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> Chat Transcripts - Guest Ray Daniels, brew author; Zymurgy exec.ed.; AHA dir.
post Nov 1 2004, 06:09 PM
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Ray Daniels will be our guest for this Sunday's Chat. Mr. Daniels is well known to all of us. Ray is the author of "Designing Great Beers", a supurb book, and Co-Author of "Brown Ale" & "Smoked Beers" from the AHA Classic Beer Style Series, and a regular contributar to "Zymurgy" and "All About Beer" Magazines. Ray is also the executive editor of "Zymurgy" and the director of craft beer marketing for the Association of Brewers.

ale: Tonights guest is Ray Daniels. Exec. Director of the AHA and the author of severel different brewing books.
ale: Mr. Daniels has signed on. We're now ready for questions...
Beershasta: The loop works great for whirlpooling and allows me to have a fast flow for oxygenation but I'd still rather have a faster solution.
ericd: BS, how do you like the convoluted CFC? Currently I am using a homemade CFC--works, but is a PITA.
JPH45: Shasta, you ever thought of creating a water tank in your fridge for chilling?
Beershasta: Jeff, YES
hophead: I'll be having a smoked porter now! Thanks for coming Mr Daniels. Your "Designing Great Beers" in number one in my brewing library
the_stain: ooops
JPH45: I'm gonna do something similar to this fro controling ferment temp in summer
lord1234: ?
Beershasta: Jeff D. I have two fermentation frigs.
ale: Now who's first? I saw a lot of '?''s before he signed on..
ale: Go lord
Ted: ?
the_stain: ?
lord1234: as a beginning brewer how do you think your book can help someone with a mainly extract background...Do you think as an extract brewer one can take full advantage of the knowledge your book imparts?
Aeneas: ?
deejaydan: ?
Listermann: As a tribute to Ray, my next beer will be my burnt decoction bock!
lord1234: *crickets*
Blizzbrews: i'm lagging big time
R_Daniels: Lordy lord, you are going straight for the paydirt, aren't you? And I haven't even finished my first beer of the day yet. Well the answer is definitely "yes." One of the initial chapters discusses the methods to be used in converting grain to extract.
lord1234: i like to ask big questions:)
lord1234: is it ok if i ask a followup?
ale: Go ahead
R_Daniels: Anyway, once you understand those techniques and assuming you are willing to use grains as well as extract, there's really nothing in the book that isn't accessible to you.
lord1234: Do you think that recipes converted from Grain to Extract have the same taste/quality?
lord1234: cuz everyone knows that in every conversion there is loss of some sort....
R_Daniels: The flavor quality of any beer will depend upon the ingredients used. There is good and bad to be had among both grains and extracts. Selection of the actual ingredient is more important than whether it is grain or extract. End.
lord1234: thank you:)
ale: Go Ted
Ted: Hi Ray, thanks for joining us. Is the RAF going to be at the Finckl Foundery or is it going to be a pub crawl?
Ted: (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/biggrin.gif)
R_Daniels: Boy, another tough one. (Insert picture of me taking a big swig of Bell's Two Hearted here.) At the moment, there are no plans for any RAF-type activity in 2005. Bottom line is that we simply don't have a venue where we can do it in the city of Chicago.
Ted: Oh that's to bad, sorry to hear that!!
deejaydan: Dang, that was my question too...
Ted: well, I guess next weeks wood aged beers will have to do
ale: End?
R_Daniels: Well, I love RAF and all the guys in Chicago love RAF, and all the brewers love RAF, so if we can find a way to do it somewhere, somehow, we will. Venue makes the event and right now we just don't have one. End.
Blizzbrews: (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
ale: Go Stain
the_stain: In your experience judging and examining results/etc for your book, what would you say are the most common flaws or problems that prevent beers from scoring well in competitions?
ale: Hell, You folks are beating Ray up!!! I'll bet he'll never come back here again. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/biggrin.gif)
R_Daniels: Interesting question. Of course major off flavors are #1. If a beer reeks of diacetyl or DMS or has a strong phenolic flavor, then it isn't going to get very far. After that, we have style issues. I'd say that in a lot of cases among both home and . . .
Beershasta: ?
twocents: I am not beating him up.
Beershasta: Ray, who do you support in the 2004 election.....
R_Daniels: . . . commercial brewers they get most of the elements of the beer right, but there is something missing. If it doesn't have an off-flavor then it might be totally missing a key aroma element or have the wrong malt bill and therefore the wrong malt . . .
Beershasta: Sorry didn't mean to do that
hophead: NO politics please (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/tongue.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/biggrin.gif)
R_Daniels: . . . character in the palate. In any case, it is rare that you run across a beer that seems to ring the bell in all categories. Those go quickly to the front of the line. End.
the_stain: great answer.. thanks! (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
the_stain: ?
ale: Go Aeneas
Aeneas: When brewing with adjuncts such as corn, rice or even lentils, is there a simple way to calculate the contribution that these possible fermentables would contribute to a beer or is laboratory mashing the only way to figue out potential gravity contribution
R_Daniels: I believe a number of sources such as Mosher, Noonan and even DGB have figures that will allow you to estimate the more common of these. Lentils I'd be hard pressed to find a source for. At that point you are out there in dragon land and on your own. End
ale: "?"
cj_in_j: Go ale
Cam: lol
cj_in_j: ?
the_stain: ?
hophead: ?
JPH45: ?
ale: Ray, How long did it take you to research "Designing Great Beers"? How many miles did you have to travel?
kiwicanoeboy: *ale lands right hook*
R_Daniels: Slick little hand off to Ale there. Well, I'll tell you DGB was less about travel than analysis. I pride myself on having a very good brewing library with source materials that you'll find few other places. An example would be the Prof. Pendl analyses
ericd: Ray also wrote the "Brown Ale" and "moked Beers" books
ericd: Darnit--"Smoked beers" from the Classic Beer Styles Series
twocents: typos... get ya everytime
R_Daniels: . . . from the 1980s. He did lab analysis and taste notes on 500 beers from all over the world and published them over many years in Brauwelt, grouped loosely by style. That was a key source of data for the German styles in particular. . . .
R_Daniels: As for the time, it took about a year to write DGB. I was at a cross roads career wise and was able to focus the time and effort needed. Most days during that year, I spent probably six hours a day researching, analyzing data and writing about . . .
R_Daniels: . .. the resutls. Honestly, it was fun but it was also a very unique opportunity to be able to invest that kind of time in to the project. End.
Cam: What a great book. Thanks for your effort on that book, it has been a great book for me.
cj_in_j: Ray, do you have any plans to update and expand Designing Great Beers? My copy is falling apart, and I'd love to replace it with a new version! lol
the_stain: I was going to ask if there was a sequel in the works, so you can skip me.. that's close enough to my question (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
ale: Go Stain
the_stain: i just wanted to know if there were any plans for a DGB2 that covered more styles...
R_Daniels: DGB has always needed expansion in the area of Belgian beera and now it is in need of an updating across all the categories as well. I hope to devote the time needed to accomplish this sometime in the next two to three years. . . .
ericd: ?
Aeneas: ?
the_stain: if I may interject a quick suggestion (wishful thinking I'm sure), I would die a happy man if the next book had a whole chapter devoted to Berliner Weisse (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif)
cj_in_j: Thanks! I'll just have to keep taping my copy together, I guess.
twocents: buy a new copy cj
twocents: nighters all
twocents: byeeeeeeeee
R_Daniels: Also, I've come to believe that the narrative text describing the data in the charts is not particularly useful in most cases, so I'll probably trim that down a good bit. Finally, I would like to get more current US commercial data in there. End.
cj_in_j: Great. Looking forward to it.
ale: Go Hophead
hophead: Ray I just ordered "Smoked Beer" co-authored by you and Geoffrey Larson. Will it teach me how to brew a perfect smoked Porter? Ha! I really fell for Alaskan Smoked Porter. Any special secret you could share? I have the alder wood (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
R_Daniels: Smoked Beer covers the subject more thoroughly that any text in the history of brewing--a claim I'll bolster by noting that I looked at books all the way back to the late 1400s when working on that one. But despite all that we know about smoke, grain . .
R_Daniels: . . . and beer, there is more "art" to making smoked beers than for nearly any other style that I have experience with. As with most things that I have researched, the book gives all of the possible approaches, even if it stops somewhat short of giving ..
Blizzbrews: Greg Noonan's Vermont Smoked Porter at his brewpub is an amazing beer (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
R_Daniels: . . . a formulat for the "perfect" result. Ultimately that's what brewing is all about. The right answer to nearly any question about making beer would begin with the words "That depends . . ." If we ask 1000 brewers how to make the perfect beer . . .
R_Daniels: . . . we'll get 1000 answers. And so it is with Smoked Beers. I believe we point the way down a workable path, one that involves readily available ingredients (e.g. Weyermann smoked malt). But virtuosity in this field will come only with experience. End
ale: Go JPH45
hophead: Thank you and thanks for coming
JPH45: I'm new to homebrewing and don't know anything about styles or guidelines or all that other beer stuff. I just want to make beer I enjoy, and enjoy making my beer. Forgetting all that high faluten' stuff, what, for you, makes a good beer a good beer?
Aeneas: lentils!
Ted: *slap*
JPH45: L)
bigslowrock: ?
R_Daniels: As a new homebrewer, your key task is learning to make "clean" beer---that is beer that is properly processed and fermented and therefore free of off-flavors such as diacetyl, DMS, phenols, sulfitics, astringence, etc. When you do that, then nearly . . .
ale: For the record, it's now past 9:00 and Mr. Daniels is officially off the hook.
UberOctaFrank: aww I missed him
R_Daniels: . . . any beer you make will be an enjoyable beer, regardless of all the "high faluten" stuff. Of course, once you have sampled a few hundred beers and figured out what you like, you'll find that styles provide a convenient short-hand for getting there.
R_Daniels: "End" on that last one. I'll take one more before I flee to the beer fridge for a bit of relief.
Ted: heh
ale: Okay. EricD was next in line.
ericd: Thank you for being here and your book that benfits all of us. For an easy ending, what do you brew as your house beer?
Aeneas: Damn, I got another question about lentils, but I'll have to ask it another time!
ale: Well, looks like he's not with us...
ericd: I had a tougher one, but you really got pounded. Thanks
ale: Aeseas?
Aeneas: Do you brew? What are your prefered styles both to brew and to "evaluate"? What do you feel can contribute the most to a brewer just starting off (besides brewing with lentils?)
ericd: Ale. Thanks for getting him.
ericd: Another great guest
Ted: he's still logged in
UberOctaFrank: time switch screwed me up. what'd I miss?
ale: Don't thank me. Thank Mr. Daniels.
ericd: Ale, I tried to, but he pulled a Houdini.
hophead: Thanks Mr Daniels
R_Daniels: For the last year, I have been splitting my time between Boulder, CO and Chicago--and that's in between business trips to various places. As a result, my brewing is less for consumption that for research or make beer for a special occasion or . . . .
ericd: Thank you for coming Mr. Daniels.
Ted: thanks for joining us Ray!!
R_Daniels: . . . (I'm still trying to answer that last one). Honestly, my "daily brew" these days is commercial beer, usually an IPA and if I'm really treating myself, a Belgian of some kind, lately Goose Island's Pere Jacque. OK, thanks for inviting me and . . .
R_Daniels: . . . cheers to one and all.
R_Daniels: Ray
R_Daniels: The End.
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