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Thread: Getting to Know You

  1. #1
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    Getting to Know You

    What's the coolest thing you like to spend your time doing that most of us probably never heard of?

  2. #2
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Getting to Know You

    I fly fish, tie my own flies, hunt, camp, hike and explore. I can't get out to the wild enough!
    Steel City Mafia
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    My son's first Kansas Turkey!

  3. #3
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    Re: Getting to Know You

    Quote Originally Posted by Djfan
    I fly fish, tie my own flies, hunt, camp, hike and explore. I can't get out to the wild enough!
    I always wanted to go fly fishing in AK or MT or ID or some place out in the middle of nowhere with mountains off in the distance.

    Is it easy to fly fish? a lot of work?

    I've gone primarily trout fishing when I grew up in PA. I preferred a crick and the moving water more than a lake. When I was wee little I went with my grandpap and he had waders and I didn't, but I still followed him into the crick to fish. We got scolded later by my grandma cause I was all wet, but I didn't care, it was fun.

    The thing that always seemed cool about fly fishing was the action. I get really bored lake fishing and just watching and waiting. Fly fishing looks much more active.

    Do you catch a lot quickly? Do you have to go at a certain time? Does the way you make a fly mattter? or is it more about the casting technique?

  4. #4

    Re: Getting to Know You

    My wife and I make our own chocolate truffles, turtles, dark, milk and white from scratch. We buy imported cocoa beans roast em, turn em into a liquor and use a coverted lentil melanger to process. It takes us about 36 hours to make a batch of chocolate. My wife is hoping to break into the high end artisan chocolate market in the next year or so.

    I also like to collect, drink and age chinese Pu-erh teas.

  5. #5
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    Re: Getting to Know You

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    My wife and I make our own chocolate truffles, turtles, dark, milk and white from scratch. We buy imported cocoa beans roast em, turn em into a liquor and use a coverted lentil melanger to process. It takes us about 36 hours to make a batch of chocolate. My wife is hoping to break into the high end artisan chocolate market in the next year or so.

    I also like to collect, drink and age chinese Pu-erh teas.

    You got me with the artisan chocolate market and pu-erh tea. I've heard of neither. How did you get into that?

    How expensive is high end chocolate? I saw a $1000 dessert in Las Vegas, but it had gold flakes in it so I'm not sure that counts as high end chocolate.

    Also curious what is pu-erh tea and where do you get it?

  6. #6

    Re: Getting to Know You

    Quote Originally Posted by flippy
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    My wife and I make our own chocolate truffles, turtles, dark, milk and white from scratch. We buy imported cocoa beans roast em, turn em into a liquor and use a coverted lentil melanger to process. It takes us about 36 hours to make a batch of chocolate. My wife is hoping to break into the high end artisan chocolate market in the next year or so.

    I also like to collect, drink and age chinese Pu-erh teas.

    You got me with the artisan chocolate market and pu-erh tea. I've heard of neither. How did you get into that?

    How expensive is high end chocolate? I saw a $1000 dessert in Las Vegas, but it had gold flakes in it so I'm not sure that counts as high end chocolate.

    Also curious what is pu-erh tea and where do you get it?
    I get into all sorts of odd hobbies mainly because I was an adhd child and got used to keeping my mind busy...not to mention I'm am obsessive collector. I could name off a bunch of odd hobbies such as dry aging my own steaks to having a walk-in humidor to refine my cigar aging techniques.

    As for chocolate...my wife and I were watching the movie chocolat and thought it was cool to watch that lady make chocolate from scratch. I told my wife I would figure out how to do it. That lead us down a really fun road. We love making chocolate so much we want to make it a business. We will be a small business concentrating on small volume high end sales 30-40 dollars a pound market. There are certainly more expensive chocolates out there but I think this is a realistic market we can hit with our current cocoa bean quality.

    Pu-erh teas...chinese tea that doesn't really fit perfectly in the white, green or black tea classifications. It tastes somewhere between black tea and coffee. It benefits greatly from years of age under the proper conditions. Recently one beeng (round disc of tea) sold for over 100k...aged for around 100 years. Pu-erhs are like fine wines...must pick out a good tea then age it under perfect conditions. When done right it can become a consumable commodity much like wines.

    I get most of my teas from jas-tea...which has nicely aged pu-erhs and some of the newer batches.

    Aging theory is one of my favorite subjects to learn about. I like the science and gustatory combination.

  7. #7
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    Re: Getting to Know You

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    Quote Originally Posted by flippy
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    My wife and I make our own chocolate truffles, turtles, dark, milk and white from scratch. We buy imported cocoa beans roast em, turn em into a liquor and use a coverted lentil melanger to process. It takes us about 36 hours to make a batch of chocolate. My wife is hoping to break into the high end artisan chocolate market in the next year or so.

    I also like to collect, drink and age chinese Pu-erh teas.

    You got me with the artisan chocolate market and pu-erh tea. I've heard of neither. How did you get into that?

    How expensive is high end chocolate? I saw a $1000 dessert in Las Vegas, but it had gold flakes in it so I'm not sure that counts as high end chocolate.

    Also curious what is pu-erh tea and where do you get it?

    I get into all sorts of odd hobbies mainly because I was an adhd child and got used to keeping my mind busy...not to mention I'm am obsessive collector. I could name off a bunch of odd hobbies such as dry aging my own steaks to having a walk-in humidor to refine my cigar aging techniques.

    As for chocolate...my wife and I were watching the movie chocolat and thought it was cool to watch that lady make chocolate from scratch. I told my wife I would figure out how to do it. That lead us down a really fun road. We love making chocolate so much we want to make it a business. We will be a small business concentrating on small volume high end sales 30-40 dollars a pound market. There are certainly more expensive chocolates out there but I think this is a realistic market we can hit with our current cocoa bean quality.

    Pu-erh teas...chinese tea that doesn't really fit perfectly in the white, green or black tea classifications. It tastes somewhere between black tea and coffee. It benefits greatly from years of age under the proper conditions. Recently one beeng (round disc of tea) sold for over 100k...aged for around 100 years. Pu-erhs are like fine wines...must pick out a good tea then age it under perfect conditions. When done right it can become a consumable commodity much like wines.

    I get most of my teas from jas-tea...which has nicely aged pu-erhs and some of the newer batches.

    Aging theory is one of my favorite subjects to learn about. I like the science and gustatory combination.
    I always thought there would be a great business if you could create a technology that speeds aging of wines, cheeses, meats, beers, etc.

    I mean, if they can genetically engineer foods today, why can't they genetically engineer aged foods? They could potentially recreate the $100K tea leaves for a fraction of the cost. Although ge food scares the heck out of me.

    I don't fully understand the aging process. I've had great bottles of wine that have aged to perfection and others that aged into vinegar.

  8. #8
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Getting to Know You

    Shawn,

    I REALLY want to make chocolate from scratch. I just told that to my wife yesterday. any hints for a newbie?

    Flippy,

    The difference between bait casting and fly fishing is like comparing paint-by-numbers to DaVinci. It is amazing. Just yesterday I was in the high country of the Rockies (The foothills actually) in a wild trout stretch - read "No planted fish. Catch and release, bait not allowed - of the Cache De La Pouder River. I caught a German Brown Trout on a fly I tied myself. You could fit two of them on your pinky fingernail.

    It doesn't get better than that.

    As for times, you have to "match the hatch". In other words, you find out what aquatic insects are hatching or on the move at the time, and fish the fly like that insect. 90% of a trout's diet is the larval stage of aquatic insects. The other 10% is a combination of bugs who accidently fall into the water, or fish fry, or the adult bugs laying eggs at the surface, etc. Go to youtube and search for fly tying of nymphs. It's extremely cool.

    I have caught fish in summer heat, in winter snow storms, when ice lined the rivers and when I was getting attacked by the shear numbers of crickets. Fish eat year round and I love to feed them.

    Just today I got a call from a local guide who is getting into fly fishing for wipers - a hybrid of white bass and stripped bass (very tasty!). He doesn't have a boat, and I do, so he is going to guide me for free at a few local lakes if I take him to practice this new addiction of his. Not a bad set up IMO. I'll try to post pics.

    Come for a visit and We'll hook you up!
    Steel City Mafia
    So Cal Boss (Ret)
    http://www.anewsong.com


    My son's first Kansas Turkey!

  9. #9

    Re: Getting to Know You

    Quote Originally Posted by Djfan
    Shawn,

    I REALLY want to make chocolate from scratch. I just told that to my wife yesterday. any hints for a newbie?

    Flippy,

    The difference between bait casting and fly fishing is like comparing paint-by-numbers to DaVinci. It is amazing. Just yesterday I was in the high country of the Rockies (The foothills actually) in a wild trout stretch - read "No planted fish. Catch and release, bait not allowed - of the Cache De La Pouder River. I caught a German Brown Trout on a fly I tied myself. You could fit two of them on your pinky fingernail.

    It doesn't get better than that.

    As for times, you have to "match the hatch". In other words, you find out what aquatic insects are hatching or on the move at the time, and fish the fly like that insect. 90% of a trout's diet is the larval stage of aquatic insects. The other 10% is a combination of bugs who accidently fall into the water, or fish fry, or the adult bugs laying eggs at the surface, etc. Go to youtube and search for fly tying of nymphs. It's extremely cool.

    I have caught fish in summer heat, in winter snow storms, when ice lined the rivers and when I was getting attacked by the shear numbers of crickets. Fish eat year round and I love to feed them.

    Just today I got a call from a local guide who is getting into fly fishing for wipers - a hybrid of white bass and stripped bass (very tasty!). He doesn't have a boat, and I do, so he is going to guide me for free at a few local lakes if I take him to practice this new addiction of his. Not a bad set up IMO. I'll try to post pics.

    Come for a visit and We'll hook you up!
    We are a very small group in the US who make chocolate from scratch. I am a member of http://chocolatetalk.proboards.com/index.cgi? or look up chocolate alchemy. Tell em DocLogic77 sent ya. At minimum you will have about 6-700 in start up costs and hours upon hours of study. It's a serious step just to make small batches. But, IMO well worth the effort. So much fun and I doubt you have ever tasted chocolate like this.

    At minimum you will need a champion juicer (to make the liquor), high end cocoa beans, and a melangers. A brief overview goes like this...

    1) Roast cocoa beans in your oven...different per bean but 300 for 30 minutes is about right for most.
    2) Crack the beans in the champion
    3) Winnow out the waste from the nibs
    4) process the cocoa nibs into a liquor through the champion.
    5) Add liquor to melanger...then place sugar, powdered milk, clarified butter, cocoa butter etc depending on what type of chocolate you are trying to make.
    6) process for 12-36 hours depending on many factors but I go by taste and texture.

    It's an art...not hard to learn but VERY hard to master.

    If you decide to get started...start a post and I'll help you out with any questions you might have.

  10. #10

    Re: Getting to Know You

    Quote Originally Posted by flippy
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    Quote Originally Posted by flippy
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    My wife and I make our own chocolate truffles, turtles, dark, milk and white from scratch. We buy imported cocoa beans roast em, turn em into a liquor and use a coverted lentil melanger to process. It takes us about 36 hours to make a batch of chocolate. My wife is hoping to break into the high end artisan chocolate market in the next year or so.

    I also like to collect, drink and age chinese Pu-erh teas.

    You got me with the artisan chocolate market and pu-erh tea. I've heard of neither. How did you get into that?

    How expensive is high end chocolate? I saw a $1000 dessert in Las Vegas, but it had gold flakes in it so I'm not sure that counts as high end chocolate.

    Also curious what is pu-erh tea and where do you get it?

    I get into all sorts of odd hobbies mainly because I was an adhd child and got used to keeping my mind busy...not to mention I'm am obsessive collector. I could name off a bunch of odd hobbies such as dry aging my own steaks to having a walk-in humidor to refine my cigar aging techniques.

    As for chocolate...my wife and I were watching the movie chocolat and thought it was cool to watch that lady make chocolate from scratch. I told my wife I would figure out how to do it. That lead us down a really fun road. We love making chocolate so much we want to make it a business. We will be a small business concentrating on small volume high end sales 30-40 dollars a pound market. There are certainly more expensive chocolates out there but I think this is a realistic market we can hit with our current cocoa bean quality.

    Pu-erh teas...chinese tea that doesn't really fit perfectly in the white, green or black tea classifications. It tastes somewhere between black tea and coffee. It benefits greatly from years of age under the proper conditions. Recently one beeng (round disc of tea) sold for over 100k...aged for around 100 years. Pu-erhs are like fine wines...must pick out a good tea then age it under perfect conditions. When done right it can become a consumable commodity much like wines.

    I get most of my teas from jas-tea...which has nicely aged pu-erhs and some of the newer batches.

    Aging theory is one of my favorite subjects to learn about. I like the science and gustatory combination.
    I always thought there would be a great business if you could create a technology that speeds aging of wines, cheeses, meats, beers, etc.

    I mean, if they can genetically engineer foods today, why can't they genetically engineer aged foods? They could potentially recreate the $100K tea leaves for a fraction of the cost. Although ge food scares the heck out of me.

    I don't fully understand the aging process. I've had great bottles of wine that have aged to perfection and others that aged into vinegar.

    There are pros and cons to speeding up the aging process in any consumable. The obvious pros are quicker finished product and cheaper costs. The cons are lesser quality and this is in just about any of the consumables.

    You can speed aging of anything in a number of ways. With cigars...exposing them to air, increasing the humidity and temp are a few ways. You can bump your humidity to 72%, temp to 72 degrees F and leave the box wide open in the humidor. You will likely have a good cigar with nice melding of flavors in a couple years. But, you have sacrificed quality for speed of aging. I personally vacuum seal my cigars and store at lower temps closer to 64 degrees and 65% humidity. By taking oxygen out of the process I decrease oxidative reactions and age through reduction reactions = a more well rounded product which can take decades to fully age. But, the results from the vast body of knowledge out there is that this produces the best aging results. Most of the english royalty have their cigars aged off site from generation to generation with a wax paper, low humidity, low temp environment.

    As for steaks...it's very easy. Just get a strip loin...keep your fridge at 34 degrees F...wrap in paper towels for the first couple days then remove them after 48 hours. Leave the full strip loin uncut in the fridge for around 21 days. Cut off the dry beef and slice into steaks. I then use a cast iron skillet heated up to 550 in the oven...sear on both sides for 2 min...stick back in the 550 oven for 4 minutes. This will give you a steak as good as or superior to many 5 star restaurants. And yes it's safe if you keep it at th right temp. I would look up the process online.

    Take home is that speeding of aging has been done for years for many products. But, you always sacrifice quality when doing so. With Pu-erhs they do this by "cooking" the tea. IMO it really hurts the final product.

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