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Messages - The Professor

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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!).

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.

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. 

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.

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?

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.

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 has been pointed out, yeast is cheap enough.

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. 

The Pub / Re: Odd Ways You Never Thought to Make Money
« on: March 17, 2010, 08:52:53 PM »

I build these.
(I know, I know...they freak some people out, but a couple guys are making a pretty good living using them.)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Favorite Scoresheet Comment
« on: March 13, 2010, 07:36:53 PM »
Now I remember why I don't enter comps. 


+100k. I'm not into comps really...not opposed certainly, as long as one doesn't take it very seriously.  So I've only entered a few but  had great fun judging dozens of them (and managed to taste some very good beers in the process).

My favorite received comment  is one I have mentioned once or twice before in other threads, regarding my Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy;   I don't have the sheet in front of me (though I did save it somewhere) but in essence it said that I had entered it in the wrong category because it wasn't hoppy enough to be a Scotch Ale .   :o
thank you.  next please....

All Things Food / Re: Pizza Crust?
« on: March 10, 2010, 07:30:29 PM »
Myabe I'm just too old school. ;D

Not at all...adding gluten enhances the dough somewhat, but it is strictly optional. 
While most American pizzerias (including old school, NY places) use high gluten flour, if the dough isn't soft enough it can make for a tough crust.  In Italy, I'm told they generally use a softer flour and certainly don't add more gluten. 

The NJ pizzeria I worked in many years ago made a very soft dough the day before use (when possible...sometimes we got slammed and had to make same-day dough;  but freshly made dough makes a decidedly sub-standard pizza).   I guess that making it the day before gave time for the elasticity to develop, as well as a characteristic lightness...the dough was very supple and easily shaped, and baked up light and airy on the all important outer rim crust.

I've duplicated the dough at home many times and it works great...but what I can't duplicate and what sets some average pizzas apart from an outstanding one  is the temperature of the pizza oven;  at the pizzeria we operated the ovens at almost 800°F...the pie was in and out in a very short time and was authentically and nicely singed (if you've ever had a pie at John's in Greenwich Village, NYC, you'll know what I'm referring to).  The highest temps I can get from my home oven (with stone in place) is around 550°F...close enough,  and it makes a good pie, but I do miss the character that  a really blazing hot oven contributes.

All Things Food / Re: Fish Batter Etc?
« on: March 10, 2010, 09:38:13 AM »
I made Matt's batter again last night - I LOVED it, but at the same time, it seemed 'pancake-y"

next time I might try denny's suggestion, though I'll have to plan ahead and buy rice flour.

hey, anybody ever used masa harina in something like this??

I use a combination of corn flour, rice flour, and all purpose flour...and no eggs.  Seasoned with a bit of salt and a minute amount of 'sour salt' (citric acid crystals).  I like a malt forward beer for the batter.

Traditional fish and chips batter doesn't have egg in it...the egg is what can make the coating 'pancake-ey'. Leaving out the egg makes for an authentically  crisp batter. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 fill in South/Central Jersey?
« on: March 08, 2010, 11:47:03 AM »
I usually go to RELIABLE CARBONIC on Handy Street in New Brunswick,

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lifespan of harvested yeast.
« on: March 05, 2010, 02:12:23 PM »
I don't know - I'm just tagging this thread to see what the schmart folks say.

I've had harvested yeast for at least six months, but whiles its gotten darker, I would never describe it as peanut butter.  I don't wash my yeast, maybe that has an impact..

Exactly the same here...

And here, sort of... but my experience is with slurries just a bit shy of 6 months. 

I've rarely ever waited that long to brew, even in busiest of times, but then again I'm not one for switching yeast strains all that much either... I've never had more than two  (or three at most)  different strains of slurry in the fridge.  I don't wash the yeast, and longest I've ever kept one and reused it  was probably at about 4 months old.  I fed it up a bit two days before brewing and it worked fine and fast..and the finished beer was clean and good.  I think I've had good results because I am particular about sanitation, and I store the slurry very cold.

The Pub / Re: Old Sayings - Cryptic Quotes
« on: March 04, 2010, 01:05:30 PM »
Two of my is food for thought, the other is a thought from a fool.

"Reality is merely and illusion, albeit a persistent one"
                                 --Albert Einstein

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
                              --Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp. 1977

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