Beer grains

(sporadic topic blog post, nothing really solid…)

It’s a beautiful day here in Santa Cruz. I really should be out in my garden. But I feel hesitant to plant anything for fear that bad puppy might go dig it up. Our yard is now a barricade. There are ugly wire fences all over the place just to keep her out. I no longer have spinach or strawberries, and my garlic was trampled. The hill I spent so much time cultivating this summer is destroyed, dirt sliding down the hill because bad puppy figured out how to get around the fences. It’s a never ending struggle of fencing it, watching it be jumped over/pushed down/dug under, putting up a new fence/more blockades, then watching Brie figure out how to get around it again. At this point I don’t care how ugly our yard looks, I just don’t want it completely destroyed and torn apart. When it gets a bit warmer I’m just going to buy a bunch of larger bushes and plant them, in hopes that they will keep her out all together. Something pokey maybe.

In other news, the kegged beer isn’t nearly as good as I thought it would be. It’s okay, and better with a squeeze of lemon in it. So I went out and bought a new batch of ingredients and created a saison with chamomile. We’ll see how it goes. I’m pretty excited. I think I’ll periodically use this saison kit and add different stuff to it. I added peaches last time, and didn’t give it enough time to rest, the yeast didn’t eat all the sugar and it went nuts. It exploded the second you opened the bottle. Let’s not let this one go in that direction. I really hope I’ll like it. I do like chamomile, and hopefully this will be a good blend. I thought about adding thyme to the secondary, but I think I’ll just stick with one ingredient to see how it goes. Maybe thyme next time.

It’s interesting how brewing is becoming my thing, not Brandon’s nearly as much. I wonder sometimes if I took it away from him, or if he’s okay with letting me do all the work and getting beer at the end. I’m one for more creative beers, not for ordinary ones. You can’t go to Safeway and get a saison with chamomile. You can, however, get a wheat or an IPA, or a lager. That’s not what I’m interested in. I’ll buy it if I want that kind of beer. It is kind of dangerous having a keg around… it’s hard to realize how much beer you’ve had.

I’m trying to get my beer grain bread to rise. I can’t get bread to rise. I have no idea why. It’s frustrating. But hopefully this one will soon, and I can get some bread out of it. I need to keep coming up with ways to use beer grains. Otherwise they go bad, and I hate waste. I gave some to a friend’s chickens, hopefully they like it. Some is frozen (sooooo much frozen beer grains), some is dried (what does one do with all those dried grains? granola?), and much of it is just in my fridge. I can make veggie burgers, tasty muffins, bread, scones, biscuits, but that’s all so far. I need more ideas.

I’ll go make some apple sauce. I got some tasty apples from the farmer’s market. I love when producers sell the “not pretty” ones for half price. I don’t care how pretty my apple is, I can cut out the bruised section. Especially if I’m making something out of them. Hm… apple turnovers? I made lots of apple butter, so tasty. I’m going through the fig jam, can’t wait until we get more of that. I will go pick as many figs as possible for that.

I’m anxious for summer to get here. I want it to dry out, I want things to grow, I want it to be warm. For now, I can battle the puppy in the yard and see who wins. Ok applesauce, here I come.

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