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Messages - tumarkin

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Beer Travel / Re: Things to do in Baltimore, MD?
« on: July 10, 2012, 10:08:51 PM »
On a trip to NYC a few weeks ago, I discovered Stillwater Artisinal Ales. Not a new brewery but new to me. He is a gypsy brewer out of Baltimore. He recently opened a gastro pub called Of Love & Revenge. Had his Cellar Door, a wit with sage - truly spectacular. Brought back 3-4 others, including one done with Mikeller. Highly recommend looking for Stillwater beers while in Baltimore - on draft at other bars, at the brewpub, or bottled. 

The Pub / Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
« on: July 09, 2012, 10:29:20 AM »
I can't speak for the AHA, but my feeling is that it's a separate issue.  I don't have any problem with legalizing distilling at home, but I also don't feel it should be part of the AHA agenda.

I understand that is the current AHA/BA thinking, but as a member speaking to a Governing Committee member, Denny; I'd ask you (and the others on the Committee) to rethink that stance. There is a fundamental similarity between beer/wine/mead and distilled spirits. There is a large and growing number of BA professionals who are expanding into distillation. It's a natural step - professionally or for home use.  Being able to distill the beer I brew or the mead I make is not a huge stretch, as long as it's for home use, not for sale.

As a member, I would like to see the AHA support this as well. Just my thoughts, but I suspect they're shared by many members. If we keep the topic open to discussion (not just here on the forum, but in general), I suspect that over time it will become a majority opinion.

The Pub / Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
« on: July 08, 2012, 10:52:02 PM »
You gotta love the last lines, quoting the enforcement officer, Dixon...

"There's a lot of romance surrounding the operation of a still," Dixon, the enforcement officer, acknowledged. Folklore, too.

"It's just kind of a cool thing," he said. "I don't know how else to put it."

He hastened to add, however, that it is still a crime.

The time is coming, though it'll likely be slow in coming, when we'll be able to home distill just as we home brew beer... or wine... or mead.

The time may even come when the AHA takes on a role in making that possible (at least I hope so and think that would be appropriate.... do you?).

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: July 08, 2012, 02:20:17 PM »
A brief diversion, and a little music with your breakfast beer.....

A short (certainly biased & incomplete) history of rock n roll, or name that riff. If you haven't seen this, try not watching the screen as you play it & see how many you can name. You'll certainly know the vast majority of them even if you can't immediately pull up all the names.....

All Things Food / Re: Hot ‘n Bothered Beer Mustard
« on: July 05, 2012, 11:37:54 PM »
I use both seeds & powder, and also a combination of yellow & brown mustard (in both seed & powder). It is hard to find brown mustard powder here locally, but it is easily available online - Penzey's is one good source. Using some of each adds complexity, but certainly isn't necessary.

I have used a small coffee grinder to grind the seeds, but recently have been using the stick immersion grinder. I have found it difficult (time-consuming) to grind the seeds fine, so I combine them with mustard powder. I like a grainy mustard so this isn't a problem for me. I just grind a reasonable amount & call it good, adding the powder so that I get a grainy mustard in a somewhat creamy base. You can go the other route and use just mustard powder if you prefer a smooth, creamy mustard.

If you leave the mustard out at room temp (for up to several weeks), it will cure and mellow gradually. Once it's put into the fridge, the cold temp prevents further mellowing. I usually don't bother with this as I add habanero, ginger, horseradish, etc (some or all in any given batch) for additional flavor & heat - not interested in 'mellowing' it.

Mustard is so easy and forgiving. You can't hardly screw it up. It will come out differently depending on what you do, but will almost always be as good or better than commercial mustards. And, like with beer, you can make it to fit your own taste and preferences.

I've never 'fermented' mustard, but my understanding is that you add some whey and then let it sit for at least a few days, allowing a lacto-fermentation to occur. May try it with my next batch just to see how it is. Will report back when I do, though it may be a while as I just made a batch of mustard. I usually do a double batch of the recipe that I posted when I started this thread. That makes for a bunch of jars of mustard. I give away a number of jars from each batch to family & friends, and then keep the rest in my garage beer fridge till I go through them.

Anyhow, I'll post back when I get around to trying a batch with lacto. I'm guessing the whey has enough lacto on it to start the fermentation, but don't see why we couldn't pitch our own yeast or bugs. Maybe I'll try splitting a batch and using whey, some cultured lacto, some ale yeast, and also some brett in separate jars. Brett mustard, hmmmm.... I like the idea. Worth a shot. Anyway, I'll report back when I get around to trying to ferment the mustard (but again, it's certainly not necessary to do so. Mustard is easy & forgiving).

Go for whatever flavor(s) you like,

All Things Food / Re: Knife sharpener
« on: June 16, 2012, 09:38:01 PM »
I hone the edges every time I use the knives, but AFAIK honing just straightens the edge, and doesn't make it sharper.

That is correct, but honing with the steel will preserve the edge and you won't need to sharpen the knife as often. My understanding (and practice) is that japanese water stones need to be wet. Actually, you soak for 5 minutes or so to saturate them before use, and rinse them clean after use.

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

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