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    IPA questions

    I too love IPAs, but am a little weary of Cascades. I do love Simcoes, Chinooks, Centennials, and Amarillos though. I'd start with a high AA hop as your bittering (60 min), and then have the bulk of the rest of your additions be within the last 15 minutes of the boil. This will let them really...
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    Fermentation Crawling to a start

    Should be fine. I usually see a yeast cake form very quickly-then within 12 hours I'll have tiny bubbles at the top, bubbling up from the cake...within 24 hours, it's usually a swirling carboy of chaos as the yeast take off from the bottom. But it seems like any action within the 1st day is a...
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    Forty Bucks for five gallons of ingredients?

    Bulk DME or all grain will help a lot. Also-4 oz. of hops is responsible for a lot of it.
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    Is 2 weeks fermentation enough for a light ale?

    For a lower OG beer like that-2 weeks of fermentation followed by a week or so in the keg should be good. (when in doubt-be patient) A wine thief works wonders , but you always want to sanitize anything you put into the beer. Liquid yeasts are great, but they are more expensive, and it's...
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    High fermentation temperatures!

    Apparently Coopers yeast can ferment very high without any off-flavors.
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    Bad Batch After Bad Batch After Bad Batch!!!

    Not really sure, but along the lines of what's been mentioned: -Skip the secondary -Get new tubing -Pitch a starter (I personally haven't had any off-flavors since I've been making starters)
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    Golden Ale

    That looks like a solid brew to me. It's my understanding that 'Golden Ale' can refer to a pretty wide variety of beers (it's not an 'official' style). This one looks tasty for the upcoming warm weather. As an aside, I'd suggest waiting at least 3 weeks in the bottle before really getting...
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    Listermann Kits

    I've done a few, and yes-they are good. Those guys have been around a while and seem to have a good nack for recipe formulation.
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    DME in bulk

    Last year, I bought 55# of DME and I think it ended up being ~$150-165 shipping included. Still better than buying smaller quantities. As far as storage goes, it came in 2 big plastic bags (one inside another), that was inside a bigger box. It wasn't too bad to keep dry-it just makes measuring...
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    Suggestions for a quick beer while i wait for my big belgian.

    I recently did an ordinary bitter with dry yeast. About 2 weeks in the primary-another 2 weeks in the bottle and it was good to go. Just make sure it's fairly low ABV
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    Substite LME for grains in AG recipe?

    It seems that as a rule-just go with the lightest DME possible. Even for darker beers, you can extract the right color/taste from steeping specialty grains-so there's no need to use darker extract. You can always make it darker, but you can't make it lighter...this holds especially true if you...
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    Harsh aftertaste?

    I've found that lots of the time it tastes worse after 1-2 weeks in the bottle than it does right out of the bottling bucket (flat). Seems like it takes another couple of weeks for the yeast to finish carbing it up, and soaking up all the bi-products-then the intended flavors really come through...
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    no head

    I had a recent batch that needed over 6 weeks to get fully carbed. It was a higher gravity brew, but still-it seems that time is the main ingredient.
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    Brew trouble today, Gravity not high enough

    This issue of not really being able to mix the concentrated wort with the extra water is the reason I (shudder) don't even take OG readings anymore. I always know that it's going to be low because the heavier stuff sinks to the bottom. In terms of the temp, it always takes longer than you...
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    When the fermentation is just starting to get going, the initial bubbles that come to the surface are very small, and sometimes resemble mold. If you came back and you had a thick layer of foam, then the yeast is kicking. As far as the airlock activity-you likely have an air leak in the seal...
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    Your extract brew water.

    I use tap water for the boil and to top it off. I usually add a gallon or so of water into the carboy, then add the wort once it's reasonably cooled down, then the rest of the water to get it to 5gal. That seems to introduce a good amount of oxygen.
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    sweet-syruppy taste

    Thanks-sounds like esters and/or diacytyl. Cotton candy/juicy fruit sounds pretty close. As I mentioned, the 1st batch ended up fine, so I'm not worried. I put the Alt in the fridge, so I'm thinking another few weeks in the cold should hopefully do the trick.
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    sweet-syruppy taste

    On a couple recent batches, I've had a similar off-taste during bottle-conditioning (sampling my one per week). The first beer was a relatively sweet blond that used honey-so I thought that might have something to do with it. But the more recent Alt has it too, and I'm just trying to figure out...
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    Help with a NB Double IPA

    Not sure about the hop-tea...but I find it very hard to get an accurate OG reading with the extracts I've done. Unless you thoroughly mix the boiled wort with the water that you topped it off with-the OG reading will be low because the more concentrated wort is at the bottom. That's just been my...
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    FWIW-It's been really hot in Cincy as well and ~75 F was as cold as I was able to get a recent batch for fermentation. During the intial stages, the entire basement reeked of bananas. Last night (2 weeks after brewing including 4 days in secondary) I tasted it for the first time and there was no...