Bacon & Beer = Awesome … Maybe Beer Bacon

This is my second attempt at making my own bacon. The first batch I did, turned out great, but I didn’t use the beer. This time around I chose 2 beers to use in the wet cure.

My main resource for the project comes from amazingribs.com which has whole section on making your own bacon. I modified their recipe for my use.

Choosing your Beer

The best advice I can give you is choose a low IBU beer. When cooking with beer, I ( and many others) have found that even a little bitterness can become very pronounced, which is not normally what you want in your food. I’m not sure what would happen in the case of using a hoppy IPA in a wet cure… so perhaps I’ll try that in the future. For now I would aim for beers under 25ibu if possible.

Another point I found after making the bacon: pick beer you like, and would like your bacon to taste like. You can actually taste certain aspects of the beer in the bacon.

I choose Innis & Gunn Barrel aged Ale, & from Moon Under Water, Creepy Uncle Dunkle. I hadn’t had either of these beers in a while, and after trying them both, I realized I would of probably pick something else next time for the bacon. ( Both are still really good beers)

 

Ingredients

For Each Slab:IMG_1262

  • 1lb Pork Belly
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
  • .5 tsp Pink Salt #1
  • 1.5 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 250ml of Beer

I combined all the ingredients in a freezer bag and gave it a good mix to ensure even distribution. Then Popped her in the fridge for 7 days. I made sure to flip the bag every day to ensure an even cure. You can find Pink Salt on Amazon.ca, or check your local butcher shop, but don’t confuse it with Himalayan Pink salt.

Smoking it.

After 7 days your bacon will look much more red and less pink, with a firmer feel to it. Take it out of the fridge, give it a good rinse and take it to your smoker or BQQ.

Use any kind of wood chip you like, I think I used Cheery ? Also don’t pre-soak them, it doesn’t do anything. See Here. I put my mine in a tin-foil pouch and place it over the flame. The pork belly is placed away from the flame, so it is cooked indirectly.

I tried to keep my BBQ between 200-250 degrees F until an internal temp of 150F. I used by Thermoworks Chef Alarm thermometer in case anyone is wondering – it’s the shit.

Beer Bacon on BBQ

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     Your Done! The bacon should last in the fridge     for around a week. Cut, fry, and enjoy.

 

 

Was it worth it?

I’m not sure. The bacon was good, but not as good as the bacon made without the beer. Perhaps the beer spoils (oxidizes) and contributes to funny flavours, or perhaps I used the wrong beers. Either way, I’m trying again with different beers, and I’ll post my results here.

intuitCantDoMathSimply put, it appears that Intuit Canada doesn’t consider their proficiency with multiplication a top priority.  7% or  $0.07, what’s the difference? As one of my friends said ” See if they offer mortgages – deal of the century!”

This is one of 3 refunds they sent me ( waiting on 2 more). They double and triple charged me on 2 entirely different subscriptions. So if you have a subscription to Quickbooks online, I would double check that credit card statement.

Seriously, I would expect more from a company selling accounting software… or maybe my expectations are too high.

Degu are small rodents native to the western slopes of the Andes in South America. And we got two of them on January 15th, 2015.

Two Females 6-8 Weeks old from Pets West in Broadmead Village, Victoria, BC. The breeder is in Vancouver.

Ash and PepperDegu Eating

Cage Construction

From the advice from a couple other web sites on Degus, we opted to build our own cage. Check out http://octodondegus.weebly.com/how-to-build-a-degu-cage.html which is where we found all the information we needed.

Degu Cage complete Degu Cage Unbuilt

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5/8″ plywood, Pine boards, 5/8″ screws, 1-1/4″ screws, 1″ L brackets, Elmers Glue & Construction Mesh. That’s basically all it takes to build a cage. The pine on the edge of each floor keeps the beding on the floor, as well as preventing the degu from chewing on the plywood floors (contains potentially harmful glues). We were able to attach the mesh on the windows with a staple gun, and cover the window edges with wooden frames using nails. The top and bottom were glued into place (used an epoxy) and the doors just pop into place.

 

 

 

Top Floor

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Second Floor

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Bottom Floor

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Our cage was originally designed for 3 degu, but due to the difficulty in finding degu, we ended up getting 2.

Cost

The following are approximations of building materials:

Plywood: 60$
Glass Doors: $35
Kiln-Dried Pine: $20 ( Acquired for Free)
Construction Mesh: $6
Acrylic plastic: $7
Sliding Door Hardwar & Screws: $20

Total Cost:  approx $150
Time:   5h

Furnishing Cage

We are constantly adding new things to the cage including a wooden hut, coconut shells, cotton and hemp rope, wicker chair, and a twig/grass tunnel. We found a bunch of stuff from a bird toy site.

Running Wheel

The Running Degu WheelWheel was constructed using an old 12″ aluminum pot from value village. The pot was cut down and a hole cut in the middle for a bolt to run though. We used an old roller blade wheel and bearings screwed onto the back wall of the cage which allowed the bolt and the running wheel to spin freely.
We have had to put a block underneath the wheel at night, else Ash would run all night long.

 

Phase 2 Construction

When time allows, we will be adding a 3rd partial floor to the cage, as well as a digging pit underneath.

 

Pictures….

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Weighing Pepper at around 10 weeks old : 147g

For More Information on Degus:

http://www.degutopia.co.uk/

http://octodondegus.weebly.com

A link to Degu adoption.

Click Here

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Once again we brew in my room, this time we end up with 250 bottles. This is the beginning of M.B. (MalcolmsBasement) proposal # 003, Batch A. 

 For those looking for the basic brewing instructions check out the post: How to Brew Beer.

As per usual we start by sanitizing all equipment, this time we used Iodophor as a sanitizer, – unlike the pink chlorine based sanitizer (Sani-Bright), the Iodophor is not used as a cleaner as well.

This is what happens when you forget how to use a can opener.
Here are all 5 carboys, we made a 1) Nut brown ale, 2) English Bitter, 3)IPA, 4) Generic Ale  5) Lager.
 Around 250 bottles latter.
Total Cost
 In time: -It took around 4hours for us to make the wart, set up the carboys, and add the yeast.
 -It took around 7 hours to bottle them, including sanitizing bottles and doing the clean up of the carboys. 
Each time there was about 4 of us.
In $$$: – The entire cost of the beer kits, sugar, and liquid malt extract was about 100$ which works out to about 20$ per batch. Then you need to add the cost of the sanitizer and bottle caps used which would work out to about 10$ -Assuming you got all your bottles for Free.
This works out to around $0.44/ beer. – This is the average since one of the batches cost around $17 while another cost around $24.
Time wise… well 11hours x 3 people= 33hours –>
33h/250beer. Which works out to around 11min/beer.
That being said, we are trying to get the time down to 1min/beer. The $ should stay the same.

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So me and Marco’s first DJ gig EVER!


It was for Royal Oak Middle school, for about 150 grad grade 8’s, in the Gym. 

For the most part, I did lighting and dealt  with the equipment rentals and techie stuff. Marco for the most part, did the mixing.
Equipment:
We rented around 105$ of equipment from L&M and the rest we owned, it can be split up between Lighting and Sound.

Sound:

  • 2x Nx55p by Yorkville – this was a pair of 550W  active 12″/1″ speakers. 
  • 2x Ls700p by Yorkville – a pair of 700W Active subwoofers.
  •  I-mix reloaded MK2 by DJ-Tech – a dj controller/ sound-card combo which we bought online for a little over 400$
  • Eurorack MX2004A by Behringer – a 20 channel live mixer.
  • DJX700 by Behringer – a 4 channel +mic dj mixer which we used purely for attaching the microphone ( not sure why we didn’t just plug it into the 20 channel mixer…. something about wanting to lug around more equipment than we need to….)
  • Macbook with Tractor.

The PA system was rented for $50(plus tax)for one night. Not that bad considering the system new would cost around 3000$.  The MK2 controller/soundcard was attached into the 20 channel mixer because the controller only has unbalanced outputs, and wouldn’t amp it nearly enough.

Lighting

  •  4 L.E.D par cans ( 2 ADJ 2 Chauvet…nearly identical) 
  • Chauvet Elan 
  • Galaxian laser by ADJ
  • Firework type laser (exactly the same as Galaxian but no DMX) 
  • Starball L.E.D by ADJ – This light was really great and while i rented it for this gig, i will most certainly be looking in to buying 2 of them. They are cheap light small and have really sharp beams.
  • Revo Role by ADJ – Cool light but with the Elan…. probably didn’t need it.
  • L.E.D. H2O by ADJ- Cool concept but found that the spread was really small and just not nearly as visually exciting as the other light.
  • Mega strobe 2 by Chauvet – As far as Strobe lights go, this 750W one DESTROYS !
  • Hurricane 1050 by Chauvet – 1000W fogger, I think I got this for $110 and I strongly recommend it.
  • 400W fogger i got from Save On Foods…
  • 2x 48″ 40 W black lights. 

Of that equipment, the Revo role, Galaxian, 2Pars, Starball, and H2O were rented. If I was to do this gig again, I would most certainly restrain from renting the H2O and Revo role. They simply were not needed. I would of though, if another was available, rented a second Starball(only $4 to rent).

Controlling the lights: I used my chauvet DMX controller for all the lights, the lights that were not DMX i had a DMX 4 Channel dimming/relay pack which allowed be to simply turn non dmx lights on and off. I will Explain the Whole DMX thing in a future post.

 Overall, the gig went very very well, it sounds like we should be getting many more gigs after this one….. and one more thing…. grade 8’s really really really like Beibe.

Here is a Video of the night.

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So over the last 2 days, we have possibly made dandelion wine. Only time will tell.

Day 1

We picked the dandelions. In total, we picked 2Kg of dandelion heads, with bit of the stems. Nothing like 4 men picking dandelions in the park.

I would like to warn anyone who want to attempt this, the smell will not leave your hand for 2 day.

Day 2

After storing them in the fridge over night, it was time to remove the stems … sorta. It took around 1:30 to get around 3 1/2 liters ( non-compact) of dandelion heads with most but certainly not all, the green removed. We ended up only using around 2/3 of the amount we picked, the rest got frozen.

The Recipe?

After going through around 20 recipes, we decided to make our own. What we did is as follows:
Ingredients for 5 gallons

  •  3 1/2 liters of dandelions heads/petals.
  •  4 sliced oranges
  •  1kg of raisins (cut up)
  •  1/8 cup cut ginger root
  • 5 table spoons citric acid
  • 28 cups of sugar ( about 5kg)
  • 5 campden tablets 
  • 1 pack yeast -Lavin EC-118 ( sparkling wine)
  • 2 spoons of yeast energizer.
  • enough water to make it to around 5 gallons 

After properly sanitizing the 10 gallon primary, we mixed all the ingredients together Except the Yeast.  We dissolved the sugar in hot water first. The yeast will go in 24 hours later. This is because the campden  tablets are used to kill all unwanted yeast and bacteria that would interfere with the brewing process, if we were to add the yeast right away, it would die.

Campden?

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So after 6 days in the 6 gallon carboy, it was time to bottle. Note, never try to sanitize all the bottles in a bath tub, it will take you 3 hours. For next time, lets try using the sani-rinse on the dishwasher.

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A total of 60 bottles- we can only hope that they will carbonate, and not explode. We put 1/2 tsp sugar in each. Hopefully the yeast is still active.
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They will be ready in 1-2weeks
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