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  1. You need to buy named rhizomes (in Winter) or take cuttings of known varieties during active growth. If you buy random seeds off eBay you may well, horror of horrors, end up with a bloke hop, and even if you get a girl, you have no idea what alpha acid level or aroma you are looking at. Step away from the dodgy ebay listing! Dan
  2. I've never used the krausen collar - simply because it makes the FV too tall to fit in my fridge. I've not had any issues. The new FV has more head space than the old one anyway, and the fact the lid is not sealed seems to reduce the volcano potential a little. Mind you, if I do an RIS I may have a lot of cleaning up to do.
  3. Rae, the problem with boiling grain is not volume loss, it's tannin extraction. Do as Bill suggests and steep or you may end up looking like this: [sick]
  4. That should be a very tasty beer. Steep your crushed grains in hot water (70 deg or so), then boil the resultant liquid (after removing the grain), cool and add to your wort. US 05 should be a good yeast, or you could use Nottingham. EKG is a perfect hop for the style, you could dry hop at 1 - 2 g per litre or just chuck them in at the end of your boil when you take off the heat. With that much roast barley and choc malt (and an EB tin) it will be dark and tasty.
  5. Good luck Ben! If you haven't already, check out the FAQ's and instruction video here: How To Brew You'll notice reading the posts here that many people tweak the instructions, mainly in regard to temperature. If brewing with ale yeast (suggested for your first brews, and the lager that comes with the kit, confusingly, has an ale yeast) try to get your ferment temp around 20 degrees, lower than suggested in the instructions. Happy brewing!
  6. I've used it as a bittering hop, made a great beer. Perhaps people don't use it for bittering so much because they think it is a shame to waste that amazing aroma? [biggrin]
  7. If you really want to confuse yourself, here are some fun podcasts: Tinseth on hop utilisation Including:His thoughts on recent research that utilization may be independent of wort gravity Palmer and Jamil Including:recent scientific studies \u201c\u2026measured the amount of alpha (acids) going into solution and it does not depend on wort gravity.\u201d aye aye aye
  8. Hairy, It's only anecdotal stuff, but some people have said the bitterness achieved boiling in plain water is harsh or unpleasant and negates the benefit of higher hop utilisation- I have no actual evidence to back that up. To add to the confusion, some brewing gurus believe we have it all wrong, and that it is not the high gravity of the wort that reduces hop utilisation, but the 'hot break' which takes out hop compounds with it (they correlate though as high gravity brews have more hot break). This of course largely relates to all grain brews, and suggest that hop utilization using kits / extract should vary much less with gravity as the hot break is not such an issue. I think the safe thing in all of this is that if you are steeping (ie not isomerising the alpha acids, just flavour/aroma) water is fine. As is wort! Ouch
  9. I really need to get some hop plants - as a keen gardener and home brewer I'm getting very envious seeing Yob's crop..!
  10. OK, I see what you mean. Yes, a lot of brewers leave the beer for a few days to a week or so after FG is reached to let everything settle and the yeast to munch whatever else it can. This can be done at the ferment temp or raised a degree or two. I can see if you are using iceblocks that would be painful! Even doing that my beer at bottling is never perfectly clear - that happens with secondary fermentation, storage, and refrigeration. I grew up drinking Coopers Ale, so perfectly clear beer has always meant West End to me [sick] If you have to work so hard for temp control, it might be best to not have such a long wait after FG is reached.
  11. I don't understand why you would do a D-rest for an ale, and why you would do a D-rest with any beer if you haven't noticed any diacetyl? I sometimes bring my ales up from 18 to 20 odd possibly to make sure fermentation is done, but mainly for superstitious reasons. I can't see any benefit from going as high as 26 deg after fermentation has finished.
  12. I did this: OS lager, 500g LDM, 100 g crystal grain, 100g choc grain (steeped), 250 g dex, 12.5 g Hallertau hops boiled 10 mins, W34/70 yeast. Was very nice. EDIT - Muddy beat me to my own recipe (which I stole from the interweb somewhere anyway!) I also did a toucan with a mex cerveza with stacks of Motueka dry hopped. That was OK, but not great.
  13. Paul, the search box is at the bottom right corner of the screen. Much maligned, but it does work (a bit).
  14. You should keep in touch with your bottle shop guy - Sierra Nevada (and their Pale Ale) was one of the pioneers of the resurgence of craft brewing in the USA and probably influenced a lot of the brewers that have pushed the boundaries with hop use. But as you've found, a pale ale (Coopers) that has no aroma hops, but gets most of its character from the yeast, is also a cracker of a beer. Isn't beer great?
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