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About JimmyTheGeek

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  1. I don't see why it wouldn't work BUT.... you would have to make sure your glass bottles are properly sanitized, and that they are at or within 10 degrees of your beer. Otherwise, you'd be inviting a possible broken bottle with the temperature swing. Additionally, you would be exposing your finished beer to possible contamination when you pour it from one bottle to the other. Plus, how would near-freezing glass stand up to the pressure of being capped? I might try this on 2 or 3 bottles, but for the most part I think I'd stay with the traditional methods and a careful pour. You can fight sediment somewhat by using finings such as gelatin or Irish moss, which really help to clarify your beer and hold sediment to the bottom of your fermenting vessel. Hope this helps!
  2. I add a 12-oz beer to my chili recipe and it really adds some flavor, especially the darker you go. I'll marinate steaks in beer, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onions, and black pepper 4 hours to overnight, depending on thickness. Beer bread is a favorite of mine. Beer is almost a universal ingredient, and definitely represents my favorite food group!
  3. Didn't even THINK about this.....I just harvested about 10lbs of jalapenos from my 4 plants the other day. Gotta do somethin' with 'em, might as well drink 'em:ohmy: !!
  4. Witty Monk Witbier, with 1 cup each of honey and light brown sugar added to the wort after the boil. Damn good!:cheer:
  5. This is what homebrewing is all about -- finding that bliss that is a really great beer!
  6. Recipes for color: As a rule of thumb, the darker the sugar, the darker the beer. For most of my pale ales I use corn sugar (dextrose), mostly because it is a very fine-grained, powdery sugar that has no starch added. Medium to dark beers I'll use honey, tubinado sugar ("sugar in the raw"), light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and maple syrup (rarely), depending on the depth of color. Exclusively in dark beers, I'll use dark brown sugar and occasionally, molasses. It's cool to know that you control everything about a beer, including color, by what you add or don't add to the recipe!
  7. @ Sientz: I always add mine after I take the wort off the heat. Sugars dissolve faster in warm (hot) liquid than cool. You don't want to boil the sugar, as this can cause it to break down if left to just boil and create some weird flavors and/or colors. You can add them anytime before or after you pitch your yeast, and it is probably best to do it before you aerate the wort and pitch your yeast. @ Boxerbrewing: I just let the wort boil the standard time. I only add the sweeteners after the wort has stopped its boil. The more complex sugars and starches in the malts can stand up to the high heat better than the simpler sugars that you would add to augment. One exception might be molasses, but I'd stick with whatever that recipe calls for.
  8. My wife's best friend got her husband the Deluxe kit that was sold at Wal-Mart where she works as a Christmas present one year. He never used it and it sat in their garage for a year or two. She asked me if I wanted it, and I said yes. I had just finished my first batch of wine and was looking at starting to do beer. It was fate, love at first taste, and meant to be.
  9. I used the plastic bottles that came with the kit until a kitchen accident put one on a still-very-hot stove top:ohmy: . From that point, I ordered a case of glass 12 ounce bottles, a gross of O2-absorbing caps and an Emily-lever capper. I have continued to collect various non-screw top bottles, mostly Sam Adams & Land Shark. My capper didn't seem to like the Heineken bottles too well:( . The glass bottles also give you the luxury of sanitizing in the dishwasher's heat-dry cycle after a good hot-water bath. I have never had a bottle explode - only lost one in the sink when the wife accidentally dropped a plate. It is a bit time-consuming, but not so much as to discourage me from continuing.
  10. The numbers given on the cans of mix are a set by a lab analysis of what's coming out of the tap at the Mr. Beer plant. Using a wine thief (basically a tall vessel in which you put a sample of the wort or must if brewing wine) and a hydrometer (measures the concentration of sugar in your beer at any given time), my starting specific gravity was 1.078. Since my wort was at 77 *F, the temperature correction factor was .002, to be added to my initial reading, for a 1.080 SG. My finishing gravity, at the end of two weeks' ferment time was 1.004, a difference of .074. If you take that .074 and multiply by 131 you get the final alcohol content of 9.694% by volume. I tend to drop everything past the first decimal slot, so I gave it a total ABV of 9.6%. I can only report what my instruments tell me, and this is basic physics. It's very easy to brew a high-alcohol beer if you follow the rules.
  11. I'd like to know how you come out with the Irish moss. I usually use gelatin for clarifying, but I'm not above trying new things.
  12. Molasses is kinda tricky. I've used it before in one beer, and put waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy to much in the wort. I threw it out for being too sweet and nasty. Augmenting with molasses is best left to recipes that call for it as an ingredient. That being said, molasses is pretty good in a dark beer. You will have the bready taste and a slight sourness in a pale beer, especially if it is a malty recipe. But molasses is a great addition and flavor modifier in a darker beer.
  13. Basically it was trial and error for me on the Witbier. I stood by my usual 2-week conditioning time, but it was a bit undrinkable still. So, I let it condition for at least 10 more days and it was about right. I'm guessing, based on what I experienced with both the Witbier and the pale that I just brewed, that the higher the alcohol content, the longer the conditioning time needs to be due to the extra stress on the yeast. If I had to quantify the conditioning time, I'd say an extra 7 days of conditioning per cup of sugars added. You really can't go wrong by allowing it to sit longer, but for me the temptation would simply be too high!:laugh:
  14. Typically, with the Mr. Beer kits, you'll want to let it ferment no less than 10 days, but I nearly always give mine a full 2 weeks to let stuff settle out. Then after I bottle, I let it set for 2 more weeks, and then refrigerate (cold conditioning) for at least 7 days. I haven't brewed the Cascadia pack yet, so I can't comment on the taste. Good luck!
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