Monday, October 02, 2006

Kitchen as Meditative Space

I made my second San Francisco batch of beer yesterday with the help of Aurora. It was a fun day of beer-making. I opted for a recipe completely over my head. It's a Belgian Spice Beer. It's the first beer I am brewing in which I'll use a secondary fermenter. This is a big deal for me. It's also the first beer that I'll really age. It should be ready around Holly's birthday (Dec 31st) and we're hoping to tap the keg that night, so if you're in town...

But I've realized that the Kitchen has become, for me, a meditative space in some ways. Despite my inability to make a proper Eggs Florentine, I have found that I have a knack–albeit raw and undeveloped–for cooking. For the most part, I have found that I do enjoy the process of smashing the garlic, slicing the onions, pouring oil onto the wok.

I guess this shouldn't be too much of a surprise...that is, I do love brewing beer in the kitchen.

But I've realized that I can kind of get into a zone when I am doing this...and the work of my hands becomes a bit like a prayer...or something.

And it's given our kitchen a more 'sacred' feel to me...when I'm thinking about it.

PS - I'll be brewing another batch this Saturday or Sunday, so if you're in the area and would like to come over and help out, just lemme know.


Shaina said...

dude, i am totally a fan of brewing your own beer! you should bottle some up and send out a sample to chi-town! i just bought a 6er of Liberty Ale, brewed in the Bay Area, from Whole Foods last week... not bad. but i bet yours is better. maybe we'll get to try some when we come out there in december???

brett said...

are you using a carboy for your secondary fermenter? how are you putting together your recipes...who do you use?
i am definitely doing that on the next batch(es). i am doing a regular pale ale and an ipa, i love hoppy shit.
try the irish stout though, ryan, it tastes good even when you are bottling it.

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Mmm...nothing finer than homemade beer. And I have my parents to thank for getting me my first real brew kit. And my brother to thank (I think) for tipping them off to that.

I got a 3-gallon carboy for secondary. I've done different recipes at different times, usually those suggested by store owners...and I've got a few books. This is only my 6th or 7th batch, so I'm still wet behind the ears.

I think I'll do a stout next...that is, after I do a wheat beer this upcoming weekend. I'll hope to have my stout ready by Thanksgiving or early December. Have you made one? Did you age it?

I don't go the bottling route. I've been using this thing called the Party Pig (which many brewing stores scoff at) and I love it. It's a way of getting draft beer (one of the big reasons I make my own) that I can keep in my fridge. I brew 1/2 size batches...2.5-3 gallons.

brett said...

btw ryan...i agree with the kitchen sacred spaceness to a degree. now that i am home taking care of kaya most days and christy is working, i have been preparing dinner for us and there is a certain amount of excitment, adventure and experimentation that makes it a time to look forward to.
for now, though, i do most my brewin' outside.

brett said... you add sugar to the party pig?

Scott said...

Hilary & I can vouch for the sacredness of the Sharp kitchen, and for Ryan's knack therein. The bounty of the wok was splendid.

Come to think of it, we can also vouch for Ryan's homemade beer; we got to share the very last glass of his September offering. Mmm, refreshin'...