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> Chat with return guest Randy Mosher, beer & brewing expert, author, educator
post Jun 28 2005, 02:56 PM
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Group: banned
Posts: 666
Joined: 16-March 02
From: Mooresville, NC
Member No.: 201

Randy Mosher will be our return guest this Sunday at 8PM EST. Randy is a nationally-recognized author and expert in the field of beer and brewing. He writes for virtually all the national beer and brewing-related periodicals, has lectured to audiences across the country, and has taught beer style courses at the Siebel Institute.   

He is active in the leadership of Chicago Beer Society, the American Homebrewers Association, and the Association of Brewers.
His interests in beer and brewing memorabilia combined with his experience as a branding and packaging designer specializing in beer and food have given him the tools to visually express the richness and exuberance of beer and brewing traditions in Radical Brewing.

The following are some of Randy's notes on his latest book, Radical Brewing;

I began brewing in 1984, and started writing about it a short time later. Back then, the brewers' access to ingredients and information was limited, to say the least. But thanks to pioneers like Charlie Papazian, Michael Jackson, Charles Finkel and Fred Eckhardt, beginners like myself slogged through batch after batch, spurred on by the thrill of discovery and the rewarding liquid that finally started appearing in our glasses.

This book represents ten years work: brewing, reading, writing, traveling, and collecting. At every step of this journey through the past and present, the vitality of beer culture has felt like a warm and joyful embrace. From the most ancient times to the wild explorations of American homebrewers, the sincere, playful and deeply human character of the brewer has always shone through.

This book is an attempt to capture some of this creative energy, and put it all into a form that is useful as well as engaging. I've tried to let the beers and their surrounding cultures speak for themselves, and to give the adventurous brewer the chance to literally brew up a taste of all this artistry.

Radical Brewing is not a comprehensive technical manual, nor is it an exhaustive listing of every commercial beer style and how to exactly reproduce it. Both of these things have been done before, and the last thing I want to be is redundant. But I donĀ¹t think there is a book out there that covers a wider range of beers, or includes more of the important and fascinating cultural context out of which they were born. After all the severely technical books that have been published, I felt it was time for one that celebrated the art of brewing.

Throughout much of history, beer has been right there beside us. A cool draught was offered to the ancient gods. Its nourishing strength built the Pyramids. Churches grew fat on it. Wealthy and poor alike sang its praises. It heralded the Industrial Revolution. Then, for a short, dark time in the late 1970s, it looked like it might all be over. One hundred glorious centuries of beer, stripped down to a bland mix of technology and marketing, just another packaged product on the shelf.

The antidote to this gloom and doom is to literally take things into your own hands, as American homebrewers have done, and brew up some beer, organize a beer festival, start a microbrewery. Radical Brewing is not for quiet reading by the fireside. Its a call to action. Great strides have been made, but the future of beer is not yet written. The fight goes on!

You can check it out at:


He is also the author of The Brewer's Companion (Alephenalia, Seattle, WA, Revised Second Edition, 1995), a brewer's reference and recipe planning guide.   

Randy lives in Chicago with his wife Nancy.

GSchmidt: Welcome Randy
Ted: hi Randy
mikebrad: *welcome*
randymosher: thanks. Computer trouble. third machine's the charm. This system hates macs,I guess
ale: Good evening, Randy. Sorry that you had trouble logging on...It's happened in the past.
twocents: hiya randy
cj_in_j: Randy -- I've had trouble with Macs and Java before too.
GSchmidt: The xp fireway doesn't seem to like this chat for some reason
cj_in_j: But glad you persisted and could make it.
GSchmidt: *firewall
randymosher: anybody brewed anything amazing lately?
twocents: well, that milk stout comes to mind
ale: This is Mr. Moshers second Chat appearance. His first was one of our best...
Ted: as everybody clams up
GSchmidt: Just brewed the 1830's british summer ale from your book and I'm pretty impressed It's carbing now
GSchmidt: Are we using the 'Q' protocol tonight?
twocents: I used doc dales recipe, but forgot to scale the ingredients back to a 5 gallon batch
randymosher: Good timing for that beer. Good hot weather beer.
huleoo: Imperial Whiskey Barrel Stout here
twocents: I made the milk stout back in march or feb
ale: Questions for Mr. Mosher should be preceeded with a "?".
Ted: excellent summer beer Huleoo!!
twocents: hasn't carbonated, but it packs a kcik
randymosher: You got a whole barrel of that whiskey beer?
hophead: Gose lol
huleoo: YES!! =)
GSchmidt: ?
Ted: and he's bringing some the NHBC, Randy
randymosher: Wow, cool.
ale: Go GSchmidt
randymosher: I'll be looking for that
huleoo: ?
Ted: you'll have to stop at out table to sample some
randymosher: Which Table. I assume you're talking about club night.
GSchmidt: Randy, your book uses a lot of adjunct sugars - jagger, turbinado, piloncilla, etc - ar they basically interchangable, or are the flavors different for different beers
Ted: yes, HBA table
randymosher: I'll tell you. I do these little tastings around the country with different sugars (among other things). People just go nuts with the variety and yumminess of those sugars. Really so much better than the so called "Candi" sugar.
GSchmidt: ? followup?
randymosher: Each one has it's own personality. Even different kinds of panela/piloncillo, which are all just boiled down cane juice. Very different from brand to brand.
twocents: ?
randymosher: I can't say that I've got it all worked out which one goes best in which beer. That's what you guys are for!
ale: (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/biggrin.gif)
twocents: glad you appreciate us
twocents: so many beers, so little time
randymosher: Oh, yeah, there's definitely something special about brewers, especially homebrewers.
twocents: thank you
ale: end?
GSchmidt: I don't need a followup, he got it
twocents: still have question
randymosher: Let's have it
ale: Go Huleoo
huleoo: How do you recommend taking care of a whiskey barrel in between batches? Also What is typical evaporation rate for a barrel?
twocents: huleoos turnfirst
Ted: ?
randymosher: Can't quote you a definite rate. Changes a lot depending on the circumstances. I'd check it weekly and have some beer for topping up. I don't do a lot with barrels myself. I understand the best way to keep them between batches is to keep them filled with w
randymosher: Ted, what's on your mind?
Ted: does yeast produce more diacetyl the more it is repitched? if so, why?
randymosher: As I understand it, diacetyl production is one of the symptom of a type of common mutation that occurs when yeast gets stressed. I don't think it is a normal occurrence with yeast that has been repitched too many times. Then, of course there's always the p
GSchmidt: ?
randymosher: possibility of a lactobacillus/pediococcus infection.
randymosher: about 6-10 generations seems to be the case in a lot of commercial breweries, but some go many more.
Ted: thanks
Ted: I think it's twocents turn
randymosher: I wouldn't repitch too many times unless I felt I had sanitation really mastered.
ale: Go twocents.
Ted: thanks Randy
twocents: thanks... 2 q's... I think I got it from before, you could use other sugars in a belgian
twocents: other than the candi..
twocents: and do you autograph your book?
twocents: coudl I get a copy?
twocents: autographed??
twocents: <end>
randymosher: Candi sugar is a very confused term. I just did the technical edit on Stan Heironymous' new book on abbey-style beers
randymosher: and we had this running conversation about "candi" sugar. Most homebrewers know it as those expensive big crystals of beet sugar, right?
Ted: heh
twocents: rock candy to be precise?
twocents: couldn't we make those?
randymosher: But Belgian brewers also use the term (and it seemed to have been the primary meaning 50 years ago)
randymosher: to mean a cooked caramel syrup. You can't get much (if any) color from the rock candy (which is the correct term), so it's confusing when belgian brewers say they darken their beers with candi sugar--they're talking about caramel, which goes back in brewin
randymosher: I'm going to do a little blind test of the rock candy at the AHA conf--so see if people can tell the difference from grocery store sucrose. Jeff Sparros, who wrote the just released book on wild beers, said the Belgian brewers he talked to laughed out loud
randymosher: Sorry, that's Sparrow.
randymosher: Laughed out loud when they found out we pay $5/lb for the stuff
twocents: hmmm
randymosher: The ethnic sugars have so much more flavor, but still accomplish the task of lightening the body, which is the point in most beers for sugar.
ale: ...end?
randymosher: End for me.
twocents: end for me]
ale: Go GSchmidt
GSchmidt: I'm thinking making a 1/2 batch of your recipe for gotlandsricka for some friends who are very much into Norse stuff. How bad does it taste? (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif) What kind of juniper should I use? Can I just cut it off a bush or what?
randymosher: Oh, yes, I do autographs.
twocents: ty
randymosher: The species is Juniperus communis. Very widespread across the north. Get on the interned, there should be pictures aplenty. It doesn't taste bad. These are Vikings! The like their beer!
GSchmidt: It's not very bubble gummy because of the bread yeast?
randymosher: Yes, use branches, berries, whatever you can get. Can't overdo the juniper.
ale: ?
randymosher: My experience with brad yeast is that it doesn't make bad-tasting beer. It seems to never settle out, so the beer will be cloudy. And it doesn't have the subtle wonderfulness of beer yeast. Reminded me of champagne yeast.
ale: ...end?
GSchmidt: thanks
randymosher: People who brew those farmhouse beers with bread yeast say you should only use a small amount--the tip of the little finger is sometimes shown as a guide.
randymosher: I used 1/4 compressed cake.
randymosher: Took off like a banshee
randymosher: OK end.
ale: Mr. Mosher, what's the single, and most reliable source for historic recipes?
randymosher: No such thing.
Ted: ?
randymosher: It's always a lot of guesswork, and of course, the farther you go back in time, the flakier the reference material gets.
ale: No such thing?
ale: Any sources that you'd recommend over others?
randymosher: That said, one of my big inspirations has always been a book called "The ORigin & History of Beer & Brewing" by JS ARnold (1911?). No actual recipes, but lots of info.
randymosher: PArt of the problem is that unless they're brewing books, other studies of ancient brewing are almost never written by brewers, so there's a lot of the technology they miss.
bonjour: hello all
twocents: hi bon
randymosher: The Arnold book has been recently reprinted. Should be required reading for anybody interested in oooooold beers.
GSchmidt: ?
randymosher: I was just talking to a scholar on Hittite culture and she was coinfused by the term "first" and "second" beer. Makes sense to all of you, right?
ale: right.
twocents: yeah
twocents: two sense
ale: ...end?
randymosher: Had no idea of the concept of runnings off a mash. It's a technical brewing concept. Trying to translate 5,000 year-old brewing terms gives them fits, as you can imagine
randymosher: OK, end
bonjour: I'll take the 5th on that =)
ale: Go Ted...
Ted: what do you think of the recipes from " Old British Beers and How To Make Them" ? Have you had a chance to brew/taste any beers made from them?
randymosher: I've brewed one or two. I have the older version, so I can't comment about the current version. I know there were some problems I saw--things like crystal malt in 18th & early 19th century beers, which is completely anachronistic.
twocents: uhoh
twocents: rehi randy
Ted: doh
twocents: uhoh
twocents: someone glue his chair?
Hop_Mania: can't make up his mind
Ted: don't hit the blue door
twocents: here we go again
GSchmidt: ah crap
hophead: Someone glue his chair
Ted: somebody stabilize him!!
hophead: Dude's Radical
Hop_Mania: somebody get the defib paddles
Ted: LOL
twocents: <dizzy>
Ted: ale, his computer doesn't like the chat
twocents: are you here for real randy?
twocents: big mac attack
GSchmidt: Oh well...my boil is about over anyway. I'm about to get very busy
twocents: ok GSchmidt
hophead: I know how it feels...not knowing whether you're comin' or goin'
cj_in_j: Randy, try quitting your browser and restarting. That usually works.
GSchmidt: I'll drop off in case the room is too full. Talk to you all later
Ted: later GS
GSchmidt: If he comes back, see if he'll anser this:[/color] This is about your buckapound. Could you describe your CIP process and what cleaners you use?
hophead: Is this what's known as a pregnant pause?
randymosher: OK, I thought I was gone, but here I am
ale: I just got off of the phone with Mr. Mosher. He couldn't get back on.
bonjour: WB Randy
twocents: rehi randy
twocents: excellent
randymosher: I built a little unit that's basicalla ta 1/4 bbl with a pump underneath, with some valves to recirculate or pump to drain--two 3-way valves.
randymosher: I use five star pbw most of the time, and caustic fore really gunku dirt.
randymosher: Caustic seems to do a better job, but it's dangerous and leaves a film that must be removed with acid. I use a dairy acid rinse I buy at a farm & fleet.
ale: Go GSchmidt, if you haven't been booted...
bonjour: GSchmidt has left
ale: ...I thought that I was going to be the first to get dumped...
hophead: ??
ale: ...anyway, let's all raise our glasses to Mr. Mosher...
Chet: Cheers!
Osh: Prost!
twocents: maybe we should have a pool going?
ale: ...outside of a few glitches, this has been one of our best.
randymosher: Great chatting with all of you. You can reach me at radicalbrewing.com. I'll be at the AHA conference in Baltimore. I anyone is going, be sure to say hi.
twocents: thanks randy
Ted: Randy, we''ll see you Friday nite at club nite
twocents: when I win the lottery, I'll be all over the place
randymosher: Keep brewing great beers!
Chet: Dang - did I miss it? (time zones, arrjrgh
bonjour: Was that keep brewing Radical Beers?
randymosher: Whatever makes you happy.
bonjour: Thanks for saying it's ok to be different
randymosher: Remember radical means "roots," too.
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