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Messages - bigchicken

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 6 gallon buckets - - Big enough?
« on: May 05, 2012, 06:36:50 AM »
I've never had a blowout when doing 5 gallon batches in my 6.5 gallon bucket. If I were to buy another, I'd go with the 7.9 gallon size that Euge mentions.

Beer Recipes / Re: Light Ale Recipe
« on: April 24, 2012, 07:34:39 PM »
Honestly, I think 1.5 ounces will be too much for hops if you're trying to brew for Busch drinkers. My dad is a Busch Light drinker. I made a blonde with only 1 ounce of palisade hops and the first thing he said after trying it, "too hoppy". What we feel as homebrewers to be water, is like oil to regular light lager drinkers.

I also started with Mr. Beer. I don't make them anymore, but I kept the mini fermentor. It makes a nice test vessel or a large yeast starter vessel.

Beer Recipes / Re: Recreating an old recipe
« on: April 16, 2012, 04:16:47 PM »
I think if you can get any unhopped malt extract, it would probably be pretty similar.  I don't think they bought Blue Ribbon because it was the best choice, I think at the time it was the only choice or at least the only choice that was widely available.  From what I've read it was a cooking product so it wouldn't be hopped.

I hadn't thought about it being hopped or not. The Premier Malt now comes prehopped. Since I'm not having much luck finding it, I'll probably find something plain and unhopped to use. Since I will try to keep this as close to the original as possible, I'm really glad you brought this up!
The one thing I wouldn't recommend doing is following their old procedure for bottling. They would watch fermentation and when they thought it was low enough they'd bottle. That was what generated all of the stories about bottles bombs. I doubt anyone had a hydrometer.

I'd let it ferment completely and add sugar. That's not really going to effect the flavor anyway.

You're exactly right. My Grandpa would bottle whenever he felt the time was right. I can't imagine bread yeast being very predictable, so a hydrometer will be a must. My uncle told me that he still remembers my Grandpa getting a good chewin' from my Grandma after his bottles starting blowing up in their cellar, all within a couple hours of each other.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Topics
« on: April 15, 2012, 08:14:28 AM »
Why are hops listed under ingredients? Shouldn't they merit a category of their own? Yeast have their own. Grain and extract each have their own...

Hops merit a category of their own IMO and probably Water as well. ;) Anyway not trying to start trouble but this suddenly struck me as out of whack with the forum, and it might make it easier for forum users to post topics and find answers about hops.

Respect the hops.

I often wondered this myself. To the experienced brewer, a separate hop category may not be important. When first starting out, a separate hop category could be a great asset. With so many new hops and different hopping techniques, I could see a big benefit.

Beer Recipes / Re: Recreating an old recipe
« on: April 15, 2012, 08:09:28 AM »
Just a thought...
 If you start substituting yeast and doing a partial mash, are you really "recreating" the recipe?
I would do it as written just to do it. You are out an hour and a few bucks but would be a great tribute to Grandpa. I have a shoebox full of my grandmother's hand written recipes. I have followed some of them to the letter just to see even though I know of better ways or ingriedents.

If I remember correctly, the Premier Malt comes with yeast and a recipe. I agree with tubercle, it's a tribute to your Grandfather and not about making the best beer. Follow that recipe or your Grandpa's. Besides, it might be fun to experience what many had to put up with during prohibition.

I agree.  Do it as written.  It will especially make you appreciate even more how far things have come for homebrewing.

Also...having tried this myself once...since you will (or should be) practicing a kind of sanitation that would have never occurred to your grandfather, you might be a bit surprised how drinkable the brew can turn out.  I'm not saying you'll be making a world class beer with the recipe (far, far from it),  but on the other hand,  while the sugar ratio is going to thin things out quite a bit, the bread yeast was not really the culprit that made some prohibition homebrew cidery, nasty swill.
It's probably not something you'll ever want to make again, but it is a worthwhile experiment.

I really appreciate all the comments from everyone! After doing some thinking, I will try to make this as close to the original as possible. I know it may not turn out to be a good beer, but it would be nice to see what kind of beer my Grandpa was able to make. My dad and uncle keep asking me if I've made this yet, so I know they want to give it a try and relive some of their first beer memories too.

I bought Premier Malt  from E.C. Kraus a few years ago and they still have it listed. It isn't available until May.

Sorry, I can't get links to work again.

I did find the malt at this site as well. Unfortunately, the site keeps changing their date.  :-\ I'm beginning to fear it won't be available again. I tried to contact Premier and they wouldn't respond to my email. So, if I cannot get the Premier Malt Extract, what would be the closest match? I'm thinking of some Coopers Extract perhaps? Never using the Premier myself, I'm at a loss. I'm hoping someone here may remember what it was like and can point me in the right direction.

One more thing I forgot to list; the beer was open fermented. I would assume that doing this will give it a different taste than if I did it in a carboy with airlock. Does anyone see a problem with doing the open fermentation and lightly covering it with a cloth?

Beer Recipes / Recreating an old recipe
« on: April 14, 2012, 05:24:17 PM »
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.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Danstar Munich dry wheat beer yeast?
« on: April 14, 2012, 06:19:00 AM »
I've used this dry yeast with less than stellar results. I fermented high with it (73 degrees) and still got little to no banana notes. The yeast seemed to make the hops standout and I wasn't going for that. It turned out a weird wheat IPA like beer that I won't be making again.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bucket opening tool
« on: April 14, 2012, 06:13:31 AM »
I think bigchicken is a little touchie about the "finger lickin good" thing
That saying brings back some crazy memories! I worked at KFC as a teenager. To this day I still can't eat there!
Man....was it gross or something?  Or did you just totally burn yourself out on it?

I'd say it was more burnout than anything. The food prep was extremely strict so the food was fine. I will say that when it was time for cleaning, that was gross! A friend of mine fell into the grease dumpster one night because he had dropped a tool into it. He leaned over the side to try to fish it out, lost his balance and went chest first into it! That stuff was nasty!

Equipment and Software / Re: Bucket opening tool
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:25:36 PM »
I think bigchicken is a little touchie about the "finger lickin good" thing
That saying brings back some crazy memories! I worked at KFC as a teenager. To this day I still can't eat there!

Equipment and Software / Re: Bucket opening tool
« on: April 12, 2012, 09:53:32 AM »
I use one like the black one. It's better than using my fingers,  but still a pain.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Blow off
« on: April 05, 2012, 10:37:02 AM »
Just a thought,  but were the beers that blew all using the same hop? I had a horrible blowoff with a 5 gallon AG batch fermented in a 6 gallon better bottle. It was a 1.055 blonde with 1 ounce of pallisade hops and US-05 yeast. I held the fermentation at 64 degrees. To date, its the only blowoff I've had.

Ingredients / Re: White Table Sugar
« on: March 28, 2012, 10:21:23 AM »
I've used table sugar and I've used corn sugar with no noticeable differences in the finished product. But I swear I read once that white table sugar created headache inducing alcohol and corn sugar does not. Is there any truth to that?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« on: March 25, 2012, 07:03:30 AM »
Did you add water before putting the wort into the fermentor too? That was enough grain for a 5 gallon batch. If you did top off the fermentor, my guess is you didn't get the sugars out of the grain. You should be able to add enough water to the grains through your sparging that no top off water is required in the boil kettle or the fermentor.

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