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Messages - bigchicken

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Impending Doom or RDWHAHB?
« on: January 19, 2013, 06:20:44 PM »
I have had similar issues with certain yeasts. None seemed to hurt the finished product. Mine were closer to krausen chunks, not dots.

Equipment and Software / Re: deck planter box for hop rhizome
« on: January 18, 2013, 06:52:44 PM »
I don't know how they'll do in the planter, but only put 1 rhizome in there for sure. I've read they should be planted 10 feet apart. My 2nd year Nugget hops had shoots coming up a couple feet from the rest of the plant. I imagine this year they'll grow even further from the plant site.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast - refrigerate ASAP
« on: December 29, 2012, 03:31:40 PM »
I've used a Wyeast pack over 8 months old with good results. I had the pack refrigerated, so that helped it I'm sure. It never appeared to do much of anything when I made a starter, but I tasted it and fermented out. I'd say it took over a week. I would have made a 2nd starter, but ran out of time. The yeast did so well it came out the airlock with a healthy blowoff. It climbed out of a 6.5 gallon bucket on a 5 gallon batch. I'd recommend giving it a few days and then checking the gravity or giving it a taste test. That yeast may surprise you yet.

If you have Beersmith 2 on a computer, the Beersmith Lite app is pretty handy. It syncs your cloud recipes and sets up brewing timers for you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Chilling wort in the winter
« on: December 24, 2012, 04:44:49 AM »
I've always been concerned about splitting garden hoses this time of year. I recently bought an Xhose (you may have seen the infomercial) and am surprised it works great. I've been watering my trees and then bringing the hose in the house when done. Takes a minute to drain and weighs only a couple pounds. Now I'd still be a little cautious about using it on a day way below freezing. I find that air cooling or putting the kettle in a snow pile isn't that bad when its that cold.

Finally bottled my Snow Eater Winter Warmer using homegrown Chinook hops. May fit in a quick extract batch too.

My best was an extract Happy Holiday Brew kit from Midwest Supplies. I made it 2 years ago on a horrible windy and cold day. My wife and I huddled around my propane burner on a tiny patch of sidewalk on the North side of my house. My wife usually doesn't sit through an entire brew session, but she was a trooper. We had a great time talking and hoping we wouldn't run out of propane. We finished the brew with only about a pound in the tank. The beer wasn't the best tasting I've ever made, but it was the best experience. I still have 10 bottles left of that beer and so far they're still very good. It's not always about the final product, but how you get there.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dishwasher Sanitize vs. Jet Bottle Washer
« on: December 15, 2012, 02:29:03 AM »
I treat my bottles like any other glass in my kitchen cabinets. After use, they are washed by hand or in the dishwasher. On bottle day, I use a spring pump bottle washer filled with starsan and then dry them on a bottle tree. Works fantastic and requires only a small amount of sanitizer. I've not tried using the washer while mounted on the bottle tree because my tree is too tall when sitting on my counter. Or I'm too short. :D

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:04:26 PM »
Out of curiosity, what brand of kit did you buy? I've noticed kits from Brewer's Best often come out thin, but kits from places like Northern Brewer are much improved.

Ingredients / Re: Irish Moss Smell?
« on: December 01, 2012, 08:54:35 PM »
Thanks for the quick posts! I will be adding it with no fears. 

Ingredients / Re: Irish Moss Smell?
« on: December 01, 2012, 07:40:22 PM »
I forgot about it being algae. That's a huge help!

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.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Making a starer using washed yeast
« on: November 14, 2012, 12:03:45 AM »
Mr. Malty has a nice free calculator to tell you how much slurry to use. You may be surprised how little yeast you need if it is a nice thick solution. Also, I recommend dumping out the clear solution prior to long term storage. The only starters I've needed with reused yeast was some I had in my refrigerator nearly a year.

Just don't put so much grain in that the bag looks like sausage. I've seen that and I'm pretty sure conversion and efficiency are going wrong.

I use a grain bag at times and if I overfill, my efficiency is crap. Doesn't matter how much poking and stirring I do, I will lose way more gravity points than I'm comfortable with. Find a large enough bag to fit all the grains with ease.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Two Different Krausens / peaks of activity?
« on: October 28, 2012, 09:39:55 PM »
I'm no expert on this, but my thought is that simple sugars were consumed right away and now the yeast is working on more complex sugars. Did you use any table sugar?

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