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Messages - The Professor

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1
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: North Coast Brother Thelonious
« on: June 10, 2016, 07:17:24 AM »
Brother Thelonious is spotty quality wise for me. That's not a dig against North Coast but more of a logistics thing. We don't get a ton of it in the northeast and its either really fresh or a bit old.

I personally like BT when it's old. When it's green I am not a big fan...

I agree.
in many cases, "freshness" is very over-rated ...and not necessarily always a good thing.

2
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Old Tankard Ale
« on: June 10, 2016, 07:14:20 AM »
I picked up some of the OLD TANKARD a few weeks ago and really liked it.  Greg D. is really doing a bang up job with some of the legacy brews and my hat is off to him.  The Ballantine IPA has been pretty decent even though it is not much like the original brew I consumed so much of starting in the late '60s...different hops, considerably less aroma, and he apparently chose not to use the original yeast strain either...but it is still a very nicely balanced brew that's considerably better than a lot of what is out there today.  The re-introduction of the Burton Ale was a big surprise and a very solid brew.  That's one I definitely hope becomes a regular winter offering.

I like the new direction Pabst seems to be taking and I hope the OLD TANKARD becomes more widely available (I have yet to see it on draft anywhere here in NJ). 
It's really good to see a big brewer making a solid effort to make distinctive, quality brews...and succeeding so well at it.

3
Equipment and Software / Re: Igloo 5 gallon tun
« on: June 03, 2016, 01:43:35 PM »
Check out Phil's Phalse Bottom.
http://listermannbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/12_Bottom.pdf
My LBHS (at the time...now sadly gone) gifted me with one of these nearly 25 years ago (for referring so many brewers to their store) and I have been using it ever since.  It works fantastically well in the Igloo/Rubbermade round vessels.  I modifies my linkages to using a stainless steel spigot, but either way, it works beautifully.

4
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Using DME for priming?
« on: March 22, 2016, 08:28:54 PM »
IME DME is an inferior way to prime.  The main problem is that you don't know what went into the DME, so you don't know how fermentable it is, so you don't really know what carb level you'll get.  Save your leftover DME for when you need to adjust the gravity of a batch and stick to sugar for priming.
Totally agree.  Stick with sugar (whether it be dextrose, invert, or table sugar)...you'll get a more predicable (and arguably better) result.

5
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Galatin fining
« on: February 26, 2016, 01:04:40 PM »
...seems like every IPA coming out today is cloudy by design

I don't know if it's really by design or just bad technique that they don't bother fixing, just don't want to, or figure that they needn't bother  because people will buy it anyway.


6
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast fresh vs yeast repitch
« on: February 26, 2016, 01:00:06 PM »
i would think you make a batch , harvest the slurry. then make the batch to be tested, split it, use slurry in 1/2 and new yeast/starter in 1/2. then compare the split batch 2nd generation pitch vs new yeast/starter pitch?

edit: first batch and test batch identical recipes, process, etc.

I've done that with a few of my 'standard' brews.
And as far as I could tell, the repitched yeast made better beer every time.
I still routinely repitch through a minimum of 8 generations these days.   In the past I've gone far beyond that as well.

7
Ingredients / Re: Chestnuts
« on: February 26, 2016, 12:57:22 PM »
Apparently one can brew a GF beer exclusively with chestnuts so you definitely need to treat it as a starch source in the mash rather than a flavor adjunct. I'm not sure exactly what kind of conversion one gets out of chestnuts but that has to be addressed somewhere in GF resources online.
Definitely as a starch adjunct, not a malt adjunct.  You could actually even just use chestnut flour (available in many grocery stores nowadays, as well as stores especializing in Italian foods) and include it in the mash.

8
All Grain Brewing / Re: personal experience with old malt
« on: February 01, 2016, 06:22:10 AM »
I have personally left crushed grain in  a sealed bag for over a year and it made fine beer.
Ditto that.
It's mainly a matter of how well the bag is sealed up and the environment in which it is stored.

9
Events / Re: Brew For Charity
« on: January 20, 2016, 08:31:40 PM »
I hope you've checked all the pesky local and state alcohol  laws in advance and have confirmed that what you are intending to to do is legal.  Regulatory agencies do, after all, get a bit finicky and particular when it comes to anything involving alcoholic beverages.

10
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: December 11, 2015, 10:16:22 AM »
The Nottingham/Windsor combo is good.  US-05 has a weird oxidized note to it that makes the strain only suitable for hoppy beers.  S-04 is probably my favorite dry yeast strain, but it can be temperamental.  While dry yeast has come a long way since the bad old days, I have yet to use a dry culture that performs as well as a properly handled cultured or liquid yeast culture.  I generally do not brew hoppy beers, so yeast character, good or bad, shines through the hops.
Agree with all of the above, particularly the point about dry yeasts having been improved but still falling short of the quality from liquid cultures.  As far as favorites go, in recent months I've been brewing much more with the various variants/versions of Seibel BR97 and it has become my favorite in terms of performance, flavor, and ability to flocculate.  I've used the dry version of BRY97 a number of times, and it also seems to have the same characteristics as the wet versions.
Like many yeasts that have been co-opted with names suggesting American pedigree (such as 'West Coast Ale' and the like), it did originate in the UK.

11
Other Fermentables / Re: Injera
« on: December 07, 2015, 08:10:32 PM »
VERY nice.  Your injera looks better than any of my attempts.  The last few times I cooked an Ethiopian feast (and not, it's not an oxymoron  ;D) I bought some injera from the local Ethiopian restaurant.

I haven't given up though!!!  I'll get it right eventually.

12
All Things Food / Re: Pizza
« on: December 02, 2015, 08:47:37 AM »
I use Lahey's no knead recipe with '00' Flour
That's a good one, definitely.
But whatever dough recipe you use, the real key to great pizza (in taste and texture) is to make the dough at least a day or two  ahead of time and allow for a very slow rise/fermentation in the fridge.  It really makes all the difference.

13
All Things Food / Re: Alcohol Removal Time
« on: December 02, 2015, 08:42:02 AM »
Why would you want to get rid of alcohol?   :o
Seriously??
If there was a way to remove the alcohol from beer and still have it truly taste like beer, I'd be all over it!  I love beer, but I hate feeling drunk.  Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to get the all or most of the alcohol out without adversely affecting the flavor.
There are a few N/A beers I'll buy from time to time which are minimally tolerable, but they still come up very short in the flavor department.

14
The Pub / Re: Creed
« on: November 29, 2015, 12:03:21 PM »
Just got my awards committee screener DVD in the mail on Friday and am looking forward to watching it.  I've had mixed feelings about some of the sequels but have heard good things about this one. 
Still pretty amazing that Sly has been able to keep revisiting the character and keep the  'Rocky' franchise going for going on 40 years.

What awards committee are you on?

It's for the Screen Actor's Guild Awards (I've been a Guild member since 1977). 
This year I am on the nominating committee for the Motion Picture awards (there is also a committee for the Television side of things).  The awards are presented every year, in January.

15
The Pub / Re: Creed
« on: November 29, 2015, 10:51:35 AM »
Just got my awards committee screener DVD in the mail on Friday and am looking forward to watching it.  I've had mixed feelings about some of the sequels but have heard good things about this one. 
Still pretty amazing that Sly has been able to keep revisiting the character and keep the  'Rocky' franchise going for going on 40 years.

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