Fives or Not, by Andy Hall

Found this old gem while cleaning out the master closet… brings me back about 20 years.

Fives or Not

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Yeast Waffles, again

Still looking for that killer yeasted waffles recipe, this time from the cookbook Make the Bread, Buy the Butter (Jennifer Reese, the Tipsy Baker), from which we grabbed the buttermilk pancake recipe which we make on most weekends.

I do like the process for this recipe, which doesn’t involve much careful heating, but overall it was too greasy due to the large amount of butter. I think I preferred the Joy of Cooking recipe which we made last year.

1 c flour
0.5 c whole wheat flour
2 T sugar
1 t instant yeast
1 t kosher salt
8 T butter, melted
2 c milk, warmed
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
0.5 t baking soda

The night prior to making the waffles, mix up all ingredients minus the eggs and baking soda, then let sit overnight at RT. In the morning, separate the eggs, and mix the yolks and the baking soda into the batter. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold in gently. Made 10 waffles in our iron.

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Ginger Beer?

I’m drinking an in carbonated glass of ginger beer (I guess you would call it). Do I have notes on this one?? Oh brother.

Label on it says “Ginger 2″, 3/15/2013, 71B-1122 (the yeast).

It’s very interesting… wish I had chilled and/or carbonated it.


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Lesya requested a raspberry beer for summer, so I’m making a brown ale, half of which will sit on raspberries for at least a week, the second half on blackberries.

Here’s four pounds of raspberries ready for the prefermented beer to be added on top.


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Beans 2013

No time for mozzarella tonight, but I can report on the garden. So far we’ve harvested broccoli, strawberries (small crop but delicious), and a small amount of herbs (chives, thyme, basil, rosemary).

And today we started on the green beans, which for the first time I was smart enough to stagger sow, so hopefully we’ll be eating these beans for quite a while!


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Mozzarella part x of y?

There are recipes on the Internet which allow you to (theoretically) make mozzarella in 30 minutes.

Hmmmph. The recipe in my book isn’t even close to 30 minutes.

I just wish it told me where I can stop for the night, throwing everything into the fridge, ready to continue in a day or more. Which is what I’m about to do.



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Pasteurizing milk sous vide style

We’ve been discussing whether or not it’s a good idea to pasteurize milk via this method… questions like, will the milk above the water line warm up enough, and is the plastic container safe to 145 degrees F.

Any thoughts?

We were thinking of transferring the milk into gallon ziplock containers, but time was short and this was the least amount of work.


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Fromage Frais

I’ve made cheese a few times… dry curd Cottage cheese for pierogi, since I can’t buy it anywhere, and ricotta, just because it’s so easy to make from milk and a little acid. Not that I really need any additional hobbies, but I figure that cheese making fits in well with my overall interest in cooking, making things at home, and homebrew.

For Christmas last year, my parents gave me an awesome gift… a cheese making kit that included several types of bacteria culture, some rennet and calcium chloride, and a basic cheese mold. I’ve been so focused on making beer through the winter and early spring that I didn’t get a chance to dive into cheese. Until now, that is.

makin' cheese

My first cheese this year is a very simple one called fromage frais, which simply means “fresh cheese”. I’ve made it twice now, both times with good results. It’s so easy:

- in a Dutch oven, bring a gallon of milk to 77 degrees F
- add 1/4 tsp mesophillic culture.. Hydrate 5 minutes, then stir in.
- add 2 drops rennet dissolved in 1 tablespoon water. Stir in.
- let stand at RT for 12 hours.
- filter through a cheese cloth for 6-8 hours.
- salt with kosher salt, 1% by weight.

I made this with both whole milk and 2%, and I’d guess you could go 1% or even skim (it’s on my list). The first time, it stood 24 hours instead of 12–it may have picked up some additional tang/sourness due to the extended aging but it was quite delicious. On Sunday, I mixed in a handful of chopped chives, and we ate a ridiculous amount of this with crackers.

I wasn’t careful at all about sanitizing my equipment, but I’ll do a better job next time to see if the slight sourness is due to the added bacterial culture or if it’s from some lactobacillus-type bacteria present on my pot and spoon. Not that I mind the sourness at all, I’m just wondering whether this cheese is supposed to have it or not.

If you’re local to me, and you’d like to try this recipe, I can give you some of the mesophillic culture. Otherwise, order it from For my own reference, I’m including the product description of the mesophillic culture “chr-hansen CHN-22″ below.

Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

Use 1/8 tsp. per 1 gallon(3.7liters), 1/4 tsp. per 2-5 gallons(7.5-18.9 liters) 1/2 tsp. per 5-10 gallons(18.9-38 liters). The culture can be used in the manufacture of the following products: soft cheese with slow acidification (Lactic cheese, Camembert, Blue Cheese), Cheese varieties with eyes (Gouda, Edam). Fermented milk products manufactured by separation method (Sour Cream, Fromage Frais, Fromage Blanc). CHN-11 will produce slightly less gas then the CHN-22 and Flora Danica, but CHN-11 is a faster acidifier. Flora Danica will yield the fullest flavor. Flora Danica and CHN-22 can be used interchangeably as the CHN-11 can be with little or no noticeable difference. However, when switching from Flora Danica and CHN-22 to CHN-11 you will need to take these properties into account.

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Chive Blossom Vinegar

We’ve been growing chives in our front-yard garden for a few years now, and last year for the first time I noticed how pretty the chive blossoms are. Reading more about them lately, I found out that they are edible and can be delicious atop a fresh salad. But this morning, with my trip to Connecticut delayed by an hour (eventually more), I quickly put together this chive blossom vinegar based on a few blog posts I’ve seen over the last year.


With three chive plants in the garden, I was able to snip off a full quart’s worth of chive blossoms, just under the head of the blossom. I didn’t even bother to rinse them, as I didn’t notice any dirt or bugs while I worked in the garden. Then, some white vinegar got heated on the stove for a few minutes, not to boiling, and this warmish/hot vinegar was poured over the chive blossoms in the quart Mason jar. This will sit in the basement for a few weeks, extracting, after which I’ll filter off the heads and hopefully have a lightly colored and flavored vinegar. I’ll post a picture when it’s ready!!

By the way, we recently mixed up some chives with fresh, homemade “fromage frais”, which maybe I can write about during my trip back home from CT tonight…

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Sunday Morning Pale Ale

Sorry Kristina, no pictures in this post :( But I had a picture of the brew setup from the other morning!

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 12.85 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.65 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal

10 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter
6 lbs Vienna Malt
4 lbs Munich Malt
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM)
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM)
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min
1.00 oz Summit [17.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min
0.50 oz Summit [17.00 %] – Boil 15.0 min
2.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 22 lbs
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 27.50 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min
Mash Step Heat to 168.0 F over 20 min 168.0 F 0 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 8.81 gal water at 168.0 F

Mash temperature hit pretty closely. Stirred well, then let sit for 20 minutes and stirred again. Temperature a little low after 40 min… heated mash tun directly over time and eventually used this heat for mash out as well.

Took my time with the sparge… perhaps this is why the numbers are so high? Or maybe because I did a mash out for the first time? Target OG was 1.053, actual OG 1.066 (!!!!).

Pitched S-05 directly into the two 6 gallon carboys. Some (minimal) airlock activity within 5 hours. Strong activity by Tuesday evening 4/23. (Brew day was Sunday, as you might have surmised.)

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