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  1. ericbw

    Root beer extract preferences

    Does anyone have strong opinions on root beer extracts? I've used McCormick (good) and Watkins (not good - too weak). I see Brewer's Best and Zatarain's at the brew store. I'll be mixing it up and kegging, not carbonating with yeast. (The yeasty flavor is kind of what makes homemade root beer...
  2. ericbw

    Replacing faucet o-rings (Perlick)

    I had a leaky Perlick 525SS, so I took it apart and cleaned it up. The o-rings are all in decent shape, although they seem kind of dry - not cracking or anything. As long as it is apart, I want to replace the rings. The parts are cheap, but the usual sources (online brewing sites) charge 8-10...
  3. ericbw

    Simple water additions

    I've looked all over, and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I know that water chemistry is "complicated," but so is every other aspect of brewing. I don't need to know all about it, I need to know HOW to do it. Is there somewhere that has suggestions for how to get the water you want...
  4. ericbw

    Brown Ale with wheat

    I think the cold snap we have had this week is making me think of fall and winter. I'm not ready for pumpkin anything yet, though, so I'm doing a brown ale. I had a lot of pilsner and white wheat malt on hand (Swaen), so I'm mixing up my usual brown ale recipe. The base is NoPo Nut Brown...
  5. ericbw

    Rhubarb Saison

    I started this brew about 3 weeks ago, and last night I added the rhubarb. It immediately sank to the bottom, but was floating by morning. So far, no additional fermentation. I am hoping that it doesn't just add a vegetal flavor to the beer. 5 lbs pilsner malt 1.25 lbs wheat malt .5 lbs...
  6. ericbw

    Slicer

    I didn't see recent threads on this, so I'm looking for input on a meat slicer. Not trying to go broke, so while I know names like Hobart, etc. are quality, that's too much (and overkill). Does anyone have first hand knowledge of any of these? Chef's Choice (probably the 615 model) Weston 9"...
  7. ericbw

    Reviving old yeast

    This is for the discussion about how long yeast will last. In 2013, I harvested yeast from an Ommegang, and I've used it to brew a few batches. I save the yeast and store it in a jar, refrigerated. It separates really nicely. This summer, I didn't get a chance to brew with it, so I...
  8. ericbw

    Yeast for Vienna lager

    I want to make a Vienna lager as my first lager attempt - like Negra Modelo. It looks like Bohemian lager or German lager are the typical yeasts. I can't tell the differences. Anyone have preferences?
  9. ericbw

    Humidity controller

    Does anyone see a reason why this wouldn't work for curing meat or cheese? The cost for this unit is about the same as what it would cost to by the hygrostat controller (looks just like the STC-1000 temp controller), enclosure, and the other parts needed - some wires, wire nuts, plug, etc...
  10. ericbw

    Chai flavor

    I'm planning a chai spiced brown ale. The base recipe would be hopped at 60, 30, and maybe 10 minutes, maybe 0. Looking for a subdued hop flavor (prob Willamette). What's the best way to add tea? In the mash, boil, or add yea at bottling? Anyone with experience?
  11. ericbw

    Pineapple strawberry basil booch

    I think this is the best batch I've made. Pomegranate blueberry tea with strawberry-basil syrup and fresh pineapple. It's a little on the sweet side, but very refreshing.
  12. ericbw

    Overcarbed!

    I kegged a blonde/pale summer ale on Saturday. My usual procedure is 30psi for 24 hours, then turn it down to serving pressure for about 2 weeks. It's usually carbed in a week, but better after another week. This time, in an effort to get it ready for a gathering this weekend, I figured I...
  13. ericbw

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  14. ericbw

    Whole beef tenderloin

    I'm looking for advice/suggestions on a grill roasting a chunk of beef tenderloin for a small dinner party. We usually have steaks at the office picnic, but we want to do something a little different, but still beefy. We've done pork tenderloins and pork loins on the grill (sear it for a few...
  15. ericbw

    Chilling

    I have been trying to find some details on something I saw a while back (probably more than a year ago). I saw a video where a guy had a chiller that used an autosiphon and immersion chiller. He pumped ice water from one 5 gallon bucket, through the chiller, and then it came out in another 5...
  16. ericbw

    Peach or Pear Cider

    I'm about to start a quick and cheap batch of cider for the summer. Our usual method is to us two gallons of cider from an orchard (we do it in the fall), let it ferment out dry, then backsweeten with another gallon of fresh cider. This ends up with a moderately sweet cider at about 5% ABV. We...
  17. ericbw

    reconditioning pinlocks

    I got some used (rough shape) pin lock kegs, and neither of them have gas dip tubes on them. Is that an essential component? They both hold pressure, because they arrived pressurized. (I figured it out when I couldn't get the lid open.) Do you need a gas dip tube? It looks like there is...
  18. ericbw

    An easy question about mash and sparge volume

    I wonder if anyone has any insight on this. I mash in a 5 gallon cooler with a bag (to make it easy to clean up). I usually mash with 1.33 Q per pound, then sparge with enough to get my boil volume after calculating the absorption loss (usually .1 gallon per pound). For instance, last batch...
  19. ericbw

    Temp problems with S-04

    I made a batch of the White House Honey Ale (2.5 gallons, all grain), and used S-04. I got it chilled to about 66 degrees, then moved it to the basement in a water bath with ice. This morning, it was back to 70 degrees (thick krausen, but not out of hand). I added ice to the water bath to bring...
  20. ericbw

    Reuse yeast cake?

    I kegged a blonde this morning and I am brewing a cream ale now. I fermented the blonde with US-05 and I used Whirlfloc in the boil. Should I pitch on the yeast from the blonde or clean the fermenter and pitch new? The cream ale is lighter but will be dry hopped (not to style, I know).
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