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Topics - nicneufeld

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The Pub / Hindustani music
« on: February 13, 2011, 01:53:37 PM »
Any fans of classical Indian music around here?

I've long had a latent fascination with the style, and I'm finally diving in, learning the sargam, the raags, thats, and talas, all that fun theory stuff....went to a workshop with Sandip Burman, fantastic tabla/sitar player and teacher, who toured with Bela Fleck and has played with a number of respectable names.  I've been interested in sitar for 10 years, but I think the workshop was what finally hooked me into going ahead.  I'm working on procuring a good quality studio-style sitar (no gourd, built in transducer, and metal gear tuners) and putting the theory into practice.

A favorite of mine is the sessions Ravi Shankar did with Yehudi Menuhin, some very fiery, imaginative stuff.  I've tried getting into Vilayat Khan, and I like him, but Shankar just seems slightly more creative and unique in his playing...maybe he's more "Western" and thus appeals to my ears a bit more in that vein.

Anybody else into this stuff at all? 

Other Fermentables / Pineau / Pommeau
« on: January 14, 2011, 08:19:34 PM »
This isn't strictly a fermentable, but...

Anyone ever tried making pineau de Charentes, or pommeau?

Pineau is unfermented wine must blended with unaged brandy, then aged in wood and bottled around 20% ABV.  Pommeau is the Norman equivalent that uses unfermented cider and apple brandy.

I made two bottles of the latter years ago by obtaining a good bottle of apple brandy (not calvados, though...the Lairds bonded stuff, full apple brandy, not the blended applejack) and mixing it 50/50 with Martinellis apple cider.  Recapped, and it makes a nice sweet drink, like a liqueur.

Yesterday I did the same with a bottle of unfermented chablis juice, and a bottle of inexpensive American brandy, for a cheap approximation of pineau.

Very interesting I'd say!  It would go well with certain foods I'm sure...cheese, certainly, with the sweet/acidic element.

Beer Recipes / Weird idea I finally got round to: Apfelweizen
« on: January 04, 2011, 09:30:22 PM »
I'd been intending to brew something like this for a while...I was going to brew a basic weizenbeer but I thought I'd throw a little twist in:
5# domestic wheat malt
4# domestic pils malt
Mashed 60min at around 150degF
Boiled 60 min, 2ml of Hopshot extract added at beginning of boil.
During cooling, added 4 12oz cans of frozen apple juice concentrate (this would reconstitute to 1.5 gallons)
Had an OG, if I recall, of 1.065.  I'm thinking the apple flavor will be subtle if there at all, owing to how well the stuff tends to ferment, but a subtle apple hint would be welcome in the beer.  In primary now, almost ready for racking...yeast used was Danstar Munich.

The Pub / Would you eat whale meat?
« on: April 01, 2010, 01:57:05 PM »
Just a general question.  I know there are a lot of food-appreciative types and likewise a lot of environmental types in the wide homebrewing community.  If you were, say, in Japan where its legal to my understanding, and someone offered you a bit o' whale meat, would you try it?

The Pub / Startup beer company idea
« on: March 08, 2010, 08:10:09 PM »
Had a funny idea for a beer related business.  I'm not saying its a good idea as I for one can think of no end of possible pitfalls, both legally and business-related.

Say you don't have a huge amount of initial capital, but you have some cool, dark storage space and enough patience to wait 5 years before starting to earn money...   

Buy a number of cases of the major yearly releases of strong ales and barleywines from the major microbrewers.  Bigfoot, et al.  Do the same the following year, and the next couple.  Register a website and then sell "vertical beer tasting sets".  Say, a Five Year Bigfoot, for, I don't know how to price, maybe $20-$25?  It seems like vertical tastings are very cool amongst the growing populace of beer geeks, and what this would offer is the convenience to those beer geeks who are not patient enough to keep their own stash for years.

Obviously there are things to consider, such as legal roadblocks, shipping across state lines, and all of that, and like a distillery, this is one of those businesses that require one to preconceive demand years in advance, which is a very good trick if one can manage it, and from the state of closing and reopening Scotch distilleries, many don't manage it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Apfelbock idea
« on: December 13, 2009, 01:04:59 AM »
I've toyed with the concept of an apple beer for a long time...I've made a malted cider, which I happen to be sipping at presently (not as successful as I'd hoped, but not bad).  Here's what I'm wondering...brew up a bock or "doppelmaerzen" style beer, except a smaller batch...good, strong, not too hoppy, with a good malty sweetness, and blend it 60/40 or so with apple juice, and ferment with lager yeast like a normal lager.  Or increase the apple juice ratio, perhaps, to make it more pronounced.

Anyone done something similar?  Seems like a nice higher gravity lager to follow a session pils (on its yeast cake).

General Homebrew Discussion / The flavor of my Oktoberfest
« on: December 12, 2009, 01:42:04 AM »
So this year was the first year for me to do an actual lager Oktoberfest (did an Altoberfest last year) and sipping at a pint right now I have to say I think I've put my finger on the flavor.....graham crackers.  The munich malt seems to leave a nice graham cracker taste, which in my mind is more descriptive (to me at least) than the usual "malty/bready" descriptors that are more the standard.

Not a fantastic insight, but every now and again I'll actually pinpoint a flavor in something and its rather like an epiphany to me.  When I tasted a (now unmistakeable) pear flavor in Bushmills it was the same.

All Things Food / H**lth Food
« on: December 04, 2009, 07:58:45 PM »
So, I figure I could stand to lose a few (the definition of "few" being rather elastic), and I'm starting to edge myself away from the excesses of my recent cooking which tends to be less than healthy (for instance, oktoberfest?  its like a carb and fat festival!).

What is stranger is that I've almost started to develop a strange (and novel, for me) affinity for certain healthy foods...last night my dinner was a salad of spinach, thinly sliced cucumber, paper-thin sliced celery, and faint drizzle of olive oil and pepper.  Also a fresh thai birdseye chili minced up, which put some serious heat in it.  I really liked it!  Maybe I had one too many racks of pork ribs?  :D  My homemade pizzas have stopped including meat as a topping and now generally are topped with pineapple, mushrooms, olives, jalapenos, etc.  Oh, and I've at least temporarily retired my 20oz beer mug...last night a 9oz pull was equally satisfying, if savored a bit slower.

Any of you guys have any specialties that you would consider particularly exemplary in health/nutrition?

All Things Food / Good price, quality stainless pans?
« on: December 01, 2009, 05:54:08 PM »
I'm a stainless kind of guy.  I don't much like non stick, and I don't like cast iron either, so my pans of choice are simple stainless steel.  I'm looking for brand recommendations that offer a good balance between value and quality...I'm not a pro chef, and I've heretofore been cooking on falling apart old hand-me-downs that have done well for me.  I'm looking for a brand similar to Forschner in knives...great quality and performance for a decent price.

Any brands I should look at?

Questions about the forum? / Minor spelling tweak
« on: November 13, 2009, 09:20:30 PM »
Sorry to be "that guy" but Homebrew Competitions, as a subforum header, is misspelled.  Cheers!

Sorry, correcting spelling is a terribly bad habit, I realize that the obsessive correction of spelling says more negative about the correcter than the occasional misspelling says about the writer.  What can I say, it's an affliction I must learn to bear quietly.

Ingredients / US Goldings
« on: November 13, 2009, 08:08:56 PM »
I've got a pound of US Goldings, in pellet form.  Does anyone have experience with these and have any opinions on how and how much they differ from UK Goldings, particularly East Kent?

As mentioned in another thread I've got a sack of Maris Otter, and along with this pound of Goldings I'm planning to get some practice brewing of some good bitters going.  Just wondering if I'm in for a surprise with the cheaper domestic Goldings, or if I should find them pleasingly similar enough for this sort of beer style.

Ingredients / Is Maris Otter worth it?
« on: November 13, 2009, 04:16:07 PM »
I just sunk 75 plus shipping into a big sack of Maris Otter.  I plan on keeping it for English bitters only and using domestic pale or pils for other stuff.  But here's my question...MO can run nearing twice as costly as domestic pale malts...I haven't done enough side by side experiments to really know, but is it really worth it?  Is there a significant difference between a bitter brewed with, say, 7 lbs of MO versus 7 lbs of Rahr two row?  I would anticipate that there would be, and I am a lover of good, subtle bitter, hence my actually buying it.  But we as homebrewers often do things out of superstition, too, so I could also see a possibility of the MO not having a big difference in beer flavor, even though I think it unlikely.

Any opinions on that? 

All Things Food / Rib World Tour
« on: November 13, 2009, 02:30:34 PM »
Figured I'd compile the pics I managed to snap of several of the (mostly pork spare) rib cooks I've done over the past year or so! 

These were apple spiced ribs, marinated in a spice-heavy apple sauce and sauced with a caramelized apple juice concentrate syrup.  They weren't as good as I had anticipated, but they were good.  A purely sweet rib is a bit one dimensional, you also need the saltiness and the spiciness as well to really balance it.  Served with a bit o' cider and some beans cooked on the smoker.

Beef back ribs with my favorite local sauce, Gates Extra Hot.  Hefeweizen, pickles, and sweet potatoes round out the meal.

These are a really good recipe adapted from Steven Raichlen...the marinade is habaneros and typical jerk seasoning components (green onions, parsley, citrus juice and zest, allspice, soy), and the finishing sauce is a sweet, rich rum based sauce that uses lime and orange juice and zest, soy, lots of brown sugar, and blackstrap rum...pictured with a bit of the same.

You can't tell because of the flash, but these are actually flaming here...herb crusted grilled ribs flambeed in ouzo.  Grilled garlic bread and watered down ouzo to go with.

Indian tandoori style ribs, or my approximation of them.  Spicy yogurt marinade with a rich, strong finishing sauce basted on at the end of cooking, with the rice made with a bit more of the reserved marinade, and all sprinkled with cilantro.

A favorite of mine...sweet smoked ribs marinated in a hoisin/soy mixture, made quite sticky with more of the marinade cooked down into a sauce, comprised of soy, sugar, ginger, garlic, chili peppers, and other stuff which I fail to recollect.  The scallions add a very nice flavor.

Same thing, again, with some lo mein.

Thai style ribs using sweet chili sauce and crushed peanuts.  Rice noodles and I think a good Belgian beer with.

Japanese ribs, using shichimi togarashi and a soy/garlic glaze, with noodles and a nigorizake that I am partial to.

All Things Food / Cold Smoke Generator
« on: November 11, 2009, 06:19:13 PM »
So I bought one of these:

With cold weather coming on soon this guy combined with my WSM should allow me to cold smoke a lot of stuff.  I'm thinking cheeses, nuts, coarse if I get really, really daring.  Any other suggestions lads?

This probably would also be great for worries about overcooking the malt.

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