From the HBD Archive
From: Mike Fertsch <hplabs!uiucdcs!meccad.RAY.COM!FERTSCH>
Subject: My Comments on Killer Party Ale
Date: 1989-03-13 13:45:00 GMT

My comments on the recipe for a.e.mossberg's Killer Party Ale seem to have
stirred up the kettle. I've never seem so much bandwidth on a homebrew
recipe! I don't want to make this issue a 'network party killer', but I
feel I should explain my comments.

> Date: Wed, 8 Mar 89 10:52:08 est
> From: a.e.mossberg <aem@mthvax.miami.edu>
> Subject: Re: Killer Party Ale

> Lyle's Golden Syrup is hardly an "unusual" ingredient or a "shop brand". It
> is a very well-known product from Britain. Perhaps meccad.ray.com is in the
> boonies? Lyle's Golden Syrup is a brand of cane sugar syrup. BrewMagic is
> -- you guessed it -- enzymes. It was pretty obvious, and it is also a very
> widely distributed brand. I'm surprised you didn't ask me the alpha acid
> of the hops too.

I honestly never heard of either of these products. I (mistakenly) guessed
that Lyle's is a molasses syrup or a honey-based product. Molasses syrup
would give a nice 'Old Ale' character to the beer; honey would have a very
different effect. Corn syrup is all together different again. I want to
try making an old-ale (I would love to make an Old Peculier clone!) A
molasses-based Killer Party Ale seems like the recipe I was looking for.

I do most of shopping for ingredients at my local homebrew retailer. Since
I never saw Lyle's or BrewMagic at Boston-area shops, I need to know what
these are so I can substitute. Based others' comments on this network, it
seems that supermarkets DO carry Lyle's. I guess I need to learn about
alternative suppliers, like supermarkets. The usual supermarket does not
carry Lyles' - it sounds like super stuff - I'll just have to look around.

> And whatever happened to the AHA credo "Relax, Don't worry!" ?? It seems
> oft quoted enough!

I do my share of relaxing. Knowing what ingredients are, where I can get
them or knowing how I can substitute for them reduces my worries.

> I wonder if these people also write to restaurants ala "Regarding the recipe
> your chef printed in the newspaper last week, she did not specify the
> variety of oregano used nor its harvest date. Were the eggs hen's or duck's?
> Does "cooking sherry" refer to fino or cream? The recipe says "cook
> for 25 minutes" yet my perusal of the article suggests that 32 minutes 17
> seconds might be a better figure. And finally, the article did not say if
> the recipe was good, or if I might want to try it. How on earth am I to
> know these things if you don't explicitly state them?"

I certainly do NOT expect complete details of any recipe - food or
otherwise. I DO request that something be told about the recipe - I am
sure the hypothetical article in the newspaper would not have the simple
headline "A GOOD RECIPE" and leave it to the reader to decide if these
ingredients are used to make a cake, a casserole, or a sauce for chicken
cordon bleu. Newspaper recipes usually contain a paragraph describing the
dish.

Like food, there are many styles of beer and ale. It helps to know what
type of beer the recipe produces. Simply listing the beer sytle, category,
or commercial look-alike should be sufficient. That's all I wanted to say
in my 'criticsm'.

Mike Fertsch

[ Footnote -
Old Peculier is a commercial old ale manufactured in England. It is
not available nationwide in the US. Michael Jackson's books on beer
descibe the ale in sufficient detail to put the above statement in its
proper context.
]

To a.e. mossberg - Let's not fight over this. I read the Digest to be
informed. I was interested enough in your recipe (I skip over most of
them), to openly wonder how I can make a similar beer. Unfamilarity with
some of the ingredients and procedures led me to ask about Lyle's and
BrewMagic. Last Tuesday's solar eclipse prompted my poorly-worded comment
to recipe posters in general. E-Mail me your address, and I send you a
conciliatory beer!

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