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Topics - zacbwb

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Ingredients / Vanilla Extract vs. Vanilla Bean
« on: May 11, 2011, 04:35:44 PM »
I was wondering if anyone has used vanilla extract to flavor a beer vs. a vanilla bean? I have a porter that I would like to turn into a bourbon/vanilla porter by adding some bourbon and vanilla.

It seems like it would be easier to control the amount of vanilla flavor with extract, but I dont know the taste benefits of a bean vs extract.

Any info/experiences would be helpful!

General Homebrew Discussion / Who messed with the grain mill?!?
« on: October 04, 2010, 03:16:43 PM »
So...interesting weekend and a lesson learned for me, my dad and brother.  We decided to push our limits and brew 3 beers in one day.  We ended up buying about 50 lbs of grain between the 3 recipes from one of our local brew supply shops, ran it through the on site grain mill and were on our merry way.

The first beer was going about as good as it could be going, temp in the mash was just right, no issues with our pump recirculating the mash - transfered to the boil kettle just fine, then it was time to take the pre boil gravity

Wait for it...

We missed our pre boil gravity by about 30 GUs.  We poured over our process trying to figure out what could have happened and had no answer.  It took until the gravity reading on our second recipe - once again missing by 30 points - to see that our grain had hardly been crushed, it was almost completely in tact.

So, someone had messed with the grain mill at the homebrew shop.  Why anyone would want to set it so wide it hardly touches the grain is beyond me, but there it is.  Moral of the story - make sure the grain mill is set properly before use :(

I think our next big purchase will be a grain mill - any suggestions?

Ingredients / Cacao Nibs
« on: September 23, 2010, 02:47:16 PM »
I am looking to add cacao nibs to an oatmeal stout and I am looking for recommendation on how I should add this, as well as how much for a 5 gallon batch.  I am looking for a very subtile chocolate flavor, nothing overpowering.


Yeast and Fermentation / Gelatin
« on: September 23, 2010, 02:45:13 PM »
Hello everyone, I was wondering if I could get some explanations on how I should use gelatin.  When should I add it to the carboy as well as how it should be prepared before adding it.  Any advice would be great!

I also welcome opinions on gelatin in general, has it worked well for anyone?  Would you recommend any different products?

Kegging and Bottling / Diacetyl After Bottle Conditioning
« on: August 19, 2010, 08:11:46 PM »
So, I started adding a little s05 to some of my beers to insure carbonation when bottle conditioning.  Brewed a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark, whatever you want to call it.  Tasted great before bottling, had a really heathly fermentation with plenty of yeast, no trace of off flavors (definitely no diacetyl).  After a couple weeks I cracked one open - huge diacetyl flavor  ???

I am guessing the added bottle conditioning yeast is the culprit, although I am not sure why because I have done this before with no diacetyl off flavors - but now I would like to try and get rid of it.  Any suggestions? Should I put the bottles in a warm place to try and reactive yeast for cleanup?


General Homebrew Discussion / Beer Bottle Labels
« on: November 19, 2009, 07:37:45 PM »
I was hoping someone had some advice on where to get good beer bottle labels made.  I have the artwork for a label created, but I dont know of a reputable place to have it placed onto labels.

I have also seen some do it yourself label making software, is any of that good/worth using?

I appreciate any advice I can get!

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