden light liquid malt extract

12oz crystal 60

10oz coffee malt

8oz roasted barley

Hops

1oz Cascade 60min

.75oz Cascade 10min

Yeast

Fermetis Safale-04 Whitbread English Ale