Boardwalk Pizza – Not Your Average Source

Boardwalk Pizza Winter Park, FL

Boardwalk Pizza Winter Park, FL

This is one of the greatest pizza places on record. My family and I have been eating here for over 30 years! I have so many fond memories, many from a full belly, from this place.

In high school, Boardwalk Pizza was a favorite stop after a beach trip, fishing or just about any time. A two slice special and the afternoon or evening couldn’t end much better. When I was feeling like it was a special night, I would grab a cheese steak.

The cheese steak is a perfect mix of gooey cheese and tasty steak. Boardwalk uses the perfect roll to place this treat on. One of the few sandwiches that don’t need any condiments. Just throw on the sautéed onions and peppers.

My Dad loved to eat in restaurants. His job had him traveling all over the place and he always knew the best places to eat. No matter where we were when I was a kid my Dad knew of some “locals” place. Many are among my favorite places. I was able to convince him to try Boardwalk one night; we ate there almost every Friday night from then on. 30 years later we still grab a pie there, though since my Dad passed away we don’t make it every week.

By now I am sure you are wondering what does this have to do with home brewing?

Well it helps to be kind to servers and anyone working in the service industry. Over the years I have gotten to know the staff pretty well. One night I asked one of our regular servers if they would save bottles for me.

Wine bottles now only cost me elbow grease to remove the labels and sanitize them before use! If you don’t feel comfortable asking at your favorite local haunt, mention your need to friends. I have several who are saving bottles for me now.

Remember dark glass that takes a cork. I will share a tip about how to clean and de-label them in a later post.

Seriously though, Boardwalk Pizza is a great place with a great menu. They serve amazing pizza but also serve more traditional Italian dishes. Check out the garlic knots and a Caesar salad (the dressing is unreal, we get a side of dressing to dip our crust in). Their staff is very personable and always cheerful; the guys on the line have mad respect…in 30 years I have never had a bad meal.

Hope you enjoy!

25 OCT 15 – I’ll Be Late for Christmas

I love that song but it is true! We got started a little late for our Christmas batches. It is rare that we have both carboys empty at the same time. We started another variation of apple and a cranberry raspberry blend.

What's Brewing?

What’s Brewing?

We have had a lot of luck with cranberry, though it is always a drier wine. Our house is divided…one side leans to the dry the other to the sweeter batches. I’d tell you which I am but I drink them both.

Apple has been a passion since the beginning. Always one of my favorites and I can’t say we have had a bad batch. No two have been exactly the same. Apple makes me feel like a hero because we keep tweaking the recipe but keep liking the results.

I am in love with cider.

It is about time to give you some recipes.

Apple from Concentrate Recipe: 3 gallon yield

Raspberry Cranberry Blend Recipe: 3 gallon yield

Christmas Batches

Christmas Batches

Both are tucked away in the brew closet awaiting racking!

A couple of tricks I learned over the summer from “The Alaskan Bootlegger’s Bible” (ABB) if you have not heard of this book you need to get a copy, the link is to Barnes & Noble but it can also be found on Amazon. Having my choice I would either buy the book at your local brew store or direct from the author at Happy Mountain.

The first I shared in an earlier post, using gelatin in the racking process is amazing. The gelatin forms up a little and acts like a blanket slowly dropping to the bottom catching all the cloudy bits. As Leon W. Kania, explains in the ABB, one packet of gelatin per container. Add the envelop to 1/2 cup of hot water and dissolve. After filling the racking container with wine, slowly pour into the racking container.

It is like magic speeding up the racking process. Our wines have never been clearer and this little trick is now a must.

The second trick is the Campden tablets.

These little wonders have helped the taste profile of our wines and reduced the acidic quality as well. Admittedly I’m not sure how. The tablets kill any wild yeast  that may have found it’s way into your batch while allowing the brewing yeast to thrive.

We have a wine rack full of bottles and several more coming out for Christmas. Where are you on your brewing list?

Hope you enjoy!

What’s Fermenting?

So, I haven’t posted in a quite awhile. My wife and I have been busy!

First, I spent some time off work due to an injury and I am still recovering. Then there is the school year and the start of all the extra curricular activities. It’s hard to find time.

Though a friend would say if you don’t make the time then it is just not a priority.

I agree with that…but only to a point. We have been making some great batches. A few new favorites, some new ideas and a new bottle source. I have seen a new friend close his doors because of a petty enforcement of some vague home brewing laws.

Before I get to far in the ditch…

Our strawberry mead was an epic failure. While the batch produced alcohol the taste was horrible. Three gallons down the drain and honey isn’t cheap. I have since learned from reading friends blogs not to leave the fruit in the whole fermentation. Wines that begin with real fruit really need to be done in a two stage method. Not to mention it is best to keep the fruit in some type of bag or cheese cloth so you can easily remove it.

What did we learn?

To be honest, it was a wake up call to stick with our roots. We started this endeavor to share how easy it is to just follow the Basic Process. I can’t stress enough how simple it really is. Tinkering is fun but…

To answer the question, don’t stray to far from home!

Don’t get me wrong there isn’t anything wrong with other processes or what I would call harder methods. In fact, I have had some great beer and wine from other home brew fanatics.

We like to keep things simple.

We were a little late getting our holiday gifts going but should be on schedule to bottle 24 750ml bottles. I promise the number wasn’t on purpose and to make it even stranger we will probably be bottling early on the 24th.

Hope you enjoy!