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Old 01-30-2013, 04:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post
If you anticipate that you'll continue to do this hobby, please go ahead and get a hydrometer and sampling tube. That will give you proof that fermentation is finished and let you determine ABV.

The instructions that come with those sorts of kits are sometimes lacking.
Going to contradict this one. Sorry.

If you're doing Mr. Beer size batches, a refractometer is very close in price but will save you from wasting a sizable amount of beer (3-8 fl oz) each time you take a reading (and you need 3 consecutive readings to know to fermentation is definitely done).

They can be had for as little as $18 on eBay.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:56 PM   #12
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I thought refractometers didn't read properly once alcohol was present. Am I wrong?

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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I thought refractometers didn't read properly once alcohol was present. Am I wrong?
They do not, but if you know the OG, you can correct the reading for the alcohol present using a calculator.

This is by far the best one I've seen: http://seanterrill.com/2012/01/06/refractometer-calculator/
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by thadius856 View Post
Going to contradict this one. Sorry.

If you're doing Mr. Beer size batches, a refractometer is very close in price but will save you from wasting a sizable amount of beer (3-8 fl oz) each time you take a reading (and you need 3 consecutive readings to know to fermentation is definitely done).

They can be had for as little as $18 on eBay.

I probably should have been more specific. I don't do (nor advocate) the three consecutive hydro readings for Mr. Beer-size batches for the very reason you pointed out. I let those ride 18-21 days and then take one sample/reading (and tasting) before bottling to confirm that I've reached the expected FG and calculate ABV.

Funny, I have been shopping for a brix/gravity refractometer to use for quick readings during mashing/sparging. A very useful tool to be sure.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:00 AM   #15
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If you anticipate that you'll continue to do this hobby, please go ahead and get a hydrometer and sampling tube. That will give you proof that fermentation is finished and let you determine ABV.

The instructions that come with those sorts of kits are sometimes lacking.
Going to do it enough so I can create something close to a Deschutes Black Butte Porter as I can't get those here and so far nothing else has come close that I can get. Also want to be able to the same with Rogue Choco Stout which I can get here but only in the 22oz and that's a bit much for a 5 o'clock beer more than once a week (for me anywy). Now if I'm not working keep'em coming.

I've read, read, and read some more. Been digging all over the forums and the various sites making sure to clip to Evernote anything of value. Have a couiple of customers who are into this as well and I've had their lighter beers and they were pretty good, have one of their Stouts conditioning now, still 4 weeks to go he said. The objective of the first two batches is to just get the feet wet, what works, what doesn't. Austin Homebrew supply sent me some nice instructions and they sell a Black Butte clone so that's going to be the first real run where if it takes 3 months for it to sit in the closet in order to even come close to Black Butte it will be well worth it, might even put a chair by the door so I can talk to it daily while waiting.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #16
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You know you're really hooked on this hobby when you baby sit your fermenting beer to keep it company. But who am I to talk you wonder? My fermentation stand is right next to the comp hutch,so I can sniff & watch all I want. The good thing about it is that a fermenting beer doesn't care if it sees you with another beer. It doesn't care if you leave it alone at night,so long as you give it a coat or blanket to keep warm. It likes you to smell it's perfume. It likes you to test it to make sure it's healthy as well.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:27 AM   #17
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First round in the bottles. Went ahead and sampled before bottling just to make sure I wasn't wasting my time and it's ok, still sweet for my taste but my taste leans to porters so go figure ales and certainly lagers are sweet tasting to me. Have a feeling the wife will like it once it conditions for a bit. Objective of this attempt was to see what works, what doesn’t, where can I store it, where can I long term store it, do I have all the tools needed for cleaning, bottling, etc. Mission accomplished and I have something I can drink and probably like as much as I like anything I can buy around here other than Rogue.

Ingredients coming in tomorrow to try my shot at a Black Butte Clone. If I am even close I'll be a happy camper but waiting 2-3 months is going to drive me NUTS! Thankfully I will be in a state that they ship to for a few days within that waiting period so maybe I can hold out. I can see where for all the work you might as well go big or go home, 5 gallons min.

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:07 AM   #18
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Did you sample after you added the priming sugar?

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:30 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JBDive View Post
Going to do it enough so I can create something close to a Deschutes Black Butte Porter as I can't get those here and so far nothing else has come close that I can get. Also want to be able to the same with Rogue Choco Stout which I can get here but only in the 22oz and that's a bit much for a 5 o'clock beer more than once a week (for me anywy). Now if I'm not working keep'em coming.

I've read, read, and read some more. Been digging all over the forums and the various sites making sure to clip to Evernote anything of value. Have a couiple of customers who are into this as well and I've had their lighter beers and they were pretty good, have one of their Stouts conditioning now, still 4 weeks to go he said. The objective of the first two batches is to just get the feet wet, what works, what doesn't. Austin Homebrew supply sent me some nice instructions and they sell a Black Butte clone so that's going to be the first real run where if it takes 3 months for it to sit in the closet in order to even come close to Black Butte it will be well worth it, might even put a chair by the door so I can talk to it daily while waiting.
AHS may have a very good BBP clone recipe kit (although the total grain bill looks a little low to me), I don't have any experience with it, but you should also check out the recipe on this site: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f126/black-butte-porter-145879/. When I made it I changed the hops to CTZ, Cascade and Tettnang as those are the varieties Deschutes states on its website that it uses to make BBP. BBP is one of my very favorite beers and this recipe will get you very, very close to the original.

You also don't need to let this one sit for three months before enjoying it. My first batch I left in primary for 4 weeks and then kegged. Within a week it was perfect. You really feel like life is going pretty good when you have 5 gallons of BBP on tap! My latest batch was brewed about 2 1/2 weeks ago and I think I am going to bottle it after a month because I have a number of batches already kegged or fermenting right now and only have one empty keg left. Anyway, it won't hurt to let it age for a couple of months, but this one doesn't really need it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:37 AM   #20
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It's in the fermenter now. Went with Galena, Cascade and Tettering and might be a bit on the light side. Not sure how it's supposed to look and smell after cooled but seemed a bit dark and you could certainly smell the darker malts, made have just made a stout but that's ok as I was drinking a Rogue Stout as I was making my porter

Spent a lot of time looking over various attempts at matching it so we shall see in a month or so.

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