HOMEBREW Digest #934 Sun 26 July 1992
FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator
On Bob's Comments (Martin A. Lodahl)
Gorman, PET bottles, Fermenting Meat?? (Jacob Galley)
Sour brown ale recipe sought (Stephen Russell)
software review: THREAD (Frank Tutzauer)
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Date: Sat, 25 Jul 92 9:54:48 PDT
From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM>
Subject: On Bob's Comments
In HBD 932, Bob Gorman said:
> This remark I can not leave untouched. I tasted some of that beer.
> It was a terrible brew, infected, astringent and unbalanced. As one
> conference goer stated: "How fitting it's served in urine sample cups.".
> Although this a direct flame against Jack, it is also the truth.
Which provoked, in HBD 933, this outburst from John G. Norton:
> ... I must STRONGLY OBJECT to the type of attack levied by Bob
> Gorman against Jack in the last HBD. Aside from the fact that Mr.
> Gorman has exposed himself as a pompas [sic] ass, he has also unwittingly
> joined the ranks of the very brewers he criticizes by assuming that
> his taste buds are the final athority [sic] on the issue of what qualifies
> someone else's homebrew as good or bad. Worse, his level of attack
> (note that I did not use the word, "criticism," Bob) is at best
> Much can be said about Jack - indeed, much has!! But with responses
> like Gorman's, I as a novice homebrewer, will remain reluctant to
> share my products with fellow brewers for their "criticism" for fear
> that my efforts too will be deemed equivalent to excrement.
... and so forth.
John, let me explain a few things to you. First, and this has been
the sticking point in many of the discussions involving Jack, there
is a world of difference between deliberately introduced flavor
effects outside the "main stream", and flaws due to poor
technique. Bob's comment referred ENTIRELY to the latter. I tasted
the same beer on the same evening Bob did, and agree with Chris
> Funny, I tried some of the WORLD'S GREATEST GENERIC ALE. Granted,
> it was somewhat astringent/unbalanced due to a heavy-handed hop addition,
> but I detected no infection. Bitter? Yes. Infected? No.
John, it was technically bad beer. This is _not_ based on personal
taste. It was simply poorly made. We've all made beer like
that, but I've read HBD since before the issues were numbered, and
to date Jack is the _only_ contributor who has trumpeted his beer
and his techniques so noisily and tirelessly. When Jack
first began posting I reacted to the questionable information he was
placing before HBD's readers, but I have neither the time nor the
energy for the pointless, endless battles that "discussions" with
Jack quickly become. I no longer even read his postings, and
strongly urge that you approach his advice with caution. It has
frequently not been good. Much more reliable information is
available in a number of very good books; my favorite remains
Dave Miller's "Complete Handbook of Homebrewing".
You really have little to worry about in having others taste
your beer, unless you're brewing for ego gratification rather than
excellence. If I (or, for that matter, Bob) were to taste your
beer knowing you to be a new brewer, we would tailor our comments
with a goal of giving you encouragement and information you could
use. If Jack's beer had been presented to me as the product of a
first-year brewer, I would have called it an excellent effort, and
suggested he pay attention to temperature control, water chemistry,
and recipe formulation, first. The position Jack has chosen to
occupy, though, calls for an altogether different standard. If you
are to set yourself up as the definitive source of brewing
information, you'd better be prepared to deliver. Clearly, Jack is
not, and Bob's comment must be taken as the natural operation of the
"self-cleansing" process as it applies in homebrewing; it was the
closure of the feedback loop as a means of correcting distortion,
and it is new brewers, without the experience to sort the good
information from the bad, that benefit most from this process.
= Martin A. Lodahl Pacific*Bell Systems Analyst =
= malodah at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 =
= If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, =
= Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) =
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Date: Sat, 25 Jul 92 14:33:27 CDT
From: Jacob Galley <gal2 at midway.uchicago.edu>
Subject: Gorman, PET bottles, Fermenting Meat??
First, there is absolutely no reason for Gorman to humiliate
Schmidling like that in public. I don't really care how much you hate
him, and I bet 99.44% of the readers don't either. Please try to act
like adults, people, (this from one who is not yet Of Age) or at least
take it outside and let the rest of us try to learn something.
Next, what's the difference between PET bottles and the
run-of-the-mill plastic soda bottles we find in the States? A couple
brewers I know use these regularly, because they're easier than
smaller glass bottles, and you don't even need a capper. They don't
seem to affect the beer in any way. However, they're ugly. Personally,
I'd like to rid myself of plastic entirely, for aesthetic reasons
(hard to say with a straight face while typing). But I'm still
curious how PET bottles are superior to the ones I've seen.
Why not use glass gallon jugs, like from cranberry juice, etc? There's
actually a local brewer (or at least he's a bottler) a few blocks away
from me who uses gallon jugs. Motto: "Won't go flat" <-- Not true.
I'd expect it to keep until opening, however.
Finally, what purpose does MEAT serve in fermenting?? Yesterday's
scrumpy recipe is not the first I've seen which includes meat. There's
Charlie's for-your-amusement Cock Ale from the Eighteenth Century, and
I believe Sir Kenelm Digby, Kt., (1669) had an ale recipe with some
kind of meat, too. What gives?
PS - If anyone's asking, I like receiving the Digest on weekends,
though I can see how it could get overwhelming for the Monday -->
Reinheitsgebot <-- "Keep your laws off my beer!" <-- gal2 at midway.uchicago.edu
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Date: Sat, 25 Jul 92 16:53:02 EDT
From: srussell at msc.cornell.edu (Stephen Russell)
Subject: Sour brown ale recipe sought
Found a bottle of Goudenband and before I drink it I was wondering if anyone
had a recipe for this or other Flanders Sour Brown Ales? There is yeast in
the bottom; what if I just add this to sterile wort and let it build up for
a few days (as opposed to plating it out, which I could also do, but is
not recommended in some cases of yeast blends, such as Chimay).
Any advice welcome. Thanks muchos.
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Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1992 17:17 EST
From: Frank Tutzauer <COMFRANK at ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu>
Subject: software review: THREAD
Hey, now. I just downloaded Tom Kaltenbach's THREAD program today, which he
announced in the HomeBrew Digest yesterday. The program's a jewel. It allows
you to search back issues of the HomeBrew Digest for any given string(s) using
the logical operators AND, NOT, and OR. Any article meeting the string
criterion is displayed to the screen, and you can either write it to disk or
not. You can also run the program in automatic mode, writing all valid
articles to disk for later perusal. It's also pretty speedy. Even on my
ancient 8086, I could get through 750k of HBD's in a minute or two, automatic
mode-wise. To give you a point of comparison, I recently used Magellan to
search through my 500 or so back digests for information on kegging.
Searching, choosing, and printing took the better part of a day. But with
Tom's program, I'm sure I could finish in about an hour, tops. Say 15 minutes
to search all the back digests, maybe another 15 minutes to peruse the output
file for which articles I in fact did want to keep, editing as needed, and
then maybe 10 minutes of printing. What's more, the search and the printing
don't need to be babysitted, so my actual realtime involvement is just
perusing the output file, whereas with Magellan, I couldn't leave the
terminal. Great program, Tom. You've given me more time to brew now.
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End of HOMEBREW Digest #934, 07/26/92