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Topics - narcout

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All Things Food / Steamed Clams
« on: October 11, 2015, 07:40:18 AM »
We love clams.  Personally, I prefer them raw on the half shell, but steamed is also pretty nice.

I saute onions and garlic, then add water, white wine, parsley and the clams - bring that to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer covered.  I believe the secret to success is to monitor the pot closely, and remove each clam with a pair of tongs as soon as it opens (transferring them to a bowl that is covered with tin foil).  That way you don't overcook the early openers.

I can get about 30 good sized littlenecks in my old 5 gallon extract kettle (which I also use to make a mean vegetarian matzo ball soup for Passover).

All Things Food / Chipotle Salsa
« on: September 20, 2015, 01:38:03 PM »
This recipe came from a cookbook my wife got at some wine tasting event we went to earlier in the summer.  It makes for a pretty spicy salsa; I might back off on the chipotles a bit next time.

2 small cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (with adobo sauce washed off)
4 roma tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 quart water
salt and black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, blend in a food processor

It was delicious both for dipping and as a garnish on the main dish of the evening (squid sauteed with tomatoes and garlic over rice and beans).  I whipped up a few margaritas as well.

Equipment and Software / Mini Fridge
« on: September 14, 2015, 09:07:02 AM »
I would like to get a second fermentation chamber so I can try my hand at mead.

Is there a mini fridge available that can hold a 5 gallon corny keg right out of the box, without my having to modify the door or mess around with the freezer coils?

If not, I'll just buy the smallest chest freezer available.

Beer Recipes / Waimea APA
« on: September 07, 2015, 09:53:50 AM »
I finally got around to brewing this one on Friday night.

6 gallon batch:

11 lbs. 2-row
8 oz. Caramunich II

1 oz. Waimea (17.4% AA) - 60 min.
.5 oz Waimea and .5 oz. Columbus - 10 min.
.5 oz Waimea and .3 oz (all I had left) Columbus - 5 min.
1 oz. Waimea - 0 min.

One packet S-04 (rehydrated), currently fermenting at 67 degrees

OG: 1.055
IBU as projected by Beersmith: 52

Mashed at 152 for one hour; mash pH between 5.3 and 5.4 (I didn't feel like breaking out the meter); all distilled water with minerals to 150 ppm sulfate and 30 ppm chloride

Yeast and Fermentation / New Yeast Company
« on: June 20, 2015, 08:06:40 AM »
Did anyone catch the name of that new yeast company?  The one that will be selling 200 billion cells per pitch in little metal canisters.

Equipment and Software / SSBT Insulated Stainless Mash Tun
« on: June 19, 2015, 10:51:52 AM »
This caught my eye at the NHC expo.  It's expensive, I don't need it, it won't improve my beer or make my brewday easier or faster, but I want it all the same.

Events / 2015 NHC Impressions
« on: June 14, 2015, 12:12:33 PM »
I just want to say what an awesome time I had at the NHC.  I can’t believe I was thinking about not going.

A lot of people must have worked very hard to make it happen, and they did a fantastic job. 

It was inspiring to try so many great homebrews, and it was a sincere pleasure to meet all of you (especially, but in no way limited to, the crew I was out with Friday afternoon).

To me, this weekend reinforced everything that is positive about homebrewing.  I hope everyone else had as much fun as I did and that I’ll see you all next year and beyond.

Beer Recipes / Australian Sparkling Ale
« on: May 02, 2015, 10:14:33 AM »
After an insanely stressful work week, I've got some time to brew tonight.  This will be my second stab at the style.

6 gallon batch

10.75 lbs. Pilsner malt (I can't remember at the moment if I bought Castle or Best)
.5 lbs. Carahell

1.5 oz. Pride of Ringwood - 60 min
.5 oz. Pride of Ringwood - 10 min
.5 oz. Pride of Ringwood - 5 min

Wyeast 1275 - Thames Valley Ale (appropriately sized starter)

OG. 1.054

I'm hoping it will finish on the dry side.  I'll probably mash at 148 and ferment around 70.

Equipment and Software / Scotch Fasteners
« on: April 12, 2015, 11:06:43 AM »
In case anyone is looking for an easy way to mount a temperature controller to the front of a chest freezer, this stuff is awesome.

Equipment and Software / Crud in stainless fermentor
« on: March 11, 2015, 10:28:16 AM »
Does anyone know if this is beerstone or just stubborn crud?  Neither oxyclean nor PBW will remove it, though I can scratch it off with my fingernail.

Secondary question, is it ok to use a blue, non-scratch scrubby on the inside of a stainless fermentor?  I use them all the time on my brewpots without issue, so it seems like it should be ok.  A good scrub with one of those would definitely take this stuff off.  Otherwise, I guess I'll try some sort of acidic cleaner.


Yeast and Fermentation / Interesting 1056 behaviour
« on: February 23, 2015, 02:18:58 PM »
Wednesday night I made a 1.7 liter starter, hit it with some O2, pitched a smack pack of 1056 and set it on a stir plate at a low RPM.

It was at high krausen when I got up for work at 6:30 Thursday morning, and I put it in the fridge before I left the house around 8:00.  When I got home around 7:30 p.m., I checked the starter, and it was still fermenting (though slowly) after having been in the fridge for just under 12 hours.  I don't know how cold my fridge is, but I think upper 30's is a good guess.

Saturday morning when I was ready to decant and pitch, I took it out of the fridge and put it out on the kitchen counter while I was sanitizing my oxygenation gear.  Less than ten minutes later, there was a quarter inch thick ring of krausen around the inside of the flask, and it was bubbling pretty steadily.  It couldn't have warmed up much past the mid 40's at that point.

Anyway, I was just surprised that this yeast was still active at such a low temperature.  It makes me wonder if you could ferment a full batch with it at lager temps (not that there's really any reason to do so).

I feel as though the culture was in pretty good shape when I pitched, and I'm going to continue the crash at high krausen method.  I wonder if any other strains will behave similarly.

Yeast and Fermentation / Coopers Dry Yeast
« on: February 20, 2015, 10:36:28 AM »
Does anyone know if Coopers Dry Ale Yeast is the same yeast the brewery uses or if there is a Wyeast or White Labs equivalent of the yeast used by the brewery?

I'd like to brew something similar to Coopers Best Extra Sparkling Ale.

My recollection is that there is a fair amount of yeast in the bottles that could be cultured, but they aren't all that easy to find (at least not here).

Kegging and Bottling / Leaking Regulator
« on: January 22, 2015, 10:32:37 AM »
After 6 or so years of no issues, I finally have a gas leak somewhere in my system.  I think I have it pinned down to the high pressure portion of my regulator, but I'm wondering if you guys can let me know if my thought process is correct.

What I did was turn the gas on so that the high pressure gauge read about 500 and the low pressure gauge read about 14.  I then closed the valve that leads from the regulator to the gas manifold and turned off the gas.  When I checked it a few hours later, the high pressure gauge read 0, but the low pressure gauge still read 14, and there was still pressure that could be released through the pressure release valve (which then brought the reading on the low pressure gauge to 0).  I repeated this process twice and obtained the same result.

My thinking is that this means the leak is in the high pressure portion of the regulator, so it's either the connection between the reg stem and tank, the connection between the reg stem and body of the reg, or the connection between the high pressure gauge and body of the reg.

I believe my experiment shows that the low pressure part of the reg (pressure relief valve, low pressure gauge connection, pressure control knob, and valve leading to the manifold) are not leaking.

Does that seem logical?  I'll try to verify the source tonight using soapy water.

I've tested all the other parts of the system, and this seems to be the only one that won't hold pressure overnight once the gas has been turned off.

Equipment and Software / Beer Stone (maybe)
« on: January 13, 2015, 02:31:49 PM »
I've noticed a whitish film building up on the interior of my new stainless fermentor (and also a bit on the dip tubes of my corny kegs). 

Neither oxyclean nor PBW seems to be effective at removing it.  I can just barely scrape a bit off using my fingernail.

If I run my finger down the inside of the fermentor, I can feel exactly where it starts (it has kind of a rough, almost non-slip surface feel to it).

Is this beer stone?  If so, what is a good way to remove it?

I feel like bar keeper's friend would probably work, but I've only ever used it to clean the outside of kegs and the inside of kettles.  Is it safe to use on the inside of a fermentor with non-scratch (blue) scrub pad?

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