Category Archives: sandwich review

IPA – Yesterdays brewday

I brewed yesterday. Any day that I brew is generally a good one, I get to my Zen space. It was a good thing I found my Zen space yesterday as I had a few fuckups throughout the day, some I can clearly identify, some I am still scratching my head over.

The day started with breakfast out, followed by a trip to Grain and Grape to pick up my malt bill. The shop was mental, as busy as I’ve seen it for a non sale day. But that was ok, Zen. Did a few other jobs (got my new pocket wifi and a t-shirt) and hit the road.

I brewed the following recipe, kind of based on a Stone IPA recipe from Brew Your Own Magazine, changed the bittering hops, shortened the boil time and added some wheat malt. This beer is intended for Dazzapalooza.

Dazzapalooza IPA (to receive a better name once I think of it)

7.50 kg Crisps Pale Malt 88.24 %
0.50 kg Joe White Crystal 5.88 %
0.50 kg JW White Wheat Malt 5.88 %
30.00 gm Centennial [8.90 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
15.00 gm Chinook [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
30.00 gm Millenium [14.40 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 47.6 IBU
60.00 gm Centennial [10.00 %] (15 min) Hops 16.0 IBU
1 Pkgs British Ale (Wyeast Labs #1098) [Starter 125 ml] Yeast-Ale

Mashed at 64deg C, intended to be a 25 litre batch at about 1.072, instead I ended up with a 29 litre batch at 1.065. I’m not 100% what happened here, guessing I transferred too much wort from the mash tun (1 bucket too many??).
I also had some boil issues. I ran out of gas. Twice. This gave me a somewhat interrupted boil but the beer shouldn’t suffer from that. I doubt I could make this beer again with any sort of consistency though.
The other “issue” I have with this beer is the colour. Its too dark. When I last made this beer I didn’t specify which JW crystal malt I used in my notes but I remember the beer being much lighter than this wort. When I ordered it I also didn’t specify, so I’m thinking I have the dark crystal (maybe) but definitely not the pale crystal. None of this will really matter, just not quite what I was after, the beer however will be nice and hoppy, just a little dark for style. Must pay more attention. If you look to have a crack at this recipe go with a pale coloured crystal malt.
So the upside? on the white board list on my fridge is a list of stuff that I said I would do this year. One of them is “interesting beer”. Accordingly I have taken 4 litres of wort from this batch and pitched a Belgian Witt Yeast into it. Interesting beer, check.
So the result of yesterdays brew day, more beer than I was aiming for, nice day out of town, trialing a new recipe for a darker than style IPA(unintentionally) and a Belgian IPA fermenting. That’s not quite what I was after but by no means a bad effort.

Oh I also had a KFC Double Down, the breadless sandwich. This is not a good thing. Let it lie in the KFC fryer. Back to my self imposed no KFC unless drunk ruling. Nuf said.

Cheers D


Tall Poppy – India Red Ale from 8 Wired Brewing Co.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 23:  Anna Scar...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
I grabbed a few beers today from Grain and Grape, and a bottle shop in Albert Park (cant remember the name of that place) anyway two are NZ beers and the other two from Japan. I have never had any beers from these breweries before. The NZ stuff from 8 Wired Brewing Co. I have heard good things about, from the Brewing Network, and Chris at Grain and Grape gave it them a good wrap (the Tall Poppy I’m drinking right now actually).

The Japanese stuff I really don’t know anything about it other than they have a distinctive owl on the label and I’ve seen the bottles around, from memory as water bottles at St Ali in South Melbourne. The brewery is of course Hitachino Nest. I know nothing about them and will leave that for another night, I just hope that they are crazy in Japanese style. Geelong is playing footy now so I don’t really feel like typing for two long (actually I’ll probably post this tomorrow).

I hope that the beers are grey imports, although I’m guessing they are not.

I know bugger all about 8 Wired Brewing Co. other than the brewer/owner contract brews the beer himself at the brewery that he works for at his day job. Kind of a sweet deal, making his own beer in someone else’s brewery. Kind of the ultimate contract brewing setup, all care and responsibility but none of the capitol outlay.

On to the Tall Poppy – India Red Ale from 8 Wired Brewing Co. I have never heard of an India Red Ale before, it kinda reminds me of a hoppy American Brown Ale, the Tasty McDole Jannets Brown recipe comes to mind. It has a fair degree of bitterness to it, and a fruity hop taste but the beer is more about the malt. As is often expected in red beers it has a caramel flavour to it that goes really nicely with the bitterness.

Its definitely an American style beer but I still don’t really know what to think of the India Red Ale, I guess it could be described as a English-ish IPA with some more character malt in there? (roast and crystal etc.). Still I guess there’s nothing wrong with some marketing spin, and it’s a good beer so no matter either way. I would most definitely have another one. And the beer just keeps on evolving with every sip, opening up as it breaths and warms a little. The bitterness kind of mellows and looses its sharpness.
This is a nice beer. You should go and get one right now.
Right now something to eat.
Cheers D

PS – I also had a good sandwich today, a Ruben at a café in Albert Park that was named after a military guy?? Its just where the main drag in Albert Park turns, away from the main café run. Anyway pastrami, sour kraut, cheese and mustard on rye bread toasted. There were also a couple of mini pickles. This was a most excellent sandwich. Apologies for the dud directions but there need to be some mysteries in life and shit for you to figure out yourself.

Cheers number 2 D

Sandwich Journalism

I like sandwiches, they are good and go well with beer. I really like good or even excellent sandwiches as they are better than regular sandwiches.

Ugly Duckling sandwich from the Elvenses Espresso Bar on Lt Collins St, City.
Today I would like to give a great big pat on the back to “The Age” newspaper for their article “Filled With Surprise” (see the link at the bottom of the page) by Nina Rosseau.  I have shamelessly copied the listing of good sandwiches from this article and pasted it below. I have not tried any of these but will be looking to do so, unfortunately they are a bit of a walk from my office so patience will be needed.

I have 2 small issues with the article, nothing huge but things worthy of noting.

  1. There is no reference to beer. What goes well with sandwiches? that’s right beer.
  2. The article title sounds like a porno. Just saying.

Apart from that well done to “The Age”, hats off to you.

Cheers D

Taken from The Age Epicure section 8/2/11


ONLY 10? You could fill the paper with write-ups of great sandwiches in Melbourne. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a start. If you know of a great sandwich, we’d love to hear about it.

MoVida Aqui, Level 1, 500 Bourke Street, city, 9663 3038

If it’s on, the calamari sandwich is on the tapas menu. What that means is that it’s petite, so you might need two. In a soft ciabatta-style bun is a decent smear of lemony mayonnaise, the tang of guindilla chilli and pan-fried, tender curls of calamari.
Baker D. Chirico, 4/149 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 9534 3777

D. Chirico does good vego. Sandwich one: the Brie. The genius here is the fancy fruit chutney of spiced pear, sweet currants and savoury rosemary. This infuses the top-notch white sourdough with a brilliant base flavour that meshes with the heat of rocket, slices of ripe Calendar double brie, roasted tomatoes and bitey cornichons. Sandwich two: the Frittata. A rich egg-and-cheese combo with a thick slab of soft, vegie frittata, thin slices of provolone, olive tapenade, mayonnaise and roasted red capsicum.
Burnley Gardens Canteen, University of Melbourne, Burnley Campus, 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond, 9250 6828

Roasted free-range chicken is shredded and mixed with a rich homemade mayonnaise, salt, pepper and chives, and spread on Schwobs multigrain. Sliced avocado goes on next, then Lebanese cucumber (pepper on the cucumber), tomato (with a sprinkle of Murray River salt), roughly chopped basil and mixed leaves dressed in a zesty vinaigrette. The punch is the two different dressings.

Best vegetarian: Roast Veg Pide, $8, grilled veg with feta and olives, toasted.

Fog, 142 Greville Street, Prahran, 9521 3155

This isn’t for the faint-hearted. This is a serious sandwich — a triple-decker stack of meat, cheese and salad layered just so. On the bottom layer, crispy Istra bacon and avocado; on the top layer, a generous stack of thin turkey meat, tomato, slivers of red onion, and aged cheddar from Vermont in the US. The outer layers of bread are buttered and fried, the middle layer is untoasted. It’s served with beer-battered fries.

Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, 9388 8858

An English/Spanish hybrid in which roasted free-range Milawa chicken and sage stuffing are bound with whole-egg mayonnaise, a good whack of salt and pepper and – the x-factor ingredient – finely sliced jalapeno. It’s nicely contained, with a bit of lettuce, in a warmed, foil-wrapped La Madre ciabatta.

THE REUBEN, $12.50
Carre Street Deli, 372 Glenhuntly Road (enter from Carre Street), Elsternwick, 9523 8985

Carre Street’s take on one of America’s most famous deli sandwiches is a good one. Many slices of thin-cut pastrami make a thick layer, plus tangy sauerkraut (right to the edges), gruyere cheese and a slather of Dijon mustard between two slices of toasted rye with a dill pickle on top. It’s an honest, big-flavoured sandwich.

Huxtable, 131 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9419 5101

Two oysters, lightly dusted in rice flour, are deep-fried till semi-crisp then placed in a mini Vietnamese bun with shredded iceberg lettuce, Sriracha chilli and Japanese mayonnaise. The buns are warmed to order.

PORK BELLY, $13.50
Earl Canteen, 500 Bourke Street (enter via Little Bourke Street), city, 9600 1995

Worshipped by sandwich lovers with cultish fervour, juicy Otway pork belly is slow-roasted for half a day and the skin crisped separately, adding a crunch of crackling with every bite. It’s bedded in a Dench baguette, with fennel-and-apple slaw and wilted silverbeet.

TUNA & EGG TOASTED SANDWICH, $13/$10 (eat-in/takeaway)
Cafe Vue, 430 Collins Street, city, 9691 3899

That bread! Custom-made for all the Vues is the sourdough bread with whole black olives. For this sandwich, it’s buttered on the outside and evenly browned. Inside, high-grade tinned tuna is bound in mayonnaise with capers, cornichons, shallots, parsley, tarragon and lemon, teamed with slices of egg, boiled just short of hard.

Elevenses Espresso Bar, 585 Little Collins Street, city (no phone)

Plump pieces of duck — marinated in the pulp of an orange, marsala and spices including cardamom, ginger, star anise and fennel — are teamed with big chunks of roasted plum drizzled with honey from owner Tom’s parents’ farm, Swiss cheese and watercress. The bread is lightly toasted and topped with a dill pickle.

Breakfast Foccacia/ Chibata

French toast makingImage via Wikipedia
With today being hot bastard of course I was at the beach. Lorne to be exact and it was bloody hot.

Being down there for just one night we didn’t take food or cook, and with it being so hot the caravan has the potential to get pretty warm so eating out is the ticket. Breakfast this morning took us to Kafe Kaos, possibly my favourite breakfast place ever. And that leads me to the topic of tonight’s blog, a review of a sandwich kindoff.

Kafe Kaos has what they call the breakfast chibata on the menu. Up until recently it was called a breakfast foccacia. I’ve been eating them for about 10 years so I’m going to stick with calling it a breakfast foccacia, old habits and all. Anyway its not really a sandwich however as both chibatas and foccacias are sort of sandwichy things I’m going it claim it.

It is also much more interesting than the ham cheese and tomato toasted turkish roll I had for lunch from Moons (also on the Lorne main drag). Nice but not really blog worthy.

Back to the breakfast foccacia. They take all the main food groups and stick them together with cheese. Well that’s not strictly true but I usually order it with bacon so that rounds things out. I’ve eyed them making this thing a couple of times and almost have it figured out. So here is a direction/guess/description of this cheesy good thing.

1. Heat up a hotplate or big frying pan.

2. Slice a foccacia (or chibata) in half, cover one side with pesto and dip the lot in beaten egg, like for French toast.

3. Put into frying pan

4. Also put enough tasty cheese to cover the foccia also in the pan.

5. Let this lot cook for a bit then add some chopped tomato to the cheese

6. Now flip the focaccia bit onto the cheese bit (once its cooked about right)

7. Now flip the whole thing back over and you have it.

8. Serve with bacon and 2 strong latte’s.

9. Eat it

When I tried replicating it I’ve been close but not exact. They do it better there and they don’t end up with a messy cheesy pan to clean.

I don’t recommend eating more than two of these a month as they probably do bad things to your cholesterol levels and possibly turn your blood to gravy. This is an awesome hangover cure and has saved me many a time. Get your arse to Lorne and have one.

Cheers D

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