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Messages - james

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The Pub / Re: Looking for a NHC 2012 roommate
« on: May 21, 2012, 12:33:52 AM »
Awesome.  I'll see you there.  I'll be the guy with a beer in my hand

The Pub / Re: Looking for a NHC 2012 roommate
« on: May 19, 2012, 06:03:03 PM »
Not sure if you are on the BN forum, but I saw someone post over there looking to share.

Zymurgy / Re: What's number 1 on your brewer bucket list?
« on: May 15, 2012, 06:52:23 AM »
Two that were on the list that I would like to do someday.

Go to the GABF.

Go to Yakima at the time of the harvest.

Come out to Hop Union's Hop + Beer school.  You'll get to take in some of the harvest and have a great time.   
I finally made it last year and I'm planning on going again this year. 

All Things Food / Re: Biscuits
« on: May 10, 2012, 08:06:48 PM »
I trust Alton Brown for any recipe I have never made before. He has never steered me wrong.

Hopefully you started brewing before you watched his brewing episode :)

Most of the time I'd agree with you though.

All Things Food / Re: Biscuits
« on: May 09, 2012, 07:47:51 PM »
I've been making this recipe for a while now and it isn't the best I've ever had, but it is the best I've been able to make so far.  They always get great reviews from guests when I make them.

I always cut the butter up into small pieces and throw it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so to get it really cold.

From here:

2 cups all-purpose flour (about 8 ounces), plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
To make the biscuits: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Rub 2 tablespoons of the butter into the flour with your fingertips until completely absorbed. Work the remaining butter into the flour until it is in even pieces about the size of a pea. Gently stir the milk into the flour mixture to make a loose dough.

Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. (For a flakier biscuit repeat the folding a second time.) Pat the dough into a 5 by 8-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2- to 3-inch round cutter to make 6 biscuits, and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Press together the scraps of dough and cut 2 more biscuits.

To make the glaze: Mix the cream and melted butter together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the glaze. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 biscuits

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: May 07, 2012, 05:46:09 PM »
I am going to rebrew the beers that got passed on to the second round, taste them against the original beer and send the one that tastes better.

Are you saying that you can submit a beer from a different batch in the second round after you've read the comments?

I've never seen a rule directly addressing this and even if there was who would ever know what you did.  I suspect often beers are slightly tweaked before being submitted to the 2nd round.  Even if they weren't rebrewed, you could: use acid to adjust the ph slightly, add sinamar extract to make it a bit darker, add some fruit extract, re-dry hop a keg, blend some beers, etc.

In the past I have rebrewed for the 2nd round and it hasn't ever helped me, best I've done in the 2nd round is made it to a mini-BOS.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: May 04, 2012, 02:49:05 PM »
Well, it's May 4th and first round results are not yet posted.  Looks like Chicago is still processing.  (whatever that means)

I thought last year it said "by the end of the day on..."  but don't see that there this year.  I'm sure they will be posted by the end of the day unless some act of god happens.  Janis is working very hard on this and as always, she will come through.

The Pub / Re: Raise the flag, beer through the mail?
« on: May 04, 2012, 04:34:51 AM »
At least shipping to comps might be a bit cheaper.

I hope they do find a way to save the post office.  I really can't imagine this country without it's postal system.


The only way I think it would be cheaper is if it will fit in one of the flat rate boxes (or depending on the area shipping to the regional rate boxes).  When I ship packages if it is over about 7-8 pounds it is always cheaper to ship UPS/fedex unless it fits in flat rate or falls under media mail.

I'd much rather ship beer USPS, they generally can move boxes across the country in 2-3 days vs Fedex/UPS Ground taking 6-8 days

Events / NHC 1st Round cups
« on: May 03, 2012, 07:57:33 PM »
I don't know if AHA provides the cups for all the first round judging sites or if each site buys their own.  I judged in Portland and every beer I judged had poor head retention.  Everyone around seemed to agree it was probably the cups causing the issue.

I received my scoresheets and on almost every one was "poor head retention".  I can't really complain about it since everyone's scores should have reflected this problem.

I didn't note the brand/type of cups other than they were compostable.  Does anyone know the type of cups used so I can avoid them for our future competitions/tastings?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: O2 Barrier caps... Really?
« on: April 30, 2012, 03:27:22 AM »
I've heard that Sierra Nevada changed their bottles from screw off caps to pry off caps just so theycould switch to O2 absorbing caps.   Those guys know their sh*t.

I thought it was a new plastic that had 1/20th of the O2 getting in over time. There was a little said about it in the 2009 keynote at the NHC, and a graph. You can download it here, it is a little big.

In my fuzzy memory, I remember someone saying they switched to pry offs (with the plastic barrier caps), then to o2 scavenging caps, and then switching back to the barrier caps because the o2 scavenging caps had no effect or a negative effect.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« on: April 17, 2012, 03:11:37 PM »
I believe Pelican makes their Cream ale with all late or whirlpool additions.  That might be something fun to try to get just enough bitterness and some flavor/aroma to go along

All Things Food / Re: Bagels
« on: April 03, 2012, 07:27:34 PM »
I got the base recipe from "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. This is a handy volume on just about everything. I don't agree with everything in the book but it is useful. Then there's google for extra tips.

I've severely downsized my collection of cookbooks and this is one of the few that made the cut.  If I need to look something up I'll check that book and then search online.

I've gotta get back into working on my bagels, the best bagels around came from a grocery store by my old house.  Now that I've moved I'm screwed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« on: April 03, 2012, 06:32:41 PM »
First (directed at an earlier post T made), I will not allow anyone to even waste my time signing up for the taste exam unless they have passed the entrance exam.

So, why would I take the entrance exam if I don't know if there's going to be an available tasting exam?  I only see two tasting exams scheduled in my state in the next 18 months.  Both only seat 12 people, and are already filled.

Are they going to expand the size of these now that it's tasting-only, instead of essays as well?  Otherwise, it doesn't seem like there's an advantage to having the online exam.

I agree with Narvin.  I don't see a reason to bother taking the entrance exam if the results will expire before you can get into a tasting exam.  At the very least, your results should carry until the BJCP can provide the next level of testing, even if that's 18 months+ out.

I've told my local club members not to bother with the new test yet unless they are going to travel for the tasting exam.  I'm going to setup a local exam for next year and tell them to wait till within 12 months of the exam to take it.

Wood/Casks / Re: How can I humidify a barrel closet?
« on: April 03, 2012, 02:49:22 PM »
If you have the technical skill to do it look at a webcontrol board ( or build something with a PIC, arduino, etc.

The webcontrol has a 1 wire bus you can hook temp sensors up to and a port for 1 humidity sensor.  There are 8 output lines you could use to fire a relay that runs a humidifier.  If you didn't want to deal with refilling a reservoir you could rig up a humidifer that hooks to a furnace that is tapped into a water line.

I use one of these boards for my homemade glycol chiller and brewhemoth temp control.

All Things Food / Re: Bagels
« on: March 29, 2012, 06:03:36 AM »
Timely post.  I have to work on my homemade bagels since I just moved away from the only store that sells bagels that were close enough to be called real bagels.

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