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Messages - The Professor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your Homebrew Name
« on: August 26, 2010, 03:35:30 PM »
I like your slogan, Al.

Me too :)

Thanks, gents.
And I shall always do my utmost to live up to the spirit of that slogan.

I'd be interested in this.  South Jersey/Philly area is an easy ride for me.
Keep us posted as to the possibility of it happening!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your Homebrew Name
« on: August 26, 2010, 10:29:43 AM »

Mine is BIG DUMMY Brewing
While some of my acquaintances might do their best to convince you that the monicker refers to me,  it's actually just an homage to my long association with homunculi of the sort pictured on the label.

The Pub / Re: Where are you?
« on: August 23, 2010, 10:41:56 AM »
I'd like to ask people to put their location into their profile.  It kinda makes things a bit more personalized, and helps brewers near each other to get together if the want to.  Kinda like the old Rennerian coordinates in HBD!

I like the idea Denny.  Always interesting to see where people are located.

I've revised my profile to include New Brunswick, NJ:  home of Rutgers University, and home of the legendary Old Bay (back in the late 1980's  through the 90's it was highly regarded as  the destination for great beer for the whole tri-state area, thanks to the efforts of the late Chris Demitri)

The Pub / Re: What's your favorite part of being a homebrewer?
« on: August 19, 2010, 01:29:17 PM »
I won't lie. I'm just in it for the beer.

That's pretty much my feeling too and is what got me started so many years ago.
That, and the fact that  like many things home made it's generally better than anything available commercially,  once you get the hang of it  (at least as far as my go-to "styles" are concerned).  

I have to say though...I do enjoy the process.  It really has become my "treehouse", and I really look forward to my brew-days.  I'm not at all into fancy gadgets because you just don't need them to make great beer and besides,  I like the "hands on" feeling of doing it very simply.

Beer Recipes / Re: Designing Christmas beers
« on: August 18, 2010, 02:44:13 PM »
All depends on what you like...seems like you already have a very nice Christmas beer there already without adding anything else. 
It's probably just me, but  I'd rather have a well balanced, strong brew for the winter season than anything with spices or fruit added. 
I'd save those things for making mulled ale.   

I usually brew mine in April or May, though...with 8 or more months on it, a strong ale becomes something very special.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 Startup Time
« on: August 16, 2010, 05:03:09 PM »
never heard of oxygenating AFTER pitching yeast.  I've always done before - what was the reasoning there?

18-30 hours is a good range to expect.

I have just ALWAYS done it that way.  I guess someone told me that it helps mix up the (liquid) yeast.  And that's when I started was using air and an aquarium stone. (About 60 batches ago)  I've been using O2 for a couple of years, just for the time savings.


I've always done it that way too...before AND after, actually.  For the first day I shake the hell out of the fermenter a few times over the course of the day.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Corn Syrup?
« on: August 15, 2010, 07:45:00 PM »
Light KARO syrup (and similar products) have vanilla added...the dark ones don't seem to.

I've used KING and ALAGA syrups in some brews with interesting results.
Sorghum syrup, if you can find it, is VERY interesting  as a sugar adjunct in some beers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your Homebrew Name
« on: August 15, 2010, 07:33:20 PM »
One of my favorite comedy groups, Firesign Theater, used to talk about "the far flung Isles of Langerhans"....

"Smegma...spasmodic... frog(?)...and the far flung Isles of..."
That was my favorite Firesign album side.   ;D

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: STROH'S?
« on: August 14, 2010, 12:12:09 PM »
Wow, Schaefer.  I had forgotten about them.  "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

Probably the first beer I ever tried, in 5th grade or something when I snuck one from the fridge. I thought it was made in NY. Geez, this would have been the early '70s, probably.

It was made in NY ...they already had older breweries in Brooklyn and Albany and built the new plant in Allentown in 1971.  I'm pretty sure that they closed all of the older plants by the end of the 70's.

Schaefer also made an interesting deep amber colored Bock Beer, with a very roasty and intensely nutty quality.

When Stroh acquired the plant  they installed direct fire kettles to maintain authenticity of the Stroh products. 

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: STROH'S?
« on: August 13, 2010, 08:14:54 PM »
The Detroit brewery that made Stroh's closed in the early 80's.  (About the time my Grandpa had to give up beer due to diabetes... coincidence? Stroh's, Schlitz, Old Milwalkee are all the same company... until about 2000 when Pabst bought a section of the company.

Since Pabst re-introduced Schlitz, it makes sense that they would do Stroh's as well.  Heck maybe they will come back with Schaefer as well... another brand made by the Stroh's/Schlitz/Old Milwalkee company.

Schaefer has been continuously available since the original brewery closed and it's been a Pabst brand for quite a few years.  Of course the current beer  is an imposter, as Schaefer was one of those rare BMC beers of years gone by that always had a bit more character than some of the others. 
The brewery that Schaefer built in Allentown, PA (which Stroh acquired and eventually wound up in Pabst hands)  is now owned by Boston Brewing. 
It's a very nice plant, too.

Other Fermentables / Re: Which Yeast for Mead?
« on: August 12, 2010, 10:04:07 PM »
It's been addressed in other threads, but I'll repeat here that my favorite yeast for mead is the Tokaji (aka Tokay) variety.

Other Fermentables / Re: Favorite Commercial Meads
« on: August 12, 2010, 10:01:14 PM »
The Brotherhood WInery in Washingtonville, NY makes a couple different 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.

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.

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.

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