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Messages - bigchicken

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1st time needing a blow off tube
« on: February 02, 2012, 01:51:30 PM »
anti-foam agents are key.  You don't need a lot of fermcap-S; a few drops in the starter and/or boil kettle is all you need.  The boiling step sanitizes it along with the rest of the wort. 

I've never tried fermcap, but read that it is popular. I may pick some up on my next supply run. Thanks for the tip!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1st time needing a blow off tube
« on: February 01, 2012, 12:38:04 PM »
I appreciate the responses. I guess I've just been lucky doing extract batches the last couple years. I was thinking there could be a higher risk of blow off doing an all grain batch, but I guess not. I think I will start making it my normal practice to start out using 1 from now on.

Ingredients / Re: Anyone use Palisade hops?
« on: January 31, 2012, 08:12:34 PM »
I just made a 'golden' ale yesterday using only palisade... my first time using them too. If I don't black out, I'll report back.

I used these for the first time Sunday in a Palisade only Blonde. I thought the aroma was close to Willamette. I'm a big fan of Willamette, so I'm hoping the results are similar, but with higher alphas.

Yeast and Fermentation / 1st time needing a blow off tube
« on: January 31, 2012, 08:05:19 PM »

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 

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First try at a session IPA
« on: January 31, 2012, 10:07:50 AM »
A session IPA is just a hoppy pale ale.

I have to agree with this. Save yourself some money on hops and focus on a pale ale. Use the dry yeast to save more money. I think that many IBUs will be overpowering.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Priming question
« on: January 24, 2012, 07:15:12 PM »
The only reason I ever transfer to a secondary is to help "clean" my beer to try to keep some extra yeast & hop particles from making it to my bottling bucket.

I have 3 choices and need to decide on 1. I have a Brewer's Best milk stout kit, a dunkelweizen BIAB, or a 1 hop simple pale ale to test my newly completed Rubbermaid mash tun (blue in color because it matters but with a centered drain). Probably gonna depend how cold it is here in lovely Nebraska.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Trucking wort?
« on: January 18, 2012, 08:31:51 PM »
I've heard of this before. They truck the wort out of state and add yeast where it will be sold to avoid paying taxes on the alcohol transport between states. It's not beer until there is yeast added.  Very tricky! At least, that's the story I've heard about Granite City.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st Kit, fermenting kind of cold
« on: January 16, 2012, 07:41:57 PM »
I've brewed that kit myself. I think you'll like the results. It finished a little low on the ABV if I recall correctly, but it went fast. As far as top off water, I never boil it. I should say that I do use a culligan filter setup for all my drinking and brewing water.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Failed carbonation ....?
« on: January 15, 2012, 06:22:41 PM »
Do you stir the sugar into the wort? I used to just put sugar solution into the bottling bucket and rack on top and had very inconsistent carbonation. Now I stir the wort (gently, but thoroughly) and don't have those problems.

I had this exact same problem. Also, I found that cap brand made a difference. I was using Brewers Best caps and found they weren't sealing as tightly as I'd have liked.

Ingredients / Re: pumpkin blossom honey
« on: January 15, 2012, 03:47:37 PM »
Check out

They have pumpkin blossom honey and several other unique ones.

 :D  That is a great honey website! They have a ton of choices and their prices are really good. Most of their prices are way lower than what I can get locally. Thanks for posting the link!

I have never made mead before, but have been planning on giving it a try. I mainly like to use a pound here and there for wheat beers. I've had good luck with buckwheat honey in the past an am always wanting to substitute honey types to see the differences it makes in the beer.

Ingredients / pumpkin blossom honey
« on: January 14, 2012, 09:43:06 PM »
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.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: WTF's a "tilt"
« on: January 14, 2012, 08:47:19 AM »
Empyrean Winter Tilt

What were your thoughts on this beer? I live 20 minutes from their brewery and find its as good from the bottle as it is on tap. I really enjoy this one.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottle conditioning
« on: January 07, 2012, 10:24:51 PM »
For me, I find Wheats are best in the range of 2 weeks and start to diminish after 2 months. IPA's are best 1 to 3 months. Stouts, porters, dark specialties all get better with age. I made a holiday spiced porter 18 months ago that gets better everytime I have one. Basically, each style has a different condition time that's optimal. Just experiment and find your preferences for each.

Ingredients / Re: Dry hopping using pellets
« on: December 29, 2011, 11:36:46 AM »
I use a stainless tea ball strainer in the secondary. It keeps the particles in and sinks to the bottom. The bigger the strainer ball the better. Those pellets can really expand.

How much do they expand?  I'm just about ready to dry hop for the first time, and bought a couple of these  to dry hop in the keg.  They are about 2.5" in diameter.... how many hop pellets can I fit in there?  Do they double in size? Triple in size? 

I've found that no more than 1oz of pellets should go in a strainer of that size. Otherwise it will be too compact. You may be able to fit more in, but you'll probably just waste hops. I don't remember the size that I use for sure, but I remember I got them online through Williams Brewing. I think they are close in size to the one you linked, just more of a circular shape.

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