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Messages - tschmidlin

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This should give you a good idea of what I'll be doing this weekend . . .  ;D

All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 20, 2010, 10:04:43 PM »
The problem appears to be the cherry wood dust.  I dried it in the oven as you suggested, and could not get it to remain lit.  After several more tries and failures I switched and dried some hickory dust in the oven and then started it up.  It's still going and will for a few more hours at least.  It is currently going in the box setup I made.

Here are some pics from the failed attempts, when it was still light out.  As you can see, I sat it on a baking sheet with a couple of foil-wrapped bricks (I use them for weighting stuff down when I need to, like when I make corned beef) to hold up the cheese.

I put the box resting on one end of the baking sheet, to let a little more air in, but it looks pretty much like this.  The top brick is to cover slit in the box and to the wind from blowing it around.  It should keep critters from getting in there too, but they might not be interested in the smoky smell anyway.

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 20, 2010, 09:48:16 PM »
Now where were we?  Oh yes, anarchy.  Denny, were you responsible for the WTO riots in Seattle?   ;D

Nah, I was an upstanding hippie businessman by that point.  Those were just kids!   :)
Your minions though, right?  ;)

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 20, 2010, 01:37:04 PM »
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.

Why is everyone so afraid to talk about this?  This isn't Nazi Germany for crying out loud.  Freedom of Speech!  Stand up for your First Amendment rights!
First of all, Godwin's Law.

Second of all, you know what makes me crazy?  People who don't understand the First Amendment.

Freedom of speech only refers to the government restricting speech.  Not your employer, not business owners, and certainly not moderators on an internet message board.  You have no right to free speech on this board.

Now where were we?  Oh yes, anarchy.  Denny, were you responsible for the WTO riots in Seattle?   ;D

All Grain Brewing / Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 20, 2010, 01:26:49 PM »
Pretty's a hybrid method I've heard referred to as "Super Fly".  It's also the way Mike Dixon sparges.  Like the OP said, the real solution is to get a bigger cooler.  I've got a 152 qt. that I break out for extra large or high gravity batches.  65 lb. of grain at 1.5 qt./lb. and it's only 2/3 full.

That is one big cooler.  So what do you make with 65 lbs of grain?  10 gallons of something big, or just more of a regular strength beer?

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: October 20, 2010, 01:21:23 PM »
I would make IPA with that water as is, and use distilled/DI water with a little of it added to make a Czech pils.  German pilsners generally have higher mineral content than Plzen, so depending on the kind you're going for your water could be fine - it has some similarities to Dortmund water.

How much did it cost to get it tested?  I tried some of my local places but they all wanted way more than Ward Labs.

All Grain Brewing / Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 20, 2010, 01:16:05 PM »
3)   Or should I just add as much sparge water as I can when starting the second runoff, and then just keep topping it off until I’ve added what I need?

That would probably work just as well.
Isn't that pretty much fly sparging Denny? :)

Without seeing your recipe, my first suggestion is don't rack to a secondary vessel.  It's rarely necessary, and it's unlikely your first time recipe needs it.  You can do your "secondary" in the primary vessel after most of the fermentation is done.

Second, if that is an accurate reading that is way over diluted - that doesn't mean it won't be good, but I think you need to accept that the finished beer is going to taste exactly like the recipe is supposed to.  To get from 1.054 to 1.072 you're going to need about 3 lbs of maple syrup.  That's going to be pretty fermentable and thin out the body of the beer.  I think you'll be happier if you just add 8 oz of maple syrup to the primary vessel and call it good.  Since fermentation has slowed or stopped, you'll still retain the aroma from the maple syrup (which is why you would add it to secondary) without having to deal with the hassle of racking the beer.

Let us know how it turns out.  :)

PS - Welcome to the hobby.  ;D

Other Fermentables / Re: '10 or '11
« on: October 20, 2010, 09:34:34 AM »
Typically vintage refers to the year of the grapes, not the wine.  But it's your wine, you can put whatever date you want on it :)

All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 20, 2010, 09:28:52 AM »
Do you think it was damp or lack of O2.  Maybe try drying the dust in a 250F oven first.
I don't know for sure, but that's a good idea, I'll try that.  I need to come up with a new way to light it, I used all of the fuel in my lighter too.  :-\

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 20, 2010, 09:26:18 AM »
I don't drink a lot of hard liquor, but when I do . . .

Gin and tonic - Bombay Sapphire, Pacific Voyager, Dry Fly
Whisky neat - Glenmorangie, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Macallan, Oban, etc.
Whiskey neat or with diet (including bourbon and rye), depending on how good it is
Spiced rum (with diet or other mixer)

There are some seasonal things we do, eggnog with whiskey and/or rum, bloody marys are a Thanksgiving morning tradition, apple jack with mulled apple cider for halloween, etc.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer in the Bible
« on: October 20, 2010, 08:56:04 AM »
In Maureen Ogle's book, Ambitious Brew, she describes a NYC courthouse scene during the lead up to prohibition where they brought in an expert witness to refute the notion that beer was alcoholic.  He testified that he had already consumed several beers that day with no ill effect.  The anti-saloon side lost the argument.
I remember that Jeff, wasn't there some insane number of beers the guy claimed to drink every day, like 30+?  I have a copy of that book somewhere . . .

All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 19, 2010, 09:11:37 PM »
I tried to smoke some cheese tonight, but couldn't get it going  :-\

I got a baking sheet, a box, the cheese, some foil-wrapped bricks to support the cheese, and the smoker filled with cherry wood dust.  I tried probably half a dozen times to light the dust and it would stop burning shortly after I took the flame away.  I thought maybe it was smothering in the box, so I raised one end and it didn't help.  I moved everything back to the grill and set it up there, but it still wouldn't stay smoking.  I dumped out all of the dust and re-packed it in case it was too tight, but it didn't help.  I even got to the point where I built a small fire under it with a box of matches, but as soon as the matches burned out the dust stopped smoking.

I gave it up for the night.  :( I think that there might be something wrong with the dust, even though it is the dust that they recommend.  It feels plenty dry, but maybe there's something else going on.  I'll clean it all out and try again tomorrow.  If it's still not working I might switch back to the hickory that worked so well last time. 

Ingredients / Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« on: October 19, 2010, 08:55:42 PM »
Well, there is no reason to worry about the calcium levels, that is mostly important in the mash and you're not mashing (except for that Munich).

I found this thread about Briess extract on the BN forum.  So you know the ions present in the water, which is great.  They will be concentrated in the extract, but when you add it to the distilled water it will be diluted.  If the average wort they make is 1.068, you can calculate the ions in your brew, it's a simple ratio.  If your SG is 1.065, you just take 65/68 = 0.96, so multiply all of the ion concentrations in that thread by 0.96 to get their concentration in your wort.  Remember, you should only take into account the SG from the extract.

That being said, I find it hard to believe that Briess would mash with only 24 ppm Ca in the mash.  Maybe they do, but maybe they add some Ca to the water so in that case the levels will be off.  But that's what we've got to go on.

So if I were you I would add some CaSO4 to the water you mash the Munich in, and skip the CaCl entirely for this batch.  It's a start anyway.

Hope that helps.

All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 19, 2010, 04:46:16 PM »
Yeah, those things give off wisps of smoke, so if I can capture and concentrate it a bit more that might help.  If I have a box at home I'll do it tonight and see what happens.  It's getting a lot colder though, hopefully that won't be a negative.  It'll probably smoke around 55F at best.

That seems pretty cold.  I would think the cheese could absorb more smoke at slightly warmer temps.  Mine was right around 85-90F and didn't melt.
I think you're probably right, but I don't have a decent way to warm it up without it getting too warm.  I'll see if I can come up with anything.

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