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Old 02-25-2009, 06:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Pelikan View Post
23 out of 25 = 92%
Is this your own review of your own beer?
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:43 PM   #22
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Yes. I tried to be as objective as possible, and also take into account the feedback of the ten or so other people that I've given it to at this point. As mentioned in the introduction, I spent a lot of time researching and putting this together. It's not a loose amalgamation.

Ultimately, when people see a recipe, they want some tangible way of putting it in perspective, something more than a few sparse tasting notes. That's what I was going for with the rating. I suppose you can hash that any way you'd like, but I wouldn't waste someone's time with mediocrity.

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Old 02-27-2009, 05:23 AM   #23
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Ok, maybe a bit premature, but a second opinion is finally here after 2wks and 5days in the bottle. Please forgive the plagiarism, my descriptive skills are severely limited ...

I used White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Ale yeast, vanilla beans from Cost Plus (2 beans for $2.99; extract sat for 5wks), and went with the 2oz of cocoa powder for the chocolate essence. Used Smirnoff vodka.

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Appearance: Ditto on Pelikan's description, except for amount of head, though this has been the best head I have gotten out of the 3 brews I have under my belt.
4.5 out of 5

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Smell: Ditto again.
4.5 out of 5

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Taste: My 1wk and 2wk tastings match Pelikan's experience well. However, today's tasting revealed a more roasty flavor that puts it ahead of the raspberry and chocolate flavors, which were much more pronounced early on. I personally prefer the sweetness over roastiness, but it's a subtle enough difference that you'll get no complaints from me.
4.5 of 5

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Mouth-feel: Heavy enough for a stout, but not even close to syrupy. A little chalkiness from the cocoa powder toward the bottom of the glass in my early tastings, which I got none of today. Carbonation was great using 4oz dextrose.
4 of 5

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Drinkability: Despite it's higher ABV, I could drink this stuff all night. Several friends of mine agree that it doesn't taste as strong as it really is. It's not so sweet that you lose sight of it being beer, and is not so beer-like that it puts off non-beer drinkers. Hell, my mother-in-law digs it!
5 of 5

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Overall: Props to Pelikan for hitting the nail on the head with this recipe. Noobs will be amazed at what they can pull off ... this is only my 3rd brew (I don't count Apfelwein). I'll keep my eyes peeled for the AG version once I can pull off an AG setup.

This beer was all that I hoped for, making the higher price tag well worth it. Everyone I have shared this beer with over the last week has stated that they'd look hard for it in a store if it was available for purchase. When I get my kegging gear, I'll have a corny dedicated full-time to this recipe.

I'd also like to nominate this one for the title of SWMBO Slayer. =D

22.5 out of 25 = 90%

I actually would have given more 5's, but I'm of the school of thought that there's always room for improvement. And if I can't do it, I'll go back and bump up my score.

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Old 03-01-2009, 01:04 AM   #24
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Just curious, how much and which type of priming sugar did you use for bottling?

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Old 03-01-2009, 03:43 AM   #25
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Just curious, how much and which type of priming sugar did you use for bottling?
4.5 oz corn sugar/dextrose.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:52 PM   #26
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Pelikan, I brewed this up two weeks ago and just added the puree this morning. My original brewday had a little cluster involved where my OG wound up being 1.72 (I'll provide the ugly, and stupid, details if you care). A week ago I stirred up the yeast to push fermentation along so I wouldn't be too high. That said, my pre-puree gravity was 1.24.

Do you think I am in for an ugly tasting batch presuming I follow the rest of the steps to the letter? I just don't have a good feel for what the higher FG will do to the flavor.

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Old 03-01-2009, 08:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by GLWIII View Post
Pelikan, I brewed this up two weeks ago and just added the puree this morning. My original brewday had a little cluster involved where my OG wound up being 1.72 (I'll provide the ugly, and stupid, details if you care). A week ago I stirred up the yeast to push fermentation along so I wouldn't be too high. That said, my pre-puree gravity was 1.24.

Do you think I am in for an ugly tasting batch presuming I follow the rest of the steps to the letter? I just don't have a good feel for what the higher FG will do to the flavor.
You should be just fine. A higher/slightly sweeter FG will probably not be a bad thing in a brew of this nature. No need to stir or anything like that -- it'll just introduce vectors for contamination/oxygenation and little else. Really, 1.072 isn't a huge leap over the normal SG (1.066 theoretical after I corrected for my own little goof)...in that case I would have recommended going with a higher attenuating yeast like 1335 British Ale II (Wyeast), but I don't think it's too late...

...one option you could investigate -- although I don't know how well this would work out -- is to repitch with a higher attenuating yeast, such as 1335, to bring the FG down. Maybe rack onto a smack-pack's worth of 1335 when transferring to the secondary. Leave it in there for a full 2-3 weeks. I've heard of multiple strains being used before, although never in circumstances such as this; def. "at your own risk" type of stuff.

Bear in mind, too, that the lactose/raspberry/vodka, etc, complicate the OG/FG, which is why I recommended an avoidance of specific grav fixations. If one follows the recipe to the letter and has everything in line, there really is no pressing need for specific gravity measurements in an extract brew -- my opinion, of course, which I'm sure many folks would be eager to debate. An undue focus upon SG, in my experience, always leads to unfavorable scenarios (ie: stirring the brewing beer, etc).
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:57 PM   #28
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Any pictures of the final product? My mouth is watering reading this one.

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Old 03-30-2009, 10:28 PM   #29
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Unfortunately, no. I was going to take some shots, but didn't feel the need. Just grab any premium, carbonated stout -- Sierra Nevada Stout, Young's Double Chocolate in the bottle, etc etc -- pour it, and that's what the DC Raspberry will look like. (Being serious, not snarky.) It's absolutely worth the time to brew, especially if you're an extract brewer.

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Old 10-05-2009, 05:55 AM   #30
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I brewed this today as my New Year's brew. Tried to copy the recipe as closely as possible, but made a few changes.

Extract (no change):
3lb Light DME - 60min
2lb Light DME - 15min
2lb Belgian D2 Syrup

Grains:
8oz Chocolate
8oz Roasted Barley
8oz Carafoam - Substitute for Flaked Oats as I don't think those are suitable for steeping based on what I've read in this forum and elsewhere

Hops (used more due to low Alpha):
2oz Williamette 4.6% - 60min
1oz Williamette 4.6% - 15min

Used a different yeast nutrient from LHBS. Added 5 minutes to boil length after struggling to regain boil after extensive 15/10 minute additions. Otherwise, everything was exactly as specified in the recipe. Also, I started my vanilla extract today.

I'll report back in late December with the results. The D2 syrup seems a bit out of place here, but with cocoa, raspberry, and vanilla, what's a bit more sweet goodness?

OP - Why the recommendation for a tight sealing container for the cocoa mixture? Wouldn't a glass covered with foil or similar work?

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Last edited by Bonneville; 10-05-2009 at 09:35 PM. Reason: typos
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