Brewing my new Un Rayo de Sol oh, oh, oh Session IPA! It’s going to be wonderful: low in alcohol, with mosaic and citra and almond blossom!
BBF 2017! I always thought I’d enjoy being there and hey ho: I thoroughly did! Met a lot of great people, tried a LOT of new beers, what a great weekend! Best moment? Watching the enormous queue for my beer. Hearing people chatter around me “oh look La Cabra Azul, I really want to try this”. And then happy faces as they drank. What more does a brewer want? Not much. Thanks Barcelona, see you next year!
So much you can do with my beer, apart from drinking it! (though I applaud that too!)
Like bake cookies! So here’s my recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Stout & banana biscotti. Here’s the recipe, adapted from Easy as Pie
400 grams of wheat flour – sifted
120 grams of sugar
2 tablespoons of honey (I used local Axarquía honey which comes from almond blossom!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons of Cabra azul Chocky Chocky Goat Oat
3 eggs – my chickens lay small eggs, if you get massive eggs you’ll probably get away with 2
200 grams of raw, unpeeled almonds, I get mine from our own trees and I like to toast them slightly first
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Add the eggs – save a little egg yoke for the end!, honey, lemon zest, stout and mix all the ingredients.
Once you have a crumbly, soft mixture, add the almonds.
Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into 2 logs that are approximately 30 cm (12 inch) long, and 5 cm (2 inch) wide.
Put the logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool.
Using sharp knife, slice rectangles crosswise into 3/4 inch slices. Place back on cookie sheet, dab some egg yoke on them to make them extra super brown, sliced side down, and bake again for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Store in airtight container. Makes a great Christmas gift!
Don’t get too fussy about times or measurements, don’t have lemon zest, use orange. Or grapefruit. Or forget about it. Add some chilies, sprinkle some curcuma. Have fun. I added some moringa. It’s green and looks cool. The only thing I do recommend putting in there is a baking spoon of baking powder!
And have another Chocky Chocky Goat Oat Stout with it. Of course.
Give me an Oude Gueuze or give me Death! I love a good sour. Obviously, I wanted to try my hand at it. So I read up. Asked around. Read some more. Listened to podcasts. Read The Book by Michael Tonsmeire (GREAT book btw and what a lovely man, taking time out to answer all my questions!). Drank a LOT of sours, especially any Berliner Weisse I could get my hands on. And finally I had to stop talking about it and just DO it. So after some serious humming and hawing I did! And I loved it! The whole to-boil-or-not-to-boil question (not!) kettle sour y/n (yes!) etc. I just went ahead and did it. Bit of a conundrum how to keep the wort at a steady 35 C temperature, as the usual suggestion is to use an electric blanket. I live in Southern Spain, I don’t know anyone who even has an electric blanket!
So with a bit of McGyvering I created an Au Bain Marie, got up twice in the middle of the night to check temp, like bottle feeding a baby goat. Brew’s nice and warm. Happy goat. Not a steady anything by a long chalk, but I think it’ll do the trick. Lactic acid to bring down the Ph, 4.2 and going down, soured with WyYeast Lactobacillus Delbrueckii, going to add homegrown emerald hops and almond blossom to the final boil and then in two glorious months it’ll probably be a disaster but wehey, I’ll have brewed my first Berliner!!!! Watch this space….
Exploring the geographies of beer, wine and distilled spirits may be one (quirky) way to promote geographic literacy, by uncovering the hidden geographies in the ordinary and taboo, and connecting the “where” to a given drink.
I know people rag on Facebook, but actually I have made friends I would never have met if it wasn’t for Facebook. Friends I share niche interests with, like medieval castles, unicorn onesies, Eleanor of Aquitaine, straw bale gardening, funny goat pictures, Jane Austen, and of course: BEER! I talk to Han Hidalgo about Beer Cuisine, I talk to Damnoë van Dam about his gorgeous craft beer pictures (seriously cool!) and I chat to The Beer Doctors, aka Dr. Nancy Hoalst Pullen and Dr. Mark Patterson from Henneshaw University in the US, about their wonderful life, traveling around the world, talking and teaching Serious Beer! Almost two years ago the dynamic duo got a grant to fulfill a longheld dream: the Atlas of Beer. What an inspired thought and how honoured I am to be part of it. Thanks guys, I will raise a glass of something hoppy to you!
More about the project: National Geographic Beer Atlas