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Topics - theDarkSide

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Equipment and Software / Better Bottle Mold
« on: January 29, 2013, 12:57:58 PM »
I was catching up on some cleaning the other day and came across a Better Bottle with some mold.  I usually fill my carboys after rinsing them with warm-hot oxyclean solution and let them soak overnight or two, etc.  Apparently I forgot about this one and didn't rinse it as well as I should, because in the neck of the bottle was a nice disc of mold the width of the neck.  And did it smell bad.  :-[

I dumped the solution (and the mold) , rinsed several times and then stuck it on my carboy cleaner with hot oxyclean for about 40 minutes.  After rinsing with fresh water 2-3 times, it doesn't smell anymore and looks clean.

Do you think I can assume it is clean and no mold spores are living in it after all that?  Since it's a better bottle, I really can't hit it with flame or extremely hot water to sterilize it.


The Pub / Just in Case You are Traveling to China
« on: January 10, 2013, 11:11:48 AM »

This was in my fortune cookie today!

P.S.  those lucky numbers belong to me and the millions I'm going to win in the back off!  ;D

The Pub / OUCH!!
« on: January 08, 2013, 02:06:20 PM »

I heard some writer say he could be out 14-18 months...that sucks!  I love watching him play.  I'm sure it all guessing right now so hopefully it is not as bad as it looks.  Anyone remember Theisman?  It reminded me a lot of that when I say it on TV...without the break of course.

If anyone is in the Portsmouth, NH area this weekend, Earth Eagle Brewing is having their taproom Grand Opening on Saturday, November 17 from noon - 4pm.  The brewery is located adjacent to A&G Homebrew Shop on 165 High Street.

Along with some traditional style beer (i.e. New England Gansta IPA ), they are specializing in gruits.  Having tasted a few from the homebrew version, they should do well.

If you are in the area, you should check them out.

Homebrew Clubs / Learn to Homebrew Event Pictures - Seacoast Homebrew Club
« on: November 05, 2012, 07:09:28 AM »
Here are some pictures from the Learn to Homebrew Day event at A&G Homebrew Supply ( ) in Portsmouth, NH.  The Seacoast Homebrew Club had 7 separate brew sessions going, for a total of 35 gallons.  We had first time brewers and first all grain brewers.  We all did a porter, which we are going to add to a Jim Beam barrel. 

It was a little chiily when we started, but the sun came out later.  Just proves that homebrew makes everything better  ;D

My car, packed and ready to go.  First time I've taken my brew on the road.

The Pub / Sandy
« on: October 26, 2012, 10:40:30 AM »
Looks like Sam Calagione is in for a ride.

The National Weather Service is predicting the path of Sandy to go pretty much right over the brewery.  Of course these things change, but the Delmarva pennisula looks to get hit pretty hard.

Stay safe Ron and all our East Coast folks.  Hopefully it's not a repeat of what happened in New England last year, especially Vermont with Irene.

The Pub / East vs West
« on: October 26, 2012, 06:37:52 AM »
I heard this on WEEI sports radio in Boston this morning and almost drove off the road laughing...

Other Fermentables / My First Cider
« on: October 17, 2012, 05:17:48 PM »
I started my first cider ever on September 16th.  5 gallons local cider, campden tablet for 24 hours then pitched Lavlin 71b yeast and did a primary for about 3 weeks.  Transferred from a bucket to a carboy and aged another 2+ weeks.  I transferred to another carboy tonight and took a sample to taste.  It was a tart, metallic taste and a bit of sulfur aroma. 

Any suggestions why there is a metallic taste, or is this normal before backsweetening it?

Thank you for your assistance...I promise to include you in my acceptance speech for the Ninkasi award  ;D

The Pub / Ebay Ban
« on: August 17, 2012, 12:57:09 PM »
So here it is...late Friday afternoon before the start of my vacation.  I figure might as well post on the AHA Forum.  What else am I going to do?  Work?  ;D

I read today how Ebay is going to ban sales of certain intangible items ( spells, hexes and the sort ).  I was then thinking about how fast the GABF Members only session sold out and how shortly after, these tickets were being listed on ebay, stubhub, etc.

Do you think a ban on these beer related items is a good idea?  How about the people who go to the limited releases and buy bottles just to sell them on ebay for a 1000% markup?

I am not for anymore "nanny-state" items, like banning soda, greasy food, etc., but I can't stand it when people do these things just to make a profit, especially when that profit isn't shared with the brewers or organizers of an event.  What's next?  Ebay listing for NHC entries for the people who didn't get in on time?

Your thoughts?  Or not...again, I'm just bored before vacation starts in  T-01:03:30.

Yeast and Fermentation / What are you paying for your yeast?
« on: August 06, 2012, 11:27:01 AM »
I just bought a smack pack of Wyeast Lager yeast today and it cost $11.75.  I wouldn't normally pay that much but I needed it sooner than later.

What is everyone else willing to pay for yeast?

I know I can get it cheaper online, but I'm not too crazy about it sitting in the UPS truck in this heat, even with the freezer packs (which probably only last a few hours ).  Another local option has it for $9.99, which also seems high.  Most of the places around me only have Wyeast, but it is the same for White Labs?  Is everything going up?  Is there a dreaded yeast "shortage"  ;)?

Also the yeast I got today is dated March 6, 2012 which means I'm going to need to step it up a few couple times to get the total yeast I need.  But when you procrastinate, you pay I guess  >:(

Other Fermentables / First Mead Questions
« on: August 02, 2012, 10:10:56 AM »
Started my first mead on Sunday.  15 lbs of wildflower honey, water, and 1/4 of the nutrients.  I rehydrated the yeast (71B-1122) according to package and I'm fermenting at 65 F.  I open and stir it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.  I also add a 1/4 of the nutrients when I stir at night.  I currently have 1/4 left and from an interview with Curt Stock that I saw, he said the last 1/4 should be added when 2/3 fermentation was done. 

My question now is how many more days should I be stirring the mead to off gas the CO2?  Is there some unwritten rule or it is based on percentage of fermentation completed?  Should I be stirring it everyday still but maybe not as vigorously as I have been?

I have some madagascar vanilla beans soaking in vodka right now to dose the mead at bottling time.


All Things Food / Smoking Chicken - Need Brine and Rub Recipes
« on: June 08, 2012, 11:32:31 AM »
So I decided to branch out from smoking ribs to trying a whole chicken this weekend.

Anyone have some recipes for a brine ( yes, it can include beer if you want ) and rubs for my maiden voyage into the smoked chicken world?

Most of the brines I've seen online say water, salt, & sugar and spices if you want.  The spices part is what I'm curious about.  I don't want to over do it. 


The Pub / RIP Junior
« on: May 02, 2012, 12:08:42 PM »

Hated him as a Charger ( I'm a Pats fan ) but respected the player.  Totally loved him as a Patriot...a true sportsman, hard worker, and never seemed to let his fame get the best of him.

Every year I'm kinda hope he signs back on with the Pats...I guess that is over.

It will be interesting to see what develops in the investigation.

RIP Junior!

Yeast and Fermentation / Aerate Starter?
« on: April 05, 2012, 10:26:37 AM »
Recent scoresheets have made me wonder whether I'm aerating my wort properly.  In the past I've either shaken the carboy or used an aquarium pump/sanitary filter/stone setup.  Both methods seem to produce a lot of foam, which in turn may be affecting my head retention later.

So I ordered a O2 aeration system from Williams Brewing ( liked this one especially because of the rod that allows me to put the stone right where I want it ).  Now I want to aerate everything  ;D

I use a stir plate for my starters, so is it necessary to aerate the starter?  Will it hurt anything if I do?  I imagine I would only need less than a minute with pure O2.


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