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Messages - The Professor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« on: September 03, 2010, 04:33:12 AM »
Go see someone do it end-to-end before doing it yourself, though.  A lot of what you do is visual, so you need to know what "looks right."

While that's undoubtedly the best way to do it, that's not the way I did it.  I'd never seen anyone do AG before I started.  I just read a lot of books and the usenet group rec.crafts.brewing and jumped in.  Once I was done, it was kind if like "wow, is that all?".  The point being that if you can't brew with someone else to learn, don't let it stop you.

I agree totally.  AT least two people I know started brewing all-grain from their FIRST BATCH.
As for me, I brewed extract for quite a few years,  thendoing  partial grain, but when I saw what grain could be had for in bulk, it was a no brainer taking the plunge to AG. 
Like Denny, I read everything I could get my hands on and went in well prepared...and the very first AG batch came out really good.  My reaction was much  like Denny's..." that all there is to it?"  At that point I felt sort of dumb for not switching much  earlier after hemming and hawing about it.

As far as extra equipment expense, it doesn't have to break the bank, not by a longshot.  For 20 years or more I've been brewing all grain with a  5 gallon round Rubbermaid/Gott cooler ($20);  a false bottom for the cooler (a gift from my LHBS for referring a load of business to them); a counterflow wort chiller ($35), a home made 220V/3000W electric keggle with a false bottom  (around $120)...and miscellaneous hoses, copper tubing, and other ephemera totalling no more than $40.   A total of $215 over the course of a few months...totally manageable and it did the job and continues to do so.

In the music world, musicians who like an array of gizmos, FX boxes, and have to have anything that's currently state of the art are often referred to  (often by themselves) as "gear sluts".

Brewers can be that, I mean,  get fancier if you can afford it and like to fuss around  with the gear, but it's absolutely unnecessary. You can make beer just as high quality  with picnic coolers and other repurposed vessels as you can with a multi $K automated system. 
Then you'll be ready for that SABCO rig  when your lottery ticket finally wins. ;D

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Shiner Oktoberfest
« on: September 01, 2010, 10:39:40 PM »
I suppose this is just a case of different strokes for different folks.

That, ultimately, is what keeps the whole 'beer thing' interesting.
There will be as many percerptions about any beer as there are tastebuds sampling them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« on: August 31, 2010, 08:41:31 PM »
It's sad when the word "pint" is taken to mean some random amount of beer. ...
When I can make 5 gallons of my own beer for what I'd spend on two pints in most places, the times when I actually pay for it, it better be done right.

That's for sure. 
I was dragged kicking to a FRIDAY's recently, and I ordered a pint of Sam was served in one of their  'signature' glasses which I suspect is less than a US pint to being with, and it was underfilled to boot.  Like, enough so that it would fit into a 12 oz glass. 
Apparently there are segments of the beer industry (including, I'm told,  some distrubutors)  that actually encourage bars to use various 'cheater' pints to fatten up the bottom line. 
I haven't done the math, but seems that those 2-3 ounces not delivered each time a "pint" is ordered  would certainly add up to quite a few real pints of extra profit over the life of a keg.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Yuengling, Transferred
« on: August 31, 2010, 02:04:02 PM »
I've done it a few times, both with leftovers like you've got, or with a new keg like Drew mentioned.  No problems at all.

I would have stopped by, but it's nearly 3000 miles :)

I would have stopped by too (I'm less than 15 miles away)...but found this thread too late!
I've transferred leftovers from commercial kegs as well with no problems.  Usually though, if is something bland  like Coors or Bud, I'll dump a couple bottles of Guinness or something into it to give it a bit more flavor.  Works surprisingly well, too.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Oskar Blues ...
« on: August 30, 2010, 11:34:07 PM »
I agree Mike, I found the "adventurous taste buds" comment a little silly. I didn't care for it at all and would not buy it again. And, FTR, haveing to drink 4 probably felt like drinking 6.  ;)

It's ok.  I do say silly things sometimes.
It's part of my M.O.   ;D

I certainly meant no offense! ::)
I am a reformed/recovering  beer snob and  big supporter of "to each his own", especially when it comes to taste in beer. After all, one man's elixer is another's poison.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Oskar Blues ...
« on: August 29, 2010, 11:17:44 PM »
I haven't had the Gubna, but it sounds like I don't need to get more than one :)

At least try it before you dismiss it... I think the stuff is awsome...very complex, lots of different flavors going on.  Admittedly it's not for un-adventurous taste buds, but I found it to be great and on par with all of their products.  And they get extra points for packaging it in cans.

As a very wise man once said, "You'll never know until you check it out."

All Grain Brewing / Re: Black IPA?
« on: August 29, 2010, 11:14:16 PM »
...The result was damn fine and more of a "black IPA" then the stuff that came in the bottle.

That's great, but the real thing to remember is that it is totally open to interpretation anyway, since the so called "style" has no real rules other than dark and hoppy.
Besides I have a real problem with calling it ANY kind of IPA if it's darker than deep amber/copper.  Hell, I've had Porters that fit the description some folks hang on "Black IPA". 

There seems to be a lot of arguing on the interwebs about this "style".  For what it's worth, I believe that it originated on the commercial level with Greg Noonan, but it's a pretty safe bet that such a beer as brewed up in a few basements somewhere long before he put it on tap and tagged it with a most puzzling name.

The arguments I read aound the net about this style are all pretty dumb, if you ask me.  (But nobody did, so I'll stop ranting now.   ;D  )
Basically, it matters not a whit if it's good beer.

(written as I sip on a suspiciously hoppy and hop-aromatic dark dry ale from a 19 year old recipe... ::) ;D  )

For me, short of a small walk-in cooler, a commercial "True"  Coke fridge would probably do it for me;   mainly for cold conditioning since I already have a decent fridge I could dedicate for serving.  Right now it pulls double duty and hence, serves my drafts at a considerably colder temperature than I like.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your Homebrew Name
« on: August 26, 2010, 10:35:30 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, 05:29:43 PM »

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, 05:41:56 PM »
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, 08:29:17 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, 09:44:13 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 17, 2010, 12:03:09 AM »
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.

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