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Messages - phillamb168

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All Things Food / Re: Opening Weekend of Football - Whats on Your Grill?
« on: September 08, 2010, 08:48:10 AM »
From Serious Eats, my second most utilized food reference:

And for the burgers, if you don't have a meat grinder, get one! They're cheap ($15? $20?) and the only trick is you gotta put everything in the freezer before it touches the meat. Warm grinder = meat paste = bad burger. For the meat, just rough cut a pound of chuck and a pound of de-boned short ribs into 1" cubes and feed it into the grinder with a few squares of beef tallow (beef fat, you can get it for free at most butchers'). Take the beef and shape it into patties, and then you can do two things:

1. (expensive option) Buy one of these: and one of these: and seal (but don't crush seal!) two burgers per package. Drop them in a rice cooker hooked up to the PID at around 54.5 degrees C for at least an hour, two or three or all day is fine too, just don't go lower than 54.5 ish otherwise e. coli will get an invitation to party. When they're done, take them out of the package (carefully! they're fragile right now) and put them onto either a very very very hot grill or a very very very hot cast iron pan. There Will Be Smoke. You don't have to worry about letting them rest because they've already rested for a few hours in the cooker. Eat 'em!

2. (inexpensive option) Buy one of these: and fill it up with ~58 degree C water (you'll need a thermometer of course). Buy some of these: and put one patty in per bag. Fill up your sink with water and seal the bag almost all the way, then dip it slowly in the water with the patty centered in the bag. As the bag goes into the water, it'll push the air out, forming a quasi-vacuum. At the very last moment, close the last bit of the bag. Drop them in the cooler and close the lid, keeping an eye on the temp every now and then. Put into hot skillet or grill as above, OR, use this:

My Super Secret Steak Searing Success Scheme (stolen from Alton Brown):
Take a chimney starter and load it with about a pound or so of lump (NOT briquettes!) hardwood charcoal. Let it get really, really hot. Take a grill grate and put one hamburger at a time on the grate, and then put the chimney on top. Let it sizzle for ~30 seconds and then flip. Perfect char! You can also do this with steaks: 90 seconds per side, then move the grate to the top of the chimney starter and put the steak on for a minute, covering with a metal bowl. Flip, cook another minute, and then for GOD'S SAKE LET IT REST, DO NOT CUT INTO IT IMMEDIATELY. 5-10 minutes should be enough. Voila, awesome steak.

Hey, that's my longest post ever!

All Things Food / Re: Opening Weekend of Football - Whats on Your Grill?
« on: September 08, 2010, 08:29:53 AM »
I'm doing chipotle honey bbq wings and a bunch of sous vide burgers (50/50 chuck/shortrib), plus some roasted garlic, grilled eggplant and grilled tomatoes. Just now getting the HERMS system finalized (hopefully doing the last of the soldering this weekend) so no brews yet, but I've got a bunch of commercial english stuff in the fridge.

The burger:

All Things Food / Re: Smokers
« on: September 08, 2010, 08:14:37 AM »
There's a gentleman in Germany who guys by the username "Don Marco" on a lot of BBQ boards...he does European "Eggfests" a lot and I have to say, if you are in Europe, go to an event this guy is cooking for, if you can.  He has a ton of BGEs and his photo posts are well nigh epic, if not dialup friendly.  Search for post author Don Marco.... 

Hey, cool! Thanks for the tip!!!

All Things Food / Re: Smokers
« on: September 08, 2010, 02:07:35 AM »
When I moved to Europe I only moved two things: my bed and my BGE. Ain't nothin' like it around here.

The Pub / Re: No football thread yet?
« on: September 08, 2010, 02:06:11 AM » got me thinking about this and here's some odds to look at...

NFC North – Green Bay Packers (11-5)
Odds to win NFC North – +125 at

NFC South – New Orleans Saints (12-4)
Odds to win NFC South – -150 at

NFC West – San Francisco 49ers (11-5)
Odds to win NFC West – -110 at

NFC Wildcards – Atlanta Falcons (10-6) and Dallas Cowboys (9-7)

AFC East – New England Patriots (11-5)
Odds to win AFC East – +130 at

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
Odds of win AFC North – +240 at

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (13-3)
Odds to win AFC South – -150

AFC West – San Diego Chargers (13-3)
Odds to win AFC West – -300 at

AFC Wildcards – Baltimore Ravens (10-6) and New York Jets (10-6)

Super Bowl 45 – February 6th, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Using the current 2011 Super Bowl Futures Odds at

Short Favorite – Indianapolis Colts – 8-to-1 at
Longshot – Green Bay Packers – 14-to-1 at BetUS

Obviously their site must be broken as it makes no mention of my Bears. Bear down! Beat Green Bay!

Equipment and Software / Re: Milling a bigger hole
« on: September 01, 2010, 05:29:36 AM »
Thanks! Looks like they're in stock.


Equipment and Software / Milling a bigger hole
« on: September 01, 2010, 04:11:47 AM »
Hey hey,

I've got this electric brew kettle:

The problem is, the hole for the outlet valve is too small, and the spigot is this crappy plastic thing. I need to upgrade to 1/2" fittings (at least, I think I do) but am not sure of the best way to go about this, having never done it before. My understanding is that there's a conical attachment you can get for an electric drill that's supposed to ream it out to whatever you need, but I have no idea if this is the right thing, and if it is, I have no idea what it's called. Any thoughts?

Thanks! Headed to the hardware store today to get way more copper piping than I probably need.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: August 31, 2010, 08:53:46 AM »
Is there a fund set up to help with costs (groceries, etc) for the family?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« on: August 30, 2010, 08:05:10 AM »
Ah, interesting, so I shouldn't be stirring this at all while it's recirculating?

Beer Travel / Re: London
« on: August 30, 2010, 08:00:44 AM »
I'll go a looooong way for a beer, to be sure, but this guide looks great!

Beer Travel / London
« on: August 30, 2010, 02:21:52 AM »
Going to be in London this weekend, friday-sunday, anyone want to meet for a pint? Any suggestions for great pubs/restaurants? Best bottled beer to bring back to the wife?

All Grain Brewing / Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« on: August 30, 2010, 02:19:13 AM »
Hi all,

I finally got my pump, tank, HLT, etc in the mail the other day (THANKS to and - hopefully one day France will have a decent LHBSS, but I doubt it). I've been reviewing all the steps in my head while I build out the plumbing, and have a question - is it necessary to sparge when you're using a HERMS system? it seems to me that any sort of recirc will be constantly pumping the wort through the grainbed, although I was thinking it might be possible for the wort to be 'saturated' at a point, necessitating the sparge. Or maybe the cold medicine is playing with me brain. Any help would be very much appreciated!


Yeast and Fermentation / Forgotten liquid yeast
« on: August 27, 2010, 03:16:30 AM »
I ordered some pitchable yeast (Wyeast American Ale, don't remember the # off the top of my head) and it arrived on Tuesday. I was at a conference and finally got home last night and put the package into the fridge, but it had sat in my living room (72-78 degrees ish) for two days. The package had swollen but it seems to have deflated slightly since putting it in the fridge last night. Can I still use it? Should I try to turn it into a started? I'm not planning on brewing for another few days.


Beer Travel / Re: Beer in France
« on: August 18, 2010, 08:00:39 AM »

Have you made your trip already? I live in Paris and would suggest you try one of the Frog pubs for the closest thing to a brewpub in Paris - Otherwise, don't forget that IT IS LEGAL TO DRINK IN THE STREET as long as you're not being a jerk about it, so do not hesitate to visit a shop and buy beer to be consumed along the banks of the Seine. I'd recommend - the guy is really nice.

Beer Travel / Re: Trip to Belgium in February
« on: August 18, 2010, 07:56:31 AM »

I live just south of Paris (it's so lonely for a homebrewer here!) and can tell you that although the weather is not as "numerically" cold as it is in the states, it's the humidity that will get you. 25 degrees F with a LOT of humiidity means no matter how many layers you put on, the cold gets you to the bone.

That being said, you will be drinking beer most of the time, so you'll be fine.

Pro tip: If offered a chance to visit Léon de Bruxelles for Moules Frites, politely decline. Make sure to try to visit La Bécasse and Chez Moeder Lambic. Let me know if you plan to drop by Paris, I'll show you around the (few) brewpubs we've got here.

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