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BlackSands last won the day on May 28

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  1. I've been doing 14ºC dry hops for a while now. Can't say I'm really aware of any notable difference though. As I often say whenever something like this comes up, it would probably take close A/B scrutiny to reliably identify and confirm any of the suggested benefits. I suspect this is another example where, for the homebrewer at least, at a practical level theory and real-world experience part company!
  2. Perhaps it was the Scott Janis article? http://scottjanish.com/a-case-for-short-and-cool-dry-hopping/
  3. It's a cold grey Winter's evening and I'm giving this under-carb'd English bitter another try, this time after a few days in the hot water closet. It's helped quite a bit and the carb level is now much better than it was but I still feel it has a way to go yet. 5 weeks so far!
  4. I very rarely drink commercial craft beer, and pretty much never drink 'megaswill'. I'm just not prepared to part with the cash when I know how little it costs to make beer. And besides that I have no social life anyway so the situation never arises! However, having said that on those very few rare occasions when I have 'treated' myself it's always been a pleasant reminder of how great homebrew beer can be these days, which in turn only goes to further discourage me from paying for commercial offerings!
  5. It's a little unclear to me what it is you're actually trying to achieve? If you want to make as you say a 'copy' then that would require a can of light malt extract PLUS whatever steeped dark grains to achieve a similar result. That would actually cost you more than just a can of dark malt extract on it's own. Specifically, to 'copy' a Black Rock Dark which retails at around $16.90 in NZ you'd need a can of Black Rock Light, also costing $16.90 PLUS a dollar or two for suitable dark specialty grains for steeping. If however you want to 'copy' the Dark extract using 100% grain then that's certainly going to be cheaper, less than half the cost of a BR can, and as Otto has mentioned above you'd need to do a partial-mash with whats seems to be a 94% base malt plus your dark specialty malts as itemised by Aussikraut above, perhaps 2kg grain in total.
  6. This might provide some useful info: https://byo.com/article/the-perfect-crush/
  7. I live in a stupid 1980's open-plan idiotic "architecturally" designed icebox with very large odd-shaped single-glazed picture windows... with no curtains. The high angled ceiling is probably 6 - 7 meters high at its peak. It would take a furnace to heat this place. Trying to heat it with conventional domestic heaters is just a waste of power...and that aint cheap either. Meanwhile, In Summer it would be quite good as a greenhouse. I should grow some hops indoors!
  8. It does affect carbonation time, but if carbonation temperature is warm enough for the yeast in question then it will still carbonate to the usual levels - just takes a bit longer but generally only by a few days as AK has suggested. I however am having real trouble with carbonation on a couple of recent brews... VERY low amount of yeast in the bottles after CC, combined with overnight temps here that are now quite low - it's looking like carb time for these brews, that are currently sitting in my garage is up around 6 weeks! I would bring them into the house but indoors it's only a degree or two warmer so I see very little point in bothering! Been there done that with the bad back thing too. Ugh!
  9. Look into portable induction cookers - a MUCH better option for this situation IMO. I bought one for $45. I boil around 12 - 15 litres of wort on one of these. Though I've never actually timed it I think as an estimate It get's up from mash temp to boil in around 10 - 15 minutes.
  10. 1kg grain in a 10 litre batch, for an average strength beer, and depending on the amount of base grain vs specialty malts used, is probably going to be around 50%-60% of the total fermentables. That's around the kind of grain/extract ratio I often used in the past, so yes - definitely should make a difference. And I would say in the case of the Hefe probably more so as there will little specialty malts used. In fact you could probably just use wheat malt in the mash with perhaps a small amount of acidulated malt to help with pH.
  11. I'd mash as much grain as you possibly can i.e. whatever the upper capacity of your gear allows. While you'll still benefit from using grain in a smaller mash, i.e. you'll have greater control over your recipe design (and colour control) compared to steeped grains and extract etc, if you want more of the fresh, clean grain influence in the beer then I think aiming for a higher grain/extract ratio is the thing to aim for. I don't know where the sweet spot is but it seems, from my experience anyway, this probably varies depending on the beer style itself. i.e. I'm not sure you'd notice much difference between a full extract stout compared to a partial mash one. I used to routinely do 50/50 - 60/40 partial-mash brews and as mentioned above I generally thought these were on a par with AG. I now believe for lighter styles this might not be entirely true - so, for them the more grain the better and I now aim for a grain/extract ratio of 75/25 - 85/15 and occasionally 100% grain.
  12. Theakstons "Old Peculier" is one of the most popular beers brewed in the UK. One of it's 'secret' ingredients is molasses. I brewed a beer inspired by "Old Peculier" some months ago based on the best info I could obtain about the beer at the time. I used 500g of molasses in my recipe. You can certainly taste it! I actually thought it was one of the nicest darker beers I'd ever brewed - initially, but must admit some months later and somewhat ironically now that it's aged I'm a little less enthused about it. It's still good to drink and I'll get through the rest of the batch this winter. It doesn't exhibit anything that'd I'd describe as metallic or iron though. It might be that not all mollasses is created equal and with that thought in mind - I found this info which may be relevant:
  13. Cool - and congrats! I think partial-mash is a great "best of both worlds" approach to homebrewing. It allows the brewer to keep things at a stove top level while offering all the advantages associated with AG brewing. I typically use 2.5 - 3.0kg grain and routinely achieve 65% efficiency with my partials and AG (all done at a stove top level), though it has been as low as 55% and on a really good day over 80%! And that's with a 60 minute mash. I can't readily account for such wide variations in efficiency. To make things easier to manage I mash in a grain bag and put my mash/boil pot in a pre-warmed oven to help hold the temperature for the duration. I use a very large sieve which I simply slip under the bag once it's raised up out of the wort. It sits nicely in the 20 litre stock pot I'm using allowing the wort to drain out. I also sparge which is easily done by simply pouring hot water over the bag. My boil times are between 30-45 minutes usually - depending on hop additions. I have boiled as short as 15-minutes in true "short & shoddy" style and that beer appeared to be as good as any I've made. When I first ventured into PM brewing I replicated an extract beer I'd just brewed (an amber ale) and did an informal A/B comparison of the two. Initially I didn't really notice much but after a bit of A/B'ing back and forth it soon became apparent that the partial had a cleaner and fresher aspect to it - common descriptions you'll pretty much always read when someone talks about AG vs extract beers! Later I did my first full AG using this method, but a half-batch size and again did an A/B comparison - partial mash vs AG. This time I really couldn't pick an obvious difference in terms of "clean and fresh". It seems that once you get the grain vs extract ratio to a certain level the difference becomes negligible. While I used to regularly use the OS lager can as a base for a partial mash beer more often these days I'm actually brewing lower gravity AG beers (3.5 - 4% -ish) using this same method, 20litre batches with 3.5kg grain, which is pretty much the upper limit for my pot. Sometimes I need a small .5kg LME top-up but that's usually less than 15% of the fermentables. And, somewhat contrary to what I said above re: A/B PM vs AG I've been thinking lately that for lighter styles these AG beers might actually have a slight edge over partial mash versions. But regardless, AG is cheaper so that alone makes it worthwhile for me. But when I want a higher OG brew I'll happily go back to using an OS lager can as a PM base.
  14. Yes... mostly nitrogen, with some CO2. Used for pouring those nice creamy Guinness-like heads.
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