HOMEBREW Digest #5065 Fri 22 September 2006

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  Taste and Gender ("Alexandre Enkerli")
  Airation in meads. (Christopher Bartlett)
  Oak chips and pumpkins ("Kevin Gray")
  women and beer - nature vs nuture? (Michael Hetzel)
  2006 MHTG Franco-Belgian Challenge (Eric Schoville)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 02:03:14 -0400 From: "Alexandre Enkerli" <enkerli at gmail.com> Subject: Taste and Gender Thanks to all of those who answered my query on beer and gender! It does seem that my original message wasn't clear enough. Apologies for that. It was never my intention to generalize and I was explicitly trying to get away from the stereotypical "girlie beers" (wheat and/or fruit). As it so happens, this stereotype seems well known among this group, which is quite telling. This stereotype is not at all universal. My intention was to get some "success stories" from people who have gone beyond the stereotype and have been able to brew a beer that would convince someone that there is more to beer than what they thought before. The gender angle is important for several reasons, but it wasn't my ultimate goal to divide taste by gender. There is, however, an association between taste and gender. Partly physiological (bitterness during pregnancy) but largely cultural. This association has interesting consequences on the craft beer industry. I do still argue that there are beers which are associated, by beer drinkers, with either gender. Thes stereotypes are in itself fascinating as it seems that people are using them to assess something about their personal identity. Members of the industry use these stereotypes in many ways. It seems from this discussion that their strategy is misled. Feel free to comment some of these issues further on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/h6wgw Deep apologies for the misunderstanding. - -- Alexandre, in Montreal (where real men also drink wheat and fruit beers) http://enkerli.wordpress.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 10:45:50 -0700 From: Christopher Bartlett <bridgeweaver at khanfusion.net> Subject: Airation in meads. I admit to some confusion. I have mad several meads, but haven't really thought much about the process, so I have a couple of questions, specifically about aeration. We are always told to airate the heck out of proto-beer at pitching time. I caught something on the fly in the last week that suggests that mad aeration would be a bad thing, I think the comment was something like "think about oxidized wine" but I'm not sure of the context. So, should I airate my mead at pitching time? If I'm going to experiment with the incremental nutrition regime mentioned earlier this week, (could someone provide me a reference where I can read more about this) should I airate at each addition of nutrient? Thanks for this wonderful resource. Christopher Bartlett (still waiting to know if I'm subscribed to mead lover's so I can target my questions there.) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 14:13:48 -0400 From: "Kevin Gray" <kevin.gray at gmail.com> Subject: Oak chips and pumpkins Two questions: I've heard a lot about using oak chips to simulate barrel aging. I've also heard that you can soak those chips in bourbon or whiskey first, to simulate bourbon or whiskey barrel aging. I noticed that Jack Daniels and others sell oak chips from discarded whiskey barrels for use in smokers. You can probably see where I'm going with this--could you conceivably use JD barrel chips in a beer to simulate a whiskey flavor? And if so, how would you first ensure that you weren't introducing some undesired micro-organism? Also, along the same lines, I read a post at http://www.thebrewsite.com/2006/09/18/pumpkin_beer_ruminations.php that talks about using a pumpkin as a primary fermentor. Has anyone done this? I can't see trying it with a full 5 gal. batch, but what about a partial one? Or, I was thinking it might be easy enough to make a pumpkin cider, since cider is relatively cheap and easy to prepare. Or even a no-boil kit. Anyone? Thanks, Kevin ********************* http://kevbrews.blogger.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 11:26:04 -0700 (PDT) From: Michael Hetzel <hetzelnc at yahoo.com> Subject: women and beer - nature vs nuture? Disclaimer - the following generalizations* are by no means serious or fully thought out.. this is just an off the cuff response to the thread. Personally I've spent equal efforts on friends of both sexes to enjoy real beer - if they already like beer, I try to get them to try new types. If they don't like real beer, its because they haven't had the right kind yet. But this is about women and beer. Now that we have that out of the way, I posit the following.. the acquisition of the taste for beer is a function of knowledge, overcoming bias/predisposed notions, and.. some other things. Or in other words enlightenment and open-mindedness (and the other things) - at least on the 'nuture' side. It is in the bias/predisposed factor that sex and peer pressure enters the equation. The 'nature' side is of course tastebuds, nerves, and the neurons that do the associations.. but lets skip all that for simplicity since in this everyone is different and the same. Besides my argument is about the 'nuture'. So cancel out the nature side, this term goes to zero.. ah yes and that leaves nurture. So why do women seem* to like beer less than men? Its because of society's expectations implanted when we're young - men are to drink beer (macho), women are to drink wine (sophisticated), etc. Couple that with the watery, bland swill that passes for beer and dominates the market in the US, and of course most women will pass on beer - its the smarter thing to do! I'd definitely drink wine before BudMillerCoors, and I shudder when I recall the crap I drank in college. So that brings up the sense of responsibility to educate folks (not just women!) about what real beer is - beer has been given a bad name in the US and its our job to spread the good word! Women seem* more resistant and thus get our focus (plus we try to impress), because the average BMC drinker says 'beer is beer, so sure I'll try it'. Its an easier transition for them. Also the elephant in the room wants to point out that more men brew beer than women, which the digests and hb clubs reflect. So think of those of us who preach not as blowhards but as activists fighting sexism! We're not pushing women out, but trying to bring them in. FWIW, the women I've transformed into beer afficiandos seem to rather enjoy the barleywines and belgiums (maybe because thats what I drank most? most complex flavors?), and at least in Poland women prefer beer to vodka (there is no wine to speak of there). But even in Poland where high abv beers are appreciated, I was alone in my relentless quest for Zywiec porter. Apparently its an acquired taste reserved for foreigners (and it may be my favorite beer). To sum up my thoughts: beer is an acquired taste, in the US there are societal factors in regards to preference, and talking about beer (with men or women) is a lot more exciting that talking about work. Mike Hetzel Worcester MA * - bold type Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 14:37:48 -0500 From: Eric Schoville <eric at schoville.com> Subject: 2006 MHTG Franco-Belgian Challenge The Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild is proud to announce the 4th Annual Franco-Belgian Challenge Cup, which will be taking place on Saturday, November 11th, 2006 in Madison, Wisconsin (Exact location TBA). This contest is an attempt to encourage the homebrewing of French and Belgian-style beers. As such only French and Belgian-style beers (BJCP Category's 16-18) will be judged. Entry fee is $5 and the entry deadline is 11/1/05. All beers will be judged on 11/11/06 (and 11/12/06 if necessary). Please see http://www.mhtg.org/ for further details and entry forms. Additional information and judging/stewarding contacts: Mark Schnepper mschnepper at yahoo.com or Mark Alfred hulsie2002 at yahoo.com Return to table of contents
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