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Messages - bluesman

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All Things Food / Re: Ethnic Cooking
« on: January 03, 2010, 07:24:01 PM »
Balti style Indian food.

From left to right- chili pepper dal, coconut curry cod fish, masala onion rice, plantains in a sweet and sour tamarind sauce, layered paratha bread.

If anyone wants the recipes Ill write them out. They are long though, especially in the spice department.

नया साल मुबारक हो

That's genious!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: aspirations
« on: January 03, 2010, 10:25:36 AM »
I would love to start a microbrewery, but I understand the start-up costs to be pretty high. I have heard figures in the 2-3 million range for a decent start. I would need to find investors. Then it becomes location, location and location. Not to mention the fact that one has to brew fantastic beer and that's the fun part.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone Double Bastard
« on: January 03, 2010, 10:19:30 AM »
The chinook hops in their beers are up front and center. The bitterness is arrogant.  ;D

I am not a huge chinnook fan when it comes to IPA's, but then again I'm an East Coast guy.

Don't get me wrong...I really like the Stone beers, but I prefer the Centennial and Cascade blend in my IPA's.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Solera beers
« on: January 02, 2010, 07:51:29 AM »
Pretty interesting method. Probably been around for a long time. I have never tried it. A barley wine sounds like a good candidate for trying this. It reminds me of Freindship bread that the Amish have employed for years.

Here's a link on basic brewing.

Basically it's a blending process that they used in Spain with brandy that has evolved into beer and wine.

The Pub / Re: Beer Drinking Music !
« on: January 01, 2010, 11:36:00 AM »
Yea Capp...Here's some barstool sittin'...whiskey sippin', teardrops a fallin downhome roots hillbilly music. The legendary Delmore Brothers.

Here's a real classic. Al Dexter's "Pistol packin' mama"

and some rebel country by the man himself David Allen Coe.

I am a music buff and take influences from as many styles as the day is long, but country music is like the capital "A" in America. We as Americans can claim country music as our own and alot of it relates to beer drinkin'  ;)

All Things Food / Re: What's cookin' for the Holidays folks?
« on: January 01, 2010, 11:14:00 AM »
Good eats Folks!

Love the rib roast Capp.

I'll be roasting a Boston Butt today...and the sauerkraut will added to the roast in the Dutch Oven for the last hour of roasting.

I'll try to post some pics later.

Happy New Year to you and yours. 8)

All Things Food / Re: Chow Chow
« on: December 31, 2009, 12:16:19 PM »
I don't know if its just a southern thing but pickled watermelon rind is popular. Along with pickled peaches. And pickled pig feet.

Pickled Pigs Feet or (Zimne Nogi) is a traditional Polish Easter and Christmas treat.

All Things Food / Re: Chow Chow
« on: December 31, 2009, 10:55:18 AM »
I'll post this again because I love this stuff anyway one can prepare it.  ;D

...and here is the Amish favorite.

All Things Food / Re: Black-Eyed Peas
« on: December 31, 2009, 10:52:56 AM »
...and here is the Amish favorite.

Sorry for the thread highjack.  :-[

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer for Christmas
« on: December 31, 2009, 10:44:56 AM »
A refractometer is a great way to qualify and confirm your mash is converting
Could you elaborate on this one?

Thank you :)

As Kai has shown...

Starch conversion occurs through enzyme activity in your malted grains. Your goal is to get 100% starch conversion from your mash, which may be hindered by several variables (crush, temp, time etc...) Most single infusion mashes are run for 60 minutes, but you'll see some recipes calling for 45 minutes and some calling for 90 minutes. Which is right?

An iodine test will tell you if you've converted, but a refractometer will quantify the conversion. As the starch is converted into sugar, the sugar in solution is increasing which can be measured by a refractometer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer for Christmas
« on: December 31, 2009, 09:35:51 AM »
You beat me to it Kai!  :D

I use a refractometer regularly when mashing and boiling. Evaporation is a key concern when sampling. I use a dropper and sample quickly. Clean your dropper with distilled water and ensure it is dry upon each use. Apply several drops to the plate and cover. Allow 15 seconds for the tempeature to equilibrate.

Make sure you calibrate your refractometer with distilled water prior to use to ensure proper calibration. I usually take multiple readings to ensure repeatability. Assure that there are no visible solids or bubbles on the daylight plate.

Always clean the plate with warm water and dry with a clean soft cloth after each use.

A refractometer is a great way to qualify and confirm your mash is converting as well as determining the amount of sugar that is in your wort. I won't brew withoout it.  ;)

All Things Food / Re: What's cookin' for the Holidays folks?
« on: December 30, 2009, 02:13:18 PM »
What, no seafood? I was thinking you lived on a boat or something.  ;)

We eat seafood 2 or 3 times a week normally.  I think I've had it everyday since Christmas eve. :P  New Years Day is all about fresh pork and black-eyed peas.  Don't forget to burn your bayberry candle down on New Years Eve. ;D

What  ???

No Sauerkraut with your fresh pork... :o  That's Blasphemy!  ;D

English Special Bitter with WLP002 and possibly a lager with S-189 (depending when my yeast order arrives.)


Using WLP002, Northern Brewer and/or EKG, but I'm not quite sure about the grain bill at this moment.

Pimp My System / Re: My system
« on: December 30, 2009, 11:18:48 AM »
The kegs look like thet're chrome plated.  :o

Very Nice stand!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best Practices for Stepping Up a Starter
« on: December 30, 2009, 11:10:43 AM »
As far as making starters is concerned. There's three stages. There's the growth stage , the fermentation stage , and the flocculation stage. After talking with White Labs, I'm starting to rethink my process. WL is a proponent of the following process:

1. prepare 1 quart of 1.04/1.03 starter wort.
2. pitch yeast at proper pitching temp.
3. Allow yeast growth for 24 hrs.
4. Add a 2nd qt of starter wort
5. Allow yeast to grow 24 hrs.
6. Decant wort leaving yeast and add another quart and so on...

I use Mr Malty to calculate my yeast requirements.

Basically what WL is saying is that you don't want the yeast to enter the rapid fermentation stage, you want the yeast to remain in the growth stage. This will enable the yeast to be the most viable for it's battle ahead.

As quoted from White Labs:

"A "starter" can be any volume of wort that you add yeast to before using it to make your beer.  The yeast get active in this smaller volume, usually for 1-2 days, and then can be added to 5 gallons of beer, or 10 gallons, or whatever size your brewing.  This can be a good way to "proof" the yeast, and also when making high gravity beers. White Labs recommends on their label to make a starter "if the gravity is over 1.070, if the yeast is past its "best before" date, or if a faster start is desired." 
Make up a 1-2 pint wort, gravity ~1.040, hopped as normal.  Boil for 30 minutes, cool to room temperature. Pitch one vial, shake well and let sit for 1-2 days.  Little to no activity will be seen in the starter, since this is a very small volume compared to the quantity of yeast pitched.  The yeast in a starter may be done within a couple of hours. But a layer of yeast should be at the bottom after 1-2 days. The wort on top of the yeast can be either decanted of the top, or left in and pitched with the whole volume. Most pitch the whole volume, but if the starter gets to the point of 2 liters for 5 gallons, then we recommend decanting the wort off the yeast.
Typical Starter Volumes for 5 gallons:
To activate the yeast: 1 pint
To regenerate expired yeast (there will be living yeast in the package for ~1 year): 2 pints
To brew a high gravity beer: 2 pints
To brew a lager beer, starting fermentation 50-55F: 4 pints"

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