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Xingu Black Beer

The next one up in the journey through the grab bag of beer was Xingu Black Beer. The label was entertaining for no reason. I think it was mostly the caiman that was mixed in with the other miscellaneous. The beer certainly looked the part. It definitely poured out black. However, it certainly didn't taste like what I was expecting. You could taste the malt and describe it a bunch of different ways. However, it wouldn't really matter to most people since the flavors were not that intense. I could probably drink it on a regular basis without thinking much of it.

I doubt I'll try it again. It just didn't do anything for me. It was interesting to try but unless you're looking for a Fisher-Price style "my first dark beer", I am not sure its worth any effort to find. It is another example of a beer that is no better than what you would find taking a tour of the beer aisle your local grocery store.

Cucapá Obscura

Another beer from the gift pack, Cucapá Obscura.

This one is a Mexican Brown Ale. I'm not sure why but this one was in a can instead of the bottles the others were in. The can was entertaining because it seems to play it up as a limited edition dark beer. My first thought was that this was a brown ale and not terrible. On the other hand, I didn't get tired of it either. I cannot say if the flavor would grow on me after a few of them since I only had the one.

I am not a huge fan of Brown Ale's and this one isn't exactly going to get me to run out and buy a six pack. The price is really the thing with this beer. If you get it reasonably cheap than it is worth a shot. Oddly, the thing that sticks with me the most is that its a beer from Mexico that's not Corona, Modelo or any of the other forgettable beers I have tried.

Yanjing Beer

I got a pack of ten different beers for Christmas. I figured it would fun to take some notes and see what I ended up with.

The first up is Yanjing Beer from the Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co, product of China. I have to say this was not a particularly auspicious start. I did not see anything on the label that classified the beer as anything other than a one-size fits all beer. The packaging was fairly generic looking green bottle with a generic Chinese motif. The taste was not offensive or particularly spectacular. In the end, I've had it before under a dozen different labels.

Yanjing is a generic mass market beer that would end up the shelf next to Budweiser. I'm sure its a perfectly serviceable beer if you just got done mowing the lawn or you're hanging out with your buddies watching the game. However, what is the point? You'll fine plenty of other choices that are at least good, at least as cost effective and much easier to find.

I am thinking this one was included to bring down the cost of the ten pack.

This is how my life seems to go.

Tried to make mead today
I had to assemble turkey fryer to boil the ingredients.
Took forever because I'm not mechanically inclined.
Had trouble with the much gas/air mix because I couldn't see the flame.
Finally had it sorta figured out when the sink sprung a link.

Honey, Pumpkins and a Hole in One

The morning started off with a simple project. We go to the Byron Center Farmer's market to pick up some honey for making mead. Eighteen pounds of honey later and I was all set and the kids were having fun. In the process we learned from Melissa's mom that Pumpkin Fest was going on in Zeeland. The five of us headed off and the kids had a blast at the petting zoo, getting faces painted, and wandering around the downtown.

The downside was a disastrous visit to Pizza Hut in Zeeland. Despite the festival going on they were woefully understaffed even if it had been a slow day. It wasn't slow, the place was packed. The main waitress was trying to cover about four times as many tables as she was qualified for. It took so long for them to get us our pizza that we ended up eating the appetizer and having them box up the pizza. The kids had completely lost any control and desperately needed some naps. We made it home with little further incident but it was a rough ending to what had been an otherwise good day.

On a totally unrelated note, Melissa's dad hit a hole in one the other day. He got the plaque and everything. This is actually his second.

Beer is ready

I finally bottled my beer on the 7th. It actually tastes not bad. This has been confirmed by my wife so its not just me. This is good because I ended up with 46 bottles of it. :-) I'd hate to have to drink 46 bottles of something I didn't like.

I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to brew again. I'd like to do it again before winter so that I can try cider. If not I may try mead or something like that. We'll see what happens.

Beer brewing

I got a kid for brewing my own beer for Christmas. I had helped Matt a few times and thought it would be fun. I finally had time to do it on Monday. I thought I did anyway. I learned something very important that I had not noticed before. Sammy sleeps in the mornings and is awake all afternoon, ALL afternoon.

I guess I should explain that my plan for my day off was to send Henry to daycare and keep Sammy home. This would save us a little money on daycare and I could still get some stuff done. Unfortunately, I ran errands in the morning when Sammy was mostly asleep. This meant that she was awake while I was trying to get the beer going. It turns out she doesn't like daddy brewing when she's awake. :-) I was able to get it going finally and its downstairs, hopefully fermenting. I do want to thank Melissa for not freaking out when she came home to trashed kitchen that reeked of wet dog. I'm not sure why it smelt like wet dog instead of grain but the odor was not a pleasant one.