Big Benny's DryPA – single hop (Centennial) IPA

I brewed again this weekend trying to build up my stock after the three year hiatus. I started with the Dead Ringer IPA recipe from Northern Brewer, but went a bit higher on malt color and extract amount. The name is from the single hop that I used with a bit of a stretch (Centennial = 100, Benjamin Franklin on $100) and I’m dry hopping as well as using a well attenuating yeast (Safale US-05), of which I pitched two packets.
I’m fermenting in a 7.5gal carboy and will rack after a week into a 5gal carboy for a two or three week secondary before bottling. Continue reading “Big Benny's DryPA – single hop (Centennial) IPA”

Rebrewing … getting back into the hobby

You may have read my post regarding a Perry and read that I’m going to start brewing again. Here’s the long story and my next steps.
Due to my wife’s job(s), we have had to relocate three times in three years.  We were living in Blacksburg, VA for 4 years.  I had an awesome brewing setup.  I had an entire basic kitchen in my basement along with a double miller sink (stove, fridge, kitchen sink, cabinets, drawers, and the double miller sink) as well as a great cellar for fermenting and even lagering in the winter months. When we had to pack up and move to Raleigh, NC all the brewing gear got shoved in a shed or closet where we lived.
Since I know that was a short term arrangement, I never got around to brewing. Likewise a year later when we moved to Ithaca, NY; where we only lived for 10 months. Continue reading “Rebrewing … getting back into the hobby”

What to do with all these pears … Make a Perry (and some preserves)!

We have a pear tree. No idea what variety, but they are hard pears and were turning yellow and rotting in the center so we decided they were ripe enough to harvest. We ended up with about 35 lbs. of pears. I did some searching online and I think we have Green Anjou, but we can’t really be certain.
My wife, Stacie, picked the really nice looking ones and is packing them in saw dust to soften so she can eat them (pears are her favorite fruit). I took the middle of the crop and made pear preserves with a very light syrup. This was challenging as there were lots of bad spots that were found once I pealed the pears so some of the medium sized pears were the size of walnut halves once peeled, cored, and the bad spots cut off.
I took the remainder of the pears and made a pear wine, which even though it’s technically not a Perry, (which is either a pear mead or a sparkling pear fermented pear juice and mine (recipe below) has a lot of added water and table sugar), I’m going to call it that as it has a nice ring to it. Continue reading “What to do with all these pears … Make a Perry (and some preserves)!”

BBQ Sauce is like religion…

zzsauceMy mother recently told a friend of hers that I made great BBQ sauce (and BBQ to boot).  Her friend sent me an e-mail and asked for the recipe so I responded with this e-mail.
Sorry this is late.  I hope I didn’t miss the BBQ.
I love BBQ.  It’s a passion of mine.  My father and I have our disagreements regarding BBQ, and everyone I know thinks I’m right (of course).  For instance, I did a pork shoulder (boston butt) for pulled pork last weekend when he was in town.  I put it on the grill at 8pm on Friday night and we had it for dinner at 6pm the next day.  I do it low-and-slow as to slowly cook the meat and make sure it’s not dry.  I don’t peek at BBQ when it’s cooking, it’s BBQ, not a peep show.  I don’t baste it.  Just a bit of rub and 220 degrees for 20 hours or so until it’s done.  In fact Julia said, “This is the best BBQ I’ve ever had.”  My father said, “But it’s too moist.”  Now, any BBQ connoisseur would laugh at that (as we did).  I think he’s just jealous that I cook my BBQ for 20 hours to perfection while he is in a rush and his is a bit dry after 6 hours in a blast furnace.  Now, I will admit that his pork is pretty damn good….but my pork is better!
Continue reading “BBQ Sauce is like religion…”