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Old 08-23-2009, 02:25 AM   #21
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Took my first sample today after one week in the primary. SG is down to 1.024 from 1.068 and it tastes AWESOME.

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Old 08-25-2009, 01:02 AM   #22
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Took my first sample today after one week in the primary. SG is down to 1.024 from 1.068 and it tastes AWESOME.

Sweet. When you're getting ready to rack, you can judge if you like the taste as is or if you want to go ahead with the vanilla bean. I found the bitterness from the chocolate to be just a little bit too harsh and the vanilla smoothed it out. Totally up to you and your tastebuds on that one.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:16 AM   #23
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Sounds good. I'll keep you updated on the progress.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:09 AM   #24
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Well, I took another sample today (after about 2 weeks in primary) and the gravity is still at 1.024, the same as a week ago. I'm not terribly worried about it because it still tastes and smells great, but I'm just not sure why fermentation has come to a halt before it reached FG. Did you experience anything like this? Thoughts on what the cause might be? Thanks.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:16 AM   #25
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Some extracts ferment out more than others. I'd try agitating it a touch to resuspend a bit of the yeast, maybe raise the temp a degree or two and see if that brings it down. If it's the same in a week, then it might just be as far as it'll go.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:19 AM   #26
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Alright thanks I'll give that a try.

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:21 AM   #27
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I just put this in the secondary on Sunday... FYI I did not notice very much activity in the airlock after 2 weeks... I did not put the vanilla bean... mostly because I forgot... I'm going to bottle this weekend... Few more weeks and we'll see how it tastes cold and carbed.

Cheers!

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Old 09-02-2009, 02:07 AM   #28
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I just put this in the secondary on Sunday... FYI I did not notice very much activity in the airlock after 2 weeks... I did not put the vanilla bean... mostly because I forgot... I'm going to bottle this weekend... Few more weeks and we'll see how it tastes cold and carbed.

Cheers!
Yeah, most of the fermentation is done after a week or so, but the extra time gives the cocoa powder and other crap in suspension extra time to settle out and gives the yeast a chance to clean up byproducts that could throw the flavor off.

It might be a little harsher bitterness without the vanilla bean. But then it might not. I haven't tried it without, so you might end up liking it better without. Let me know how it is next month!
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:14 AM   #29
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MTL built...ingredients should arrive today and this bad boy is being brewed this weeked!! I've been looking forward to making this for weeks..totally stoked!

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Old 09-03-2009, 02:03 AM   #30
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I'm going to try this one, probably next weekend. I ordered all the grains, hops and extract today. I swapped out the Fuggles for Willamette, and I think I'm going to use WLP001 California Ale yeast instead of the S-04 (make it american, basically, plus the calculators I plugged it into said the California Ale will get it a couple points lower than the S-04 or 05). This is going to be my second brew ever, and I think it's going to make a good winter warmer!

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