Thursday, June 30, 2005

heading out of town

Well, I'm heading back to PA until next Tuesday. It will be another whirlwind tour. My friend Chris finished his PhD in math this year at PSU and his folks are throwing a party before he heads off for his tenure track job in Missouri! Exciting. Anyway, that will be three days worth of lots of good PA beer, namely two kegs of Troegs (I don't know how to do an umlaut here). Then it's a family reunion until Monday. We're going to see the Phillies play the Braves on Saturday, that should be cool. And lots of family rivalry and generally good times to be had. Also, need to get together with all my West Chester PA friends and hit the bars at least one night. And MB Pell will be in town, so we'll be almost at full strength, except for R who has to head back to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

And I'll squeeze in some fly fishing on the Tulpehocken and Valley Creek. Looking forward to that very much.

Make sure to check out that last two posts below, they are longish and actually fairly substantive if I do say so myself...and I do.

I leave you with this great picture of Matt Kelly on the beach in Tahoe. It's fucking beautiful there.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

clearly, physics is a bankrupt science

Did you know that physicists really don't have a clue about time? Yes, that time. Like 'it's 12:20 in the pm' time. There's lots of arguments about what it actually is and how it actually works. Nobody's quite sure if you can travel through time. And listen to what this very well respected philosopher of science has to say about it:

"At stake, said Dr. Albert, the philosopher and author of his own time book, 'Time and Chance,' is 'what kind of view science presents us of the world.'

'Physics gets time wrong, and time is the most familiar thing there is,' Dr. Albert said."

Good lord. Well, clearly the only reason modern physics is still taught in high schools and colleges is because of the liberal bias in academia. Or wait, no, I mean because of the hegemony of the scientific priesthood. I mean, listen to what Billy 'god did it' Dembski has to say about science:

"Professors are therefore no longer the sole repository of answers for students. Accordingly, the scientific priesthood is undergoing a shake-up. This is all to the good of ID, which thrives as the subversive instrument par excellence for exposing priestcraft dressed in a scientific lab coat."

Clearly physics is the next priestcraft to fall. Where do they get off not knowing what time is? I mean, clearly time is simply God's way of keeping track of things. Let's see, I created the universe, then I did some smiting, then after that I made HIV and the Marburg virus. Then I ensured that George Bush was elected president and Terrel Owens caught a lot of passes this past season. See, time is just the way to keep things straight in God's mind.

Sorry. Bit of a tangent there. Anyway, the NY Times published a great article on time the other day. They portray physics a lot like ID folks like William Dembski want to portray evolutionary biology. If physics is in such bad shape, and the goal of ID folks is to 'expose the priestcraft dressed in a scientific lab coat', why does evolutionary biology get all of the attention?

Oh that's right, because that's not actually their goal at all.

So what does all this mean? I think the upshot is that there is often not a fine grained consensus among scientists. And more importantly, this isn't a bad thing. Modern physical theory still provides us with knowledge about the world, knowledge that allows us to do things like build computers, atomic bombs and fusion reactors. There's also fairly wide spread consensus among physicists about how the world works on a rough grained scale.

Similarly, evolutionary biologists all tend to agree about the coarse grained theory. Namely, evolution happened through completely naturalistic processes, namely selection, drift, mutation, migration, recombination etc. They agree that all life shares one or a maybe a couple common ancestors. They agree that evolution is the only way to account for the vast majority of all observations ever made of living things, namely geographic distribution, shared genetic systems, homologous traits, embryological similarities, paleontological evidence, development of antibiotic resistance, egg production in chicken farms and the list could go on and on. They might not agree on exactly how all of this stuff played out, maybe developmental canalization shapes organisms by constraining selection in some cases, maybe endosymbiosis and lateral gene transfer were more or less important in the history of life on earth, maybe selection always acts on the individual allele, maybe it sometimes acts on the individual genotype or at the population level. Whatver.

Much like physicists, just because there isn't consensus on these fine grained issues doesn't mean evolutionary biology isn't a fruitful science. And more importantly, it doesn't mean that we need to invoke a designer to explain the presence of complex, purposeful traits in nature. This invocation simply isn't the best explanation for all the disparate observations that modern evolutionary biology can make very good sense of.

And until a better way of explaining all of these observations comes along, evolutionary biology should clearly not be deigned bankrupt.

beer in the NY Times

The NY Times has been running a series of articles and multimedia tastings called 'Ales of the Times' following their 'Wines of the Times' features. They do a pretty good job and they bring on people who kow what they're talking about like the owner of Spuytin Duyvil, the best beer bar in NYC, and Lew Bryson, SE Pennsylvania beer writer who knows PA quite well, even where Clem's BBQ is!

Anyway, they did a pale ale tasting recently that's running in today's online times. I think they did a pretty good job. I most liked how they picked Dales Pale Ale from Oskar Blues Brewing in Colorado (in their BLIND tasting) as their favorite. I've had the beer. It's a really tasty example of an American Pale Ale.

AND it comes in a can.

There is this misconception that canned beers taste worse than bottled beers. I don't think so. In fact, as the article points out, it is better for the beer because it protects it from getting light struck.

Anyway, I wasn't too happy with a couple other parts of the article. Namely how they, as per the norm really, focus on hops as the main difference between British Pale Ales and American Pale Ales. While this is certainly an important and upfront difference between the two styles, I actually think that yeast strain has an equal impact on style. British styles aren't hopped as aggressively, nor are they hopped with assertive, citrusy American hops, but they use yeast that produces interesting and quite complex flavors and aromas, typically makeing british Pale Ales so much more nuanced and complicated than American Pale Ales.

Any of you experience Victory's (SE PA brewery) pale ale contest? They brewed one with American yeast and one with British yeast. Same recipe otherwise. British pale ale one hands down. Of course the hopping rate was fairly low and not terribly distinct if I remember correctly, but still, yeast has a huge impact.

And relatedly, the article mentions Anchor and Sierra Nevada as the pioneers of the American style. I would agree, but then they mention Anchor Liberty Ale as a good American Pale Ale. Well, in my experience, Liberty Ale is much closer to a British Style Pale Ale. Has a really complex yeast flavor profile. Anchor Steam is far closer to an American Pale Ale in my opinion. Super clean yeast flavors and substantial hopping rate. Of course Anchor Steam is a steam beer, but let's be honest, not all that different from an American Pale Ale.

From the Walt Whitman Times, this is Matt Dunn.

Monday, June 27, 2005

funny scientists

Not funny like Billy Dembski funny, not like I'd call him a scientist anyway, but I mean like funny haha not like funny in a bad way. Anywho, I found this post over at Magicthees, er, I mean, Majikthise, via Pharyngula.

It's about gliding snakes and it pretty much rules. I particularly like the ones where the people go running after the snakes. I just realized that this is keeping with my recent trend of posting videos etc. Nice.

Video #1 is just a plain old gliding snake video.

Video #2 has a running scientist in it.

Video #3
has two running scientists in it.

Video #4 and another running scientist.

See all the videos here.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I'm feeling nostalgic

I need a band to play in goddammit. I'm feeling terribly nostalgic for my band in college, the Bluestone. Let's be honest, I'm feeling nostalgic for college in general. But since I just realized I could post media other than photos here, I'm going to post some songs off the Bluestone's first and only CD.

Song #1

Song #2

Here's the front and back of the CD. We thought we were so fucking cool. Turned out we really weren't. It also turns out that it's a good thing I got new sunglasses with bigger lenses.

Friday, June 24, 2005

the friday ramble

So I think every friday I'm going to ramble for a good while just because I think it's fun. Hang on.

Got really drunk last night. I mean really drunk. Drunker than I've been in quite a while, maybe since Brian's birthday celebration. This is strange because I drank a lot out in Tahoe with hard drinking people and I didn't really get this hammered. I think there's a lot to be said for being in the proper physiological mood for heavy drinking. Anyway, started at a homebrewclub meeting where I drank a lot of good beer. Oh and I only had a falafel sandwich yesterday for dinner. Definately not a good foundation for hard drinking. Then Ryan and I went to Scotty's where they had $5 craft beer pitchers but these weren't regular sized pitchers. you only got about 3 pints out of them, but that's still less than $2 a pint of Bells Two Hearted IPA which is a good fucking deal. It was also open mic and I sang and played guitar and bellowed quite loudly and there was this very attractive young lady who was in charge of open mic who also had a really good voice and it was really creepy because she looked and sounded a lot a lot like this other young lady I briefly sang with one time who works at the Irish Lion. They looked oddly similar. I wonder if they're related? Anyway, then we went to the vid where we had a good conversation with the the bar tender dude who is a pretty cool guy. He says he has a shit ton of Cascade hops growing in his back yard and we can have them which is pretty fucking cool if you ask me. I think we should make a big old dry hopped american pale ale and throw a party for him. That would be fun. Anyway, so we took a cab home and I left my car on 7th street which was a fucking stupid ass idea. When I finally dragged my very hung over ass out of bed at around noon I got on my bike with my bike rack over my shoulder digging into my back and rode about 2 miles in the 92 degree swelter only to discover two $15 tickets under my windshield wipers. FUCK YOU BLOOMINGTON. I think I'm going to call into that 'talk to the mayor' show on the local public radio station and tell him he needs to institute a 'I didn't dirnk and drive' voucher that is issued by cabbies so that you don't have to pay parking tickets. I imagine it won't take though. Stupid Mark Cruzan. What the hell is he good for anyway? The bottom line of this part of the ramble is never try to ride your bike carrying your bike rack when you're really hung over two miles in 92 degree humidity. It's uncomfortable and, possible counterintuitively, doesn't do much for your hangover.

I also wanted to share some things that I've been meaning to put up here like this snake. Doesn't it kick ass? It's big huh? JennyB and I saw on in the Deam wilderness on one of the most poorly executed backpacking trips I've ever been on. That thing's like 7 feet long. JennyB about had a heart attack when she almost stepped on it.

Then on Monday I think it was, Mr.Ben Melby of the English dept. showed me the breaking away quarry and we jumped into it and swam around. It was pretty cool except for all the trash that was floating around in it. We saw a kid jump off the highest jump and almost die. He knocked the wind out of himself and his buddy had to jump in and help him swim to the ladder. Little shady if you ask me. Here is a good picture of Ben jumping into the quarry.

I had a deadline today for the new beer thing I'm writing for, Windy City Suds. I didn't make it. I did all the research yesterday and am planning to write it today and send it off to Whispering Jeff Platt, the editor, tonight. I don't think he'll be that pissed. So I think that's my plan tonight. I'll write that thing, read some Nabokov, I'm reading Lolita right now, I like it a lot, it kind of reminds me of Henry Miller but with more child molesting. So I'll read some Nabokov and finally get around to cooking that acorn squash that's been sitting in my fridge for 2 weeks. Hopefully it's still good. I definately don't think I'll be drinking tonight, that's fo' sho'.

Oh...also, here is a poem I wrote the other day that was partially inspired by my trip to california and a certain exgirlfriend. But it's not actually a true story:

I didn’t get to California until I was 26
And time before it didn’t really fit
My lifestyle and her erstwhile atmosphere

There were lots of things that could have been done
But all among em there’s not a one
That seemed like the right thing to do at the time

So I left her and she went west
I called her one morning and she’d up and left
‘Heading for the Bay Area most likely Matthew’

So I bided my time and lived my life
And didn’t think once about my future wife
Until one day she called and said that she’d found god

Apparently I was quicker than Jesus for when I interceded
She was more than happy to fuck me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

part II of my Michigan piece for

How exciting. Check it out here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

gracious living with beer and ale in America

Oh good citizen, watch this fun and educational video on how important beer is to America.

It's from the 1950s which makes it funny too.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Opting out of the debate

I become so frustrated with the intelligent design folks that I've tried to stop correcting thier mistakes. When Billy Dembski says something about evolutionary theory, he is usually wrong. Either that, or it's a criticism that indicts all of science, something that I'm fairly sure Dembski doesn't want to do. I'm pretty sure he wants to indict only the bits of science that conflict with his religious beliefs. I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to give up cancer research, microbial remediation projects and earthquake prediction studies.

Anyway, the issue is not a scientific one with the IDers. It's a cultural one. ID is simply old school Paleyian 'watch making' with fancy new mathematics and cellular biology. Instead of the eye, now it's the endoplasmic reticula, flagella and tRNA. This debate is not one to be settled 'scientifically'. All of the IDers 'in principle' arguments have been answered over and over again to the satisfaction of our current understanding of what a satisfactory scientific answer actually is. They don't seem to care. And they shouldn't seem to care. The vast majority of people hear what they're saying and believe it. They have a massive 'marketing campaign' that is WORKING WELL. Most people aren't interested in getting involved in the nitty gritty. And if they were, they'd find people like Billy Dembski consistently getting the nitty gritty wrong and consistently misunderstanding it.

Anyway, the New York Times published a great story about the fruitlessness of the scientific debate with IDers.

Check it out here.

Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Co. is not very happy

...and rightly so.

Greg Koch's video blog, aka, vBlog, is really first rate entertainment. It's also a great source of information about the beer industry. It's also a great marketing tool for Stone Brewery I have no doubt.

Well, the vBlog entry that I would like to point people to is about a small newspaper's criticism of Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale, actually just the name. While I don't really agree with all of Koch's criticism, I certainly think the puritanical bitch that wrote the column for the small paper needed to be put in her place for sure.

So check it out here. It's the second entry from the top titled: 'Around the Brewery...Greg Responds to an Ignorant Attack'. I need to post the link to the vBlog in my link list too.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

more videos

I've figured out how to post videos, it really wasn't all that hard, and now I am just so pleased with myself I can barely stand it.

So here is a video of my brother skiing in some fucking incredible snow on the Conehead Bowls at Park City this past winter.


it's a beautiful day in the Sierra Nevada, a beautiful day for a Sierra, oh won't you be mine? Won' Sierra Nevada

So the trip out west was pretty freaking ok. There were a couple minor debacles, but nothing we couldn't handle. Much beer was drinkened. Much skin was tanned. Much elevation was gained. Much muscles were sored. Much years were soaked. Or something like that.

And don't miss the movie whose link kind of gets lost near the bottom of this post. It's a pretty funny movie and something surely not to be missed.

I think I should preambulate with back flips off the balcony in Reno and introduce you to one of our cast of characters, Matt Kelly, aka Irish Death Watch Guard Brigade middle man.

After a late late dinner at the Nugget Casino where we were free to carry drinks and lit cigarettes pretty much anywhere we pleased, we awoke at 8am, retrieved my lost fly rod that turned out to be more or less completely extraneous baggage, and hit the road, heading south past Carson City and West into the mountains.

Here we are stuck in traffic at the foot of the Sonora Pass. This is Michael B. Pell.

Sonora Pass was beautiful. At just under 10,000', it was hard to drive over. There were many curves and 1000' cliffs and no guard rails. This is a view from right around Sonora Pass. It's just boring out there.

Here we are plucking around the rocks just over the pass, about 9000'.

After arriving in Yosemite, we were informed that it was highly unlikely we were going to make it to the top of El Capitan. This was our plan. El Capitan. But we pressed on nonetheless, cocksure and primed to go by our long car ride. Here is a picture of the chief financial officer for the trip, one Diana Pell (aka Diana Messerschmitt). Don't fuck with her. Those black canisters are to keep the bears from getting our food.

This is a picture of Yosemite. Next to it is a picture of the Smokies. Kind of similar huh? Of course the dead trees in Yosemite are due to a natural fire, whereas the dead trees in the smokies are due to an introduced exotic pest, the Balsam Wooly Adelgid.

Here is one of our first views up Yosemite Valley. Not the best pic, but you can make out Bridal Veil falls in the right side of the pic and just barely El Capitan in the upper left of the pic. Our plan was to hike around to the left and come up on El Cap from the back side.

The trees were big out there. Here is the chief of the Irish Death Watch Guard Brigade and the new reigning champion of pluck and the R Kelly Look-alike contest winner, Kevin Kelly.

This is a great shot that I took of R Kelly during our 4 mile, 2000 vertical feet detour that pretty much sucked. But cool picture.

This is the first snow we saw in Yosemite. At about 7600'.

This is a link to a video that may or may not work. It's pretty funny.

Here we are cooking at our second night camp at about 8000'.

So we attempted to make the 2 mile, all downhill hike from our camp to El Capitan at 7am in the morning. We had to meet Drew at the parking lot at 1pm, and had about 10 miles to hike, all down hill to get there. Unfortunately, as Naomi said, the cute wilderness person who told us we probably wouldn't be able to make it to El Cap, it was very hard to stay on the trail. There were these damn red blazes that marked the trail, but unfortunately the actual trail was covered by 6 feet of snow in places and the blazes were spaced so as you had to spend about 15 minutes looking for each blaze. We did about a mile in about an hour and knew we had to turn back. Which sucked. Here is MB Pell standing by one of the very frustrating blazes.

Here is the obligatory Yosemite snow plant picture, Sarcodes sanguinea . These things were everywhere under conifers out there. I figured they were saprophytic angiosperms, and after a little research here, I have confirmed this hypothesis. Much like the Indian Pipe which is ubiquitous throughout the Appalachian mountains, where I first became familiar with saprophytic angiosperms, the snow plant is a flowering plant, like orchids, roses, daisy, goldenrod etc., but it completely lacks chlorophyll and derives all of it's energy like fungi, through a suite of enzymes that aid in decomposition.

Here is a picture looking up the valley on our last day. That's the top of El Cap on the left and I think those are the Cathedral Spires on the right.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

clever godlessness

"Our president had a rhinestone-covered 20 gallon cowboy hat with an airhorn and flashing strobe, and he seemed far less virtuous than my neighbor, with her simple and unostentatious cap."

It's a hat/relgion metaphor and it's pretty damn funny.

Check out the whole thing at Pharyngula.

Billy Dembski apparently without internet connection

Well I just can't believe it. My man in Amsterdam (or Texas) Billy 'god did it' Dembski, has not removed a critical comment from his blog. I can't imagine him finding the comment 'worthwhile' because he certainly has dealt with the issue of predictions made by evolutionary biology, yet he lets it stay up there.

Perhaps he is without an internet connection? Perhaps he is at some sort of 'revival camp' in the desert drinking strychnine and playing with rattlessnakes? I kid (sort of). Perhaps he hasn't seen the critical comment? I think this is unlikely because in the past he has monitored those comments like a hawk, or some other highly vigilant and fast acting animal.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I found out that if you search the word 'burliest' in Google, my blog is the 5th result...out of 7,440.

This might be the coolest thing that has ever happened to me.

It's funny what happens when Pharyngula has a link to your blog.

And oh, yes, the Yosemite/Tahoe trip is going quite well thank you. I don't have the ability to post any pictures out here (or don't feel like aquiring the software necessary for posting pictures right now) so suffice it to say it is fucking beautiful.

I think I might try to live in the Sierra Nevada at some point in my life. Preferably soon. It's a shame that I don't really have much choice about where I will work, assuming I actually finish my degree.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Tahoe/Yosemite trip now imminent

Yes, my shitty life continues a pace. I leave tomorrow at 4am to fly to Reno, NV where I will rendevouz with some of my best friends in the whole wide world. We will get very drunk, then attempt to wake up at 7am on Friday, drive to Yosemite, obtain the last wilderness permit required, and backpack four miles before dark. Then on Saturday we hope to make it to the top of El Capitan (via the trails, not the 4000' rock face). Then on Sunday it's back to Tahoe where we have rented, literally, a mansion. I will do a lot of fishing, lots on the famous Truckee river hopefully, and also the smaller mountain streams. I'm glad it's a little cold out there still. Hopefully we'll get some good hatches!!

I'll be back on the 18th, not much till then.

With great speed, agility and dexterity, yours truly and very sincerely,
Matthew D. Dunn, Esq.

Monday, June 06, 2005

my new piece

Here is a link to the first in a three part series on my recent brewery tour of Michigan.

check cha check check check cha check it out...yo

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Lisa Lloyd's 'orgasm book' big news down under

If you're looking for a very thoughtful and rather in-depth discussion/summary of Elisabeth Lloyd's new book on the evolution of female orgasm, head over to the Australian Broadcasting Company's website for a half hour audio file of an interview with her. There's also a decent bibliography and several links to relevant websites.

I think it's a great interview. The 'orgasmic music' is a bit much, and the interviewer refers to Indiana University as the University of Indiana once, but other than that, great content...and Lisa has a pretty good radio voice.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Paul Nelson on the epistemic status of negation...more tricky rhetoric from religious nutjobs

Paul Nelson, fellow at the Discovery Institute, posted a short piece about the Smithsonian hoopla over showing some movie about how the galaxy of the universe or some such thing, is designed by 'The Big Guy'. Well, I usually like to pick on Billy Dembski, and I know I said I wasn't going to deal with the IDers arguments, but I have to deal with this one. Since I'm in the middle of a two semester stint teaching a 'Scientific Reasoning' course, I just couldn't let his comments go by.

He claims that the following is ridiculous: "two propositions, distinguished only by a negation sign, differ fundamentally in their epistemic status." He claims that the little old negation sign can't have any epistemic import.

It seems as if his tactic is to show that the only difference between a religious statement and a scientific one is a tilde, or a negation sign. He writes that when someone says 'The universe was designed by an intelligence', it's religion, but when someone throws in this silly little seemingly inconsequential negation sign, yielding this statement: 'The universe was NOT designed by an intelligence', voila, it's science!! He wants to say isn't this silly. That little old negation sign can't make that much of a difference.

Now I'm not going to take his comments out of context, as is typically their tactic. So I need to be careful here. I think my problem with his comment is not about whether or not the negated and the non-negated sentence differ in their epistemic status. They are both pretty broad, vague statements. I'd need to think about them a lot more if I were to make some sort of claim about this specific example.

The problem I have with his comments is that he is trying to make negation seem inconsequential...oh no, it's only a little tilde, it's only a little tiny mark on the page, look at all the letters and meaning that come after it, those clearly out weigh the meaning of the little tilde.

Well, actually negation has some very serious epistemic import, namely related to the problem of induction. If Paul Nelson would have ever learned the most basic philosophy of science, or if he were being honest about the philosophy of science he may very well have learned, he would have read about this little old philosopher of science named Karl Popper, who had some pretty important things to say about negation. Namely, that only disconfirmations are of any consequence for scientific theories. You can confirm a theory all damn day long, even the most trivial theory, but Popper figured that only theories that took the chance of being wrong, that were falsifiable, should be considered scientific. Because only disconfirmation can tell you anything about a theory for sure, namely it tells you that something, somewhere is wrong in the theory.

Now exactly how this relates to the two statements Nelson discusses I'm not sure. But I just can't stand when people use snappy, oh-so-obvious rhetoric to make an important's just a little mark on the page my ass.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Well, Ryan 'crazy brewer' Clarke is up to his old hijinx once again. Is that how you spell highjinks? I have no idea. What is it this time you ask? Quintuppel decoction mashing with undermodified Moravian pils malt? Traditional Lambic fermentation? The ultimate in beer serving glory? No, no and no.

We're trying to culture Fantome's yeast. And in the process we get to drink three different Fantomes!

Fantome is a very small brewery located in Soy, Belgium. It is very very very artisinal (read: inconsistent). Ha. Of course artisinal means more than inconsistent, namely really fucking interesting. Fantome's beers are incredibly complex and perplexing. I'm been seriously tasting beers for about 5 years now and I have a very hard time picking apart Fantome. It's just great.

Anyway, it seems that a lot of the character in Fantome's beers comes from their unique strain of yeast. You can't buy this strain from the main brewing yeast suppliers, Wyeast and White Labs. So the only way to procure this yeast for brewing is by reculturing it from the bottle.

Now this yeast is notoriously difficult to culture. And it is apparently even more difficult to brew good beer with. But Ryan wants to try so we're trying.

Ryan got a bottle of the 'standard' Saison and a bottle of the Automne seasonal brew. I had a bottle of the Black Ghost. Note the massive amounts of yeast in the bottom of the bottles in this picture. You can just sort of tell.

Here's Ryan pouring the Automne.

Here's me opening the Black Ghost.

And me pouring the Black Ghost.

As far as tasting notes go, all three of the beers have the signature Fantome tartness. This is least prevalent in the Black Ghost, but the dominant character in the Saison. This bottle of Saison was quite citric and tart, but lacked the significant Brettanomyces character that I picked up in a draft version I had a couple months ago. I think I still picked up a bit of Brett here, but Ryan disagrees. Well, I'm pretty sure it's not the primary strain that makes it so tart because the other bottles weren't nearly so tart. It might be some sort of spice or maybe Lacto I don't know. Anyway, real tart. The Automne was in between the Black Ghost and the Saison. It had a mild malt character, but I was expecting more actually. Pretty dry finish, just a little cidery. The Black Ghost was the most interesting. Fairly mild tartness, but really interesting spices/malt profile. I got a lot of chocolate, and definately a spicyness that might be attributable to rye? Rayn got some green apple and had the best insight into this beer: 'taste kind of like root beer'. And he's right. It's a very caramelly-spicy fairly sweet brew. But far better than rootbeer.

Anyway, before we tasted we made a bunch of impromptu rich media plates: 5% DME, 1% dried yeast, and 2% Chinese dessert food agar that has vanilla in it. Oh well. The plates set up pretty nicely. Hopefully the yeast like vanilla.

Here's a pic of Mr.Beer-Dave pouring the plates.

Here's Ryan preserving the yeast in the bottle until the plates set up.

And here's Ryan the next day streaking some plates around our impromptu flame.

So we streaked two plates with yeast from each beer and Ryan made a low gravity 250ml starter with yeast from each beer. Hopefully some of it takes.

Wish us luck.

And try some Fantome.