Dyke March

Hopefully everyone had a chance to check out the Dyke March yesterday. It is really one of the coolest events of the year in San Francisco and still one of the lesser known.

The best sign was on the back of a little red wagon and read “I Love My 2 Mommies.” That one brought tears to my eyes. One row of women held a banner containing a single word, “IMPEACH.” They also had the letters written on the tops of their parasols so the message could be clearly seen from in front, behind, and overhead. The children’s swimming pool filled with young adults with “Wet 4 Dykes” written in lipstick across their backs was fun and silly and set on the sidewalk by 18th and Guerrero. A children’s pool on the sidewalk is a rare sight on a city street!

It is hard to put into words why the Dyke March is so cool. It is an event that hits everyone in a different way so it comes down to being a complicated answer based on personal experience. In many ways it is an emotional response first, with the logic and words necessary to attempt to describe it coming later. It only comes around once a year so if you missed it this year make a point to go next year.

The day of the march is all about the dykes. The rally now lasts a few hours, with speakers, bands, and other performers. It is amazing to think how fast this country has changed in terms of gay acceptance. It took so much longer for women to gain the privilege of voting, or for people of African descent to be treated equally, or to bring on the 8 hour workday and get children out of the factories. Citizens have died to win their rights and make a better future for everyone who comes along after them, and in this climate of polarized opinions it is important to remember that democracy is an experiment in which we are all participants and will never be “perfect.” This is all the more reason to stay involved!

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Published in: on June 25, 2007 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brew For The Future

Please remember that you are always brewing beer that will be consumed in the future. The quickest beer is 5 weeks away, 6 weeks if you want it to taste better. Other than pale ales and wheat beers, most beers taste better with a little extra aging. The rule is the more alcohol you want in the beer the longer you have to wait for it to age. And dark roasted grains take longer to round out than the lighter roasted grains, so porters and stouts need more aging than lighter beers.

Also, part of the aging process is the melding of flavors and the rounding out of the hops and the yeast. Young beer has “hop bite” and “yeast bite.” If you taste your beer when transferring from primary to secondary you know what these terms mean. Tasting again at bottling time is mandatory in order to chart the progression of flavor.

Soups, stews, and sauces all taste better the day after they are made. Give them just a little more time and the flavor improves. Scotch ales, big Belgians, Barleywines, you’re looking at 6 months minimum, over a year and longer is better. Porters and stouts and big IPAs are certainly less, but we recently served up some 3 year old pale ale that was discovered in the basement, or “beer cellar” and it was surprisingly delicious. If it hadn’t disappeared so quickly we would offer everyone to come in for a taste!

Don’t be fooled by the big advertising budgets. Any beer that needs to be drunk immediately needs an immediate explanation as to why. Filtering beer removes an awful lot of the flavor and if the brewer(y) tells you the beer needs to be consumed right away then, like everything, ask why. Children understand this and as adults we sometimes forget. Why Why Why???

A six week old hefeweizen is better than a 6 month old hefeweizen but it is the exception rather than the rule. Eventually everyone wants to know why they cannot brew 30 day beer and hopefully this explains why.

Published in: on June 24, 2007 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wandering Jew

Will the inattentive populace be further confused now that Ed Jew is in the news? After China he visited the West Bank, didn’t see that in the news. Perhaps the name should be changed for a little while to “The Nightly Jews” and we can have full on reality tv segments of Ed Jew showering at work, tirelessly advocating for his constituency, and sleeping….somewhere.

Is Jew sensitive to the plight of the Jews? Will he address the complexities of modern Jewish life? How many Jews supported Jew during his run for office? Does he incorporate flowers into his own life or does he sell them in order to beautify others’ homes? Does he place them in his own home(s)?

Does Ed Jew brew? Managing water flow is a component of brewing. Ask any of the back-to-the-landers about brewing away from the source. They’ll tell you about pumping it in, or some very long hoses with attachments. The Jew Brew is presumably made with genuine San Francisco Hetch Hetchy water with, for some inexplicable reason, chloramine added. Nice stable chloramine.

Why is chloramine added to San Francisco water? Chloramine will kill fish in an aquarium so why is it in our drinking water and we are told it is safe? Can Supervisor Jew help us have it removed from our water supply?

There is a huge aquifer under Palestine that is siphoned off to Israel, is it treated with any chemicals along the way, or is it used “al dente?”

Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 11:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer Solstice Newsletter II

Recipe Of The Month(Fat Tire Style Ale)

”Too Many Pork Chop” Amber Ale
Partial Mash:

* 6 1/2lbs Malt Extract
* 1 1/2lbs Munich Malt
* 1/2lb Belgian Special B
* 1/4lb Oats
* 1 oz Northern Brewer Hops
* 1 oz Willamette Hops
* White Labs Belgian Ale Yeast
* 1/2 oz Coriander Seed

We also have an all grain version.
This is a mellow Belgian style ale that would be good with Bar-B-Que and watching fireworks or up on a mountain top contemplating your navel. You might wonder why it’s called ”Too many pork chop” amber ale. Come on into the store and I’ll tell you the story if you ask.

Brewing Tip
During the hot summer months, you don’t want the ambient temperature in your brewing room to get much hotter than 75F. Here is an inexpensive way to keep your beer between 68F-72F. Go to your local hardware store or home depot and buy a cheap tub(5$-$8). Place your fermentor in the tub of water. Now get an old beach towel wrap it around the fermentor position the towel in such a way that one corner of the towel is wicked in the water. That’s all there is to it. The way it works is just like an evaporative cooler. The towel through capillary action will get wet and as the water evaporates it will cool your fermentor. All you have to do is replenish the water once or twice a day. Any questions call Griz.

Another Beer Recipe
Here is a suggestion for a great refreshing summer ale that was given to me by a friend brewer at Rogue Brewing Company. This beer is called Chamo-mellow. The recipe is as follows:

* 5lbs Dry Pale Extract
* 2lbs Vienna Malt
* 1/2lb Oats
* 1oz Hallertau Hersbrucker Hops
* White Labs California IV Ale or Nottingham dry yeast
* 1/4lb Fresh Chamomile

This beer is put together just like any other beer with the addition of 1 pint of fresh brewed strong chamomile tea added to the secondary fermentor, super easy to do. Call Griz for the details. This beer will make you horny and sleepy at the same time. You won’t know to shit or go blind.

Published in: on June 21, 2007 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Free Kegging System

It’s not too late to enter to win the free kegging system. It’s a $250 value and all you have to do is come into the store, no purchase necessary, and guess Griz’s weight. Deadline July 12th. No fine print here, we will even explain proper use of the system and answer any future kegging questions when they arise.

While we are at it, the term “cask conditioned” just means natural carbonation produced by yeast rather than force-carbonating. Forcing CO2 into the keg will certainly carbonate your beer quickly but the flavor profile of cask conditioned beer is superior. Yeast is a scavenger and will scrub out any impurities and imbalances. To test this yourself, next time you are at the brewpub, order the same beer on draft and one cask conditioned and see what you think.

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 6:36 pm  Comments (1)  

Ed Jew’s Surrender Brew

Ed Jew surrendered to the police today and was released on $135,000 bail. His lawyer is correct when he says that he has seen drug dealers treated with more respect than Mr. Jew. Make that one of his lawyers, there appear to be two different lawyers working on Ed Jew’s many problems.

First off he is being asked to submit more information proving his residency in the district he was elected to represent in San Francisco, because on the surface it appears he lives elsewhere. He is also under investigation for allegedly accepting cash in exchange for helping some businessmen obtain permits from the city. At least that is the speculation, as the FBI never discloses information regarding ongoing investigations.

He now has two days to comply with the request to prove his residency, and if he can clear that up he can sit back and relax and wait to see if the FBI files any charges. Good luck Ed!

As a side note, there is a movement to recall Supervisor Jake McGoldrick because he supported closure of a short stretch of road in Golden Gate Park on Saturdays. Imagine if the recall crowd lived in Supervisor Jew’s district…

Published in: on June 15, 2007 at 11:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stop & Go

How has it come to pass that drivers in California stop first before turning on their directionals? Hazards, blinkers, flashers, turn signals. Everyone has a favorite name for this standard piece of automobile equipment. Rather low tech in this world of heated side mirrors and trunk cd players, or the heating systems built into seats that have options on them like Barcaloungers. What’s with televisions and dvd players inside cars? Is it impossible for passengers to be entertained by watching the world go by on the other side of the glass? Or talking to each other? Socializing is an important lesson for kids to learn, and they seem to be the target audience for all the video in the cars. Some of them even listen in headphones to the dvd players as the car moves, now there is some technology at work! Hook’em young will never go out of style.

Signalling which direction you plan to go seems like a pretty simple common courtesy. Nobody wants their car to be plowed into from behind, so why not let them know where you are going? Have some unresolved grudge against them? Trying to contribute just a little to someone’s future road rage episode? It is also common to hear the word “hate” used by complaining drivers. Hate is a strong word, maybe driving is inherently negative to the human spirit. How often does anyone feel love for their fellow drivers?

Included in the driver’s education booklet when I first learned to drive was a question on what distance before a turn the signal should be activated. The correct answer was 200 feet. The answer “Stop first, then signal” was not correct. I would like to point out this doesn’t apply to confused tourists or anyone unfamiliar with driving in Northern California. Everyday drivers in the Bay Area employ the technique, and sometimes a slight variation when no stop is involved, which is to turn the signal on with the same motion of the hands while beginning to negotiate the turn. If the vehicle is actively turning, the signal is unnecessary.

Driving styles develop differently in different regions and this particular blinker usage is interesting. How did it become generally accepted practice?

Published in: on June 15, 2007 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer Solstice Newsletter I

Happy Summer To One And All from S.F. Brewcraft!

We wish for you to enjoy the fruits of adventure and freedom that the spirit of summer provides.
Another reminder this is the absolute last chance you have to brew for Burning Man. Also don’t procrastinate. Start on your fall, winter and holiday ales as soon as possible so they will be ready in time. If you need some ideas call or stop in the store.

Most of you regular customers either know or have seen our own Rev Jackson (the guy with the dreadlocks down to the floor). We are very sorry to say that he is now brewing full time for Pizza Orgasmica. Our loss will definitely be their gain. We will sincerely miss his spirit and expertise. He was and will remain one of our very best friends. Head on down to Pizza Orgasmica and try his great beers and eat some of their great pizza.

While we’re on this subject, when you come into the shop tell us about your favorite brewpub grub and in particular we would like to hear about brewpubs with patios. If you give us any hot tips we will mention it in the next newsletter and give you credit for the tip. Plus we’ll give you a 5% discount on your order.

Remember the drawing for the complete kegging system will be on July 12th so you still have plenty of time to come in and put in your guess on Griz’s weight. No purchase necessary, one chance per visit.

For all you folks that are curious about all-grain brewing, Eric has already completed a successful class and we are writing this newsletter on June 6th and we will be having another all grain brewing session tomorrow, June 7th. More are scheduled in the very near future. Let us know if you have any interest in all grain brewing. The way we are going to run these sessions is as follows: the night before the actual brew, we will have an introductory session that will last about 45 minutes and we will give you an overall picture and introduction to all grain brewing. The next day we will actually brew a 10 gallon batch and rather than you watch you will participate and help with the brew. We have found this is the best and clearest way to learn all grain brewing. We can tell you that all grain brewing really is not all that complicated. It has more to do with technique than volumes of arcane knowledge. The point being it is way less complicated than you think it is and nothing to be afraid of.

We are trying to improve our service to our customers so we really need to know what you’re suggestions are to us accomplish this. So don’t be afraid to give us suggestions(be gentle). Let us know what you’re needs are.

Published in: on June 15, 2007 at 5:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pine-Spruce Beer

Pine or spruce flavorings are semi common still to this day. For example, several years ago Anchor’s holiday ale had spruce essence in it. So it is entirely possible. I don’t know if I would personally use pine or spruce for the sole flavoring in a beer. The danger is if you use too much it gives the beer a terpetiney pine sol like flavor and tastes medicinal. The way I would go about doing this is either buy a spruce essence and add a small amount to the secondary fermentor. Then taste it when you bottle. If it’s not strong enough with the spruce add a little more to your taste. Then you can get it about where you want it. This is the safe way to do it. Because if you add to much spruce at the beginning there’s no way to take it back out. If you want to use fresh pine or spruce call and ask for Griz and he’ll explain it to you. By the way if you happen to use too much spruce and it doesn’t taste good it can be used as a “pecker disinfectant.” 🙂
Very stimulating. Any further questions don’t hesitate to either call at 415 751 9338/800 513 5196 or email us.

Cheers!

Griz

Published in: on June 4, 2007 at 5:04 pm  Comments (1)  

2007 Colorado State Fair Homebrew Competition

This is an American Homebrewers Association sanctioned competition. Mail off some beers and maybe you will win a medal! Better yet, wrap a vacation around the state fair and have some fun. If you are going, check out Foamfest too. Here is the link.

Published in: on June 4, 2007 at 4:21 pm  Leave a Comment