Another beer…

Chocolate Stout

I really meant to get another post up on food but I guess that didn’t happen. Instead, I brewed a chocolate stout. I wasn’t 100% on how it would turn out, so I opted to brew another 1 gallon batch instead of the normal 5 gallon batch most homebrewers do. Who wants 5 gallons of something they don’t want to drink?

My home made cooler mash tun
My home made cooler mash tun

 

Mrs G was already complaining about the smell from the mash in the tun and since it was so nice out, I did my boil outside.

My outdoor setup including Duke's pot of sand and shovel
My outdoor setup including Duke’s pot of sand and shovel

 

The chocolate flavor comes from the addition of 85 g of Hershey’s Cocoa powder at flameout.

 A little over 1.064 OG
A little over 1.064 OG

Into the one gallon fermenter

You can kinda see me in the reflection if you look hard enough
You can kinda see me in the reflection if you look hard enough…and our messy kitchen. Actually, don’t look hard.

 

Fingers crossed that the yeast will do its thing and time will smooth it out, otherwise based on an initial testing I’ll be stuck with a chocolatey, hoppy, bitter mess. I’m sure it will be fine…I hope.

And the obligatory phot of Lil Griffin taken recently at a photo shoot.
And the obligatory photo of Lil Griff taken recently at a photo shoot.
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Ruh Rho, Shaggie!!

The other week, I took out all the insides of my Egg to give it a good cleaning. Get rid of all that ash that builds up between the firebowl and the base. That’s when I noticed this crack along the bottom on the inside….

That's not that bad...
That’s not that bad…

So I looked at the outside..

Well that's not good!
Well that’s not good!

One of the reasons I got a Big Green Egg and not another Kamado style cooker was their lifetime warranty on all ceramic parts. When I was looking to get one, the only other really big name brand out there was Kamado Joe, if I recall correctly, and their warranty at the time was only 5 years. Had I gone with them, I’d be in trouble now as my Egg is older than 5 years.

So I called up Bruce at BGE (I’ve got his number around here somewhere if anybody needs it, but I’m not going to post it here) and he was very nice and he worked with me to get a replacement. I was worried because I now live in Dallas and my Egg was purchased in another town over 8 hours away. That was not a problem though as Bruce told me I could work with whatever vendor I preferred in the DFW metroplex. I chose to use Elliot’s in Plano and they got me hooked up in no time.

First thing you want to do when replacing the base is to lock the hinges. This is done by putting those white plastic thingees back on that came with your Egg? Wait…you don’t have them? After two moves, neither do I. Or if I do, I have no idea where they are. I just used a bunch of zip ties to ensure that the springs wouldn’t open up the metal bands once I removed the top. Maybe I should have taken some pictures of that step.

Step two, unscrew the bolt on the bottom band and remove the top.

Top removed.
Top removed.

Now you are left with just the base.

Top removed
Top removed. You can always tell when somebody has a toddler because there are always toys laying around.

 

Remove the base from the nest, replace it with the new base, align the top back on and you are almost done. Tighten the bolt back up and cut off the zip ties (or take off those plastic pieces if you happened to still have them) and you are ready to cook.

Ready to go
Man…that is way to clean. I need to break it in ASAP!

It didn’t take long and although I did it by myself, the job would be much easier with two people. Although there wasn’t much my lil partner could have done to help, he was preoccupied.

What is it about kids and boxes?
What is it about kids and boxes?

I didn’t have a chance to break it in last night as Mrs. G wanted to try a new recipe out for King Ranch chicken, but I will tonight with some burgers. I’m excited to cook on an Egg with a gasket again after burning mine off years ago.

Now what to do with this? I'm thinking it might make a great planter.
Now what to do with this? I’m thinking it might make a great planter.