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About woodbikefish

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  1. I'm kind of "utilitarian" with labels. I get the 14/page labels at an office supply store (like the Avery 8162 labels). I use MS-Word and one of the label templates; I put brew date, bottle date, ABV and a couple of pics that I 'google' to fit the style of beer. See Attached. They're cheap, easy to get off with short soak, don't run, or bleed, with inkjet. They're effective, but, not too artistic or fancy; just the facts.
  2. In response to the original question, I did the Coopers English Bitter, splitting the 3.75 lb can between 2 LBKs. The first batch used 1/2 can CEB, 1 lb. Muntons Extra light DME 1/2 of the included Coopers Ale yeast, rehydrated in sterile water prior to pitching. OG was 1.046; FG was 1.010 (4.725%ABV); dry hopped after 1 week fermentation with 1/2 oz UK Challenger. Total fermentation time was 3 wks. The second batch used the other 1/2 can CEB, 1 can Mellow Amber UME and the 1/2 of the Coopers Ale yeast. OG was 1.054; FG was 1.014 (5.25%ABV). Dry-hopped with 1/2 oz Fuggles after 1 week; total time in LBK was 3 wks. Both batches took about 36 hours to really get ripping; so may use more yeast next time. Both were batch primed with dextrose (~50g each), and carbonation is spot-on. I was a bit over the 8.5 qt mark on both and got 23 full bottles each batch. These are excellent brews! If I was forced to pick one, I'd have to say the second batch with the MrB UME and Fuggles is just a wee bit better, but I would take either; drank them side-by-side, and I liked everything about them: color, taste, bitterness, head. I paid 17.95 for the can at LHBS, and with the other ingredients, they're a little bit cheaper than MrB. I would definitely do again. Love those English bitters and brown ales!
  3. Hard to beat a pair of big cans! I'm thinking of trying a different yeast for one of them; someone mentioned a Nottingham earlier. I too will do one straight up with the S-04 and then may try a different ale yeast. IMHO, the dark strong ale from last winter is the best brew I've made, and that was with the US-05. I have a pack of T-58 to add some Belgian-style taste characteristics, like I did below: DSA "clone" with: 2 cans Creamy Brown UME 1 can Golden Wheat UME 1/2 cup molasses 1 oz. Nugget, 1/2 at 35 min boil and 1/2 at flameout 0.5 oz Amarillo 15 minutes; additional 0.5 at flameout pitched T-58 and brewed 3 weeks at 69*F All the recipe numbers were nearly identical to the seasonal DSA and it tasted quite good at bottling. I'll find out in a month.
  4. I brewed this last Feb/March, and taste was there, but also no head. I added a can of Mellow Amber UME, and my FG bottomed out at 1.023 after 3 weeks, with less trub than I'm used to seeing. Seems to be carbed; just no head. It's actually better at cellar temp than ice cold, and head retention is kind of there at the warmer temp.
  5. Bottled today after 22 days. Cooling off here in PA, so last few days were around 66 deg. basement temp; brewed between 66 & 69 the entire time; OG was 1.072 (with a packed cup of dark brown sugar added); FG came in at 1.018, where it's been since Fri (09/16). I too had a fair amount of CO2 when bottling, however. Tasting the hydro sample, it tastes a lot like the Leffe Blonde, but a darker color; it had that spicy clove taste. I bottled into Leffe bottles, which are very attractive mini wine-bottles; they also give you an extra bottle or two, since they're only 11 oz. I'm glad I have a second can to brew now that I see they're gone, daddy, gone!
  6. Did first batch on evening of 08-29 and added a full cup of dark brown sugar to the water boil (as suggested on the label). OG came in at 1.072 without correction (~80 deg). I did a quick look through the thread and did not see a lot of OGs posted with the extra fermentables; seems like most were brewed straight up. Pitched the rehydrated t-58 at about 79 deg. I rehydrate in warm, sterile water (~150 mls) with stirring. There's lots of good information out there on why this is a productive step. My basement is a steady 69 deg, and it was rippin' the next morning (10 hrs. later). I have one more can of the Dubbel to brew, but will wait to see how this turns out. Cheers!
  7. I did the Coopers English Bitter kit two days ago and split between two LBKs, having read posts about the bitterness being designed for a 5 gal mix. First one, I added 1 lb. of Muntons Extralight DME and 1/2 can of the Cooper's HME; OG came in at 1.044. The second brew had one can of Mr. B Mellow Amber UME and the rest of the Coopers mix; OG 1.052. I rehydrated the Coopers yeast in warm sterile water, and pitched evenly between the two LBKs, each at about 9(+) quarts. OG estimates from Coopers instructions for a 5 gallon mix were 1.042, so I think it was a reasonable split for both brews. Also brewed the Belgian-style Dubbel during this same session; added 1 cup dark brown sugar; OG 1.072 for 8.5 qts. Dubbel was ripping the next morning (~10 hrs. later), but little activity with the two Coopers. Next day, nice krausen on both Coopers brews too. I'm planning on dry-hopping both Coopers after a week or so for some additional aroma: Fuggles in one and Nugget in the other. Looking forward to these brews. I'll post review when drinkable. Cheers!
  8. I brewed the Grand Bohemian Czech pilsner a while back and added a can of mellow amber UME. Came out a darker than usual, so it's my "Gypsy Pilsner". One of the best tasting brews I've done so far, by the way (IMHO).
  9. I really liked the seasonal Dark Strong Ale. Brewed two straight up, but haven't tried the second batch. If it's anything like the first, it will be worth the wait. After reading the description several times (http://www.mrbeer.com/product-exec/product_id/945), I plugged ingredients into Qbrew. Here's qbrew's estimate for the Winter Seasonal, followed by a potential clone: Mr. B Dark Strong Ale Extract Recipe Characteristics Recipe Gravity 1.065 OG Estimated FG 1.016 FG Recipe Bitterness 78 IBU Alcohol by Volume 6.3% Recipe Color 40° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.9% Ingredients Quantity Grain Type Use 3.75 lb MrB. Seasonal Dark Strong Ale Extract Quantity Hop Type Time 3.00 oz MrB. Seasonal Dark Strong Ale Pellet 5 minutes Quantity Misc Notes 1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast American: Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS Batch Notes 3 weeks primary; 2 weeks carb; cellar temp after for minimum 4 weeks Here's a "clone" using Mr. B ingredients in an attempt to reach similar numbers: Dark Strong Ale clone Recipe Gravity 1.067 OG Estimated FG 1.017 FG Recipe Bitterness 78 IBU Alcohol by Volume 6.5% Recipe Color 40° SRM Alcohol by Weight 5.1% Ingredients Quantity Grain Type Use 0.33 lb Molasses Sugar (~ between 1/2 and 3/4 cup) 2.42 lb MrB. Creamy Brown UME Extract 1.21 lb MrB. Golden Wheat UME Extract Quantity Hop Type Time 0.50 oz Amarillo Pellet 15 minutes 1.00 oz Chinook Pellet 35 minutes Quantity Misc Notes 1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast American: Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS I know the numbers are close, but won't know about the taste until it's done. I'm sure a great deal of expertise goes into Mr B's seasonals, but simply matching numbers with UME and hops may have some potential? Thinking of trying this weekend now that ingredients are at hand. What do you think? Thanks
  10. OK, OK. Couldn't resist, so ordered two cans of the Imperial Hefeweizen. She'll be OK; I'll share. Still may have to wait a while, but I'm down to three empty LBKs, and after this IPA, I'll have four lonely kegs.
  11. No, not too warm in the house yet. My wife thinks I'm crazy brewing this much beer, so it's become a covert operation. I have two in the little brown kegs, and about 155 bottles of beer in the cellar. I'm hooked on the whole home brew process, but she's not. Any one else lacking that encouragement and support? Just not enough time in the day heading into the summer season, so I'll get back at it in the fall. But, I do see the Imperial Hefeweizen is now in stock.... Hmmmmm, still have an empty keg just waiting, and there's still night-time....
  12. Last brew of the season for me, so using up some ingredients. Tried this one today: Hoppin' Tuscarora IPA 1 can Golden Wheat UME 1/4 oz. Cascade 20 min boil 1/4 oz. Cascade 5 min boil 1/2 oz. Amarillo 5 min boil 2 cans AD-IPA HME at flameout Used SafBrew T-58 11.5 g. rehydrated in warmed, sterile water prior to pitch, instead of the Mr. B Fromunder ale yeast. OG came in right on target (according to QBrew) at 1.061. Left the hops in the hop bag when I transferred to the fermenter, and plan on leaving the entire 3 weeks; hope that's OK. Qbrew comes in at 62 IBU. I know that T-58 is not the proper yeast for an traditional IPA, but I had it and wanted to use it. I didn't know too much about beer before I started my first WCPA kit that I got for Christmas, so I'm not a purist yet, hence the T-58 with an IPA. I pitched around 1:PM EST, and it is ripping 5 hours later; huge krauesen. I'm a firm believer in the rehydration process, even though I understand it is not necessary for Mr. B kits. Just seems to make sense. This is what sold me on it: http://koehlerbeer.com/2008/06/07/rehydrating-dry-yeast-with-dr-clayton-cone/ I'm excited about lucky number 13. Cheers!
  13. Bottled Sunday after a 3 day cold crash. Cleared nicely, and resembles a brown ale in color. 22 bottle harvest. OG was 1.090 and FG came in at 1.016, so it will pack a punch. I intend to give it the full 6 months as FrozenInTime suggested. I guess this will be my Oktoberfest. Thanks for the tips; cheers!
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