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Messages - tumarkin

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All Things Food / Re: Knife sharpener
« on: June 16, 2012, 06:00:37 PM »
I use Japanese Waterstones.

I think that's what I'd need to do on the Shuns. How hard is it to free-hand the angle? How important is it for the angle to be precise? Are there any guides that are worth using?

I have these like clamp-on angle guides for my hand files for tuning ski edges, I wonder if there's something similar for knives.

+1 on the waterstones, though good synthetics or arkansas stones are also good. I'm not a fan of the automatic grinder sharpeners. some are ok, but others shorten the life of a knife considerably and never approach the edge you'll get with stones.

Hand held is the way to go, imho. however, there are guides available and some are quite good. in either case, with the shuns (or other japanese knives) keep in mind that the angle is shallower (about 15 degrees) vs 20-25 degrees on western knives. once you get used to the proper angle, it's not too hard to maintain. keeping it as consistent as possible is best, but a little variation isn't too terrible. ditto on the need to use a steel to maintain the edge. if you do so, your knife will seem sharper and will need actual sharpening much less frequently.

Ingredients / Re: Decarbonation by Boiling
« on: May 28, 2012, 09:19:00 PM »
Hey Martin,
In regards to your statement - "water cannot be allowed to sit too long on the sediment or CO2 will again diffuse from the atmosphere into the cooled water and redissolve the CaCO."

What would you consider "too long?" Would overnight be ok. Would be nice to boil in the evening, then decant the next morning before the brew session if that's within acceptable timeframe.

Thanks for this great info,

The Pub / Re: Seriously funny.
« on: May 26, 2012, 09:05:27 PM »
loved it!
not the same, but here's another fun mash-up...

my son tells me that these folks do some seriously good board games

Zymurgy / Re: Why should I renew my subscription?
« on: April 28, 2012, 03:04:28 PM »
I am curious about those that say they are "supporting their hobby". Do you think if you and others didn't join that we'd go back to an era before 1979 when you weren't allowed to legally make your own wine and beer?

You don't have to go "back to an era before 1979" to see how the AHA supports the hobby in regard to legalization. There are still states where it's illegal to brew your own beer & where the AHA is involved in changing that(see recent thread re Alabama"). There are still states where you can't buy commercial beer in higher abv, or can't buy/sell growlers, or other issues pertaining to our rights as homebrewers, or professional brewers, or consumers of craft beer. The AHA is part of the larger Brewers Association that also represents pro craft brewing interests as well as homebrewing interests.

It's primarily interest groups of home or pro brewers in specific states that spearhead the fight for our rights, but they are supported by the AHA & BA. Whenever an 'issue' gets attention from the media, they go to the industry association for quotes & info. You'll often see Paul Gatza, Gary Glass & other BA employees being quoted in articles about beer & brewing issues.

Zymurgy is a benefit of membership, as is Pub Discount program, AHA Rallies, the National Homebrew Competition, the National Conference, this forum, and many other benefits listed on the AHA website...

 This is all made possible because of the strength in numbers as we band together as members. Thankfully, AHA membership is currently growing - that hasn't always and may not always be the case. Help keep that trend going, and help grow the strength of the organization & our hobby by joining or renewing your membership.

The homebrewing community is incredible. I'm proud to be part of it and to be an AHA member. Besides, it's OUR organization. If you want to see additional benefits of membership, get involved & help make it happen.

{getting down off the soapbox}
Mark Tumarkin

Events / Re: First Annual Hogtown Craft Beer Festival
« on: April 21, 2012, 05:32:26 PM »
Well, our first annual Hogtown Craft Beer Festival is behind us. It was a complete success. Of course, there were some wrinkles & problems, but nothing major - and I don't think they were things that were noticed by the attendees or detracted from their experience.

It was a huge amount of work, and we learned a lot for next year. We plan on doing the fest every year, and we're committed to keep making it better each time. We had capped attendance at 1500 and we sold out!!!

Here is a video shot by one of the happy attendees. We're actually having a professional video shot for pr use for next year (being done by a friend of one of the other organizers), but this was a pretty decent amateur effort. I think they did a good job and it certainly gives a feel for the event and our great venue (Kanapaha Botanical Gardens).  Check it out .....

Hope you can join us next year!

All Things Food / Re: Hot ‘n Bothered Beer Mustard
« on: March 27, 2012, 01:30:50 AM »
I don't worry too much about grinding it fine, but then I like a rough, grainy textured mustard. You can always add more of the mustard powder and a bit more liquid to smooth it out if desired.

The nice thing about home-made mustard is that it's so forgiving. You can't go too far wrong - add a bit more unground or lightly ground seeds if you want it more grainy. Add a bit more ground mustard powder if you want it smoother. Add more peppers, ginger, horseradish, etc if you like a bit more bite. And you can always go back and adjust it after the fact if you really want - though I've never done that.

One of my more recent discoveries was that you can buy ground brown mustard seed as well as yellow. I hadn't seen that in the local stores until the last year or so. It's a nice addition as well.

The main problem with home-made mustard is that it disappears too damn fast, and all my friends want me to give them jars to take home.  Just like with beer, the best batches disappear way too quickly.

I've never made mustard by the galoon - but I'm thinking that might be necessary :-)

The Pub / Re: AHA joke thread
« on: March 10, 2012, 12:19:01 PM »
A real woman is a man's best friend.
She will never stand him up and never let him down.
She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him after a bad day.
She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do; to live without fear and forget regret.
She will enable him to express his deepest emotions and give in to his most intimate desires.
She will make sure he always feels as though he's the most handsome man in the room and will enable him to be the most confident, sexy, seductive and invincible...
No, wait... sorry.
       I'm thinking of whisky. It's whisky that does all that s***.
       Never mind


Events / First Annual Hogtown Craft Beer Festival
« on: March 04, 2012, 09:31:04 PM »
Hey y'all,

(Not sure if this is the correct place to post this, please move if not)
Our homebrew club, Hogtown Brewers, is putting on the first of what's to be an annual event, the 2012 Hogtown Craft Beer Festival in Gainesville, Florida. The inaugural event will be held on Saturday, April 14th at Kanapaha Gardens. Three of us, Alex Pries, Craig Birkmaier, and myself, having been spearheading our planning process for the last several months. Our website just went live for info & ticket sales.....

The event will be held at Kanapaha Gardens. This beautiful botanical garden will be an awesome venue, and one that will accommodate us as we grow the event in future years. Most of the festival will be out in the garden grounds, but we also have use of the Summer House for our VIP area and for seminars/presentations. There will also be music on an outdoor stage. The weather in mid-April should be perfect.

Our goals for the event are to:
      Promote and celebrate quality beer through craft beer offerings and pairings with local restaurants/caterers.
      Educate event attendees about craft beer and beer styles through seminars and discussions with professional brewers, experienced home brewers and nationally recognized beer judges.
      Recognize and raise monies to benefit our local charity co-sponsors – Alachua Conservation Trust and St. Johns Riverkeeper.

Attendance at this inaugural event will be limited to 1,500 total attendees, with the expectation that attendance will grow in successive years (although we always plan to have a limit to ticket sales to keep the event from growing out of hand). We plan to grow this event into a premier regional beer event. We'd like to invite you to join us for this first celebration of craft beer in North Central Florida. We've invited all the craft breweries (and many brew pubs) in Florida, as well as regional and national breweries. There will be no crap on tap. If the event grows & improves as we hope, you'll be able to say you were there for the start of a great beer festival.

Hope you can join us!
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

The Pub / Re: Hey Denny
« on: January 20, 2012, 04:47:20 PM »
you guys are unConntrollable

Other Fermentables / Re: mead in competition
« on: January 15, 2012, 03:52:00 PM »
Yes - serving temp (for wine or beer) is dependent on the comp organizers, their specific situation & procedures. Many (but not all) comps will have some sort of refrigerated storage. But when the bottles are removed from cold storage, how they're delivered to the judging tables, how many entrants in a flight, etc all have impact on the serving temp. For example, the first entry judged in a flight is likely to be at a cooler temp than the last.

Equipment and Software / Re: Hop Spider
« on: January 08, 2012, 05:10:28 PM »
I wouldn't have a concern with leaving the immersion chiller in place for the full boil.... as long as the hoses were not connected. wouldn't want to expose them to the heat/steam for that period of time. just be very careful when attaching the hoses after the boil.

Beer Travel / Re: St. Augustine - stay?drink?
« on: December 19, 2011, 12:26:25 PM »
I live in Gainesville, just over an hour away from St. A, so just go over for day trips or to stay at a friend's condo - so no b&b recommendations. A1A is the only brew-pub in St. A, but JP Henley's is probably the best beer bar there. It's on the same block as A1A. I read a month or so ago that a new brewery was opening there, with a tasting room - but don't remember their name. Ask around about the new brewery, shouldn't be hard to find.

If you've got a car, it's less than an hour to Jacksonville, or Jax beach with several options - Seven Bridges, Bold City, Intuition, etc. Number of good beer bars, Kickbacks Gastropub has good food, lots of taps. Or a bit more than an hour to Gainesville. Swamp Head is a micro with a tasting room(check the web for their hours) or they'll be on tap in St Aug or Jax, I'm sure.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: homebrew club officer advice
« on: December 16, 2011, 12:34:51 PM »
Learn to appreciate the "zen" of herding cats.

The Pub / Re: Word of the year
« on: December 15, 2011, 10:56:28 PM »
just think, Denny, maybe someday your picture will be next to the word in the dictionary. ;D

Wood/Casks / Re: How long can I reuse a barrel?
« on: December 06, 2011, 11:09:38 AM »
scottish whisky has traditionally been aged in either sherry casks or bourbon barrels. over the last number of years, there has been an increasing trend in aging whisky in barrels from a wide variety of wines (port, chablis, burgundy, etc) and from other spirits (calvados, rum, brandy, etc). this is known as finishing. this trend is also showing up in beer as well.

check around in the wine industry and you may find it's easier to source barrels than you expect.

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