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Everything posted by mjbearit

  1. So, I bought one of those 4 banger packs and the NW Pale Ale was one of the beers in there. Well frankly I already had Pale Ale and while my wife loves it, it is not my favorite. I prefer something that bites back! So, I decided to up the ante by increasing the alcohol and doing a bit of hop action. I split the difference between following the recipe and ignoring it all together to try to preserve some of the character of the original brew. So while I will probably catch a bunch of flack for boiling hops with no malt, I'll willingly take the beating to present this very interesting glass of beer. To 2 cups of water I added 1/2 cup of Clover Honey and 1/2 cup of Dark Brown Sugar (Fair trade Organic no less!). I added 1/2 oz Chinook Hops and boiled for 1/2 hour (the honey and the brown sugar really do give the oil from the hops something to stick to at a slow, low boil). As soon as the boil was over I removed the Chinnok hops and added the HME and 1/2 oz of Cascade hops. This steeped until cool enough to pitch the yeast and stayed in the fermenter for the entire course of the fermentation process (dry hop). This fermented for, well, it was supposed to be 3 weeks, but due to life getting in the way it was 3 1/2 weeks. It was bottled on 4/26 and conditioned until yesterday when it went into the fridge on 5/22 and opened today on 5/23. This is a very interesting glass of beer. The head is very good with excellent effervescence (followed recommended priming). The first notice is the nose. It is very big and hoppy! Not sure I was going to be a fan at first. I thought maybe I went to far. But either it is good or the 5.8% ABV is affecting my judgement! It has an almost piney taste for a brief moment, then follows with a long citrus (grapefruit) finish. Overall, if you like IPAs, this would be a recipe you might be interested in, if you do not like IPAs, you will probably hate it! The color is a nice caramel and I have had this glass poured for about 1/2 hour and still have a ring of residual head around the outside with plenty of bubbles still coming up. I wopuld do this again!
  2. So I started the Diablo IPA back on 3/17 and bottled it on 4/9. I dry-hopped with Columbus and Cascade (1/4 oz ea.) and have cracked the first bottle just now. I was extremely surprised! I mean that in a good way! The carbonation was great, maybe a tad over, but I do kinda like a lot of carb myself. The first thing I noticed was how creamy the head seemed. It had a nice mouth feel as I poured it down my gullet! The perfume from the dry-hopping was pure magic. Very citrusy and earthy. The taste is fantastic, so much of the citrus notes and green hops, then on the backswing the bitterness comes through. It has a long finish where the citrus, earthiness and bitterness all coalesce into a wonderful taste treat. This is definately a great brew! Started 3/17/2013 Bottled 4/9/2013 Columbus and Cascade hops (1/4 oz ea) added to steep and dry hop. OG corrected 1.042 FG corrected 1.011 ABV = 4%
  3. Wow, I guess I was totally unclear in that one! What I was saying was I was over the 3 weeks fermenting time by 2 days before I got around to bottling it, but it should not make a difference. Sorry about that! I agree that conditioning makes great changes! This one may need to go more than 4 weeks conditioning to mellow it a tad, JMHO. :cheers:
  4. Well 3 weeks would have actually been this past Sunday, but I'm sure 3 weeks and a couple days won't make a huge difference! :laugh: So the Diablo IPA is now finished and in bottles. I dry-hopped it with 1/4 oz Cascade and 1/4 oz Columbus. Realizing that the profile will change as this brew matures, when I pulled my sample tube it was very fragrant! After taking my FG reading I tasted the tube sample and it is very interesting. It is what I would consider to be on the very bitter side, but with an overall pleasing flavor (if you like IPAs). If you are not a fan of IPAs this is definitely not the brew for you. I already know my wife will hate this one! :ohmy: But that's okay, there's plenty of other choices! Coming up in a week or two the NW Pale Ale will be ready to bottle. It is heavily modified from the original profile so it should be interesting to see how it comes out. :cheers:
  5. "FedoraDave" post=359941 said: "pspearing" post=359937 said:I think it's all about expectations, and if you think beer is supposed to taste like Bud Light a Patriot Lager will be great because it's not terribly bitter, has a flavor that's familiar but stronger, and is refreshing on a hot day. I agree. Expectations and an experienced palate open up a lot of doors in the beer-drinking world. They turn your experiences with each individual beer from "I do/don't like this" to "This is/isn't a good example of style".For instance, I'm not a real big fan of heavily bittered IPAs. Some people love hop bombs, and that's cool, but I prefer more balanced beers. That being said, sometimes I do want an IPA, because I'm craving that up-front bite and in-your-face aroma. So when I drink it, even if it's not what I would ordinarily have, if it's a well-made example of the style, I'm going to appreciate it for that, and acknowledge the quality, even if I'm not going to switch my allegiance to IPAs. Knowledge and familiarity of styles also helps when pairing beer with food. The Patriot Lager would pair very well at a barbecue/grilling party. That's another aspect of the fun of homebrewing. You need to think a few months ahead so you can have the appropriate beer ready for the upcoming season. I agree with you regarding balanced beer, as well I do agree about the IPAs! At the moment I am in an experimentation phase and I have what started out as a NW Pale Ale that will end up being much closer to a NW IPA being boiled with Chinook and dry hopped with Cascade. It also has the addition of a biot of Dark Brown sugar and honey. I really wanted to go far afield for this one. Worst case I wasted a bit of time and a few $$ but I am trying to experiment in order to learn a bit about the interplay. I cook a lot and develop my own recipes, and what is beer if not cooking? So I wanted to come up with a unique brew from that NW Pale ale. It still has about 2 m ore weeks or so before it hits the bottles so we'll see what happens!
  6. "ScottyP" post=359897 said:Congrats on the successful brews. One thing though - the patriot lager is only a true lager if brewed with lager yeast. If you followed the directions with the down under yeast you made an ale. Mr.B extract names can be tricky like that sometimes. I am fully aware the MB uses Ale yeast. In addition toi the yeast there would have to be special temp controls. I was simply identifying the "kit" that I used.
  7. So we had about a dozen folks over for dinner tonight and I filled the ice chests with Patriot Lager, St Patricks Stout (it was warm today and I didn't want a bottle bomb!) and assorted "free beer". Now I am not overly fond of the Patriot Lager and I thought maybe it just was not up to snuff in the taste department. Well apparently it is because I just don't normally drink lagers. Everyone thought it was great and it went like water in the desert! I cooked this one up per instructions and I did not deviate from that at all. So, I guess if you are considering that one, go for it if you are a lager fan. I may make more at some point as it keeps folks out of my "good stuff"! BTW great day a BarBQue out here ini San Diego area. Nice breeze kept things from being too hot. Good food, good beer, good company, a definate great day! :chug:
  8. FWIW I have one of those strip thermometers on my sample tube. This allows me to pull the sample, set it aside, continue on with the creation of the batch and then when I get around to it, I can take the OG and correct it by temp based on the sample temp at the time I read it. QBrew has a correction app built in under tools and if you Google there are stand alone apps out there that allow you to correct your OG or FG based on temp. In theory, this should give a more accurate reading. I have found the correction to be off by .001 usually so while I do use this in calculating the ABV, I'm not sure it really makes a huge difference. JMHO.
  9. Just so everyone is aware in the produce section of most supermarkets they have grated ginger in what looks like a toothpaste tube. I know folks don't want to mess with grating fresh ginger (It can be a pain!) but with the already grated stuff the quality is just as good as grating it yourself and once opened a tube can last like 6 months or so if you keep it closed tightly and in the fridge. Just 2 cents!
  10. The other thing that comes to mind is that there are two types of caps for glass bottles (not the Grolsch bottles) there is a regular one and an oxygen absorbing one. I spend a few extra bucks and get the oxygen absorbing ones. Also I do use a bench capper. I upgraded because after we moved I had no idea where my wing capper went!
  11. I am thinking of how good it will be which is why I am now drinking a Newcastle! LOL! I can't believe I have such a huge hole in my pipeline! LOL!
  12. Well, time to fess up I guess. I started a batch of St Patrick's Stout way too late for St Paddy's day, which kinda irritated me. I bottled it (glass bottles) on 3/9 so it should still be conditioning for weeks yet, but you know with today being the 17th I couldn't just let that go! Yesterday I took a bottle out of the case and threw it in the fridge. I just opened it and split it with my wife. Now this is the woman who likes pale ale, Blue Moon, lite beers, etc. I like Guinness, IPAs, Newcastle and whatever someone else is buying. So just a few minutes ago (one week and one day after bottling) I opened the first bottle. I held my breath as I pulled up and sure enough, a slight hiss as the cap gave way. I poured 2/3 in one glass, 1/3 in the other glass (I did the work I get the lions share!). Both glasses produced a decent sturdy head. We both agreed that the flavor was very good. No off flavors, good caramel/toffee flavors. Very good color. The head mapped nicely down the glass as it was consumed. Nice long finish, not overly bitter, but nicely toasty. As this ages properly, this is going to be one heck of a good brew. This was made with no additions, no changes, just the basic recipe. I felt the carbonation could have been a bit better, but in all fairness, this was after one week! I suppose if I behave and let it finish carbonating I will be completely happy with the results! :stout:
  13. No big deal, I'm not offended. I have such thick skin I have to carry around a copy of my last EKG to prove to some people I do indeed have a heart! LOL!
  14. Just as a word of caution, I found that I need to keep a bowl on the floor under the bottling wand. It does always drip a couple of drips. After one beer that's no big deal, after a case of beer, that's some cleanup!
  15. If longer conditioning does not make the flavor improve you may be living in an area where they "over-treat" the water. This can cause a plastic flavor as the chlorine combines with the proteins in the malt and hops causing the presence of chlorophenolics. You may want to try using bottled water if the problem persists. I don't like the flavor of our water here and always go to the store and get the 2.5 liter spring water.
  16. Interesting that the one that was carbonated you had trouble getting the opener to grip. I wonder if maybe you got some bad bottle caps?
  17. Good deal. I like the small LBKs. I used to make wine and that was all 5 gallon stuff and it just got to the point where I was tired of dealing with 5 gallons of hot, fermenting or otherwise liquid at a time, so I quit for several years. I like these little LBKs though and the fun is back! I wish you many years of good beer with your new setup!
  18. Thanks all for the replies. The question seemed to answer itself since I went to the only place open on Sundays around here (that I know of) and all they had in stock was pellets so, problem solved! I'm using a sock, for the first time, but this is an expense I do not wish to incur on a regular basis (the socks are kinda cheaply made and I wouldn't want to try reusing them). Long term maybe I'll get a regular steeping bag, hit the sewing machine and make several bags out of one! Anyway, the diablo is now on the "fermenting shelf" so time will tell. Thanks again. :stout:
  19. I am somewhat new to the hop addition, but I was reading one of the recipes that called for adding hops to the Diablo IPA for aroma and flavor rather than bitterness. So the additions, from my understanding, would be post boil and then dry-hopping. Now is the real question, on the post boil would you use the pelletized hops or just straight up hops, and if pelletized, would a steeping bag even be required or would it just go right through the mesh. Probably stupid question, but I have never worked with these ingredients before. I appreciate any input on this.
  20. Looks like the thermometer thing has been done to death, but as far as the "bottling wand" yes, it comes with a spigot which is identical to the ones that come with the LBK when you buy it. I just left the new spigot wrapped up in the plastic it came in (for use just in case something bad happens!) and plug the bottling wand directly onto the existing spigots that are already in place. It's kind of a pain the first time to get it on, but once the flex tube stretches a tad it goes on easier.
  21. Go ahead, I can take the laughter. I'm just trying to save someone else from going so far as to pouring their hot wort into non-existent cold water! Now THAT would be a mess!
  22. If you order this refill, you will get what you need: http://www.mrbeer.com/product-exec/product_id/1123/nm/Patriot_Lager_Deluxe_Refill_ Just made this one myself, bottled it Friday!
  23. Yep, only water, but it took me awhile to discover it (the sound of water pouring onto the floor alerted me) so the counter and floor were pools of water! Got it cleaned up well before better half got home. Told her anyway, after all, the Pale Ale is for her... not my bag! I like something with a bit more....more.
  24. Jim, the booster goes into the making of the wort. According to the instructions for the Pale Ale (the only thing I have received booster with) you put 4 cups (from memory here, don't shoot me if measurements are wrong) of water in a big pan (4 qt? 2 qt? whatever) and you slowly pour in the booster whisking to dissolve. Well if anyone has tried this you know it does not dissolve like one would believe. I was thinking it was plastic shavings or something as much as it did not want to dissolve, but once you dissolve it all, bring it to a boil remove from heat then add your can of HME. II know there are all kinds of shortcuts and such, but since someone at Mr Beer actually went to the trouble of figuring this out and kitting it up, as long as I am using their kits I figure I might as well follow their directions...well....except the 3-4 thing! :laugh:
  25. Well I finally did it! Over the past couple of days I bottled the two kegs and my new shipment has not arrived, and, hating to have nothing fermenting at all, I pulled out a Pale Ale I had received when I bought my second kit. I got side tracked this morning and you know the step that say something like "Fill with water to the 4 qt level"? Yeah, well just before you do that part, make sure you remembered to turn the dang valve back to the off position! LOL! I guess the counter and floor needed a good cleaning! It's always the little things that come back to bite ya! So, I have the Patriot Lager and the St Patrick's Stout both bottled and aging gracefully, and now another pale ale started. Also, just as a suggestion, the booster is really a pain in the rear to dissolve with a whisk. This time I sanitized my immersion blender (stick blender) and used that and it was a piece of cake. I also used that to aerate the wort. Works much better than using a wire whisk, just don't touch the plastic with the blender if you try this! The blender will win!
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