TBE: Witbier


Check out past "The Beer Experience (TBE)" posts here

We have been talking dark beers for a few weeks now, so its time to spice things up.

With that in mind, I decided to discuss the only beer I have brewed that has spices in it. The Belgian White or Witbier (aka. DimWit  in the brew pub)

There is little history for Witbier, because it has recently grown in popularity.  The brew has humble beginnings as a Belgian Monastery tradition 400 years ago.  It reached popularity in the mid 18th century, and then was wiped out in the mid 18th century by the lager revolution.  Then in the 1960's, a Belgian brewery revitalized the brew as the Hoegaarden we know today (there is a little more to this story).  There are other popular Wit biers now such as Blue moon and Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier.

Taste Test: (Beer info from BJCP)
The beer has Spicy wheat aromatics, is very cloudy from starch haze and/or yeast, which gives it a milky, whitish-yellow appearance. It is pleasantly sweet and has a zesty, orange-citrucy fruitiness.

Geeky stuff:
OG: 1.044 – 1.052
IBUs: 10 – 20
SRM: 2 – 4
ABV: 4.5 – 5.5%

There were only taste test videos for Witbier, so instead I leave you with this....

Wow its been 6 months already! Can you believe it??
Time flies when your body is spontaneously enlarging itself every day hehe

The former Eggplant has had some identity crisis issues the past couple of days. This whole time it was hoping to grow up to become a Papaya Baraya Rodriguez baby for week 24 but unfortunately, it was not meant to be due to a severe Papaya shortage down in South Louisiana grocery stores.

Eggplant, however, is happily satisfied with its second career choice of an Ear of Corn!
Corn is almost a foot long and is a little over a pound. He is still pretty lean, but in the next few weeks he will fill out and get squishier. According to babycenter.com, his brain is rapidly growing and he is also developing more and more taste buds, yum!

Corn's lungs are also developing rapidly to get him ready to breathe when he comes out. He also still has translucent skin, cool right?

I'm happy to inform everyone that my uterus is now the size of a SOCCER BALL! So go find a soccer ball, stick it under your shirt and you will instantly know what its like to be 6 months pregnant haha.

Here is Corn at 24 weeks:
One thing that I have noticed lately is that I get short of breath reallllly (I mean really) fast and I get a stitch on my side just from walking. I also have muscle pains on my shins when I stand for a long time from the extra weight so I plan on massaging that (or get Matt to hehe) and putting ice on them to see if it gets better. Oh the joys =) Its all worth it!

Another thing is that I take about 3 bites of a meal and I am already ridiculously full, so being pregnant has been a great lesson in pacing myself when I eat, slowing down, and being aware of my portion sizes or else I will feel like my stomach is about to pop. Hopefully those good habits will carry over post pregnancy! I've been eating smaller meals, more frequently, which can get tricky sometimes so my purse has become the Mary Poppins bag of snacks at any given time!

Total weight gained at 24 weeks: 12 . 4 lbs
Weeks left: 16
Baby room progress: Some boxes have been cleared and you can now see the floor =)
Check in with us next week!
Merry Christmas! We are in the octave of Christmas so until next Monday, its still considered Christmas Day =) I hope everyone had a nice and relaxed holiday with loved ones!

My treat for you today has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday but it is a good way to keep your eating habits in check during this season filled with sweets galore!

If you like yogurt and have not tried its Greek counterpart yet, you are missing out!
Greek yogurt has a smooth and creamy texture that comes from the way it is strained, making it higher in protein and lower in fat than regular yogurt (disclaimer: I still love regular yogurt!)

As compared to regular yogurt, Greek has twice the amount of protein per serving, which means it will hold you over for longer periods of time.

There are many different varieties of Greek yogurt so make sure you try one that has been recommended to you by others. I wouldn't recommend getting the store brand in this case as these are usually not very good and will likely ruin your Greek Yogurt eating experience. I have known this to happen to people so just know that all Greek yogurt is not created equal!

Some brands that I love are Chobani and Fage.
OIKOS is a good brand too. You can't go wrong if you buy one of these! This is a GREAT snack on the go or anytime, a great source of calcium and other minerals and like I said, PROTEIN!

Merry Christmas to all of your who read our blog! We love you and wish all of God's graces upon you and your families. May the joy of Christmas always live in your hearts. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

TBE: Irish Stout


Check out past "The Beer Experience (TBE)" posts here

There is a very good reason for discussing stouts this week, and that is because of the common question: "What is the difference between stouts and porters?"  Honestly, until this week I was unsure because one always hears different stories. Finally after reading and writing about both styles, I think I have it figured out.

Some History:
When Stout was first used as an adjective in the 14th century it meant "proud" or "brave", but later it became synonymous with strong.  However this name did not gain steam until the 18th century when strong versions of porters were called "stout porters".

These stout porters were similar to the stouts we know today, but "stout" was an adjective to describe strong beers.  There were beers known as "stout pale ale" at this time, but it was not until the 19th century that the term "stout" was associated only with porters.

So the difference between stouts and porters, is complex because a stout is a strong porter.  It is still being debated weather stouts should be a separate style. 

Taste Test:
Irish stout or dry stout (in Irish, leann dubh, "black beer") is very dark or rich in color and it often has a "toasty" taste. The most famous example is Guinness followed by Murphy's and Beamish. The alcoholic content and "dry" flavor of a dry or Irish stout are both characterized as light, although it varies from country to country.

Beer geek info:
OG: 1.036 – 1.050
IBUs: 30 – 45
SRM: 25 – 40
ABV: 4 – 5%

As you may have guessed, another double dip this week.  Here is the link to my Irish Stout page. Plus there are some updates to the Altbier info at the brew pub.
Like I said on Facebook earlier this week . . .

Its getting serious y'alL! I now have an eggplant sized baby inside of me!
Eggplant is now over 11 inches long and a little over a pound. His sense of hearing is well developed now so anyone can feel free to talk to him/her when they so desire! Some people have already taken that opportunity =)

Maybe I will start putting headphones on my belly to entertain Eggplant a little bit hehe

I'm convinced that Eggplant is having dance parties every day in there. Just now I was eating a bowl of cereal and was using my new "table" to rest the bowl and I saw the bowl move up and down several times! This new table that is attached to my body is pretty sweet I'm not gunna lie.

Here is Eggplant at 23 weeks:
On the exercise front, I have come to the point where I'm calling it quits on running *tear* (at least until after I'm done being pregnant). The aches and pains that the runs have been producing are not worth the effort so I'm listening to my body and yesterday, I did a farewell (for now) 2 mile run. Instead of running, I will be walking a whole lot more and continuing my regular workout schedule to include more biking, maybe swimming, and ellipticalling as well as the usual weight lifting.

Except for the fact that I'm not sure where my diaphragm and stomach have gone . . . I'm feeling great!
Come visit us again next week!
Its time to talk about fiber . . . everyone knows that fiber is by far my favorite nutrient to talk about!
My goal in life is to get everyone around me to eat at least 25g of fiber per day to prevent diseases later in life such as Diverticulosis. Trust me, after having studied this disease, you DON'T want to have to deal with that craziness!

For those of you who don't know, Fiber is the part of the grain that humans can't digest, and therefore is great for cleansing the digestive system of toxins, and keeping everything moving along the way its supposed to.

In white foods such as white rice, white pasta, white bread etc, the bran (fiber) has been removed from the grain, leaving only the white part which does nothing for our intestines.

Although its perfectly fine to eat the white foods, its important to eat the whole grain foods too and keep the white foods as an occasional treat. Try substituting your bread for Whole wheat bread (make sure its actually 100% whole grain and not enriched, or honey wheat). Or maybe try some brown rice with your beef stew or some whole wheat pasta. They really are tasty and nutritious!

Fiber is also found in fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans, lentils etc)

Enough of my ramblings on fiber. . . because I could go on forever =)

I want to introduce one of the many ways that I try to get my fiber Matt and I's diets:
I would venture to say that most people out there eat cereal on a regular basis. However, with most of the cereals out there being a concoction of sugar, white flour, and more sugar, its hard to find something that is healthy and is a good source of fiber.

(Did you know that Honey nut cheerios have more sugar per serving that 2 Chips Ahoy cookies?!?!?!?)

Introducing All Bran Cereal.

Confession: there is no way I would eat this cereal by itself! If you can stomach it, GREAT! I just can't put entire spoon fulls of pure bran into my mouth, not happening.

However, this cereal is awesome for adding to your already favorite cereal to increase the fiber content of your breakfast.

1/3 cup of this stuff has 13 grams of fiber. . .THIRTEEN! Talk about goldmine!

I usually mix this with multi-grain cheerios, or Honey bunches of Oats and it tastes great. 2 things are accomplished here: I eat less of the regular cereal, which has more sugar, and I eat more fiber! Win Win!

I even put it in Matt's cereal because fiber is important to him too and he likes it =)

Sometimes I grind it into powder and mix it with bread crumbs when I make baked chicken tenders.

Its just one more way to add nutrition to your diet while still enjoying your food.
Try it!
Check out past "The Beer Experience (TBE)" posts here

As promised, the allusive porter beer style.  I have not tried either of these, but here are some commercial examples: Samuel Smith Taddy Porter and Salopian Entire Butt English Porter (what a name).  Now a little history.

Most accounts of British brewing in the 1700's say that Porter was a ready-made blend of three previously available styles, known as "ale," "beer" and "twopenny."  Most likely, the "styles" were the results of the three waters used in mashing and sparging (Good marketing for the brewers).  It was also known as "Entire", because is was a blend of the three.  

This beer quickly became popular with the workers who delivered goods form the ports  into the produce markets; hence the name "Porter." 

Taste test:
Deep roasted flavor with chocolate character and moderate hop bitterness.

Brew Geek Info:
SG: 1.040-1.052
IBU: 18 -35(bitterness) 
SRM: 20-30 (color)
ABV: 4-5.5%                 

I hope you enjoyed that flash back.

Also, I double dipped this week and worked on the brew pub some more. Here is the link to my Brown Porter page (two birds one stone). Plus there are some updates to the Altbier info at the brew pub.
I love the number 22!

It marks the day in June when Matt and I started dating in 2004 and it also marks the day in August when we got engaged in 2009 =) 22 has become a signature number to us so this is a special week!

Our little carrot has experienced a major growth spurt this week and is now a Spaghetti Squash! Whoa.

Keep in mind though that it is only the LENGTH of the squash and not the weight. Think of the entire curled up baby unit taking up this much room rather than just the baby's middle section.
At 11 inches in length and 1 pound in weight, Spaghetti Squash is steadily growing and quite the acrobat. I tried filming his movement today to post but of course as soon as I hit the record button it got stage fright and didn't really make any cool movements. One of these days you guys will get a cool video though!

Squash's eyelids, eyebrows, and lips are fully formed although his eye color won't be determined until after he is born. He also has little hairs all over his body called Lanugo until he can grow a good layer of fat to keep him warm.

His pancreas is quickly developing too . . . yay for insulin! (And lots of other important functions that the pancreas provides).

Here is Spaghetti Squash at 22 weeks:
I'm sure this is something every pregnant woman experiences, but I feel like my belly has become a hand magnet, and I'm totally cool with it at this point. At first, it was a little weird (Just think of people doing it to you 24/7!) but now that Squash is actually visible, its a fun experience and it makes me laugh most of the time. Random strangers haven't done it to me yet and I think that's where I would draw the line. (I've heard stories from friends whom this happened to!)

I had conversations relating to being pregnant with two totally random women in public, which was awesome both times. I love being able to share in this experience with other people. Being pregnant is by far one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me!

Matt bought me a cool looking full body pregnant sleeping pillow, which has helped a lot in helping me get comfortable at night. I think he picked up on how often I wake up at night and decided to try to put an end to it haha. I never thought sleeping would be such an insurmountable task! I want to sleep on my back soooooooooooo bad, and its so tempting, but I'm past the point of being able to do that kind of thing.

(If you're not aware, when a pregnant woman, starting at about 20 weeks, lays on her back for an extended period of time, the weight of the uterus presses on a major artery and cuts off blood supply back to mom's heart).

And for everyone's pure enjoyment, I will leave you with a comparison of my belly to a friend's belly. . .
I love you Carlos =)