Saturday, May 11, 2013

Home cheesemaking at home for beermakers (explained)

Yesterday I busied myself at home inventing a method for ageing a Gruyere cheese by strapping it to your foot, and for fermenting a Scottish porter by dangling a Nubian warrior's oxters in the fresh wort overnight, or all three at once. My methods are infallible, even though you may quibble with my techniques: you see, it's all to do with harnessing the many natural flora and fauna and yeast and stuff that exist in the world around us, which is why my homebrew tastes like armpits from darkest Africa, and my cheese tastes like you just licked a sock. 

Anyway, as I was busily fermenting my cheese and fomenting my beer away along with all my plans and stratagems and schemes, what should happen to fall under my gaze but the following sentences:
... Attractive wine labels, going beyond information about the variety or the producer, are used to entice unsophisticated or new consumers. This is one of the primary methods by which the wine sector sells its products in a highly-competitive domestic and export market.
Marketing Mag, Plain Packaging for Tobacco: wine branding down the gurgler?
And so, the battle over plain packaging of cigarettes having been won (for now), the health lobby moves on to another front. (Link via Catallaxy.)

It's sweet, I thought, it really is, that the health lobby should care about my health so much that they should try to start a ban on the labelling of a product that I don't buy because they want to stop me drinking it even though I make at home anyway because they are worried about the effects of the alcohol in it which all things considered is probably the least of their worries if they came round and tasted some of my concoctions anyway.

But it got me thinking about those many popular products on the marketplace at the moment that people might soon decide to make at home....

Ever popular with students, this top seller is best described as yak's piss in a foil bag. Following the advent of plain packaging, students can easily and affordably brew their own goon at home, by pissing in some aluminium foil and then tying it up with some string.
FERMENTATION TIME: Half a day until all your buddies come round.

There's nothing quite like hanging out under the bridge and swilling out of a dirty bottle of unnamed spirits and waking up 50 years later with a splitting headache underneath a pile of newspapers realising that today is the first day for the rest of your life. But that's the sort of experience you're likely to enjoy with good old Rotgut, whatever it is. The ingredients of the recipe are closely guarded, but you can replicate its effects easily enough by placing a metal fermentation bucket over your head, getting someone to bang it about with a hammer a couple of times, and then falling unconscious underneath the nearest table. Don't forget to have a swig of vinegar before you do, though, just to give yourself the full Rotgut effect.
FERMENTATION TIME: Kind of depends whether you mean for you or the beer.

Schoolbag surprise
Here's one for the cheesemakers. Every parent of school children knows the joy of finding, at the bottom of their kid's school bag, the remains of last weeks/months/years Vegemite and cheese sandwich, a brilliant concoction of yeast and bacterium and Penicillium and who knows what else. Now, you can replicate this surprise at home by just pouring some old milk into your kids pocket, plugging up the gaps with a bit of bread, and sending them out to play in the garden. Okay, the results won't be exactly the same, but every cheese is different.
FOR MORE ADVANCED CHEESEMAKERS: Try doing the same with unpasteurised milk or sour cream for added zest. 

With a little ingenuity, creativity, and self-belief, you can have just as much fun at home recreating these old classic recipes, without the dread hand of the nanny state interfering in your life! Go to it, folks!

(Blog post typed up on my wireless Gorgonzola and routed through my dandelion merlot to the internet)

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