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Messages - The Professor

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676
All Things Food / Re: Ethnic Cooking
« on: April 13, 2010, 09:06:17 PM »
English pub fare tonight.

Used some of that lard.
Steak and Kidney pie.....

A thing of beauty.  LOVE steak and kidney pie...I hate it when places dumb it down to be "steak and mushroom" pie.

I learned growing up that offal is not awful.

677
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cost Per Batch?
« on: April 11, 2010, 09:39:22 PM »
I buy malt from a brewpub for $0.50/pound. hops by the pound and dry yeast for basic recipes.  Even figuring equipment costs of $5 per batch, which is probably twice what it really is,   I can easily brew 10 gallons of a standard porter, pale ale or oatmeal stout for under $25.  I don't brew to save money, I never have, but the way I see it is that the money saved can be spent on my next beer focused vacation.

Sounds about right to me...I generally pay a similar amount for my malts (when I can),  I buy hops in bulk, and have been using primarily the same yeast since 1989.  I can make 5 gal of a standard brew for under $10.00 and some pretty hefty brews for the winter months for anywhere from $13.00 -18.00 per 5 gal.  Not too many years ago (less than 10 years ago) , I was buying Crisp Maris for less than $18.00 per sack and the costs per batch were even lower.

Brewing at home began for me almost 40 years ago as a "can I do it" kind of challenge.  The cost savings over commercial beer was never really the main issue, but it is a great benefit of homebrewing (and especially appreciated these days);  for at least the last 15-20 years there has been no real reason to buy any commercial beer other than curiosity or research.  It's actually been quite a LONG time since I bought a commercial beer that I wished I could emulate.

678
Me tooo...

Based on experience it appears many of us HB'ers also like to limit our consumption during the brew session. I generally won't pour a beer until the wort is chilling.

You have better restraint than I.

679
All Things Food / Re: Beans
« on: April 10, 2010, 04:51:55 PM »
Here's a great recipe I like to use with anything BBQ.

Ingredients
2 cups navy beans
1/2 pound bacon
1 onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup of your fav BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
Directions
1.Soak beans overnight in cold water. Simmer the beans in the same water until tender, approximately 1 to 2 hours. Drain and reserve the liquid.
2.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
3.Arrange the beans in a 2 quart bean pot or casserole dish by placing a portion of the beans in the bottom of dish, and layering them with bacon and onion.
4.In a saucepan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour over beans. Pour in just enough of the reserved bean water to cover the beans. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
5.Bake for 3 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until beans are tender. Remove the lid about halfway through cooking, and add more liquid if necessary to prevent the beans from getting too dry.

Well damn, that looks good...gonna give it a spin!

680
All Things Food / Re: Ethnic Cooking
« on: April 10, 2010, 04:50:45 PM »
C'mon! Lard, garlic, bread and a hot pan.(+pinch of salt) Now there's a meal! (ok, a really tasty snack)


+1
The Eastern European po'folks sure knew how to eat.

I still remember my grandma (Hungarian) skewering a big hunk of pork belly (szolona)  on  a stick:   she'd deeply score the non skin side in a crosshatch pattern and slowly and patiently spin it over a wood fire (being careful not to let it burn), and as the pork belly heated up catching the drippings on rye bread (which was covered with sliced onions, peppers, and radishes).
After it was spent, the crosshatched cubes of rendered fat were cut off and lightly salted for a hearty sandwich (with more of the vegetables).

Peasant food at it's best.  I still enjoy this treat once in a while...tasty  and satisfying Hungarian soul food...  and healthy too if you don't eat it every day.

681
The Pub / Re: Would you eat whale meat?
« on: April 01, 2010, 09:59:52 AM »
Assuming that it could be legally sourced and a species that was sustainably harvested, I would certainly try it, even though I eat considerably less meat these days than in the past.  
But I do enjoy trying exotic foods, and I've heard that whale is pretty tasty.

In any case, in reality I guess  a whale steak would be no more odd or unusual than a lot of the stuff I grew up eating in a household with two generations of Eastern Europeans that consumed animals head-to-tail.  

682
Other Fermentables / Re: bulk aging meads
« on: March 31, 2010, 07:41:45 PM »
...I have some 3 year old mead that was bottled tasting hot after 6 months in the secondary. It has since become very nice. So what happens on the molecular level or otherwise that creates this change? I mean, I get that it happens but what's the process that occurs.

Oh, I'm sure there are scientific explanations for some aspects of what occurs (and probably no real explanations for other aspects).  You can probably find a lot of it covered in writings on Fermentation Science.

Frankly I never sought out the info myself,  because it's just one of those things I'm just happy to attribute to miracles of nature. 

I figure, why spoil the magic with rational explanations?

But,  happy hunting for the info nonetheless...and  also, maybe someone here with a science background will eventually weigh in on the subject.

683
Other Fermentables / Re: bulk aging meads
« on: March 31, 2010, 03:10:18 PM »
Bulk aging is definitely desirable for meads...I do so for all the reasons enso mentions, but since mead ferments rather slowly I also keep it in a topped up, airlocked carboy for an extended time to make sure the fermentation is absolutely complete so no carbonation develops when it is eventually bottled...I don't want my mead to be fizzy at all, and I don't want corks to be popping out of the bottles, especially since the bottles will usually continue to cellar for several years after being filled (trust me...a Sack Mead at 10 years old is a truly joyous thing to behold!).

684
All Things Food / Re: Stroganoff?
« on: March 29, 2010, 03:13:14 PM »
I'd form the turkey into little meatballs, brown them, then braise them in some sauteed onions, paprika,  & a bit of broth.  When most of the liquid is reduced stir in the sour cream. 
Kind of a combination of stroganoff and paprikash.
Should go very nicely with the buttered egg noodles.

685
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Major slowdown in Fermentation
« on: March 29, 2010, 09:05:25 AM »
I've had brew in this gravity range completely  finish in 3 days (not typical since I prefer a slower ferment, but it has happened).
 If you want to play it safe, give the fermenter a swirl to resuspend some yeast and leave it for a day or two more or even a bit longer.   Even if it is finished, a couple extra days on the yeast won't hurt.

It's not a strong beer you're making (considering your estimated OG) so you're probably be fine.   

It's situations like this that command us to call up the old "...relax, don't worry..." mantra.   Once you get a bunch more batches under your belt (a belt which, by the way, will probably eventually need a few extra holes as a result  ::)) and once you settle into the process, have confidence in your sanitation,  and learn to just trust nature to do the job of fermentation, the worry aspect will disappear almost entirely. 

686
All Things Food / Re: The Sandwich Thread.
« on: March 28, 2010, 06:16:53 PM »
Well, I love me a fried oyster Po'Boy. 
Tuna salad and provolone with lettuce, onion, and  oil& vinegar on a good sub roll is also a favorite.

But for me, the ultimate favorite is old fashioned 'navel' or 'plate' pastrami that has spent a full 2 or 3 hours in the steam cabinet, hand sliced and piled on rye bread, as served at places like Katz's Deli on the lower east side of New York City, Langer's in LA...and lately,  at a great old fashioned retro styled place called Irving's Deli in Livingston, NJ.   

Places that really do pastrami or corned beef  right are becoming rarer and rarer.
You haven't ever really had pastrami (or corned beef, for that matter) unless you get it from one of these 'old school'  Jewish delicatessens..that 2 or 3 hours the meat spends in the steam cabinet makes the meat meltingly tender. 
Also, if a deli brags about having lean pastrami or corned beef, turn around and walk out. 
It ain't the real deal.


687
2lbs  seems like an awful  LOT of smoked malt...probably just 6 or 8 ounces (or less)  would have given a good smoke character without overpowering the brew.   

Depends actually, with things like the Beechwood malt or the Cherrywood malt, a few pounds can actually be appropriate.

Folsom Brewmeister used to do a Cherrywood malt before Briess did that was super soft and great to use in unexpected ways.

Interesting...I guess my only experience with smoked malt has been pretty limited having only used German rauchmalz and peated malts.  They asserted themselves pretty intensely in small amounts.
Then again, maybe it's just my tastebuds.
The Cherrywood malt sounds interesting...this is something that Breiss still makes?

688
ome vague particulars for your information.  Brewed it, oh, 7 months ago.  Used only 2 lb. of Briess smoked malt.  Left in the fermenter a month.  Racked to keg and purged/pressurized.  Let it sit in a cool (50-60F) room.


2lbs  seems like an awful  LOT of smoked malt...probably just 6 or 8 ounces (or less)  would have given a good smoke character without overpowering the brew.   
For me, using smoked malt is in the same category as oak aging...a little bit adds a nice bit of character to a brew, but too much of either one can be cloying at best and downright nasty at worst.

689
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Mystery yeast.
« on: March 24, 2010, 07:07:31 AM »
...No sense in throwing away good yeast.

Unless you don't know what kind it is  ::)


But if you make a starter with it and it revives and makes good beer, it doesn't really matter at all  'what kind' it is.
If you have any sense of adventure, just try it (I would).  It may turn out great.

If you like to play it safe, then dump it...as has been pointed out, yeast is cheap enough.

690
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Souring Fermentation
« on: March 21, 2010, 06:27:20 PM »
What about adding lactic acid taste?  How much cheating would that be?

Seems to me that would be a sensible and more controlled way to accomplish the same thing (incrementally, until the desired result is reached), rather than letting wild bugs have at it over time. 

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