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Shrike

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Everything posted by Shrike

  1. Here's what an infection looks like: Or this: Or this: There are lots more examples. Just DuckDuckGo "Infected Beer Fermenter" and you'll get plenty of photos. Compare those to this example featuring tons of yeast rafts:
  2. What temperature are the bottles sitting at while carbonating? It's recommended to do a full three weeks at room temperature, meaning around 70-75F, to completely carb your brews. If it's cooler than that, it'll take longer. I've never used the drops. I've always used sugar. Now I stick with Domino's Dots. 1 sugar cube = 1/2 tsp. I use one for 12oz bottles and two for pint and 500ml bottles. Simple and fool-proof.
  3. One thing to consider when adding LME is that the balance of maltiness vs. hoppiness in the final product will be shifted a tad towards malty. To counter this, some people will add a bit of hops at flameout or boil them for a few minutes. Tettnanger, Saaz, or Hallertau are three varieties that complement the style.
  4. Grains are steeped around 155F for 1/2 hour in water, then the grains are removed. Then the water is brought to a boil and removed from heat. Only then is the HME stirred in. Check out the instructions here for a popular recipe called Black Beer'd Porter. MRB walks you through it step-by-step.
  5. For the 1776 recipe, the can of American Lager is the HME which as Rick said is Hopped Malt Extract. It's the same stuff as LME except the malt had hops added before reducing. As a side note, LME and DME can be boiled but HME should not as it can change the hop portion of it in undesirable ways.
  6. @StretchNM, don't get discouraged; it sounds like you've got some of the important basics down from the very beginning - sanitation and temperature control. You're already making beer that's "not bad at all", so you're ahead of where I was when I started. Some of the recipes that use only extract just need a little time to hit their stride. I let mine carbonate/condition at room temperature until the minimum recommended conditioning time. Then I put one in the fridge and drink it three days later. If it tastes good, I'll put a couple more in the fridge. But anything that I'm not going to enjoy in a few days stays out at room temperature. They get better with age. As far as head retention, as Rick said, extract-only beers don't have much head. To help with this, I steep four-six ounces of grains (a combination of carapils and two-row) with every extract-only batch I make. They help with mouthfeel and head retention. Once you've got a few batches under your belt and have the process down, you'll be ready to start adding grains. It's not a steep learning curve (pun definitely intended); if you can make tea and read a thermometer you already have the necessary skills to steep/mash grains. Oh, and welcome to the hobby and the forum. There's a ton of great information here (RickBeer's signature block alone contains a wealth of knowledge) that'll help you make beers that you'll be proud to share with friends and family.
  7. Shrike

    Voo Doo

    I'm with Jdub, let it ride. It's still going to be a tasty brew.
  8. With the added coffee it doesn't really need any extra hops. But if I were to add some I'd go with something like Willamette, Goldings, Fuggle, or Northern Brewer.
  9. I'd use the porter. The WDA has quite a hoppy character that might be overpowering in a coffee stout.
  10. I've switched back to ales, so here's my current schedule: - 3 Zombies IPA - Crafty Bitch v2.0 - WDA Enhanced - Dry River IPA - Crafty Bitch v2.1 - Crater Stout - Santa Rita - WDA Enhanced - Black Beer'd Porter
  11. This will solve your problem. But yes, four weeks will be okay. But that's about the maximum you'd want the beer sitting on the trub.
  12. No. It really, truly, actually, factually IS insignificant. As per my previous post, when two gallons of beer are bottled into 12 bottles and primed with two tsp sugar each, you're effectively getting an added ABV per bottle that is less than 1/10th of what the government allows a non-alcoholic beer to contain. I'll re-phrase: your priming sugar adds ABV that per bottle is equivalent to less than 10% of the maximum allowed of near bear. I'll re-re-phrase: would you pour a bottle of Sharp's Near Beer into one of your home brews and think "I've added a not-really-insignificant amount of alcohol to my brew?" No, you wouldn't. Firstly, because even though Sharp's contains 0.4% ABV, it tastes like garbage water. 😜 And secondly, because you'd recognize that the ABV gain you'd get from doing so would be very minimal and not worth consideration. That's pretty much the definition of insignificant.
  13. 24 tsp equals about 1/2 cup of sugar. Plug that into Qbrew and it'll tell you how much of an ABV boost you're getting for the entire batch. Divide that by the number of bottles and you'll see how much extra alcohol you're getting. As Rick said, it ain't much. ETA: I'm at my computer now, so I fired up QBrew. 1/2 cup of sugar is approximately 0.25lbs. Added to a MRB batch, this equates to 0.5% extra ABV. Dived by 12 bottles as per your example, that comes out to a whopping extra 0.04% ABV per bottle. In other words, negligible. To put it in perspective, in the USA, beer labelled "non-alcoholic" can actually contain up to 0.5% alcohol.
  14. Golden Empire and Thunder Bay are two of my favorites. For non-pm, I enjoy Long Play. It's a bitter one, though.
  15. Anything that contains fermentable sugars will raise it. Table sugar, malt extract, honey, Lucky Charms cereal, agave nectar, maple syrup...etc., etc. Each of those will have different impacts on the final taste of the beer, though. I recommend doing a web search, as there are too many variables to list. Additionally, you can just add booze to the LBK or to each individual bottle at bottling.
  16. That's extremely atypical, IME. MRB has always had top-notch customer service. Even Wayne Gretzky missed the net on occasion. Doesn't mean he wasn't a great shooter.
  17. Think of it this way: after bottling, the yeast are busy eating the priming sugar and producing CO2 to carbonate your beer. At 70*, this takes about three weeks. When that's over the conditioning period listed on the chart starts. Flavors meld and improve and the yeast, having no more sugars to eat, start eating other compounds and "cleaning up" your beer. In some beers this period can be quite short, such as IPAs and weizens. Others, especially high ABV brews, need more time. Now in reality, as Rick said conditioning is occurring simultaneously with carbonation. But to put this simply, MRB's chart has three weeks fermenting + three weeks carbonating + two weeks bottle conditioning = eight weeks, or two months as in the chart.
  18. I bottle over my open dishwasher door so that all drips go down the drain.
  19. The LBK is also good due to its manageable size. I'm pushing 50, with shoulder and back issues. Carrying an LBK is a lot easier than lugging around a five gallon bucket. If I want to brew a larger batch I can just split it between two LBKs. And yep, if I brew a batch I don't care for I'd rather have to choke down two gallons of it versus five. 😜
  20. I usually go 10 minutes because at that point I can handle the hop sack after draining without it being too hot.
  21. I've never had an issue or infection when dry-hopping. My process: 1) Fill 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup halfway with water and nuke it until it's boiling. 2) Remove from microwave, toss in hop sack, put in tongs that keep the sack submerged, and kitchen scissors that I'll use to cut open the bag of hops. Let sit for 10 minutes. 3) Carefully pour out water, leaving everything in the measuring cup. 4) If you haven't already thoroughly washed your hands, do so. 5) Cut open the bag of hops with the sanitized scissors. Open hop sack (it may still be quite hot, so test it before getting all grabby), put in hops, tie off the sack, and trim away excess. You're done with the scissors. 6) Open the lid of the LBK. Use the tongs to carefully drop in the hop sack without causing a splash Put the lid back on. Total time the lid is off is less than 10 seconds.
  22. Good catch on the hops, Rick; I completely forgot about them.
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