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Messages - evandy

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Equipment and Software / Re: DIY pumps
« on: February 26, 2012, 06:53:38 PM »
I personally use a Little Giant 3-MD-HC pump.  You can buy their pump-heads sans motor if you like.  They retail for about the same price as the March pumps, but have a higher flow-rate and are MUCH quieter.  The head is also made for easy disassembly, if that's something that matters to you (comes with wing-nuts).

The inlet is a 3/4" FNPT thread straight in to the middle of the impeller, and you can rotate the pump head to align the output in 90-degree increments.

Beer Recipes / Re: Another irish red
« on: February 26, 2012, 06:50:24 PM »
So i'm making an irish red ale for my brother in law and need some feedback.

Thoughts, suggestions?  Thanks!

You say you are using "LME" and "DME."  I would, of course, recommend that you get british extract.  Personally, I use 100% DME, but if you like trying to scrape the cans of LME out, that's pretty much user preference, as long as the LME is fresh.

I would consider Pale chocolate, instead of chocolate.  This is pretty close to what I remember the BCS version of Irish red is, and while that's a great beer, it's very dark.  And it uses pale chocolate (200L), not the full-up 400-500L stuff.  Be prepared for a dark beer.

Also, I would consider swapping in some British crystal.  I have recently used some simpsons crystal, and it's great stuff.  The downside is they are all a range of degL, but that really shouldn't batter too much.  The Medium is 60-70L, which should fit well.

I don't have the style guidelines in front of me, but I believe this is supposed to be a hop-restrained beer (I might be wrong, so check!).  Your flavor/aroma hop additions may drown out some of the malty character that is what I, personally, really love about this style.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Carbonating
« on: February 23, 2012, 08:48:02 PM »
I can't speak to the physics of it, but you will want to use less sugar and 1/3 cup sounds about right.

I've badly overcarbed mini-kegs not following this rule and the pressure punches them out into little metal footballs.

At 60 degrees, carbonating to 2 volumes of CO2, the nomagraph ( calls for a bit over 2 oz of cane sugar.  2.3oz of sugar is 1/3 c, so the 1/3c might be right. 2.5 volumes of CO2 would be 4oz, which is closer to 1/2 c.

I'm just saying that bottle vs keg should be the same.  How do you calculate your sugar for bottling?

All Things Food / Re: Chicken pot pies :O
« on: February 23, 2012, 07:48:40 PM »
I think the secret to a great chicken pot pie lies in the crust (no pun intended). A great pie crust is the secret ingredient IMO.  :)

Oh yeah.  Have you tried the Cream-cheese pie crust from Berenbaum's Pie and Pastry bible?

All Things Food / Re: Chicken pot pies :O
« on: February 23, 2012, 07:48:07 PM »
One thing I did find though is that the use of some modified starch in the gravy (to thicken) is a good idea for freezer bound pot pies;   Straight flour or cornstarch thickened gravies break down in storage and become watery thin.

Have you tried a roux?  It seems to work for me, and I haven't had any issues with freezing my pot-pies.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Carbonating
« on: February 23, 2012, 07:22:11 PM »
Also, if you were going to prime the keg with sugar - you use less due to the difference in headspace in the keg vs bottles. Usually 1/3 cup is about all that's needed to carbonate it.

Huh??  Unless you are knocking out lots of CO2 during the bottling process, it should take exactly the same amount of sugar to carb a keg as bottles.  It takes the same number of molecules of CO2 to get beer to a given volume of CO2 disolved.  Now, temperature during fermentation and bottling make a difference.  A lager should take much less sugar than an ale, due to the larger amount of fermentation-derived CO2 in the beer at a colder temperature. 

The head space might make a teeny tiny difference, but it shouldn't make much.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding body to a beer
« on: January 29, 2012, 02:14:01 PM »
The recipe was Jamil's Best Bitter.  I don't have OG and FG readings for my last few batches, but I have brewed the same recipe successfully a few times.  The only difference this time was changing from the London Ale yeast to the London ESB, so I expect that it's the yeast to blame.  Thanks for the thoughts on Malto-Dextrin.  I may try dosing a pint once it finishes carbing; if it helps I can scale up to a full keg.

General Homebrew Discussion / Adding body to a beer
« on: January 29, 2012, 06:35:09 AM »
I brewed a beer with a new yeast a while ago.  It was an extract batch, so I don't have much control over mashing parameters.  Unfortunately, post-fermentation, the beer seems a little thin on the mouthfeel side.  Not a lot, but definitely somewhat watery.  Any suggestions on how to correct this?  I assume there's not much to do at this point with the current batch (in a keg, carbing).

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Beer Gun
« on: January 14, 2012, 11:08:54 AM »
I just got my beer gun from Blichmann Engineering today, and I love it.  I've been using a traditional counter-pressure filler for a while now, typically don't bottle but now that we're going pro kind of have too, and in the time it usually took me to bottle a case of 22's with the CPF, I bottled 2 1/2 cases with the beer gun.  It's easy to use with one hand, and no more having to worry about the stopper sticking in the mouth of the bottle or adjusting the filler for different size bottles.  I wanna hear what other people think.

Glad you enjoy it!  My bottle filler is based on the Ghetto Bottle filler that I saw on HBF.  You can see it in this presentation here:

Total cost: $10.  It has counter pressure, is adjustable to bottles, 2L soda bottles, or 5L soda bottles, and has a short hose so I don't waste too much beer.

Beer Recipes / Re: British Recipe Progression
« on: January 07, 2012, 12:15:00 PM »
Yeah, but we can get US Pale ale malt for 1/2 the price we can get Marris Otter or GP.  We'll take the hit.

Also, these aren't exactly Jamil's recipes (for example, there is amber in the Northern brown, while he calls for victory).  I tried to make them a closer family than his base recipes.  The Best Bitter is the closest to his recipe.

Beer Recipes / British Recipe Progression
« on: January 07, 2012, 08:08:22 AM »
I am currently working on a set of British Ale Recipes to use for a brew-in series with my local homebrew club.  We are planning to brew 3 batches of beer, 3-4 weeks apart, with related recipes.  I haven't done a lot of recipe formulation, so I'm hoping to get a review of what I've come up with.  This is a Best Bitter -> Northern Brown -> Brown Porter  series, based on the recipes in BCS.

Any comments/thoughts appreciated!  (Note: Our club has good access to US 2-Row, so we use that as our base malt.  I am using a small addition of Special Roast to add extra biscuit and colour.)

I am reluctant to change the Best Bitter recipe too much, as I have brewed it a few times and love it.  That said, I am considering using the same crystal in all 3.  We will probably ferment with the Thames Valley II (PC yeast from Wyeast this season).

Best Bitter (OG 1.049):
    US 2-row: 84.4%
    Special Roast: 4.4%
    Aromatic: 6.7%
    Cara120: 4.4%
    EKGs @ 60min, 20min, flameout to make 30 IBUs

Northern Brown (OG 1.050):
  (Reduce base-grain percentage, use Amber instead of Aromatic, add pale chocolate)
    US 2-row: 81.2%
    Special Roast: 4.4%
    Amber: 6.0%
    Cara40: 4.2%
    Pale Chocolate: 4.2%
    EKGs @ 60min, 10min to make 24 IBUs

Brown Porter (OG 1.052):
  (Reduce base-grain percentage, use brown/chocolate instead of amber/pale choc)
    US 2-row: 72.7%
    Special Roast: 4.4%
    Brown: 9.7%
    Cara40: 8.1%
    Chocolate: 5.1%
    EKGs @ 60min, 10min to make 26 IBUs

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Taking apart a regulator
« on: December 04, 2010, 06:22:25 AM »
I reconfigured my regulator a month or so ago.  The yahoos that put it together had torqued the CO2 output on so hard that I stripped the nut on the valve that was screwed in to the regulator.  I had to use the body of the valve itself to get enough leverage to get the thing out.

Equipment and Software / "Beginners" Essentials?
« on: December 03, 2010, 05:32:04 PM »
I've been brewing for 3-4 years now, and my brother-in-law-squared (sister-in-law's fiance) wants his first brewing equipment.  Looking over my own beginning-brewer's kit, I can see a couple of things that just aren't needed... and a couple that I'd like to upgrade.  Since I'm kegging now, and have done a number of upgrades myself, I have some items that I can send his way that I'm just not using any more, but are still in good shape.  We are doing a "secret"-santa gift exchange in that family, and he's the one I'm buying for, so I have a reasonable budget ($70) I think.  Any additions/subtractions from others?

- Bottling bucket (I keg now, he'll get my old one)
- Fermentor (6 gal BB, new), + bung + air-lock
- Hydrometer
- 3 feet of vinyl beer hose
- wing capper (my old one)
- Package of Caps
- Auto-siphon
- Iodaphor + PBW
- Bottling Wand
- If I have $20 left over, I'll add an ingredient kit.

I am deliberately NOT adding empty bottles, since he is already collecting, and I have to ship this a couple states away.  My sister-in-law is suggesting a large discount turkey-fryer kit to his mother, so between the two of us, he should be all set.  Beyond those, anything that I'm missing?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Looking to start kegging.
« on: November 21, 2010, 07:22:41 AM »
There are usually a dozen or so threads of people doing current conversions on in the DIY section.  I would recommend heading over there and taking a look.  I have an older Sanyo model, which is (sadly) now discontinued, but there are several others that people are using, including a couple with an integrated lock, which is pretty nice.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Lingering Cola smell...
« on: November 21, 2010, 06:58:27 AM »
My experience with this event was that I washed em out with rubbing alcohol
then exposed em to sunlight and fresh air for a few days (outdoors)....the cola odor vanished.
I presume that the UV exposure was a prominent variable.
I also remove the posts and clean all that as well.

I also remove the posts, and leave the kegs submerged, inverted, in PBW for a while, followed by a good scrub, especially when new.  The Light, Sun, & UV sounds like a good idea... I'll give it a try and let you know.

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