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Messages - thebigbaker

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691
All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: February 22, 2012, 08:25:12 AM »
That looks delicious Phil!  I have loved living in Denver the past 7 years, yet since moving from the south, I miss being able to get good inexpensive andouille.  Definitely going to try making my own this summer along with some boudin.  And as I've found with food and beer, the best you ones are the ones you make! 

692
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Clogged Keg
« on: February 21, 2012, 07:30:40 PM »
I had something similar happen to me recently where I was getting a slow and weak pour and what came out had some sediment.  I took out the dip tube and covered the opening with some foil.  I quickly rinsed out the dip tube, re-sanitized and replaced the tube.  The beer then poured like it should and it tasted great.  This was an IPA that got too much sediment (mostly hop particles) while transferring to the keg. 

693
All Grain Brewing / Re: batch sparge question
« on: February 17, 2012, 09:30:39 AM »
I follow the Denny Cheap'n'Easy method and add sparge water at 185-190F, stir, vorlauf, and sparge.  I believe the fly sparging people use 170 degree water since it is constant, and will keep the grain bed at 170 once it reaches there.  But you are correct that your water needs to be hotter than 170 to raise a 148-155 F grain bed to 170. 

Let us know how the extended rest on sparge goes.  Some have said it doesn't seem to matter, but 'm curious since I can never seem to get above 70% myself.

I follow Denny's easy batch sparge method.  I'm only doing 3 gallon batches in a 48qt cooler, so my mash in H2O is about 175 which will give me a 152-154 mash temp for an hour.  For the batch sparge, I add in 180 degree H2O, stir very well and maybe let it sit for just a couple of minutes before quick vorlauf and drain into the boil.  I've done three all grain batches now and each have come out great.  My second, an APA, won bronze in a LHBS homebrew competition, so keeping things simple has worked well for me so far. 

694
All Things Food / Re: Shrimp and Grits
« on: February 13, 2012, 08:27:56 AM »
When I was living in Mobile, it was so easy to get great fresh shrimp.  Here in Denver, it's frozen shrimp now.  I whole frozen shrimp and remove the shells, head and tail and use that to make a quick shrimp stock. 

Also, I like to make a good creamy sauce, after rendering down the bacon, add about 4-5 teaspoons of flour to make a quick roux and cook about 10 minutes to get a good light tan color.  Mix in some of the shrimp stock (which you can use for the grits too) and cream.  Add some worchestershire sauce, Crystal's hot sauce and some Tony Chaachere's.  I love taso ham (which I get from a friend in Baton Rouge, but will try to make my own this summer), and I add this in as well.  Great thing about Shrimp n Grits, you can make it 100 different ways and it will taste good everytime!

695
The Pub / Re: bacon cupcakes
« on: February 12, 2012, 08:52:54 AM »
My stomach just started growling. Those look delicious. Gonna do some shrimp and grits tonight so the grits on the bottom looks like a good idea for breakfast next day!

I was full until you mentioned Shrimp 'n' Grits.  Now I know what I'm doing for dinner w/ the leftover grits!

696
The Pub / Re: bacon cupcakes
« on: February 12, 2012, 08:42:52 AM »
Did these this morning.  Cooked them a little longer, about 13 minutes in a convection oven, since my wife is not a fan of runny eggs.  Two of them have corn tortilla on the bottom.  With these, I cut out two circles for each "cupcake" and put cheese in between the layers like a small quesadilla.  For the other two, I made some cheese grits last night and chilled in a baking pan overnight.  I then cut out circle grit cakes and blackened them with cajun seasoning in a cast iron skillet with a little butter to firm them up a little more.  Each were topped off with green chili sauce and cheese.  These were a hit and a great way to start off a Sunday morning!



Corn Tortilla Ones


Blackened Cheese Grit Cake Ones

697
The Pub / Re: Whitney
« on: February 12, 2012, 07:37:03 AM »
Her Star Spangled Banner still gives me chills, especially since everyone is butchering the anthem these days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wupsPg5H6aE&feature=related

698
The Pub / Re: bacon cupcakes
« on: February 10, 2012, 10:20:39 AM »
So do we need a weekly "What's cooking with bacon this weekend" thread? 

699
The Pub / Re: bacon cupcakes
« on: February 09, 2012, 02:09:54 PM »
And I thought this was going to be a cupcake with little bacon bits on top.  I'm going to have to try this, but instead of salsa, I'll try some green chili sauce.  Thanks for the idea!

700
General Homebrew Discussion / My First Homebrew Competition
« on: January 29, 2012, 02:42:45 PM »
Entered my Pale Ale (my 5th brew) in LHBS brew competition.  It wasn't a sanctioned event and the category I entered was the Yellow category, which included Pilsners, Pale Ales, Steams, etc...  There was a total of about 60 beers in my category and I finished 3rd!  I was shocked when they announced my name.  Talking w/ other contestants and their techniques, equipment, etc..., well, I felt a little overwhelmed and just didn't want to finish last.  Just goes to show it doesn't have to be fancy to be good!  Now, let's see if I can replicate it!

701
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Tasting a 137 year old beer !
« on: January 16, 2012, 10:18:08 AM »
Un-freakin-believable!  Awesome post and thanks for all the pics and background!

702
All Grain Brewing / Re: is vorlauf necessary?
« on: January 03, 2012, 02:38:36 PM »
I use a 48-qt rectangular cooler to mash and vorlauf and it only takes about a quart to run clear.  I've only done two all grain batches and with a lot of research, advise from this forum and Denny's site, I've been able to make some great beer.  One thing I do, which I picked up from a youtube video, is before I vorlauf I place some foil ontop of the mash and poke some holes in the foil.  When I return the runnings back to the cooler, I slowly pour over the foil as to not disturb the grain bed too much.  I repeat the process for the sparge also.  Does this really make my beer better?  Not sure, but it's what I started off doing and the beer has turned out great, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

If you're batch sparging, you're wasting time, effort, and foil.  You can just gently pour it back in and you'll be fine.

I am batch sparging.  I will definitely take your advice and go w/ out the foil next time.  Thanks Denny, always appreciate any advice.

703
All Grain Brewing / Re: is vorlauf necessary?
« on: January 03, 2012, 02:27:51 PM »
I use a 48-qt rectangular cooler to mash and vorlauf and it only takes about a quart to run clear.  I've only done two all grain batches and with a lot of research, advise from this forum and Denny's site, I've been able to make some great beer.  One thing I do, which I picked up from a youtube video, is before I vorlauf I place some foil ontop of the mash and poke some holes in the foil.  When I return the runnings back to the cooler, I slowly pour over the foil as to not disturb the grain bed too much.  I repeat the process for the sparge also.  Does this really make my beer better?  Not sure, but it's what I started off doing and the beer has turned out great, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

704
Beer Travel / Re: Oahu or Maui?
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:53:29 AM »
Oh, as for beer, can't say much about that.  I've had many a brew at the Maui Brewing Co. up in Kahana.  The wife really liked their pineapple wheat, and their coconut porter was good.  I remember the bar tender telling me that they also sold homebrew supplies and grains.  Wouldn't it be great to be in Maui long enough to brew some beer!

705
Beer Travel / Re: Oahu or Maui?
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:46:00 AM »
My personal opinion, Maui.  It also depends what you want.  Although it was a long time ago, I grew up on Oahu and left just before middle school.  My wife and I got married in Maui five years ago and spent the honeymoon on Oahu.  We've been back to Maui each of the last 4 years and plan on buying a condo there this year.

Maui seems to be the island that has a little of each island and has the most amount of great beaches.  Especially in south Maui from south Kihei to Makena, the best stretch of beaches anywhere.  Starting with the three Kamaole Beaches, it's just one great beach after another.  This time of year, the surf will be up more, which is great for body boarding, but may make it a little more cloudy for snorkeling.  We always go this time of year, and some years the snorkeling has been ok, and others it has been great!  It will be near the peak of whale season, so definitely book a tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation, which has tours leaving from Lahaina and Maalaea.  (If you become a memeber then the tours are cheaper and you get a free one.)  

To keep this short, I'll just say my vote is for Maui.  If you would like any more info regarding Maui,  send me a PM and I'd be glad to give you a full rundown on each area, places to stay, places to eat, things to do,how to save $$$, etc...  My wife and I love Maui and enjoy sharing our experiences.

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