What are IBU’s in beer.

I always seem to come across new and unknown terminology in the beer world. Its exciting when you can use that lingo when trying to comb through your drink choices at your local pub or during that brewery visit you had been putting off for so long. I also find it extremely helpful when choosing beer at the supermarket. For example, knowing what IBU’s are and what that means in relation to what type of beer you might be looking for is great and very helpful. Sometimes there is a nice little description on the six-pack or bottle of beer but it isn’t always that useful in helping you to decide based on flavor or even knowing what it actually might taste like.

IBU refers to International Bitterness Unit scale which is standard for measuring the amount of hops  in your beer. (Or the concentration of bitter hop acids in any given beer) That’s right folks, and its super helpful for hop heads, white beer and pale ale drinkers alike. IBU measurement is helpful for not only those of us who seek out that super bitter, hoppy flavor but also for those of you who hate hoppy beer. Just simply check out the IBU’s on your beer bottle and you’ll know if your going to regret buying a 24 pack of said beer or not. Often a very hoppy beer will have an IBU of perhaps 75 or 80 which is high, for obvious reasons and a more malty beer or even a light beer might have an IBU of somewhere around 30.

                                                                Let’s get down to the science of it!

More specifically IBU’s in a beer refer to the amount of Isohumolone, the acid that occurs in hops that actually gives your beer its bite.

Isohumolones, the chemical compounds that contribute to the bitterness level are themselves in another class of compounds known as isoalpha acids.

                                                          How it works chemically….If your interested. :-)

For all you darlings out there who absolutely loved second period of high school because you had chemistry class, then you might appreciate this seemingly useless information. Although, knowledge is power so who knows when you will need to know how the hops are broken down chemically in beer, right?

One IBU corresponds to one part-per-million of isohumolone. When beer is exposed to the light, the compounds decompose in a reaction catalyzed by riboflavin to then make a free radical species by the hemolytic cleavage of the exocyclic carbon-carbon bond. Whewww, what a mouthful!. The cleaved acyl-side chain radical then decomposes some more and then expels or releases carbon monoxide and creating 1,1 dimenthylallyl radical. This radical will finally react with sulfur containing amino acids, like cysteine to create 3-methyl but-2-ene-1-thiol. A thiol which causes your beer to taste “skunky” or “hoppy” or “bitter” or whatever you’d like to call it. Voila! That’s it!

What it looks like…..

isohumulone (hop acids in beer)

So that’s it, I hope this was more informative and interesting than boring, also there is a little list of other relevent beer and brewing terms. 🙂 ❤ Cassandra

 

 

 

 

Other Beer and brewing terminology

Aerobic– An organism, such as top-fermenting ale yeast, that needs oxygen to metabolize.

ABV– Alcohol By Volume- Amount of alcohol in beer in terms of percentage volume of alcohol per volume of beer.

Ale– Beers distinguished by use of top-fermenting yeast strains, often fruitiness is part of the character of ales.

Anaerobic– An organism such as bottom-fermented lager yeast, that is able to metabolize without oxygen present.

Barrel– A unit of measurement used by brewers in some countries. In Britain a Barrel holds 36 imperial gallons ( 1 imperial gallon= 4.5 US liters) ( or 1.63 hectoliters). A US  barrel holds 31.5 US gallons ( 1 US gallon = 3.8 liters) or 1.7 hectoliters.

Black malt– Partially malted barley, roasted at high temperatures. Black malt gives a dark color and roasted flavor to beer.

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A decade of life lessons from 90’s action stars

top-action-movie-stars

For all you 80’s babies out there you understand, probably, how important 90’s action stars and the movies they were in actually were to us. They helped to raise us in a way and guided us through a decade of giant gold hoop earrings, puffy starter jackets and way too many eyebrow piercings. 90’s action stars made us believe we could face that bully on the playground despite the fact that a round house kick is incredibly difficult to pull off when your 12. I mean, there is  a whole generation of kids that learned problem skills solely from Macgyver. The 90’s was a great time to be a kid I think and we should reflect on and celebrate how those bold and brave fictional characters have changed our lives for the better. Here we go! The following action stars are placed in no particular order whatsoever.

Mel Gibson- Mel will get his revenge if you try to take his freedom, he is a brave-heart, that one. He’s a romantic, a priest, a soldier or celtic farmer gone rogue and John Smith in Pocohontas. Teaching us about the wonders of bi-racial love and the need to always keep your eye out for aliens invading through your Oklahoma corn field. . Thanks Mel!

Tom Cruise- Furiously running throughout every movie as though being chased and like 80 % of the time there is no one actually chasing him. I don’t know about you but I took up track in high school coming in 3rd place in every single race so thanks Tom! No mission is impossible.

Nicholas Cage- Loud for no reason other than he can be and has the most impeccable man weave in the industry. Nick taught me about anger management and how it can help us throughout life and also that there is nothing wrong with rocking a good floor length duster or finger-less sorcerer gloves. Refer to the Nick Cage freak-out montage below . 🙂 Your welcome.

 

 

steven seagalSteven Seagal- Taught me how to fight without moving my actual body and how to run with straight arms in the event I might need to.Which may sounds weird but I can assure you, the Kung Fu I think I can do because of Steven Seagal is almost impeccable. He is hard to kill and few people know this but Steven Seagal help boost the hair gel industry to new heights all by himself in the 90’s. I had to reject the boys on the playground who weren’t trying to put their hair into an overly tight gelled pony tail.

Wesley Snipes- Taught us that white men can’t jump but they can bite you with fangs in a dark alley so you gotta watch your back. Along side pocohantas he taught me that theres nothing wrong with a little jungle fever, although I don’t think there is a cure. 🙂 I even learned that you better not act up on airplanes because you never know who passenger 57 is, he may just be Wesley Snipes ready to court marshall your ass. I’d also like to give a firm thank you to Mr. Snipes for giving us 3 Blade movies. I can’ even begin to explain how it helps me when I have to stay in for a week when I have the flu or something.

Chuck Norris-  Walker Texas Ranger, enough said. I think of him in the gym at least once a week. Talk about motivation! And for your reading pleasure I’ve placed some Chuck Norris facts below. Enjoy.

chuck-norris-jokes-birthday

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger- Arnold showed me that there is indeed a job position known as Kindergarten cop. I also learned that expressing every emotion one might have in a monotone voice at all times is possible. Sometimes for no reason at all, I yell at times I deem appropriate, my favorite Arnold one-liners. Give it a try the next time your in a rush to get somewhere, then yell “Get in the chopper!!!!” or “It’s not a tumor!” the next time your getting your yearly dental cleaning. It really makes for a higher quality of life. Thanks Arnold.

Pierce Brosnan- The classiest of the action stars by far, fighting among the elite against villians of all magnitudes, he’s never afraid to chase down a bad guy through flames and gun fire all the while never wrinkling his perfect 3 piece suit or ruining the latest luxury car out. I learned how to take care of my things from Pierce and also that there is always time for tea no matter how many impending world destruction scenarios there might be at play. Thanks Pierce!

harrison ford

Harrison Ford- Seemingly middle-aged throughout his whole on screen career, good ol’ Indie taught us to never give up. Through the amazonian jungles and into the under worlds of sci-fi thrillers he showed me that with either whip or jedi powers I can conquer anything. I also became an avid fan of the jungle hat that I think we call Fedora’s now. It has upped my fashion sense exponentially.

jcvdJean Claude Van Damme- So much to say about Jean Claude, I was definitely the only little girl in my ballet classes doing splits because JCVD was doing them in every single movie he has ever made. Always managing to use the same name or a variation of the same name in every movie, JCVD taught me the importance of recycling, stretching before a Kumite match and that there us absolutely nothing wrong with a very low v-neck spandex tank top.  Dulph Lundgren-  An honorable mention to the almighty Dulph Lundgren who always plays a bad guy in a movie who seems to have no fewer than 5 – 10 lines. He is awesome in his own right and definitely probably taught us something about something.

Thank you 90’s action film stars for showing us the way to truly live our lives like a fictional karate, gun slinging hero. Also, one of the bigger life lessons I have learned from several of my favorite 90’s action stars on this list was to pay my taxes or the government will get ya! Apparently if you owe them 20 million dollars they will put you in jail, or force you to make 4 B-rated movies a year until you can pay it off.  So… you know, pay your taxes folks.

 

 

My top 90’s action movies

Jungle Fever

True Lies

Terminator

Kindegarten Cop

Lethal Weapon

Every JCVD movie ever made

Hard to kill

Passenger 57

Out for justice

Top gun

Braveheart

Forever young

Die hard

Marked for death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 signs you should get a divorce.

divorce cartoon

As someone who is has neither been married nor divorced, perhaps my perspective on the topics are bit skewed, but I don’t think so. As someone who is however, engaged to be married and have had a fair amount of married friends/relatives over the years, I feel my view is actually un-biased and therefore true. Judge for yourself though. Having said that, its pretty heart breaking to me when it seems like the whole world can see when a couple is headed for a collision course except the couple themselves. Or perhaps your beliefs lead you to believe you have no other choice but to suffer through a love-less, poisonous, ratched-ass marriage simply because you made vows to the wrong person. Or worst, perhaps you keep telling yourself ” Well we have to work it out for the kids”.  As if two adults being unhappy regularly somehow sends good messages to kids about commitment and love. Well I am here to tell you this is not the case and happiness only happens if you make it happen but sadness and despair are what happens when you let them.

  1. If you say you hate your spouse on a regular basis or to random strangers and you actually mean it, guess what? Think about that divorce you have been putting off. And on the plus side if you don’t have many financial assets to fight over then you can get a divorce for like 500$. It’s probably time.

  2. If your husband sleeps with a woman who is not you one month before your wedding and you then proceed to still get married you are going to be googling this article in the near future, to which I say it’s probably time to serve him with those papers. Or better yet maybe too much time hasn’t passed for you to get an annulment.

  3. If the idea of sex, hugging, cuddling or touching your spouse repulses you, you need to get a divorce and find someone who you do actually want to touch every day for the rest of your life. Just saying…I know and have known way too many married people who think it’s perfectly normal to be legal roommates and then wonder why folks sleeping around on them. Marry someone you wanna touch forever or stick to dating until you do.

  4. If you have done couples therapy and your therapist  hates both of you, tries to cancel your regularly scheduled sessions and mysteriously is on “vacation” several times a year, they think you should get a divorce and have little hope for your future together and don’t want to tell you. Get the hint.

  5. If you cry more than you smile it might be time to wrap it up folks. Despite popular belief Love doesn’t hurt. Loss does. Too many of you out there have it twisted.

  6. If your spouse abuses you verbally,  you may think ” Well I’m not being beat” to which I would say you need to get a grip on reality and hold on real tight. Any form of abuse is unacceptable, including verbal and emotional. Get a divorce because you deserve absolute love, everyday. After all, the vows you took didn’t say ” I promise to love through good times and then stop when I feel like it”. Did they?

Sidenote: The next thing that happens statistically in a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship after enough time is usually physical violence.

  1. If you married for money and then found out that there really isn’t that much money to be had, do yourself a favor and get a divorce and maybe give sugar daddies a try or something. Marriage is supposed to be about partnership and love and all that stuff….remember?

  2. If you got married when you were 19 because you thought the next “natural” step of your high school, adolescent love was marriage and the best the thing to do, and your now wondering a decade later “We have grown into such different people, what happened?” then the answer is in the first part of this sentence.

Sidenote ^ It should be said that I absolutely believe true and real love can happen and be experience at any age at all, even marrying young can definitely work out. However I have a serious problem with people who don’t realize that marriage isn’t the next “natural step” in part of life. It is to be cherished and not taken lightly. Let’s not conform to societies or your silly under developed teenage minds ideas of what we must do. All you must do is be happy.

  1. If you stay married because you have children.. then your stupid. So sorry but the ability to procreate after you have legally tied the knot doesn’t mean your marriage is working or right. Kids aren’t stupid and they can sense and feel unhappiness, misery and bullshit in adults better than we can. So you’re not doing anyone a favor. Least of all them.

  2. I don’t have anything for ten… but I believe in the sanctity of marriage and the vows that we take when we choose, of our volition, to spend our whole life with one person. However don’t make vows you can’t keep. What I mean by this is that, the divorce rate in this country is still 50 % and climbing. There is a reason for this. People seem to think marriage is some kind of next step of an okay relationship when if fact that is not it at all. Sometimes I wonder if when people decide to get married if they realize that the intention of it is literally to be forever. So keeping that in mind you would think people would be more careful who they chose to take these vows with. Either way, it’s not a bad thing if it turns out horrible and you choose to leave.  There is no judgement in two adults choosing to do the right thing if divorce is indeed right for you.

Start a new and live happy.

Cassandra

 

How to be a wino!

 

street winos

Websters Dictionary defines Wino as a – noun, informal, a person who drinks excessive amounts of cheap wine or other alcohol, especially one who is homeless.

The Urban Dictionary defines Wino as – someone who props up walls in the street, drinking an unidentifiable drink ( it needn’t be wine, could also be special brew, spirits, buckfast or light beer) out of a paper bag whilst swearing incoherently and dribbling.

Well…..I am here to inform you that it need not be the case. It no longer requires strolling through the city under passes enjoying you spirit of choice in brown paper bags. No sir. So the dictionary and thus society says you must be homeless? But why? I can assure you there is a new brand of wino emerging in the community. And I have seen them, I have drunk with them and observed them in what has now been determined to be their natural habitat.

You may be surprised to know I found an entire group of what seemed to be well versed winos, all middle-aged, middle-upper class, well dressed and recently showered folks jamming out to a folk/bluegrass band in none other than a wine bar. That’s right. It was a dim-lit and small rustic styled establishment boasting 20$ glasses of Grenache, hand made barstools made from spruce pine and cocktail tables crafted from salvaged wood by a local craftsman. I can assure you there was no dribbling or paper bags in sight.

It happened early in the evening while leaving the Lexington Ave Brewery. It was a beautifully February day downtown. After two pitchers of “Wave Grain” pale ale, a plate of fancy cheeses and another plate of wonderfully baked blueberry shortbread that was to die for ( we attempted to purchase a 1/2 pound of the shortbread but couldn’t do so due to short supply or something) we found ourselves strolling in the fresh air up a small hill towards this sound. A sound I originally thought was a Ron Burgundy style jazz flute player. It turned out to be a 3 man folk/bluegrass band consisting of a mandolin player, a singer/electric fiddle player named Meade (so awesome!) and a guy on the acoustic guitar. And they bedazzled us in their urban overalls, Nike sneakers and fresh pressed corduroy blazers. It was fantastical!

They played as though no one was listening and as I sipped my glass of Malbec, I was entranced. As was every other person packed in the small space. All slapping away at their knees or tapping a finger on the hand carved wooden tables perfectly buffed and shined. The patrons were a wonderful amalgamation of long-haired 30 somethings just arriving from yoga class and bearded 40 somethings holding their ladies tight in their arms and neatly eating their goat cheese plate. Even better than that was the 50 somethings that had posted up in the corner adjacent to the band playing a friendly game of Rummy over white wine and great music. They even invited our friend to play with them. It was warm and welcoming and the wine kept a flowing.

Reba Macintire was in attendance, or at least her doppelgänger was and I caught a glimpse of a 60-year-old cowboy jiving out like there was no tomorrow.

The wine bar we were at was 5 Walnut and the band was “The Honey Chasers”.

Wanna start down the path of Wino living? Well here are some guidelines to get you started.

wine

A true wino, after enjoying several of glasses of wine that basically add up to an entire bottle, puts cash in the bands tip jar at the end of their set and then proceeds to offer an invitation for drinks at the local dive bar down the road.

Always order wine or an old school cocktail, never order anything with the word “breeze” in it or a “sex on the beach” or you will immediately be asked to leave the Wino facilities.

However never be afraid to enjoy your brew of choice as a good wino bar will almost certainly have great beer options for those out there who prefer that. Apparently beer isn’t frowned upon with this group. 🙂

winos13Always remember Do Not, under any circumstances drink malt liquor of any kind, that doesn’t make you a wino it makes you a fucking hobo. Don’t ask for malt liquor or other spirits that are equally as tacky. They won’t have them anyways.

Enjoy said drinks while listening to live music the likes of folk, flamenco, jazz/exotica, rhumba and of course my favorite, gypsy jazz.

All in all there is a new movement of wino happening, one made up of actual grown ups who shower and jam out to cool jazzy like music while enjoying what most would consider over priced drinks. They are a fabulous bunch that seem rare but are growing in numbers continuously. Sip and enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed this very informative life lesson.

❤ Cassandra

 

 

Beer of the month: Sierra Nevada- Torpedo Extra IPA

February’s Beer of the Month is by Sierra Nevada…none other than the Torpedo, Extra IPA!!! Welcome.

TorpedoExtraIPA

With so many hops going on in this beer from Sierra Nevada I barely know where to start. There are so many citrus highlights to this one. After its been perfectly poured into your pint glass, sitting there a rich golden amber color topped with a beautifully white fluffy white head, the aroma coming off of it as you raise your glass to toast to life is abundantly orange-y and zesty. The flavor on the first sip is fruity and extremely hoppy all at the same time. Somehow, though it manages not to be so overwhelming. It’s an inviting aroma and an even more welcoming flavor that lets you through the front door of happy beer drinking. That is how I felt as I drank it.

Torpedo is dry-hopped which means they add whole-cone hops to the fermentation tanks. So by adding hops to cold beer this allows for any aromatic oils and resin  to basically infuse the beer with tons of flavor and yummy smells without adding any extra bitterness that may not be wanted.

sierra-nevada-torpedo

Sierra Nevada actually dry hops this beer slightly differently than the traditional way, they invented a new method of adding the hops to a stainless steel device filled with whole coned hops. They then circulate the fermenting beer in and out of the tank, manipulating the temperature, time and speed thus being able to better control specific aromas they are trying to achieve. Well, its working because Torpedo is a force to be reckoned with. A super nova of a beer.

At 7.2 % Abv the IBU’s are 65, not surprisingly, it is an IPA after all.

The ingredients include:

Yeast- ale yeast

Bittering hops- Magnum

Finishing Hops- Magnum, Crystal, Citra

Malts- two-row Pale, Caramel

So try it and drink merrily!

I am working on making sure I add great snacks and food pairings with my beer of the month… So keep your eyes out for that in “Fantastic Foods” soon.!!!

Cassandra

 

Beer highlights——> White Zombie!

white zombie beer can

This months highlight is written for the taste buds of my better half, the always wonderful Red. For his love of great brews is almost as fabulous as his fire beard. And so here is a nod to my love.

White Zombie put out by Catawba Brewery Co. in North Carolina, also the birthplace of Red.

ABV 5.1 % – Belgium Witbier, un-malted wheat and light bodied.

Interestingly enough my mister doesn’t exactly dress up for Halloween, like he will let me create a Halloween decoration to be adhered via velcro to his t-shirt, this allows for the removal of it when he sees fit throughout the evening. And yet…. he did manage to discover this gem at a bar one night out in Asheville, NC while we were visiting his hometown, in a cute little bar called “East Village”.  More to the point, White Zombie was originally a Halloween seasonal brew and I guess it’s fabulous flair and taste was just too good to come round but once  a year so it’s now available all year-long. Yay!

Flavor Profile-

It has coriander and orange peel flavors giving it a zesty kind of spice that is super enjoyable.

It’s quite cloudy because it is un-filtered but surprisingly has a really nice amount of carbonation that I honestly didn’t expect but enjoyed. Although not very hoppy at all it is a really well-rounded Witbier.


 

And to wrap up this really fantastic white beer that you absolutely must try if you love Wheat beer….White Zombie is available in either keg or can versions. So if you need to get your frat party started with something classier than the keg at your last frat party or if you just simply are ok with 12 oz of canned and carbonated yumminess to tuck into your koozie then your good on both fronts. I haven’t seen any Catawba brews in a bottle however, do not be discouraged, a great canned beer just might make your day. I actually have a strong appreciation for them and here are the reasons I found why:

The cans used to house canned beer are made of an incredibly thin aluminum which is then sprayed with a polymer that seals and actually separates the beer inside from the can itself, which is actually a good thing. As the aluminum used in modern-day cans is so thin that the beer would probably eat through it without that lining before it went from store to home.

Some people raise their eyebrows to canned beer due to the illusion of some metallic taste that actually isn’t there. It’s impossible for it to actually taste metallic, refer to the paragraph above. According to a number of tastes tests and experiments conducted by beer packaging companies, experts, beer aficionados and brewers this isn’t even slightly possible.

A little Side note and therefore no experiment needed for me: Most people often prefer draught beer to canned. However when those neurons of yours really start firing you realize draught beer is stored in a metal keg….and canned beer is kind of like a mini keg. So boom there it is!. 🙂

Sip and act like a zombie when doing so, mostly because it’s a lot of fun to pretend to be a zombie.

Cassandra

 

When your friends are not really your friends. The “Get It Together” Edition

hooter4_zps644e2274

Now the following fundamental rules should be acquired and learned at an early stage in life, however most people don’t seem to pick them up until well into their adulthood for some reason. Or they at least don’t get a full grasp of the rules until much later on in life. I sorted through them and figured most of them out in my early 20’s. Also, if you are older than 16 years old and you still need to roll 20 deep you need to do some soul-searching. As you get older you find that your truly great friends are few in number because that is all that you really need. Here we go!

-Your friend isn’t your friend if you spend 90 % of your time together “upping” them. When no matter what is going on with you, it is still somehow about them, they are probably not your friend. If I have to tell you every single day, 20 times a day you look nice in that outfit, you are either insecure or really indecisive about clothing choices. Either way, its your body, wear what you want and whatever makes you feel good.

  • Your friends also don’t talk shit about you that they would never say to your actual face. Friends will preface any negative comments with ” sorry to have to say this but…” and then proceed to shit talk right to you. In a nice way of course. Being mean isn’t nice.

  • When your friend tells you that you look good even though you don’t actually look good at all, re-think your friendship. There are plenty of polite ways to alert your friend that perhaps one less layer of foundation might not be a bad idea before you go out. Or if your friend is incapable of simply saying that your ass looks fat in that dress because it actually does, then get a new friend. Friends don’t let friends wear ass enlarging outfits.

  • Don’t be afraid to alert your friends to the fact that their boyfriend/girlfriend is a dick. Everyone of course has the right to be with anyone they choose. As good friends we should support them and lift them up in positive ways in regards to relationships.  However, if you ask me what I think about a guy you’re seeing but don’t actually want the truth,we are not friends. I don’t have time to expend energy helping you over think every aspect of every text, snap chat and tweet between you two if you don’t actually give a fuck what I have to say about it. Let those friends make their relationship mistakes on their own and keep it pushing, life’s too short.

  • If your friends party at your house, crash on the couch and then proceed to slip out the next morning without helping to clean up, don’t invite them over again. Not your friends.

  • If your friends come over for a dinner party and don’t bring a dessert or some alcoholic beverage, well they were just raised with no etiquette. You don’t have to ditch them for this though.

  • If your friends don’t wash their hands out in a public establishment, say in a bar or restaurant then first of all ewwww and second they are your dirty non-friends. If this seems like an odd thing to nit pick at, I can assure I have had friends who consistently wouldn’t wash their hands in the bathroom. All I’m saying is if you’re not scared of contracting the plague from a dive bar bathroom than how much else is life can you really care about let alone me.

  • Now this next one seems like a given, however some people are dense so I’m going to say it anyways. If your friend flirts, sleeps with or attempts to sleep with your spouse they are not your friend and they probably never were. Delete them from all of your mobile sites and block their phone numbers.  I am so sick of hearing about some of you folks complaining how your man “had sex with Jamie or Kate” or whoever he is sleeping with. Like how stupid are you to first think that your ” friend”  is still your ” friend” when they slept with your man. Bye bitch. They are trash. Friends don’t sleep with other friends spouses.

-When going through a real heartbreak your friends should bring you hugs, kleenex, food an booze. If they do not they are not your friends. A lost love is hard and is supposed to hurt, so….. before your back at that bar trying to fill that void with meaningless sex to get over whoever broke your heart in the first place and potentially getting an STD, find friends who will do the vegging out thing on your couch with you until you’ve cried yourself into dehydration.

  • Drama. Uggghhh this one is hard, especially as a woman because we have a tendency to find drama where there is none. However if you have a friend who can find drama in any and every situation at all times then you probably could do without them. I mean like if your on your way to the movies or your local Starbucks and they have a “problem” with every person in line or can’t seem to forget about your other friends’ problems then they are probably poisonous.

So the lesson here is stop calling everyone your friend, letting them into your life and giving all your energy and love if they don’t reciprocate. Easy Breezy!

Cassandra