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Messages - Joe Sr.

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Wood/Casks / Oaking an Old Ale
« on: January 06, 2014, 04:15:05 PM »
Looking for advice and opinions.  I have an Old Ale I want to put on oak.

I do not have a barrel, but I have the following options available:

Light American oak chips soaking in bourbon;
Medium toast French oak chips soaking in bourbon;
Can't recall what kind of chips soaking in rum (these have been used previously, soaked in bourbon and into a strong stout);
Both the American and French chips un-soaked.

I'm not sure I want the bourbon character in the Old Ale.  But I'm not sure I don't.  If I did, I think I'd pour off the bourbon and just put the chips in for awhile.

I'm sort of leaning toward the American oak.  No spirits.

What would you do and why?

The Pub / Re: A Snow Day?
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:54:08 PM »
I'm just outside of Chicago, and I don't know of any schools that are open today in the area. It's currently -18°F with a wind chill of -Hoth°F. So it's a snow day, but nobody is going outside to play in the snow. Our power went out briefly this morning too. After that little scare, I vow to never freak out again when we lose power in the middle of summer.

Everything is closed, except for my office apparently.

Good thing I have DIPA and Imperial Stout on tap for the sub zero temps.

After shoveling for the 2nd time yesterday I cracked open an Expedition Stout.  Then I took a nap.  'Twas quite enjoyable.

Beer Recipes / Re: Recipe Help - Oatmeal stout
« on: January 03, 2014, 04:30:21 PM »
Designing Great Beers is an excellent book and I keep it handy.  It's very helpful in building your own recipes, and I actually need to pick it back up for a refresher.

Brewing Classic Styles is probably a book I should pick up and I may just hop on over to Amazon and order it.

But, to the original question that recipe has a HEAP of roasted grains.  I think you could get by just fine with 8 oz. each of chocolate, roasted barley and black patent.  I would also probably increase the hopping a bit.

To me, an oatmeal stout should be smooth.  With as much roasted barley and black patent as you're planning I don't know if you'll get the smoothness I would associate with the style.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Must refigerate?
« on: January 02, 2014, 09:39:36 PM »
The yeast was in the refrigerator longer than it should have been, I'm sure.

Time shouldn't matter.  I've stored yeast slurries for 6 months or more with no issues.  I have to burp my containers every so often as the yeast seems to continue producing CO2, which probably helps create an unfriendly environment for other things to grow.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 31, 2013, 03:25:58 AM »
Ginger and bourbon sounds interesting. I love gingerale.

That mix is about as good as it gets.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: December 31, 2013, 03:23:02 AM »
Damn, you've all been busy.

Bourbon favorites are Elmer T. Lee, Eagle Rare, Noah's Mill, and Preston's Double Barrel.

Haven't had Preston's but I'll check it out because your other recommendations are outstanding.  I've got two bottles of Noah's in the cabinet.  One I bought, and one I got for Christmas.

People keep recommending Blanton's, but I just can't get behind that.  Too expensive for what you get.  Yeah, it's smooth.  But it's boring.  I'll drink it if you're pouring, but I won't spend the coin.  I'd rather have Four Roses Single Barrel.

Buffalo Trace?  Meh.  It's OK.  I'd put it on par with Makers.  Solid, not outstanding.  Nothing special to recommend it.

I got everything to make a sazerac! Well it's angastora bitters not peychauds... will have to try one come cocktail hour this afternoon!

Get some Sazerac rye if you can find it.  Outstanding stuff.

Equipment and Software / Braided lines - how to know if they're stainless
« on: December 26, 2013, 09:56:38 PM »
Doing some plumbing and I've pulled a couple old (but not antique) braided lines.

How do I check if they're actually stainless?  They'd be great filters for the mash tun and kettle that I've been planning to build.

Equipment and Software / Re: Universal poppet valves
« on: December 24, 2013, 03:52:57 PM »
I've been using them to replace leaky gas-side poppets.  I do have a few kegs where the gas is hard to connect, but I hadn't previously linked that to the new poppets.

I also replaced one leaky liquid poppet.  I don't think I've tapped that keg again, but it's not leaking anymore.

I've been generally happy with the universals, but I suppose time will tell.  I've got enough kegs that I'm not sure which have the universals.  And I'm kind of tired of stocking 3 different types of poppets.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Last brew day for 2013
« on: December 23, 2013, 07:54:32 PM »
my luck came into play and i ran a drill bit 3 inches into my left hand f.... S...

Ouch.  I learned not to brace against the board your drilling through in a similar fashion.  Sistering rafters together and ran the drill straight through in to the heel of my hand.  No major damage, but my kids learned some new words.

Good luck on a quick recovery.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Aerate before or after pitching?
« on: December 23, 2013, 07:21:06 PM »
I'm starting to think I might like Belgian ales with filtered air better than pure o2. Pure o2 seems to leave less ester profile behind.

I have found this also.

I may have to give this a whirl.  Just did 10 gallons of a Chimay-ish dubbel that seems to have less Belgian character than I would like.  I've been attributing that to the cool fermentation temps (peaked at about 66) but I also aerate with O2, so maybe it's a one-two punch.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Aerate before or after pitching?
« on: December 23, 2013, 05:49:37 PM »
The big difference between compressed air and 02 is time. 1-2 minutes o2 is all you need as opposed to 20 minutes or so with regular air.

Right.  I just haven't seen any performance difference for the additional investment in the O2 regulator and the cost of the tanks.

Not a huge investment, but also one I could have just as easily not made and still been pretty much where I'm at fermentation-wise.  It is another gadget, though, which has some value in and of itself.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Astringency expected?
« on: December 23, 2013, 05:44:00 PM »
It shouldn't affect astringency, but it could increase the ester production and possibly fusel alcohol production.

Thought astringency was caused by fusel alcohols.  If not, what do fusel alcohols taste like?

Nail polish remover

Now I wonder what nail polish remover tastes like...  Perhaps with a splash of OJ and some mineral spirits.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Aerate before or after pitching?
« on: December 23, 2013, 05:41:51 PM »
Up to tomorrow morning's brew my aeration method has been to whisk for 5 minutes with a 22" whisk. I just bought an aeration stone and wand (for filtered air, not o2, though I could upgrade easily). Thanks for the insight; I don't know if I will ever use o2, but if I do, I'll heed your advice.

FWIW, I've not seen a huge difference between O2 and filtered air.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Astringency expected?
« on: December 23, 2013, 04:01:38 PM »
Rocket fuel.  You'll likely want to age this beer for a good year or more.

Does age actually reduce fusel alcohols?

They are supposed to.  It certainly does not hurt to put the beer away for awhile and be patient.

Equipment and Software / Re: Can heater light bulb alternatives
« on: December 20, 2013, 11:03:41 PM »
With the kitchen redo, we went LCD

I went with halogen.  Didn't give it a lot of thought until recently...

Next time!

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