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Topics - bigchicken

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1
Yeast and Fermentation / Bad Bucket Seal. Transfer for Lagering?
« on: March 14, 2014, 04:52:50 PM »
I did some searches and haven't found an answer to this, so time to start a new topic.

I typically ferment in a 6 gallon better bottle. I decided to try a lager while the temps were still cold in my garage, which will be a great place to leave it be for a month. I decided to use my 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket instead of the carboy to help keep any light from shining on it if I leave my garage door open at times. I haven't used the bucket in over a year.

About 3 days into fermentation, I realized that I didn't have an extremely long lag time, but that my bucket has lost it's good seal. The airlock has zero activity. The lid of the bucket is barely swollen, so I'm thinking it is leaking out the sides of the lid. Fermentation is definitely happening and will be finishing up in a few days.

My question is; should I rack the beer into my carboy for the lagering stage? I rarely use a secondary and hadn't planned on it this time, but the seal has me thinking. If the outgoing pressure is low while it lagers, what's to keep from some unwanted air getting in? Most concerning, I don't want the "fumes" of a garage getting into my beer. I'm not interesting in bottling a Munich Helles with a touch of gasoline exhaust. So what are your thoughts?

2
Ingredients / Raisin Addition
« on: November 06, 2013, 04:17:58 PM »
I'm getting ready to brew this weekend and plan to make an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie beer loosely based off the Maltose Falcons version here:
http://www.maltosefalcons.com/recipes/oatmeal-raisin-cookie-celebration-ale

According to this recipe, the raisins were added to a mesh bag and put into the boil. The raisins were rum soaked prior.
My questions with this are:
1. By boiling the raisins, will they add much flavor? I've read where caramelizing them or adding to a secondary can produce stronger flavors, but how much more flaovor?
2. Will any of the rum flavor make it into the beer if the raisins are just soaked in it? Would it be better to add the rum back in at flame out or at bottling?

I appreciate any feedback you all can provide on this.

3
Zymurgy / Zymurgy Windows Phone app?
« on: October 24, 2013, 11:04:58 AM »
I just joined the AHA and am wondering if there is any plan to bring an app to Windows Phone? With their 8.1 version due out soon, it is supposed to be much easier for developers.

4
Commercial Beer Reviews / Commercial Saisons
« on: August 29, 2013, 05:31:18 PM »
My new home has no basement, so I plan to try brewing some beers I can ferment on the high side, such as a Saison. Problem is, I can't remember having a commercial version before. I want to find some versions to try that I can then try to brew. So, what are your favorite Saisons and have you found or created a comparable recipe?

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Advice on teaching someone to brew.
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:38:35 AM »
This weekend I'll be helping someone brew a 5 gallon extract batch for the first time. They've never watched a brew session either. They jumped in and bought a good equipment kit and they're super excited to get started. Any advice of how I should help him during the process? I'm self taught and would not necessarily want him to struggle like I did at first, but I don't want to take away from the self learning process either. Any advice you can give will be appreciated.

6
Ingredients / Irish Moss Smell?
« on: December 01, 2012, 11:56:16 AM »
I'm getting ready to use this for the 1st time today and notice it smells a bit like a fish tank. Is that normal or did I pick up some that's extremely old? Sorry if this has been covered, I didn't have time to search.

7
Beer Recipes / Winter warmer with homegrown Chinook?
« on: August 12, 2012, 04:33:19 PM »
I will be harvesting my homegrown Chinook hops in about 2 to 3 weeks and haven't come up with an idea of what to use them in. I really don't know how much I'll get from the one Chinook plant I have, but it is full of happy 2" long hops. I was thinking of using them in a one hop variety winter warmer or some type of stout. I am thinking of making this beer in the 1.065 - 1.075 range. Target brew date would be September and drinking it in late December or early January. My problem is I'm totally stumped on a recipe idea. Any suggestions? Or do any of you have a tested recipe using Chinook that would be good for a cold winter's day?

Thanks in advance,
TJ

8
The Pub / LP regulator for a Kenmore gas grill.
« on: July 28, 2012, 11:06:00 AM »
Sears was useless, so I thought I'd ask all of you to see if you can help. I'm trying to find a stainless braided hose and regulator for a Kenmore gas grill of my mother-in-law's. Of course Sears can't provide me any information on the regulator's PSI rating and I can't find it anywhere on the unit or in the manual. In fact, I struggled to find any info on the regulator because it is made in China. What I did find isn't exactly clear. It appears it is a Illida brand regulator model 601-A2. The Chinese website states it is for a 47600 BTU appliance, but the grill is nearly double that. Is this a case of Kenmore being cheap and putting on an inferior product, or am I getting the wrong specs? So, my real question is do any of you have a recommendation of another product I can use as a replacement? I'm looking at a Bayou Classic M5LPH, 36" Stainless Braided Low Pressure Hose, 1-PSI Regulator, 3/8" Flare Swivel Fitting that I can get from Amazon for less than $25, but I'm not sure it will work. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
TJ

9
Beer Recipes / Recreating an old recipe
« on: April 14, 2012, 05:24:17 PM »
I recently received a copy of one of my Grandpa's old beer recipes and want to recreate it. I'm having some problems rounding up the ingredients though. I thought it would be cool to be able to try this with my dad and uncle in memory of my Grandpa this summer. Here is the ingredient list:
I cake of Fleishman's yeast
1 can of Blue Ribbon Malt (save the can)
2 1/2 cans of sugar (the malt can)

Simple enough. Problem is the Blue Ribbon Malt (now Premier Malt) is hard to find. It seems the company is going out of business or has shifted their focus to something else. My other concern is I'd like to find a yeast that would provide the same flavor as the Fleishman's yeast, but use a beer yeast not a baking yeast. Any ideas? Any ideas on the type of extract I could use that would be close to the old Blue Ribbon Malt? Or I'd also do this as a partial mash or all grain if anyone has an idea of what grain bill would work?
I'd like to keep the flavor as close to the original as possible. Any help would be appreciated.

10
I'm not a huge fan of Tripels, but this one works for me. It is 8.5% ABV, but in no way seems like it. I found it really tough to sip. The only annoying thing is Tallgrass sells their beers in 4 packs of 16 oz cans now days. I miss their old 6 packs of bottles.

If anyone has tried this one, please tell me how you think it compares to other beers of this style. I'm always for trying a style till I find a few I like.

11
Yeast and Fermentation / 1st time needing a blow off tube
« on: January 31, 2012, 08:05:19 PM »
Greetings,

I came home from work today to find my airlock overflowing with krausen. I sanitized a blow off tube and switched out the airlock with it. I was very surprised to see this happen. The beer is an all grain Blonde with an OG of just 1.045. I'm using US-05 and didn't use a starter, but did rehydrate before pitching. It's a 5 gallon batch in a 6 gallon Better Bottle. Fermentation temps are holding at 64-65. So, is this normal with all grain brews?  ??? I usually do extracts and have never needed to use a blow off tube, not even with 5.5 gallon batches. The beer was brewed Sunday.

I'm curious to see your responses and thanks in advance.

TJ Cook 

12
Ingredients / pumpkin blossom honey
« on: January 14, 2012, 09:43:06 PM »
In November, I went to a local craft show to find some locally harvested honey. I found an unusual honey that had a great taste; pumpkin blossom honey. The farmer moved the bees next to a local pumpkin patch. The result was a pinkish colored ultra potent flavored honey. It was super expensive. I paid $5 for a tiny jar that's maybe 4 ounces. Has anyone ever found this honey before and was it a reasonable price? Can you find it affordable online anywhere?  I'd love to get enough of this to brew with if I get the chance, but not at the prices I've seen.

13
Commercial Beer Reviews / Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
« on: November 30, 2011, 08:30:01 PM »
I haven't had much luck finding a pumpkin beer I liked until I tried this one. In my opinion it is the best pumpkin beer available in this state (Nebraska). You have to like a spiced beer to enjoy this. It has a strong pumpkin spice aroma and a great mild pumpkin taste. Its the only pumpkin beer I've found that is a lager. I'm thinking that may be part of its magic. Anybody else try this one?

14
Yeast and Fermentation / Sterling 514 English Ale Yeast
« on: August 29, 2011, 10:45:06 AM »
I noticed that Austin Homebrew Supply started selling this dry yeast. Does anyone have any experience using it? What were some pros & cons?

15
Hello to all!

I have been extract brewing a couple years and would like to make the jump to all grain brewing, but would like to do so without getting more equipment (if possible). I have a very large grain bag that will hold enough for a 5 gallon all grain batch. I'm wondering if it would work, advantages, disadvantages, of using my boiling kettle as a mash tun. I plan to hold my grain in the grain bag ,lift it out and place it in a strainer, and then run water through it to rinse right back into the same kettle. My kettle holds approximately 6.5 gallons of liquid, so I realize I may need to top off a bit in the fermentor to get it back to 5 gallons, like an extract brew.

If this won't work, I will be making a system like Denny recommends on his site, but am curious if my "cheap" method would work. I should also say that I still plan to extract brew the majority of the time, but want the all grain option.

Thanks in advance.

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