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Canning & Brewing in the heat of July

Today, in spite of the usual NY summer high humidity and 90+ degree temps goldings695 and I are tackling heat & humidity generating kitchen projects. My first batch of tomatoes were ripe, so I canned 3 quarts and 1 pint of crushed tomatoes. In the usual scope of my canning projects, this was tiny and was finished off in a snap (meaning about 2 1/2 hours). Aside from cooking the tomatoes, the jars have to hot water process for 40 minutes. Usually I get out the pressure cooker for the processing step, but that's not worthwhile for such a little batch. I still have and use the monster sized 1970s pressure cooker given to me by spidertangle several years ago.

goldings695 is doing a partial mash home brew. This is a much longer and more involved project than today's canning. He started by making a mash by steeping the crushed grains in 154 degree water for 1 hour. He then sparged it at 170. Right now he's working on a full volume boil (approx 5 gal) of the mash and malt syrup and hops. When it's ready, after primary fermentation, secondary fermentation, and bottling, we will have a very tasty oatmeal stout. He can tell more of the details of the process. He plans on moving up to all grain recipes.

I am the beer-[som]melier at our house. I am the taste-tester to confirm whether the beer is ready or not (it rarely gets too old here). I have a sensitive palette for the components and things that have gone astray in the water or process. In spite of the fact that I don't like particularly hoppy beers, I very much like to smell the hops before it is added. Sometimes I can determine what hops went into a brew after it's finished, even commercial beers. That's another cool part about getting to smell the hops. This batch has Chinook as the bittering hops and will have some Yakima Goldings as flavoring hops.

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