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Topics - Joe Sr.

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Questions about the forum? / Avatars
« on: September 05, 2012, 08:29:07 AM »
I just went to change my avatar, and now I don't have one...

I even tried going back to my old avatar. But it appears to no longer appear.

I am uploading.  I tried linking to photobucket, but photobucket appears to be having issues today.

I can get an avatar if I use on of the generic ones, like Emilio Estevez or Limp Bizkit.

Am I doing something wrong?  Is there a specified file type/size I need to use?

Equipment and Software / Broke a glass carboy this morning
« on: August 18, 2012, 10:26:54 AM »
I was lazy and stupid.  I know better.  But I still cracked it.

Now I'm down one 6 gallon fermenter.

I will replace this with a better bottle. 

I think I'm done with glass as much as possible.  It just doesn't seem like it's worth the potential risk, especially with small people around.

The Pub / Police in Chicago bust NATO protestors homebrewing
« on: May 18, 2012, 09:13:59 AM »,0,2015209.story

Wonderful.  Bottles and caps.  Homebrewing?  Or making molotov cocktails?

We have some serious crazy going on in Chicago this weekend.  I'm staying home.

Ingredients / Pomegranates
« on: March 23, 2012, 05:47:01 PM »
I have a batch of pomegranate seeds from Costco noone wants to eat.

I also have a batch of Belgian blonde waiting to be kegged.

Anyone ever toss in pomegranates?  Any thoughts?

Go for it?

All Things Food / Weber kettle conversion to smoker
« on: March 11, 2012, 08:28:34 AM »
So I dug through the garage for some sheet metal to build an extension on top of my kettle to better use it as a smoker.

Unfortunately, I have only galvanized sheet metal.

I've read that the heat from the smoker won't get hot enough to release the zinc coating, but I'm skeptical.

Lowes sells sheets of aluminum, but I think that is also coated with something.

Any thoughts?  Is galvanized a super-bad idea?  Is aluminum just as bad?

I can probably find some sheet metal that's not coated, but not in my garage (I have some stainless, but I think it's very thin and I stashed it way up in the rafters and buried it under a bunch of other junk last summer).

Kegging and Bottling / Mini-regulator - DIY?
« on: February 06, 2012, 02:20:56 PM »
This looks awesome to me:

However, the price is a bit steep.

Anyone built something similar?

I'm thinking you could use this: with a schraeder valve for an inlet and a barbed fitting for an outlet.  That would let you use one of those CO2 injectors that take cartridges.  I use one that I got at a bike store (which will fit the schraeder valve) but my biggest complaint is that you can't control the pressure.

Any thoughts?

Kegging and Bottling / gelatin fining in keg
« on: January 29, 2012, 01:13:29 PM »
I've got a couple batches that don't really want to clear.  I'm on the third or fourth gen of this yeast and think I obviously have wound up with the less flocculant cells.

I know you can fine in the keg, but I've never done it.

The beer is carbonated.

Once I put in the gelatin, how long should I expect for clearing?

Also, I've heard many times that the first pint should blow the gunk out.  But I'm leery. 

Any experiences and tips you can share would be appreciated.

Wood/Casks / Re-using oak chips
« on: January 25, 2012, 06:32:49 PM »
Just curious on the consensus about reusing oak chips.

I just pulled a few ounces out of my stout.  They had been soaking in bourbon before I put them into the keg.

They've only been in a few days and smell like the still have a lot of character to them (these are home-roasted to a dark char).

I'm thinking of soaking them in rum for another batch.

Anyone else ever re-use chips?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Efficiency and adjuncts
« on: January 21, 2012, 01:10:37 PM »
Should I expect lower efficiency when I'm using adjuncts?

This is the second brew where I've come out significantly lower.  Today I used 4 lbs. of 2-row and 2.75 lbs of instant rice.

I came out about 15 pts lower than I expected. About 50% efficiency rather than the 75% I usually get.

A month or so ago, I used Munich as my base in a stout I've brewed many times.  I came out at least 10 pts low.  I blamed it at the time on the Munich, as I've hit my OG before using 2-row and/or Pilsner.

I typically mash 5 lbs or so in a grain bag and the rest of the fermentables come from DME.

Yeast and Fermentation / Starter tastes sour
« on: January 21, 2012, 09:53:58 AM »
I've got two starters ready and two worts boiling on the stove.

Both starters taste sourish and not tasty.  I've never really tasted my starters before, so I don't know what they would usually taste like.

I had a batch come out sour recently, and now I'm thinking that my frozen starter wort maybe is sour/contaminated (there's no more left, but I used the last of it in these starters).

Just curious what others think.  I know most people who taste them say the starters taste nasty, but sour?

I'm thinking of splitting both batches and doing half with the starter and half with dry yeast to see what's up.  Or just chucking the starters and going with dry, but then I won't learn anything...

Equipment and Software / Beersmith - Scaling Recipes
« on: January 16, 2012, 09:08:23 AM »
I've been playing around with Beersmith and thought I'd brew a 3 gallon batch instead of a 5.

When I scale the recipe down, the amount of hops increases.  Which is counter-intuitive.

Am I missing something?  The increase is not too much, but the batch size is almost half...

Beer Recipes / Bell's Expedition Stout
« on: December 12, 2011, 05:50:32 PM »
Just wondering if anyone has a recipe that they've brewed for Bell's Expedition Stout.

I found this one elsewhere.  It's supposedly from an old Zymurgy.

If anyone has brewed it, or something similar, throw me some feedback please.

Bell's Expedition Stout Clone
Target OG 1.110
Target IBU 100

23 lb. pale 2-row
1.0 lb. flaked barley
1.5 lb. roasted barley
1.0 lb. black patent
1.0 lb crystal 80
0.5 lb. chocolate malt
3.3 lb. amber malt extract

2.5 oz. Centennial hops 10% AA - 45 minutes
1.5 oz. Centennial hops 10% AA - 30 minutes
0.5 oz. Centennial hops 10% AA - end of boil

Single step infusion mash @ 150-152 deg. F.
Collect as much wort as practical - reduce volume to approximately 5.5 gallons by extended boiling. Add extract to the wort at the beginning of the boil.

Ingredients / Northdown Hops
« on: November 23, 2011, 09:31:49 AM »
I'm planning to brew an English ale this weekend and have never used Northdown hops.  Not even sure I've seen them at the store, but I've never looked.

My typical English hops (which I have aplenty) are Fuggles and EKG.

What can I sub for Northdown? 

I've got bunches of other hops, and will also be hitting the LHBS later today.



Equipment and Software / Adding ball valve to brew kettle
« on: November 17, 2011, 08:47:57 AM »
I'm thinking of adding a valve to my brew kettle.

The valve kits I see on-line go straight in to the kettle without any pick-up tube.  Can you add a pick up tube to draw from the very bottom of the kettle?

I don't see one at NB. Or Williams.  More Beer has one, but says it's for a keggle conversion.

Any suggestions on parts?  Thanks!


Kegging and Bottling / Keg Availability
« on: September 27, 2011, 09:41:59 AM »
A buddy of mine was looking to get some kegs and it looks like availability of used ball locks is pretty slim.

More Beer is out of stock on used kegs.

Anyone know what's up?  Have a current source?

I know prices were shooting up and I stocked up over the summer.  Or thought I did, they're all full now though...

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