My daughter, Nicolette, gave me this culinary laser thermometer several years ago. Like my trusty Thermapen, this gadget was recruited into the home brewery. While the Thermapen is used throughout the brewing process for assessing liquid temperature, this bad boy is ideal for determining surface temperature. Assessing surface temperature is helpful when you are looking for the right spot to ferment a saison or farmhouse ale -- beers that don't require housing in a chest freezer. An added benefit: This gadget makes me feel like I'm in a James Bond picture.
Grade B maple syrup (the best kind) is the star of this acer cider, which is now in fermentation. The maple syrup will dry out the cider in a most satisfying way and kick in some smoky notes. I enjoyed some Reverend Nat's Revival Hard Apple Cider while making The Acer. Can't wait to taste the outcome in a few weeks.
Does anything say Winter is Over like strawberries? This fruit is a challenge and does not play nice with every beer style, as I have learned from personal experience. When Peter's eyes went round with delight upon being served this beer, I knew I had something going. The first thing you notice is the large, creamy head atop a beer that is the color of a red grapefruit. When you lift the glass, the nose is all strawberry fields. It's tasting bright right now, and the natural tartness of the fruit puts a smile on my face. I'll bring this one to my mother -- she's sure to like it. Is this beer a quick summer fling -- do I have to give my bottles away as quickly as possible before the flavor fades? Right now, it's an aroma bomb. By the way, you might notice my photos have graduated from rural outdoorsy shots to a studio feel -- a reflection of my move from the wilds of Vista, California to Los Angeles. Some say L.A. can be a bit wild too, but where are the coyotes?
Wine and beer event consultant at www.lynenoella.com