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Old 01-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by NordeastBrewer77 View Post
don't worry about the low OG, if you added enough water. it's an extract brew and unless you messed up on the water, you hit the OG. sometimes not mixing the top up water can cause low readings, don't sweat it, fermentation will mix it all up for you.
Agreed. I had hydrometer reading issues early on for that exact reason. Everything always turned out fine.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #22
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Racked to secondary this afternoon. The SG was at 1.025 and the colour is a nice dark brown. I figure another two weeks or so before bottling, and then sometime in Late February/early March taking the first taste!

(I got some of the sediment when racking, but figure that the time in the secondary will let it settle. I probably left half a litre behind in the primary as I was getting a lot more of the sediment at the end.)

I drank the sample from the hydrometre. It's still a bit sweet, but some of the chocolate flavour is coming out. Hopefully it'll mix well with the cranberries.

I ended up doubling the cocoa during the brew and added about 750g of frozen-then-steamed cranberries.

And now the hard part: deciding what to put in the primary. I'm thinking either an Irish Red or an IPA. Picked up a recipe book last week, so I think I'll pick something from there..

s-b-imperial-chocolate-cranberry-stout-secondary.jpg  
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #23
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Do a clone recipe of a commercial beer you like. That way, you work on process control and get to compare your result to the craft beer. For IPA's, hbt has recipes for things like Sierra Nevada Celebration, Victory Hop Devil, Doghead 60, ...

I know I was doing "better" when I started to prefer my batches to stuff I bought in bottles.

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Old 01-22-2012, 12:58 PM   #24
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Do a clone recipe of a commercial beer you like. That way, you work on process control and get to compare your result to the craft beer. For IPA's, hbt has recipes for things like Sierra Nevada Celebration, Victory Hop Devil, Doghead 60, ...
Between having trouble finding the right hops for an IPA and some research last night at the pub, I decided on a Fullers clone. I think the next few will also be clones as well. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #25
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I know this is a bit like reviving a zombie thread, but after life intervened for a few weeks I've finally managed to bottle the stout. It's sitting at 6.5 ABV and the hydrometre sample was quite delicious. I got 18 1L bottles and 1 750mL bottle out of the batch. I look forward to trying it in early March once it's had a chance to carbonate!

The ESB is also quite good, though I didn't have enough bottles for it so I transformed it to the glass carboy after I washed and sanitized it. Now time to plan the next batch

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Old 06-25-2012, 02:23 PM   #26
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4 months later this beer is getting really good. The cranberry flavours didn't come out as much as I'd hoped, but there is a nice dark chocolate character. Also, after the initial drinks had some harsh coffee overtones, these have mellowed out making for a nice drink. Since then I've made a nice bitter (an English friend gave it a glowing "Looks like bitter, smells like bitter, tastes like bitter" pass) and a scorching jalapeno pale (hopefully it'll mellow in a month or two). Next up: brewing a red for Canada day!

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