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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/05/2015 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    So yesterday I decided to brew my first "recipe". Howling Red Ale; I've done three brews before this what could go wrong? Well, heres a rundown....by the end of the process I felt like I should have put on some grease paint, some baggy pants, a rainbow wig and floppy shoes, and tried to sweep up a spot light up with a broom. Truly a comedy of errors. First off, I noticed that my LBK was more than a little funky from the last brew. So I need to clean it. Not thinking at all, I dump in a buttload of pink "Soft Touch Palmalive" and blast away with my high powered sink wand. Tweny minutes later, I'm finally convinced that the keg no longer smells like a stripper pole at Dirty Dan's. So I install the spigot (at least I have properly sanitized this) and much to my future horror leave the valve in the "open" position. Fun times folks, fun times. Now off and away to the brewing, I got my LME, HME, STP, and XYZ's all lined up. Problem is...I can't find my hop pellets. But my dogs have. My wife assures my that although the package was found under the sofa, it has been uncompromised. So, secure in the knowledge that all is right in the brewing universe, I read the directions and promptly put a gallon of spring water to the boil. Not 4 cups but 4 quarts. I was a chef throughout most of the 1990's and I know that you always read the recipe...twice. Doesn't matter, heat water long enough and it will boil, but by then my son has come back with some take out and dumps it all on my prepped counters. Argghh! No problemo, I sanitize again and cuff the young hoodlum smartly about the head and shoulders. You gotta be strong but fair with your parenting. Time to prepare the wort. I pull the pot off the heat, toss the bag of hops into the water and open up the can of HME. As I'm pouring the warm version of adult kool-aid into the water, my wife notes that a chunk of the soggy paper from the HME can has fallen into my pot of nascent wort. Point to remember...remove that label before opening the can. Okay, fish out the paper and continue on to the LME softpack. "Umm...honey have you seen the knife that I sanitized to open this"? "Yeah...I put it away. I didn't want you to cut yourseft". Two options present themselves; teeth or poultry shears. I dump the shears in to the sanitizing solution. Pull em out and they promptly fall apart. Well, in my defense, I can assure you all that I do brush regularly. After finally getting all my ingredients into the pot, I politely allow my better two-thirds to mix thoroughly. Love is all about sharing. Man, that pot is big and hot, then I remember to add the cool water from my fridge into the LBK. Remember a few paragraphs back what I said about the valve postion of the spigot? My lovely wife of twenty seven years sweetly informs me that I'm flooding the countertop. Sweetly translates to the decibel range of about 200. Amazing what can be accomplished in a matter of seconds with a sponge and the glare of a fairly pi**ed off Jamaican woman motivating you. Finally time to pour the wort into the LBK. Hey, I'm a pretty big dude but, it's a heavy stainless steal pot full of molten wort and I'm trying dump it all in without spilling any. Have I already mentioned the efficiency of sponges and Jamaican curses? Works a charm, trust me. Finally, with my Little Brown Dividend full up to the designated level, I decide (wisely) that mebbe, just maybe, it's too hot to pitch the yeast. At least I'm golden here. My culinary experience,along with the tools of my former trade, allow me to let the wort cool to 70 degrees and so, finally (once again opening the packet with teeth) pitch the yeast, cap the barrel and rack the beast. I won't say that I haven't ever cocked up something else in so many ways;however, in some ways home brewing is an intimate and personal endeavor. After reading more than a few posts on this forum, I am humbled by the knowlege and sense of shared pride that it's members demonstrate to each other. And I'm sure you will all agree that despite all the errors and miscalculations, beer is a fairly hearty beast and hopefully this batch will age from a rather ungainly fledgling into a brew that will spread it's wings and soar to the heavens. Or at least straight down into my awaiting gullet. Anyway, if you made it this far, thanks for reading. Best, Zoot
  2. 3 points
    Thinking about it; I suppose that the reason for only using a quart of water put to the boil is to keep the heat down to ensure that 1. you don't melt your LBK and 2. your wort cools quickly so that you dont have to worry about stray bacteria getting into the wort before you pitch your yeast. Best, Zoot
  3. 3 points
    I think the most essential accessory for a new brewer is these forums.
  4. 2 points
    Hey Sgueegeethree, not to brag or anything but I once got lucky with a Penthouse Pet....hmmm...it was the 70's, maybe it was just a pet. Anyway I know that this is a safe place to post and that no one here will judge me for any past indescretions. Right guys?.....guys?....anyone out there? Best, Zoot
  5. 2 points
    You're the only one to ever screw up a brew. I've never heard of anyone leaving a spigot open. Clearly this hobby isn't for you, we are all perfect and don't make mistakes. Oh, and loud Jamaican women scare me.
  6. 2 points
    That kind of read like a brewer's version of Penthouse letters... except dirtier.
  7. 2 points
    bottling wand, that thing makes bottling a snap.
  8. 2 points
    Well, the actual beer is only 10%ABV, and you are close to that. Maybe the yeast has reached peak attenuation? 1.022 is decent for a big beer, and I imagine this brew has a good bit of un-fermentable sugars anyway. I am looking at .002 difference in gravity over a week's time, so I am betting this one done. Move it up to the kitchen, give it another 3 days if you want, & check gravity again. I am betting it won't have changed. If you think it tastes good now, just imagine what it will taste like in a few months!
  9. 2 points
    Glad you enjoyed it! I know many people were skeptical, as was I at first. But after trying the original from Black Bottle Brewing Company, I said to myself, "I have to make this!!". It is a mighty fine brew. Stay tuned for another milk stout we're releasing within the next couple of weeks. It's called "Angry Bovine Milk Stout". It's equally as delicious. Maybe not "magically delicious", but close enough. lol
  10. 1 point
    Let me start by saying I am a craft beer dork big time and this one stacks up. I sneaked a bottle of the lucky charms milk stout a little early (3 weeks) because I was immensely curious. Let me tell you this beer is amazing. I was completely blown away. It starts like a Left Hand milk stout (which I love) but better. Then that finish is a very complex, a nice sweetness but not overly sweet, it plays off the roasted base flavor so well. I know the recipe is no longer available on here but I highly recommend piecing one together and brewing it up.
  11. 1 point
    Doesn't just saying that word make you want to go try and achieve world dominance? IDK, maybe it's just me. Anyway the Howling Red Ale that I brewed last evening is all hubbly bubbly and it looks like all my mistakes made during the process have been duly ignored by Bacchus (Is there a Beer God? Perhaps Thor or David Hasselhoff). Oh, just Googled and found out that Silenus, who was a teacher to Dionysus(Bacchus) is considered to be the Greek God of Beer; although the Sumerian beer god was named Ninkasi. In case you are as completely bored as I am, you will also note that a few ladies were considered goddesses of the Brew. From the Slavic lands Raugupatis was the God of fermentation and his partner Raugutiene was the Godess of Beer. And from Africa,Yasigi was the lustful Goddess of Beer who was rather top heavy and danced a mean hoochie coochie. My kind of gal. Best, Zoot (humming "It's a small world after all....ad nauseum")
  12. 1 point
    These questions are asked often on the forum. 1) Until they leak. Use soda bottle caps, like those that come on 2 liter bottles, to replace them. I'm up to 6 uses on mine with no issues. 2) No you cannot use screw caps. No, you should NOT use screw top bottles, as they may not seal, or the necks may break. No, you should not use green bottles like Rolling Rock.
  13. 1 point
    OK, I have only tried the Diablo with 1 oz, and I usually use 0.5 on other recipes. My variability probably depends more on the particular hops I have, age, etc. I will try 0.5 Cascade on my next Diablo & see how it goes. I am all for making ingredients go further.
  14. 1 point
    Both LBKs seem happy after about 4 hours
  15. 1 point
    You also added way too much adjuncts to the malt and took a 1.87 pound hopped malt extract and added 3 pounds of stuff to it, thereby basically neutralizing the hops. I would expect a very cidery/green brew for months. I suggest you look into brewing software such as QBrew.
  16. 1 point
    I found the link to Fresco Chile Lime Beer recipe and was curious about substituting a single Naga Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)for the 6 Jalapeno peppers recommended. Has anyone used other peppers for this recipe? If so how did the beer turn out. I also saw a post indicating that 3 Jalapeno's may be better than 6.
  17. 1 point
    Ninkasi wasn't a dude.
  18. 1 point
    "One of the college neighbor girls came over in a panic and asked if I knew how to brew beer. I replied yes and asked how stout she wanted it..."
  19. 1 point
    I think there are super tasters out there that sense taste chemically different than a normal person. I suppose green pepper might be a turn off for some but I like the taste.
  20. 1 point
    So you store your hops in the couch and we both visit dirty Dan's, We need to read a bit more to find out how this beer comes out. LOL Nice Forum essay, Bottoms up!!
  21. 1 point
    Got a really great Anniversary Gift from my wife yesterday. She gave me a Brewing Lesson at Love2Brew in North Brunswick, NJ. The session is for two people, still waiting to find out if she wants to tag along.
  22. 1 point
    Quess we missed the part where I said I first got a whiff of it when I was bottling . The ship has not only sailed on dry-hopping, it has been sank due to a kraken attack.
  23. 1 point
    The Diablo mostly has just bittering hops and not a lot of hops for flavor or aroma. This is to allow you to have more creative control. The Diablo on it's own is really good, but when you add some hops for flavor and aroma, it becomes even better. It's not too late, either. You can dry-hop your beer while it's fermenting. Just add a half oz of whatever hop you wish to the fermenting beer and let it stay in there for 3-7 days before bottling.
  24. 1 point
    QBrew puts this at 9.4%, with an OG of 1.097 and an FG of 1.024. This won't go down as low due to unfermentable sugars, as was mentioned. They cannot ferment, they keep gravity higher.
  25. 1 point
    so, when people have asked about zest previously, one point has been to avoid the white pith from the orange. Wouldn't using an entire orange peel result in the same issue?
  26. 1 point
    this is good to hear, I purchased it but have not started it yet. I was intrigued enough that I friended Black Bottle Brewing company on Facebook. They really do make some crazy beers that makes me wish I was closer to Colorado. The new one they just brewed was a kool aid ale. In any event, thanks for the info on this, can't wait to get it started.
  27. 1 point
    In the fall, usually an Oktoberfest or a Marzen.
  28. 1 point
    The OXY free is the most recommended. Had a hard time finding it but this seemed to be my best choice at the local dollar general store. I am not boasting All but found no fragrance, hand moisturizers, or dye. It was meant for allergy folks. If you find oxy free it will work best according to post forum reports. All additives in detergents add off flavors to our beer and we do not want that. Cheers, M
  29. 1 point
    I did one with and one without the bag, There are many opinions about this bag of spice. 1st is still conditioning with out but OG 2.00, I toned down a bit on the 2nd with spices and still landed a 1.8, My Irish stout came out great with OG 1.55 and should have some wonderful history. I stayed away from fruits, sugars, and cut dextrose in half, Cinnamon was added, along with steeped grains and extra hops. Fun,Fun,Fun M
  30. 1 point
    Pretty sure I gave extract and all-grain examples, so I'm really not comparing extract to AG. I also am not at all talking about SMASH recipes, as I compared similar 5.5% abv pale ales from Mr. B and Rebel Brewer. And I'm 100% certain that beers I brew can reach the complexity of a Mr. B extract brew, whether it be an AG or an extract with grains recipe. Regardless... RDWHAHB!
  31. 1 point
    I could call a split batch a double too - lol. I think I will try that. From looking at the recipes for similar things I get some sense what the makeup might be. How about: The first split batch I will make with light DME 1lb, and maybe some wheat DME 0.5 lb also split between batches Then I will use the T-58 in one LBK with coriander and orange peel - maybe dry hop Saaz And the other LBK just plain with Mr B yeast - maybe dry hop with Galaxy. (Doing dry hop so I do not have to worry about the boiling being separate)
  32. 1 point
    When a yeast or hop describes itself as "peppery", they are referring to black pepper, the spice - not chile peppers.
  33. 1 point
    The most essential tool for a new brewer is your brain. Use it often & well.
  34. 1 point
    Tell ya what ship me a few of the Pliney and we can call it even!
  35. 1 point
    I am thinking about literally digging a hole in the crawlspace under the house I live in to store my batch of Novacaine.
  36. 1 point
    "Conditioning" is more of a broad term, whereas "lagering" is a more precise term that means "cold storage". In fact, we will eventually be changing our instructions to say "conditioning time" rather than "lagering time" because not all beers will benefit from lagering or cold conditioning. Some beers benefit better from cellar or room temps. And conditioning beers at those temps technically isn't "lagering".
  37. 1 point
    It's 1 word with 2 meanings. That might be why you're confused. Like plane... 1 is in the air, 1 is an area of existence. Lager: verb... "to lager" In general beer terms, it means to store your "beer." Beer is beer once the yeast has converted the sugars to alcohol. noun... "a lager" This is a beer that has been made with a specific strain of yeast and was fermented at colder than usual temperatures (typically mid 50F range) Additionally, beer is not a beverage that is made outdoors in a hot climate. Think of its origin and the Sahara doesn't come to mind. Additionally, making beer isn't like making jello: you don't pour some ingredients into a bowl and wait for it set. You have to encourage living organisms to reproduce, eat, etc. If your environment is not conducive to their needs, you will get inconsistent results at best. What is more likely is that you will get a ton of off flavors that you won't enjoy. Just like ice cream, good beer won't be made at 100 degrees.
  38. 1 point
    I'm all ears to any responses you might get, as I'm interested in doing something similar. I made it straight up and didn't really care for the spices in it, but I left the spice bag in with the wort which made the spice taste a lot stronger. I'm currently letting it age/condition longer hoping that'll make it taste better. Thanks, Tony
  39. 1 point
    I've used scented soap if that's all I have on hand. Use as little as possible, then rinse the bejeebers out of it. No issues.
  40. 1 point
    He is not waking them up, he is letting them get to the temp. of the wort. Yeast are alive, and just like adding fish to a tank, you don't just dump them in. It'll kill 'em. You get the yeast to with in 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) of the wort before adding it to the brew. To do it right should take 10-15 min., to not stress the yeast.
  41. 1 point
    every yeast manufacturer has specific instructions regarding yeast rehydration. fermentis sometimes says just sprinkle on wort. some say one temp range... some another. all say to use plain water. why? when you rehydrate yeast they take into their cells whatever you rehydrate them in. their cells walls are weak and if they suck in wort it can cause osmotic shock... I think. I'm no expert. I just follow the instructions on the sachet. some ppl say if you are using an 11g sachet of yeast (enough for 5 gallons) in a mr beer sized kit, just toss the yeast on top. you will have a die off of maybe half the cells, but are still left with enough to do the job. the dead cells get eaten by the living ones. I say why stress out your little friends? rehydrating only takes about 20 minutes. the only yeast I have ever pre-fed before pitching (attemperating) was when doing a mead with a very high starting gravity. after rehydrating in just water, I would add about a 1/4 teaspoon of must to the water... stir gently... add another... repeat a few times til the temperature of the yeast pitch is close to the must. this gets the yeast to the same temp as the must and also helps them to not get shocked by the gravity. (but again, im no expert).
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