New brews

carboy cozyI have a new homebrew recipe up at my author site: Sassafras-Black Birch Beer. I made it back in early October, but because I keep my house so cold, the bottles are only now becoming ready to drink.

I’m even more excited about another brew that’s still in the fermenter, an African mocha mugwort stout made with six ounces of organic, fair trade, shade-grown Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, four ounces of organic cacao nibs, and a spice blend suggested by Rachel, based on the Swahili-style coffee she used to drink back when she was a journalist in East Africa: ginger, grains of paradise (a type of African pepper), and black cardamom. It’s sitting in the laundry room wearing the carboy cozy Rachel knitted last year (pictured at left), because the dehumidifier motor keeps the room at a more constant temperature than the main part of the house. Anyway, presuming that that beer also turns out, I’ll post the recipe sometime in December.

I realize it’s a little odd to post things of such narrow, specialized appeal as all-grain homebrew recipes to an author website, but if I posted them here I’m afraid they’d get lost amid Via Negativa’s 5000+ posts. Eventually I’ll probably migrate all my brewing recipes and essays to a dedicated site, but it’s not a high priority. Creating new websites isn’t nearly as big a thrill as it used to be — unlike homebrewing, which is just as exciting now as it was when I got started 15 years ago.

One thing I like about recipes is they can’t be copyrighted, though the writing itself of course can be. They could be patented, I suppose, but otherwise they are fundamentally open source: anyone can copy them or modify a recipe, and they don’t even need to credit the originator. What a relief, in this world where even some genomes are now treated as intellectual property!

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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