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samoshields

Is it really as easy and as good and they advertis

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samoshields wrote:

I just brewed up my first batch and now I just have to wait is it really this easy? :)

First, welcome aboard samoshields to the best hobby ever.

Second, yes, it certainly is. If you work clean and have patience, you will be rewarded with a very fine product.

I've made 50 or so batches, I know what I speak of.

Good luck!

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samoshields wrote:

I just brewed up my first batch and now I just have to wait is it really this easy? :)

Samoshields~

They advertise beer in 14 days. You should have it in the fermenter at least 14 days. The in the bottle 21-30 days and then in the firgde for a few days.

Aside from that little faux paux...yeah, it's basically that easy.

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Christ872 wrote:

samoshields wrote:

I just brewed up my first batch and now I just have to wait is it really this easy? :)

Samoshields~

They advertise beer in 14 days. You should have it in the fermenter at least 14 days. The in the bottle 21-30 days and then in the firgde for a few days.

Aside from that little faux paux...yeah, it's basically that easy.

+1 to the time and patience...2 weeks in the fermenter, 4 weeks at room tem in the bottle and then pop some in the fridge for 24 hours to taste the reward for your patience...

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samoshields wrote:

....what is you fav flavor and do you mess with the abv

Welcome aboard The Obsession samoshields! If you're like the rest of us here you'll soon be awash in a sea of beer and setting sail on many great brewing adventures. There's lot's of information here and plenty of hands to help you get under way. You'll soon be producing some memorable beers and having a lot of fun too in the days ahead.


I really like the Mr. Beer Ptarmigan Pale Ale recipe, I've brewed it straight up several times. But this latest tweak I did to the original recipe really makes this beer stand out. I call my version Ptarmigedon and the steeping grains, Cascade hops and select yeast choice make it a winner. It's not over the top hoppy and has some nice citrusy notes making it a refreshing pale ale.

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It looks great but I am worried I will not have enough beer to enjoy and also share with making just 2gals at a time.

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Welcome aboard!
I purchase refills either at my work (from www.doitbest.com), from the MrBeer web-site (I recommend the 'seasonal refills'), or from my LHBS (local homebrew store).
My favorite styles are Belgians & American IPAs.
Read some of the 'sticky' threads here; very informative!

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samoshields wrote:

where do yo find is the best place to purchase refills

Sometimes after Christmas, Bed Bath and Beyond will mark Variety Packs (3 standard refills, usually HCCD, OVL and WWW) down to $15 and they also often have coupons so the final price is even lower.

Amazon sells refills pretty cheaply and they usually qualify for the 4-for-3 promotion.

If you join the Brew Club here, the shipping drops and after a couple of orders you get some brew tools.


samoshields wrote:

what is you fav flavor and do you mess with the abv

My favorite base is HCCD. I don't mess with the ABV, but I tinker with the flavor by adding additional malt and hops. I try to get a good flavor from the beer, which usually bumps the ABV as a side effect. But if you just go after ABV, you'll probably do what I did with my first two beers and dump in a bunch of sugar. That thins the beer out and makes it taste more like cider than beer.

samoshields wrote:

how does this forum work do I talk to everyone or do I just reply to each person seperate

It's up to you.

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samoshields wrote:

It looks great but I am worried I will not have enough beer to enjoy and also share with making just 2gals at a time.


Welcome aboard! I think you'll find few people on here run only one MB fermenter (I have three in constant rotation). As you progress you can also consider 5gal batches.

Cheers!

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Welcome! The forum is up to you. If you pm someone, generally they will reply out of courtesy. Post a question, and you will get a lot of responses. We are all in this to learn how to make great beers and offer advice and encouragement along the way.

Glad to have, enjoy your journey and keep posting! :cheers:

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samoshields wrote:

where do yo find is the best place to purchase refills

I get all of my Mr. Beer stuff here. i have purchased some of it straight off. But I also enrolled in the Club...so i have a load of stuff coming in on a bi-monthly schedule.

in addition to that, I use both NorthernBrewer.com and AustinHomeBrew.com. I buy various extracts...like Breiss and other stuff...and i can also purchase grains and hops and yeasts there too.


samoshields wrote:

what is you fav flavor and do you mess with the abv

In regard to Mr. Beer...my favorite is BY FAR the High Country Canadian draft. The Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner is gret...but HCCD is the best for me.

In regard to the ABV...yes, i do tinker with it all the time. ALL THE TIME. I'll tweak thing to suit my tastebuds. For example, Booster is fine...but sometimes, I might do half a booster and 8 oz. of honey. I might add a pale export UME. I might steep some grains.
ABV is less the key as much as flavor should be. bpgreen is right that sugar or honey can turn a beer cidery...but just read up on things. I'm not sure if I remember this right, but I thought I read somewhere that the sugars should not be more than 1/3. Grains and malts should be the bulk of that sugar and then honey or sugar can add a little bit. 16oz=1 lb. So if you have 1 can of HME (1 lb 3 oz) you'd have some yick by adding 16 oz of honey and going straight with that. But if you had 2 cans of HME (i.e. 2 lbs 6 oz) and add in 6-8 oz of honey...now you're looking at a little bit more manageable thing.

Sorry, I'm being distracted. Sorry if I went off the edge. try to gleen from it what you will.

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samoshields wrote:

It looks great but I am worried I will not have enough beer to enjoy and also share with making just 2gals at a time.

The easy answer there is to go to Mr. Beer web site, and buy another LBK (little brown keg). They cost $10.

Then you can brew 4 gallons in rotation. Or get 3 of them and do 6 gallons with a weekly rotation (every week you bottle a batch and brew another).

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if you chase abv, in my oponion, you in for a nighmare.

its better to chase flavor, the abv will follow.

welcome to the borg :cheers:

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You have already gotten a lot of good advice. So I will just say welcome to the borg and a great hobby.

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:borg: Welcome to the BeerBorg Information center. you will be assimilated. resistance is quite futile: we have beer.

Yep, buy more kegs.
Read the Simple Guide line and Malt to adjunct ratio. The have information that you'll need to learn.

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I have 5 kegs now. That's how you get more beer. Once you have a "pipeline" where you are drinking beer, and more batches are being made, you will be golden.

As far as the sharing, do like me. Bare your teeth and growl like a dog while keeping your arms around your precious home brew.

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KZ wrote:

samoshields wrote:

It looks great but I am worried I will not have enough beer to enjoy and also share with making just 2gals at a time.


Welcome aboard! I think you'll find few people on here run only one MB fermenter ) "I have three in rotation" constant . As you progress you can also consider 5gal batches.

Cheers!

( "I have three in rotation" ) What is the formula for having ( 3 LBK's ) in rotation for a constant supply of fresh cold brewskis ?

I have 2 LBK's, I started brewing the first one yesterday ( Man was I nervous ! ) When should I start the second LBK ? & the third etc. ?

I placed an order for 2 more LBK's & Mr.Beer PET quart bottles ( enough to choke down a hydroelectric intake valve )

I'll be drinking my own in about 45 days ! :gulp:

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I'm brewing one batch a week. That's for two people sharing a about 2 beers total a night. So adjust from there.

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BugLaden wrote:

I'm brewing one batch a week. That's for two people sharing a about 2 beers total a night. So adjust from there.

Thats close to what I was thinking ! Tankz fer the tip ! Ima gonna start the next batch next monday ! :gulp:

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Currently having about 3 store bought per night - to build up my bottle inventory, figure to stay at or around that range when I am drinking my own just because I will probably be trying to space them out and see what changes take place as they age/condition (and keep notes on it).

Winter may or may not increase that pace, although I tend to drink the heavier, more sipping styles in winter. Guess it will depend on what other winter activities I have going - if I am writing, well, I can drink while doing that, but on the treadmill, not so much, even in the beer holders I think the constant pounding would stir up the trub at the bottom of the bottle :)

Cheers
jeff

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The short answer is, yes. It really is that simple and very good!

I have 3 LBKs, but do not have a certain rotation, mainly because brews do not take the same amount of time to ferment and condition/lager. For all basic brews, I ferment for 14 days, but for some of the more complex ones I'll go 3 weeks). Same with the carbonation and conditioning... Basic recipes will likely be fine within 2-3 weeks, while some, like a chocolate cherry stout or the recent Dubbel seasonal need months to condition. At any given time I may have 0, 1, 2 or all 3 in some stage of development...

Most brews will improve with additional conditioning, but don't let that stop you from sampling some along the way. As others have said, be patient and build up a supply. Get a few relatively simple brews under your belt for the experience and to build up a little reserve, then start getting creative. Vanilla, spices, brown sugar, molasses, fruits, etc. Research here and other sites. Once in a while go "mad scientist" and try something that's "out there."

In terms of personal favorites, I lean heavily on the dark side of things: Black Tower Porter, Irish Stout, Octoberfest Vienna Lager, Linebacker Dobble Bock. I currently have a thread started in the "Basic Recipes" discussion forum asking for advice about a Vanilla Porter recipe that will end up using whole vanilla beans, bourbon and oak chips (who knew?). If anyone wants to read or share advice, please stop by (it's called something like "Vanilla Porter Advice Requested.")

Have fun and welcome to the borg!!

Tin Man

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Do the 2-2-2. 2 in Keg 2 weeks in Bottles 2 weeks to carb and 2 in the fridge and you will be good. Use at least 2 cans of MR Beer. Both Hopped Or One UnHopped and One Hopped. They have Many recipes on the Mr Beer site. Read the Book they sent you with the kit. Each can is 2.3% ABV so two cans is 4.6% add the Booster and you are at 6% which is how I roll. So you can buy their premium refill and add a bag of Booster and be at 6%. They have a live help site too. Send them your questions. I buy all my stuff from them. Measure your carbing/priming sugar accuratly. Buy the Canadian Draft Premium refill and a can of UME called Pale Export and be at 6.9% Who-Pa Do a 3-3-3 though with that and use both yeast pouches. Watch the temp too. Be constant even if that means leaving the AC or Heat on. Dig? Buy more of the Kegs, use the correct glass for the style and don't serve it too cold.
Trumpetman

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Dos Equis wrote:

KZ wrote:

samoshields wrote:

It looks great but I am worried I will not have enough beer to enjoy and also share with making just 2gals at a time.


Welcome aboard! I think you'll find few people on here run only one MB fermenter ) "I have three in rotation" constant . As you progress you can also consider 5gal batches.

Cheers!

( "I have three in rotation" ) What is the formula for having ( 3 LBK's ) in rotation for a constant supply of fresh cold brewskis ?

I have 2 LBK's, I started brewing the first one yesterday ( Man was I nervous ! ) When should I start the second LBK ? & the third etc. ?

I placed an order for 2 more LBK's & Mr.Beer PET quart bottles ( enough to choke down a hydroelectric intake valve )

I'll be drinking my own in about 45 days ! :gulp:


Similar to BugLaden, I brew a batch every week. I also bottle one each week...so each keg ferments for three weeks, and every week I've got a new batch of bottled beer entering the conditioning pipeline and a new batch starting it's fermentation.

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trumpetman wrote:

Do the 2-2-2. 2 in Keg 2 weeks in Bottles 2 weeks to carb and 2 in the fridge and you will be good. Use at least 2 cans of MR Beer. Both Hopped Or One UnHopped and One Hopped. They have Many recipes on the Mr Beer site. Read the Book they sent you with the kit. Each can is 2.3% ABV so two cans is 4.6% add the Booster and you are at 6% which is how I roll. So you can buy their premium refill and add a bag of Booster and be at 6%. They have a live help site too. Send them your questions. I buy all my stuff from them. Measure your carbing/priming sugar accuratly. Buy the Canadian Draft Premium refill and a can of UME called Pale Export and be at 6.9% Who-Pa Do a 3-3-3 though with that and use both yeast pouches. Watch the temp too. Be constant even if that means leaving the AC or Heat on. Dig? Buy more of the Kegs, use the correct glass for the style and don't serve it too cold.
Trumpetman

The 2.3% estimate is a bit high in my experience. I find that it usually comes in closer to about 2%. But I think the Booster ends up a little higher than 1.4%. I'd put 2 HME and a Booster at 5.7%. With the right yeast, you might end up at 6%, but I think most of the time you'll end up at or below 5.7.

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KZ wrote:


Similar to BugLaden, I brew a batch every week. I also bottle one each week...so each keg ferments for three weeks, and every week I've got a new batch of bottled beer entering the conditioning pipeline and a new batch starting it's fermentation.

This is exactly what I do as well, except for when I brew the random 4.5ish gallon batch and split across 2 of my LBKs... that throws a wrench into the rotation for a bit. I guess I need a 4th LBK LOL.

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I've been buying refills at Walmart.com. Three packs are $29 and singles are $9.99 and shipping to your nearest Walmart is free. Pick up at the store in a few days.

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Lots of good info here, make sure you read the beginners threads.

I will add just a few things. First of all, @Trumpet, the 2-2-2 method doesn't mean 2 weeks in the fridge. It's 2 weeks in the LBK, 2 weeks carbonating and 2 weeks conditioning (at room temp). Then you put it in the fridge about 24-48 hours before drinking. Two weeks in the fridge is not necessary. The conditioning process involves the yeast cleaning up some of the stuff they created and changing the beer a bit. This needs to happen at room temp as most yeast tends to go to sleep at refrigerator temps.

The method most of us here use is also 3 weeks in the LBK, then 1-2 weeks carbonating and 4-8+ weeks conditioning. It vastly depends on the ingredients and ABV of the beer. Higher ABV and higher adjunct ratios (think booster, honey, sugar) will often require longer conditioning times.

I also agree that patience is greatly rewarded in this hobby. The best recommendation I can offer to you is to go to your local beer store and start buying some bottles for your future batches. They come with free beer inside ;) and they are basically the same price as buying the bottles online. I love bottling in smaller bottles or in a variety of sizes because then you can just have 1 glass at night and not worry about compromising the carbonation levels if you open a 1L bottle. The 1L PET bottles will often keep most of the carb for 24-48 hours after opening, but you don't want them sitting for too long. Also, if you tip that bottle back and forth too much (when pouring) you will stir up the sediment on the bottom which can change the flavors of your beer. Drinking too much yeast can also make most people...let's say..."extra-regular" in the digestion department, if you catch my drift.

All-in-all you came to the right place. Keep asking good questions and read lots. Your beer will only get better.

Welcome to the obsession. :cheers:

*Edit: Also, we recommend that you try most of the regular recipes straight up before you start putting crazy tweaks on them. You should know the base flavors you're working with before you start adding others so you know how you like it.

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Excellant advice! I currently only have two LBKs that are constantly in use. Typical rotation is 16-17 days in the fermenter, then another 3-5 weeks bottle conditioning at room or a little cooler temperatures.

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Oh, and as far as scheduling rotation...if you have a regular schedule, you can just pick a day to be your regular brew day. Let's say you have a couple hours every sunday to do with as you please (during the football game you don't watch perhaps), you can set that time aside and brew. If you have 3 fermenters, you can consistently bottle and then brew every week. You can then allow those fermenters to sit for a full 3 weeks to get the best work out of the yeast. This greatly helps to avoid rushing things and will build up your pipeline VERY quickly.

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InsaneDragun wrote:


I will add just a few things. First of all, @Trumpet, the 2-2-2 method doesn't mean 2 weeks in the fridge.

Actually, originally, it did mean 2 weeks in the fridge. The 2-2-2 mantra actually predates the forums here. It started at the Mr Beer Fans forum and migrated here. It underwent a bit of a change here because we figured that yeast do more work at room temperature than at refrigerator temperature. I think it's also an acknowledgment that not everybody has fridge space for two weeks in the fridge.

I used to think that 2 days was enough time in the fridge, but it definitely benefits from a week (or more). I generally give a beer 3+ months at room temperature, followed by a week or two in the fridge.

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I started out like you a few months ago. My first batch "West Coast Pale Ale" totally sucked, because I didn't have my fermentation temps correct. I ended up buying a wine fridge to stick the LBKs in, and use Safale yeast which works better in lower temps. My second batch, Quiet Creek Kolsch, turned was amazing.

Everyone is right about stocking up on bottles. If you have other people to drink your beer with you, you might want to consider getting a miller-lite or coor-lite home draft systemm in which you can take apart and use your home brew with it. This is the exact same thing as tap-a-draft, which sells on all the home-brew sites.

Right now, my room temp is perfect for fermenting, and am experimenting with 5 gal recipes. I'm still new to all of this, but learning. Eventually I don't see myself buying any more beer at the store.

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I agree. I can't wait three months though How about 2-3 Ferment 4 weeks bottle condition @ 70 degrees One day in fridge and drink it?
Trumpetman

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Isoman this is alot of action!
1. West Coast Pale Ale: Brewed August 5, 2011 Bottled August 19, 2011
2. Quiet Creek Kolsch: Brewed August 12, 2011. Bottled Aug 26, 2011
3. Bill's Brew: Brewed August 20, 2011. Bottled Sept 6, 2011
4. High Country Canadian Draft: Brewed August 29, 2011. Bottled Sept 16, 2011
5. October Fest Vienna Lager: Brewed Sept 9, 2011. Bottled 9/24/2011
6. Purple Daze: Brewed Sept 19, 2011. Bottled October 9, 2011
7. HCCD- modified 9/28/2011
8. Belgium Dubbel Seasonal 9/29/2011. Bottled 10/23/2011
9. Cranberry Maibock 10/10/2011
10. Abita Purple Haze Clone 10/20/2011
11. October Fest Vienna Lager 10/24/2011

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trumpetman wrote:

Isoman this is alot of action!
1. West Coast Pale Ale: Brewed August 5, 2011 Bottled August 19, 2011
2. Quiet Creek Kolsch: Brewed August 12, 2011. Bottled Aug 26, 2011
3. Bill's Brew: Brewed August 20, 2011. Bottled Sept 6, 2011
4. High Country Canadian Draft: Brewed August 29, 2011. Bottled Sept 16, 2011
5. October Fest Vienna Lager: Brewed Sept 9, 2011. Bottled 9/24/2011
6. Purple Daze: Brewed Sept 19, 2011. Bottled October 9, 2011
7. HCCD- modified 9/28/2011
8. Belgium Dubbel Seasonal 9/29/2011. Bottled 10/23/2011
9. Cranberry Maibock 10/10/2011
10. Abita Purple Haze Clone 10/20/2011
11. October Fest Vienna Lager 10/24/2011


Unfortunately my pipeline isn't quite there yet, because I drank batches 1-5 really fast. Now that I have a 5 gal fermenter, the sky is the limit. Another suggestion I will make is to buy the winter seasonal!!! It's really easy to make, and the flavor will be amazing.
Also, you'll find that even after 2 weeks of conditioning, if done right, your beers will be very drinkable.

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Bought it today. I want to make a Barley wine. I did the Novacane but want to make one lighter in color. More amberish. Want to use all Mr Beer stuff and I will wait the 6 Months. Thoughts? I just buy more LBK's though my wife bought me a 5 Gal Thing Carboy with that release thing on top at a garage sale. I will use it soon. Racking it etc. Seems like extra work though. Up to 8 LBK's now. Drinking a Stone, Old Guardian Barley wine now. That is the color I want. Did you see the writing on the drain pipe about a convention? I just like to keep it simple which is Mr Beer if you wait and start with at least 2 cans of the "Goo" Extracts. Honey Booster and we are at 6% or more.
Trumpetman
trumpetman

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trumpetman wrote:

I agree. I can't wait three months though How about 2-3 Ferment 4 weeks bottle condition @ 70 degrees One day in fridge and drink it?
Trumpetman

I used to do something fairly similar, but I started building my pipeline (a couple of business trips where I wasn't home to drink home brew helped).

I used to think that a beer didn't benefit from more time in the fridge, but one of those business trips convinced me otherwise. I now try to give each beer at least a week in the fridge.

A month at room temperature is probably plenty for most beers. But since I have a big enough pipeline, I go for 3.

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trumpetman wrote:

Bought it today. I want to make a Barley wine. I did the Novacane but want to make one lighter in color. More amberish. Want to use all Mr Beer stuff and I will wait the 6 Months. Thoughts? I just buy more LBK's though my wife bought me a 5 Gal Thing Carboy with that release thing on top at a garage sale. I will use it soon. Racking it etc. Seems like extra work though. Up to 8 LBK's now. Drinking a Stone, Old Guardian Barley wine now. That is the color I want. Did you see the writing on the drain pipe about a convention? I just like to keep it simple which is Mr Beer if you wait and start with at least 2 cans of the "Goo" Extracts. Honey Booster and we are at 6% or more.
Trumpetman
trumpetman

Actually, there's no need to do any extra work with the 5 carboy. The thing on top is called an airlock. I think the instructions say to fill to a line with water, but I always use vodka to reduce chances of infection.

If it's a 5 gallon carboy, you can probably make about a 4 gallon batch in it. It may be a 6-6.5 gallon carboy designed for a 5 gallon batch. You want to leave some room for krausen.

I've never used a carboy, but I have an Ale Pail and a home made fermenting pail. I use them much the way I use a Mr Beer fermenter, except that I use a siphon to transfer the wort. I don't do a secondary or anything else. One difference is that about the time I got the larger fermenter, I got a kegerator, so I've never bottled one of the large batches and have only kegged. If I were bottling, I'd definitely do a batch prime for a larger batch. Batch priming takes a bit more time with a Mr Beer batch, but I think it would be faster for a larger batch.

I forgot to mention that one additional step is required for a glass carboy. Since it's clear, you need to keep it completely in the dark.

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