Chips and beer

Beet and potato chips

It all began with a review I read in Cook’s Illustrated for a way to make potato chips. It doesn’t require any oil, because they are microwaved. I’ve tried roasting chips and even fried them once but I hate deep frying – too many calories and too much mess. The trick is in the slicing. The Mastrad set includes a mandolin, which cuts the slices 1/32 of an inch. Once sliced, they are placed on a perforated silicone tray and zapped in the microwave for 3 minutes. It works. Especially for potato chips. I also tried beet, celeriac and plan to try carrots. Add salt, or cumin or coriander and you’re ready for a beer.

Nice grain

So now I had chips and I needed beer to go with them. I finally broke out the brew kit I brought home from Australia. It’s different from the ones in the states because the beer isn’t decanted into a second container but we’ll see how it goes. The most involved process in homebrew is sterilizing all the equipment and then all the bottles. The cooking process isn’t too complicated.

It’s clean up time

I bought a Munton Nut Brown Ale brew kit from my favorite store on Long Island, Karps. I bought all the ingredients and bottles last year and somehow never got around to making a batch of beer.

The ingredients

This beer is made with barley, chocolate and 3 types of malt and hops. I added a little extra malt extract to potentially boost the alcohol content a tad.

Wort bubbling away

After everything is mixed and yeast is added, it’s tucked away for about a week to ferment and convert the sugars to alcohol. I think that process ended, you confirm by measuring a stable specific gravity for a couple of days, and yesterday set myself to bottling. Always a bit of a mess and it was nice enough to do it outdoors. To my horror, when I went to open the bottles, I thought I had the wrong tops. I used the flip top grolsch style caps and at first only found long neck bottles. I called the store to explain my dilemma and the beer master remembered me and while we spoke I realized I bought two styles of bottles, the right ones for the caps and long necks. Phew. But I didn’t have enough. The long necks have a capper and I think I had planned to borrow my son’s but never got around to it. Luckily friends had given me some grolsch bottles when they heard I was into brewing. In the end I had 4 long necks I was unable to cap. I tried a hammer, clamps and vise grip but couldn’t get the right seal. I saved two and dumped two. We’ll see how they go. I think the last stage (the next 3 weeks) is mostly for carbonation and maybe aging. For now it’s chips.


One thought on “Chips and beer

  1. Pingback: Winners and losers « Island and North Country Life

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