Thai Gose

Since I achieved the illustrious rank of homeowner, life has changed quite considerably. Notably, my commute, which has nearly doubled. This is actually rather nice in my book, as there is little better than a cool, quiet pedal into the office. Gives one time to ponder the important things: how to achieve world peace, To Do lists, and new brewing recipes.

As I was riding in one morning, a revelation hit. Thai-inspired Gose! Gose is one of my favorite styles: light, a little salty, slightly sour, and gently spiced. And so much fun to say, "go saaaah". Also, I have found them to be quite versatile. I have done a plain Gose and a Gooseberry Gose. Both turned out lovely, and I was a bit sad when the last drops trickled down my throat.

So, back to the Thai Gose. I will be starting with this recipe as a base, omitting the coriander and substituting Sriracha salt (so easy, so good. Instructions here.) for the sea salt. Also, to be added into the secondary fermenter:

2 oz. grated ginger root
10 Kaffir lime leaves, bruised
3 lemongrass stalks (frozen and chopped)
15 Thai basil leaves, bruised

It will be amazing or a horrid atrocity. We shall see in a few weeks. Now, if the sun would break through the clouds, I could start to brewing!

Cheers, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Brewing at Clementine Cottage

About a month ago, I allowed myself to finally brew. After weeks and weeks and weeks of nonstop yardwork, I decided to take an afternoon to make some beer. Because I like beer. And I love to make beer. Which may have been hinted at once or twice on my little blog.

Since this would be my first all-grain batch, I came up with a brilliant system. Heat water on the propane-fueled burner, mash in the tun on the shelf, release the wort from the mash tun, and sparge. Easy peasey, right? Bwahahahaha.

After I paced around the scary propane tank for about an hour, reading the nasty warnings about "blowback" (what the hell does that mean? And if it incinerates my house, will my homeowner's insurance cover it?), I lit it up, and got my water to a full rolling boil. Once it was back down to the appropriate temperature, for whatever reason, I decided to bring the mashtun down from the shelf, fill it with water, add the grain, and then lift it back onto the shelf. I did not think this through. 6.5 gallons of water plus 12 pounds of grain equals about 64 pounds. Strong though I am, this is simply not an amount of weight I can handle to lift above chest height. So, it sat on the deck until it was time to strain.

And then it piddles off the side of the deck into the kettle
So, because Brew Day One was a little stressful, just getting the process down, I did not take a gravity reading. Nor did I for Brew Day Two (a Saison with lavender and orange peel). But tomorrow is Brew Day Three: Thai Gose, made with Sriracha salt, plus additions of fresh lemongrass, Thai basil, ginger, and Kefir lime leaves (all in the secondary, except the salt, which will go in the primary). This time I will take a gravity reading.

Cheers, and have beautiful weekend!

A Bit of a Farewell & Why I've Loved Blogging Here

art. house. mum.

Well, I've really been concocting this post in my head on and off for the past few months... but to get it done I think that the key will be SIMPLIFY!

Basically, I'm intending to close down Art House Mum.  And I've opened a new blog, Red Ink Rodeo, more as a fluid portfolio of my art and design than a family blog.

But as I farewell Art House Mum, I want to take a minute to salute what blogging here has been for me.  As with most things in life, blogging here didn't work the way I expected it would.  But it worked in different (and better) ways.

Oh darn it, here's a list of good things that came from blogging at Art House Mum.

I made new friends.
I connected with old friends.
I learnt new skills
And gained new confidences.
I did a few professional development-ish things.
I had the chance to celebrate the tiny little things that are the big big things in the long days with toddlers.
And in doing so I was able to hook into the values and value which gave me reason to be a dignified full-time stay-at-home mum (I still am).
And, well, during a patch where it turned out that I had terribly low iron levels (which I was unaware of at the time), blogging gave me an activity which I could accomplish with minimal exertion of physical energy (I could only see this value with hindsight once I discovered iron tablets... but that's another story).

So, I know that there are enough Mummy bloggers out there to drown a fleet of whales, but well, I'm glad that I've been in the ocean for this period of time.

Thanks for having me!

And drop on over to Red Ink Rodeo when you feel like a little art in your day.

Talk soon, g

Triumph Over Trash

Well, hello! Goodness does homeownership suck up a lot of time! You buy one, blink your eye, and nearly two months have passed since you've actually updated your blog. And why is that? Because there has been no time to indulge in the hobby that you so love. Yard work, more yard work, unpacking, and organizing have been the Brewmistress pastimes of late. But, I have made myself a goal to get enough "house stuff" done this week to allow another brew day next weekend. My aspirations run high.

Now what about this triumph over trash? I am glad you asked, as I can share a wee bit of knowledge recently gleaned. As an apartment dweller, one has the luxury of a dumpster at their disposal. Rain or shine, the wonderful sanitation engineer will come each and every week to haul away all of the unmentionables one has chosen to dispose of in said dumpster. The same does not hold true of a single-family residence. Portland is super environmentally concerned, and we have weekly pickups of recycling and yard waste/compost, but trash is only claimed (at most) every other week. Normally, this would be fine, as I pride myself on the small amount of refuse that I produce. However, moving seems to create an abnormal amount of garbage.

The week I moved into Clementine was a week of no trash pick up. Plus, the prior owner left her moving-out trash (with kitty litter, naturally). So I waited ever so patiently until the following week, and put out my landfillables. Imagine my surprise when I came home Friday night to find a full trash bin. So I called. The friendly customer service representative patiently listened to my complaint, and asked if she could place me on hold while she contacted the driver. I agreed, even while thinking, "right, the driver is totally going to remember MY house, and why my trash wasn't emptied". But I waited. She came back on the line and told me that she was unable to contact the driver, but made the super-helpful suggestion that "maybe my trash was not...(pause for the proper phrasing of the following) free-flowing enough".

I have anal-retentive trash. Not fly-by-the-seat-of-its-pants trash. Uncool homebody garbage that does not wish to see the wide world of a landfill.

So, I decided to test the theory that my garbage was packed too tightly into its container. I tipped the container on top of itself. AND I HEARD ALL THE TRASH FALL TO THE TOP!

Apparently, my trash is not type-A, and is plenty free-flowing. Cool trash. Adventurous trash that wants to see what the world has to offer.

I never called again, because describing this exercise would have officially made me a crazy person, and all I could hope to gain was a couple dollars. But since then, every time my trash is emptied, I do a little jig of joy while I drag the empty can back into my driveway. And I feel a sense of triumph.

Now, I promise all my house-making tales will be moved to What a Good Squirrel.From here on, I promise the Brewmistress Log shall be committed to the noble art of zymurgy.

Cheers, and have a beautiful week!