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Messages - gmac

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Ingredients / Caramunich II vs Crystal 45
« on: September 08, 2011, 09:16:40 AM »
I use a lot of C45 in many of the beers I brew.  It is sort of my go-to crystal for British beers, Pale Ales, etc if I want body and crystal character.
But, I recently found a supplier who handles Weyermann in bulk and I'm considering buying a 55 lb sack of CaraMunich II.  How close is this to Crystal 45 in character?  Lovibond looks pretty close but other than that I'm not sure. 
The price is less than half of what I'm paying now for almost all of the malts so I'll be buying base malts from them, just not sure how this compares.

All Things Food / Re: Big Green Egg
« on: September 08, 2011, 07:57:09 AM »
I'm probably gonna buy one of these this fall because I can get one at a very good price but I'm not sure what size.  
What is the best size in your opinion?  I'm not an experienced smoker but I'd like to be able to do it from time to time for family and friends.  Also, I don't want to get one too small because I have 4 boys and although they are young now, in 5 years we're gonna be going through meat like crazy.

So, what size is best?  L or XL?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP002 English Ale
« on: September 07, 2011, 11:27:13 AM »
Holy Flocculation Batman!!!

I brewed my bitter yesterday (not sure where this fits in between bitter or brown).  I made a 2.5 L starter a few days ago and put it in the fridge to cool about 12 hours before I pitched it.  I dumped the liquid and then tried to swirl the yeast into suspension in the cup or so I left behind.  No matter how much I swirled it, I couldn't get it back into suspension.  I ended up pitching it but it was like pitching cottage cheese.  In the end, I had to shake it out of the measuring cup that I was using.  I gave the pails a really good shake to try to get it suspended and not just drop to the bottom.  Is this normal?

I probably underpitched because I ended up doing a double batch (10 gals) and splitting it between the two but I am very sure that there was a lot more yeast in each than in a WLP tube.  Now, 15 hours later they are both bubbling like crazy.  OG was about 1.055 so it wasn't that high gravity to start with.

Can I top crop this?  I have another starter going for a stout on Friday but I want to take out some krausen and store it in a sterile jar in the fridge for building a future starter.  Is this a dumb idea?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/2 Edition
« on: September 06, 2011, 08:47:46 AM »
Just started 10 gals of English Bitter.  I know it's Tuesday, does it still count as the weekend?

Beer Recipes / Re: Wanted: Stout Recipe
« on: September 05, 2011, 09:05:05 PM »
Thanks Tom.  I'll be giving yours a try next week with the exception of the yeast.  I have WLP002 ready to go so I'm gonna give that a try.  It's the only thing I have on hand anyway so it'll have to do.  I've been saving 15 lbs of Maris Otter for a stout so I should be good.
Just to clarify, when you say "black barley", do you mean black patent or roasted barley?  Or is this something more obscure that I'm not familiar with?
Thanks again.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling from a keg
« on: September 05, 2011, 11:37:00 AM »
Thanks all.  I tried the stopper thing again and I'm not getting it.  I ended up filling the 10 bottles I needed using just a racking cane in the picnic tap with no stopper and about 2 psi of pressure but I still think I wasted 5 or 10 more bottles in foam and overpour. 
If I decide to do this again, I think a beer gun may be in my future.  Depends on how many competitions I decide to enter.  This is the first one ever and I don't expect much (maybe a couple best in class and 2nd overall but I don't expect to win or anything...)

I'll let you know how I did (assuming my beer makes it in the courier).

Kegging and Bottling / Bottling from a keg
« on: September 05, 2011, 07:58:18 AM »
I'm gonna enter a few beer into a competition but I need to put it in a bottle from a keg.  Any advice on how to do this?  I've seen the video with guys using a racking cane with a stopper and I tried and got showered with beer every time despite lowering the pressure.  I must be doing something really wrong.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

The Pub / Re: Where are you?
« on: September 05, 2011, 07:49:14 AM »
I love reading the first page of these multi-page threads and then jumping right to the end and wondering "How the hell did they end up here?"

Beer Recipes / Wanted: Stout Recipe
« on: September 04, 2011, 04:29:54 PM »
I'm looking for a good Guiness type stout recipe (all grain) to brew for the upcoming cold and dark winter months.  If anyone has one, can you please share?  I'm looking for something in a session style beer, not a Russian Imperial Stout.  That's just too strong for me...I know that there's been talk on here before about some guy with a brand new Ph.D that has a pretty good stout recipe but I'm not sure if it was ever posted.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: brewing an English pale
« on: September 02, 2011, 04:54:20 PM »
Actually, I think an English IPA should be under 5.5% ABV, no matter what the American-written BJCP guidelines say.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: all foam from keg
« on: September 02, 2011, 11:38:23 AM »
I had one keg that I couldn't get to stop foaming (and it was the first one I ever tried).  Eventually I realized the wrong dip tube was in it and it only gave about 1/8 inch of clearance for the beer to enter which seemed to agitate things.  Cut a 1/2 inch off the tube and it was perfect.  My lines are 10 feet and I keep them in the freezer to avoid temp differences (picnic taps) and they work great now.  Just spent a lot of time being frustrated with different pressures and line lengths and they weren't the big problem.  Check everything over and clean the poppits well too (that's helped me).

Ingredients / Re: Setting up a hop yard
« on: September 02, 2011, 06:13:25 AM »
Drying is going to require some sort of forced air system.  You could possibly build your own if you just need to run air through but if it needs heat you'll probably need help. 
We dry corn ears in 4X4 foot wooden boxes with a perforated bottom that fits onto a natural gas/forced air dryer.  You can stack multiple boxes on top of each other.  These sort of things are available commercially.

Years ago I worked in a another crop and we used large dryers that we brought in from Georgia.  They were actually dryers for peanuts, not sure how easy it would be to modify.  Here is the website

I wish you luck and hope you can make this work (partly so I can buy hops from you).

All Grain Brewing / Re: My first Saison
« on: September 01, 2011, 05:17:15 PM »
It tastes really good.  The mouthfeel is nice and I don't really notice the "oily" character that is supposed to be associated with this yeast.  The spicing is good and it feels appropriate for the beer.  In fact, if summer wasn't almost over, it would be a darn nice summer beer.  Not being a BJCP certified judge, I can't say for sure what the mouthfeel is (or at least I can't describe it properly) but I like it and so do others who've tried it. 
I sent Drew an email with a picture of my hydrometer reading (sorry, taken on my BB and I don't know how to send to a sharing site).  I think I'm reading it right.  Could be 1.002. 

The Pub / Re: Aren't some of you guys drummers?
« on: September 01, 2011, 04:51:24 PM »
His brother's riding the hell out of that bike.  That's the real star of the video...

The Pub / Re: Squash Time (pic)
« on: September 01, 2011, 04:42:12 PM »
I have been known to use pickles instead. Interesting flavor combo.

Dill or sweet pickles in the "pickle bread"? 

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