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Fisnihed bread loaf with a beer

Simple Rustic Bread as Base for Exploration

I assume I am not alone in finding bread-making both fascinating and scary. It is a simple process, but for some reason the thought of starting bread would paralyze me. The other thing that would keep me from starting was the idea that I had to make sourdough, and keep feeding a starter. That sounds like work. I am not sure I can keep track of how many times I told Sarah “I am going to learn to make bread” and then never did. That changed a few weeks ago, and since then I have made a few successful loaves using a simple recipe I found online. Of course, once successful, I had to tweak things! Click through to learn how to make this simple, rustic bread as well as a few tips on how to change things up to make even more-interesting breads!Read More »Simple Rustic Bread as Base for Exploration

rick and sarah pose with full glasses of dark beer

The Hairy Porter – A Rich Winter Warmer

The Hairy Porter is a full-bodied, slightly sweet, chocolatey beer without the astringency some dark ales have. We forwent the usual black patent malt and swapped it with a dark wheat malt, leaving the familiar brownish-red color and highlighting the Belgian Special B and chocolate malts. The flaked oats and the wheat malt make for a rich, creamy head with staying power.

By comparison to some other beers — especially hop-forward IPAs —this brew is pretty straight forward, and we recommend it for brewers of all levels. The only challenge we encountered was achieving fermenting temperatures in our cold Vermont home during the winter.

Read More »The Hairy Porter – A Rich Winter Warmer

making mead

Making Mead: Honey plus time yields a delicious beverage

We have been intending to make mead for so long that it had become something of a joke. “I’ll get to that right after we make mead.”

Then this past summer whilst cleaning the basement we realized we had nearly 14 pounds of honey … and that it was six years old.

Coincidentally, we had recently picked a large amount of elderberries. Sarah had originally intended to use the elderberries to dye yarn, and her mother, Nancy, intended to make a medicinal syrup, but they had so many elderberries they were looking for other options.

Time to make the mead… and a melomel.Read More »Making Mead: Honey plus time yields a delicious beverage