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  1. That is what I was afraid of. The Mr. Beer WDA had a IBU of 60, and, although I can't find a site that the Cooper's Dark Ale IBU was quoted at, I remember it was in the 20s. To me that suggests the cooper's lacks that awesome hoppy bite that the Mr. Beer kit had. Obviously the IBU can't speak for the maltiness of the WDA, but it sounds like that was lacking as well. Anyone have any idea which hops were used in the WDA? I would guess something like Northern Brewer, Fuggles, and Styrian Golding or something in that general category of hops. Of course, waiting a month or two may change things, but the above post is not promising.
  2. both ales that is

  3. i'll trade u 3 WDA's for the Belgium spiced ale

  4. Thanks for doing the calculation. Very very helpful. Yeah, I have 2 LBKs, so the latter route sounds best, probably the 2 robust/1 smooth. Just bought a bunch of seasonals so won't have a chance to try this anytime soon, but if anyone does try it, please share your experiences.
  5. I also mourn the loss of the Winter Dark Ale. I bought 2 cans when it went on sale and it clearly has been the best stand alone refill I had (I've brewed 40+ LBKs). Such a nice balance of rich malty goodness and a nice hoppy finish. Online I have found cans of Coopers Dark Ale that makes 6 gallon batches and wonder if that is the same recipe. Obviously one could split the big can into 2 or 3 LBKs. Anyone ever tried that or know anything about the comparability of the two? I'd love to brew the Winter Dark Ale again.
  6. When the Dortmunder first came out as a seasonal, they had warm brewing and cold brewing options and now it appears they only sell the later. I purchased the warm brewing option which came with Saflager S-33 Dry Brewing Yeast. See: http://support.mrbeer.com/support/solutions/articles/5000523394-dortmunder-export-2014-summer-seasonal-warm-fermenting-instructions I brewed it at ale temperatures and it came out really nice. One of the better ones I brewed and absolutely worth rebrewing. Crisp with a nice hop bite that was not too overwhelming. Like a pale ale. So if you can get your hands on that yeast, it's worth a try if you want to avoid the lager temp issues.
  7. OK, one more stupid question on this topic here. After the carbonation step, what would happen if I let it condition at room temperature? I assume off flavors of some type or another. I only ask b/c my little fridge has limited capacity and I didn't want to tie it up with a lot of stuff at lager temp. And I assume conditioning it in the refrigerator will result in barely conditioning at all.
  8. OK. I'm confused here. I just bought some lagers and plan on brewing some them soon after having done 40+ batches of ales. I just don't want to screw up. As a background, I have a mini wine cooler fridge thingie that has a range of about 45-72 degrees that I use for my ales and keep the fermenting temp constant at 68ish for fermenting. Our house has a temp range of about 66-82, depending on the season. The "fridge" is helpful as it keeps the temp constant and protects the LBK from occasional heat wave, such as we are having here this week in Southern California with our house hitting 80+ (I know I know, no comments on the weather puleeeze). So my question: I plan on carbonating at the manufacturer's rec'd temperature, but for how long? After bottling, I was planning on sticking the bottles in my "fridge" for 4-6 weeks at about 56 degrees. But after that can I pull them out and "warm condition" them at room temp? Or do they have to live at 56 degrees-ish until I chuck them in the fridge for drinking purposes? I don't want my little "fridge" tied up for too long as I want to use it for fermenting my ales.
  9. I'm watching. And you should know that observational data from the UK suggest that drinking 1-2 beers/day is associated with longer lifespans. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2017200,00.htmlhttps://www.crystallise.com/home/blogpost131 Similar data has been seen with wine. Now I put on my nerd hat: while observational data does not imply causation, at least the trend is in the correct direction. So enjoy your 1-2 beers day. I do.
  10. In my experience of about 25 batches, definitely additional weeks can help. Not always, but usually. Examples: Chug a Lugger at 3-4 weeks was OK, pedestrian. Nothing special. At 2 months it was an amazing malt bomb. Friends I shared it with at that point loved it and demanded more. Dampfbier: so-so at 3-4 weeks, more character and complex flavor at 6-8 weeks. A few beers I have had seem to worsen with age, e.g., seasonal Nut Brown ale lost that hoppy edge I loved, but that is typical of hoppy beers. Experiment. Let them site for a while. You will usually be rewarded.
  11. Thanks all for the device. I'll probably give it a whirl and take my chances.
  12. Yes, after 3 weeks of fermenting. It seems to my naive sensibilities, if the yeast is asleep, there is no fermentation going on so little to risk. But what are consequences of sitting on a yeast cake for 10 days?
  13. As a bottle bomb victim, I wonder if Vakko is correct and my bombs were caused by my use of our "insta-hot" water dispenser, which dispenses water at about 180 from a reservoir under the kitchen sink. I use it to rinse out trub and follow with tap water. Not sure if other bottle bomb victims have a similar problem. EDIT: while writing this post, the radio tuned to the oldies station started playing "You Dropped A Bomb on Me". Maybe the Gap Band were home brewers.
  14. Quick question. I plan to go on vacation about the same night as I planned to bottle, but knowing the wife and kids, I'll never have time to do so. And work gets too crazy right before I have to leave for a week for me to bottle. Besides bottling early, is there any reason I can't stick the LBK in the refrigerator to cold crash, leave the LBK in the fridge for 10 days, and then bottle?
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