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Ken Northridge
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Very enjoyable post Jeff. Everyone here at the Café has there area of expertise and I appreciate you sharing yours. Smile

My wife and I have been to about 6 or 7 beer tastings, or festivals as they are sometimes called, and I don't think there is better event for the beer drinker. It’s a great opportunity to try a large assortment of beer in a fun atmoshere with food and live music.

It is very rare we find a beer we don't like. Like music, I enjoy different types based on my mood. I gravitate toward Scottish ales but am not above having a light beer or fruit beer if the mood hits me.

One of the things on our 'bucket list' is to attend an Oktoberfest in Germany. Perhaps I'll look you up Jeff for some advice...and just maybe we can have a beer together. Smile
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2010-02-22 18:02, gaddy wrote:
Tap hoses are usually cleaned on a regular basis as an in-built service from your local beer distributor. It's in their best interests to do so, and keeping the lines cleaned is not difficult or expensive.


I used to clean the lines. In Ireland it seems to be the same as the US done by the breweries. In England it seems to be the pubs job.

To clean the lines your run caustic soda through them then water.

Here's a tip: if you run water through them before you run caustic soda through them you can drink the 2 pints that come from each tap. Wahey!

My friend is writing the life story of someone who accidently drank caustic soda. He has to pipe everything straight into his gullet. A man who can never enjoy a beer again. How sad is that?

g
Ken Northridge
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One other note of interest.

A few years ago I was hired to do a 20-minute magic show/sales meeting for a local beer distributor of Magic Hat beer. I insisted that in preparation I must try all the beer. About a week later, a case of assorted beer was delivered to my door. It’s was a tough job but it is an example of how I go the extra mile for my clients.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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stoneunhinged
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Yes Ken, we're proud of you for going the extra mile.

And George, that's just effing sad, to be sure.

On another note, German culture is only dying with the youth. The elderly Germans still know their priorities.

Click here to view attached image.
EsnRedshirt
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Jeff- believe it or not, you can get decent results with "Beer in a Bucket".

I do feel your pain, though- I, too, am the type of person who would rather do it right or not at all. The nice thing about brewing, though, is that the techniques do tend to build on themselves. You upgrade from beer in a bucket to using a glass carboy, at the same time you go to partial mash.* If you can follow recipes and were pretty decent in science class, your first partial mash batch will easily produce a beer that is head and shoulders above anything you can buy in a store. The only difference between partial mash and all grain is that you're adding extra malt extract, instead of sparging it out of the grain. It's still considered "right", and many home brewers stop right there. I did.

All you need to step up from partial mash to all grain, though, is a really large boiling pot, a wort chiller (which can be used in partial mash as well), and a sparging tun (which can, believe it or not, be made from a large rubbermaid cooler.) Here's a cool example I found with five seconds of google: http://www.donosborn.com/homebrew/all_grain_how_to.htm

You know, maybe I will make the upgrade to all-grain.

* - Though, like I said, things build upon themselves- I still use that original kit's bucket in my brewing process. It's handy as a bottling bucket.
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* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
kcg5
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Were I work, there are two guys who work on the lines, neither of them are competent in anyway. Get there, do the smallest amount possible, and leave. Your local bar might be like this..
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
scaevola
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Homebrewer here: I have been brewing for some years now. I used to think that you need a lot of fancy equipment to get high quality ale but that is not the case. The quality of the ingredients and your diligence are more important than the gear, trust me on this. My hefeweizen and my imperial stout were mashed and sparged in a rubbermaid cooler as EsnRedshirt describes and they are both quite delicious if I do say so myself. I have also had great luck with IPAs, but my favorite to brew are stouts, yum. One of these days I will get around to making a barley wine. If anyone wants to give it a go there is lots of info online but the best book I found is Papazian's Joy of Homebrewing. The key to the whole thing, as he makes clear, is to relax. Brewing is like cooking anything else, you can make it an exact science if you want to, but people have been doing it long before they knew the science behind it so you can fudge things too and have it turn out great.

Of course I have brewed up some major failures as well. I thought I was out of that phase until I tried to do another stout with even MORE grain and it got stuck and didn't carbonate. Now I have 5 gallons of thick black alcoholic syrup. Any takers?
EsnRedshirt
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Scaevola- one word:
Distill.

:drinkup:
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* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
scaevola
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Ya know that has gone through my mind. I'd end up with some black whiskey I suppose! I wonder why I have never seen black whiskey in the store... Maybe there's no market or maybe it tastes terrible. Only one way to find out. Who's got a still?
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2010-02-22 20:26, rawdawg wrote:I do not fish Olives out of the garnish dishes like many do. I've seen how many guys DO NOT wash their hands after beating up the toilet.


So many people order "Dirty Martinis" I cannot help but think just how dirty those martinis might actually be...

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gaddy
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Quote:
On 2010-02-23 12:38, kcg5 wrote:
Were I work, there are two guys who work on the lines, neither of them are competent in anyway. Get there, do the smallest amount possible, and leave. Your local bar might be like this..


I think that's true in every job. Better the guy who cleans the beer lines than your cardiologist, I suppose...
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2010-02-23 16:09, scaevola wrote:I thought I was out of that phase until I tried to do another stout with even MORE grain and it got stuck and didn't carbonate. Now I have 5 gallons of thick black alcoholic syrup. Any takers?

Sounds like this stuff (which I had the pleasure of tasting for 2 of the 3 years of production Smile ) gone bad.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Bock
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
stoneunhinged
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Speaking of Sam Adams, once I was stuck between canceled flights in Philadelphia and struck up a conversation with a vice president of Sam Adams. That guy knew his beer! (As well he should, I guess.)

He was making me jealous talking about German beers I haven't even had a chance to try. But then again, I don't work for a company who pays me to sample as many German beers as possible.

Nice job if you can get it.

Speaking of bock beers: for about a year I taught at a vocational school in Einbeck, which is about twenty or thirty miles from Goettingen. The school was across the street from the brewery, and on hot summer days the smell was quite cloying.

Anyway, the term "bock" beer comes from that town. The Bavarians couldn't say "beck". It came out "bock". So Einbeck is the home of bock beer. It's a northern thing.

When I first moved here it wasn't always easy to find hefeweizen. Hefeweizen is a Bavarian thing.

Bavaria is like the German version of Texas, BTW. It's like a separate country. Most stereotypes about Germany--snow peaked mountains, lederhosen, liter-sized mugs of beer--are all Bavarian; meanwhile, Europeans often stereotype Americans as cowboys.

And Ken, while everyone is entitled to their dreams, I'd advise you to stay away from Octoberfest. I have, and I have no desire to go.

RANT ABOUT DRUNKENNESS:

Yes, I often post at the Café with a beer in my hand, and yes, I often like to act like I'm under the influence, and no, it's not always an act. But it's a mild, happy buzz that makes me friendly and talkative, and seldom anything more. When it *is* anything more, I'm ashamed of myself the next day, and I should be.

Fall-down, word-slurring, stinky stupid drunk is something I just don't do.

Now, Octoberfest (by all accounts I've ever heard) is like a State Fair with a million fall-down, word-slurring, stinky stupid drunks stumbling around peepeeing on every church and tree and making nuisances of themselves. (Yes, old medieval churches are a very popular place to pee; no, I'm not kidding). And by reputation, American kids are the worst. I've heard stories of American kids standing on tables with a liter in each hand, generally proving to the world that they are barbarians. Of course, I don't mind them being barbarians. I am a barbarian myself. But standing on the table?

A few people die each year at Octoberfest. Some die from alcohol poisoning, but most just die from alcohol related deaths. A ten second Google search gives me numbers for last year:

2009:

5.7 million people visited Octoberfest.

Three died: an Australian who got hit by a train while stumbling back to his campground; an Englishman who fell from his hotel room while pee-peeing out the window; and a German who choked on his own vomit in a bus parking lot.

565 "beer corpses" were counted. What a colorful term. Basically it means someone who is so drunk that they have passed out on the spot and cannot be awakened, so they must be brought to the hospital.

Now, that still leaves 5.7 millon people who had a good time.

But what constitutes a good time?

During my bicycle tours I have managed to come across three or four village tent parties. They set up a beer tent and everybody in the village goes as soon as they can to start the celebration. Some (many) manage to get there by ten or eleven AM, and they drink until one or two in the morning. One corner of the tent always has a bar where you can do shots of things like vodka, rum or Jaegermeister between liters of beer. The music is seldom the Oom-pa-pa traditional music; rather, it is some cheap cover band with keyboards and a front woman who can't really sing. The whole point is to get fall-down, word-slurring, stinky stupid drunk and then go outside and peepee on a tree or a bush or a church or on the curb, because the toilet cost fifty cents and is too full anyway--sometimes with women, because men can just pee pee in the urinal trough but women have to sit down, and the sit-down toilets in the men's side of the pee-pee trailer are usually free.

(This is common throughout Germany, by the way; whenever the women's sit-down toilets are all occupied, women start going into the men's room to see if those sit-down toilets are free. If you go to a big event like a soccer game or a music concert you should expect to see women in the men's room.)

Sound like fun?

I suppose it is for some. But it's not my cup of tee...uh...beer.

Beer in moderation is one of God's more pleasant gifts to mankind. In excess--especially when hundreds or even thousands are doing it together--it is simply revolting.

But that's just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.

RANT OFF
Ken Northridge
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Wow! Point well taken. I would be very disappointed if I came to Oktoberfest and witnessed what you are describing. Thanks for sharing that.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
scaevola
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Quote:
On 2010-02-23 18:51, gaddy wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-02-23 16:09, scaevola wrote:I thought I was out of that phase until I tried to do another stout with even MORE grain and it got stuck and didn't carbonate. Now I have 5 gallons of thick black alcoholic syrup. Any takers?

Sounds like this stuff (which I had the pleasure of tasting for 2 of the 3 years of production Smile ) gone bad.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Bock


Wow that sounds like a very experimental ale indeed! I didn't know that no carbonation could be a selling point. Hmmmm. Maybe I should tell my friends "it's a feature, not a bug!" Smile
stoneunhinged
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What you should do is heat is up, throw in a couple of spoonfuls of Dave's Insanity sauce, and call it soup.

I'd eat it.
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