Corrections, Elections, and Directions

Hank Speaks… So Listen by Hank Bienert

Corrections – A while back I authored “We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue”, a
discussion of electric brewing which seemed to be an excellent approach to precise temp control of mash and a way to escape the aggravation of propane and the trip to refill the tanks and the cost thereof.

For a few sessions I used heat sticks I mentioned I made with good results but have discovered them to be very fragile and both have blown out – the first had a hot spot probably related to impacted grain between the arms which my electrical savvy nephew found upon autopsy had caused a short in the element and the second made a damned scary pop when used in water with no grain.

Willing to concede that I must be making them poorly since so many electrical users write so highly of them, I looked into buying some. Just about all are made by the same company and used as “bucket heaters” but the feedbacks on Amazon also report them to be capricious.

Personal communication with some electric heating advocates lead me to conclude they are liars or else, since their fittings are not sticks but rather in place elements that there is more reliability in a fixed device which is the type of setup used by Ron Laborde, a local brewer and past member of CCH without problems for years – Ron appears honest although it is still amazing how he could be Treasurer of CCH for a few years then suddenly able to retire forever and all CCH financial records from that time were “lost in Katrina”.. hmm

For the record I have stopped using heat sticks but do occasionally use a never cooked in deep fat fryer on the side for a quick gallon of boiling water. In the overall view, I have not returned to propane choosing instead cheap, always available natural gas – NG burners run about 25 bux on ebay – a bit more than a propane tank but worth it

Elections – I’m going to talk a little about elections which I usually have no real interest in except now since I hear people saying there is an election coming up at the end of the year and here’s what this “roving reporter“ has overheard around CCH meetings – lotsa negativity about the sitting President.
1) He had no experience and just pops up from nowhere and now he’s in charge.
2) He has a ”foreign” last name, not like a familiar Presidential name, like our old
Presidents; like President Washington
3) He does have a good style at the podium but most personally relate better to previous
less glib Presidents.
“I tasted some Alt which I was informed was your product. If so please share the ENTIRE
recipe the grain bill, yeast and procedures such as various temps” ..and the response of the President:

Hank, I will be more than glad to share everything with you…
Dusseldorf Altbier (6gal)
Grain bill:
Pilsner malt – 8 lb
Munich malt- 2 lb
Aromatic malt – 1 lb
Caramunich type I – .5 lb
Carafa special type II – 3 oz
Magnum (.75 oz @ 60 min)
Tettnanger (.5oz @ 15 min)
White Labs WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt (This is the most important ingredient! It gives the
malt character needed for this style. I had to special order from Brewstock.)
Mash @ 149 for 90 min, ferment @ 60, lager 4 weeks.
OG – 1.049
FG – 1.012
Keith St. Pierre
….and as one who is 48% Cajun and descended from the earliest settlers along Bayou Lafourche, I don’t think St Pierre is such a Furrin name…and he makes good beer!!

Directions – Past and future articles mention plumbing parts that may not be found at the biox dealers so here is where I have found some less common items near DH which is the neighborhood I know best. Members are welcome to share any tips about other parts of the CCH empire…
Causeway Hardware on the W service Road has a tremendous supply of plumbing fittings in old boxes rather than the plastic bag typical at HD/Lowe’s. After the exertions of picking out fittings treat yourself to lunch since it is only 2 blocks from a branch of Bear’s Poboys next to Gennaro’s just beneath the Causeway overpass on Metairie Road – a top 10 selection in the recent TP “Hunt for perfect Roast beef po’boy” and IMHO the best selection of reasonably priced fancy hamburgers anywhere in Orleans/Jeff parishes. And while in digression mode, Baldwin –Taylor hardware on Jefferson highway is the premier propane/natural gas fittings place in town and also has a lot of plumbing stuff with knowledgeable folks – when hungry from that expedition swing by Blue Tomato whose eclectic menu and decorations has been known to attract gentlemen of excellent taste such as me as well as Ryan Casteix. If a roast beef po’ boy still remains your desire, skip Blue Tomato and drive East on Jeff Hiway to just before the Piccadilly, a block beyond Causeway and visit Southern Po’ boy, another in the top 10 category and quite inexpensive. Pick up a take home treat (“a peacemaker”) for the significant other mentioning “I got this for you while buying beer stuff” and you will never again hear complaints about your brewing hobby. Halfway between Blue Tomato and Southern Po’Boy on Jeff Hiway is Haydel’s, a German family bakery (Haydel from Heidel – welcome to French speaking Louisiana, new immigrant). German bakeries are traditional for New Orleans – after all, much of our nationally famous “French“ bread sold is are usually from the distinctively non-French bakeries of Herr Leidenheimer and of Herr Alois Binder.

A bit more about directions…per the contract my agent negotiated with CCH, all beer brought to meetings/functions must first be approved by me or Monk personally tasting them so you are directed to seek us out with your offerings before allowing the general public to lip up on the taps.

As always, constructive comments are welcome via the Hopline … for those uncomfortable with readin’ n’ writin’ big words, please continue to mumble during meetings from the back row which is where I like to sit/sip/mumble…and where the afore mentioned free beer should be delivered to me/Monk in the back row.

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