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Messages - The Professor

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661
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
« on: July 16, 2010, 10:27:53 PM »
Just get it really cold and leave it alone for a bit and it will clear. 
I would disagree with previous post saying  that forced carbonation gives an inferior result to a slower method...my experiments  and experiences indicate exactly the opposite.
 
But I would agree that if the beer tastes the way you like, drink up.  The chill haze is just a visual aesthetic issue that has little or no bearing on flavor.  But with cold temps and some patience, the beer will clear up. 

662
I brew my own recipes exclusively now and, especially now, I am basically only brewing about 4 recipes over and over and over again - <snip>
...Those Papazian book (TCJ and HBC) were great inspiration design books, though.

That's pretty much my story too...when I started brewing there really were no kits per se (in 1971 I bought my malt syrup...Blue Ribbon hopped... in an Iowa supermarket...right there on the shelf with baking goods) and flew from there  with the help of my biology major friend who insisted on overseeing the yeast health, as well as insisting on using 2 cans of extract for the batch. 
He was fairly prescient, I guess...the common wisdom at the time was to use nearly 50% table sugar). 
I'm guessing that if it weren't for that surprisingly decent first batch, I would have lost interest and moved on.

For years after that  it was combinations of different malt syrups (as I discovered them...John Bull, Edme,  and especially M&F "Old Ale") and hop additions, then finally all grain.  Charlie's book set me on the right path as far as the grain handling goes and after doing it for so many years, I pretty much know what to expect, even given the margin of error from swapping grain brands and sources.

Right now there are probably 5 or 6 beers  all formulas of my own making, that I make on a regular basis and and which are pretty consistent from batch to batch with  excellent repeatability.
.
As a side note (and I know it goes against the common wisdom of the boards) , I've found that freely substituting malts and in most cases, even hop varieties for the beers I make seems to make little difference in the end results if the right adjustments are made. 
That said, I do have my favorites among the hop varieties though (they are mostly old time, traditional varieties like CLuster, Bullion, and Brewer's Gold) and try to keep enough on hand at all times and sub out only when I need .  But I don't fret about substitutions...with very few subtle exceptions it almost always makes the same recognizable beers.

663
The Pub / Re: Martini's
« on: July 13, 2010, 09:14:20 PM »
Normally I'd think this would qualify as a gross idea, but I have to give the benefit of the doubt...if any drink would strike me as working well with a carnivore's garnish, the savory flavors of juniper and herbal vermouth would seem like the ideal place for it.

That dried sausage looks similar to some sremska kobasice I had recently...almost a beef jerky like flavor in a dried cured Serbian sausage.  Too bad I ate it all, it would do nicely as a garnish!  Probably would color the gin though.

Yeah, the paprika would probably leech. But who cares!

RIGHT!
Paprika essence is a good thing.
"...nincs olyan, hogy túl sok paprika...."

664
1.070 is pretty high.  Personally, I wouldn't reuse a yeast from a beer that high...others may disagree.

I am definitely one who disagrees.
I've been reusing yeasts and going from average to strong and back to average (and back again several times over) for nearly  20 years.  I  stope these days after 7 or 8 repitches, but overall have not detected any performance issues, or off flavors.

Best thing to do is just try it and see how it works for you.

665
The Pub / Re: Martini's
« on: July 05, 2010, 07:03:09 AM »
I'm right behind him.. Vodka Martini's barely qualify as any such thing - tito's not withstanding.

I'm still a Plymouth and Hendricks man.

I agree, it looks tasty enough... but without gin, it's just not really a martini.

666
The Pub / Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« on: July 04, 2010, 09:38:27 PM »

Quote
A craft beer is a beer created for the love of the product, not for the love of the profit it might make.
Any brewery who doesn't intend to make a profit will not be around for very long, whether they make each barrel of beer by hand or with a fully automated brew-factory.
That's for sure.  
I'll go a step further and say that anyone who goes into any business not intending to make a profit is just plain dumb.  
The only exception might be someone who is so financially independent that a business is more of a sandbox to play in than a real business.  Other than that, profit is needed (at the very least) to sustain the business.  Going into business with no eye towards profit is just bad business.

I find it pretty hard to believe that anyone would start up a brewery without the intention of making money...especially given that brewing for retail sale is quite a jungle, one that's getting more and more crowded by a glut of product, some of which actually does more harm to the cause than good.

667
The Pub / Re: Happy 4th of July!
« on: July 04, 2010, 09:20:14 PM »
Thanks man...hope you (and all) had a great one.
And I share the same hope as brewballs

In line with the holiday celebrations, the following is so weird I have to share it:
On the way to a party I was listening to the radio (a NYC all news station) and they were featuring 4th related stories all day.

The most incredible one was describing a recent national poll (either Marist or AP...I forget which)  where respondents were asked to complete the following:
"On July 4, 1776, we declared our independence from________"

Incredibly, 25% of those polled evidently answered incorrectly (with "Mexico" , "Japan", "France", and "China" as frequent wrong answers).
I wonder what history teachers are covering these days instead of the American Revolution?

668
The Pub / Re: What does “craft beer” mean to you?
« on: June 30, 2010, 08:36:07 PM »
... IMO the beer determines whether it's a craft beer or not, not the brewery.

I agree 1000%
The size of the company / brewery has nothing to do with whether a beer is a "craft" product.  I have always felt this way.

Both the artisan brewers and the big brewers  can and do make products that are a cut above  'average' beer.  The main difference is that the bigger brewers are still devoting much of their production to making the kind of beer that the vast majority of beer drinkers still want,  alongside efforts to make more products of real distinction than in the past. 
We used to complain when they didn't make that effort.  But now they are making that effort, and in some cases doing it very well.  Just because they use bigger kettles doesn't negate the craft of it.

669
All Things Food / Re: Bioengineered Salmon?
« on: June 29, 2010, 01:38:19 PM »
If it's not wild Chinook, it's not salmon!


AMEN to that!
Farm raised salmon is bad enough...now bioengineered too?  And like bioengineered vegetables, they will likely not be required to identify it as such?

I envy you west-coasters...here in the east farm raised Atlantic salmon is prevalent (and tasteless, and nutritionally deficient besides) and wild Atlantic salmon is all but extinct.

Love that Chinook or Sockeye when I can get it!!!. 

670
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is a good, low ABV IPA possible?
« on: June 27, 2010, 08:29:08 AM »
Since the BJCP is certainly not the last definitive authoritative word on "styles" (except maybe in amateur competition) I tend not to take any pronouncements on "style" very seriously, though it is interesting to hear different  takes on the subject. 

Anyway...coincidentally, and timed well with the appearance of this thread, Ron Pattinson's blog  ..which (along with Zythophile's blog)  has some of the best researched writing on historical beer styles around... talks a bit about IPA in today's installment. 
Everyone interested in brewing history should be reading these two blogs...to read Ron's latest writing on IPA go here:  http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/

It should always be remembered that  the best example of any "style" is the one that pleases your own palate the most.  While there may be some expectations of what one will experience tasting a beer labeled as a certain specific type, historically it seems that there has always been a a fair amount of wiggle room and it has always been open to individual interpretation rather than a 'rulebook'.
 

671
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA or IPL?
« on: June 20, 2010, 10:49:10 AM »
I appriciate the input and as I suspected there would be differing opinions, which is great.  I understand that using the wrong/inappropriate ingrediants can cause a beer to be in the wrong style.  I also entered a Munich Helles that was excellent, but used American Hops instead of German hops, still a great beer but as the judge was very clear to point out (22 pts) it was NOT a MUNICH.  I revisited the BJCP styles and there are some catagories clearly named lager or ale, but some are named beer or not at all (porter, stout), so I see the point about a mis-labled product.  I think I should have placed the Helles in catagory 23, but I am still leaning toward the IPA catagory for my IPL.
  Where do we draw the line?  I know, DWHAHB.

I'm not clear on why a line has to be drawn at all. 
If whatever process or ingredients you use achieve a result that reflects a given "style" of beer and has the right flavor and other characteristics of a given "style", then that is the "style" you produced.  The end result is what matters.   
By using ingredients at hand and manipulating them as well as the brewing methods,  you're simply doing what brewers have been doing for centuries:  adapting.

It's really just not that big of a deal. 


672
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA or IPL?
« on: June 20, 2010, 08:10:13 AM »
It's only wrong if it doesn't taste like an IPA.  The ingredients don't really matter.  It's all about the finished beer.

Right on.  I don't think that this can be emphasized enough. 
If it looks like an IPA and tastes like an IPA, there's no reason to call in anything else... and if you're entering it in a comp, that's the right category.  The fact that it took a blue ribbon is proof of concept enough. 

I know folks that have won awards for 'lagers' made with 05/1056/001...in one case, even with a highly respected German trained brewmaster on the judging panel.
So definitely,  while tradition and authenticity is nice, it's ultimately the end result that really matters more than how you get there.

673
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New York - and Beer
« on: June 19, 2010, 10:16:12 PM »
Here's a few of my favorite beer bars (all in Manhatten except for the last one, which is in Staten Island)...I'm sure folks will weigh in with some others.

The Blind Tiger Ale House — 281 Bleecker Street
Burp Castle — 41 East 7th Street
d.b.a. — 41 1st Avenue  (just avoid it on the weekend...it becomes a noisy, obnoxious zoo)
Killmeyer's Old Bavarian Inn — 4256 Arthur Kill Rd (Staten Island)...emphasis is on German beer and they serve some very good German food

These places all have nice selections, often with some real surprises.
There are a few brewpubs in and around the area, but nothing really to write home about   (the three best ones closed years ago). The remaining ones are average at best.  I'll leave it to someone else to make suggestions based on their recent NY brewpub experiences; mine have been less than satisfying.

674
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegged IPA - Flavor Change after 1 week
« on: June 17, 2010, 01:55:51 PM »
After pouring myself an IPA from the keg, I found its flavor had changed considerably from last week. It was more bitter, almost harsh, and the wonderful grapefruit/citrus aroma from the late addition hops was almost non-existent.

What happened?

I kegged this beer about two weeks ago... last week it was fine, but a little under-carbonated. I turned the regulator to about 10 psi to up the carbonation a little under a week ago. Could this be the cause?

The amount of carbonation is a matter of personal preference...I think that a lower level of carbonation brings out flavors more, and a higher level can accentuate harsher notes and hide the more subtle notes  (serving it too cold can also do that).

Leave it alone for another week or two and you may like the result better taste-wise as the harshness smooths out a bit.  It's not too late for aroma either... I age my IPAs much longer because I like them better that way (personal taste),  but even so,  my practice in recent years has been to not dry hop the beer until a few weeks before I start pouring it.  The result is the clean but still quite intense bitterness that I like, and a nicely enticing aroma.

675
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer Gun vs. CP Filler
« on: June 16, 2010, 06:00:58 PM »
A real counterpressure bottle filler will let you purge the bottle with CO2. Then you pressurize it to the same pressure as the keg (I like to overpressurize it at 18-20 psi). Turn off the CO2, turn on the beer valve and adjust the pressure relief valve for a smooth fill. When full, turn off beer valve, let out more pressure from the relief valve, remove CPBF and cap on foam.

I bottle using exactly the method that Kai uses...a cobra tap with a tube jammed into it... and it works great. 
As far as purging the bottles, I manage to do that too...I have a manifold on my co2 tank connected to another cobra tap that has a stopper attached...I give each bottle a shot (usually 6 at a time) then fill the forzen bottles with the nearly frozen beer, then cap 'em.  Works great, it retains the carbonation level I like, and I have subsequently kept beers bottled that way for a year or more with no problems whatsoever.
The Beergun and the homemade CPF's are both great, but by no means are they necessities for bottling up to a case or two of beer at a time.

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