First brew of the year

The Brew I bottled the first brew this season before I left for winter break. When I returned to Atlanta, it was refrigerated and ready to drink. It started as a Mr. Beer Oktoberfest, but I decided to spice it up a little because the base brews tend to lack flavor. To keep with the season, I added 2 tbsp of ground cinnamon and tbsp ground nutmeg to the keg just before adding yeast. In hind sight, I should have used while cinnamon sticks and partly ground nutmeg in a muslin sack and removed them before bottling. Either way, the mixture fermented for about 4 weeks. I chose to let it ferment that long because the average temperature was around 60 deg F. During the bottling process, I tasted the beer, and immediately regretted adding the spices. There was a strange bitter aftertaste that was definitely not hops, and similar to the dry bitterness of a black tea steeped way too long. Not a...
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Aging is Amazing

After the not-so-hot first review of my blonde ale, I let the remaining beer carbonate for an additional week in my closet before being refrigerated. There are not any pictures because the color and clarity are unchanged after additional carbonation. What did change was the sweetness. The extra week allowed the yeast time to ferment the remaining sugars that make the beer overly sweet before. The new flavor profile resembles the American blonde ales I am accustomed to. The result of this extra time also created a highly carbonated brew. Thinking back on my brewing process, the fermentation time was the minimum 7 days, so I expect that my impatience resulted in an incomplete fermentation, which passed unfermented sugars on to the carbonation phase. Coupled with the granulated sugar I added for carbonation, the sugar content made the beer overly sweet when i opened one bottle before carbonation finished and overly carbonated after adequate carbonation time. Overall, this first batch taught...
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Quinoa: it’s what’s for dinner + fresh beer

Don't get me wrong, I like quinoa, but the choices I find are usually limited to a salad with beans, corn, tomatoes, a tangy sauce and a couple unique ingredients. I felt that this season warranted a slightly heavier version of my usual quinoa-based meal. I found a recipe for stuffed poblano peppers with quinoa and chipotle sauce  and decided this is for me. I'm in general a fan of stuffed peppers because they provide an edible container for a whole meal, and are often simple to prepare. The only difficulty I had with the recipe was finding fresh poblano peppers, but Whole Foods came through after 2 other grocery stores. As for the meal itself, I don't think the pictures above do it justice. The meal was hearty with the addition of the pepper and 8oz of goat cheese on top and mixed in the filling. I was easily expecting to eat 2 peppers, but 1 filled me up with the addition of...
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