Saturday, February 24, 2007

More on St. Patrick's merch branding mania

At a Shrove Tuesday gathering earlier this week, while fattening up on all variety of pre-Lenten pancake goodness with a handful of Brits whilst ELO rocked the hi-fi, conversation turned (as it has before, and likely will again) to the beauty and mystery of Marmite. With recent developments in the Marmite world such as the new Guinness branded version for St. Patrick's Day, this classic spreadable brewing by-product is obviously looking to keep itself relevant (Guinness being no stranger to adventures in marketing). Inevitably, though, as our agrarian demeanors demand, talk turned quickly to trying to make the terrifying stuff in the comfort of your own home.
After all, as sustainability-conscious homebrewers, there are only three things we need to worry about as waste products at the end of the day - spent grains, cooling water, and trub. And while the spent grains and water can go straight into use in the garden, the trub is a little trickier, unless you've got pigs around who need a vitamin B boost. So why not try your hand at converting that stinky caked pile of death into something darker, stinkier, and spreadable on toast?
Here's why not: the process is a secret. With the two largest food manufacturing products in Burton-on-Trent being beer and beer-making waste (to quote Wikipedia: "this gives the area a distinctive smell"), we're left only with the knowledge that the trub from those deliciously gypsum-addled ales makes its way in lorries across town to be "processed" into that tarry paste so beloved by the Brits. But what happend in that process remains a bit of a debate amongst the inquiring masses. So it appears to be a waste of energy better suited for baking breads and growing shitake mushrooms from your spent grains. Just put the trub in your compost pile, hippie. As far as uses for Marmite in homebrewing, however, I'll just leave that topic for another day... [We'll miss you, Karen!]

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