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Messages - bigchicken

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottle conditioning
« on: January 08, 2012, 05:24:51 AM »
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, 06:36:46 PM »
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.

Ingredients / Re: Dry hopping using pellets
« on: December 23, 2011, 12:11:16 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.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Tallgrass Brewing Oasis
« on: December 14, 2011, 10:38:37 PM »
I haven't tried this one yet, but will now. Tallgrass makes my favorite stout, Buffalo Sweat.

I'd have to agree. Boiling that much on a stove will either take forever or just not happen.  Invest in an outdoor propane heater and you won't be sorry.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Snow Day New offering New Belgium
« on: December 04, 2011, 04:46:54 AM »
I really like this one. You can definitely get the cascade hops in the aroma. The roasted malt amount is spot on.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
« on: December 01, 2011, 03:30:01 AM »
I haven't had much luck finding a pumpkin beer I liked until I tried this one. In my opinion it is the best pumpkin beer available in this state (Nebraska). You have to like a spiced beer to enjoy this. It has a strong pumpkin spice aroma and a great mild pumpkin taste. Its the only pumpkin beer I've found that is a lager. I'm thinking that may be part of its magic. Anybody else try this one?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Freon/Kegerator question
« on: November 22, 2011, 12:01:00 AM »
A 20 year old refrigerator of any type will almost certainly require refrigerant (freon) that requires a license to purchase. Your 1st steps to fixing this thing would be to give all the tubing you can find a thorough cleaning. Dust builds up bad on refrigerators making them work harder because they can't transfer heat. If it really is a refrigerant issue, you'll want a professional to look at it. Be prepared to pay a pretty penny! A family member of mine reconditioned an old glass front soda refrigerator. He said it would have been cheaper to buy something new.

Ingredients / Re: Buckwheat Honey
« on: November 17, 2011, 06:57:46 PM »
I've brewed twice with buckwheat honey and have found a dab will do. I used 1lb both times, once in an American wheat and once in a hefe. The American turned out amazing at first, but actually got sweeter over time. Too sweet for me. The hefe was good at first, but has diminished in quality in a very short time. I'd suggest using no more than 1 pound and consider only a half pound per 5 gallon batch.

I'd purchase something like this, but would like to see a more inexpensive option. Create a lesser version that does nothing but report temperature and gravity only when I request it. No fancy graphs or fancy graphics. Sell it for around $50 - $70 and I think you'd be selling a bunch of them. Get a deal worked out with one of the bigger online homebrew stores to include them in the starter equipment kits they sell.

Beer Recipes / Re: Apple Cinnamon Stout
« on: November 12, 2011, 03:15:46 AM »
If you're shooting for a lot of apple flavor, I'd recommended substituting a gallon of water with a gallon of cider.

Brewing an ESB kit from Northern Brewer. There's only one commercial version of an ESB I've liked, so I'm keeping my hopes up!

I have done just 1 BIAB and the beer turned out great, but cloudy. I bought a bag from Northern Brewer and I had horrible luck cleaning it. Took me over a half hour to pick out the grain when I was done. I have no intention of doing another one because of it.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Availability
« on: September 27, 2011, 05:15:27 PM »
My local supply store announced they won't be carrying used kegs and new kegs will increase in cost. They said it is due to a lack of new 5 gallon kegs being produced in the US and bags replacing soda kegging.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sulphur smell from US-05?
« on: September 09, 2011, 12:59:38 AM »
I caught a whiff of sulphur from this yeast on an IPA I did recently. The beer turned out great.

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