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Messages - blair.streit

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All Things Food / Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« on: February 15, 2019, 07:29:49 PM »
Following up - I was able to create plenty of smoke using the cast iron skillet inside my existing gas grill. And a small strip of aluminum foil plugged up the crack at the hinge that was allowing the smoke to escape.

I was able to get a ton of smoke flavor in an hour or so with this method.

Next time, I will need to pay more attention to temperature regulation, as I do think it got too hot at times. I had to do a fair amount of shifting to prevent the meat from cooking.

But all in all this seems like a very workable process. And with a little better temperature monitoring and some strategic positioning I think it would be just fine for my occasional use.

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All Things Food / Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
« on: February 15, 2019, 07:24:38 PM »
The eggs peel super easy and are just perfect.

Cook-wise that has been working out great for me. I think I need to watch some YouTube videos about how to peel the damned things though. Or maybe that’s just as good as it gets. I haven’t really made them any other way so I don’t have much basis for comparison. Any peeling tips welcome, as a lot of the stuff I read sounds like voodoo.

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All Things Food / Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« on: February 05, 2019, 12:47:39 AM »
I tried to finish the cooking of smoked meat indoors (without more smoke) one and the smoke odor was too intense indoors so I had to finish on the grill outside.

Ooh, thanks. You guys probably saved me twice today.

I learned that lesson the hard way doing French Fries in beef tallow. Amazing flavor, but now I fry them on the back porch.

Apparently my learning doesn’t scale as horizontally as it should

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All Things Food / Re: Smoking without a Smoker
« on: February 04, 2019, 08:46:55 PM »
This is great stuff, thanks guys! Knowing that soaking in smoke flavor for an hour or two should do it, here’s my current though on what I’d like to try this weekend:

1) Rig up cast iron skillet or other “chip container” to work inside the gas grill; Smoke this in the grill while doing yard work

2) Finish cooking in my air fryer (in convection oven mode). It takes very little energy and will probably smell great

This should give me a shot at decent results and keep the wife happy since it won’t require any money or space for new equipment.

I swear, if I ever need to engineer anything, this is the community to talk to.



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All Things Food / Smoking without a Smoker
« on: February 04, 2019, 06:40:17 PM »
I’d like to try smoking meats. My brewing equipment takes up enough room that I would pay extra to avoid additional footprint. Looking for ideas here.

Does anyone know if I could buy a standalone widget that would allow me to load wood chips and smoke them (so probably electric), but do the actual smoking in a thing that I already have (probably my gas grill). To be even more picky, I’d prefer it to be something I could walk away from for a little bit (so would prefer to avoid open flames).

Am I wasting my time or is this doable?

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All Things Food / Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
« on: February 04, 2019, 06:34:37 PM »
Drew’s tip about hard boiled eggs in one of the December Experimental Homebrewing episodes was pretty timely. I’ve never liked the sulfur smells that come from hard boiled eggs, but this Sous vide process really seems to minimize that. And hard boiled eggs are very handy to have around for my diet (so that I can save my splurging for beer).

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Phosphoric Acid amounts?
« on: July 09, 2017, 05:22:22 PM »
Also consider using a touch of acidulated malt.  I make 10 gallon Pilsner batches with up to a pound of acidulated malt without any problems.  Of course you will want to use a calibrated pH meter to know where you are at...
Isn't acidulated malt just going to add more lactic? If I understood correctly, he's trying to get more acidification and avoid any lactic flavor.

I've had the same issues with low concentrations of phosphoric requiring a large quantity. I wouldn't imagine it to be an issue as lower concentrations just mean you're adding a few 10s of mL of distilled water in addition to the acid. Sub-optimal from a cost/effort perspective, but I can't see any issue for the beer.

Hopefully someone smarter than me will weigh in, but those are my thoughts/experience.

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Equipment and Software / Re: Pressurized transfers are amazing
« on: July 09, 2017, 05:14:32 PM »
Also based on recent emails it sounds like SS Brewtech is releasing 14G Unitanks in a couple months and *may* announce a 7G version late this year.

I'd love to be able to ferment, cold crash, drop yeast, fine and carbonate in a single pressurized vessel before putting into the final serving keg. Hope they do it!

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I've done this "experiment" unintentionally a few times where I've kegged a beer (I always purge keg full of sanitizer by pushing with CO2). Then after a few weeks carbing/conditioning I start serving the keg and also Beer Gun bottle a few for competition or archiving (purging the bottles as well).

In several cases, I've kept the keg and bottle cold for up to 9 months and tried both. Without fail, the bottles will start showing some faint signs of oxidation and the keg does not.

I most recently did this just a few weeks ago with a Marzen that I brewed last fall. What's funny is when I drank the bottle it actually tasted like some of the Spaten Oktoberfest I had a few years back. First time I recognized the caramelly sweetness I had experienced in that beer was not intentional

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« on: May 20, 2017, 11:09:20 PM »
It's always a good idea to recycle your chilling water from your heat exchanger for clean up. The first several gallons will be hot water too! If you are doing multiple batches in a row your heat-exchanged water is great for doughing in the second batch because it will already be warmer than tap.

I use the hot discharge of my IC to hold in the mash tun to rinse equipment during cleanup.

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Same. I hate pouring out all that water and then pulling more water to clean just a few minutes later. I wash/fill my mash tun and end up filling my HLT and a few other buckets as well. It's all the water I need to clean and the rest goes to water the trees.

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Equipment and Software / Re: Tilt Bluetooth floating hydrometer
« on: May 09, 2017, 02:44:05 PM »
So here is some interesting TILT behavior.

I was fermenting a Belgian IPA with WLP 510 a very sticky yeast. Just as it approached high krausen the TILT began to read about 8 SG pts low. When I racked to keg the tilt had huge globs of yeast stuck to the top throwing of the buoyancy.  Suspected that was the issue. In water it read at 1.000.
I had enough similar experiences with the BrewBug that I've stopped using it (e.g. inaccurate readings due to CO2 or krausen).

The data was cool at first, but I noticed that by watching my temp graphs (delta between chamber and beer temp) and how often my chest freezer had to cycle on and off to maintain temp I could pretty much determine my progress toward FG with similar accuracy. And there's always the initial method of counting bubbles in my airlock within X seconds and comparing that to the last measurement.

If I had it to do over again I'd borrow one of these to document how a specific recipe/yeast behaves and then I'd give it back to save work and eliminate reasons for me to obsess

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2017 NHC Competition Chat
« on: May 02, 2017, 06:40:18 PM »
For me, I'd want a larger sample size of opinions if two judges independently perceived a character I wasn't getting in my beer. Sometimes, one judge might mention "hey, are you getting banana?" and the other might start perceiving that through the power of suggestion. They could be overly sensitive to that ester or just had the perception of it. With a score of 38, I wouldn't go changing anything until you get some more opinions and more judges/people also finding banana or other esters too strong for a lager.
Thanks. Yeah I've got a bit of it left so I'm going to try and get some opinions from some trusted palates (before showing them the sheets) and see if anyone else picks it up. The fact that it's only being cited in the aroma suggests to me that whatever they were picking up on is pretty subtle.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2017 NHC Competition Chat
« on: May 01, 2017, 03:46:35 PM »
I was going to ask if this was a repitch for that 833 strain?  I only ask, becuase last year I brewed a series of lagers in a row and by the last one (#6 with the same strain repitched) judges had noted some "strawberry esters" in the last brew (happened to be a marzen too).

Was thinking that maybe you took the strain out to too many repitches and mutations may have gotten the better of it. Just a thought....
Wow, that's an interesting idea. I do repitch 833 quite a bit, but in this particular case it wasn't. Generally I make a 1L starter with 2 packs, then pitch that into Marzen or Vienna Lager (down in the 1.050 OG range). My repitches usually come after that and go into my Dunkles Bock and/or Baltic Porter. There's enough going on in those beers that if I were getting a slight ester contribution from repitching I probably wouldn't notice it.

I know you were probably talking about more generations than that anyway, but it's a really interesting point. I assume there are all kinds of factors that might come into play through successive repitches (i.e. yeast health/nutrition, oxygenation, mutation, etc).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2017 NHC Competition Chat
« on: May 01, 2017, 03:16:20 AM »
Do you use your tap water? Use campden? Because chlorophenols formed from water that wasn't dechlorinated can cause a phenolic/maybe banana type character.
Yeah our water is pretty heavy in chloramine so slow carbon filtering and Campden are both part of my routine.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2017 NHC Competition Chat
« on: May 01, 2017, 03:13:56 AM »
Maybe a low level infection is a possibility. I've just never known 833 to throw banana. Doesn't make it impossible, I guess.
Yeah I don't pick up the banana in the aroma myself, but as mentioned I do get a "sweet bread" aroma that is at least adjacent in my mind.

I'm pretty sure it's not a contamination issue. I just had a bottle today that was bottled off the keg at the same time as the ones that were judged. At this point the beer is over 6 months old and over 2 months in the bottle. I would think any kind of contamination would be growing in prominence, but everything seems pretty much the same to me. I also still have some in the keg and it tastes pretty much the same as the bottle (though I'm starting to pick up some faint sweetness in the bottle that I'd chalk up to early signs of oxidation).

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