For our final piece of filler for this break, We're going to delve into one of the great secrets of the reclusive Tacoran race. You guessed it... I'm talking about the secret to brewing Quaraive.
Okay, we'll start of with the basics of brewing. Alcohol is created in a process called fermentation where tiny microorganisms commonly known as yeast transform sugar into ethanol (you can look this up in a HS biology book if you're interested). The main trick is coaxing the yeast into producing the right things to make a good brew. If not done carefully, you will end up with things that will make your brew sub-par (there are some really good resources on home brewing on the web if you're interested).
So, from these basics, we'll analyze the way the Tacoran brew their magical elixir. First, like I mentioned, you need a source of sugar (food for the yeast). The Tacoran "sugar" of choice is from the sap of a particular variety of deciduous tree that grows near the alpine line of the mountains that the Tacorans inhabit. The sap is harvested and reduced to concentrate the sugar. Now, the second part. The yeast is a Tacoran treasure. The cultures have been cared for and passed down for generations. The actual fermentation process takes some time. The initial fermentation can take months. After this, the drink is bottled and allowed to age. Typically, anything that hasn't aged for more than 6 months is harsh to drink. However the drink improves greatly with age. Quaraive doesn't start tasting really good until aging for at least a year. Five year old Quaraive is extremely good. 10+ year old Quaraive is exquisite.
On to the particulars. There are different varieties of Quaraive. Of course, there's straight Quaraive, which is just fermented sap. Of course within this category, there are numerous varieties depending on the yeast culture and what time of the year the sap is harvested in. Other varieties are made by adding other ingredients while fermenting. Common additions are fruit juices, teas and spices.
So, for those of you itching to actually taste Quaraive, or at least get an idea of what inspired it (yes, I have actually brewed some), use the following recipe:
You can find a lot of the above from home brewing supply stores.
While the yeast is getting ready, start preparing the rest of the mix (called "must"). To do this, get a large pot and add 2 parts water for each 1 part of maple syrup. Boil the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes (make sure the heat isn't excessive). While it's boiling, you'll want to skim any impurities that form at the top. Let this cool. When cooled, transfer your cooled mix into the fermentation container (if you're really want to MacGuyver it, you can use an empty milk container that has been thoroughly cleaned). Add the acid blend and pectic enzyme and let sit (covered) for 24 hours.
Next, you will want to prepare the yeast culture. To do this, in a jar or bottle, combine the juice, the yeast and the yeast nutrient and shake well. Let this sit for around 1 to 3 hours at room temperature (preferably in a warm and dark place). You will know that it's ready when it starts to bubble.
Now, you're ready to start the fermentation. After letting the must sit for 24 hours, add the yeast culture and tannin (if desired). Top the container off with filtered or distilled water and put a fermentation lock on top (you want as little air as possible in contact with the mix while fermenting. Now, put the container in a dark place and wait until the fermentation stops (when the mix stops bubbling). At this point, it is advisable to "Rack" or transfer the mix into a new container (siphon off the clean stuff from the yeast that is at the bottom). The mix should be allowed to stay in this "secondary fermentation" stage for around 6 to 12 months (or, if you really want, rack the mixture every 3 months 2-4 times). After this, it's time to bottle the stuff. Keep the bottles in a cool dark place for at least 6 months, then drink.
Well, that's a basic recipe. If you want more details, you may want to do some research on home brewing. For those of you who know about home brewing, you will probably recognize this as maple syrup mead. Yes, that's what it is. It's not something you can buy in a store, it takes forever to make, but boy is it worth it. The surprising thing is how strong this stuff is. If you do brew up some of this be careful. If it's your first time drinking it... use a shot glass take it one shot at a time. You have been warned. Also, please drink responsibly... and if you're under the legal and want to try it ... start brewing it now and wait till you're old enough to legally drink before you do. By that time the stuff will have aged enough to make it worth the wait.
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Okay, I want to see if anyone actually does this.
If you play FF:XI and are on Midgardsormr, search out a Taru by the name of "Bonsaihinoki"
Go up to him and "/em makes the secret bonsai sign" and send a tell with the secret phrase of the month "Finge Benefits", I'll take your character name down and send you something random from what I have.
|Joe - 2/9/04||Laura -|
Well, this is it. It's the last piece of filler for our break. Work is sending me to Ithaca next week and I might not be back until late Monday... which means the first page of Issue 4 may not be up until late Monday.
Yeah, so, like Laura said, the spam is getting out of hand. FYI, if you want to e-mail us, note that any message with the subject of "hi", "hello", "Status", "test" or no subject at all will be immediately deleted. Also, if you have a virus scanner that automatically sends a response e-mail back whenever it gets an infected file, turn it off. The addresses have been spoofed, an you're really not helping the situation
Other than that, things have been pretty hectic... ok, they've been a little hectic because I am also addicted to FF:XI. I just hit lvl 30 on my main job (Red Mage), so I'll be starting some advanced job subquests soon. I've been getting some writing done whenever I can, but the draw of FF:XI is just too great sometimes. If people want to find me in the game, feel free. I think it'd be cool... and... FYI... Windurst RULEZ!
It seems that despite my resolve to be more organized, I'm not doing a very good job keeping up with my..er, commentaries. I guess I just don't always have something say, or maybe I'm just too lazy. And well, this past month, it was kind of nice just to not do anything EF related. I played video games (Disgaea, Prince of Persia) and worked on some new art. I haven't really worked on any art of my own since I graduated college, and since I'm hoping to start-up a freelance career in the near future (I need $$$!), I really want to redevelop my portfolio.
But my little break helped a lot. I definitely feel a lot better than I did a month ago and I think I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. But there's a lot to do in the coming months, so here's hoping I don't get bogged down again ;_;
And finally, a big thanks to Dennis from F.O.G. Club and Will from Particle Sphere for the pieces they did for us. I'm honored that this site has had it's first ever guest pieces. And though I'm sure it's obvious, as a side note to our increasing flood of spam, if anyone wants to e-mail us, just be sure to label your mail something that's discernable from the usual junk mail titles so we don't delete anything by accident. See you guys next week.
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