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Topics - theDarkSide

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Pimp My System / Build Your Own Temp Controller
« on: September 10, 2014, 06:46:37 PM »

The instructions on this say to wire black to 1, 5 & 6 but the diagram says 1,5 & 7.  You may want to fix that.

Perfect timing on this since I just bought one of these temp controllers a couple weeks ago.  Thanks!

Yeast and Fermentation / Temperature Control After a Week
« on: July 02, 2014, 08:24:34 PM »
With the horrendous winter (i.e. nearly zero brewing), and travel to Ireland and NHC, I have some homebrewing catchup to do.

I have a 5 cu ft chest freezer with a Ranco 2-stage controller to control my fermentation temperatures.  I want to get my lagers going soon but have a couple ales on the schedule first. 

Is it acceptable to control the temperature of an ale (around 1.070) for the first week then pull it and leave it in the basement that is typically around 65-70F during the summer?  After one week, I would expect most of the fermentation to be completed (at 67F) and it wouldn't be too much of a shock to leave uncontrolled.  I am mostly concerned about fermenting too high and ending up with fusel alcohol or off flavors.

I like letting my lagers take their time but I need to get these ales done first for an event coming up, so they can't be pushed off.

What do you think?  (besides get another chest freezer...believe me I have thought of that :) )

The Pub / Baseball 2014
« on: February 12, 2014, 01:29:20 PM »

The truck left Fenway last Saturday & pitchers and catchers report this Saturday!

Spring is coming!!!

Begin the 2014 MLB trash talk thread!!!

Does anyone remember who won the World Series last year?  Oh was

General Homebrew Discussion / Make My Beer Medicinal
« on: January 03, 2014, 04:06:57 PM »
That's right, you heard me.  :P

At my homebrew club meetings, I want to start doing some educational talks regarding off flavors.  This month I am doing a presentation on Phenols.  After looking at the BJCP Study Guide, it says to use Chloroseptic to produce the medicinal flavor.  Apparently I can only find the flavored versions around plain old chloroseptic.

The one I have is cherry flavored.  If I use that, will the medicinal characteristic come through or will it just taste like a cherry-cough syrup beer?

Any other ideas on how to get the medicinal flavor in a beer?  I plan on buying some Coors Light (first time in nearly 20 years) to doctor for the meeting.


Questions about the forum? / Links on AHA Page Broken
« on: December 26, 2013, 07:24:39 PM »
No problem with the forum but it seems like all the links from are broken.

I couldn't even use the "Contact Us" link because that is broken.  Tested from an unblocked internet connection and my iPhone...same result.

Anyone else having issues? 

Other Fermentables / Atomic Fireballs
« on: December 23, 2013, 04:45:17 PM »
I love these little candies and have had some great commerical and homebrew ciders/meads that highlighted the fireball taste.

I am planning on making a cider and then adding the atomic fireball candies (after stabilizing) to get that hot cinnamon flavor.  I'm curious if the fireballs add any sweetness to the cider, since it is stabilized and the sugar in them won't ferment out.  I don't want to backsweeten first in case they do then it becomes too sweet.

Has anyone tried this before?

I know Gordon Strong has a recipe online that has cinnamon oils, which I may use in the future, but I really want to try this route first.

I also have 5 gallons of wildflower mead fermenting right now that I may pull a gallon off of to run a test batch.

The Pub / Burlington woman charged with selling beer online
« on: December 04, 2013, 05:58:21 PM »
Thoughts on this?  Of course for these people to sell online, someone's has to be willing to pay the high price to buy it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Adding Super Kleer to Carbonated Keg
« on: November 20, 2013, 02:13:27 PM »
Can Super Kleer be used on a carbonated keg?  I have a Maibock that isn't clearing as well as I'd like after being in the keg for about 6 weeks and have a package of Super Kleer.

I did use gelatin when I kegged it and whirlfloc near the end of the boil.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Alchemist Closes Retail Shop
« on: November 07, 2013, 03:26:21 PM »

This story is starting to spread like wildfire across the national news outlets.  It's funny to see some of the comments and sad to see some of the a-holes posting comments regarding this decision.  Not only the people commenting about how the Alchemist doesn't care for their customers, but the others who say it's the out-of-staters to blame.  Without the "flatlanders", the VT economy would be in the dumps (I live in NH but lived the first 25 years of my life in VT and still have tons of family there).

Heady Topper is a fantastic beer.  Hopefully they will get a new retail spot up and running soon so I can go buy my case.  And with all the case that were sold at the brewery going to the retail outlets, maybe it will stay in the store longer than an hour.  I just hope the retailers don't jack up the price too much.

Other Fermentables / The Everything Hard Cider Book
« on: September 24, 2013, 06:21:45 PM »
Maybe Drew is forbidden for promoting his book since he is a member of the Governing Committee, but I'm surprised this hasn't been posted here.  This little beauty is on a plane/truck/bicycle/whatever on its way to me (delivery tomorrow).

Adding to the list of other books (Hops, Yeast, soon to be Water ) that I still need to finish reading.

Of course, if I don't win Cider Maker of the Year, I will be asking for a refund  ;D

The Pub / Craft Beer Crowdfunding
« on: August 28, 2013, 02:24:12 PM »
Any aspiring brewers out there looking for funding for their brewery?

(I'm a little biased...I also attended UVM...but back when there was only crappy beer  :-[)

The Pub / Beer Labels in Motion
« on: August 02, 2013, 05:37:23 PM »
I saw this on this morning...pretty cool stuff

A couple examples

Here's the article from

Kegging and Bottling / High Carbonation Bottling
« on: July 15, 2013, 07:06:14 PM »
Do you use standard 12 oz. bottles for high carb beers, like a Berliner Weisse, especially for competition?

I would like to bottle condition a BW, but I'm not sure how the bottles will handle the higher volumes of CO2.  I know the general consensus is nothing above 3 volumes in standard bottles.  So does that mean everyone sends higher CO2 beers in special bottles?

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