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Topics - juddz

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Beer Recipes / Black IPA Idea?
« on: February 07, 2010, 10:03:36 PM »

This weekend, I had the pleasure of trying a black IPA at HopCat in Grand Rapids. I've made regular IPAs that have worked out pretty well, and I'm considering doing a darker variation. I think I'd like to end up with something that could be described as either a hoppy porter or significantly darker IPA.

I'm still an extract brewer, but let me know what you think of this idea:
- Crush & steep 6 oz Simpsons chocolate malt, 6 oz Simpsons black malt, and 1 lb Simpsons dark crystal malt for 20 minutes
- Add 5 lb unhopped, amber DME
- Add 6AAU Fuggles hops at start of 60 minute boil
- Add 4 AAU Fuggles hops after 30 minutes
- Add 8 AAU after 55 minutes
- Cool to 70 degrees, then pitch Wyeast Ringwood Ale yeast
- Dry hop - Add 4 AAU Fuggles when transferring beer into the secondary
- Let condition 3-4 weeks, prime, & bottle

Thanks for your ideas!

Commercial Beer Reviews / Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
« on: January 30, 2010, 05:01:12 PM »
This is a beer style that is somewhat new to me, but I've found that I really enjoy it (and would like to explore it more). Any good recommendations, and do you know of any that are aged in wood before bottling? Thanks much!

My wife is from Delaware, and we had the pleasure of attending a tasting at Dogfish Head in Milton, DE a few months back. Talk about some creative beers! I'll bring home a four pack every now and again when I am in the mood for something different.

I've seen a few small blurbs related to a collaboration ale made by Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada ("Life & Limb"), and it sounds like an interesting thing to bring home (if I can find a six pack of it in the Detroit area). Has anyone tried it, and if so, what did you think?

Michigan is a great place to live... but sometimes long winters cause cabin fever. So, the wife and I have a hobby of setting out to try a new brewery on days that feel especially restless, and we don't want to be cooped up inside! It's a fun hobby, that in addition to brewing beer, makes for memorable winter weekends in spite of the dreary weather. We've got a list of 28 breweries that we've visited to date, with more planned. Anyhow, we went to Redwood Lodge today. In case you haven't heard of them, they've got quite a few GABF medals under their belt. Their beers were new to me, so I ordered seven samples. Two that really stood out were their cask conditioned old ale, and their porter. The old ale was notable in that the wood tones did not overpower the malt, fruit, and honey tastes also present. And, the porter was clean and really tasted like the dark roasted malt that went into it. (Obvious sounding, but how many porters have you had that really tasted more like dark extract?) For those in Michigan, this place was definitely worth the drive. Great food and a warm "up north" hunting lodge feel, too. Next up, we head to Grand Rapids in a couple of weeks to try out Founders, Hopcat, the BOB, and other local breweries. I'll post with any impressions that I'm left with. Until then, I've got a growler of the Redwood porter in the fridge, right next to the last Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre and three varieties of my own home brew.

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 1968 or safale s-04?
« on: January 17, 2010, 02:51:31 PM »
Hello, fellow beer fanatics! I'm relatively new to homebrewing, with five batches now under my belt. (Thanks to near-OCD cleaning, sanitation, and paying close attention to time and temperature, those were five good batches!) Anyhow, I am now putting the ingredients together for a black honey ale; I am using a recipe from "Clone Brews" (Page  99, Devil Mountain Brewing Co Black Honey Ale). Anyhow, the recipe calls for Wyeast 1968; the local homebrew shop did not carry Wyeast products, so I guessed that Safale S-04 would be somewhat close (as it is a UK-style ale yeast that I've used with good results on a red ale and a pale ale). The black ale recipe has six pounds of sugar in it (5 pounds of amber extract, one pound of honey), plus 16 ounces of crushed grain. That's a lot of stuff going into the wort, and my question is whether or not the Safale will attenuate as well as the Wyeast 1968. I don't plan to brew again until next weekend (when my primary fermenter will be empty again :), so there is plenty of time to drive an hour away to another brew shop, or order online. On the other hand, I could just brew, pitch what I have, and see what happens. What do you guys think?

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