It’s a New Day!

So in case you didn’t know, I’m a big fan of THE Ohio State University Buckeyes. This is probably for two reasons:

  1. I’m from Columbus
  2. I’m an alumni of said school.

And also, in case you didn’t know, the legend Urban Meyer retired last year. The new coach of The Ohio State University Buckeyes is Ryan Day.

And so, in honor of him and to have something to enjoy during football season, I brewed the New Day IPA.

Look at this beautiful thing!

20190831_200901

But here is where things get interesting. A while back, while sourcing ingredients for an IPA for football season, I came across Exclusion Gluten Free Beer Kits. They have some great recipes, and clearly understanding GF extract brewing and their prices….can’t be beat. I tried. When I was halfway towards pricing the ingredients for my next brew and had already passed the cost of the IPA kit I knew I needed a course correction.

So here is a link to the original recipe. Me being me, I had to change a few things based on my years of experience. One of the big things I had to do was change the amount of sorghum. 6lbs of sorghum will ruin anything. I give you

New Day IPA

Malt Base:

  • 3lbs Sorghum (flame out)
  • 1lb D-45 Candi Syrup (flame out
  • 1lb Candi Simplicity Syrup (flame out)
  • 1lb Honey (flame out)
  • 1lb maltodextrine

Hop Schedule:

  • 1oz Cascade 60 minutes
  • 1oz Summit 60 minutes
  • 1oz mosaic 15 minutes
  • .5oz cascade 15 minutes
  • .5oz cascade dry hop for 1 week

Adjunct:

  • .5oz bitter lemon peel 15 minutes
  • 1oz bitter orange peel 15 minutes

In one week I’ll rack it to the bottling bucket and lose the leftover peels that remained as well as the .5oz cascade.

Then in another week bottle it in about 2 weeks, maybe 3, when Big Ten play is picking up…I’ll start enjoying it. Can’t wait!

Can I pay you for some?

So I gave away (my best guess) 19 bottles of my raspberry lemonade to different friends and co-workers.

Surprised? Maybe you read this and thought I made this and then proceeded to drink all of it on my own? Let me assure you: you are wrong.

Half the fun, for me, of homebrew is sharing what I make with others!

But I’ve never had a response like this before. This drink is popular. Very popular. Every single person who has had some, comes back and wants more. This week someone returned some bottles and asked if they could have more. I responded no, I’m sorry, Mrs. Wine says I can’t give anymore away. They then responded: “Can I buy some? I’ll pay you.”

Every now and then, as they say, a blind squirrel finds a nut.

Rumors of the closure were greatly exaggerated

Dear loyal readers,

I thought you might like to know that the brewery is still up and running. Alcohol is still being created. The main problem comes down to the fact that the brewmaster is also working two jobs and one of them is as a professional writer. So in the evening, and some times mornings, I write. It makes it hard to then also write in this blog.

I just bottled Louisiana Raspberry Lemonade.

  • 3 Gallons Organic Lemonade
  • 2 Gallons Organic Raspberry Lemonade
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2lbs sugar
  • S-05 Yeast

I think this may have been too acidic and so I ended up having to make a yeast slurry with another batch of S-05. But once I did, it started fermenting nicely.

At bottling time I added:

  • 1/2 cup simple syrupd
  • 1 bottle bicardi limon rum (the rum is, after all, what makes it “Louisiana”).

Still waiting on this to bottle condition but the sample at bottling time was delicious.

I also brewed another batch of 1st Date Dunkel. 

  • 3lbs Brown Rice Syrup
  • 2lbs 180 Candi Syrup
  • 1lb Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups of coffee
  • 1/4 cup cocoa

Hop schedule:

  • 1.75oz hallertau at 60 minutes
  • .25oz Hallertau at 15 minutes
  • 1oz Hallertau at flameout

I have no doubt this will be good. It always is.

In about 2 weeks I plan on brewing a new IPA–just in time for football. Details forthcoming!

I got faith in you now

So here’s the thing: I read Infinity Wars when it was printed on paper. And I want to make something clear, when I say I read Infinity Wars, I read this.

I guess I start out that way because I’m feeling slightly defensive. I told my oldest that I had seen Endgame and she got really upset because I haven’t seen all the MCU movies. But…ya know…I read the comics they were based on before she was born so…?

Anyways, that’s not the point of this post. So I saw Endgame on the night it premiered. Went with a group from church. And I cannot tell a lie: the movie was awesome. And I also realized something rather significant….

SPOILERS

I can’t believe I just gave you that warning. If you follow the MCU at all, then you know there is both a Spiderman 2 and Black Panther 2 in the works. So obviously they come back to life….

But I saw the movie on Thursday. The Thursday immediately after Easter. When we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And I saw this movie with a group from church. As well as several hundred strangers. And at the pivotal point of the movie when Spiderman and Black Panther and all the other “dead” superheroes returned…the audience broke out into celebration. There was clapping. There was cheering. It was….disconcerting.

I was disturbed for this simple fact: 5 days earlier I had proclaimed “He is risen!” And the congregation responded, “He is risen indeed.” And the energy and enthusiasm between the church service and the movie theater was palpable. The people at that theater, including the ones from the church, were more excited by the resurrection of spiderman than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Then I started looking around. So many of the people were dressed up in costumes. Do you know why? This was their identity?

Then over the next few days on social media I noticed another trend: MCU fans were very civil online. They’d post things like, “I saw the movie. I promise no spoilers. If you want to talk pm me.”

Why could Christian fans of the MCU be move civil about the movies than about political candidates?

Because this is a religion. That’s what I realized. And I know it is extreme to say it but it is worth thinking about.

 

I know this isn’t the intention of the blog. But it kind of is. The idea was to discuss homebrew, but also recreate the environment of a bar, namely, the topics discussed. I haven’t stopped brewing–just haven’t had time to post on it lately.

Moen is the Apple of Sinks

Our home came with a Moen sink. Nothing against Moen. I like their product, but I didn’t realize (and neither did Mrs. Wine) that their products come with a lifetime warranty and if anything goes bad, they’ll replace it for free.

That’s really cool.

Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that Moen was the Apple of kitchen sinks. And so two days of driving around to hardware stores resulted in empty promises (yes, that’ll work in your sink. spoiler alert: it didn’t). Finally, one clerk was nice enough to inform us that if we have a Moen sink, no one will have the parts we need. But that if we call Moen, they’ll mail it to us.

Doubling down in the realm of unfortunate news, Moen’s call center is not open on the weekend. So we’ll call Monday and in a few days should have the part we need for our sink.

In the mean time, we don’t have a working kitchen sink which, in a family of 7, is kind of a big deal.

It also means I can’t brew my dunkel yet.

Thought you should know.

Sounded like a Gary Burbank

I had plans for today. They were great plans. And the day was going to end with me brewing my Dunkel. I’ve had the ingredients for the Dunkel since last year as I had intended it for winter. But my life is busy. Too busy.

And also, it never goes according to my plans. So this morning I discovered our sink had exploded. Cue the homage to Gary Burbank explosions. It was a big one. Not sure what happened but no sink = no home brew. Cause, ya know, I need water.

Anyways, hopefully brew will possible Sunday evening. Like SpaceX I won’t let a little explosion deter me from the goal of brewing something that will give you an otherworldly experience.

I’ve even started lying myself…

Riley Silverman has a great piece on SyfyWire about atheism and faith in science fiction. She points out something that as a consumer of science fiction in all of its forms, I have noticed lately: that the worlds of science fiction are usually atheistic, but the authors cannot seem to avoid either god-like characters, or the situations which arise from faith.

While not acknowledging it, she seems to be implying (and I’d agree) that the authors of these works are atheist. I’ve been noticing lately that when characters of faith are introduced in science fiction, it is clear that the authors have no idea what they are writing about. They’re trying to paint a picture of a world that they can only imagine and when they imagine it, it is so foreign to someone such as myself (an insider on faith) that I don’t recognize it.

Take the Punisher season 2 for example The Punisher’s villain in Season 2 is a man who is portrayed as being deeply religious, but also deeply troubled and extremely violent. I actually have no problem with that–there is nothing new about that plot. You can easily find people in church history who were deeply devout but also did things that were very wrong out of either a mistaken sense of loyalty or a poor understanding of how such an action actually isn’t part of God’s will. The Crusades and Inquisition are the easy targets but there are ones on a smaller scale too.

The problem with the Punisher is the church scene. Clearly, the writers and directors (and anyone else who has any clout on the set) has never attended a church service.  Pastor’s don’t preach homilies on each song before and after they are sung. And they definitely, definitely, do not recognize someone in the congregation as being a major financial contributor to the congregation and then for that reason, let them come up and preach an off the cuff sermon. That never happens.  There are other details about the church service that are so wrong it is mind boggling but you get the point: they can’t imagine what an actual church service would be like.

While they may struggle with understanding and depicting formal religion they can’t escape the simple beauty of morality. That is, that there is some sort of deeply held absolute value system inherent in the structure of the universe and when we depart from it, things go wrong.

Watching The Tick season 2 really brought this to light. In a scene towards the end of the season, the Tick is lamenting how they have all strayed from the values they held at the start. Tick says, “It seems that we’re all wandering in the woods. You’re living a lie. Dot is secretly turning vigilante. I thought Arthur had been bending the truth to get us into the Five. And now that we have babies I’ve even started to lie myself. To be honest I don’t know what Destiny is trying to teach us in all of this.”

Agent John replies, “Maybe that the truth is precious?”

The truth is precious. And it would be really cool if scyfy could start exploring faith more seriously and intentionally than they currently do. Or maybe there are books out there like that which I’m not aware of? If so, please let me know!

Rumors of my death have been largely exaggerated

So said Mark Twain.

I was thinking of that quote when I read a surprising article this week, published in the Federalist (a publication which I greatly admire) about the death of the Mafia. The author, David Marcus, not only claims the Mafia, with all its magic and mythology, has finally passed away, but he celebrates it. I’m fine with celebrating the death of the mafia. It is involved in human trafficking through forced prostitution, it sells drugs, it has a murder-for-hire component and for much of its history (still possibly today) extorted money out of honest business owners trying to make a living.

None of that is honorable.

Perhaps, given what I just said, as well as my faith and work with the police, it may come as a surprise that I have a slight obsession with the Mafia. I’m currently reading a biography of Meyer Lansky which I highly recommend.  All that to say, I could not disagree more with David Marcus: indeed, I think the truth could not be more further from his own point.

David’s thesis is based upon the death of Carmine “The Snake” Persico, who died in prison. Carmine was allegedly guilty of some things which they used in The Godfather, therefore, he is an old school gangster and with his passing the nastiness of the Mafia is gone. He also references events like The Commission Case and the RICO law and all of those tried and found guilty under it, as proof that the Mafia is gone.

Here’s the problem: the same week the article was posted Francesco Cali was fatally shot outside of his Staten Island home. Francesco was the alleged head of the Gambino crime family. The author acknowledges this, as well as the existence of the Five Families:

The five families still exist, and we still know who their bosses are, but they learned the lesson of camera-hungry godfathers like John “the Dapper Don” Gotti and Nicademo “Little Nicky” Scarfo. They stay off TV and try to keep a low profile. Notwithstanding, that, or the broader desire for the mob to lay low, killings still happen. Just yesterday, reputed Gambino boss Frank Cali was murdered outside his Staten Island home.

So the five families still exist and there are still hits being carried out but because they keep a low profile the Mafia has died. Here’s the problem: with the exception of Gotti, none of the Mafia ever wanted a high profile. They were brought into the lime light by a senator (Kefauver) in the 1950’s who was trying to make a name for it. With the exception of Bugsy Siegel, there is no record that any of them wanted that attention. It was bad for business.

The Mafia is still around and very active.

Exhibit A) In wire taps of Domenico Violi (December, 2018) it was revealed that before he was appointed Underboss of the Buffalo Mafia, permission had to be sought from The Commission (i.e. The Five Families) to make sure his promotion was acceptable.

Exhibit B) Cece Luppino is the third hit in 2 years in Hamilton. But this wasn’t a drive-by Compton hit. This wasn’t two violent gangs taking vengeance. This was performed by a hitman, hired for the specific purpose of eliminating someone and sending a message.

Exhibit C) On March 10th 2019, Napoleon “Nappy” Andrade is shot to death outside of a half-way house. Was this guy in the mafia? It doesn’t appear to be the case. However, he had made the mistake of robbing an associate of the Gambino family. Now, I am NOT saying the Gambino family then retaliated by eliminating him. That’s for the police to decide.

Exhibit D) Four days later, Francesco Cali’s car is hit. Surveillance video shows it was hit on purpose. Cali comes out of the home to see what happened. He and the driver of the other car talk, shake hands. The driver hands Cali the license plate which fell off of his Cadillac. Cali turns around and the driver shoots him to death, then gets in his car and drives away.

Exhibit E) Just for fun, I’ll throw one in unrelated (probably?) to the above links. In the 1990’s, there were a string of break-ins in the Todt Hill neighborhood of Staten Island. Some of the people hit were mobsters. Among the things found in the home of the mobsters was cash and jewelry. A lot of it. In one home they found $250,000 in cash. An associate of the Genovese crime family reached out to the NYPD and asked for information they had on the thieves and offered to eliminate them. Per the detective in the story: “It turned into a kind of race,” Detective Al Guarneri said. ”Who was going to find these guys first? The cops or the bad guys?”

Anyways, the Mafia isn’t dead. But most of the people in the links I just provided are dead. And they aren’t the only ones. I’ve read too many articles on the Gambino hit to find the right one, but one officer who specialized in organized crime said this hit wasn’t sanctioned by the Five Families because they didn’t want the publicity: it is bad for business.

Which makes me wonder why David Marcus wrote the article. Please understand me, I am not insinuating he has ANY affiliation with the Mafia. I just don’t understand why you’d write an article saying the sky isn’t blue, when everyone can see the color hasn’t changed.

It’s good. It is really, really good.

Hey so I let my Double Hopped Cider sit way longer than I intended. But I figured what the heck, it isn’t as long as a voyage from England to India during the Golden Age of sail so meh, it should be fine. That’s what all those hops are for, yeah?

But then I bottled it and I sampled some and I was so disappointed I wanted to throw in the towel.

Then, through a cool group on Facebook called Zero Tolerance, I got hooked up with a neat guy in the city here who happened to have a bunch of GF beer for me. So we met up and I got about 15 beers from 3 different breweries. And I started to conduct research (aka drink). Let me tell you what: hugely disappointing! And also encouraging. Because I know I can make something better!

And then, maybe because I’d done too much research I cracked open my cider. And it was good. Really, really good. So good I couldn’t believe it. I’ve shared it with 3 different people so we’ll say what they say although one has already enjoyed it and informed me “it was amazing.” So who knows.

All that being said, there doesn’t seem to be any substitute for cascade hops and cider. I’ve now tried about 5 different varieties and none of them hold a candle to cascade + cider.

 

The Progressive Cisgender’s Burden

So the United Methodist Church was in the news recently. Perhaps you saw it? If not, I’ll condense it for you: they had a special General Conference involving representatives from the globe (their denomination truly is global) who voted on several options regarding the future of the UMC and their position on human sexuality.

The eventual outcome was for the UMC to not make any change on their position on human sexuality. This came largely as a result of votes from members who were not in the United States.

What is of note however, is the remarks by Dr. Jerry Kulah, who is dean of a seminary in Africa and the General Coordinator for the Africa Initiative and as such, represented all Africans at the General Conference.  I want to highlight a few of his remarks:

“Friends, please hear me, we Africans are not afraid of our sisters and brothers who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning, or queer. We love them and we hope the best for them. But we know of no compelling arguments for forsaking our church’s understanding of Scripture and the teachings of the church universal.

And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”

Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.”

Perhaps you missed it? There was a very strong reference to the old Colonial Mindset of the White Man’s Burden.

_The_White_Man's_Burden__Judge_1899

Remember back to US History in High School? The idea that us Western powers (i.e. white people) just had to colonize the poor third world countries because we needed to share civilization with them. They were so uncivilized and we had no choice but to carry them into a better future. Look at poor old Uncle Sam! Look how bedraggled and tired he is! It is a burden! But somebody has to civilize them. It might as well be us!

Please note: everything I just said justifying colonization, while a driving reason for it  at the time, is complete crap. And we know that. Colonialism was wrong. Again, just as a reminder: And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”

So here is the question the good Dr. Jerry makes the western progressives answer: how is their agenda and attitudes towards their brethren in Majority World countries different from the mindset of the White Man’s Burden?

Do they, or do the progressives not see their task as one of advancing civilization? They are spreading peace, love, equality and tolerance for all! And the Africans need to see that this is what is good for them.

Such is the progressive cisgender’s burden.

For your reference.