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  1. I have to say that we have had our VitaPrep in the kitchen for over a year now. (This is a commercial kitchen) It gets used for at least 4 things a day, including making 5G of soup every other day. We do purees, soups, infused oils, all kinds of things with it. Granted, it doesn't get a LOT of frozen things put through it, but occassionally. Also, this thing has been dropped (both base and pitcher), overheated, had water spilled all over it, had the small inner lid thing put through the blender, had that terrible thing where the pitcher gets "leaned" off the base while it is running, and every other abuse that you can think of done to it, and it is still going strong. I understand your argument that you shouldn't need to "pussyfoot around" with a $400 blender, and I agree with you, but you also have to keep in mind that it's still just a kitchen machine. A really good one, but just a kitchen machine. You may have to use a slight bit of restraint and some common sense when feeding it. And I do mean feeding it. That's why there's that little hole in the top...so you can add things gradually if need be. That being said...would it have killed them to put in a manual reset swith instead of a thermal regulator? You know how long it takes before you can use this thing once it gets shut off?
  2. Sad to see that I started this post 3 1/2 years ago and things are not getting a whole lot better. Maybe I'm just stuck in a culinary rut myself, but I just can't seem to get excited about meals in this area anymore...I guess I'll just have to eat out more and keep trying. It doesn't help to be working in the kitchens, either. If I just couldn't find a good place to eat it wouldn't be so bad...
  3. A year and some since reading this post...I'm now about 30 batches in. Some quick notes just from reading this page... I feel like the dowel in the corny keg is a good idea, and if you can find the dowel with the ridges that run lengthwise I don't feel like you're giving up much surface area. Chris I would love to try your berlinerweiss. It's one of the styles I've never had and have been afraid to tackle. Be careful propagating from the bottle. Many times a different strain is used in bottling, or the primary yeast may have died off and given way to only some of the souring strains used. Foam control drops (fermcap) is a solid product. I use them in all my starters and in high gravity/wheat beers with great success. FoodMan, here's my advice. First, honey is a notoriously slow fermenter. I've had honey brews take 3 weeks just to get through primary. Second, never even think about dumping out any beer until it's at least 6 months old. As they say, time heals all things. Not entirely true, but very applicable to beer. Sorry for the long post. Thanks Chris, for nudging me into what has become quite a passion for me.
  4. Saturdays we are currently open Lunch 11-3 Dinner 5-11 Garden 12-11 Sundays we are open for brunch only, 11-3
  5. Just wanted to bump the thread and get some new responses (I hope) and add that we now have a bistro menu available in the garden from noon to 10 with full bar service and a beautiful garden
  6. Can anybody comment on The No Name Place? It was highly recommended to me as a dirty local dive with excellent seafood...Also the Publik House?
  7. We've had ours in the kitchen for about 2 weeks now. It has been used for probably less than two dozen plates. The bowl has burned away to nothing (why would you use a wooden bowl in the first place?) and the inside of the metal parts is clogged, but because they glued them together you can't go in and clean it out. Seems pretty cheap for being $50.....
  8. I'm not really sure it's possible for me to be more excited right now...
  9. I just checked out their organic hops...the harvest years are posted on their site, which I like, but everything on there was from the 2006 season, which I'm okay with, the 2005 season (I'm not sure if they would have lost much...) or the 2004 season (egads, that's kinda old for me!)
  10. Sorry I've been neglecting the homebrewing section of Egullet, I have been posting most of my brewing progress on homebrewtalk.com. Lots of information to be found there, let me tell you. So after crafting the Pale Ale (lesson one) and the Red Ale (lesson 2) here's my status update: Pale Ale: Only being a 3 gallon batch, this one didn't last very long, but everyone who tasted it loved it. Not very complex, and not very expensive means that it will most certainly be made again, if only as an introduction to someone new to the obsession...I mean hobby. Red Ale: Came out pretty good, drinking one right now. Seems to be a bit light on the alcohol but flavor is very good, and the body is very nice... Since then: I had built my MLT from a cooler while I was making my Red, so the third batch I did was all grain. I found it to be a bit of a pain and holy cow did it take me forever. I think I was still cleaning up two days later. I made a holiday Brown, taken from a recipe in, I think, homebrewing for dummies, and changed it into a holiday brew myself. This beer has not yet aged enough to drink, but I think that the Malto-Dextrin was very unnecessary as the two times that I have tasted it seems to be very viscous. The spices have almost mellowed out enough to drink. After that I continued on the all grain path and threw together a quick pale ale to celebrate the ending of my girlfriends intensive paper-writing semester at school. Hence No More Papers Pale Ale was born. This session went much smoother and much quicker than the first all-grain session. Can't really tell you how it is because it is still in the secondary, but the one tasting that we did it seems to have come out with a very earthy flavor, almost like a hayloft. Will update after the bottle conditioning (it will be ready to drink in about 12 days.) Just yesterday I brewed my first recipe that I built myself. Using the guidelines in The Homebrewers Bible I formulated a Robust Porter. I know that it's still to early to tell, but holy cow does it taste good already. Can't wait for this one to be done. Here's my equipment updates. My New Brew Kettle My Brewery in Action (Getting ready to sparge) No More Papers Pale Ale Thanks for all of your assistance, and you'll be hearing from me from time to time, I have officially become addicted!
  11. Well, here's the story. I checked my math (everything is kosher) and forgot to mention that for my red ale I did make a 5 gallon batch, which shouldn't effect the cost/bottle, and used liquid yeast (White Labs) and substituted Styrian Goldings for the Cascades. So that may have tweaked things out a little bit, but I costed out your recipe straight from the website, assuming a full yield of 256 oz (2G), and came up with a price of $1.05/16oz bottle. The red was less malt extract, but only a pound, and there was the addition of another ounce of hops and 3 different grains. Here's about what I've been paying: Grains were 1.49/lb, 1.99/lb, and 2.49/lb. Malt Extract is about 12.99 for a 3 lb. bag, and hops are anywhere from 1.79-2.49/ounce. -------------------------------------------------------------- So what exactly is the dextrin powder for? It was also recommended that the amount of spices be cut in half, then more added later if needed. Thanks for the feedback Chris.
  12. So here's my first attempt at an all-grain recipe, let me know what you think... (adapted from a homebrewing for dummies recipe ) 7.5# Marris Otter 1.25# 60L Crystal 6oz Chocolate Malt 1 oz Fuggles (60min) 1/2 oz Fuggles (30min) 1 oz Kent Goldings (5 min) 1# Dark Brown Sugar 4 oz Dextrin powder 1t Irish Moss (10 min) 1 oz sliced fresh ginger root (10 min) 1T whole allspice (10 min) 1 cinnamon stick (10 min) 3 green cardamom pods (10 min) 1 orange rind (realistically, probably from a navel orange) (10 min) Single infusion mash, (90 min at 156, sparge at 170) Any feedback on the recipe in general, especially spices and their quantities (and the method of their infusion into the wort) would be greatly appreciated. I also did some math on my first two recipes: My Strong Pale Ale, given that I made 3 gallons from the two gallon recipe, yielded me 23 - 16oz bottles at a cost of about $0.60/bottle (That would be $0.45 per 12oz bottle if I had gone that route.) Estimated cost of my Rich Red Ale (or Old #2 as I've taken to calling it) before it is bottled is about $1.20/16oz bottle or $0.90/12oz bottle. This one is only an estimate because I have not bottled it yet and therefor don't know my final yield. Thought this might be of interest to some who have not begun to brew yet. And also those of us who really don't like math.
  13. Just wanted to update on my first brew... Man is that some strong beer! I just recently got my hydrometer so I have no way (that I know of) to figure out exactly how strong...except for drinking a few of them and it seems to be quite potent. I tasted it side by side with a Bass... I know this is like comparing your sons little league team to the Tigers but it's still a really tasty brew. It seems to be quite hoppy in comparison to the commercial brew but I haven't looked up the Bass recipie or anything to see what exactly goes on there.... and I do have a question that may be a matter of opinion. My above mentioned Red Ale seems to be V E R Y cloudy and dark. I really kind of want to let is sit (even considering dry hopping and a secondary fermention period) and clarify. I also kind of want to be able to open a bottle on November 15th for all of my friends, displaying my new home brewing abilities, because I have a feeling from my initial tastings that I am really going to like this beer. The schedule allows me the potential for a full 2 week fermentation and a 11 day bottle conditioning...but I wonder if this is enough. I know several people have been following Chris' wonderful guide, and I know that many of you have been (like me) too impatient to wait the recommended time. What does everyone think is my best course of action? Should I wait and take a few of my precious (small) batch of Brew #1 with me, or take advantage of my highly anticipated (5G) batch of (young) Old Number 2 with me? ...waiting patiently.... Ed <Primary>- Rich Red Golding (Old Number #2) <Secondary> :-( Nothing <In the bottle> Strong Pale Ale (#1) <In the planning>Holiday Porter or possibly Holiday English Brown, haven't decided)
  14. Okay I can't seem to post pictures just now, I have never tried it on Egullet and can't really find any information on how to do it... But until they will let me give you my pictures, here's a status update... My first batch was bottled Sunday night. I was suprised at how smooth of an operation it was, but as Alton Brown says, Organization will set you free...The whole thing, including sanitation and clean up, took about 45 minutes. This was using Grolsch bottles, which I found wonderful as I could cap the bottle I had just filled with one hand while filling the next bottle with the other... I made the next day my brew day and got started on the Red Ale (5G batch) Monday night. Having read everything I can find about brewing, I felt much more involved in the process using the steeped grain than just the straight extract. Here is my exact recipe...(special thanks to recipator for calculating the conversions for me...once I got the recipe put in right ) 3.5G Boil 12.5 oz American Crystal Malt 60L 12.5 oz Caravienne 12.5 oz Melanoidin Malt Steeped at ~162 for 35 minutes 5.05# Light DME 1.8 oz Styrian Goldings (plug) @ 4.2% 60 minutes 1.2 oz Styrian Goldings (plug) 10 minutes .35 oz Kent Goldings UK (whole leaf) @ 6.5% 10 minutes 1.55 oz Kent Goldings UK Flameout White Labs 004 Irish Ale Yeast I played around with the yeast a bit...once my steeping was done I added a bit of priming sugar to the wort, cooled it down, and got the yeast started while the boil was taking place. In an ideal world I would have started it before, but I brewed the same day as my trip to the brewshop, and didn't seem to have much trouble as I was getting 5 second bubbles 12 hours later. Again, I have some pictures of this, but apparently you can't see them yet.... And just to prove my impatience, I decided to crack open my first ever homebrew tonight. Yeah, I know it's only been in the bottle for four days, but I just couldn't wait any longer. As expected it had very little carbonation, but the taste was very nice...I have pictures of this too, captured the little bit of head that it gave off and everything. Planning on racking the red ale to secondary due to it's extreme cloudiness, wondering if I need a full two weeks in the secondary after krausen subsides or if it only needs two weeks in fermentation total...I would love to be able to haul some of this brew up to deer camp November 15th...
  15. All right, I know it's only Friday but I'm getting excited for my bottling session on Sunday. I've got all of my bottles good and clean and I'm mentally ready to go. I'm going to try and include some pictures (if I can figure out how to post them...and how to take pictures with my hands full). I just have a few more questions.... So like I said before I followed the first recipie fairly closely...right up until the part where I put an extra gallon of water in there at the end. So my question is do I need to change the amount of priming sugar needed to properly carbonate my bottles? I don't mind a gentle fizz if that will be the only danger...but I don't want to make my first batch any more dangerous than necessary (I will be bottling in Grolsch bottles, and yes, Chris, you do have me terrified that I will wake up to the sound of exploding beer bottles.) My second question is slightly more advanced... Due to the fact that as soon as I get involved in something I immediately try to read everything in the world available on the subject, this question came up. Certain bottled beers that I have purchased in the past sometimes have a layer of yeast sediment on the bottom (Chimay is the only one that I can think of right now). Now I know that I'm getting W-----A----Y-----Y----Y ahead of myself given the fact that I haven't even bottled my first batch of beer yet, but would it be possible to cultivate these yeasts back into usability? Anyways should be posting pictures soon, and because I haven't done it yet I want to thank Chris for shoving me over the edge and getting me to finally start brewing!
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