Saturday, July 11, 2015

Brews: Ginger Beer

Brewing my own beer is on my bucket list, but this post is not a bucket list post.  This is my first "Brews" post.  These will be used to talk about any alcohol related adventures that do not relate to my list.  Although this ginger beer was alcoholic I decided it did not count as brewing my own beer, as it was not the same process.  To start with, I ordered a kit off of Etsy from Sandy Leaf Farm:


Photo by Poison Megz

The kit contained nearly everything needed to brew your own batch of ginger beer, save for the containers, water, sugar, and an optional lemon.  The first step was to grow your ginger plant in a sterilized jar. (So really the first step was to sterilize a jar.) 

Photo by Poison Megz

I just used a jam jar I had.  After it is sterilized and rinsed then you added water, ginger, sugar, and that optional lemon juice.  I actually added a squeeze of fresh orange juice as that was what I had on hand.  The jar gets covered with muslin and a rubber band (or bright pink hair tie...you know, whatever you have.)  You feed it with ginger and sugar every day for a week.
Photo by Poison Megz

After those seven days are up you take a much larger container to use for fermentation, sterilize that, add a bunch of water, more sugar, the remaining ginger, and the ginger plant.  That gets covered with the muslin cloth and a rubber band.  In my case a stretchy hair tie, because I do not have giant rubber bands laying around.

Photo by Poison Megz

So that gets to ferment at room temperature for three days.  At the end of those three days you need a funnel and a sterilized 2 liter bottle. (or if you're me and somehow made too much, you need extra bottles.)  Line a funnel with a muslin cloth and pour your ginger beer into the bottle leaving about 2 inches of room.  Squeeze the air out of the bottle so the ginger beer reaches the top and screw the lid on.  Leave out until the bottles become rigid from the buildup of Carbon Dioxide.  At that point you can let the gases escape and refrigerate to drink when cold or you can squeeze the air out again for a dryer result.  I squeezed the air out a few times before refrigerating.
Photo by Poison Megz

And then when it's cold you get to drink it! The instructions say if it's too dry to add some more sugar.  It was a bit bitter so I stirred some sugar in to each glass I had.  I would definitely add a ton more ginger next time because I am a ginger ADDICT and it did not have enough of that ginger bite for me. It was nommy though.
Photo by Poison Megz

I also had a glass of it with some ice and bourbon added in which was delicious. Ginger beer+Bourbon=Soulmates.  All in all it was a slow but delicious adventure.  Plus it was really neat to be drinking something that I made.  The kit was really easy to use, so I recommend it if you want to give this a shot! You can also keep the ginger plant growing repeatedly so you have a new batch every 10 days or so.  I chose not too due to a lack of space, but that certainly makes the kit worth the cost (which is not even that high to begin with.)

xoxo
Poison Megz


Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Bucket List: Plant A Tree + Summer Items

June was a busy month for my bucket list mission.  I completed several items off of my summer list as well as one off of my main list.  First up I planted a tree, two trees technically but the 2nd was not planted until July 1st.  The first tree that was planted was a dwarf fruit cocktail tree. It will eventually grow 6 total varieties of stone fruit including peach, plum, apricot, and nectarine.  It's just a twig with roots now but I am very excited to watch it grow.  Here is my mini monster with our twig the day we planted it.
Photo by Poison Megz

It does not look like much now but this little tree is very special to me.  It's a long commitment and I am happy to have planted it with my partner and the mini monster.  As of yesterday it already has some new growth on it too!
Photo by Poison Megz

Tiny little green shoots! Huzzah! In less than a week I was already able to watch our tree grow.  The second tree we planted will live inside during the cold months and was planted in a container.  It is a 3-in-1 dwarf citrus tree that will produce lemons, oranges, and tangerines.  This one is a bit more substantial already!
Photo by Poison Megz

Now for what was accomplished off of the summer bucket list!

There has been a lot of gardening this year and in June I was able to start an herb garden.  I chose to put all my herbs in pots on the porch so they were easy to access from the house.  My little herb garden contains basil, thyme, dill, cilantro, rosemary, chervil, oregano, parsley and chives.  I already have a few little sprouts! Meet my baby basil sprouts! 
Photo by Poison Megz

I also made beer can chicken.  I used a local-ish beer.  Tin Man Brewing Company's Rosenweiss.  It was delicious!  So moist and flavorful.  I was really proud of myself for pulling every step of it off myself, from yanking the giblets out, to rubbing the seasoned butter under the skin, to roasting it perfectly.  The only thing I had help with was putting it in the oven and taking it out.  This was purely because of my high levels of klutziness and how sad it would have been to lose the chicken to the floor.  Here is the before shot as it was getting ready to go in the oven.
Photo by Poison Megz

What a beautiful bird! you know when something looks and smells delicious before it starts cooking that it is going to be oh so tasty.  And now for the glorious after photo!
Photo by Poison Megz

Praise be to the mighty chicken G-d!  Look at that crispy skin!  So crispy that it released the oranges from their prison!  It was good. I mean it was really good.  Chicken can be seriously boring and sad.  This chicken was happy and fun.  And moist, so moist.  The pan however has gone through three or four scrub sessions and still will not come clean.  So maybe put some tinfoil down if you are going to do this in the oven like I did.  Go make a beer can chicken right meow.  Bonus tip! A tall can will hold your chicken up better.

Now I did also brew my own ginger beer, and it used brewer's yeast.  I'm not counting that as brewing my own beer for this list BUT I will be posting that experience in the near future as well.  Keep an eye out for further kombucha attempts as well.  

Have you crossed anything off your bucket list lately?  Any ideas for mine? Leave me a comment!  I am always searching for a new experience.

Until next time my dears remember to Live Life Decadently!
xoxo
Poison Megz