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Posts posted by iain

  1. Edit: Thank you Jeremy.


    strict constructionists? The purity laws were intended to keep bread prices down, and keep poisonous spices out of beer. Strict constructionists would say the addition of yeast is an abomination. All beer should be spontaneously fermented I say. Down with progress, not because it is bad, but just because.


  2. oh just to let Jeremy relax, a list of barely production by nation (wiki):



    Die größten Gersteproduzenten weltweit (2009)[3]

    Rang Land Menge

    (in t) Rang Land Menge

    (in t)

    1 Russland 17.880.760 13 Dänemark 3.421.000

    2 Frankreich 12.879.600 14 China 3.400.000*

    3 Deutschland 12.288.100 15 Kasachstan 2.519.000

    4 Ukraine 11.833.100 16 Algerien 2.203.359

    5 Kanada 9.517.200 17 Finnland 2.171.000

    6 Australien 8.098.000 18 Weißrussland 2.123.424

    7 Spanien 7.399.700 19 Tschechien 2.003.032

    8 Türkei 7.300.000 20 Indien 1.690.000

    9 Vereinigtes Königreich 6.969.000 ...

    10 Vereinigte Staaten 4.949.370 31 Österreich 835.107

    11 Polen 3.983.900 53 Schweiz 198.091

    12 Iran 3.446.227 Welt 150.271.573




  3. Right Jeremy, hops started being cultivated in the mid eleventh century and was one of many spices used to add flavour and longevity to beer. Problems arising from brewers using cheaper, toxic spices led to restrictions on what spices were allowed to be added to beer. Of course hops, which contains alpha acids, and essential oils are anti microbial as in they inhibit many of the bacteria that cause off flavours in beer. As well as providing us with a bitter flavour to balance out the sweet malt and lovely floral aromas. Other spices can and are used to make beer, however hops are hard to beat when it comes to beer production.


    Malt as you have correctly stated is barely (or other grains) which are allowed to germinate to a point that the starch sacks in the grain are modified enough that they will go into solution when milled and combined with warm water (usually around 62 deg C). This allows the enzymes which are present in the malt to process the starch into simpler sugars, which can be achieved by bring the malt solution (mash) to various temperature optima of enzymes and allowing them to work. Some enzymes develop during the germination others are present already in the unmodified grain.


    Malting is a lot of work. I've heard of people doing it at home, with varying degrees of success, however you are much better off buying it from a maltster or a homebrew shop where they will premill it for you if you need that. The basic process of malting includes allowing the grain to get through its dormant stage, forcing the grain to take in a lot of water mass through soaking, draining, showering and repeating ad naseum. allowing the grain to germinate while controlling the speed at which it germinates by controlling temperature, CO2/O2 balance and humidity. Stopping the germination phase before the grain starts utilizing the starch to start growing through kilning (ie removing so much water that the 'keimling' dies) This is a process that usually takes about 18 hours and is normally done through temperature controlled air being pushed through a bed of grain. It is a very fine tuned process that controls the type of malt you get and how you can use it.


    Most breweries would have their own malt house back in the day, although there was usually a local maltster who would provide malt to breweries without a malt house or for breweries who couldn't produce enough. This used to be back breaking work in wet, cold environments. Using little more than wooden shovels and some other rudimentary tools to turn and move tons of green malt daily.


    The big question of why barely as the defacto grain. Beer of course is suspected to have developed with bread. The baker would bake the bread the first day and the left over bread would be turned into a slurry with water the next day and left to ferment. However when you make the transition to beer being brewed on it's on you have to find a way bring sugars into solution and getting rid of all the solids. Barely not only has all the enzymes necessary to process its starch, as well as having a pleasant flavour, but it also has a hull, which forms the basis for a natural filter bed. So you can allow the milled grains to form a natural filter bed and then run water through it to wash the sugars from the grains into solution (wort). Wheat which loses it's hull simply forms an impermeable bed and proves to be rather unsuited for beer making (although you can use it with barely to make beer.)


    Most munich breweries still use local malt, from local barely. However when buying malt from sources outside of the germany the malt/barely has to conform to the same restrictions put on german grain producers. So if you really feel strongly about it you can start buying organic beer, however the quality of bio malt is still kinda questionable.



    Carl Sagan, my favorite scientist, sums it up much more eloquently than I can:


    "I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides..."


    I really like this quote, simply because it is. The thing I love about life, is that if you really look at the chances of your own existence it is amazing that you actually exist. People are so wrapped up in the question of why, what is the purpose, how do I find a state of mind that let's me exist forever. I tend to look at life in another way, more along the lines of, 'oh my god I exist!', 'Life is sooo finite!' and 'what the hell do I want to do with such an amazingly random opportunity.'


    My wife who has religious tendencies took a while to reconcile with my viewpoint of life. She was asking herself how she could live her life well, as in lead a good life, enough to get into the good afterlife. I on the other hand am more just amazed that I exist, and I'm more concerned with what I can do with this amazing opportunity. One of the big arguments that arise is about morality. The Christian (or other religion) view that if you have a set guideline to live along, which will deliver you to the next after life which is good, that this will give you morality and without you will surely not spiritually progress, and without such a guideline you will simply stagnate or morally regress. In other words you need the concept of infinite life with rewards/punishments to have a sense of correct moral justice. What I always found very interesting to try and explain is that maybe the concept of finiteness could instill a deeper sense of morality. I mean the very idea of finiteness is mind boggling, the idea that the only true truth in life (I think therefore I am) will cease to exist is hard to grasp. If you manage to grasp this, then you might go a step further and realize that you only have one shot at 'life' and that everyone around you only exist for a very short period of time and anything you do to harm or derive from an existence is truly a damage that cannot be described in words. Truly the finiteness of life makes it holy, and anyone who would try and reduce the existence of another completely abhorred. In my mind, this is where true moral questions come into existence, and this realization of finite time/existence is what separates us from non philosophical entities.


  5. I don't know maybe I'm ever the optimist. I know it is a very sensitive issue, but I think the one thing that is being over looked is that it was a lecture on how individuals could lower the chances of being raped. Not a lecture on the evils of rape, which are surely clear. I think it might be a valid point if you have a predator actively seeking a target then he might be more likely to have his attention drawn to someone who is dressed in a overtly sexual manner. I'm not saying she is asking for it, or is any way responsible for her being raped if it does occur, that in my mind is silly. I also hate the idea that men's brains shut down and we turn into animals who can't be held responsible for our actions the moment we see a sexy woman, this is ridiculous. I think/hope that it was more a misguided or ill thought out comment, not intended to place blame on women, simply to make the point I made above. Wether or not you feel it is valid or not is a different matter.


    The problem I have with the whole thing being blown up into the slutwalks and complete indignant outrage is that it took away from a really good opportunity for an open discussion. In my mind the real issue is being trivialized by all the hoopla. It's great that women are willing to stand up for their right to wear the clothes they want and express themselves the way they want, we do after all live in a society which values these rights. However when we talk about rape and sexual harassment the big battle is to actually have the crimes reported in the first place. Apparently only 6% of incidences in Canada are actually reported, apparently victims when asked why they didn't report the crime 64% cited fear and shame, 44% cited concern about the attitude of police and courts.


    So in my mind I don't think the officers advice was too remiss, it is more the wording he used that was wrong. I think it could have been used as a good way to open a dialogue of why the use of that term was wrong and how it belongs to an ideology that belongs in the past. I don't really think the slut walks really address the problem at all, in fact in my mind it diverts people from the actual real issues by sensationalizing the whole thing.



    In one study, women gave the following reasons for not reporting incidents of sexual assault:


    • belief that the police could do nothing about it (50% of women gave this reason);


    • concern about the attitude of both police and the courts toward sexual assault (44%);


    • fear of another assault by the offender (33%);


    • fear and shame (64%).


    (Solicitor General of Canada, "Canadian Urban Victimization Survey," Bulletin 4: Female Victims of Crime. Ottawa, 1985.)



  6. I find the whole thing a bit odd. On the outset I would just like to say I fully support the fact that anybody should be able to wear whatever without fear of violence, sexual harassment or rape. I also have no problem with a bunch of people running around reclaiming the word slut as a positive word to describe someone with a healthy sexual attitude. As well I think the only person who is in any way responsible for rape, is the person who committed the rape.


    This all being said I kinda feel bad for the police officer who triggered the whole thing. I kinda think the whole thing is being blown a bit out of proportion, and that somebody who was trying to convey some street smarts, albeit with poor/insensitive word choice is being hung out to dry. I feel a bit bad for the guy to be honest.


  7. Don you should look up this link on 8-prenylnaringenin. It's treated as one of the magical amazing things in beer, however if you read the article they had to treat mice with dosages at about 500 times that of the amounts in beer. I suspect it's more like the story of xanthohumol (look up Weihenstephans Xanth beer), where the actual amounts discussed don't make it enough to effect your estrogen levels.


  8. Just as an interesting aside if you look up the wiki article about cobalt it actually mentions it's use as a foam stabaliser. A little incident in Canada where the brewers got a bit carried away.



    In 1966, the addition of cobalt compounds to stabilize beer foam in Canada led to cardiomyopathy, which came to be known as beer drinker's cardiomyopathy.




    Well I grow my own grapes here and get around 10 litres of wine off them. I also have hops which grow prolifically. i am sure I could use bakers yeast, but the malt part? How might one improvise here in Bayern? Any ideas anyone?


    must be satisfying getting trounced on your own creation.



    Jeremy Ludwigs-sudhaus has all the stuff you need to start doing a bit of homebrewing. To upgrade to all grain brewing you'd have to be willing to put a lot of time and effort into the hobby, but just to use your hops you can get a decent product with some of this stuff.


    Just a warning about the powdered extract I don't use it and I wouldn't buy it simply because it claims to be protein free (you need a certain amount of protein in your beer.)




    Weyermanns liquid extract is a bit more of an affordable solution.








  10. yeah german beers brewed in germany for germany tend to follow the reinheitsgebot, infact I don't really know of an exception to this rule. If it makes you feel better some beers are starting to put a little logo on their beers signifying that it truly has been certified as a beer brewed to the reinheitsgebot.


    As jeremy said there are a lot of things you can put in beers to make the brewing process easier. Wether it is to stabilize certain aspects of the beer, help along fermentation, clarify the beer, anti-oxidant agents. Not all of these things are bad, but not all of them are great. Take bread as an example, you can by wonderbread, and try and get through the ingredient list or you can go down to a bakers that promises proper additive free bread.


  11. I have to admit I start to feel a bit ill if I consume as american or british beer as I do german beer. I think for me the Reinheitsgebot allows me to relax in the knowledge the only toxin or chemical my liver has to really process is the alcohol. I'm not saying german beer is superior, before a bunch of people start jumping on me and beating me to a pulp, I'm just saying this is one advantage of the purity laws. Another disclaimer: I'm not saying all non german beer is full of crap and chemicals, but some are.


  12. I think the actual worry about dropping meat from the diet is essential amino acids. A very easy source of all the essential amino acids is from the protein in meat. It is also possible to get all your essential amino acids on a purely vegetarian diet, but you have to eat things such as lentils to make sure you cover all your essential amino acids, of which lentils are a fantastic source of. Just as a small aside, proteins are long chains built up of individual amino acids. Carbohydrates are long chains built up of individual sugar molecules, and are usual found in grains and their derivatives.


  13. I worked in an italian place for a while and they used egg liqueur as opposed to actual egg to make the tiramisu, probably similar to the effect you get from the baileys. that and a shit load of espresso and other alcohol. Looks very nice by the way.


  14. ludwigs-sudhaus.de I find to be a bit easier than brouwland for ordering just because it is located near freising (moosburg), the guy that runs the store is very nice and quite helpful so I like supporting his business. I have found CO2 supplies are best bought through a daughter company linde gas called Unterbichler. Which has a office in munich, but they also deliver for a minimal charge to certain areas. I'm sure their is something similar around Regensburg.


    As for malt, if you have a car it might be worth your while to go directly to Weyermann or bamberg malts both located in bamberg and pick up a bulk order or malt.


  15. I have just had a very interesting conversation with a very interesting individual. Interesting for myself because his family runs a local 'micro brewery', and he is someone who enjoys more than just german beer. We managed to get onto the topic of the viability of producing a american style or british style ale in his brewery. It is something that he would love to do although he is a bit afraid of being able to sell the final product to the general german public. Although the brewery is small in comparison to a multinational breweries, the cost of a single brew is still quite significant and would be quite a financial risk for such a small family company.


    So we started talking about the idea that maybe if we were sure that if there was enough interest in what we would brew that people would be willing to take the financial risk out of the equation for us. With this idea it was 100 pro cent clear that we could work something out. So I hear all the time on TT that people miss their ales or that German beer just doesn't cut it for people and they want the kind of beer they would get at home. This could be a chance for such people to make a difference for themselves in both the short and/or long term. Obviously the goal of this project would initially be to break even, the idea of profit would be great but unrealistic. Obviously the short term ideology for supporting such a project would be 'I could get a fabulous case of ale for the price of a normal case of german beer.' and the long term goal would be 'if I support this project, not only do I get some good ale for a relatively cheap price, but I could also encourage a local production of beer that could meet my needs and/or would diversify by beer environment enough to make me happy." The idea behind this project being that it proves viable it would be easier to continue or innovate on such endeavors in the future.


    I'm going to post a poll here to get an idea of what people think and I would love to hear suggestions in this thread with ideas about different approaches to this idea. However to give people a basic idea of the standard of brewing that would be used to produce such a admittedly experimental beer I think it would only be fair to give a basic idea of brewing qualifications of the brewers that would be involved in such a project. All the brewers involved are qualified brewers and are currently or have studied brewing at Weihenstephan (diplom Braumeister/engineer) I myself have worked for such breweries as Augustiner Munich, Spital Regensburg, amongst others, as well as recently winning the first place prize for an IPA from the American Hop Growers Association.


    Anyway I'm really interested in knowing what people can suggest. I'm not in any way a marketing person so the idea of making money from such an endeavor would be pretty cool and kind lo, although it will never happen. because I don't do that kind of shite


  16. I would have thought that the basic no hassle chicken soup method would have been mentioned by now. It isn't a world changing soup, but when your home alone and sick it's easy enough to cook and better than anything that would come out of a tin.


    large carrot

    large onion

    1 clove garlic

    2 tbs olive oil

    800 ml chicken stock

    handful of noodles




    ginger powder

    cayenne pepper

    some kind of pre cooked chicken (rotisserie is quite nice)


    Chop the carrot, onion, and garlic. In a soup pot sweat down the carrot, onion and garlic in olive oil, adding salt, pepper to taste and pinch of thyme. once onions are nice and soft add chicken stock 1/4 tsp of ginger, and cayenne. bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and then add chicken and noodles. let simmer for at least 20 minutes.


    For the extra lazy factor or the I'm to sick to do anything, you can get chicken stock at kaufland that has precooked chicken chunks in it. Saves you even having to think about a chicken.