We should push for the AHA to schedule one of the upcoming conferences for Boston, Providence or maybe Portland (Maine - the other Portland with a great beer scene) so you all have an excuse to head out way to
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Nothing brewing this weekend. Working Sat/Sun. Hoping to get some time in the garden with my son on Monday.
why is your son in the garden? is he not allowed in the house?
Have only done this with CaCl2 and gypsum. Haven't tried with Epsom.
Dark malts can be 100L different in color from on maltster to the next.
For a Baltic Porter I would go with German malt for base and some specialty, and English dark roast malts. I don't think you will get the same flavors from domestic base malts.
You might also consider some molasses in small quantities, or make your own invert III (recipes for boiling sugar to the right color are on the net).
+1 to avoiding sulfured molasses. And I agree that Blackstrap gets harsh pretty easily.
Not original. My pappy used to start his mead with a blowoff, and once the bubbles quit he'd put this huge necked balloon over the top of the carboy. Balloon would slowly fill and when it stopped and started sagging it was done.
That was about 1974...