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Messages - duboman

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Just curious when y'all bottle beers meant for giving away at Christmas? For three months I've been glass conditioning a 8.0% Old Ale with half the batch split and aged with whiskey soaked oak chips. I've already pulled the whiskey chips. I've heard and read differing opinions. Some say 3 months, some say 3 weeks.

Thanks for any advice,


Assuming you are planning on carbonating in the bottle with priming sugar my opinion would be to bottle now and allow to carbonate which could take several weeks a that gravity. Once they are properly carbonated I would cold condition them until you are ready to distribute or simply keep them at cellar temps if that's easier and you should have a great beer come Christmas!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation not finished
« on: September 24, 2013, 04:00:57 PM »
Not to beat a dead horse but you definitely racked too early.

That being said, assuming the yeast was still in suspension and was racked hopefully the beer will continue to fully ferment out but it's important that you be patient and allow the yeast to finish now in secondary. Keep the temp a little warmer than it was as Belgian strains prefer warmer temps and you don't want to shock them anymore than they already have been!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water Book?
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:56:21 PM »

Haven't seen mine.  I did see where Chris White was signing at Northern Brewer so its definitely out.  Book rate postal shipping is generally pretty slow.

Me too and got the same email and I'm looking forward to its arrival!

John Palmer and Colin Kaminski wrote the water book.  Unless Chris White had something to do with it I don't know.

I ordered mine from Amazon (sorry Brewer's Publications) and just received an email that I'll receive mine on October 1st (as opposed to the Oct 9th original date). 

I'm sure those who ordered from BP will get it first.  Don't spoil the ending for the rest of us.  ;D

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Amanda's Bio
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:50:30 PM »
Not that I'm an official welcomerer but welcome! This is a great place to learn, explore and basically chat with a lot of really great, like minded people, I keep trying to get my wife interested but she happens to be a big fan of anything vodka related and is a wicked chef!

My two cents: I agree with both sides. I completely agree with Mort in that people should not just be brushed aside because it was their first post because the that's how we all get involved but I also agree that the first time poster should be diligent in follow up and participation and in this case, also comment on the feedback being provided.

Forums are a two way street and everyone is here to both learn and teach or mentor, which is also the way the world basically works, So to the OP, if you ever check back in, keep these things in mind as a lot more information can be provided than just simple answers to a survey, that, well, wasn't really well thought out in the first place;)

Engaging people in conversation is really the best way to gain knowledge anyways....

Competed and I agree that some of the questions are a bit to broad:)

If the goal is to design a dedicated fermentation chamber then the questions should be more focused on that aspect like size, cost, means of temp control and ease of use, range of desire able temps, etc.

The Pub / Re: iOS 7
« on: September 20, 2013, 08:58:33 AM »
My opinion is "meh" more colorful, cleaner fonts and on the 5 appears to move around a little quicker but otherwise I don't get the hype

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: belgian blonde cidery/acetaldehyde aroma
« on: September 14, 2013, 07:04:50 AM »
8 days is pretty short and not sure if you under pitched but that combination is enough to cause the issues you're having. I oils give it some time to condition and it may improve and clean up a bit.

I like to keep my Belgians a good 2-3 weeks primary as some strains are slow to finish. Proper pitch rate and aeration is always a good practice for any beer and not to rush things

Hop Growing / Re: Drying Hops
« on: September 13, 2013, 12:23:14 PM »

I use the window screen and set up a small portable fan at each end, takes about 2 days to fully dry

Beer Recipes / Re: Today's brew
« on: September 12, 2013, 05:35:45 PM »

Looks tasty!  Saturday or Sunday I start on a quest to see if I can make my Rye IPA into a decent Rye APA.  Trying to get it from 7.3% ABV down to more like 5.2%.

I love your rye IPA, in fact it's going in the keg on Sunday! Keep us posted, love to try a toned down version as well!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2112 - Lagering Question
« on: September 07, 2013, 04:03:02 PM »
I don't lager mine and I ferment at 60 for my common and it turns out wonderful!

I think it's really up to you. IME the yeast does not need to be lagered but I know people that do and theirs turns out great as well!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How cold is too cold?
« on: September 06, 2013, 07:45:51 AM »
You need an external temperature controller. Basically it will shut the fridge off when it gets below your desired temp and then kick on if it gets too warm

Equipment and Software / Re: Wheels for new brewstand?!
« on: September 06, 2013, 07:43:38 AM »
Use a sheet if plywood for a bottom and then you can attach some nice locking rubber casters and also create a lower storage shelf as well:)

Beer Recipes / Re: Alcoholic Root Beer
« on: September 05, 2013, 12:08:16 PM »
Duboman, can you post your recipe? I see the starting one. (I found that one too.) But, what did you change exactly? Did you end up going with an extract? If so, how much?

Being from IL, did you happen to go to Brewfest in Plainfield a couple of weeks ago?  Not Your Father's had a special 30% -- yes, 30%! --batch! It was delicious. I spoke with the owner (I forget his name. My husband and I were pouring all day for the event and by the after party, when I finally got a taste, I was exhausted), and he told me he doesn't use extract at all. He listed off some of his ingredients -- wintergreen, vanilla, ginger, and I thought he said both sassafras and sarsaparilla - maybe it was just sassafras.

Anyway, I too have been on the hunt for an "adult root beer" recipe.

I found this from

A mixture is made by adding 1 1/2 gallons of molasses to 5 gallons of boiling water. This is allowed to stand for three hours.

Then 1/4 pound each of sarsaparilla root, bruised sassafras bark, and birch bark (wintergreen flavor) is added.

Next add 1/2 pint of fresh yeast, and enough water to make about 16 gallons total volume.

This is allowed to ferment for 12 hours before being drawn off for bottling (the same as in making beer), after which the secondary fermentation creates the carbonation.

Keep the temperature at 65 to 75 degrees F. during fermentation and after bottling until the carbonation process is complete.

The amount of alcohol in the beverage is dependent upon how long the batch ferments prior to bottling and the level to which the bottles are filled. By partially filling the bottles, the fermentation continues for a longer time and the alcoholic content is correspondingly increased. It is possible to obtain up to 10% alcohol with this process.

Read more:

Then I found this recipe, for a non-alcoholic version from


    ½ cup Sassafras Root Bark
    ½ teaspoon wintergreen leaf (or more- try this to taste but start with a little as it has a very strong flavor)
    1 cup unrefined organic cane sugar like rapadura
    ¼ cup molasses
    1 cinnamon stick or 1 tiny dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
    dash each of coriander and allspice (optional)
    2 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract
    3 quarts filtered water
    ¼ cup lime juice (optional but good for flavor)
    ¾ cup homemade ginger bug or other starter culture like whey or vegetable starter


    Put the sassafras root bark and wintergreen leaf in a large pot. Add cinnamon, coriander and allspice if using.
    Add 3 quarts of filtered water and turn on high heat.
    Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
    Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove herbs.
    While still warm, add the sugar and molasses and stir until dissolved.
    Let cool until warm but not hot and add the lime juice and then then ginger bug or other culture and stir well.
    Transfer to grolsch style bottles or jars with tight fitting lids and allow to ferment for several days at room temperature.
    Check after two days for carbonation and when desired carbonation is reached, transfer to refrigerator and store until use.

If desired, the following can be added to the original boil but they are not needed:
-2 cloves
-1 tablespoon licorice root
-1 tablespoon grated ginger root
-1 tablespoon hops flowers
-1 teaspoon of anise or fennel

I was thinking of using this recipe - swapping out (or adding to) the molasses with malt and using a little hops. Then adding a champagne yeast.




So yes, I was at the fest and had the Root Beer. I can actually get it on tap at several restaurants/bars around my home, it is delicious but I am suspect of the recipe and ingredients as I know some people that are familiar with the brewer. He does actually have a third party produce his flavoring extract for him and the final product is cut with Homemade Root Beer but the alcohol base is a mystery............I have a theory and have heard rumors but, well, who knows...........

So here is the recipe I brewed:
BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Dad's Hard Root Beer
Brewer: Commune Brewing Company
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0) For flavoring: Added 35 ml sasparilla extract for root beer flavor
Sweetening: Added 1550 grams table sugar to back sweeten

Initial tasting was quite boozy and needs time to mellow and condition dated 8/11/2013

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 5.00 gal
Post Boil Volume: 2.25 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 3.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 2.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 27.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 32.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 88.9 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
6 lbs 6.4 oz          Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        75.0 %       
4.1 oz                De-Bittered Black Malt (Dingemans) (550. Grain         2        3.0 %         
2.7 oz                Carafa I (337.0 SRM)                     Grain         3        2.0 %         
2.7 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)   Grain         4        2.0 %         
1 lbs 4.5 oz          Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM)          Sugar         5        15.0 %       
4.1 oz                Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)           Sugar         6        3.0 %         
0.86 oz               Cluster [7.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           7        32.5 IBUs     
0.15 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        8        -             
0.24 tbsp             Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins)          Other         9        -             
1.0 pkg               American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast         10       -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 8 lbs 8.6 oz
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 2.44 gal of water at 162.5 F        152.0 F       60 min       

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.03gal, 2.63gal) of 168.0 F water
Once fermentation is complete and beer has cleared, sample and add Root beer/sarsaparilla Extract to taste. If sweetening is needed add more sugar syrup to taste.

Brewing notes: over sparged to 6 gallons, re-calaculate recipe for proper batch size  for post boil to be 3.25 gallons Lactose and sugar added at 30 minutes
Sucrose used instead of dextrose at 95% value?

Flavor Additions:
35 ml Sarsparilla Extract
1550 grams Table Sugar to sweeten

The ABV of the base beer did come to 10% which is what I was shooting for. after sampling several small pre-measured pours we arrived at the 35 ml of Sarsparilla extract (Rainbow Flavors) and the 1550 grams of sugar for the final 3 gallon batch, added to the keg. Force carbonated and being served at 30 psi.

Initially there was quite a bite to the taste that we really could not put our fingers on. After 3 weeks in the keg it tastes really good but still has a late something that we are having a hard time deciphering. I believe it is the extract as I am told that straight Sarsaparilla extract can do that. I shipped two bottles off to the pro brewer that helped me with the recipe and also a BJCP judge I know to sample. I am hoping for some critical feedback and some advice as to what I might want to alter for the next batch soon to be brewed again.

My initial thoughts on the second batch will be to go with Root Beer extract. I also plan on adding the same 1550 grams of sugar but as a simple syrup instead of just the sugar. It was difficult to dissolve that much sugar into cold beer:) I am also thinking that the hops will be completely eliminated from the recipe as its possible the hops are creating the taste and not complimenting the extract. I'm curious to hear what the pros have to say before I brew it again.

There you have it! If anyone gives this a whirl I would love to hear your thoughts or if you choose to do something else as well-Cheers!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Alcohol taste
« on: September 01, 2013, 06:13:19 AM »
Yup, fusel alcohol is a pretty good guess and it will probably mellow out if its not that bad but it will take a little time to condition out. Leave it alone for a few weeks and give another a try then.

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