how to brew beer


Photo courtesy of Alison Dunlap

He’s sometimes known as the Indiana Jones of his area of research – ancient ales, wines and extreme beverages. Others call him Dr. Pat.

Patrick McGovern has spent decades searching for and analyzing the residues of fermented drinks that can be hundreds or thousands of years old – and then re-creating them.

His latest book, Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created, delves into the early history of fermentation. He takes us all the way back to supposedly drunken monkeys feasting on fermented fruit juice or honey they found, long before any human had figured out how to brew beer.

Read more here – cheers!

– Petra

Best Man coming in hot!! Bachelor party time and I am all over that – this is the type of stuff your boy lives for.  Barry’s only request was to keep it a low key night which at first I balked at because you gotta go big for your last night with your boys but then I remembered… Barry fights crime twenty-four seven – the words Netflix and chill are not in his vocabulary, therefore, I decided to oblige on his request – which only gave me the light bulb for a much, much bigger and better idea to help Barry chill out…

To make him the ultimate cocktail – the special kind that gets speedsters a good buzz.  I sometimes think about how Barry hasn’t had a drink in over four years after everything he’s been through – Reverse Flash?  Savitar?  Iris’ impending death – I mean c’mon!!! While H.R. was downing java last year I would go home and kick back with a stiff drink…

Thus my little science experiment was born which basically started with making my own special beverage.  I consulted Dr. Stein who basically gave me the instructions to make my own moonshine with a scientific twist.  I boiled the water at 165 degrees and dropped some cornmeal to stir in and then I had to drop the temperature, mix in some sugar, yeast, and an enzyme I concocted that would be able to hold the buzz over a long period of time.  The process was timely so kids don’t try this at home but I actually liked mixing the ingredients and watching it ferment … I wonder how hard it is to brew your own beer?  Note to look into that later…

I wanted to test my beautiful creation so I dropped Wally a text asking if I could breach it over.  He said he was in a chill state already and didn’t need the pick me up – whatever that means…

So, it’s locked and loaded for safe keeping until dinner.  The reservation for dinner is set.  I can almost taste the sweet flavor of a bacon wrapped rib-eye!  I splurged for some pricey cigars that my uncle highly recommended – cheers to the best night ever!  Best Man, baby!

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Potion seller, I'm going into battle, so I need your strongest means of potion production.

How to brew beer, wine, and mead

How to make wine (instructable)

How to make mead (instructable)

How to brew beer

Common household items can be substituted for any of the fancy shit (i.e., plastic jugs instead of glass carboys, balloons or condoms instead of burpers, etc.) and cheap ingredients will make booze that’s just as drinkable as fancy ingredients.  Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either a brew-snob or trying to sell you something, and either way they’re a liar. 

My dad is a really cool guy.  He’s very comfortable being himself, and it’s a lesson I wish I had learned from him way earlier.

I remember when I was in 4th grade and the Spice Girls were the biggest thing ever.  I was a little obsessed.  My dad bought a Spice Girls CD and as soon as we brought it home, I played it for hours.  

At one point, I decided I wanted to hang out by myself, so I grabbed the CD out of the player in the living room and was headed to my bedroom, and my dad just goes “Ummmm… excuse me?  Where are you going with my CD?”

And I was just floored, because I honestly assumed he had bought it for me.  But it turns out he’s got a huge soft spot for girly pop music, and he wasn’t ashamed of it at all.  He also loves musical theater, painting, acting, cooking and wearing brightly colored Hawaiin shirts.  While at the same time being the man who taught me how to play D&D, fish, change a tire, brew beer, and work with power tools.

I had such a good role model, sometimes it saddens me that it took me so long to get over worrying what people think about my hobbies and interests.  And also to learn that hobbies aren’t gendered.  Anyway, I love my dad.

One of my favorite parts of The Librarians And The Lost Lamp is at the start when Flynn stops what he’s doing to mentally/narratively go into the in depth on the history of brewing beer because it’s so accurate to how the show and the characters are always reacting to things, with their random tangents and fun facts because they’re just overflowing with knowledge and interest

A Letter to those who visit my country.

I have only one rule when you come with me to Haiti: leave all your guilt at the door. Don’t reach out of car windows handing street kids coins. Don’t take pictures of dirty kids to serve a higher purpose of making you “appreciate what it is that you have”. Haiti isn’t about you. I bring people to Haiti so they can learn about Haiti, not themselves– for how can one evolve only through a selfish gaze. This isn’t Eat Pray Love.

The problem with going to a place that you’ve already heard everything about is that you come with a preconceived notion– the idea that you must feel something, must experience some thing. What most people don’t realize is that feeling has already been concocted for you. Stories and movies of Haitian slums have already set your expectations. First world narratives of poverty have already eaten away at your soul leaving it so that you already feel guilt if you are not moved. That’s not what Haiti is about. The people who sold you that story feed on your belief of it so they can continue to vulture off a corrupt government and a never ending contribution of guilt money that never needs to be reported back; so people never have to know the names of Haitian kids or what exactly is they do all day.

So my rule is never ever ever sit in my country and treat my people like comparisons.  If you go to Haiti and tweet about a neighborhood based on its crime stats, take pictures with children that made you cry or made you feel “ashamed” about your privilege you’ve done nothing but make it about you. If you go and you write more brand names and talk more about organizations contributions than actual people: you’ve done nothing. People already KNOW Haiti is poor. It’s this shitty little thing where by reaffirming that narrative you remind them that black people are poor and dirty like they already believed and believe about blacks everywhere. That’s the something you’re feeling.

The country doesn’t need pity it needs economy. It needs you to tell people what you ate, what you drank, the jokes the kids told you, the fact that they love Rihanna and Drake. The fact that they think Supreme stuff is fire and make their own memes on Facebook at the Internet cafés and on their old model iPhones. That they too love J’s thought they may not have them. They ARE human. They need a shared experience, not more congratulations for the corporations that send them pity gifts but won’t walk their streets and will still speak of them through racist stereotypes so they can build their charity portfolio.

They need you to name the names of the beaches where you post your selfies and explain how beaches in Haiti are for white tourists because DUH we all live by the water on an island and tanning is not a hobby in a black ass country. They need you to tell the stories of the street vendors that sold you beer and fritaille and how the beer is still brewed in the homeland. They need people to know that 90% of the world exports can be grown on Haitian soil because its that fertile but we import everything because the government has abandoned its own people. They need the world to stop thinking of them as a place where they’re so broke they’ll kidnap you- because LOL at the idea of an American being kidnapped in Haiti. (Literally Haitians laugh at this notion.)

They don’t need to be markers for your personal evolution or your sadness or your gratefulness at having resources. They don’t need to be trotted out for pity so you can come back and throw a festival in their name. They need you to tell Young Thug and Future to come to Haiti because they love seeing them rep in their songs; that they are very much tuned into the “first world” but you do none of this.

You clap for yourselves as Americans and express shock that they are humans with a sense of community. You visit only Cite D’Soleil a slum so dangerous every single article in Haiti ever has mentioned it or interviewed someone there. A slum so “nefarious” it has its own movie—real nuance!. You rehash the narrative of oppressors rather than letting Haiti teach you how to laugh, how to cook fish, how to be a hedonist, how to drink rum, how to dance kompa, how to play dominoes, how to roast niggas in the dark while chopping down a 14ft stalk of sugar cane with a machete under the moon. How every Haitian that comes back from “an deyó” returns with nothing less than 4 suitcases of provisions. How grandmothers in Brooklyn stuff 200lbs of food, clothes, water etc and smuggle them home to drop off at Delmas, or Petionville or even an “affluent” hood like Vivi-Michel directly because they know the Red Cross and the UN aren’t going to real homes.

You spend your nights talking to white people who steal from us rather than night riding in the ghost towns covered in colorful and faded hand-painted ads around Champs Mars and visiting the fish markets at 5am for the freshest catches and the funniest arguments–swerving through the traffic of mothers trying to get kids to school and get to work. You came back with nothing and you gave nothing and if your response is “I did all these things!” than why doesn’t it show? Next time you go to my country step off the pedestal of first world pity and feel the red soil in your toes. Learn the names and stories and then tell them with no additives. Tell them not to make people cry but to remind motherfuckers that this world is big, diverse and it’s beautiful and Haiti is the most beautiful place in the world. That black kids are people, poor or rich.

They’ll say im subbing you but I didn’t mention names because it isn’t one person and again it’s not about YOU. It’s everyone who insults me by asking if I’ll be “safe” when I’m going to visit my FAMILY for two weeks. It’s every person who goes to DR but would never consider the land just across the river. For everyone who goes to Africa, India, Brazil and does the same boohoo about being shocked that poor people are good to each other. It’s about real culture not the culture you retweet but the kind that makes people say PLEASAE TAKE ME WITH YOU rather than “I just donated.” Its about real connection and humanity not a pity narrative or a moral workout session for those who have over the havenots.

I don’t go to Haiti to feel better about being an American. I go to Haiti to be a better Haitian; to show real love. All I ask is that you all do the same. Be better and do better. I’m willing to take anyone anytime. My family begs that I bring friends with every trip because my uncle says they don’t really know us, they only know the white people’s view. I’m happy to show you the real way because it’s not a vacation destination to me: it’s home. Don’t ever do that to my heart again.

It is a safe bet that Martha Jefferson did not stir boiling pots of lye to make soap, or empty hops into containers to make beer…. although her household accounts during her marriage record how much soap she made, how much beer she brewed.  Isaac Jefferson remembered her standing with a cookbook reading instructions to his [enslaved] mother, who actually baked the cakes.
—  The Hemingses of Monticello, by Annette Gordon-Reed

In ancient times, farmers worried about losing precious grain to spoilage during wet winters. So they figured out how to malt grain and brew it into beer, thus preserving a nutritious source of calories. In The Comic Book Story of Beer, due out in September, we get a graphical tour of such pivotal moments — from the cradle of agriculture to the modern-day craft beer heyday.

Illustrator Aaron McConnell, writer Jonathan Hennessey and professional brewer Mike Smith cover a lot of ground in 173 pages. We learn that in ancient Rome, women were the brewers, and their homes became popular hangout spots – the first pub houses, really. The covered beer stein was invented during the Black Death, when piles of bodies on the streets attracted flies and it was necessary to keep swarms of them out of drinks. Lagers were meanwhile born of a 19th-century act of industrial espionage.

Guzzling 9,000 Years Of History With ‘The Comic Book Story Of Beer’

Image credit: Random House


Isis - Egyptian Goddess

Isis, (Egyptian Aset or Eset) was one of the most important goddesses of ancient Egypt. Her name is the Greek form of an ancient Egyptian word for “throne.”

Isis was initially an obscure goddess who lacked her own dedicated temples, but she grew in importance as the dynastic age progressed, until she became one of the most important deities of ancient Egypt. Her cult subsequently spread throughout the Roman Empire, and Isis was worshipped from England to Afghanistan. She is still revered by pagans today. As mourner, she was a principal deity in rites connected with the dead; as magical healer, she cured the sick and brought the deceased to life; and as mother, she was a role model for all women.

Isis had strong links with Egyptian kingship, and she was most often represented as a beautiful woman wearing a sheath dress and either the hieroglyphic sign of the throne or a solar disk and cow’s horns on her head. Occasionally she was represented as a scorpion, a bird, a sow, or a cow. There are no references to Isis before the 5th dynasty (2465–2325 bce), but she is mentioned many times in the Pyramid Texts (c. 2350–c. 2100 bce), in which she offers assistance to the dead king. Later, as ideas of the afterlife became more democratic, Isis was able to extend her help to all dead Egyptians.

The priests of Heliopolis, followers of the sun god Re, developed the myth of Isis. This told that Isis was the daughter of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut and the sister of the deities Osiris, Seth, and Nephthys. Married to Osiris, king of Egypt, Isis was a good queen who supported her husband and taught the women of Egypt how to weave, bake, and brew beer. But Seth was jealous, and he hatched a plot to kill his brother. Seth trapped Osiris in a decorated wooden chest, which he coated in lead and threw into the Nile. The chest had become Osiris’s coffin. With his brother vanished, Seth became king of Egypt. But Isis could not forget her husband, and she searched everywhere for him until she eventually discovered Osiris, still trapped in his chest, in Byblos. She brought his body back to Egypt, where Seth discovered the chest and, furious, hacked his brother into pieces, which he scattered far and wide. Transforming into a bird, and helped by her sister, Nephthys, Isis was able to discover and reunite the parts of her dead husband’s body—only his penis was missing. Using her magical powers, she was able to make Osiris whole; bandaged, neither living nor dead, Osiris had become a mummy. Nine months later Isis bore him a son, Horus. Osiris was then forced to retreat to the underworld, where he became king of the dead.

Isis hid with Horus in the marshes of the Nile delta until her son was fully grown and could avenge his father and claim his throne. She defended the child against attacks from snakes and scorpions. But because Isis was also Seth’s sister, she wavered during the eventual battle between Horus and Seth. In one episode Isis took pity on Seth and was in consequence beheaded by Horus (the beheading was reversed by magic). Eventually she and Horus were reconciled, and Horus was able to take the throne of Egypt.

Isis was the perfect traditional Egyptian wife and mother—content to stay in the background while things went well, but able to use her wits to guard her husband and son should the need arise. The shelter she afforded her child gave her the character of a goddess of protection. But her chief aspect was that of a great magician, whose power transcended that of all other deities. Several narratives tell of her magical prowess, far stronger than the powers of Osiris and Re. She was frequently invoked on behalf of the sick, and, with the goddesses Nephthys, Neith, and Selket, she protected the dead. Isis became associated with various other goddesses, including Bastet, Nut, and Hathor, and thus her nature and her powers became increasingly diverse. Isis became known, like other fierce goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon, as the “Eye of Re” and was equated with the Dog Star, Sothis (Sirius).

The first major temple dedicated to Isis was built by the Late Period king Nectanebo II (360–343 bce) at Behbeit el-Hagar, in the central Nile delta. Other important temples, including the island temple of Philae, were built during Greco-Roman times when Isis was dominant among Egyptian goddesses. Several temples were dedicated to her in Alexandria, where she became the patroness of seafarers. From Alexandria her cult spread to Greece and Rome. Images of Isis nursing the baby Horus may have influenced the early Christian artists who depicted the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus.

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okely dokely :)

FIVE ALARM III ( part one | part two ) — still rated T. Sorry :p

Holly tried to figure out how they’d gotten there, settled on a ridiculously comfortable couch in Gail’s living room. Half-eaten cartons of food and empty wine glasses sat forgotten on the coffee table, the tension in the room rising as climax became imminent…

Gail screamed—actually screamed—and clung to Holly as she buried her face in Holly’s shoulder. Holly couldn’t help but press her own face into the top of Gail’s blonde head. 

“No, you idiot!” Gail suddenly cried out with a groan. “Don’t hide in the closet! You’re gonna die.” She looked up at Holly. “She’s gonna die." 

Sure enough, she died not thirty seconds later. And Gail buried her face into Holly’s shoulder once more at the gory massacre. 

"Are you actually scared or are you just using it as an excuse to cuddle with me?” Holly asked with a chuckle when the scene changed to a more peaceful one (for the time being). “Because I usually only cuddle after a woman has taken me out on a date." 

Gail snorted and sat up, folding her legs under her, criss-cross-applesauce. “Don’t flatter yourself, Stewart. You’re just a convenient body to shield me from the flesh eating zombies. They’ll devour you while I make a break for it.” 

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(All photos taken one of my awesome trail buds, Ryan)

Run of the Day, Wednesday: 4 miles, untimed

Buh. My legs y’all. This was another rough one. I joined my friend Ryan on his group run that he leads every Wednesday up on the trails. I felt okay most of my day at work, but as soon as we started on to the trail my legs felt tight and pained and less than a half of a mile in both of my calves cramped up badly. The hills were the worst part, I could barely take a step without feeling like my muscles were going to snap. It’s weird because I’ve been doing a LOT of stretching post-McKay, but its like it hasn’t helped at all. I’m starting to wonder if my continued digestive issues involve my body not absorbing nutrients properly, but I have no way of knowing that for sure. It’s something I’m definitely going to ask my specialist when I see him next week.

Physically I struggled through the run, but still managed to enjoy myself. The trails were ones I don’t get on very often and the afternoon sunlight was very pleasant. We ran along the edge of a bluff and got to enjoy some excellent views of the south side of our city, taking plenty of breaks to take in the views.

After the run we stood around in the parking lot cooling off and Ryan broke out some locally brewed beer to share. That’s how you know you have goof running buddies. 

(Side note: I feel like these photos show JUST how bootylicious I really am. I mean look up “pear-shaped” in the dictionary and I’m pretty sure there’s a photo of me there. Thunder thighs for life y’all… You can get a sense of how ridiculously tall I am.)