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Everything posted by JerryOnDrums

  1. First, the pic: http://imgur.com/PkfhY Now, the review: it is really, really good! I was pretty surprised, that after going 3/2/3, it was absolutely drinkable and enjoyable. And if my past brews are any indication, this beer will only continue to get better. The brew came out at around 5.5% abv, and was deliciously balanced. It was my first time using hop pellets, and I have to say that they worked very well. There is a light, although not insignificant, hop note, combined with a controlled maltiness that really just makes for a great drink. The only brew I'd place above this would be the Jamaican Mon I did a while back. So, in case anyone is wondering, the International is a balanced and thoroughly enjoyable brew, and I would recommend it whole-heartedly.
  2. I had to lightly file my slimline spigot, after which point the wand fit perfectly.
  3. Yeah, so like the title says. I don't have any easy way to cool the keg (outside of putting it in the fridge), so I was wondering if anybody else has dealt with the stick-on temp gauge registering "too warm", but just let the LBK do it's thing anyway? The ambient air temp is a steady 70 degrees, and the 3 brews before this haven't experienced any overheating after fermenting in the exact same way/place. I'm assuming that since the yeasties are going to town, that maybe I'm just one the line of "almost-too-warm" fermenting temps? Btw, this is the Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner, with a half-can of Pale Export UME and 2.5 packets of Fromunda yeast. I'm probably overreacting, but any thoughts?
  4. Christ872 wrote: JerryOnDrums~ I actually posted that I was going to try this (posted in the Basic Recipes forum). From your taste-test, was there anything distinctive about it?? I have never brewed this recipe before, but the ingredients don't appear to reflect anything "Jamaican" about it. So, I'm curious about the taste. You mentioned Hacker-Pschorr. I have no clue what that is...so I can't picture it. Would this beer benefit from some type of Jamaican ingredient such as Ginger or nutmeg or rum?? My intent will be to use 1 Lb of DME in place of the booster. Did you feel that it was fine with the booster or could you taste it being thinner?? It definitely was distinctive, in that it was a heavier beer than I was expecting...although, at 6% abv, it has an appropriate body to it. As far as the "Jamaican" quality of the brew, I hear what you mean- there isn't anything inherently "Jamaican" about the recipe, and yet, and maybe it was simply the power of suggestion by the title, but it makes sense once you taste the beer that it's named what it is. Give it a shot! Also, about adding additional ingredients- the rum would be an interesting experiment..
  5. I planned on waiting until it was in the bottle for 6 weeks, but after 4, I couldn't hold out any longer! First, the pic: Now, the analysis: Wow!! This is my 2nd brew after the WCPA standard, and it is LIGHT YEARS better. And it still has maturing to do yet. I didn't use a hydrometer with this batch, but it tastes every bit like the 6% abv brew that it's advertised to be. Great mouth feel, slightly sweet, mellow, good kick. Strangely enough, the beer it most-closely tastes like (to me) Hacker-Pschorr; it really doesn't taste anything like I thought. I was thinking (obviously) that it might have some Red Stripe qualities, but not really. And that's okay, as it's still delicious! I can't wait to taste this brew over the course of the next few weeks to taste how it will condition. To those thinking about trying the Jamaican out, I give it an easy 8 out of 10. I couldn't be more pleased with my 2nd brew.
  6. I just bought and used a frozen box of raspberries in syrup for the secondary fermentation of my raspberry wheat. The grocery store didn't have the Oregon raspberries (and nobody else carried it), so I did what I had to do (I wasn't about to spend $4+ and $7.99 shipping for a can of fruit). The thing I made sure of, though, was that the ingredients for the frozen berries was just the fruit+water+sugar. No other additives, which is what the Oregon fruits list on their ingredients list. Pureed, added, and the yeast seemed to love it! No strange smells/sights going on, so hopefully it will work out fine.
  7. For batch #4, I've decided to go with the Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner, with a can of Pale Export UME for good measure. I've been experiencing lower-than-advertised OG's, so I figure if it "should" come out at 6.9% abv, maybe it'll actually be somewhere in the mid-to-high 5% range. Anybody else ever do a 3-cans-of-malt batch before? How did it come out? I'm assuming longer conditioning times, but I'm hoping it comes out tasting pretty good!
  8. jaydubwill wrote: Did you do the standard HME + booster? I've got my first WCPA in the LBK right now. Only been fermenting 3 days and I can't wait...I should have bought the kit a month ago. What temp did you ferment and condition at? Yup, HME and booster. I didn't have any temperature gauges on the keg at that time, but the ambient air temps were consistently between 67-70 degrees during both fermentation and conditioning. I did, however, put the bottle in the fridge for a full week before drinking. You'll be pleased, but you'll also be left wanting more, no doubt. I've got the Jamaican Mon ale in bottles right now, at just about 2 weeks old. Can't friggin' wait to try one!
  9. Sorry about the double post!
  10. My WCPA is officially "drinkable", and dare I say, even "pretty good"! It's my first brew, and it's the standard refill, so the brew certainly has it's limitations. But after trying one at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 5 weeks, it's not until now, at SIX weeks, that it has matured. Feels great!
  11. I would think 1.004 would be a good thing. It means you've fermented more sugars, and hence, created more alcohol. I'd say cold crash that baby for a full 2 days, then bottle it up.
  12. Alright, so things didn't seem to be adding up, so I decided to try something- I just tested the hydrometer in plain tap water, which as I understand, should read 1.000. This hydrometer is registering the tap water at .0094 though, which leads me to believe that the hydrometer is registering everything low? Does this makes sense? Or are there more factors at play than I'm realizing? If it's really registering at .006 lower than it should, that would make my actual OG somewhere around 1.043, which while still low, is a lot better than what I originally thought... Thoughts?
  13. bpgreen wrote: I can think of five things that could lead to a lower reading like that. One has already been mentioned (temperature correction), but I don't think that alone could account for the difference you're seeing. Another is a failure to get all the extract from the can. The third is failure to thoroughly mix the wort before taking the reading (although if you're taking the sample from the tap, this usually leads to an artificially high reading). The fourth is overfilling the keg. The final one is misreading the hydrometer. If you filled to the 8.5 qt line, the two cans of extract alone should bring you over 1.040. Thanks bp. Right off the bat, I didn't correct for temperature. I submitted my registration and have been patiently waiting for my free temp sticker, but it's been a good few months now and nada...anyhow, the keg was cool to the touch after mixing the wort, as I used very cold (appx 40 degree) refrigerated spring water. Would a cooler temp be indicative of a lower OG reading? As far as the other points, I got the vast majority of the extract from the cans, so I don't imagine there could be a significant difference there. Also, I filled right to the 8.5 gal line before pitching the yeast, so overfilling shouldn't be an issue. Thanks for the input though. There was definitely a raging yeast party happening for the past couple days, so I know I'm making beer. Hopefully it all comes out okay!
  14. Well, last night I brewed up a batch of the Raspberry Wheat. I replaced the booster with a can of the wheat UME, and added the pureed can of raspberries right off the bat as well. My OG, which I was expecting to be in the mid-to-high 40's, came out at 1.037. I know you're not supposed to be chasing alcohol, but with my FG probably ending up in the 1.010-ish range, I'm looking at a mid-3% abv. Two cans of malt plus the can of fruit SHOULD (operative word) put me in the mid-5% abv range. Oh well, hopefully it tastes good! /vent.
  15. Just bottled up my Jamaican Mon a couple days ago after 3 weeks in the keg and 2 days cold crashing. Interestingly enough, bottle #1 is the cloudiest, and has the most trub on the bottom. They get gradually clearer as they progress, until bottle #16 (the last one), which is also very trubby. Not really a question or anything, just a little observation! I'm curious as to how the extra trub in the bottle will affect the taste of the final brew...guess I'll find out in about 5 or 6 weeks! Cheers!
  16. WCPA? I just cracked one of my first ones open, and it was pretty good. I went 12 days in the fermenter, there was still a LITTLE bit of a cidery smell, but not too much at that point. I'd definitely go more than 7 days though, even if it does taste like flat beer already. Also, I tried my first one at 2 weeks in the bottle, and it was NOT done. Almost undrinkable. But, after 4 weeks in the bottle, I finished a liter last night and it was pretty good. I'm thinking that in another couple weeks, it'll be even better.
  17. I'm pretty sure that the only way you can know for sure is to go buy a hydrometer and measure the final gravity. From what I read, the beer is done fermenting when the FG stays the same for 24 hrs. Otherwise, it's a guessing game. 3 weeks though, is supposed to be sufficient.
  18. Thanks, brew crew. My nerves are definitely settled. My hopes/expectations are pretty high for this Jamaican brew!
  19. gman585 wrote: RDWHAHB. You're fine. It looks like its just the krausen breaking up in the. You can toss in the fridge to cold crash for a couple of days before bottling if you want to. That should settle everything to the bottom. Right on, thanks for the reply. I actually didn't even consider that it could be the krausen breaking up and floating around. Good call!
  20. Also, there isn't much activity going on at this point- the "flakes", or whatever they are, are just kind of suspended there in the brew.
  21. So I posted up a few days ago about flaky-looking particles in my fermenter. I just snapped a decent pic though, so I thought I'd share to see if anyone else has any different comments, or hopefully, has had the same thing happen and can put me at ease. Thanks! Btw, this is day 12 in the fermenter of my Jamaican Mon. Followed the directions to a T. There was a good krausen for the first day or two, and there is definitely a healthy amount of trub on the bottom. So what does everybody think?
  22. ukrazy wrote: Sweet, Cidery. Not bad on a long guzzle and ice cold. More of a nasty aftertaste (sharp apple twang). Couldn't just sip it. Lack of any carb. to speak of made the taste more pronounced. Ate a bunch of peanuts while drinking. I cracked one of mine open on Sunday at exactly the same stage, and had pretty much the same results. Clearly not finished yet, but on the right track. I will also be leaving them untouched for 2+ more weeks. Here's to hoping for a great brew!
  23. Hey all. I'm currently on day 10 in the fermenter with my Jamaican Mon brew. First few days had lots of activity, solid krausen, and there is definitely trub on the bottom. Lately though, everything has stopped, and there are a lot of flaky-looking suspended particles in the brew. I definitely didn't have anything like this show up with my WCPA, so thought I'd ask the forum. Anybody ever deal with large particles ("flakes" is the best way to describe them) in their brew during the fermenting stage? Thanks all!!
  24. Isn't the general idea that 1 can of hme = 1 packet of yeast? Certainly you can use more than one packet, but hopefully my beer won't necessarily SUFFER by the fact that I followed the MrB instructions...or so I hope!!
  25. I got my Jamaica in the keg, day 3 now. Quickly built up a really nice krausen and plenty of activity in the keg with just the one packet that came with the brew. Not sure what more yeast will do, or if it would be necessary.
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