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Messages - micah h

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61
The Pub / Cats are not Hop Heads.
« on: March 24, 2013, 12:33:15 PM »
Random thing I found out brewing last night, my cat's hat hops.

Decided after a couple home brews to see what my pets thought of hop pellets. One sniff of a pellet and they would turn and run. I thought it was awfully funny.

Does anyone else know any random facts about pets and brewing?

62
It seems ok on carbonation. There is almost no head when pouring, and the little head there is disappears quickly. The whole beer just seems to have no flavor to it. I'm hoping its just that first bottle I opened not the whole batch. I'll open another tonight and see.

This sounds like it is undercarbonated.  Give it time.

If all your bottles have been put in the fridge, take them out, let them get back to room temp and give them a swirl. Than let them sit for a week to get more carbonation.

Or at least that's the advice the guy at my homebrew shop gave me. It may be wrong, i've never had to try it.

63
Ingredients / Re: Chocolate in a porter?
« on: March 22, 2013, 12:18:47 AM »
Well the Colombian white is off. Called both the homebrew stores in town and neither carries coca powder, So it will need to be the original chocolate porter using cocOa powder. Who would have thought spelling could turn a legal hobby into a fellony :o

64
Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 21, 2013, 02:03:29 AM »
I used epazote and mahlapi in a beer recipe that I took from "Extreme Brewing".  Turkey Drool was the name of the beer IIRC.  The epazote came through very heavily, but the mahlapi (crushed cherry pits) didn't have a very big impact from what I could tell. 

I won't be making that one again, it was not a very sessionable beer.  My friends all seemed to enjoy it, but the epazote was not to my liking.
Friends always enjoy homebrew. I have a hard time getting an honest answer out of my friends.

One time I used a mystery strain of wild yeast in a batch, and half of my friends loved it, and the other half are "blank" light fans, that enjoy a crisp flavorless beer. No offense.

Now I brew to my taste and still get told it's great. But I like it with them.

65
Ingredients / Re: Chocolate in a porter?
« on: March 21, 2013, 01:04:44 AM »
Chocolate would not be an appropriate substitute for corn sugar in this recipe. However, if you want to add chocolate flavor to it I have had excellent results using this coca powder (http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/spices/cocoablk.html) at the end of the boil followed by using cocoa nibs from the same company in the secondary.
That coca powder looks delicious! Brings out the confectioner in me. I will order some for my next experiment of this recipe, and a bit more to coat some truffles. And I'm going to take my second carboy out of my failed lagering fridge, to use as a secondary fermentor. Not throwing out the mini fridge, I can get that working.

66
Ingredients / Re: Chocolate in a porter?
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:55:20 PM »
Good thinking flavor-wise! You just need the right kind of chocolate.

Any type of fat/oil/soap that gets in your beer, especially in the fermenter/bottle, will kill the head. The suggestions for cocoa nibs, cocoa powder and bakers chocolate have little to no fat or oil content. Adding it at the end of the boil further reduces the risk of it carrying over.

If you want to replace the sugar (which doesn't bring much to the beer besides higher ABV), you can just substitute more DME. Or you could just leave it out!

Yeah, I have since realized, from every ones input, that substituting chocolate for corn sugar isn't a good idea. But I do enjoy the 8+ PABV, so i will leave the recipe the same, but add backers chocolate at the end of the boil. Just not sure how much to use in a five gallon batch.

67
Ingredients / Re: Chocolate in a porter?
« on: March 18, 2013, 02:38:35 PM »
Thank you all. I will try both Nibs and backing chocolate at some point to see what I think.

68
If Lagunitas is available their Maximums IPA is awesome. Very bitter the first few drinks then its just hop heaven.

69
Ingredients / Chocolate in a porter?
« on: March 17, 2013, 01:51:58 PM »
I want to substitute chocolate for some or all of the corn sugar in my porter. Any suggestions on the amount of chocolate and the kind of chocolate I should use?

1lb black malt
1lb crystal malt
6lbs Dark DME
1lb corn sugar
2oz galena Hop pellets 13.2% Bittering
2oz Belma Hop pelets 11.3% Flavoring
1 Tsp Gypsum and Irish moss
American Ale Wyeast.

Any feed back would be great.

70
Ingredients / Re: What's the strangest ingredient you've ever used?
« on: March 15, 2013, 03:54:31 PM »
Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in a spiced beer.

71
Ingredients / Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« on: February 28, 2013, 04:31:35 AM »
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.

Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!

My tap water tastes pretty bad.  I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal.  I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense.

Try to find a water machine in a supermarket or something. I buy 15 gallons of water in 3 5 gallon jugs for each 10 gallon batch and it's about $0.34 per gallon so really I am adding less than the cost of a yeast package to my brew and I can know more or less exactly what my water profile is because anything in there was added by me. Cheaper than a pH meter and a TDS meter for a quite a while anyway.


I have an artisan well that pumps spring water out of a pipe in my home town. It's free and I trust artisan as a water source. But I do add a Tsp of Gypsum to my water before it boils.

Would distilled water be better?

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