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Messages - bigchicken

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Alternatives to Wyeast 1945
« on: February 19, 2018, 06:29:10 PM »
Plate a sample, pull individual colonies and store on slants. I've had good success up to 18 months.
I've never gone that route, but may need to. Ideally, I'll find an alternative strain readily available.

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Yeast and Fermentation / Alternatives to Wyeast 1945
« on: February 17, 2018, 04:45:31 PM »
Hello all,

Been a long while since I've been here after taking a long unexpected brewing hiatus. Life stepped in and took away my brewing time. Now I want to charge back in and am planning to brew some of my favorite recipes. Problem is, my favorite yeast strain has been discontinued.

Wyeast NeoBrittania 1945 was a Northern Brewer exclusive and is no longer available. Wyeast confirmed for me that nobody else will be selling it. They've suggested I substitute with London Ale III 1318. For those that have used both, do you feel this is a good substitute?

I have 2 expired packs of 1945 that I'm going to try and save. I plan to make starters and store small amounts long term. Eventually, I know there will be too many mutations for me to keep using these, with my limited yeast storage abilities. So, an alternative is my long-term best option.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Cloudy beer
« on: October 01, 2016, 02:14:02 PM »
Hi folks
My Pale Ale is delish - a Two Hearted clone. This batch I used SalFale US 05 dry yeast and beer is cloudy, reached 5.65 ABV in the keg - no secondary. First batch was great got to 6.2 % but back then I was bottling and using White Labs Pure Pitch Cal Ale and I got gorgeous clarity but it was bottle conditioned. Questions ...what is likelihood cloudiness caused by either yeast or lack of settling (did not rack twice). Has been in keg at 4 degrees C for 2 weeks. Drinks really well. No off flavours / aromas at all. Not real keen on filtering in case I lose some flavour. Could cloudiness be residual yeast and could this cause some tummy pains for my valuable patrons ? Cheers
No tummy issues to worry about from the yeast in suspension.

US 05 takes time to drop out, but will with a patient fermentation. I let it go 2-3 weeks in the primary and I never rack off the yeast until I'm ready to bottle. The bottles are clear as soon as they're carbed and ready to drink unless I get sloppy with the racking.

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Zymurgy / Re: Zymurgy Windows Phone app?
« on: September 08, 2016, 12:40:29 AM »
Funny, I first posted this question 3 months after buying a Windows Phone. I used that same device until 2 months ago. I have never had a phone as well built as that. I still have it and use it for a media storage, running a developer version of Windows 10.

The comment about it being a 1% market share is exactly why many developers strayed from Windows. While the platform gained ground in other countries, it didn't in the U.S. I switched to Android recently and can say that while my new device is faster, the OS lacks what I have on my Windows 10 Phone. Everyday I find something I'm missing that my old phone had. My first web pop up pissed me off, forgetting that the Windows phone was the only 1 I've had that blocked that crap. Honestly, I'd have bought another 1, but I switched to US Cellular and they don't offer that option.

For those not liking Windows, you've got good reason. No apps and little hope of getting them will kill it off eventually. I just wish my Android had the options my Windows Phone did as built in items and that my Windows Phone had the apps that Android does.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Christmas gifts - aging beer
« on: March 12, 2016, 03:16:11 AM »
I am planning to brew a batch and bottle in nice flip top bottles for Christmas gifts.

I was planning a Russian Imperial Stout. I was going to brew an Old Rasputin clone recipe from the AHA website.

How long should I age the beer? In other words should I hurry up and brew or wait a while?

Edit: actual the article says age only a month or so due to lots of late hops. I missed that before.

Bottle issue aside, I'd brew it soon. Most big beers benefit from aging. Double IPA, maybe not. I'm finding beers over 7% can benefit from aging for 4 or more years, depending on the style.

For what it's worth, I hide back a few bottles of each batch just to see how it ages. That way I can try to find the "prime" drinking age. Some will surprise you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Getting Smegma out of Better Bottles
« on: August 09, 2015, 04:39:04 PM »

I always though smegma was just generic for gunk or grime.
Nope. I always do a 24 hour soak with Oxiclean Free in the garage.  After that, I've never seen anything a swish and swirl with a microfiber wash cloth wouldn't get out.  Maybe you're not soaking long enough.

I do that with glass.

But I'm pretty sure the better bottle website says not to soak them for long periods of time in caustic cleaners. I think they specifically mention PBW.

That's why I use a small amount of antibacterial or scent free dish soap with warm water. Let them soak, rinse, and throw in a soft cloth with a little water to shake around and remove any other leftovers. I save PBW for buckets.

Equipment and Software / Re: Monster Mill Drill Question
« on: July 18, 2015, 03:24:07 AM »
I am using a Ryobi cordless that is only 12 volt, I believe. One battery is plenty for 20 pounds of grain. My 14.4 volt Black & Decker couldn't turn the shaft at all. I use a MM2.

I would recommend an electric drill, though. The drill gets hot and will most likely ruin the battery packs faster than normal use. I'll probably buy a cheap electric drill soon with variable speed.

Equipment and Software / Re: Grain Mill Stand
« on: July 18, 2015, 03:16:42 AM »
Actually, I might extend the coverage to the top of the bucket. I used some reflectix to make a chute under my mill to keep the dust down a bit - it helps. If the exit from the mill isn't bound in some way - the dust really gets out of control. I also made a skirt out of a malt bag, but took it off - it helped keep the dust out, but really got in the way of pulling out the bucket. Some thin plywood will add some stiffness to your design and help to control the dust.

Now if you are out of stainless screws at this point... you might need a few more.

I agree with the dust issue. There's too much space from the mill to the bucket without some type of chute.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 04, 2015, 03:38:18 PM »

Could be that they were just touting it becasue it was trendy, kinda like how you might see chicken labelled as "gluten free".

HA! Excellent point! Hadn't thought of it like that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 03, 2015, 09:03:02 PM »
If you are using a cooler, I wonder if the tun itself is food grade or meant to be utilized in the manner you intend? Probably not.

I'll go out on a limb and say go ahead and use the GE product.

Euge brings up a good point about the tun material. In my case, I found a cooler that was BPA free and was as close to food grade as possible. Check the data sheets for the silicone you chose. Some are construction only and are not even under water rated.

I have yet to see a cooler that isn't BPA free.  Have you seen one that used BPA?  AFAIK, coolers are made of HDPE, which is food safe.

You know, I can't find coolers that don't brag that they are BPA free now. When I bought my tun, only Rubbermaid listed it on their website.
I have the first style Coleman Extreme as a beverage cooler and could never find out what it was made from. I had read the first style had BPA, but couldn't get any real proof either way. I'm glad the companies are being transparent now.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 03, 2015, 12:43:58 PM »
If you are using a cooler, I wonder if the tun itself is food grade or meant to be utilized in the manner you intend? Probably not.

I'll go out on a limb and say go ahead and use the GE product.

Euge brings up a good point about the tun material. In my case, I found a cooler that was BPA free and was as close to food grade as possible. Check the data sheets for the silicone you chose. Some are construction only and are not even under water rated.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 03, 2015, 03:52:12 AM »
I wouldn't use it. I've used aquarium silicone for years for minor leaks or sealing. If it isn't food safe, its probably a bad idea. That and it could create some off flavors. Even aquarium silicone seems to need a good wash/sanitize to remove any odors.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What is applejack?? And is it good?
« on: June 20, 2015, 04:36:34 PM »
I promise I will come and visit you in prison, where you will be withering away in a maximum security wing, convicted for illegal moonshining, blinded by methanol poisoning and suffering from quasi-permanent migraine attacks.

That got a laugh out of me this morning!

Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: June 09, 2015, 08:36:45 PM »
Is it an older style Coleman Xtreme? If so, ditch the manifold idea and batch sparge with either a hose braid or bazooka tube. Those coolers seem purpose built when you add a bazooka screen.

It's actually a Rubbermaid 5 day cooler. It's been a PITA since I bought it. I bought it at Menard's and wonder if it wasn't a reject from the factory. The hole size for the drain is a little too big for 1/2" bulk head setups, the drain trough is too short to use a rigid connection, and it has a weak exterior. The manifold I used before worked good, but was allowing too much grain through. The braid is an awesome filter, but has to arch up from my drain connection causing dead space. A false bottom should allow me to completely drain the tun and keep good filtration, with a braid installed in it for extra filtration of fine particles. Now I just need to make sure my mill setting doesn't cause too small of crush with the stainless I find.

Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: June 09, 2015, 02:43:18 PM »
Good info everyone! I am going to change up my mash tun a bit and build a rectangular false bottom with perforated stainless. Not by choice, but my cooler has an odd middle drain with a tight angle on the inside. I've used a CPVC manifold and stainless braid, but I have too much dead space. Your suggestions got me thinking of the perforation size I'll have to get. The more I think, the deeper the rabbit hole goes.

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