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Messages - bigchicken

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 04, 2015, 08:38:18 AM »
Quote

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.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 03, 2015, 02:03:02 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.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 03, 2015, 05:43:58 AM »
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.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Silicone
« on: July 02, 2015, 08:52:12 PM »
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.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What is applejack?? And is it good?
« on: June 20, 2015, 09:36:34 AM »
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!

6
Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: June 09, 2015, 01:36:45 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.

7
Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: June 09, 2015, 07:43:18 AM »
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.

8
Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: June 05, 2015, 04:59:48 AM »
I have to admit I expected more for as much as it cost. But I was limited on options because I had a gift card that paid for it.

I still have my old MM-2 mill as a backup, and got good results with conditioning. Just reserve a lb or 2 of your grist and run it dry through the mill after. That picks up most of the residual moisture - and you can let it air dry in a ventilated place. I have not seen any rust or corrosion at all.


This is good advice I hadn't thought of. Thanks!

9
Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: June 02, 2015, 03:11:21 PM »
Thanks for all the responses. I won't be conditioning because I didn't get the MM2 rollers that specify they're ok with the moisture. Might be fine with mine, but don't want to chance it.
I'm getting some grain on order and looking forward to some experimenting.

10
Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: May 24, 2015, 12:44:37 PM »
Great answers everyone! Lots of things I hadn't accounted for. Mill speed wasn't something I'd ever considered.

I've used a CPVC manifold, grain bag net, and a stainless braid as different options in my mash cooler. I'll likely stick with the braid, which should allow a fairly fine crush. Time to experiment.

And I love the idea of using a sharpie to mark out some settings. I wish they'd have been marked out by Monster in the first place.

11
Equipment and Software / Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: May 23, 2015, 05:17:43 PM »
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.

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Back to basics - the perfect blonde
« on: November 23, 2014, 10:14:16 PM »
I love experimenting too much to keep me from switching recipes. To date, the only recipe I rebrew is a simple blonde with 1 hop type. I change up the hop to get ideas of how the hop tastes on its own, but I keep the IBUs the same and the malt bill stays the same.
5 gallon batch
7lb 2-row (Great Western)
1 lb caramel 10
1 lb Pilsner malt
20 IBUs
Safeale US-05
154 degree mash for an hour.
So far, favorite hop with this is Palisades. I've overdone it with Magnum making a beer more pale ale like. Using some of the new citrus flavor hops is next on my list.

13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Buying crushed grain on line
« on: September 01, 2014, 05:49:54 PM »
Online companies are coming up with better ways to seal up crushed grains. I'm finding the quality has really improved over the last year. Sometimes they're sealed so well with bags inside bags that they can be a pain to open. I have waited 9 months to use crushed grain without a problem, though I have noticed issues if I open and reseal grain when buying crushed in bulk.

14
At six months, I really don't see a starter being optional. Sure, you could pitch enough cells assuming you have enough slurry, but the viability is going to be somewhere around 20%. That much dead yeast is inevitably going to have some flavor impact.

S-04? Or US-05? S-04 is Fuller's strain and would be a good choice for any British-style ale.

I hadn't thought about the dead factor for flavor impact. That could change it considerably.

I meant S-04. Seems I've always had too much of a fruity flavor from it, even when fermenting cold. I'll have to check my brew logs to see what I've all used it in. May not have been the yeast, but more what I was trying to make with it.

15
Equipment and Software / Re: Makes me want a plastic big moiuth
« on: August 30, 2014, 01:12:20 PM »

Regular non gasket sealed bucket lids leak for me at times. I am getting ready to try a gamma lid as a replacement. If that doesn't seal well either, I'm going to the big mouth carboys.
My only issue with the gamma lids is the ring is designed to be permanent. Cleaning underneath would be a hassle. I know people that use the 14 gallon vittles vault (same lid) and have had zero issues, but I am hesitant.

I agree that cleaning it could be a pain. I have no actual plan to remove the outer lid at all. I will only remove the screw on top and just do my best to clean under the outer lid with several brushes I have.
I've thought of running a bead of food grade silicone around the outer lid portion, inside the bucket. That way there is a seal from anything getting under that portion. But doing that pretty much makes it a permanent lid.

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