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Messages - The Professor

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All Things Food / Re: Sausage
« on: October 06, 2010, 04:04:08 PM »
I've been making various types of sausages at home for a number of years, having learned sausage making from the old men in the church I lived next door to.  They would convene once a month on a Saturday to drink a case beer, make a  hundred lbs of Hungarian kolbász,  and sell it to the congregation (and interested neighbors) as a fundraiser.  I always liked kolbász, so when they knocked on my door because they were short of help, I was more than happy to oblige.  When I walked into the kitchen, they immediately handed me a beer, and when I saw that the preferred beverage there was the green can of ale with the three rings,   I knew it was some kind of divine intervention that brought me there.  ;D   I wound up helping for the next five years.

I've been making various sausages at home ever since.  It's not difficult at all, and a KitchenAid stand mixer with a grinder and stuffer attachment makes it downright easy and quick.  If you cook and/or bake, a KitchenAid is a must have anyway, and well worth the investment.

Here's the recipe for Hungarian "házi kolbász", a very simple and tasty fresh 'farmer' style sausage that was my introduction to tubed meat:

5lbs pork butt, untrimmed -you want anywhere from 20% to 30% fat content  (lean sausage=fail)
2 1/2 Tblsp Kosher salt or Sea salt
1 Tblsp freshly ground black pepper (more if you like it to have a sharper kick)
2 Tblsp Hungarian sweet paprika  (there is no substitute for this...spanish paprika isn't the same)
5 cloves of garlic, pureed with a bit of ice water
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water or very cold beer... as needed
Grind the meat coarsely (a 1/4" grinder plate is ideal); add the spices and mix well, keeping the mixture very cold.
Work enough of the ice water (or cold beer) into to the mix to make stuffing manageable, and stuff into hog casings (or if you want hot dog sized links, stuff into sheep casings). 

If you are cooking the kolbász without smoking,  it can be cooked immediately--although I think it's much better after being left uncovered in the fridge overnight;  if you plan to smoke the kolbász,  you really should add about 1/8 tsp of pink curing salt to play it safe.  I know people that don't use a cure when smoking sausage, but are taking what I feel is an unnecessary risk.

The Pub / Re: blatz
« on: October 06, 2010, 02:08:05 AM » it just me, or does that baby look a little 'buzzed'?   :o

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "lost beer"
« on: October 05, 2010, 03:54:45 PM »
It's fun and interesting to discover a beer you didn't know you had tucked away.  It's only happened to me twice...fortunately both times the beers were ones with a higher ABV:   a couple bottles of my Christmas ale that escaped my gift-list and got laid aside for 5 years, and a few bottles of a Scotch Ale I made in or around 1994.  I've sampled them with surprisingly good results...the last one I tasted was a bottle of the Scotch Ale, which I opened last year (and I still have 1 bottle left).  I was shocked at the depth of the malt character that still remained after all that time in the bottle (and it was bottled after spending 8 months in bulk in the Cornie)...perhaps thanks to the proportion of Munich I used, it was still a very rich tasting beer.  I'm sure the relatively  high OG (1.086) helped it to hang in there for so long.

Since discovering those bottles some years ago, I have now begun regularly laying aside a couple 22 ouncers of stronger brews that I thought came out particularly well,  just to see how they fare some years down the line.

All Things Food / Re: PA Dutch
« on: October 05, 2010, 03:36:12 PM »
You have to get a scrapple terrine to make scrapple right.

The Amish sell them up theres around Lancaster. I think they are about $100. It is porcelain iron rectangle with a really heavey lid that fits inside so to compress. I think you cook with that in a water bath in the oven.   

The special equipment is fine, but not really necessary.   I still use my late Dad's method....  a regular  loaf pan with a foil covered brick to compress my terrines, pates, and scrapple type stuff.  The brick just fits very nicely into the top of the loaf pan.     It works quite well and provides the required density to the finished product!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 05, 2010, 12:25:02 AM »
is it a liquid or a dry yeast?

All of the EAST COAST products are liquid yeasts.
Some time back, Joe at Princeton Homebrew sent me the descriptors of the first round of ECY products...since there is no website, I'll pass along the info here:

BugFarm:  A large complex blend of cultures to emulate sour beers such as lambic style ales. Over time displays a citrus sourness and large barnyard profile. Contains yeast (S. cerevisiae and S. fermentati), severalBrettanomyces strains, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. The BugFarm blend changes every year and can be added at any stage of fermentation.
Old Newark Ale:  Sourced from a now defunct east coast brewery, this pure strain was identified as their ale pitching yeast. Good for all styles of American and English ales.  Suggested fermentation temp: 60-68°F.  Apparent attenuation : 68-72% 

Scottish Heavy: Leaves a fruity profile with woody, oak esters reminiscent of malt whiskey. Well suited for90/shilling or heavier ales including old ales and barleywines due to level of attenuation (77-80%). Suggested fermentation temp: 60-68°F.   

 Saison Brasserie blend : A combination of several Saison yeasts for both fruity and spicy characteristics accompianied with dryness.  Apparent attenuation: up to 80%. Suggested fermentation temp: 75-85° F.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 04, 2010, 11:29:28 PM »
"Old Newark" does seem to be the real deal Ballantine ale yeast. 

I obtained some of this a couple months ago, have brewed with it, and I tend to agree now  with the manufacturer that it is clearly NOT the same as Chico/001/1056 since  it behaves quite differently (flocs out much better), and seems identical to the pure culture I had quite a few years ago but lost in a malfunctioning fridge while I was working out of town for 2 months  (insert your favorite expletive here).   

In any case, the Pale Ale I made with it as a test came out just as I had hoped, and next week I'm putting it to work on double batches of both IPA and Burton ale.  Those will tell the tale for me. 

If you can get your hands on some,  definitely try it. 
Hopefully the manufacturer (East Coast Yeast) will gradually achieve wider distribution.  Right now, it is available from Princeton Homebrew (in Trenton, NJ)...a store you should definitely visit if you are in or passing through southern NJ. 

All Things Food / Re: PA Dutch
« on: September 29, 2010, 07:34:47 PM »
Forget about that, where's your scrapple recipe?  It's a little hard to find around here, but we can get goetta.  Similar.

Love it!  Scrapple, Goetta (especially), Haggis...all great comfort food in my book.  I first discovered Goetta on a visit to Cincinnati  around 34 years ago. It's really easy to make at home too!

In the casing  type 'extended' sausage department, I've always  had a particular fondness for the Hungarian rice and meat sausage, Hurka (the meat therein usually being what some consider nasty bits...not me!).  It's a bit like Polish Kiska, though hasa looser texture.  The version of Hurka that  contains some  blood in the mix is actually rather like Boudin Noir.

 I'm eating less of this stuff than I once did, but when I do have any of these, I make my own from scratch and really savor every bit.

Gordon, I'll go through my dad's file and dig out his really fine scrapple recipe for you.  It really is about the best I ever had (though I guess I'm biased).   ;D

The Pub / Re: Note to self...
« on: September 29, 2010, 07:27:00 AM »

Brew porter, definitely...always a good thing...but also brew a strong, hefty Porter to enjoy next fall / winter. 
Been doing that for a number of years here and it has become a tradition. 

If I run out of my Christmas 'solera' brew at gift giving time, my year old Porter is frequently a ready and worthy substitute.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« on: September 29, 2010, 04:16:08 AM »
Strictly a matter of opinion and personal preference.
My brews spend a week or 10 days in primary (stronger brews somewhat longer) then go into secondary for a few weeks or months (depending on the beer).  As many will be quick to tell you, the secondary is an unnecessary  step, but I feel I get a better finished beer doing it that way (and not insignificantly, a stubborn 30+ year habit is hard to break).

Seems to me that you can start drinking it after 2 weeks of bottle conditioning under the right circumstances...but I'd be willing to bet that it'll taste better after 4 to 6 weeks.

The Pub / Re: Free Bud Coming Your Way!
« on: September 27, 2010, 04:46:55 AM »
Free Bud=My Next Beer

Good.  You can have my share.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Glassware
« on: September 25, 2010, 03:12:31 AM »
I have some pint and half-pint Nonics,  a few dimpled mugs, and some of straight sided small 8 to 10 ounce glasses...and that's all I need for any kind of beer (well, except for a big brandy snifter or oversized wine glass, either of which I like for my year aged  Old Ale/Burtons...kind of makes cracking one of those open an 'occasion'  ;D).

As an artist I can appreciate the fine design work on some of the gimmick glasses, and I also recognize (and occasionally applaud) the merchandising savvy they represent... but really don't need them to enjoy a beer.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Saranac Pale Ale
« on: September 24, 2010, 03:00:22 AM »
They have definitely had a QC issue . . . I had a Black Forest Lager back in May at the Memphis Zoo Brew that was pure vinegar. Bad enough that the server was more or less warning . . Sample at your own risk.  :-\

....In the case of your bad Saranac experience, I'd wager that the "cellarman" was not taking care of the lines properly,  or using an air/co2 mix (not all that uncommon in establishments looking to save money on co2) ...or a combination of both.

The thing is, it was being poured from bottles . . Cellerman exonerated!   ;D

Yipes.  Well that's a bummer then.  Especially for the brewery if the problem's on their end (as opposed to distributor mishandling)...they're a fairly high volume plant, so that would be potential for a LOT of bad beer.  Maybe the bottles were over the hill or badly kept. 

Either way, it's a shame.  I've always liked the various brews that came out of that brewery, even the ones that tended more towards BMC style weren't so bad. 
I wonder if the fire they had in their packaging plant a couple years ago had something to do with any QC problems they may be having?

All Things Food / Re: Stuffed meat
« on: September 23, 2010, 01:15:37 AM »
Cornbread stuffed pork-chop.

I was in a a hurry so bought a Jalapeño Pecan stuffed pork-chop on the way home. Put it in the BGE for 45 minutes at 325F till internal temp was 175F. Normally I'll shoot for an internal of 165, but I don't trust "stuffing" at those temps.

Rested for ten minutes and it was delicioso! Bought it from the butcher prepared so that's cheating a bit but the end result was good. It went solo no sides...

I think next time with a side of field greens and a simple vinaigrette (raspberry?) will do the trick.

I make a   vinaigrette with walnut oil, balsamic vinegar,and either  strawberry or raspberry  conserves;  I bet that would go nicely with this one.

Looks scrumptious!

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Oskar Blues ...
« on: September 22, 2010, 03:01:35 AM »
FTR I thought it was incredible too. Incredibly bad.  :P

Well, there your go.
To each his own

I still liked it a lot better than almost anything I've had from DogfishHead.

Beer Recipes / Re: English IPA tips
« on: September 20, 2010, 07:07:19 PM »

Would you care to share your clone recipe of Ballantine?

I intend to do that, definitely. 
In the meantime, the formula given in the recent BYO article looks to be a fairly good starting point and  is remarkably in sync with one of the recipes I came up with independently. Which brings me to...

The only problem I have in posting my own take on it really is deciding which one to post...I've played around with formulas for this brew for a very long time (the original was in fact still being made when I first started to try and clone it).   As a result,  oddly enough I have come up with at least 4 distinctly different formulations that (to me anyway) come very close to the character of the brew that I drank so much of in the late 60's/early 70's.  Some of the experiments stay fairly close to what I have been able to turn up about the original beer, and other stabs at it definitely stray from the original formula and yet still manage to recreate the character pretty convincingly. 
However the two constants (and absolute musts) for truly recreating this beer, are the year of aging and the combination dry hopping and dosing with distilled aromatic hop oil that happens in the final month or two of the long aging.   It still impresses me that a large brewery gave so much attention 40-50 years ago to what was certainly a niche product for them...and that the new commercial brewers have only fairly recently turned attention to proper, long aging of certain beers.

In any case, I  am also working on an extended and  fairly in-depth piece that discusses this beer at length ...hopefully  it will find its way into print somewhere eventually.

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