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Messages - The Professor

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Anchor Brewing sold
« on: April 29, 2010, 07:50:56 AM »
Hopefully "preserve and expand" doesn't mean "cheapen and mass produce".  My wife turned me onto Anchor Steam, It can be difficult to get on the east coast but when i do get a case it doesn't last long.   I gotta get that clone recipe out and see how it compares to the real thing.

Nothing at all wrong with mass producing if the character of the beers can be maintained.  Fritz and Anchor really set the stage for the revival of American beer,  and as long as the new owners don't completely blow it,  the company can continue to be a force for good in brewing no matter how big they get. 
More ANCHOR beer in the world would not be a bad thing...I for one would love to see wider mainstream distribution and availability of their beers, if the character and quality can be maintained. 
As long as they don't start cutting corners, there's no reason why they can't continue to make great beer on a larger scale. 
Well done,  Mr. Maytag and congratulations. 
And for Anchor---onward and upward!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Should we be eating our yeast cake?
« on: April 28, 2010, 09:36:45 PM »
Marmite tastes nasty. Know that.

I like it.

Ingredients / Re: Anyone use "hop extract" for their IPA's?
« on: April 26, 2010, 06:32:28 PM »
I've been experimenting for some time with various hop extracts and especially hop oil.  My current science project involves distilling my own aromatic hop oil.

Vinnie is right though...hop extracts  and oils are an easy way to avoid those grassy/vegetal notes that I can't stand in a lot of the current crop of IPAs.  It's all a matter of personal taste though, since a lot of folks enjoy that character in their beer. 
To me, it's definitely a defect.

The Pub / Re: How Much you Brew vs How Much you Drink.
« on: April 26, 2010, 03:17:54 PM »
I limit myself to 5 gallon batches because I want to brew as often as possible.  I do drink a decent amount of it but I wouldn't be able to keep up with my brewing if it was just me.  So I do give a decent amount away, maybe a third of what I brew on average.

Sounds a lot like my MO, too.
Same here...but I will usually do double or triple batches of my long aged Xmas Ales and my IPA... I will consume a fair amount of both, but also give quite a bit of those beers away (probably close to half)  especially to those on my xmas list.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Light Munich Malt
« on: April 21, 2010, 09:32:18 AM »
The trick to making the waiting more palatable is to make sure you've got plenty of other homebrews on tap


Brew a lot and brew often.  I'm really big on well aged brews so I  usually alternate between brewing a batch of my everyday 'house' ale and a batch or two of things that benefit from long aging.  That way, there's always something around that helps me keep my mitts of those certain brews that are undergoing the good magic that happens with aging.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Foster's Premium Ale
« on: April 20, 2010, 07:56:53 PM »
The caramel coloring shouldn't be a surprise. 
What is surprising is that the US  brewers making the stuff under contract are so up front about telling you they use  it!

In any case, there's nothing wrong with using it...many of the best ales brewed in the UK evidently make use of it, since it can make a subtle flavor contribution as well....they just don't usually mention it on their labels.

You're right about it being easy to drink and I do remember enjoying it for precisely that reason.  I found it to be pretty nicely balanced.
(I last tried it out of curiosity when the Miller made version appeared on the shelves) .

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sam Adams Long Shot Six Pack
« on: April 20, 2010, 07:43:41 PM »
Looking forward to this sampler.
I'll probably just give away the bottles of Lemon Pepper Saison but am very anxious to try the Barleywine and Old Ale (and you're me the two are practically the same category...and two of my favorite beer styles lately after years of drinking mondo-hopped ales).

As far as Barleywines being too sweet, that is often the case, and to me (or at least to my personal tastes)  that characteristic is just the mark of a badly made or prematurely consumed one.
I don't know what kind of aging  the SA brewed version of the winning entry was given (or for that matter, how much age the actual entry had on it when judged)...perhaps when the recipe was stepped up for commercial sale it was tweaked a bit to reflect and compensate for not being aged as long before bottling.  I wonder...

In any case, while I prefer some age on many of the beers I make myself,   a good amount of age is practically mandatory for my enjoyment of a barleywine, since the aging softens the sweetness somewhat as well as the hotness of the alcohol,  while retaining the malty richness.

I'm sipping on one of my last bottles of a 2 year old barleywine as I write this. 
And I'm kvelling.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Light Munich Malt
« on: April 20, 2010, 07:27:24 PM »
It makes a fantastic lager as 100% of the grist.
I also use at least some in practically every ale I make as well, and have always used a hefty proportion of it in my Wee Heavy...there's probably no good reason not to use 100% there too.

Experiment !!! 
Besides the fact that it's your beer,   there are no rules anyway, at least none worth slavishly adhering to (except for maybe sanitation).

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sierra Nevada 30
« on: April 20, 2010, 08:15:44 AM »
The 'Fritz and Ken's' has made it's way to the East Coast in recent weeks...I just picked up a few bottles in central NJ. 
I'm looking forward to trying one this weekend and will probably pick up a couple more to hide away.  It will be interesting to see how this beer ages, as it seems like a good candidate for that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too green! Dry hop question
« on: April 20, 2010, 08:10:25 AM »
  Lately I've been experimenting more with distilled hop oil for aroma as well...I'm getting pretty close to the result I'm really looking for with that. 

That would be "hop shots" ?

I don't know...I'm not familiar with 'hop shots'. 
The hop oil I've been trying to produce (after trying a couple of very expensive commercial ones)  is rather like the  distilled hop oil that the Ballantine brewery made in house for use in their ales;  it, along with their extended aging in wood for certain of their products, pretty much defined their beers, particularly their very bitter and aromatic  IPA which I enjoyed so much.  The contribution of the hop oil was predominately aromatic (and intensely so), although there was a flavor component too.  They used the hop oil in addition to dry hopping during the aging period  (relatively short term for their regular XXX ale, and longer in the large wooden storage vessels where the IPA and Burton ales were aged.

Although I've managed to come close, my home attempts at making the hop oil have unfortunately been rather inconsistent thus far.  I'll keep trying though....

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too green! Dry hop question
« on: April 19, 2010, 03:29:42 PM »
To me, 20g seems like a lot for a 5 gal batch (28g=1oz) unless you have a real short contact time.

When I dry hop anything, I rarely use more than 1/4oz (that's 7g) for a 5 gal batch;

Around here, we call that "why didn't you dry hop it?".  ;)  I never use less than an oz., often 2-3 oz. of mixed varieties.  And I frequently use my homegrown Cascades.  I guess it just a question of different people. different tastes.

 ;D  HA.  I know what you're saying Denny...and you're right, as always it really just boils down to individual taste.

I know it seems low (and I guess in looking back, I do use more than that in my own IPA)...but for most of the regular quaffing ales I make, the 1/4 oz seems to do pretty well...I wind up with a nice floral aroma with no grassy-ness whatsoever.  Depends a little on the varieties used, but the stated amount kept at cellar temps for a few days or a week does it for the average brew.

Even so (and again, it's just habit and personal preference) I tend to use a bit less dry hop than most, but will opt for longer contact time if need be.  Lately I've been experimenting more with distilled hop oil for aroma as well...I'm getting pretty close to the result I'm really looking for with that. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too green! Dry hop question
« on: April 18, 2010, 04:22:11 PM »
To me, 20g seems like a lot for a 5 gal batch (28g=1oz) unless you have a real short contact time.

When I dry hop anything, I rarely use more than 1/4oz (that's 7g) for a 5 gal batch;  I dry hop in the keg and leave it at cellar temps for a day or two then get it into the cold.  I'll then taste it until I get the level of dryhop effect  I want, then get it off of the dry hops into another keg (or if I'm designing the beer for bottling, I'll dry hop for a week or two then get it into the bottles from the keg).
The amounts and timings are variable, depending on what's needed for any particular  beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: White Labs Clarity-Ferm
« on: April 17, 2010, 10:47:35 AM »
Never heard of it.  Sounds interesting, but I'd like to know what's in it, too.

Me too.

I also wonder what the trade off (if any) is for a 'shortcut' solution like this is in terms of the end product compared to just giving the brew time to clear on it's own. 

Other Fermentables / Re: Clarifying mead
« on: April 17, 2010, 10:43:10 AM »
If you're in a hurry cou van use the clearing agents, and I have used them myself a couple of times...they do the job quite efficently, but you don't really need them.   
I usually just let my meads clear on their own schedule. 
The end product has always been noticeably better that way (to my taste buds, anyway). 

The Pub / Re: Healthy Beer
« on: April 17, 2010, 07:21:31 AM »
This represents a new low in beer.
I'm getting so tired of the "unusual ingredients" trend (fad?) that some breweries seem to be embracing.  I guess there's an audience for it, but as for me, I find a well made 'real' beer to be much more interesting and compelling.

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