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Everything posted by Shrike

  1. I have a four-cup Pyrex measuring cup. I put about two-three cups of water in it and nuke it until the water is boiling. Then I put it on the counter, throw in the hop sack, and put a pair of tongs in to keep the sack underwater. I let it sit for about five minutes, then use the tongs to remove and open the hop sack to put the hops in. By this time the sack is usually cool enough to touch so I tie it off with my clean hands and gently put it in the LBK. Someone may have a better method, but I've found this to be simple and effective.
  2. I've not brewed the Northwest "straight up", but I've brewed two of the recipes that use it, American Burleywine and Santa Rita Pale Ale and both are great. I have brewed the Churchill's "straight up" but it's still conditioning. I'll be trying my first one mid-December.
  3. It's an interesting read. I'd like to see a similar experiment done with extract brews. I use 4oz of carapils in all of my non-PM brews to help with body, mouth feel, and head retention and I notice a difference, but that could merely be confirmation bias. Another reason I use it is that using steeped or mashed grains in extract brewing can help reduce or eliminate Conway Twitty, which is obviously not addressed in an all-grain experiment.
  4. Good to hear as that's next in my queue.
  5. Just make a shitload of beer chili.
  6. Yeah, that one looks intriguing.
  7. Welcome, you've come to the right place. Have you brewed a batch yet?
  8. What temperature was the wort when this happened? I ask because the only time I've had this happen is when I was fermenting too warm. Once I started fermenting at proper temperatures I never had it happen again, even with recipes like LSBBS, Novacaine, or Burleywine which all have several times the amount of fermentable sugars in them as the plain St. Pat's.
  9. Five minutes will give almost maximum aroma with just a bit of flavor and bitterness:
  10. Glad it turned out okay. Just as a heads up, if you drink one and taste a vegetable-like green peppery flavor, the hot-brewed coffee will be the culprit.
  11. Regarding the krausen, I did mine in the LBK and it probably came as close to blowing over as I've had since the first batch I did (which probably reached 85 degrees during high krausen, sitting out at room temperature during the summer). This recipe is actually the reason I joined the forum, to ask about proper temperature control. Based on the responses, this is the first recipe I put in a cooler with ice bottles to keep the temp down while fermentation was going on. Even so, the Nottingham yeast are voracious and went to town on all of that malt.
  12. I dumped the whiskey along with the chips into the LBK. It's not enough added ABV to harm the yeast. And the flavor of the finished product is great.
  13. Nope, unless you consider a bit more ABV a "downside". I've done the same thing with other HMEs just to use up leftover booster.
  14. When I did mine I just added them straight to the LBK, no hop sack. I didn't have any issues at bottling, but I also made sure there weren't any tiny slivers or itty-bitty chunks of wood with the chips that could cause a clog. As a side note, your patience will be rewarded with this one. I had one at five months, at six months, and at seven months and they were very good. I had one last week after just over a year of conditioning and it was friggin' fantastic.
  15. Definitely bad. After one more week, put into several one-gallon jugs and mail to me for disposal.
  16. Same here. One cube in a 12oz bottle, two in a 16-17 oz bottle. Couldn't be easier.
  17. Damn, if I cared about the caloric content of my beer I'd drink an abomination like Coors Light or Michelob Ultra.
  18. I just revised my schedule. The wife and I are going on vacation in a few weeks so I figured I'd get one last brew in before that. When we return I'll lower the temp on the mini-fridge and switch to brewing the four lagers I have on hand. Then it's back to ales. - Whispering Wheat Hefeweizen - Saazquatch Imperial Pilsner (lager) - Chromosbeer (lager) - Austin Pils (lager) - Armstrong Dortmunder Export (lager) - Black Moon Weizen - Sir Kenneth Blond Ale - CALEX#2
  19. What hotrod said. My first few brews were very disappointing, so much so that I stopped for a couple of years. When I started up again, MRB had progressed quite a bit. Their craft refills and partial mash recipes are quite a step up from the old "base HME + booster" recipes. That, along with the accumulated knowledge on this forum, has re-ignited my "brew bug". Temperature control during fermentation is probably the single biggest factor that has improved my brews. So you're on the right path there. To me, the standard refills by themselves are a bit bland. When you branch out to the ones that use added LME/DME, hops, or have partial mashes/steeps of grains, then you'll really notice a difference. Since I started brewing again about 14 months ago I've made a couple of blah beers. But I've brewed many more that I'm proud to share with family and friends.
  20. Welcome to the forum! A good place to start with the coffee (and as Rick said, use cold-steeped coffee) is one shot per bottle at bottling. I've found that to be a good amount on average. If you find it to be too much or too little then dial it back a bit or kick it up some on your next batch.
  21. MRB's customer service is second-to-none.
  22. I'm interested in it, but like you said temperature control is my concern.
  23. I'm positive that someone on here does exactly that. They posted a picture of their set-up. They had a small hole in the lid through which they could insert the sanitized temperature probe down into the wort itself. I can't remember who, though; it was many months ago.
  24. I have not, but it's on my "to try" list. I'm first going to do the Long Play IPA straight up, then the next IPA recipe I order will be the Thunder Bay.