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Messages - The Professor

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616
Other Fermentables / Re: Favorite Commercial Meads
« on: August 12, 2010, 10:01:14 PM »
The Brotherhood WInery in Washingtonville, NY makes a couple different meads...one is sold under the name "Carroll's" and is an 8%(or thereabouts) straight mead (on the sweet side);    the other is their take on Tej, the Ethiopian honey wine (it has a small dose of hops in it, apparently).  Their "Sheba" brand of tej clocks in at a typical (for wine) 12%abv and it  has found its way into many of the Ethiopian restaurants in NY and NJ.
 
I'm a bit spoiled by the home made stuff (my favorite is sack mead, which I usually don't touch until it's between 5-10 years old) but the Sheba tej is pretty nice both before and after a meal of Ethiopian fare.
At around $10 a bottle in the stores for the Carroll's and around $11 for the Sheba, , neither one is a bad deal.

617
The Pub / Re: Used to be good...
« on: August 11, 2010, 06:47:01 PM »
...but I do think Sam Adams BL was better years ago.

really? man, cause when you get it fresh (exp date 4-5 months out from today's date) that stuff is hard to beat.

Entirely agree on Thomas Hardy's - its simply brand exploitation now  ;)

Is someone making Thomas Hardy's again?  I thought it finally bit the dust when O'Hanlon's dropped it.

618
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Canned Microbrews
« on: August 11, 2010, 06:43:57 PM »
Absolutely, and I think it's a very good trend. 
I'm looking forward to seeing even more great beers available in cans.

619
3. A more web 2.0 version of moderation - allow all logged in users to rank individual comments with an up rating or a down rating. Then instead of  just using the number of posts when assigning levels to users, the quality of the particular posts should be taken into account. If you want to gain levels, you not only need to comment frequently but also have something useful to day.

I've gotta say that I'm not much of a fan of this idea.  I've seen it practically destroy the Brews&Views board by people using it vindictively.

I agree...
besides, what is this strange internet obsession with "ranking" everything?

620
The Pub / Re: Howdy everybody!
« on: August 11, 2010, 01:13:05 PM »
...I started brewing during the summer of 1974 with "Blue Ribbon" malt syrup from the A&P "baking needs" section.  ...

Great that you jumped on board here Steven.
Always nice to see another old timer here (looks like we started around the same time more or less). ;D
cheers!

621
The Pub / Re: Used to be good...
« on: August 11, 2010, 07:23:13 AM »
...Pete's Wicked Ale when Pete was making it
Thomas Hardy's Ale when Eldridge Pope was making it
Samichlaus when Hurlimann was making it
Celis White when Pierre was making it...
<snip>
The worst part about getting old is sounding old.

+1 to all of the above.
Especially the last sentence...I catch myself sounding like my dad a little too often these days (though fortunately I don't tell stories yet about walking to school 5 miles every day.  Uphill. Both ways.)

622
The Pub / Re: Used to be good...
« on: August 10, 2010, 07:49:56 PM »
...I remember Bass Ale being pretty good before they got bought out, but it was rare that I drank it. I had it on cask once, pre-buyout, near Stoke, and it was out of this world. Last time I had it, it was a serious meh.

I was a Bass Ale drinker in the early 70's and loved it.  It definitely changed dramatically and lost some of it's rich character when the brewery decided to go "modern" and it abandoned the Burton Unions fermenting setup;   it seemed to have changed again in the last 10  years or so.. 

The product bottled for export to the USA was always a different brew...stronger, and sweeter...the latter most likely so the flavor would hold up to the insanely cold temperature it's served at here in the states.  Nowadays, it too has lost some of it's luster.

Bass on draught in its home land was a damned fine beer (and on draught was the only way it was sold), and had much more hop character than the beer bottled for export.  I haven't had it on it's home turf in many, many years, but doesn't surprise me that it has been dumbed down (and, I understand, it has even become difficult to find).
The consensus I've heard is that it has been badly neglected by it's current owners.

623
The Pub / Re: Used to be good...
« on: August 10, 2010, 01:21:54 PM »
What beers have you had in the distant past that were good; but the accountants/CEOs got a hold of it?

Killian's Irish Red for me - I know the recipe has changed. It used to be good, now it is colored BMC.

I am sure with you on this.  It was actually a very good beer when it was first introduced years ago, when it was marketed as an ALE and tasted like one. A very good one, too.
I think it managed to go two or three  years before they started messing with it,  going through reformulations and rebranding as a lager. 
And it suffered as a result.  Too bad....
Dammit, Coors ALMOST got it right.  :'(

The biggest "used to be good" for me is (as many here already know) is Ballantine XXX Ale.
It had real character, unlike the current imposter bearing the name.
It's too sad to even talk about anymore...

624
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A 30 Year Beer
« on: August 10, 2010, 12:59:54 PM »
I'll add that, regardless of what you decide to brew, you might want to think about using a wax seal in addition to crown caps.  Unless of course you're going with the cork.

Either way...THAT is a great idea.   Especially for those bottles that actually manage to go the distance.   ;D

625
I've never tried brewing anything with rice so it's hard for me to pass judgement.  I am not a Bud fan but I would like to compare (blind tasting) it to an all malt lager just to understand the subtle nuances of rice and barley.


A pretty good indicator of the differences would be a side by side tasting of a few products from a single brewer
...in this case I recommend the much beloved AB-InBev   :o :P 

Bud (rice)
Busch (still made with corn, I believe)
Michelob (all malt).

Seems such a session would tell the tale quite effectively!

626
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A 30 Year Beer
« on: August 09, 2010, 03:26:19 PM »

Yeah, for one sachet plus shipping it will be almost $40.  I'm not sure I want it that badly - 25 euros for shipping on a single pack of yeast?  WTF?  I'm going to try to find a US source, then I'll bank it so I can pull it out whenever I want.

wow...WTF indeed.  I don't know what changed, but  I sure as hell didn't get that high a quote when I checked into it last year...nowhere near that high.

There must be a domestic source somehwhere.  BEVERAGE PEOPLE used to carry the Vierka brand, but don't seem to any longer.

But you definitely have the right idea...once you find a source you only really need to buy it once.
It would by nice if Wyeast or White could carry this strain.  It shouldn't be that difficult for them to source it, and I think it would be very popular once people try it. 

I think a decent approximation though might be the Chablis strain combined with Sherry Flor, since Tokaji has characteristics at least somewhat evoke both of these.

627
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A 30 Year Beer
« on: August 09, 2010, 10:51:52 AM »
And Drew, if you've never used Tokaji (aka Tokay) yeast, get your hands on some and use it for this project.
Trust me on this...it will be special.

Where can we get some of that?  Any ideas?

I'm  still using the descendents of  my first purchase of Vierka Tokaji yeast many years ago... I've tried to get a few fresh packets of Vierka (they served up the yeasts on dried grape skins)  but no one seems to carry it anymore (perhaps they've gone out of business).

There is however an outfit in Belgium that sells a dried Tokaji strain, and they do ship overseas...
                                                                           www.brouwland.com

cheers!

628
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A 30 Year Beer
« on: August 08, 2010, 03:23:47 PM »
Yeah, I love Tupelo meads, but ouch 24 lbs? I usually use 18 as my max line.

18 lbs of Tupelo would make a great 'keeper' mead.
And Drew, if you've never used Tokaji (aka Tokay) yeast, get your hands on some and use it for this project.
Trust me on this...it will be special.

629
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A 30 Year Beer
« on: August 07, 2010, 01:23:00 PM »
Congratulations!

I'd have a hard time choosing between a hefty and hearty Barleywine/Burton ale or a good old Sack Mead.  Both are prime candidates for this undertaking.  I have long aged both of these categories (never 30 years, but I have meads that made it passed 20) so I can unhesitatingly vouch for the fact that you'll be mighty glad then that you're doing it now.

So if it were me, I'd do a batch of each.  Seriously.

You'll have one hell of a tasty celebration stash...  the hard part will, of course,  be keeping your mits off of it until it's time for that document burning bonfire. :'(

630
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sam Adams Octoberfest
« on: August 07, 2010, 09:09:37 AM »
I'm sure that there will be a few new American made O-Fests popping up this year, and I'll definitely give them a try.  I hope I find a winner...It's one of my favorite lager styles.

prof - Left Hand and Gordon Biersch are pretty good American versions. Left Hand was best 2 years ago - last year's was good but not as spot on.

I agree SA Fest isn't meh - its not too bad, and I'll probably drink at least a six packs worth before the season is over (but after its actually begun  ;) ) its one of SA's better products, IMO.  I just get too much of a caramelly thing going on rather than a toasty malt flavor and the latter, to me, is one of my favorite facets of the style.  I love vienna malt.



Thanks for reminding me about the Gordon Biersch!    I did have some of that while in Los Angeles early this year and it was quite good.  It would be nice if that one were more available here in NJ...it would definitely be on my short list of commercial beers that I still buy.

I agree with your take on the SA and also that it's one of their better products...  and  you're also right that the caramel flavors (while good)  are no substitute for those toasty, "round" malt flavors.

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