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Messages - Joe Sr.

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1471
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP530 vs. WLP545?
« on: March 17, 2014, 02:25:39 PM »
+1.  I get more banana/clove from the Westmalle strain, where IMO the LaChouffe strain is somewhat fruity and distinct.

Definitely banana for the Westmalle.  I get almost a tartness from Ardennes.  But a pleasant tartness.

1472
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP530 vs. WLP545?
« on: March 17, 2014, 02:20:21 PM »
I find the Ardennes strain to be quite distinct.  And it's one of my favorites for lighter colored Belgians.

I think you'll make good beer with either, but if your recipe calls for Ardennes I'd go with that if you can as the yeast will impart a lot of character to the beer.

1473
Homebrew Competitions / Re: question for comp organizers/staff
« on: March 17, 2014, 10:37:00 AM »
Glad to know I can stop wasting my zip lock bags...

It does seem like overkill, but whatever. 

My shipments of wine have never come in any sort of secondary water tight container and they've never arrived broken.

1474
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Mini Kegs
« on: March 17, 2014, 07:50:55 AM »
There's a massive thread on the NB forums that deals with this in detail.

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=61167&sid=e7a4eaf17373e63c54bbe9e684fea284

1475
I treat my caps the same way as Frank. I have a small bowl of starsan and a small mesh screen. I dip the caps and then fish them out with the screen and keep the bowl next to me as I bottle.

I doubt the caps were the problem though.

1476
Zymurgy / Re: Last Call! Best Beers in America
« on: March 14, 2014, 02:35:37 PM »
Trying to vote, but when I enter New Holland Brewing no beers come up.  I guess I can do write-ins...

Weird, because the brewery comes up.  Oh well.

Gotta say I like this format better than when I just typed out 20 in an e-mail and sent them in.

1477
Equipment and Software / Re: CO2 To Go
« on: March 14, 2014, 02:20:39 PM »
Yep, I've got 3 of them and they work as advertised.  During the winter I keep a few extra kegs in an old canning closet just outside the front door and I use those for dispensing.

I've never been there, but I love your place.  I used to let my beer storage room get into the 40s in the winter so all my kegs were able to be on tap.  I don't want the wine getting that cold, though, so now I keep it at 55 which is not too bad for stouts and milds.

That "tap-it" kit kinda scares me.  There is no regulator on these chargers and they can put out a LOT of pressure particularly if that growler was full.  I'd hate to see a glass growler shatter.  I know that I've pinged out the bottom of a 5 litre mini-keg with my charger.

For more control and portability, I bought a "jak pak" which is basically a portable system for pneumatic tools.  It hooks to a paintball tank and has gauges so you can control the pressure.  Of course, I can't get full paintball tanks in the City or any of the near-in northern suburbs so I've never used the darn thing, but there you go.

1478
Equipment and Software / Re: Burner question
« on: March 14, 2014, 01:27:29 PM »
I used to have a turkey fryer with the small central burner, not sure what model and it worked well for 5 gal batches but I'm loving the KAB6.

So, I've never actually used my Bayou Classic burner, but I hope to get around to it this summer.  I've got a big ol' pot for doing 10 gallon batches.  Am I likely to need a bigger burner?

I suppose I won't really know until I drag it out and turn it on...

1479
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Fizz drops
« on: March 14, 2014, 10:42:29 AM »
Any other updates?

I'm wondering if it would be less work for me to bottle four to six bottles of beer with carb tabs or their ilk when I'm packaging and to keg the rest, rather than kegging all the beer and then bottling a few bottles off the keg.  Your thoughts?

I used to do this regularly.  My experience (and I may be repeating myself) is that the Munton's Carb Tabs left white waxy chunks in the beer that were particularly unappealing.  Especially when you're picking them out of your teeth.  They did the job on carbing though and give you a good degree of control.  The Cooper's Carb Drops (and Brewer's Best, I think they're the same thing) over carbonate at the recommended dosage.  Since the dosage is one drop per 12 oz bottle, it's hard to get any control.  Two drops in bombers and/or champagne bottles also overcarb.

I'd go with a method like Mort suggests that gives you more control.  But that's a little more work.

I'm planning to try sugar cubes, but I haven't found them locally just yet.  Only checked at Target.  Need to check Jewel.

1480
I've never had an infection problem with better bottles.  IME, you can clean and sanitize them pretty much just as well as glass.  I've had one or two batches that went south in the last few years but I did not have to toss the fermenter, just the nasty beer.

When I've had bottles that are badly overcarbed, the yeast from the bottom of the bottle gets dragged up into suspension when you open them.  I believe this causes additional nucleation sites for more foaming and it also has an impact on flavor.  I wonder if that's what you're tasting?

1481
Equipment and Software / Re: Burner question
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:38:39 AM »
Tell me about it.  It was a long time ago.

I remember soaping the pots a lot better than I remember scrubbing them.  I think we were all wiped out when we got back and had to clean up and put the gear away.  All the gear went up by the Explorer Post room in the tower of the church.  Lotta stairs.  Especially with the axe box.

1482
Equipment and Software / Re: Burner question
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:31:49 AM »
If soot on the pot is an issue, you can coat the outside of the pot with dish soap before it goes on the flame.  It will make clean-up a little easier.  Old Boy Scout trick, though I can't recall for sure how much easier it made the clean up.  Must have been substantial, because we soaped the pots every time.

1483
Beer Recipes / Re: Rye Stout
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:18:32 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies, gents.

I have to empty a few kegs before brewing again, but stout is top of the list for whenever that comes around.

1484
Beer Recipes / Re: Rye Stout
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:09:28 AM »
At the risk of jumping your thread, what exactly is cold steeping and what are its advantages?  Does it give you a less bitter roasted flavor?

You're spot on with the less bitter roasted flavor assumption. By no means am I an expert on the deal, but my method of cold steeping is to line a stock pot with a 5 gallon paint strainer bag. I crush my dark drain, add them to the bag, and then add 2 qt/lb of water. I let them steep for a day and stir occasionally. Then I add the "tea" to the boil with about 20 minutes to go. You will need to use more dark grains with this method than you would if you mashed them.

When you're cold steeping, do you stick the pot in the fridge?  I assume that if it's left at room temp you'd wind up with a bit of souring, but I am no expert.

My last non-Imperial stout tastes too dry for me and it may be the dark grains which were mashed along with the MO.  It could stand to be smooother.

1485
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: fermentation not complete ?
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:01:19 AM »
I would have given it longer than two days at a higher temp.  IME, the yeast work more slowly at the finish of really big beer particularly if it seems as though it might have stalled.

I brewed a quad about two years ago (Denny's 400th recipe and for my 40th) that seemed to stall at around 1.035, IIRC. It may have been in the high 20s.  Given time, gentle rousing, and some warmth it finished in the teens.  I think it took about two months to get to a steady terminal gravity.

I've only had bottle bombs once, and it was really only one bottle that cracked the rest are just grossly over carbonated, and that came from bottling a big beer when I thought it was done and it was not.  I put most of it into champagne bottles and those are fine but one swing top grolsch bottle broke open at the bottom.

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