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Messages - narvin

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Outragious beer prices???
« on: November 29, 2010, 09:38:28 AM »

This is why beer will never achieve the status of wine. No respect for producers who try to elevate the production to an art and no respect for the cost of storage and service in a restaurant setting.

It's fine if we want beer to be sold for the cost of ingredients, packaging and transportation with a modest margin for every player in the distribution and retail process but that's how toilet paper is sold too.

The markups on the two beers he mentioned are more than a standard 2x wine markup.  But, isn't life in New York a ripoff in general?  

If you want to go to a restaurant to achieve some kind of social status, that's fine.  Personally, I hate it, which is why I avoid the beer scene in DC.  Max's in Baltimore has a better beer selection and better prices anyway.

I also don't equate "being experimental without first having regard for brewing fundamentals" as elevating beer to an artform, but that seems to be the way things are going these days.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew Masters......up or down.....?
« on: November 23, 2010, 09:11:26 AM »
I thought it was pretty good. I will watch it again. The mash tun hot tub was hilarious I thought!

I think this was an old open fermenter that they don' t use anymore... at least that's what they told me on the tour about 6 years ago.

It's interesting to see how much the place has grown... they have been expanding pretty much constantly.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I feel guilty
« on: November 19, 2010, 10:33:34 AM »
I still think the stupid deposit CREATES this problem.  When I rent a DVD, or even a rental car, and don't return it, they don't keep $40 from me.  They charge my credit card, or come after me.  You have to have ID to get beer anyway, so why can't they verify and record your personal info when you order a keg?  Almost everything else where you pay a deposit you are essentially buying the product if you don't return it.  The mixed message here pisses me off, and while I would never take a keg from a brewery I respect because I know they lose money on it in the current system, I don't see how it can legally be called stealing.

I assume distributors don't want to bother with collecting money for unreturned kegs, because they have the breweries bent over a barrel thanks to all the liquor regulations.  The result is that the brewery has to eat it. 

The Pub / Re: My apartment smells funny
« on: November 19, 2010, 06:04:31 AM »
I remember once my friend's car started to smell inexplicably.  He had taken a road trip and he thought it was maybe from eating in the car, and leaving a Wendy's bag with a few fries in it.  After a week it had gotten worse... much worse.  It turns out he had let his sister borrow his car, and she went to the grocery store and left a frozen turkey in the trunk.

If I secondary ales, I still give them 10-14 days in the primary, and generally only transfer to free up my larger primary fermenters and make it easy to move the vessel around without stirring up sediment.  I see an advantage to using a secondary to age a strong beer only... if I am going to keg after 2-3 weeks, i'll skip it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: USPS shipping- more legal than I thought?
« on: November 15, 2010, 02:10:44 PM »
"For some reason, politicians seem to think the federal government has more pressing issues than shipment of homebrew."

And yet they seem to spend plenty of time coming up with laws prohibiting things such as the shipment of homebrew, nipples appearing on television, and so on...

On a semi-related issue, I ordered some beer from De Struise in Belgium.  They sent it USPS  :o  When I checked the tracking information, I thought it was lost forever when I saw "In customs - JFK airport, NY", but lo and behold, it made it to me.

The Pub / Re: Gordon Biersch and Rock Bottom Merge
« on: November 15, 2010, 02:01:35 PM »
Came here for the "Rock Biercsh and Gordon Bottom" porn jokes, left satisfied.  :)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Spilled Yeast while making Starter
« on: November 12, 2010, 11:47:42 AM »
It is better if you let the yeast warm to pitching temps before you add it to the wort.

Tom, the last few years the "conventional wisdom" has been to not let the yeast warm up before pitching.  The rationale given is that if you warm the yeast up, it will start consuming its nutrient reserves before hitting the wort, and will be less vigorous once pitched.  Do you disagree with that line of thought?
I haven't heard that.  I wonder what they're doing to their yeast that the nutrient reserves are low?  And why is there not an abundance of nutrients in the media that is left behind?  I'm not talking about letting it sit at room temp for days, but in an hour or so coming up to 60F . . . well, what are the yeast doing with their nutrients?  Not growing presumably, since there's no sugar present.  I think I need more details about which nutrients they mean . . .  :-\  I've never had a problem doing it my way though.

I guess if that's really a concern and you want to worry about everything then you can temper the yeast by adding small amount of wort at pitching temp to your chilled yeast to bring it up to the same temp.  But that's probably overkill and more than people really need to worry about.

It's my understanding that pitching more than  +-10 degrees of the wort temp will potentially shock the yeast...

Denny, Tom...??

If you pitch to colder wort, you could shock the yeast, but I haven't heard any problems about cold pitching into warmer wort.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Burners for 10 gal batches
« on: November 11, 2010, 11:35:38 AM »
I use the square frame bayou classic with 12 gallon batches (  This should be the same burner as yours, and I have no trouble getting the water heated quickly.  I definitely don't need to turn it up to full blast to keep a good rolling boil.

Awesome!  I'm gonna put on my members only jacket and head over there to check it out.

Thanks to John for his time.

The Pub / Re: Mystery Contrail
« on: November 11, 2010, 11:11:20 AM »
Clearly a chemtrail released to fluoridate our precious bodily fluids...

Equipment and Software / Re: Cutting a hole in my kettle
« on: November 05, 2010, 06:51:27 PM »
Are you pushing too hard?  I drilled a hole in my 20 gallon kettle with my 12 volt cordless Black and Decker and a step bit I got online for 10 bucks.  The drill would occasionally sieze up, but reversing and pressing gently would get it going again.  Let the tool do the work!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Ridculous old wives' tale.
« on: November 05, 2010, 06:44:11 PM »
I have not heard this, but I have heard that bottles with insufficient head space do not carbonate as well.  This could actually be plausible, due to the fact that a gas buffer is more compressible and will allow CO2 to be released from fermentation without increasing pressure on the yeast, and gradually equalize between the liquid and the gas.  This is still just speculation, though.

All Things Food / Re: Ethnic and Regional Cooking
« on: November 04, 2010, 09:29:29 AM »
Thang Long Pho works for me, haven't been there in a while.
Try Pho King.  It's excellent.  :)

The result of Pho King is often unicum...

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