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Messages - The Professor

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All Grain Brewing / Re: personal experience with old malt
« on: February 01, 2016, 01:22:10 PM »
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.

Events / Re: Brew For Charity
« on: January 21, 2016, 03:31:40 AM »
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.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast for English styles
« on: December 11, 2015, 05:16:22 PM »
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.

Other Fermentables / Re: Injera
« on: December 08, 2015, 03:10:32 AM »
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.

All Things Food / Re: Pizza
« on: December 02, 2015, 03:47:37 PM »
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.

All Things Food / Re: Alcohol Removal Time
« on: December 02, 2015, 03:42:02 PM »
Why would you want to get rid of alcohol?   :o
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.

The Pub / Re: Creed
« on: November 29, 2015, 07:03:21 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.

The Pub / Re: Creed
« on: November 29, 2015, 05:51:35 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.

Beer Recipes / Re: 20% Munich + 4% caramunich too much for a stout?
« on: November 25, 2015, 03:59:16 AM »
It doesn't look bad at all to me.  In fact, except for the Chocolate malt (which I rarely use because I don't like the character it adds) it's very similar to my own standard Porter.
And since historically Porter and Stout are essentially the same thing, any difference between the two is strictly either a matter of opinion, or a product of any modern biases with regard to the two categories.
(And opinions with regard to that are sure to vary as well. ;D)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adapting Home Brew Recipes
« on: November 14, 2015, 04:56:05 PM »
It helps to use brewing software.  Brewer's Friend, Brew Pal, BeerSmith, et cetera; they offer scaling and then you can additionally adjust ratios and hop additions for what ingredients you have available.
I'm not a luddite by any stretch of the definition, but I resisted using brewing software for a long time... but the right application really does help a lot.  I was able to try them all (since a Mac will run both Windows and MacOS with equal power and minimal fuss) and can only say, as I have in previous postings,  that if you are considering a software solution and happen to be running MacOS, it really doesn't get any better than Beer Alchemy

These sorts of brewing apps generally have similar degrees of accuracy with regard to calculations and the like, but off all of them, Beer Alchemy has the best and most intuitive and friendly user interface of them all.  And I find the accuracy of it's various calculations to be amazingly spot-on.

I'm not connected in any way with the developers of the application...just a very satisfied user, for almost five years (after having tried all of the others).

Kegging and Bottling / Re: poor man's bottling from the keg procedure
« on: November 08, 2015, 06:09:09 PM »
That's why a lot us over-carb slightly before bottling.

As a result, the stopper/wand method has always produced perfectly conditioned bottles for me.  Purging the bottles prior to filling has also reulted in bottle aged strong beers that were perfectly fine years after bottling from keg.

My list is short:
1)  The Survivor (origin unknown, handed to me as a slurry in a mayo jar back in the early 80s and saved on slants after going through around 30 generations)
2)  1272/BRY97 (original Ballantine ale strain) (probably should be's my most used choice this year)
3)  1099
4)  1968

I've played around with lots of others over the years, but these four are the core to which I always return (I like repeatability and so see little point in switching up yeasts very often).

...If you purchase a bad beer from the  retailer, inform the retailer. Once beer leave the brewery, it is beyond brewery control. You can inform them about your experience but do not expect replacement from them...
Some would be glad to hear of any problems, but from some you could expect a yawn at the vey least...same goes for distributors. Or in some cases, worse.

A number of years ago I called the NJ distributor for an established and very respected West Coast brewer, after several times having a less than satisfying experience with both bottles and drafts of what is normally an excellent product.  I was not only brushed off by the distributor, but firmly schooled by his response:  "I only sell this crap, I don't make it, so once it's delivered and paid for, how it tastes is not my fscking problem.   His words

I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised...his company was also NJ's largest AB distributor. LOL

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Flow Control Faucet without line
« on: November 08, 2015, 05:04:31 PM »
Looks like an interesting would probably work well for my system since I really don't like typical "American" levels of carbonation (especially for  hoppier ales).   I'd probably grab one of these if they became available in the states.  I wonder if they sell just the interface unit without the faucet (the area where the actual faucet attaches looks to be fairly standard).
By my calcs, the selling price for the unit pictured equates to about $100US

Kegging and Bottling / Re: No joy in kegging
« on: November 08, 2015, 04:56:55 PM »
I like the relax, 2 weeks at serving pressure. I've learned that beer carbonated straight from the fermenter isn't nearly as good as beer one month in the keg. Brew more, get more kegs, and then there is no rush. Just MO of course.
I'm definitely in agreement on that.  An undisturbed  month in the keg does wonders...but 2-3 months is (for me) ideal, resulting in much better tasting brew.  The concept of serving beer a week or two after it is brewed is one of the things that keeps me away from most brewpubs. ("Freshness" is vastly overrated...I hate green tasting beer).

Of course, as coolman correctly points out,  if you go that route the trick is to brew frequently enough to always have properly conditioned (or in my preference, aged) brew ready to consume.

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