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  1. Here's an update. First taste today - just a tad early and will develop a little more carbonation, but I did go for 2.0 V-CO2 ( quite soft) It is delicious. The cocoa is not obvious, but it is malty, complex, hints of Cascade break through the toasted malt, coffee, chocolate flavours. Very drinkable. Amber malt would have made it richer but I'm very pleased with this. Thanks for the guidance, Aussie. Cheers
  2. Here's an update. Put the brew on this afternoon and it looks very interesting. Decided to hold on the cocoa until I went to get the cans and found that it was light malt extract not amber. So to enrich the brew a little I went with 3 generous tablespoons of Dutch cocoa powder in the boil. I also used flowers not pellets so upped the weight to 30 grams ( I grew the hops this season.) Because I didn't have enough water ready, I made the wort up and I'm waiting for it to cool to 21 degrees before pitching. Smells pretty nice and I'll taste it when I take SG just before pitching. Cheers
  3. Thanks again. I'll think on the use of cocoa powder - do a bit of reading and see what I think. Your recipe sounds pretty flavoursome as is.
  4. Thanks AussieKraut. Sounds a nice balance and quite a lot of dark richness there. How long would you steep the grain and would you let the temperature drop just a bit before steeping? What do you think about adding some cocoa powder? Cheers Rob
  5. I'm wanting to make a dark porter style ale. I made the Bilby Chocolate ROTM a while back and loved it. Looking for something similar BUT wanting to use what I have in stock. I would love some suggestions. Here's what I've got: Dark Ale kit Family Secret Amber Ale kit Bootmaker Pale Ale kit Dark Malt extract can Amber Malt extract can 300gm Chocolate malt grain Plenty of LDME, Dextrose, Maltodextrin brown sugar and golden syrup Saf US-O5: US-04 and W-34/70 yeast plus plenty of still viable kit yeast as above and Real Ale and Pale Ale Hops include: Cascade, Citra, Centenial, Galaxy, Mosaic, Nelson Sauv. You can probably guess that some of these items are getting a bit long in the tooth; still well within 'date'. But I'd like to use some rather than but new stuff. Many thanks in advance. I'll post updates on progress of the recipe I follow.
  6. Brew tasting Tried the brew last night - 9 days in the bottle - and it tasted great. Crisp, quite dry a whack of hops - tropical and stone fruit and citrus with a hint of resin. Had a little mouth pucker dryness to the finish and I hope that mellows a bit. The bitterness sits in the flavours better now with gas bringing out the hops. Still a little under gassed and I expect that to increase a tad over the next few days. I'll see how the hops settle, but definitely worth another brew, maybe with some tweaks to hop quantity and timing. Thanks for all the guidance on this. It's worked out well.
  7. I'll check that recipe out too. Sounds good.
  8. Thanks. I've had a look and will contact them re shipping. Still got my eye out for an alternative. Maybe stating with the Ruby Porter. Or even the Coopers original Dark Ale using the yeast, hops, wheat grain and process of the Bilby (inc two sachets of the 'Smooth' malt extract.
  9. I've made this as a craft brew a a couple of times and really like it. It uses "Winter Dark Ale" craft series extract. I was looking to buy a couple in ready for a brew in February, but it is no longer listed in on the craft brew extracts page. Very disappointed! So does anyone know if this permanent or maybe it's a seasonal thing and will be available later. Alternatively, looking for a similar or equivalent recipe. I am happy to make a 20 -23l brew.
  10. Why would you? And what would be the point anyway - she'd win. I could build a bar in the shed, but it is a really a work shed - steel frame sheet cal walls and roof, concrete floor. Can't see converting it to a cave really. Not sure what the response would be if I suggested it. Certainly would imply a significant change in the flow of our relationship and life together ( or would it be separately) Don't think I'm going that path. But we'll see. There may be a way to get a tap somewhere.
  11. Your hop experience is what I anticipate for mine. Bit surprised by your bitterness though. Generally bitterness softens a bit in many of my brews. I don't think it lessens but just seems to become softer and sits in the taste profile more comfortably. Tasting it from the SG sample it was very forward and aggressive in the profile. Having said that, it is not overly bitter, just more so than I expected.
  12. Just taken an SG sample of the brew and it came in at 1.009. Looks like it'll be CC tomorrow when I confirm that it's finished. Probably bottle Tuesday. Taste - very nice: hops very forward fruity and resinous and I expect and hope they recede a little during conditioning. Quite light malt and moving towards a dry brew, so hits the mark for a session ale. Perhaps a little bland, lacking malt and or yeast depth. Again wait to see what it's like conditioned and cold. Quite bitter ATM; much more so than I expected from the Aus Pale Ale can and no boiled hopping, just a steep. Hope that'll settle down a bit too. I'll try to remember to post an update in a couple of weeks.
  13. Thanks Otto. Been doing bottles (330,375 and 500ml) for a while now and do know what you mean about cleaning. Filling doesn't bother me as much. In fact I think you helped me when I started getting a haze left on my bottles even after careful cleaning and that they needed a soak in Sodium Percarbonate. The barrier for me is more kegging and a tap doesn't sit with my wife's interior design And despite that, I still may work towards kegs - I do like the idea but would want a 2-3 keg system to provide the variety I like to have available. A discussion to be had in the future
  14. Ooohhh, Marty of the big number. They say the road to hell starts wide and smooth and is very inviting, but as you go deeper it gets harder, rougher and narrower with lots of obstacles. Sounds just like the start to kegging.
  15. After reading about CC dropping and settling yeast and trub, I'll go that way without secondary FV. But there is one gain in using one - clear beer immediately. But I won't miss the extra work and risk of infection. You kegging guys - I like the bottles and even enjoy the bottling most times, but it is work. Not sure I'll ever go kegging though. But I must look into it furthter.
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