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Homemade Beer Vinegar Experiments

Homemade Beer Vinegar Experiments 1This post was almost given the title: “what’s with all the jars with three fingers of stale beer?” But, that isn’t very snappy, now is it? To say nothing of its terrible SEO qualities.

The answer to the question is, as they say, somewhat complicated. One of my favourite recipes in my cookbook, the Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook, is not really a recipe at all. It’s more of a process – three in fact – for turning good beer into excellent vinegar.

I go through the why’s and how’s in some detail in the book, but the short version is something like this: just as there is a microbial action that converts the sugar in wort to the alcohol and carbon dioxide in beer; there is also one that further metabolizes that alcohol into acetic acid. Different microbes and different results, but they are similar. (more…)

Great Popcorn Experiment

Popcorn kernels

On Tuesday I celebrated our first anniversary here at Food With Legs.  One of the things I dig most about writing this website is the opportunity to look back at what I was cooking in the past and re-examine techniques.  I was inspired by some talk on Twitter by Michael Ruhlman (author of Ratio, Charcuterie, and others) this week to take another look at my stovetop popcorn recipe.

I no longer lead a microwave-free lifestyle but I still like the idea of making popcorn on the stovetop.  Ruhlman pointed to his post from January 2009 where he gives his recipe for making stovetop popcorn or “pot popcorn” as his son calls it.  His big thing is not preheating the oil before the kernels go in.  My method uses the pretty typical three kernels as a thermostat to judge when the oil is sufficiently preheated.  The difference seems interesting, Ruhlman usually knows what he’s talking about (and seems pretty adamant in this case), and popcorn is cheap so I consider this an ideal situation for a head-to-head, slightly scientific Pop Off. (more…)