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Novacaine recipe-If anyone can give me feedback on this it would be great!

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Hello all,


I'm thinking about trying the Novacaine recipe at some point. My question is has anyone tried this? I see the description of it and I'm intrigued. I've made multiple brews already and would like to try something a tad bit more complex. Also, I have a wedding party that I'm hosting at the end of August, and I would like to make something for that. Would anyone have ideas on what would be suitable for that? Any feedback would be appreciated!!

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I think few try it because of the ridiculous cost - over $65, even with the sale $52+.  That's pretty expensive for the equivalent of less than a case of beer.  Is this a party where you want people to pass out?  Wedding parties tend to be a bit wild, and this is 10%+ ABV.  Most people drink 4 or 5% ABV beer.  You toss a few of these down rapidly and you could be in the hospital.    

If I had $50 to spend, I'd buy two cases of a nice craft beer, or brew 10 gallons of a nice homebrew.

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Remember this is a barleywine requires 6 months minimum to condition so you will be pushing it for an August party.  Many true barleywines only start to come into their own in 12 months.  If "wedding party" is a code word for "bachelor party" it could be interesting assuming you started earlier.  Then again, for those kind of parties it is just as simple to grab a case of cheap beer and do shots.

I do agree it is expensive, but 1 beer of that equals two plus regular beers so from an abv standpoint it isnt all that bad.

If you search these forums several people have made it albeit with the old formula.  You may also want to consider adding additional yeast at bottling as with the high abv it may cause the yeast to poop out and not fully carb.

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I have brewed it and it is pretty intense, it is very malty with a slight hop flavor. It has a good kick to it, but it does need some good age before it is really good. I think I let mine age about 6 or 7 months.

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if I had $50... I'd get me about 18 bottles of weyenstephaner vitus! that's a mighty fine wheat beer!

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My last $50 beer purchase went for two bottles of Yazoo Deux Rogues Flanders Red...  A great investment.  As for Novacaine...  I think you should brew it if that is your choice.  For me personally, I would go to the LHBS and buy ingredients for a barleywine at a much lower cost.  Not being critical of Mr. B, but the thought of throwing one or two HMEs in cost-wise is about as far as I would go before thinking about working down my ingredient cost.  And this recipe always read like a "throw everything we have into a fermenter and see what we get" recipe.  But that's just me.  YMMV...

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I agree with the others. The cost is prohibitive. I too would go the extract grains and hops, full boil method. It will need a year to condition.

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haerbob3, on 21 Jan 2015 - 09:58 AM, said:

I agree with the others. The cost is prohibitive. I too would go the extract grains and hops, full boil method. It will need a year to condition.

+1 (seems I have reached the number of allowed likes)

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I love barleywines, so I'm seriously thinking of doing one or maybe both of Mr. B's recipes, cost be damned. I have a $15/22 oz bottle in my basement right now. I have a $6/12 oz bottle of a great IPA. Good beer is worth a little extra sometimes. Granted, I started looking at 5 gal recipes pretty quickly into my Mr. B foray, but some of the recipes beg to be tried.

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As stated, you should do what you feel is right for you as a brewer.  If you roll with it, keep the board posted on your progress.  

 

My thinking is this:

 

A one extract Mr. Beer recipe is anywhere from $16-25 (+ship).  I can do a similar all-grain beer for maybe $9-16, but the gains in a one-hour brewday instead of a four-hour+ brewday can justify an extra $5 or so for me at times (though I generally do AG every brewday now).

 

The Novacaine, otoh, is $68 (+ship) for a 10% ABV barleywine.  I can do a similar all-grain recipe for maybe $30-35.  So, in my mind, the cost-benefit slides off the scale pretty quickly, for me anyway, when you get into the bigger recipes.  

 

Again, I'm not saying this to dissuade you.  I think you should go for it if you feel driven.  But this is simply why I never approached it.

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I'm glad this question was asked.  I've had similar ponderings over the reward vs. cost of some of the more expensive recipes.

 

Given that an LBK produces 22 12 oz bottles, it's easy to figure the cost of ingredients per bottle.

 

Standard Refill:  $0.82/bottle

Deluxe Refill:  $1.00/bottle

A $30 Recipe:  $1.36/bottle

A $45 Recipe:  $2.05/bottle

A $60 Recipe:  $2.72/bottle

So is $2.72/bottle expensive for homemade beer?

 

Consider that if you go to the big beer superstore (BevMo) and look at all the craft beers they sell.  Many are priced even higher than that.

 

So, I don't think the Navacaine at around $2.72/bottle is really that expensive.  We don't make beer to save money.  We make beer because we enjoy it and enjoy trying new and different recipes.

 

I say this...  If you want to make Novacaine (or any other recipe), don't let your decision be dictated by $$.  Let your decision be dictated by your enjoyment of the hobby of making beer.

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I'm glad this question was asked.  I've had similar ponderings over the reward vs. cost of some of the more expensive recipes.

 

Given that an LBK produces 22 12 oz bottles, it's easy to figure the cost of ingredients per bottle.

 

Standard Refill:  $0.82/bottle

Deluxe Refill:  $1.00/bottle

A $30 Recipe:  $1.36/bottle

A $45 Recipe:  $2.05/bottle

A $60 Recipe:  $2.72/bottle

So is $2.72/bottle expensive for homemade beer?

 

Consider that if you go to the big beer superstore (BevMo) and look at all the craft beers they sell.  Many are priced even higher than that.

 

So, I don't think the Navacaine at around $2.72/bottle is really that expensive.  We don't make beer to save money.  We make beer because we enjoy it and enjoy trying new and different recipes.

 

I say this...  If you want to make Novacaine (or any other recipe), don't let your decision be dictated by $$.  Let your decision be dictated by your enjoyment of the hobby of making beer.

 

As long as it's your money, I agree.   :lol:

 

I get enjoyment out of homebrewing, and part of my pleasure is that I can produce a 12 pack (the unit our stores sell beer in) for under $7, whereas I can't buy one that I would drink (Killian's, Sam Adams) for less than $10, usually $12 or more.  That's part of the pleasure.

 

$2.72 a bottle is more than craft beer.  Right after Thanksgiving I bought craft beer, which I never do.  Each sixer was over $10, but with American Express' Small Business Saturday I got 5 six packs for under $4, plus deposit.  Now THOSE beers give me great pleasure.

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I get enjoyment out of homebrewing, and part of my pleasure is that I can produce a 12 pack (the unit our stores sell beer in) for under $7, whereas I can't buy one that I would drink (Killian's, Sam Adams) for less than $10, usually $12 or more.  That's part of the pleasure.

 

$2.72 a bottle is more than craft beer.  Right after Thanksgiving I bought craft beer, which I never do.  Each sixer was over $10, but with American Express' Small Business Saturday I got 5 six packs for under $4, plus deposit.  Now THOSE beers give me great pleasure.

 

At the local BevMo, there are many craft beers in bottles about the size of a pint (or a tad larger) that sell for $5-7/each.  There is a lot of beer on the market that costs more than the most expensive Mr. Beer refill.

By your cost of making a 12 pack for under $7, you're obviously not using a Mr. Beer refill/recipe.  By your method, you could probably make something similar to the most expensive Mr. Beer recipes for probably half the cost.  Mr. Beer sells convenience when they sell their refills/recipes.  To a more beginner brewer, spending $45-60 for one of the higher priced recipes and having a high probability of success is possibly a lower cost option than spending half that and going through the detailed steps of making a similar beer using grains, hops, etc. with a much lower probability of success.  With a Mr. Beer recipe, I expect the probability of getting good beer is 99%.  With brewing a batch from scratch, I bet my probability is much, much lower.  Someday I'd like to try making beer from from scratch, but that's a learning curve and I'm not about to start with something advanced.

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True, although my costs stayed down because of sale options (like this $9.98 Seasonal), buy 4 get 5 (20% discount), etc.  I would never pay $5 or $6 for a bottle of beer though.  Or one of these $30 bottles.  Nope.

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True, although my costs stayed down because of sale options (like this $9.98 Seasonal), buy 4 get 5 (20% discount), etc.  I would never pay $5 or $6 for a bottle of beer though.  Or one of these $30 bottles.  Nope.

 

I agree.  I won't pay $5 for a bottle of beer unless it's something unusual I want to try.  I won't spend $8 for a beer at the baseball game and I won't spend $4-5 for a beer at a restaurant, although many people do.

 

The nearby homebrew store sells large cans of various Cooper's HME in sizes for a 5 gallon batch.  I don't remember the price, but that could be an economical way to create something (add other ingredients) in a 2.5 gallon batch in an LBK with a higher ABV with a stronger taste.

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Yup, the Cooper's cans, and other cans, are often designed for 5 gallon batches (some aren't though so read carefully).  

 

A $30 bottle of beer better be staying the night with me though.

 

I like sampling new beers at a bar/restaurant and don't have a problem spending a bit more for those - but once they go past $6 I start to wonder why (and research the heck out of them on BeerAdvocate).

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Plus you need to add 2.2 pounds of DME or 3 pounds of LME to make that for 5 gallons.  You then put it into two LBKs, or make 1/2 of it and store the other 1/2 for the next batch.  Most, but not all of the bigger cans require this type of addition.

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That is what is being said you pay for the convenience.   I found that doing the recipes straight up to be a bit of a disappointment.  At the least not steeping grain and doing a hop boil is how the recipes fall flat for me.   Dealing with costs that is part of my mindset as is optimizing the flavors.  I am a chef.

 

This is how I like to explain it to new brewers.  We all are familiar with soups.

 

1.  HME beers equate to condensed soup.   Add water, heat & ferment.                       Pretty good hits the spot.

     A) steep grains,  dry hop                                                                                           Tastes better, better head retention, more hop aroma

     B) Full volume 60 min hop boil (extract add for hop extraction) late addition extract addition   even better

       the above is doctoring up the soup yummy!!

 

2.  Partial Mash is like making soup with pre-made stocks along with your own,           Taste buds a rocking! 

 

3.  Al Grain is like from scratch soup that Granny made.                                                 memories & dreams are made from these

 

Which ever way you brew take the time to make it yours.  Any ABV brew that you is going to need a lot of carbing and conditioning time.  This type of style Barely Wine, Belgium ETC all benefit when brewed all grain 

 

I do not know how many batches of beer that you have brewed.  This is one that if you are just starting out I would highly advise waiting on.  There is a Recipe Exchange thing over at Beer Borg that pairs brewers up.  A great way for new brewers to team up with someone with experience

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That is what is being said you pay for the convenience.   I found that doing the recipes straight up to be a bit of a disappointment.  At the least not steeping grain and doing a hop boil is how the recipes fall flat for me.   Dealing with costs that is part of my mindset as is optimizing the flavors.  I am a chef.

 

This is how I like to explain it to new brewers.  We all are familiar with soups.

 

1.  HME beers equate to condensed soup.   Add water, heat & ferment.                       Pretty good hits the spot.

     A) steep grains,  dry hop                                                                                           Tastes better, better head retention, more hop aroma

     B) Full volume 60 min hop boil (extract add for hop extraction) late addition extract addition   even better

       the above is doctoring up the soup yummy!!

 

2.  Partial Mash is like making soup with pre-made stocks along with your own,           Taste buds a rocking! 

 

3.  Al Grain is like from scratch soup that Granny made.                                                 memories & dreams are made from these

 

Which ever way you brew take the time to make it yours.  Any ABV brew that you is going to need a lot of carbing and conditioning time.  This type of style Barely Wine, Belgium ETC all benefit when brewed all grain 

 

I do not know how many batches of beer that you have brewed.  This is one that if you are just starting out I would highly advise waiting on.  There is a Recipe Exchange thing over at Beer Borg that pairs brewers up.  A great way for new brewers to team up with someone with experience

 

Spot on!  Agree here.  Don't jump into the deep end if this is only your second or third time swimming.  If you're going to spend this much and want to devote some time to learning, I would lean towards attempting some partial mashes and extract with hop boils.  

 

The other thing to be aware of with that recipie, with that many fermentables, you are asking for a LBK explosion.  You will likely have a blowoff if you don't leave enough headspace, or don't keep it very cool.  it will also heat up a LOT more than another batch since the yeast will be going crazy... Be prepared!

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haerbob3, on 26 Jan 2015 - 4:56 PM, said:

That is what is being said you pay for the convenience.   I found that doing the recipes straight up to be a bit of a disappointment.  At the least not steeping grain and doing a hop boil is how the recipes fall flat for me.   Dealing with costs that is part of my mindset as is optimizing the flavors.  I am a chef.

 

This is how I like to explain it to new brewers.  We all are familiar with soups.

 

1.  HME beers equate to condensed soup.   Add water, heat & ferment.                       Pretty good hits the spot.

     A) steep grains,  dry hop                                                                                           Tastes better, better head retention, more hop aroma

     B) Full volume 60 min hop boil (extract add for hop extraction) late addition extract addition   even better

       the above is doctoring up the soup yummy!!

 

2.  Partial Mash is like making soup with pre-made stocks along with your own,           Taste buds a rocking! 

 

3.  Al Grain is like from scratch soup that Granny made.                                                 memories & dreams are made from these

 

Which ever way you brew take the time to make it yours.  Any ABV brew that you is going to need a lot of carbing and conditioning time.  This type of style Barely Wine, Belgium ETC all benefit when brewed all grain 

 

I do not know how many batches of beer that you have brewed.  This is one that if you are just starting out I would highly advise waiting on.  There is a Recipe Exchange thing over at Beer Borg that pairs brewers up.  A great way for new brewers to team up with someone with experience

I use chili, but basically the same idea.

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We don't make beer to save money.  We make beer because we enjoy it and enjoy trying new and different recipes.

Agreed!  Although, they can complement each other.  I have several house beers, and I must say that they save me considerable money in the long run as opposed to buying a craft equivalent.  Shoot, most even save over buying a case of my old standby Old Milwaukee, excluding my hourly rate of course.  If you look at a 4 hour AG day (at least) vs a 20 minute MrB day and factor in your hourly wage, MrB suddenly becomes quite the bargain.  But I digress, I brew because I love doing it.

 

HME is great for a quick brew day.  I would rather have a quick brew day than no brew day at all.

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I will be brewing this recipe soon, but it will probably be next year before I even crack one to see how it ages. I plan on using the 1-liter bottles that came with an older kit, since they take longer to carbonate anyway (although I will make sure to share one, as 1 liter of 11-12% ABV barleywine might not be the best idea!)

 

I was thinking about doing a partial-grain mash bill on this (it would be my first PG mash) but I decided against it. Maybe later, still getting my feet wet!

 

 

 

-slym

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Hello all,

I'm thinking about trying the Novacaine recipe at some point. My question is has anyone tried this? I see the description of it and I'm intrigued. I've made multiple brews already and would like to try something a tad bit more complex. Also, I have a wedding party that I'm hosting at the end of August, and I would like to make something for that. Would anyone have ideas on what would be suitable for that? Any feedback would be appreciated!!

Maybe I'm a jerk when it comes to this kind of thing, but I wouldn't want to put that much money, time, and effort into a beer like Novacaine for people who probably aren't going to appreciate what it is. If I made a big barleywine for a party and saw an abandoned 2/3 full glass of it sitting in front of someone drinking a Bud Light, I would not be responsible for my actions at that point. 

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if I had $50... I'd get me about 18 bottles of weyenstephaner vitus! that's a mighty fine wheat beer!

 

That's a winner there, great beer.

 

Dude...have you tried their Korbinian dopplebock?  :wub:

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My suggestions If you are doing a wedding party, and you are supplying ALL the beer, not just some special for the few that want to try it, I would make a selection across the board unless you know they all like strong beer.

e,g,

a hoppy one - Diablo with 1 oz Cascade Dry Hop added for aroma - I find Diablo bitter enough but needs more aroma.

a light one  - CAL with booster and 0.5 oz Cascade dry hop (this is not hoppy, t matures with quite a delicate flavor with a hint of orange (at least mine did) ,  

a balanced one - American Ale  (add a smooth LME if you want it more malty) 

and maybe a Who's Your Hefe wheat beer.

 

If you are LBK limited, (they are on sale :-)) brew the Diablo first then the American then the CAL then the wheat to give time to mature.

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Maybe I'm a jerk when it comes to this kind of thing, but I wouldn't want to put that much money, time, and effort into a beer like Novacaine for people who probably aren't going to appreciate what it is. If I made a big barleywine for a party and saw an abandoned 2/3 full glass of it sitting in front of someone drinking a Bud Light, I would not be responsible for my actions at that point. 

 

If you bring a big barleywine to a place where the people prefer Bud Lite, then yes - you may be the jerk.

 

 

 

-slym

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I would never make a high ABV brew for a wedding, too many people would get smashed because they did not have a clue it was so high.

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I would never make a high ABV brew for a wedding, too many people would get smashed because they did not have a clue it was so high.

 

Good point, although I was thinking of it as more of a "casting pearls before swine" situation. Metaphorically speaking, of course.  ;)

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Quck question, about this recipe (and other high ABV beers) - why dry-hop? These big beers take so long to condition, wouldn't any aroma hops added be wasted, since the hops dissipate over time?

 

Honest question, as I am brewing this up tonight (got a kit for free with 2 of the 3 HMEs needed, so between buying the Stout HME locally & the extra hops & yeast and some DME, I am into this batch for $35!) and want to know if I can better utilize the hops. Since I have DME, I will already have a boil going...

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Because hop flavors and aromas dissipate over time is enough reason to dry-hop. This will ensure the flavor/aroma will stay for as long as possible. And they won't completely dissipate. I've had some nice malty aged beers that still had a decent hop profile to carry the malts. Dry-hopping also makes sense for high ABV beers because if you intend on aging the beer, the added hops will create an extra anti-bacterial barrier that will make it more difficult for infections. They are also slightly antioxidant which can keep your beer from oxidizing. In the end, you'll get a bit more of a balance in flavor and aroma between the malts and the hops if you dry-hop high ABV aged beers.

But with all that said, it really comes down to personal preference.

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Thanks, Josh! Great answer, I will definitely be dry-hopping this barleywine then.

 

 :)

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Well, brewed the Novacaine last night - I am thinking I should have strained this batch before putting into the LBK, as there is LOTS of sediment right off the bat. I added DME & hops to the boil instead of all hops for the dry-hop, and was surprised to see the hop-pellets just dissolve almost immediately. This is going to have one thick layer of trub...

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Well, brewed the Novacaine last night - I am thinking I should have strained this batch before putting into the LBK, as there is LOTS of sediment right off the bat. I added DME & hops to the boil instead of all hops for the dry-hop, and was surprised to see the hop-pellets just dissolve almost immediately. This is going to have one thick layer of trub...

 

They have little bags you can put your hop pellets in to avoid some of that if you want. You local homebrew shop should have them, or you can use paint strainer bags (the ones I used from Home Depot had a chemical smell so I washed them before use) or a section of panty hose.

 

Btw, boiling the hops might change the taste some but it sounds like a good idea to me.  Personally I think this whole "dry hopping" thing is overdone and a little overrated, except maybe for IPAs and stuff.

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Yeah, I actually went looking for just some cheesecloth the same night I was going to brew, but none of the stores still open had any. So, I went "commando" and kinda regret it now. I am definitely going to get some paint strainer bags, between having heard about them here and HBT.com. No more "commando" hopping for me!

 

 :)

 

And yeah, I boiled the hops some to off-set the extra malt I added, some at 30 minutes, some at 20, some at 10, and the last quarter will be for dry-hopping. I will let you all know how this turns out around Christmas-time.

 

 :D

 

Thanks, GerryP. !

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