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Messages - Joe Sr.

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To properly "decarbonate" you will need to let beer rise to room temp and purge. Otherwise the co2 will want to remain in solution.

I suppose it depends on how quickly you want to reduce the carbonation.  If I'm overcarbed, I just vent off from the PRV a couple times and let the pressure in the keg equalize.  At most, though, I'm hitting a couple pints every few days, so I'll vent over a period of days to get where I want.  It does take time, but in the meantime I can still tap a draft when I want one and I don't have to move the kegs around.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 12, 2013, 09:01:03 AM »
Is sour mash really an entry level whiskey?

IIRC, most bourbons are sour mash.  Not all, but it's a typical process.

Also, some have wheat, some have rye added to the grain bill.  Different flavors and all that.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 12, 2013, 08:57:57 AM »
I'm a bourbon drinker. I love the stuff. I don't know prices where you are but probably the best lowest priced "passable" boubon you can buy that is ~20 is Maker's Mark. There's also Bulleit and Buffalo Trace and a few others I can think of.

Opinions being what they are, and everyone having one and all that, I have to disagree somewhat here.

You can get decent bourbons under $20.  Ancient Age is, in my opinion, pretty damn good for the price.  Very Old Barton 100 proof needs a splash of water but is also a decent sipper.  Anything by Weller, though some of them push up over $20.  Weller is supposedly the same juice that goes into Pappy Van Winkle, which is much much pricier.

Makers is OK.  Probably better than OK, but not something I typically stock.  Not a huge fan of Buffalo Trace but it's OK, too.  You can do better for the money, IMO.

In the mid-$20s I like Wathen's and Elmer T. Lee.  In the pricier range, I enjoy Four Roses Single Barrel and Noah's Mill (bottled by KBD but distilled by others).  Shared some Blanton's with a friend last week and it was better than I recalled but still over priced (again, IMO).

I'm told Evan Williams is a decent bourbon at a low low price point.

I've heard the same, and have a bottle in my cabinet.  On the bottom shelf next to the Beam.  OK for mixing or using in a BBQ sauce or mop sauce.

Elijah Craig gets a lot of praise, too.  It's OK.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Templeton Rye base spirit is made by MGP, a bioplastics food conglomerate, in Indiana. (95% rye, 5% barley) That base spirit is sold to several different brands to make several different whiskeys like Templeton Rye, Bulleit Rye, Willet, George Dickel Rye, etc.

So long story short, it may not be made in your home state.

You are not wrong.  Rye is a whole 'nother thread and I could go on an on.  Can't beat the Sazerac rye if/when you can get it. 

Here's a fun read which can maybe also give Euge some guidance on what to try next.

I went on a budget bourbon spree last year (or maybe two years ago) and Ancient Age, VOB and Weller were the best of the bunch.  You can also check out and other sites dedicated to whiskey.

Equipment and Software / Re: Old Coolers
« on: December 11, 2013, 08:25:41 PM »
The round one is blue. One of the old ones has faded to a greyish former blue.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Secondary Poll
« on: December 11, 2013, 03:23:45 PM »
I rarely keg before for weeks and never use a secondary.  Most of my beers are bigger beers, and they seem to need longer to finish.  Smaller beers may get kegged at three weeks, but I don't pay that much attention.

I used to use secondaries a lot, but often it was to free up a larger fermenter by transferring a beer to a 5 gallon carboy so I could have more batches going.  I was brewing more frequently at that time.

Beer Recipes / Re: Which Style?
« on: December 11, 2013, 02:24:13 PM »
Old Style.

Equipment and Software / Re: Old Coolers
« on: December 11, 2013, 01:51:23 PM »
I'm not aware of any problems with older coolers.  Getting a good seal for your drain is a pain if you have to alter the cooler.  If you are lucky, the copper tubing and keg grease will fit perfectly through the existing drain port. My orange, round mash tun had a fairly short life span before it started cracking.

One of the coolers came missing a drain port.  A mini-keg bung fits perfectly.  And a 1/2" barbed shank fits perfectly in those, so I should be good on rigging up a line to drain it.

Equipment and Software / Re: Winter Fermentation Chamber
« on: December 11, 2013, 01:49:24 PM »
They need to make it into a kegerator

With taps built into the door.

Love the plywood shelf.

Equipment and Software / Old Coolers
« on: December 11, 2013, 10:50:43 AM »
One of these days, I'm going to get around to building my mash tun.  I bought a round cooler, but have also acquired some larger rectangular coolers.  These are used coolers of indeterminate age.  Coleman Polylite 48, IIRC.

Any concerns using an older cooler?  One of them has some stains on the inside, but I can bleach the bejesus out of it.

Also got a newer cooler that has no drain.  I could bore through with a spade bit, but the other coolers seem ideal as long as there's no concerns about the older plastic or anything like that.

Equipment and Software / Re: Haze in carboy
« on: December 11, 2013, 10:39:47 AM »
I've seen that, too, but IIRC it goes away with a good soaking.

What are you using to clean them?  Maybe you need to change up every now and then.

With my Better Bottles, I can sometimes see wipe marks on the inside (I clean them with a rag, not a brush) when they are damp.  When dry, that goes away.  Kind of like when a window steams up and you can see streaks from the Windex.

Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:27:30 PM »
each time you harvest the tips there will be twice as many on those same branches the next year.

For real?  So you could theoretically make the tree bushier by harvesting the tips?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A minor conundrum
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:04:31 PM »
stainless racking cane

I've got like two or three of these that I've acquired from others who no longer brew.  I can't seem to bring myself to use them, though.  I kind of like the clear plastic racking cane.  I can see it, I know it's clean, etc.

I suppose a good soak, scrub it out with a dip-tube brush, etc. and the stainless is the way to go.  I'll probably wait until I break all the plastic ones I've stocked up.

Ingredients / Re: spruce tips
« on: December 10, 2013, 12:55:30 PM »
I encourage you to try a spruce beer before you brew one.  You might change your mind.

I have tried beers with spruce tips. I think it can be successful as long as you keep it subtle

I think you should treat spruce tips like vermouth in a martini.  Show them to the kettle then put them away.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A minor conundrum
« on: December 10, 2013, 12:35:40 PM »
I'll stick with transferring with pressure.  It works just fine.  One less aggravation for me in a world full of them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A minor conundrum
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:57:09 AM »
Yeah, but you need to have a container to drain the water into (I know, not that big of a deal) and then move the tubing into your keg/whatever.  Inevitably, I lose the siphon (I get distracted) and then you need to restart it.  It's just a PITA.  Much easier to transfer with pressure, for me at least.

I did the siphon thing for years.  It always pissed me off.

I have a clamp on my siphon tubing.  I run the water into a bowl, close the clamp and move the tubing to a PET bottle, open the clamp to fill that, close the clamp and move the tubing to the keg, open the clamp and fill the keg.  Couldn't be easier!

Yes.  I have the same clamp.  White plastic job?  Still a PITA.

I siphon from the top and keep moving the cane down as the level drops, which is probably how I lose the siphon from lack of paying attention.  With pressure, I don't have to pull the tube, go fill it with water, drain it to a glass, blah blah blah. Hook up hose, turn on pressure, start siphon, move on with life.  I have issues.  I recognize that.

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