Monday, May 25, 2009

Create Beer/Great Bear

Yesterday Neil and walked across the Williamsburg bridge enjoying the sun and walked up Bedford avenue (with several detours). There is something about the low rise buildings and the vibrant, youthful neighborhood feeling that I just love. Mostly we fantasized about houses we'd like to own and how we'd fix them up. We went down North Third street and visited the Mast Brothers and bought an almond dark chocolate and sea salt chocolate bar, then went by and checked out the action at Relish, but didn't stay for food. They have a great big back yard for dining in the Summer, I just wish they had more concern for quality ingredients, no organic anything here, nor anything local as far as I can tell from reading the menu.

It's such a wonderful old diner, I really enjoyed the vibe when I ate there, but when I'm in Williamsburg surrounded by restaurants that prize locally sourced meats, cheeses, produce and artisanal local cheeses the choice is easy, quality over vibe any time. Besides you can go to Diner and get pretty much the same feel with food that is not straight from the factory.

Back on Bedford Ave we went into this retro flea market type store called Ugly Luggage
and there before me was a carboy, which as I recently learned is a large multi gallon glass or plastic container with a narrow opening. Neil was not so convinced: "it's a water cooler jug"
In my excitement I countered: "no it's not look here it says right on it create beer". Carboys being used for wine and beer fermentation mostly.

Well that what you get for reading upside down with out your glasses, indeed it was a water jug and it says on it Great Bear which used to be (and may still be) a spring water company. The good news is that it doesn't matter, apparently the same qualities needed for a water cooler are the ones needed for fermentation.

The reason I've wanted one is that months ago I saw a recipe on a site called homegrown.org which I am a member of on how to make probiotic soda's. It captured my imagination, home made burdock sarsaparilla soda, ginger ale, cola, root beer and ginger beer all naturally fermented, low in sugar and probiotic to boot! So exciting I can't wait. I tool my ginger starter out from the fridge this morning and will see tomorrow if it's still good or if I'll have to start again.

Meanwhile that 10 grain bread I was trying to make, I had to add more water and more yeast and then today I stir up the foaming mixture and added more flour. Not really feeling great about it, but I kneaded it into a loaf and am going to let it sit for most of today to see if there is enough yeast action going on to let it double in bulk.

Off to the market to see if I can find some tarragon, I have this crazy idea about Asparagus pickles...

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