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Topics - tschmidlin

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All Things Food / more smoking . . .
« on: September 02, 2010, 06:07:42 AM »
I'm going to smoke some meat this weekend.  I'm thinking a large chunk of beef or pork, anyone have any recommendations?  I know that's really wide open, I just can't decide.  I might just go with whatever is cheapest at costco.

I mostly smoke on my grill, I can keep it around 240-250 pretty consistently but no lower.  I might be getting a new grill before the weekend though, the old one is a bit small for when we have a lot of company.  Has anyone tried one of those infrared grills?  Have a favorite gas grill for less than $500?  I know all of the arguments in favor of charcoal grills and I don't disagree with them, I just love the convenience of a gas grill.

Ingredients / Brewing spice sources
« on: August 24, 2010, 05:36:32 PM »
I'm months behind on my magazines as usual, but read Randy Mosher's article "Spicing Up Your Beer" from Mar/Apr Zymurgy last night.  He referenced a few online spice sources, but I want to list some others too.

World Spice Merchants - awesome selection and great info on spices
Taste Pad Thai - great source for fresh Thai spices (lime leaves,lemongrass, galangal, etc)

I haven't tried Randy's sources, but want to include them so later when I'm looking for something I can just come here instead of trying to find the right magazine again. The search button for my house is usually broken :)

Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages - Nothing for sale, good info
Wild Weeds - Botanical supplier, they have Myrica gale
Monteagle Herb Farm - Another botanical supplier
San Francisco Herb Company - Large culinary herb supplier
The Spice House - Culinary herbs and spices including bitter orange and grains of paradise.  Retail outlets in many cities
Penzeys - Culinary herbs and spices, retail outlets in many cities

The Pub / What's your favorite part of being a homebrewer?
« on: August 19, 2010, 07:14:03 PM »
wingnut made a comment here that got me thinking.

He said "In my opinion, drinking the beer is only half the fun!"

I think that's too high for me, I'm thinking more like 25%.  Another 25% is the gadgets and equipment, 25% for actually making the beer, and 50% for sharing the beer with others while talking about beer and beer making.

What is that, 125%?  Oh yeah, -25% for cleaning everything.  There 100%.  :)

Anyone else?

Classifieds / Kegs near Seattle
« on: August 17, 2010, 07:36:46 PM »
<edit> These are all sold, sorry everyone.

I've got a bunch of pressure tested ball lock cornys - $25 each.  If you're near Seattle and interested, let me know.  i'm not shipping them anywhere.

Wood/Casks / Wood aging (other than oak)
« on: August 14, 2010, 11:58:14 PM »
Is anyone doing any kind of wood aging with wood other than oak?  I'm interested in playing with aging my beers with different kinds of woods.

Wood/Casks / oak source
« on: August 11, 2010, 06:54:21 AM »
I want to do some whiskey-barrel type beers without a barrel.  I plan to get some oak, char it, then soak it in some whiskey for a while.  Then I'll either move the wood to the beer, or dose the beer with the whiskey - any opinions on which is better?

But what I really want to know is, where do you get your oak?  I'm looking for American white oak, like is typically used to make barrels.  All I can find at the local big-box store is red oak, which I've read is lacking in vanillin, so would be inferior for my purposes.  Any ideas?  Specialty lumber shop?  Internet?


Yeast and Fermentation / Tokay yeast
« on: August 09, 2010, 11:24:17 PM »
Does anyone know of a US source for Tokay yeast?  Some brands include Vierka and Kitzinger.

I've found a UK sources for Ritchies Tokay yeast, only $9 including shipping.

I haven't ordered yet because I want to find a US source, and I'm concerned about the heat the yeast would see in overseas mail this time of year.  But I might order some from then in a couple of months if I can't find it anywhere else.

Other Fermentables / Vinegar anyone?
« on: August 08, 2010, 09:35:29 PM »
Is anyone making any vinegar (intentionally)?

My LHBS doesn't carry mothers because of low demand and they're $20-$25 anyway.  So I went to the local Whole Foods and bought a bottle of raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized red wine vinegar.  It even said on the bottle that the sediment in the bottle was bits of mother.  It was less than $2.

I dumped the vinegar into a jar with a spigot, and added some old red wine.  I checked it after a couple of months, and sure enough I had a whole bunch more vinegar.  I keep adding wine to it and it smells great.  Eventually I'll decant some off, dilute it to 4-5% acidity, and use it.

Is anyone doing anything similar?  I'm considering starting a cider vinegar jar too.

Equipment and Software / refractometer spreadsheet
« on: August 07, 2010, 11:23:31 PM »
Has anyone used the morebeer refractometer spreadsheet to monitor the gravity of their fermentations?

I broke my 100th hydrometer so I'm giving it a try, but I don't trust it yet.  My SG was 20 Brix, 1.083, and it's dropped to 10 Brix, which is 1.014 according to the spreadsheet.  The problem is that's an 83% apparent attenuation, and the yeasts I used are Wyeast 2308 and 2007, which have AAs around 70-75%.  Plus, the beer tastes much sweeter than I expect something that dropped from 1.083 to 1.014 to taste.

Obviously I need to get a new hydrometer or borrow one to test it, I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with it.


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