Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 vlog #23 | A Year In The Life Of Chad

I thought about making a long montage of clips from vlogs and events and other videos I made throughout the year. But that would require a lot more time and effort than I'm willing to spend, so instead I'm just going to recap everything by talking about it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Top 5 WORST Non-Beer Beverages 2010-11

Yep, only a "Top 5" for this list instead of a Top 10. Why? Because I honestly did not review that many bad non-beer beverages in the last year and a half. I did review several mediocre products that scored a 4, but I didn't feel like padding this list with 4's just to get an even ten, so top five it is.

This is most likely the last "Worst of" list I'll ever do for non-beer beverages because I'm not going to be reviewing these types of products anymore (well, I may do cider reviews occasionally, but that remains to be seen). For a better explanation of why these products are so bad, please watch the individual reviews, as these clips are only meant to be overly succinct re-caps.

WHY I QUIT REVIEWING NON-BEER BEVERAGES:

1. Now that I'm working 45 hours a week plus other volunteer activities I participate in, my free time is very limited compared to what it was the last few years when I was a full-time college student. The free time I do have I'd rather spend on my original reviewing passion: beer.

2. I really don't need the extra calories. I weigh more now than I ever have in my life and even though I don't even do all that many episodes of these non-beer reviews, in the long run those calories add up.

3. I'm just bored with them. I originally started the non-beer reviews as a way to lure people to my then "new" channel when I was moving the archive episodes of "Chad'z Beer Reviews" from youtube.com/chad9976 to youtube.com/ChadzBeerReviews. Then I had a few months off when I moved all the non-beer reviews to the Chad9976 channel. That was actually a nice break for me at the time and I honestly didn't miss it that much.

4. Wreckless Eating, Cult Moo, and Brad Jones do such a great job and get so much exposure with their shows that I just can't compete with them. Not that I ever really considered them "competitors", just that I don't see a point in doing my amateur show when these higher quality shows are available.

So that's the deal. I'm not saying I'm quitting them forever, just until I lose 10-20 pounds. In fact, for 2012 I am going to cut back to beer reviews only three days a week or less.

#5 Four Loko Watermelon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVCbPqT4sVk

#4 5 Hour Energy (Grape)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw4YgWNhIps

#3 Four Loko Blue Raspberry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9Pw8AQghH0

#2 Harpoon Cider
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBsHrWlsIhU

#1 Celsius Wild Berry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoZ-471ykz0

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Top 10 BEST Non-Beer Beverages 2010-11

I made this "Best of" list as something of a send-off, as I won't be reviewing non-beer beverages anymore (except maybe ciders, but that remains to be seen). I didn't make a "best of" list in 2010 because there wasn't that big of a pool to draw from. In fact, even though I've shot over 100 reviews of non-beer beverages, there were only a few that scored a 9 or a 10, so putting this list together was rather easy, actually.

Again, this isn't meant to be the greatest beverages released in 2010 and 2011 or the greatest of all time or anything like that. Just, out of all the 117 non-beer beverages I've reviewed in the last year and a half, these are the ten best I've experienced. For a better explanation of why these products are so good, please watch the individual reviews, as these clips are only meant to be overly succinct re-caps.

WHY I QUIT REVIEWING NON-BEER BEVERAGES:

1. Now that I'm working 45 hours a week plus other volunteer activities I participate in, my free time is very limited compared to what it was the last few years when I was a full-time college student. The free time I do have I'd rather spend on my original reviewing passion: beer.

2. I really don't need the extra calories. I weigh more now than I ever have in my life and even though I don't even do all that many episodes of these non-beer reviews, in the long run those calories add up.

3. I'm just bored with them. I originally started the non-beer reviews as a way to lure people to my then "new" channel when I was moving the archive episodes of "Chad'z Beer Reviews" from youtube.com/chad9976 to youtube.com/ChadzBeerReviews. Then I had a few months off when I moved all the non-beer reviews to the Chad9976 channel. That was actually a nice break for me at the time and I honestly didn't miss it that much.

4. Wreckless Eating, Cult Moo, and Brad Jones do such a great job and get so much exposure with their shows that I just can't compete with them. Not that I ever really considered them "competitors", just that I don't see a point in doing my amateur show when these higher quality shows are available.

So that's the deal. I'm not saying I'm quitting them forever, just until I lose 10-20 pounds. In fact, for 2012 I am going to cut back to beer reviews only three days a week or less.

#10 Java Monster Mean Bean Coffee + Energy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEqWopOBhGw

#9 Activate Workout Passion Fruit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA7l_S-5u-Y

#8 Woodchuck Fall Hard Cider
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPkjWmiDlTU

#7 Snapple Kiwi-Strawberry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3RWu6P39xY

#6 SoBe Lifewater Acai Fruit Punch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVREMXZKUCc

#5 Snapple Peach Tea
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8b56euG2bU

#4 Monster Rehab
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9piM32h0Sk

#3 Arnold Palmer Half & Half Lite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7upEZO555-g

#2 Marley's Mellow Mood (Black Tea Peach Raspberry Passion Fruit)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_0IWV5nDUM

#1 NOS High Performance Energy Drink
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfpurchxpMQ

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Homebrew #1 ("Chad'z Unsupervised IPA") Part 4: Tasting

The beers have been bottle conditioned at room temperature for 20 days, so now it's time to finally drink them! Shaun stopped over on his way home from work to partake in the occasion. Since he helped me brew it, I thought he should be here for the official first tasting (we have taste tested it a few times since it was bottled, though).

I have to say I'm happy with the way it came out. It's not the greatest beer in the world, but for a first homebrew I think we did a good job. In retrospect, burning some of the LME probably was a rookie mistake. I probably should've done a secondary fermentation, but then I would've had to drop another $50 on a carboy.

I think the beer will continue to improve in taste as it bottle conditions at room temperature but I'm sure it will peak at some point.

Thanks to Shaun for helping me brew this, and thanks to Jay for helping me bottle it. Thanks to everyone that left tips and advice in the comments section - a lot of them really did come in handy! Cheers and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody!

Here's the recipe according to the kit directions:
6.6lbs Gold Extract
1lb Maris Otter Pale malt (Castleford, UK)
2oz Galena hops (boiling)
1.5oz Northern Brewer hops (mid-boil)
2oz Amarillo hops (dry hopping)*
1 package Dry Ale Yeast
3/4 cup dextrose (bottle conditioning)
Original specific gravity: 1.054 - 1.064**
Final specific gravity: 1.012 - 1.015**

* = not part of the kit. My own addition
** = I forget what our gravity readings were, but they were lower than these estimations

Thursday, December 22, 2011

SoBe Green Tea | Chad'z MISC Soft Drink Reviews #24

This is probably the LAST review of something other than a beer I'll ever review on this channel (well... I may keep doing cider reviews, we'll see). I used to drink SoBe all the time back in college and my active duty Navy days but I literally haven't had one in years (those LifeWaters don't count). Their Green Tea drink is probably one of their most famous, so I thought why not go out with this product?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sprecher Cherry Cola | Chad'z Soda Reviews #23

Sprecher is actually a craft beer brewery out of Wisconsin, but we only get their craft sodas here in New York (but not their beers, isn't that weird?). Anyway it's been a while since I reviewed a truly "craft soda" and if this is the last episode of my soda reviews I'd like to go out reviewing a soda made by beer guys!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Woodchuck Winter Hard Cider | Chad'z Cider Reviews #7

Of the seven cider reviews I've posted to date, four of them have been from Woodchuck - do you think that speaks highly of this brand? Anyway, this is their winter seasonal and I coulda swore I had reviewed this back in January or February, but I guess that was the spring seasonal. I tend to really like this cidery, so let's see what their winter seasonal is all about....

Monday, December 12, 2011

SoBe Lifewater B-Energy Strawberry Apricot | Chad'z Flavored Water Reviews #14

As we wind  down the non-beer beverage reviews I go back to my roots, so to speak, with the Sobe Lifewater series. This really caught my eye because of the flavors involved - strawberry and apricot. Sounds like a tasty combination. Would it be...?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 vlog #22 | My Christmas and 2012 plans - changes are coming!

Well at least I didn't wait 45 days between vlogs this time! I just wanted everyone to know what my plans are for Christmas beer reviews, that I will be doing 2011 "best of" and "worst of" lists, and what my general outlook for 2012 is like. I'm making some major changes with my youtubing journey.

I also explain why I don't really watch beer reviews all that much anymore.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

MENTIONS and SHOUT-OUTS:
http://youtube.com/WrecklessEating
http://youtube.com/CultMoo
http://thecinemasnob.com/categories/263/brad-tries.aspx

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sambazon Amazon Energy Lo-Cal | Chad'z Energy Drink Reviews #37

Seems like it's been forever since I reviewed an obscure energy drink - which was the original intent of this show anyway. I found this oddly-named drink in the Asian food aisle at the supermarket. Last time I found one there it tasted like jelly beans - would this one?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jeremiah Weed Roadhouse Tea | Chad'z Alcopop Reviews #10

It seems like I keep forgetting that I do this show, lol. I haven't reviewed anything in the Jeremiah Weed brand in many many months, so I thought I should give them another try (heck, they've only got three products anyway). I remember really like the Twisted Tea so I was hoping this "Roadhouse Tea" would be as good. Was it? Watch and find out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Homebrew #1: Part 3: Bottling

It's been two weeks since Shaun and I brewed the wort and another week since I dry hopped it with Amarillo. A lot of people said two weeks in primary fermentation is good enough and no secondary is necessary for a homebrew with a relatively low starting gravity of 1.050.

I started out the day by removing all the labels from the commercial 12oz bottles (following a how-to video by Billy Broas). A few hours later Jay came over and we shot a beer review. After that we checked on the beer and we THINK we measured the gravity correctly but we're not entirely sure. We decided to bottle anyway.

We'll come back in two weeks to take a taste test!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kimagure Orange Wit | Chad'z Homebrew Reviews #19

It's been months since I reviewed a homebrew, so why not get back in the game with a very original recipe brewed by an internet celebrity? Rob Walker and his homebrewing friends known as "The Mystic Brewers of the Inebriati" made this beer - a Belgian witbier with orange marmalade and chamomile! You can see the entire recipe on their blog here: theinebriati.blogspot.com/2009...