Fruit Wines

This is harvest time for all the stone fruits as well as wine grapes. If you ever wanted to experiment with fruit wines or regular wines, now is the time. This year’s growing season was perfect, and the horn of plenty is overflowing with all kinds of sweet goodness.

Pick one (or two or ten) of your favorite fruits and ferment them out and see what happens. You will more than likely be very happy with the result. It’s easier than you think.

Published in: on September 20, 2007 at 12:59 am  Leave a Comment  

The Jints

Went to see the Giants tonight. They have it all figured out. In between batters and innings there is always a song appropriate for the moment, mostly songs from the rock world. If you polled the general public to see how many AC/DC fans there were, what do you think the percentage would be? Go to a Giants game and they are blaring out the AC/DC at everybody.

What is AC/DC’s favorite beer? Do they really drink Foster’s at home or do they drink Young’s Ales from England? 300 days on the road for 20 years, maybe they don’t even drink anymore.

Somebody knows the answer to this question. Joey D, the Human Trivia Machine? Joe O’Keefe? Joey Oey? Someone somewhere is playing Van Halen right now! Believe it.

Yea to the Giants. Beer is $8.25 per plastic cup. Sorry Walter. At that rate, you could buy the recommended half glass kit to brew your own beer at home for the cost of 12 cups, not counting tips for the beer or tax on the kit. Barry Bonds! I need the ball breaking record breaking ball.

Please support your local baseball team, futbol team, hockey team, basketball, badminton, brewers, all the b sports. Please support your local musicians, dancers, theatres, artists, merchants.

Published in: on September 15, 2007 at 1:09 am  Comments (1)  

Delusions of Greendeur

One more example of trying to feel good without making any changes whatsoever. A desk chair today with an oversized glossy tag stating how the chair was constructed with “green” foam. The quotation marks are there on the green-colored tag. “Green” foam, the tag explains, is foam made from recycled materials that would have otherwise been sent to the landfill.

No mention of the pleather used to upholster the chair, or the source of the metal frame, or the plastic caster rolling wheels, or the screws used to keep it all together. Just the “Grren” foam, and an oversized tag providing all this information and a little bit more. How the manufacturer, along with the purchasers of the chair, are greening the world, “one chair at a time.”

Oh doesn’t this make you feel good about your new purchase? For about one second until your brain wakes up and you question any of this nonsense. How long do you suppose these chairs will last? Will our grandchildren be recycling them into new “green” products? The quotes once again because if it was beyond question the quotes would be unnecessary. Where do the boxes the chairs were shipped in go? To the landfill or to be recycled again and again?

This barely even qualifies as critical thinking. No piece of brand new furniture purchased for $59 can be realistically expected to last very long. So this rolly “green” foam swivel chair will not find its way into the landfill for a few years beyond when the foam padding alone would have been dumped, presumably. Way to go Earth People!

Published in: on September 14, 2007 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Here and Now

Quote for the Week:

“The stage is now set for direct competition for grain between the 800 million people who own automobiles, and the world’s 2 billion poorest people.”

Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute speaking at a briefing to the US Senate two weeks ago.

Feed The Hungry At The Gas Pump

* Automakers roughly doubled the fuel economy of cars between the 1970s and the late 1980s. In other words, the “know-how” has been here for a long time.
* Over the past 20 years, automakers have used advancements in technology to add more than 800 pounds to the average vehicle and nearly double horsepower, while fuel economy has declined. Be smart about what you drive.
* The grain required to fill a 25 gallon gas tank with ethanol would feed one person for a year. Every time you fill your tank, think about biking, walking, mass transit or just relaxing at home.
* Next year, 30% of U.S. corn will be used for ethanol. Instead, the same amount of fuel could be saved by increasing average fuel efficiency by just three miles per gallon. Let your Representatives and Senators know that you support strong fuel efficiency standards and a wholesale conversion of U.S. transportation, utilities, and agriculture to renewable sources of energy.

Remember, printed letters currently count as 10,000 voters who feel the same way and don’t write, phone calls count for less, and emails count for about 10 disenfranchised voters. Print some letters today!

Published in: on September 5, 2007 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  


Has everyone seen the band shell in the Panhandle? It could be temporary or it could remain in place, or be moved. It is so well constructed it deserves a permanent home. It is even wheelchair accessible. Reduce Reuse Recycle. The water bottle backdrop is the only part that would budge even an inch in an earthquake. All those lag bolts may outlive the painted ladies.

How about the big head in Golden Gate Park? Pretty unnerving the first time it peers out! Viewed from the Rose Garden it looks like a purple yurt. The Hayes Valley Miniature Golf? Always a new piece of city history to learn. The two rustaceously curvaceously ladies on the Embarcadero… Life is ever changing.

Burning Man is bringing it home and making everyday life more interesting. Some people will look at the bandshell and see the performance, others will see the car hoods, others the wood, the chalk on the sidewalk. Enjoy it every day!

Published in: on August 19, 2007 at 12:47 am  Leave a Comment  


Congratulations Alberto Contador! Team Discovery won the Tour in an unusual fashion this year and it is perfectly fitting that it was a youngster who represents the future of the sport. Certainly Disco was the strongest team, placing three riders in the top ten.

On the last day of the Tour what do we get from the Chronicle? Profiles of the kayakers who will be attempting to catch the home run ball hit by Barry Bonds. Fascinating news, thank you for such wonderful coverage. No matter though, this was the day for all the riders who survived this year’s race to ride into Paris and celebrate the fact that they made it. Many didn’t, and some dropouts were better publicized than others.

After three weeks and over 2,000 miles of racing, a mere 23 seconds separated first place from second, and just 8 seconds between second and third. What an odd race this year, with so many scandals and whole teams being ejected, vampire riders drinking blood to gain some sort of advantage. Where will it end? Will it ever end? Fifty years ago caffeine was the drug of choice for many athletes, cyclists included. Now science has changed the way athletes attempt to gain a competitive advantage, and science is also providing new tests to detect these substances in the body.

If any of the other sports decide to test their athletes as rigorously as bicycling we may see some interesting results. Until then we have endless speculation and flat denials and no proof one way or the other. And probably more well paid guinea pigs than we can imagine.

In the meantime we can toast a beverage of our choosing (homebrew is the obvious choice, but any beverage will do) toward France and honor the riders who survived the 2007 Tour de France. A gigantic Thank You to the sponsors for another exciting race.

Published in: on August 2, 2007 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

SF Brewcraft Summer Newsletter III(pt2)

Everyday is a Good Day for Wine Equipment
Anybody with perplexing wine problems or questions please address your questions to Tucker online including your phone number and he will either write you an answer or call you up. While we’re on wine, the prices of wine equipment have gone up quite a bit because the Euro is really high against the dollar and most of the wine equipment comes from Portugal or Italy.
We now have in stock two brand new motorized stemmer/crushers that we are asking $450.00 for. During the wine season these will cost $600.00 plus. We also have one manual stemmer/crusher suitable for small wine crushes(1000lbs of grapes or less) for $300.00. These will go up in price by Aug 20th.
For you wine makers out there, we have both Lalvin and Red Star wine yeast and all the wine making chemicals, acid test kits, SO4 titration kits, refracto meters, etc. Remember to start getting ready now for the season because once it starts sometimes it’s to late. Be sure to call or email Tucker with any questions.
We have gotten the wine vinegar mothers back in stock and they are $10.50 for a little chunk of mother if you excuse the expression.

Anybody that comes in and talks to Eric with an Italian, New Jersey or Rhode Island accent will get 10% off their order.

Bon Voyage
This is a big congratulations for Griz’s life long friend Steven Schain who just retired from 30 years of being an outstanding and influential English teacher in Durango Colorado. Steven, I Love Ya. Enjoy your retirement.

The new employee of the month here is Andre Sanchez. You will recognize him when you come in. He’s the big teddy bear who I think looks like Bluto. Andre is truly one of the nice guys in the world even if he is a total mess.

Recipe of the Month
In the spirit of the Dog Day’s of Summer, on those afternoons when nothing can be more pleasing and stimulating than a “nooner” or also called an “afternoon delight”, we offer Andre’s Libido Ale, a beer that is sure to stimulate your erotic yearnings. Drink one before you start and one after your finished, then do it again (if you catch our drift).

“Andre’s Libido Ale”

* 5lbs Dry wheat malt extract
* 2lbs Belgian 2 row
* 1/2lb Oats
* 1lb Honey (not included)
* 1tsp fennel seed
* 1oz Styrian Golding
* 1oz Saaz
* 1pkg Nottingham dry yeast/ one vial California Ale liquid yeast

This beer is best drunk ice cold and has a slight hint of licorice flavor (caused by the fennel seed) which sweetens the breath and cleanses the mouth.
Further directions will be included with the recipe.

Your Thoughts
Anybody that has a desire to join our blog and wants to comment or start your own string, the blog hyperlink is at the left hand side of our web page.

We wish you all a very happy and fun summer. Enjoy it!
The Crew

Published in: on July 30, 2007 at 3:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Vive le Tour!

The Tour is taking a beating right now. All hyped up, fans around the world. How disappointed we all are that the participants of the biggest cycling event are cheating like all the rest of the sporting universe. The moral barometer is set to Cycling right now. Every year the biggest news of cycling comes out right before, during, or just after the Tour de France.

Right now the knee jerk reaction is to cancel the tour forever. Sounds reasonable enough. Can we scrap Major League Baseball? Track & Field was good enough for the Romans but after all these cheating athletes we decided it was bad for society, cancel the programs. Use that money on prison construction, we need to think about the future.

Can we really just ban the NBA and NFL on account of violence instead? Violent crimes, domestic problems, they have it ll covered. How about the current dog training news. Hey Junior, there’s the guy you came to see, and it looks like he brought his dog so watch out. When our heros (Dan Quayle spelling) start behaving like heroes we can start worshipping them. For now just be glad we all have the luxury of filling our thoughts with all this information. Every breath of air means you stay alive just a little bit longer… cheat!

Next year a lot of these cyclists will be free agents and their names may be tarnished because of these recent events. What will happen? Who knows, right now we finish out the race.

Published in: on July 30, 2007 at 1:00 am  Comments (1)  

SF Brewcraft Summer Newsletter III(pt1)

San Francisco BrewCraft Newsletter III

Fasten your seatbelts; we have a lot of ground to cover here.

First off, Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer.
This time of year is really a good time to brew for some people and not so good for others (mainly because of the heat).
Further on we will offer a recipe that might be suitable to brew now.

Keg System Winner
We would like to congratulate Dave who won the kegging system by guessing a weight of 396lbs and 3oz. The highest guess was 656lbs and the lowest guess was 181lbs just to show you the range.

Pub Crawl Planning
In the last news letter we mentioned organizing a pub crawl here in San Francisco and possibly a 3 day beer excursion to Portland Oregon and had an overwhelmingly positive response. So because of this we have to reorganize our plans for a larger scale.
Not to worry everything’s in the planning stage and we will keep you posted. We are going to be talking with the Green Tortoise Bus line to rent the bus for the Portland trip and we will be limited to 20-30 people. More about that when the plans get solidified.

We will be having another giveaway soon and the first prize will be a seat on the Portland bus with all expenses paid. So be sure to stay tuned for more details.

Help Us Help You
We might just have some of the best customers in the bay area with the exception of a few sour heads. We are trying to figure out better ways to serve you in a timely and efficient manner. Towards this end we have come up with a plan to try and increase
ordering on the internet. As some or all of you already know it really gets busy on the weekends and sometimes it takes us a while to get to your order. One way we could alleviate some of this jam is for you the customer to order early over the net for store pickup. In other words you could place your order online a day or two ahead of time and put on the order ‘For Store Pickup’ and we will have the order waiting for you. As an incentive for folks to start doing this, for the rest of July and all of August every tenth recipe will be given away for free. It is our hope that this makes your experience here more pleasant.
While we’re on the present subject, it is our fervent desire to provide you with all the brewing info and advice and opinion that we can. On the weekends we don’t have a lot of time to spend on this so if you have a particular technical or brewing problem and want to discuss this, the best time is other than the weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, because everybody is shooting questions at Griz, he tends to get a little short and hates himself for this and makes Barbara beat him with his rosary.

Published in: on July 26, 2007 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fun With Fire

Thank you Crucible for an amazing Fire Arts showcase. The big annual fundraiser for the Crucible was held the past four days in Oakland. In a parking lot. With a dizzying array of fire-themed artwork. And a Fire Odyssey, their interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, with more fire than the original. In this version, half of Oakland’s fire department was in the extended cast, hanging around waiting for a cue that never came. Call them the understudies.

We are incredibly fortunate to have the Crucible teaching skills that can provide a career or a hobby or both. Welding and torch skills are more fun and are captivating in ways that words are invented after the fact to describe.

Fire, and the keeper of the flame, are built in to our DNA at this point. Mushrooms have been used to keep the flame and so have diligent peoples. Staring at and enjoying a fire, or anything burning, is something our ancestors appreciated. How could they not? No television, no radio, no telephone. Can we all keep in mind that all of these pieces of electronics have come along only very very recently in human evolution?

Humans are generally 50 years behind technology. Right now no one truly understands how to operate with a phone up to the side of their head, nor do they understand how to drive and search for the proper song on the radio. Simultaneously masturbating and …….. yeah you make up the rest.

I love the fire. You love the fire. Your kids love the fire. We All Love The Fire! The Crucible!!!!!

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment