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willsr

THE Craft Series - Winter Dark Ale Thread

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I thought I would continue the series for folks doing the Winter Dark Ale.

I brewed up a batch of the new Winter Dark Ale on Sunday. My modified instructions are below. My OG ended up at 1.050. Had a strong, nearly to the top krausen 24 hours later. Today when I checked, I had a krausen volcano going. I am, nominally, fermenting at 65, but do not know what the internal temperature is. Anyway, very active fermentation. 10 grams of hydrated yeast really got this one going.

Winter Dark Ale
This winter warmer will cure what ales you with its lush ruby color, roasted malty character, and perfectly balanced hop bitterness. The generous mouthfeel, smooth creamy head and roasted malt aromas finishing with a hint of chocolate will keep you cozy during the long cold winter nights.

RECIPE REQUIRES:
1 1300g Can Winter Dark Ale HME
2 5 g Packets MRCB Dry Brewing Yeast


SANITIZING
Follow the steps outlined in your MR.BEER® BEER KIT INSTRUCTIONS. (You can find a copy of these instructions to download by clicking on the "Kits" tab of the website.)

NOTE: BE SURE TO SANITIZE EVERYTHING THAT WILL COME INTO CONTACT WITH YOUR BEER.


BREWING

Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the can of Hopped Malt Extract (HME). Hydrate yeast per standard guidelines for ale yeast.
Place the unopened can of HME in hot tap water.
Using the measuring cup, pour 4 cups of water into a clean 3-quart pot. Bring water to a boil, and then remove from heat. Pour the HME into the hot water and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Fill LBK fermentor with refrigerated water to the 4-quart mark on the back.
Pour the mixture of HME and water into the keg, and then bring the volume of the keg to the 8.5-quart mark by adding more refrigerated water. Mix well.
Take a specific gravity measurement, note result.
Stir vigorously with sterilized hand blender or oxygenate. Pitch yeast into keg, mix well, then screw on lid.
Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 65°and 72° F and out of direct sunlight.

FERMENT THREE WEEKS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE (between 65°-72°F).

BOTTLING AND CARBONATING

At 3 weeks take a gravity measurement.
Batch prime with table sugar or dextrose per priming calculator for the desired volumes of CO2.
Bottle

9/12 update: Krausen down to a reasonable 1-2 inches. Still very healthy looking, but the volcano has subsided. In total, probably lost 2 oz. of beer to the volcano.

The waiting on trying this beer is going to be tough.

10/07 Update

Bottled on 10/4 FG=1.009 for a 5.4? ABV. I tasted it going into the bottle and was pleased with the flavor. I am looking forward to 2 weeks from now when I taste.

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I'll be doing this soon but would you point out what is modified? It looks as though you are using 2 of the yeast packets. If so, why?

One of the things I wish Mr. Beer would show on their products is the estimated OG which would be helpful to many. 1.050 is actually higher than I expected and I'm glad to see that. I like my beers close to 1.060 for most of the styles I brew.

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"Beer-lord" post=284953 said:

I'll be doing this soon but would you point out what is modified? It looks as though you are using 2 of the yeast packets. If so, why?

One of the things I wish Mr. Beer would show on their products is the estimated OG which would be helpful to many. 1.050 is actually higher than I expected and I'm glad to see that. I like my beers close to 1.060 for most of the styles I brew.

I am understanding that the 1300 g cans come with a gold packet of yeast, says it's 5 grams...I just rec'd in the Canadian Blonde, 850g can, and the yeast fromunda was in a silver packet, 5 grams. Not sure of the difference in yeast if there is any...maybe MikeCEO will chime in here to clarify. Wouldn't you want to use a larger packet of yeast with the cans being est. 500 grams larger, standard versus craft kit refills??? Curious Jerry here.

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We started this yesterday afternoon.
1 can 2.86lbs (1.3KG) HME, 1 packet 5g MB yeast.

OG of 1.047 (1.046 @ 66F), spot on the 8.5 quart mark before the hydrometer sample was taken.

Approx 18 hours later (70F), the krausen volcano was up to the lid. I put the lid on fairly loose on this one.

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"Beer-lord" post=284953 said:

I'll be doing this soon but would you point out what is modified? It looks as though you are using 2 of the yeast packets. If so, why?

Sorry Beer-lord, forgot some info. My two modifications were using pure oxygen for aeration and using 10 grams of hydrated yeast. The two yeast packets were labeled 17412 IM (craft series yeast) and 09412 (new standard refill yeast). I like to use 10 grams to reduce the lag time. End of day, krausen monster still raging.

P.S. My OG is temperature corrected to 60°F.

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Just in case anybody is seeing the same thing (I'm interested if you are.) After three days, the crazy school project foam experiment calmed down to almost nothing. Some had made it up and out of the lid just 24 hours prior!

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"willsr" post=285040 said:

"Beer-lord" post=284953 said:

I'll be doing this soon but would you point out what is modified? It looks as though you are using 2 of the yeast packets. If so, why?

Sorry Beer-lord, forgot some info. My two modifications were using pure oxygen for aeration and using 10 grams of hydrated yeast. The two yeast packets were labeled 17412 IM (craft series yeast) and 09412 (new standard refill yeast). I like to use 10 grams to reduce the lag time. End of day, krausen monster still raging.

P.S. My OG is temperature corrected to 60°F.


Thanks for the info. I plan to rehydrate the yeast but I'm thinking the new yeast Mr. Beer is providing is up to the task of just adding it to the LBK and stirring briskly. My thoughts are that to keep things simple, most will just skip rehydrating and just adding the yeast. Even with the old yeast, I've never had a problem but have always aerated before and after pitching.

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I brewed my Winter Dark Ale today with the following ingredients & OG results:

Craft Series WDA = 1300 Grams
1/2 bag booster = Why? WTFC?
added gypsum powder & campden tablet to water
Pitched 5 gram sachet of Coopers Yeast (fromunda new lid)
OG = 1.046 @ 60*

Good aeration provided...followup on krausen soon (I hope)

Also, filled LBK to 1/4" above Q to maximize drinking habit at minimal expense to ABV. I might have to go longer than 3--2-2 here due to vacay plans.

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Just occurred to me that willsr had created this thread, and I should have posted here instead of the separate thread. No matter...

Here's the blog post on this brew...

Added 2/3 lb Amber Dry Extract that I had on hand, as well as .25lb of carafoam steeped. Ended up with an OG of 1.056 after an accidental overfill that ended up over the 'Q'. Fearing an overflow here...

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Brewed this yesterday, no additions or modifications.

2.13 gal batch, O.G. 1.049.

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1.048-1.050 is what everyone seems to have gotten straight up. Ends up about 1.010-1.012 and nearer to 5% than 5.5% but not bad for an easy-peasy recipe.

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"swenocha" post=289219 said:

Just occurred to me that willsr had created this thread, and I should have posted here instead of the separate thread. No matter...

Here's the blog post on this brew...

Added 2/3 lb Amber Dry Extract that I had on hand, as well as .25lb of carafoam steeped. Ended up with an OG of 1.056 after an accidental overfill that ended up over the 'Q'. Fearing an overflow here...


Reading on the web that carapils & carafoam are pretty much the same thing just different labels... what say y'all? TIA

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Since I lack a degree of patience when it comes to newly-bottled brews, I tossed a week-old bottle of Winter Dark into fridge and cracked it open this evening. It seemed appropriate to try it considering it's the coldest day in South Texas since probably early spring. :freeze:

With the exception of steeping some toasted oats, I brewed this one by the book -- 2.13 gallons, Mr.B yeast.

I did a moderate pour and got about a finger's worth of a nice, tan, very creamy head. That might be the oats talking. I initially smelled something that I would consider sour, but that might just be early flavors that the yeast haven't cleaned up yet. Fortunately, it didn't taste sour and that smell dissipated quickly.

It has a little wine-like smell, and at the start, it tastes pleasantly fruity, but as you settle into the fruit and malt, *BAM* -- the bitter hops smack you across the face! I get very little hops aroma or flavor, but the bitter is there for sure.

I think this brew would be best enjoyed at a warmer temperature (45-55F). As the beer warmed a little, the malt flavors became more pronounced and balanced the hops a bit more. It reminded me a bit of the Mountmellick Oatmeal Stout I brewed a long time ago.

It's going to take a little time to condition, but I'll drop another one in the fridge in about two weeks to see how it's progressing. I think we've got a winner here, though!
:banana:

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Thanks for the early info. Been waiting to hear from those who are a bit ahead of me on this.
Mine's only been in the bottle 3 days so no early checking here but since I did both this and Diablo at the same time, I've wondered about the aroma on both. The whole time in the keg, the smell was just not there (after the sulphor smell went away).
And, I found the Diablo lacking in bitterness and am hoping for some 'BAM' in both of these.
I like to drink all my hoppy beers a bit warm. But if the flavor isn't there, it isn't there.

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I brewed this straight-up today and followed the instructions -- with the exception that I gave it another good stir about 5 minutes after pitching the yeast (like the old MrB instructions). I obtained a hydrometer reading of 1.047, which appears to be in line with most others. The sample I tasted quite good. I could definitely tell the bitterness, but I don't think that will be a problem for me.

Looking forward to trying this.


Rick

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Just bottled my Winter Dark Ale this evening. The OG was 1.048 and the FG was 1.008 yielding a 5.2% ABV (4.1% ABW). I ended up with 22 full 12 oz glass bottles and 1 and 3/4 trub 12 oz bottles. It tasted good and I'm looking forward to tasting this one after it has carbed and conditioned.

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Newbie here fellas, but I like my beer.
So, Already onto my second batch, the Winter Dark Ale. I recently did the German Pilsner. Like all newbies I was eager to try my beer, so I fermented it 2 weeks, bottles it with the sugar instructions into the 1 litre bottles and left it a week. Then another 3-4 days in the fridge. The head was better and the beer not so flat the longer it went on. A little fruity to the taste but after a while it appeared less so. It did however feel a little flat, I take it this was due to the time conditioning? Longer more carbonation?

Anyway, Winter Ale is bottle, 1/2 litre this time around, so now the temptation to leave i t in there for another week or 2 is killing me...!!
Anyway, just ordered my 3rd keg and some Octoberfest and some Pale ale.
This has me hooked.

So, for the winter Ale, is it best to leave conditioning for 2 weeks then about 48 hours in the fridge? Also, is it worth me trying one or at least a taste test before the week is out?

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My Winter Ale will be in the bottle 3 weeks on the 26th then I'll try it a few days later for the first time but it's been my experience with darker beers that the longer you condition, the better they get.
So, for me, the darker they are, the more patience I need before I drink them. I've had stouts that took 8 weeks before they were just ok and got awesome 4 weeks later.
I'm thinking that Mr. Beer products are made to ready a bit sooner otherwise, no one would buy them.

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Guest System Admin

I'm thinking a minimum of 4 weeks in the bottle and then a couple days in the fridge.

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Well I need your help. I made the Winter dark on 10/9, I do not have a accurate OG because my hydrometer leaked (new one came today). I just checked and the FG is 1.010, it has only been two weeks so should I or should I not bottle? I know from all the posts I have read you all recommend 3-2-2.

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Well...with the craft refill your OG was likely in the 1.044 - 1.050 range depending on how high you filled and how much wort you got out of the can.

If you're at 1.010 after two weeks it's safe to bottle. If you want to be 100% sure, wait 48 hours and take another sample but I wouldn't expect it to get any lower than that.

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"Sens_Dad" post=291981 said:

So, for the winter Ale, is it best to leave conditioning for 2 weeks then about 48 hours in the fridge? Also, is it worth me trying one or at least a taste test before the week is out?

Wings Fan is right, I'd go a minimum of four weeks. And there probably isn't much to be gained from a one-week taste.

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"Connie" post=292006 said:

Well I need your help. I made the Winter dark on 10/9, I do not have a accurate OG because my hydrometer leaked (new one came today). I just checked and the FG is 1.010, it has only been two weeks so should I or should I not bottle? I know from all the posts I have read you all recommend 3-2-2.

You should be ready to bottle. The "3" is a general rule for those who for one reason or another don't have a hydrometer.

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You could bottle it with that FG reading. It probably has stopped fermenting, but it is safer to let it go the extra week before bottling. Then four weeks minimum in the bottle carbing and conditioning.

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I'm gonna go with Abqu on this one. FWIW, I bottled my Winter Dark at 1.010 after only 11 days. Trust me, there's no excess sweetness in that guy at all. I perved a small sample bottle at 2 weeks and it was pretty good.

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I brewed this one last night with an addition of a pack of the MRB Robust softpack LME, and I used the second half of a package of S-04 yeast I had left over from a stout I brewed a few days ago.

Got an OG of 1.054 with the softpack at 72*.


As for bottling at 1.010...I would bottle it. I rarely wait the 3 weeks. I usually check my SG at two weeks and if its at my target FG I bottle, if not, I wait another week. Its not often that its not ready at two weeks. Target for this beer seems to be in that 1.008-1.012 range, so I'd say bottle away!

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I took a hydrometer reading on mine last night and obtained a reading of 1.009 on day 18. I went ahead and setup the LBK for the cold-crash. The newer MrB yeast seems to settle very well and may render the cold-crash less needed. I haven't quite decided on that one yet.


Rick

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Cracked the first test bottle
Brewed at 8.5 qts a bit over fill.
OG 1.048
FG 1.014 at 21 days

Bottled aged 4 weeks
Fridge for 3 days

First impression, not that great. Not bad but about a 6 at best.
Low carb - my fault only used 73g booster.
Pour gave little head no lacing
Earthy aroma
good mouth feel
not much hops no after bite, I guess it is balanced.
After it warmed some the hops were noted like earthy - but that may be from the grain bill they used maybe burnt or roasted?
Malty but weaker then I expected.
Drinks smooth and 'soft'
I think it is more of a dark IPA or a dark pale ale?

I like the BASIC (new) Porter and Stout much better then this Craft recipe. These 2 were great, Porter is gone it was so good :) Some stout remains. I will brew both again even at list price, but then there is the sales and chits for a deal.

It is a nice dark beer,
I would brew again at sale prices only.

Will test another in a week, then place in the ready to drink pipeline.

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