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Messages - The Professor

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Old Newark Ale Yeast
« on: October 04, 2010, 04:29:28 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, 12:34:47 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, 12:27:00 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 28, 2010, 09:16:08 PM »
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 26, 2010, 09:46:55 PM »
Free Bud=My Next Beer

Good.  You can have my share.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Glassware
« on: September 24, 2010, 08:12:31 PM »
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 23, 2010, 08:00:22 PM »
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 22, 2010, 06:15:37 PM »
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 21, 2010, 08:01:35 PM »
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, 12:07:19 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.

The Pub / Re: Any banjo players here?
« on: September 19, 2010, 07:57:41 AM »
I never learned to play the banjo but have always loved it (I'm mainly a piano / keyboards guy). 

One of these days though I will dust off this old "banjolin" that a long departed friend gave me many years ago.  It's probably more than 75 years old, a bit smaller than your average banjo (but not by much) and looks like one, except it is eight stringed and tuned like a mandolin.  It doesn't need major work and I've already spoken to a luthier about it and the job won't be too terribly expensive. 

Hopefully I'll finally learn to play the thing before the ol' arthritis gets worse!

Beer Recipes / Re: Porter vs. Stout
« on: September 19, 2010, 07:50:32 AM »
If the brewer says it is a porter, it is a porter.
If the brewer says it is a stout, it is a stout.

My viewpoint.

Thank you.
As usual, someone has stated my opinon much more concisely than I am able.   ;D

Beer Recipes / Re: Porter vs. Stout
« on: September 18, 2010, 01:59:37 PM »
Take a gander at the BJCP guidelines:

An interesting read with some useful suggestions therein, as long as one does not consider it to be the definitive 'last word' regarding "styles".
The list is quite helpful in a broad sense if you're entering amateur competitions,  but outside of that the 'guidelines' should most definitely be taken with a large grain of salt.

I guess I'm old fashioned. Just give me a beer and a pretzel.  ;)

I'm with you.
And a nice thick rasher of double-smoked bacon on the side would make it a meal.

The Pub / Re: Brewpubs that serve BMC
« on: September 15, 2010, 05:49:59 PM »
Have to agree - I just don't think a Brew Pub should serve BMC. Now, a fancy beer bar is a different story. But a Brew Pub - no way. I can certainly see having guest taps for other craft brews. But never BMC.

Absolutely right.   
In my travels I've been in a number of brewpubs and restaurant breweries that did this,  and seeing a Bud or Coors tap at a brewpub is to me a 'red flag' ...if they feel the need to do that to stay in business, then their own beer is probably pretty bad (and that was indeed usually the case).

Any brewer worth his salt should be able to produce a clean, crisp, and lighter style lager or ale as part of their offerings.
That is, after all, what most beer drinkers want...and there's nothing wrong with that.  They should simply offer a house made beer that would aim to satisfy the crowd that feels the usual "craft" style brew has "too much flavor"  (I once heard someone in a bar describe "craft" beer in exactly that manner   :o). 

If a brewpub wih BMC taps is  selling more Bud and Coors than their house-made beer, they would probably do better just to sell off the brewing equipment anyway.

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