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Messages - bigchicken

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Equipment and Software / Re: My new brew timer
« on: March 31, 2014, 08:25:06 PM »
There's no way I could ever read my handwriting! And that's not gonna fit in my pocket.  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quality of All grain vs. Extract
« on: March 21, 2014, 07:59:30 AM »

In other words, it's easier to make great all-grain beer than with extract.  Great extract brewing requires some skill and know-how.  All-grain, well, yeah, you need to know the basics, but if you know how to steep grains at all, any schmuck can make great beer with the BIAB method, if not a mash and sparge.

These are my thoughts exactly. Most of us start out in extract brewing, but jump to all grain for more freedom and control. My first all grain BIAB was as good as my best extract beer. If I hadn't made the jump, I probably would have given up. I had great difficulty in finding consistency with extract brews. LME age and ingredient breakdown always had me guessing. I really respect extract brewers that can consistently make great beers.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Bad Bucket Seal. Transfer for Lagering?
« on: March 18, 2014, 11:06:12 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I'm going to open the lid for a gravity reading and put a different airlock on at the same time. I noticed the airlock may have cracked at the bottom as it goes into the bung. Air may be escaping there and not the lid. Either way, the beer will lager in that bucket.

Equipment and Software / Re: Wort chiller faucet adapter
« on: March 15, 2014, 11:33:59 AM »
Looks like you have a threaded aerator in there.

Yep, that's what I was thinking originally. That aerator will come off with pliers, and a LHBS adaptor will thread right on.

I agree with the above. Those aerators are meant to be replaced once and a while. They're often only a couple bucks. Not all faucets have the type that is easy to replace, but looks like you've got one of the simpler types.

Yeast and Fermentation / Bad Bucket Seal. Transfer for Lagering?
« on: March 14, 2014, 04:52:50 PM »
I did some searches and haven't found an answer to this, so time to start a new topic.

I typically ferment in a 6 gallon better bottle. I decided to try a lager while the temps were still cold in my garage, which will be a great place to leave it be for a month. I decided to use my 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket instead of the carboy to help keep any light from shining on it if I leave my garage door open at times. I haven't used the bucket in over a year.

About 3 days into fermentation, I realized that I didn't have an extremely long lag time, but that my bucket has lost it's good seal. The airlock has zero activity. The lid of the bucket is barely swollen, so I'm thinking it is leaking out the sides of the lid. Fermentation is definitely happening and will be finishing up in a few days.

My question is; should I rack the beer into my carboy for the lagering stage? I rarely use a secondary and hadn't planned on it this time, but the seal has me thinking. If the outgoing pressure is low while it lagers, what's to keep from some unwanted air getting in? Most concerning, I don't want the "fumes" of a garage getting into my beer. I'm not interesting in bottling a Munich Helles with a touch of gasoline exhaust. So what are your thoughts?

Equipment and Software / Re: best silicone for mash tun
« on: March 07, 2014, 04:47:11 PM »
I used DAP brand in my tun. The drain hole was slightly larger than the typical size that works with 1/2" bulkhead setups. I find that it holds pretty well when cured and is easy enough to remove if you ever need to. Mine is an aquarium sealant listed as food safe.

All Things Food / Re: Spent grain energy bars
« on: March 02, 2014, 07:09:43 AM »
Thanks for posting this recipe! It sounds fantastic! I'll be trying it on my next brew day.


 Pitch or bottle with the star san (it's actually the low foam stuff and can't remember the a actual name).

You said this is not actually Star San but instead a low foam type. Is it still made by Five Star? Drinking diluted Star San is one thing, but what you used may be a different animal.

Equipment and Software / Re: False bottom or Screen?
« on: February 23, 2014, 07:43:15 AM »
Neither a screen or false bottom. I bag them in a reusable mesh bag. If I have multiple additions then I use a clothes pin to hold the top of the bag to the rim of the kettle. Super cheap and effective. Bags last forever it seems.

Beer Recipes / Re: ISO Old Ale recipe (all grain)
« on: February 22, 2014, 01:23:56 PM »
I have a recipe that won 1st in a comp last year after only 3 months of aging. The problem is there were some grains and hops you can't always find. It requires optic and ESB malt along with UK Phoenix hops. It also used a ton of wet Chinook, but those could be subbed with pellets. Even the yeast is only available from one place (Wyeast 1945). If you can source all those, I can post the recipe or add it to the Wiki.

Questions about the forum? / Re: login
« on: February 22, 2014, 08:31:20 AM »
Reviving this thread.

I can't login at the main site today regardless of the browser I use. It just sits there and eventually goes to a blank white screen. Anyone else?

Going Pro / Re: Pros (or wannabes) - Propane or NG
« on: February 21, 2014, 05:55:49 PM »
Our 7 bbl system uses Natural gas. I don't think I would go with propane unless I had to. It all depends on the building your in, costs of installing NG line to the building vs. the cost of buying a couple 1000 gallon propane tanks. I know at my home when NG came through they wanted $1800 to run a gas line to my house.

Depending on how aggressive the NG company is, they may eat the install costs...if they know you'll be a big user. I've worked in the utility industry and have seen this happen. They'll often do it if you'll switch from propane too. Of course this varies by region, company, town, local management....

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: House Yeast
« on: February 21, 2014, 05:36:40 PM »
I like Wyeast 1945 which is a Northern Brewer exclusive. Great in stouts, old ale, and can ferment clean at low temps for American pale ales. I haven't tried it in a Kolsch though.

Ingredients / Re: Cherries
« on: February 17, 2014, 07:05:34 PM »
I'm in the process of building a Chocolate Cherry Oat & Rye Stout recipe. I found this product at Trader Joe's the other day and am thinking of giving it a try. It appears to be a good mix of tart and sweet flavors.

If the juice tastes like they say in the flyer, I think it would be so much simpler than adding whole cherries.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer minus hops
« on: January 19, 2014, 09:19:53 PM »
I brewed an extract batch with no hops about 2 years ago. I also used 4lb of white sugar in it, used bread yeast, and did it as an open fermentation. I was recreating an old recipe that originally was my great grandfather's. I would describe it as a tart, high alcoholic glass of nothing I'd ever want to drink again. My BMC drinking family loved it.

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