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Topics - phillamb168

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31
The Pub / Finding a city
« on: September 26, 2012, 02:26:44 AM »
Well, after two years in France (and four years in married land) we're looking much more seriously at our options for house-buying. We've been thinking about it on and off for a while, with some posts here looking for advice. The trouble is, there is a huge housing bubble near Paris that's basically being completely ignored, it's like nobody sees it. House prices in my village went from ~220k-250k in 2006 for ~1400sq ft livable/8k sq ft lot size to 450k for the same thing here in 2012 - 100% increase in price over 6 years... Looks familiar... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_United_States_housing_bubble

Anyway. Add to that two things: 1. we want a nice garden and we don't want to live in Paris, which means that without breaking the bank on a house, my commute time is a minimum of an hour each way, no matter where we live, and that's just not fun when I barely get to see my kids except on weekends; and 2. I get my French citizenship at the end of this year, which means I get access to all the benefits of nationalized healthcare.

The #1 reason we moved from the US in the first place was because even with my $800/mo self-employment insurance we would end up owing between 40 and 80k for bringing to term & delivery of our first kid, because in order to receive maternity coverage you have to ask one year in advance ( :o ), so we'd be paying largely out of pocket. Compared with the $4k cost of moving, $2k cost of getting a car, and $200 cost of all baby-related medical expenses in France, it was pretty much a no-brainer. However, now that we'll have access to the CFE (Caisse Français Etranger, expat health care) for ~$300/mo for our whole family, that reason has disappeared.

The #2 reason we moved, was so that my wife could be close to her family, and our kids could really get to know all of their cousins and such. So far so good. I am not particularly close to my family and they all live very far away relative to any city we would want to live in, so it's kind of a no-brainer on that side.

We still want to be close to family, what matters more than anything else is that OUR family can spend time together. So that brings me back to the idea of moving back to the US. The trouble with that is, the country is H U G E and picking a place to research for a move is hard work. Thus I turn to you, my beery forum friends, to see if you have any advice.

For our criteria: we would like to be < 7-8 hrs flight from Paris, or able to do a 2-hop of < 5-6 hours each ( == near a major airport)

in a neighborhood of younger upper-middle-class families (I don't have anything against blue-collars (all of my relatives and family are blue-collar), but all the research I've seen said that it's very important to live around people of approximately the same income bracket as yourself), but not in an area where it's all about keeping up with the Jones' (read: gated communities. blargh.),

Nicer older houses (no McMansions), good sidewalks, walking or easy driving distance to Catholic and Protestant churches

and (this is important) within walking distance to either train/tram lines to downtown-type shopping, or in a neighborhood that has, in walking distance, shops, cafes, bars etc. I would strongly prefer for those shops, cafes, bars, etc to not be chains. Also a bonus, if it's nearby a Whole Foods. If we could be < 30-40 min to a large city center, that would be ideal. We would like to be near clean water (for kayaking) and nice big (clean) parks with lots of trees and things. I.e., wild spaces.

Also important, to be near museums and universities, my wife is going back to finish a Masters in cultural something or other,

We need to be able to keep chickens, and I am not a fan of abusive zoning regulations and housing committees, because I have a tendency to say not so nice things to people who tell me that my lawn isn't green enough.

Diversity is also important, I've lived in Chicago, NYC and Paris for all of my adult life and I like interacting with all sorts of people.

Also in terms of temps, I can deal with cold, but I do not like heat. So summer average highs of 78-82 with overnight lows of ~50-60, and I would really prefer a decent amount of sun paired with thunderstorms.

And of course, it needs to have a great beer scene, and be relatively easy to deal with the state & fed brewery license types.

Places we've considered include Newton MA and greater Boston, Redmond WA, Bloomington IL, Chicago, outskirts of DC, Yonkers etc near NYC, Providence RI, Manchester NH, Raleigh & Greensboro, NC.

I think this is the longest I've ever posted. I'd be happy to hear what you guys have to say!

32
The Pub / Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« on: September 20, 2012, 01:29:52 AM »
So jet.gorilla was kind enough to offer to bring me some NB kits on his next trip over to Paris (THANKS!) so I went ahead and ordered a couple kits from NB on Tuesday early early morning, and got the 3-day UPS shipping. It sat there, 'pending fulfilment,' until yesterday afternoon when I called to ask WTF was going on. Apparently (and without notifying me at all) they were having problems sourcing one of the kits. I asked the guy to verify that it would be sent out yesterday and that he was 100% sure that it would be delivered in time. He said "Yeah, no problem, it'll get there on Friday." Well. I got the UPS tracking number, and it shows delivery as being on next. Monday.

So, WTF? Now it's most likely going to sit on a hot Texas porch for two weeks and I'm not gonna get to brew the stuff I ordered. I am not yet pissed off, because it's possible that it'll get there in time, but seriously, wtf? I used to really like these guys because of their work on BTV and the other positive reviews I saw from around the forum here. But now, it looks like I'm going to be out $100 for nothing.

Has anyone else in Texas or other places in the south ordered from NB with 3-day? Did it arrive earlier than the shipping time predicted?

33
The Pub / Kia Sorento
« on: August 27, 2012, 08:08:48 AM »
We're in the market for a new car (thanks for nothing, Peugeot - never buying one again, EVER) and have narrowed down the list to a single car, the Kia Sorento 2.2L 16v diesel automatic. They don't sell the diesel version in the US. We rented one while in the US last year and drove it a LOT (~2k miles) over the course of the three weeks we were there. I loved it, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had experience with these.

34
Coca-Cola, Diet coke, Cherry-Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Sprite Light, Nestea Splash, Nestea, Aquarius, Bon aqua, Kinley tonic, BL, Lift & Minute Maid.

There have been some outbreaks of dioxin poisoning after people have drank canned coke: http://www.liberation.fr/economie/0101286854-coca-cola-interdit-aussi-en-france-apres-les-intoxications-les-explications-de-la-firme-americaine-ne-convainquent-pas-le-gouvernement

Of course the last line of the article is kinda 'wtf:' La société a suspecté un problème d'emballage lorsque les consommateurs ont expliqué que les canettes dégageaient une odeur désagréable.

So - the people who got sick, got sick because they drank from cans of coke that smelled bad. Herp, derp?


35
The Pub / Minimum kegs to pour @ club night?
« on: August 02, 2012, 06:32:57 AM »
I heard there are a minimum # of kegs required to be able to pour @ keg night for the NHC. Is this correct? What's the minimum?

36
General Homebrew Discussion / We need to talk...
« on: July 26, 2012, 08:43:27 AM »
The dirty lines comments from the Headache thread reminded me of something I've been meaning to ask about here. There's a beer bar (with a nice selection - John Martin's Pale is good) not too far from my house, they have (good) live music every Fri/Sat and the barkeep is a super nice dude in his late 50s. Once everybody gets back from vacation, we're gonna talk about perhaps putting one of my beers on the rotation and helping him get set up to serve actual food.

But there's a problem, and that's his beer lines. I had a guinness there one time and it tasted like cantillon. I asked him about it, he said "I don't like guinness, I don't really know what it's supposed to taste like." and also "I clean my lines every morning."

I didn't ask him how he cleans his lines, because it's too early in our relationship to ask those kinds of questions. But I feel like he may need an intervention or something, because every beer has just a bit of funk too it. Also they're served way too cold, but one step at a time.

Anyway, how should I go about getting his lines really cleaned (with caustic, etc)? Something like "Oh I have extra caustic solution lying around and was wondering if you wanted your lines deep-cleaned?" Or perhaps "let's do a side-by-side of pre- and post-caustic" or somethign?


37
Kegging and Bottling / Keykeg hookup to a beer engine is not working!
« on: June 29, 2012, 03:18:08 PM »
Help? The Keykeg guys have done this before and I've seen it demoed elsewhere, but I just cannot get it to work!


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38
The Pub / Old style clone!!!!
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:44:43 PM »
Man, I was having a pretty awful day, and then I get home to find the newest edition of zumurgy, with a recipe that I've been looking for for a very very long time, an old style clone.

Thanks Bill Pierce for seriously making my day.


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39
The Pub / Brew dog sleeping accommodations
« on: June 15, 2012, 10:49:44 PM »
Still in talks with the wife about getting a dog or no. She says she'll consider it (for now, anyway) if he sleeps downstairs and never go in our bedroom. My question is, is this realistic for a golden retriever, and is it not going to be too anti-social for him? Fwiw I don't want him sleeping in our bedroom either.


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40
Commercial Beer Reviews / Which beer on hand pump for my July party?
« on: June 01, 2012, 07:49:05 AM »
Sorry for the huge poll. It's time again to start planning for my huge summer bash (if any of you are in the area July 1st, let me know, you're welcome to attend). We're expecting around 50 people or so, got some live bluegrass scheduled, lots of food, etc.

This year I wanted to take advantage of a new KeyKeg connector to have a commercial beer on hand pump/beer engine. But I don't know enough about the American beers available to me to make a good decision. I've included a few non-US beers as well.

What do you think?

41
Beer Recipes / What did I make? Caribou Slobber American Pils
« on: May 23, 2012, 11:32:47 AM »
Heck of a lag time but it's fermenting nicely now, three days later. I'm just curious as to what sort of monster I've created. What say ye?

Caribou Slobber American Pils

Style: American Brown Ale   OG: 1.052   
Type: All Grain   FG: 1.016   
Rating: 4.0   ABV: 4.72 %   
Calories: 172   IBU's: 55.67   
Efficiency: 70 %   Boil Size: 22.26 L   
Color:   42.2 EBC     Batch Size: 18.93 L   
Boil Time: 90 minutes   
 
Fermentation Steps
Name   Days / Temp
Primary   14 days @ 21.1°C
Secondary   14 days @ 22.2°C
Bottle/Keg   14 days @ 23.3°C
 
Grains & Adjuncts
Amount   Percentage      Name   Time   Gravity
5.00 kg    87.66 %      Simpsons Maris Otter   60 mins   1.038
0.34 kg    5.96 %      Briess Caramel 60L   60 mins   1.034
0.11 kg    1.99 %      Chocolate Malt   60 mins   1.028
0.25 kg    4.38 %      Weyermann Caraaroma   60 mins   1.034
 
Hops
Amount   IBU's      Name   Time   AA %
50.00 g    20.22      Saaz   60 mins    3.50
20.00 g    8.11      Saaz   40 mins    4.00
20.00 g    7.10      Saaz   30 mins    4.00
30.00 g    8.40      Saaz   20 mins    4.00
50.00 g    2.49      Centennial   1 mins   10.00
50.00 g    9.34      Simcoe    1 mins   13.00
50.00 g    0.00      Amarillo Gold   0 mins    8.50
50.00 g    0.00      Nelson sauvon    0 mins   13.00
 
Yeasts
Amount   Name   Laboratory / ID
1.0 starter wyeast American lager slurry.
 
Additions
(none)
 
Mash Profile
Sacch' Rest   60 min @ 67.2°C
 Add 17.85 L ( 3.49 L/kg ) water @ 75.9°C
Mashout   10 min @ 76.7°C
 Heat to 76.7°C over 2 mins
 
Carbonation
(none)
 
Notes
See full Northern Brewer recipe instructions.
 
www.iBrewMaster.com   Version: 1.480



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42
Ingredients / Crisp C77? Others?
« on: May 09, 2012, 06:24:42 AM »
What is Crisp C77? Is that the Dark Crystal 77?

43
All Grain Brewing / Breaking big batches into multiple boils
« on: April 11, 2012, 02:45:34 AM »
I have this friend who opened a nanobrewery. He's producing a decent amount of beer (however, quality-wise, it's not the greatest) (at all) but I am a bit eh about his process - he takes a 2BBL batch and after mashing, splits it into four 20-gal kettles and boils each one separately. Afterwards they get chilled and combined in the fermenter. This seems wrong, but I don't know why. Is there any technical reason why it's a bad idea?

44
Beer Travel / Prague/Czech Republic
« on: April 10, 2012, 09:34:01 AM »
We've more or less decided to get a Skoda as our next car, and I'm trying to work something out with the dealership so we can go to Prague and pick up the car at the factory. We'd break it in by driving it home afterwards, with stops in Pilsen, Prague, etc.

Do you guys have any suggestions on places to stay/eat/drink etc that would be family-friendly? We'll have a 1-year-old and a 2,5-year-old by that time.

45
The Pub / Heineken, Shaken - not stirred. (WTF)
« on: April 05, 2012, 08:35:15 AM »
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/04/martinis-no-longer-heineken-to-debut-as-james-bonds-new-drink/

So is he going to switch cologne from Floris No. 89 to CKOne? Is he going to wear Gap instead of Jermyn street and Saville row? Drive a (EGAD) Toyota instead of an Aston Martin?

I really liked the new Casino Royal, but jeez are they running this into the ground or what?

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