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Messages - bigchicken

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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.

I have seen that type of derrick setup before. I bet it works well for frying and a BIAB setup. I found that I had to do quite a bit of stirring in the bag which was a pain. Not being able to hold my temps is a big reason I'm stepping up to a cooler tun.

There are a lot of people who use the BIAB method.  I hear you can make good beer with it, but to me the logisitics of dealing with a bag of grain that weighs 10-15 dry and a lot more wet, kinda outweigh the supposed simplicity.  Give it a try and see what you think, but I'll bet you'll be switching to a cooler after a few batches.

I went ahead and gave this a try over the weekend. Denny wasn't kidding about the weight of that bag! 10 pounds of grain sure gets heavy when it's wet and you have to hold it out of the kettle to avoid the bag scorching to the bottom. The whole process was fairly simple, my brew pot just didn't hold it's temperature as well as I thought it would. I had to fire up my burner half way through the mash to get the temp back up a little. It only took a few minutes, but it felt like a long time holding that bag up.
The biggest pain of this brew day was the grain bag itself. It is a reusable nylon bag and it didn't want to come clean. It took nearly a half hour to get all the grain particles out of it when I was done. If I wasn't so cheap, I'd have thrown it away.
So after the BIAB experience I can say it will be my last. I went out and bought a cooler that I can turn into a mash tun, similar to the setup Denny has on his site.

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