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Topics - bigchicken

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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

Sent from my LGUS992 using Tapatalk

Equipment and Software / Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: May 24, 2015, 12:17:43 AM »
I had to slow my brewing frequency to a near stop over the last year and a half. I have always ordered my grains crushed and when my brewing slowed, I found I was storing the grain much longer than I liked. Now that I'm brewing again, I want to buy in bulk and get uncrushed grain.

I recently bought a Monster MM2 mill. Since there were no instructions included in the box, I fiddled with everything to see how it worked. Well, I also adjusted the gap from the factory settings. I have gap tools to measure the gap and adjust, but now wonder what the best setting is?

Understanding all brewing setups are different, what are your preferred gap settings? Please chime in and tell me your opinions along with if you're fly or batch sparging. Thanks to all.

I have ingredients to brew 2 different beers with 3 yeast options. One beer is going to be an experiment all grain batch using cherry juice, cacao nibs, and an array of malts to create a chocolate cherry bomb stout that will be by Christmas batch this year. I planned to use 1945 NB NeoBritannia, which I have a slurry of. I also have a simple Northern Brewer Dry Irish Stout extract batch to brew on a day when I don't have as much time.

Here's my problem; I have the 1945 slurry that was rinsed several times and is very clean yeast, but due to the long time since it was last used, the viability is too low for my Christmas batch that should be at about 1.060 OG, per Mr. Malty. I need to make a starter for it in order to use it. I had intended on using a pack of S-04 for the Dry Stout, but now I'm wondering if I should use the 1945 and build it up for my Christmas batch? When I review sites about descriptions of the yeast differences, I think I can pull off the 1945 for a Dry Stout if I keep the temps low during fermentation. I shouldn't have to make a starter for the 1945 with the weaker stout, saving me time later when I repitch it for the bigger beer.

My 3rd option is I'll be bottling a blonde that used S-05 very soon. There will be plenty of yeast there for either beer, but I'm thinking it is too clean for either batch.

So, what are your thoughts? What's my best option for the Dry Stout with those 3 yeast options.
Thanks for the help with this and all my questions over the last couple years.

Yeast and Fermentation / Bad Bucket Seal. Transfer for Lagering?
« on: March 14, 2014, 11:52:50 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?

Ingredients / Raisin Addition
« on: November 06, 2013, 11:17:58 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:

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.

Zymurgy / Zymurgy Windows Phone app?
« on: October 24, 2013, 06:04:58 PM »
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.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Commercial Saisons
« on: August 30, 2013, 12:31:18 AM »
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?

General Homebrew Discussion / Advice on teaching someone to brew.
« on: March 13, 2013, 05:38:35 PM »
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.

Ingredients / Irish Moss Smell?
« on: December 01, 2012, 06:56:16 PM »
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.

Beer Recipes / Winter warmer with homegrown Chinook?
« on: August 12, 2012, 11:33:19 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,

The Pub / LP regulator for a Kenmore gas grill.
« on: July 28, 2012, 06:06:00 PM »
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,

Beer Recipes / Recreating an old recipe
« on: April 15, 2012, 12:24:17 AM »
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.

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.

Yeast and Fermentation / 1st time needing a blow off tube
« on: February 01, 2012, 03:05:19 AM »

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 

Ingredients / pumpkin blossom honey
« on: January 15, 2012, 04:43:06 AM »
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.

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