Food Frakker

Cock Ale Recipe — Homebrew with chicken

Way back in the day, when I first started doing homebrew, I made a batch of “Cock Ale.” This was a recipe I found in the back of an ancient and dog-eared public library book on homebrewing, which purported to be a traditional beer made with a boiled chicken. The theory being that the protein and nutrients from the chicken would bring up the alcohol level. The kicker to the recipe was the claim that the chicken completely dissolved into the beer.

People loved that first batch of beer. Unfortunately the original recipe went AWOL, so I had to re-create it from several sources.


Step 1:

Make a broth of chicken, about one gallon.

  • 14oz of chicken, diced
  • Cloves, 6 whole,
  • Mace, 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg ,1 tsp

After the broth has stewed, refrigerate it overnight, gunky bits and all. Skim the fat the next day. Bring broth to a boil and add to the sterilized carboy hot, to wait for the wort.

Step 2:

Make an ordinary stout but with dried fruit.

  • Fuggles hops, 3/4 60min, 1/4 5min
  • 9 lb pale ale (BE)
  • 2 lb maris otter pale
  • .75 lb chocolate
  • .5 flaked barley
  • .5 carapils
  • 2 pounds of raisins
  • .5 pounds of dates

Calculated ABV came out to nearly 10%. I left it in the carboys almost three weeks. I’ve only had a few tastes so far, but even after a week in the bottle it’s pretty carbonated and tastes pretty smooth. The spices are the most apparent flavors, but there’s definitely a slight odor of chicken broth.

And although I can’t say for sure, because there was a lot of sludge at the bottom of the first carboy stage which I didn’t search through, but it seemed like nearly all of the chicken had dissolved.

A spooky Halloween beer recipe for you!


My Last Published Short Story

I’ve not been writing a lot recently, for a number of reasons. Another symptom of how much I’ve checked out of the writing lifestyle is the conspicuous lack of self-promotion for my last published short story. It’s not unlikely that this will be my last published short story ever. Luckily, this is probably the most fun of my published stories, and it appears in a very strong anthology of Texas writers.

It came out well over a year ago, but you can find Rayguns Over Texas online. My story “Babylon Moon” is a post-singularity Rastafarian space-opera with strong Lovecraftian overtones. And the other writers in the anthology are all Texans, so you know it’s got to be good.


Obligatory Hugo Endorsements Post

It’s only one day left to fill out ballots for Hugo nominations, those of us who are WorldConnners. Here’s some suggestions. These are basically just people I know, but you can be certain that they absolutely deserve a nomination. I know that you’ve spent the last few months since WorldCon in a state of hibernation, torpor, or perhaps estivation ( you know ), but this is important.


Babylon Moon by Matthew Bey

Short story

texas died for somebody’s sins but not mine – By Stina Leicht
I Will Trade With You — by J. M. McDermott

Best Graphic Story

Black Science
Sex Criminals
Adventures of the Red Panda

Editor Short Form

Rick Klaw

Professional Artist

John Picacio


The Drabblecast


Space Squid
Bookworm Blues
My Bookish Ways


SF Signal Podcast
We’re Alive: A story of survival

John W. Campbell Award

Max Gladstone
Marshal Ryan Maresca
Rhonda Eudaly

Does that make sense?


After the power goes out…

…this is what I look like.


You can find the actual moment I’m on the show “Revolution” online on Netflix. It’s the episode “Austin City Limits.” Look for the shot where the whole team is crossing Congress Avenue, just before they go into the gun shop, which used to be Little City Coffeeshop. It was all on location, which was a little surprising. Just look for us pedaling around in the lower left of the screen.

Question of the day. Did you know that Italy has it’s own aircraft carrier called the MM Garabaldi? You can learn about it here.


Mysterious Fish From Texas Gulf Coast

unidentified fish1

This is a post which is open pandering for a fish identification. Over the weekend I was fishing off the Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas. It was about one in the morning and just a little after high tide. I caught the fish at about the third guts, about seventy feet south of the pier. It bit on a couple of previously frozen piggy perches rigged two feet from the bottom. When I was reeling it up, I thought it was just a whiting, because it was about the size of a large one. It wasn’t until I had it on the deck of the pier before I realized how odd it looked.

The gold color is an artifact of the camera and the light conditions, in real life it seemed more silvery, like a mackerel. I don’t recall the eyes being walleye like that, but they could have been.


After I took its picture, I decided to use the stainless steel forceps to get the circle hook out. And it’s a good thing I did, because it started biting the metal with an audible crunching sound. Its mouth wasn’t very big, but it was crowned with some Nosferatu bunny fangs and some finger-amputating strong jaws.

Any rate, I threw the thing back, and neither the guy at the bait shop and the guy at the tackle shop recognized it. So now I’m asking the internet in general.

Edit 11/11/13:
I posted this fish to the forum and it was the general opinion of the gentlemen there that this was a smooth puffer.

foam fly lure spider

The Foam Gaga Spider – Fly-tying recipe

[schema type=”recipe” name=”Foam Gaga Spider” author=”Matthew Bey” pubdate=”2013-10-10″ image=”×225.jpg” description=”The foam Gaga Spider takes all the delicious, buggy elements of sub-surface nymphs, and combines it with the fast and furious top-water action of a foam spider. ” prepmins=”20″ yield=”1″ ingrt_1=”size 14 to 18 dry fly hook” ingrt_2=”beige thread” ingrt_3=”small plastic barbell eyes (optional)” ingrt_4=”brown goose biots” ingrt_5=”yellow/chartreuse crazy legs” ingrt_6=”brown and yellow foam” ingrt_7=”yellow dubbing” ingrt_8=”Aqua flash” instructions=”For this fly-tying recipe, start the thread on the hook size of your choice. Tie on the barbell eyes. If you use these, they should be a light material, not the sinking barbells. At each end of the hook, tie on the goose biots to form antennas. Starting at the curve of the hook, twist on layers of the yellow dubbing until you build up a buggy nymph-like body. At the body’s midpoint, tie on three to four rubber crazy legs. Fold the flash into a bow and tie above the legs. Then fold the flash back and tie it so it angles back from the midpoint like the wings of a fly. The final layer is the foam, which is tied at the very top. Don’t go overboard with this, you only need enough foam to keep the hook floating. I would recommend a brownish layer to give a naturalistic presentation to fish observing it from below, and a yellow layer on top to make it easier to spot against the surface of the water for anglers observing from above.” ]


A microscope. Just because.


I just bought this microscope from Goodwill. It was only five bucks and promised to enlarge things as much as six hundred times.

So far the only thing I know for sure is that q-tips may clean smudges, but they also leave a lot of tiny fibers on microscope lenses. The other big discovery: my spit is filled with lumpy stuff.