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About Worthog

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  1. The perfect thing for sitting by the firepit on a cold night. [attachment=9954]IMAG1428.jpg[/attachment]
  2. About six months ago, I read a post from Brian12069 about adding vanilla caramel coffee beans to the LBK, and I decided to give it a try. I made the St. Patrick's Irish Stout with an ounce of vanilla caramel coffee grounds and an ounce of Willamette hops, both in a muslin sack. I left it in the LBK for 4 weeks, then bottled with Coopers drops and brown sugar. It's been conditioning in my basement since then. I'm very happy with the results. It's creamy, very much a stout, very drinkable, and it has a noticeable, but not overwhelming coffee aftertaste. This one fits the bill of the holiday beer I was hoping to make, and I'm looking forward already to brewing it again next June. Hopefully, I'll get a picture of it up in the next few days. Highly recommended!
  3. Final results: Option 1: Witty Monk with added lime juice and lemon juice -- very refreshing. Option 2: Option 1 + replacing 1 of 2 Coopers drops with 1 tsp. honey added nice flavor and complexity. Option 3: Option 1 + replacing 1 of 2 Coopers drops with 1 1/2 tsp. honey made the beer a little dry. Of the three, options 1 and 2 were both very good summer brews. Option 3 was pretty good, but too dry for my tastes. Thanks for all the advice on this one.
  4. Letting them sit for a while did the trick. Thanks!
  5. Bottles were not hard, especially when cold. I think I'll give it another week at room temp, then put them back in the fridge. If that doesn't work, I'll try the boiled sugar water from the linked thread. Thanks!
  6. I recently brewed Witty Monk with a bit of lemon and lime juice. After 3 weeks in the fermenter and two and a half weeks in a 68 degree basement, I put three of the bottles into the fridge for three days. Then I opened one to test -- hardly any carbonation to it. Not just no head -- a taste sample confirmed there were very few bubbles. I opened two more to check -- same thing. Hmmmm. I've made Witty Monk previously with no issues, and used my standard two Coopers drops per PET bottle. Perhaps the original plastic Mr. Beer caps have finally lost their seal. Does anyone know a way to put some carbonation in these now that they're opened? I'm a fairly new brewer, so I have none of the forced carbonation equipment or anything like that. Would adding a bit sugar to the opened bottles and letting it sit warm again for a week or two do it? Or will that just make it into a sweeter, still uncarbonated beer?
  7. Wednesday night I threw three of the non-honey bottles into the fridge to chill for a party on Saturday. Saturday afternoon I opened one of the non-honey bottles to test -- no carbonation to it. I opened two more to check -- same thing. Hmmmm. I've made Witty Monk previously with no issues. Perhaps the plastic Mr. Beer caps have finally lost their usefulness. Does anyone know a way to put some carbonation in these now that they're opened? Would adding a bit sugar and letting it sit awhile do it? Or will that just make it sweeter?
  8. I have a Witty Monk that is due for testing in a couple days. I added a dash of lemon juice and another of lime juice to the wort. The pre-conditioning taste was very refreshing. This will make a really good 4th of July beer. For variety, I primed a couple of the bottles with a combination of sugar and honey that will sit for a while longer.
  9. I did my first cold crash before bottling a variation on Witty Monk. I was really happy with how clear the process made the beer. However, it occurred to me afterward that chilling and then bringing beer back to room temperature for bottle conditioning will likely affect how long this stage will take. Also, I have heard chilling and warming beer is a good way to skunk it. Did I go wrong here?
  10. Update: Bottled this one last night. Strong citrus scents from the orange peel in the Witty Monk and the lemon and lime juice added. Sample was very refreshing, just what I hoped for in a summer brew. I made a control set of 4 PETs with 2 Coopers drops each, the bottled 2 PETs with 1 Coopers drop and 1 tsp honey each, and 2 PETs with 1 Coopers drop and 1 1/2 tsp honey each.
  11. I got a crash course in the difference between fresh and store-bought beer in Germany. The local alts were unlike anything I'd had before, and they were cheaper than a glass of ice water. I can't believe it took me so long to start making my own.
  12. I'd set the stove parts outside and let them marinate in oven cleaner for awhile. Should take care of most of it.
  13. Update: I finally got around to brewing this last night. I made the Witty Monk according to directions, with an additional 1 1/2 tsp each of lemon juice and lime juice in the wort to increase the citrus a little. I'll use a 3-3-2 timing (since this is a witbier, I feel safe shortening the cold conditioning, especially if I cold crash it before bottling). I'll also add honey to 4 of the 8 PET bottles to compare the results. Thanks again for the suggestions.
  14. Thanks for the update. Now I'm tempted to try adding an ounce of beans the next time I brew the St. Patrick's Irish Stout. About 13 years ago I sampled a Starbucks coffee stout that my local taphouse (Norfolk then) offered. It was just terrible, so I got it in my head that it was a bad idea to mix coffee and beer.
  15. Thanks for the responses. I'll think about it some more and, if the final is special (either good or bad), I'll share the results. Cheers!
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