Chocolate Stout (Ale)

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RickWG

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I brewed a choc stout (ale) from AHS about 3 weeks ago. At first I didn't hold much hope for it here's why:

1) First box from AHS came and the lid had come off the LME bucket a bit. There was LME/styrofoam balls all over the box and bucket. I weighed it and it was supposed to have 7 lbs in it. Only had 5 or so. O yea, the yeast was hot and already smacked/swelled(I just went and got a london Ale wyeast from LHBS as I was kind of disgusted)

2) Called AHS and complained and they sent another but the same thing happened during this trip to my house. Don't think I'll be buying from AHS in the future. (Midwest is much better and more responsible in their shipping/packing)

I was able to combine the two buckets to get ~7 lbs and then added another 1.5 lbs of DME that I had on hand cause I wasn't too sure about the amount of LME they sent. (Figured the LME wouldn't hurt the taste much as it's got Dark steeping grains and Chocolate in it.) did my usual late addition.

Fermentation didn't get going for 3 days and when it did it didn't stop for about 1.5 weeks. I left it in the primary for 3.5 weeks and then just bottled. (Sugar, ounce of chocolate powder, O yea, there's 4 ounces of maltodextrine in there too during ferment)


At the end of my bottling I had a bit left and no bottles so I just poured myself a glass and drank it down. (Wife looked at me like I was crazy, Couldn't get her to take a drink) It was pretty damn good. If it's this good with all that went wrong and before conditioning it's gonna be stellar when it hits three weeks. (Assuming it carbs..etc)

just a bit about my troubles with this one. Like I said i gave AHS two chances and they failed twice. I might go for three strikes with them but "burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me." I can probably make my own copy of this recipe in the future though. (needs more chocolate.)
 

BNVince

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RickWG said:
I brewed a choc stout (ale) from AHS about 3 weeks ago. At first I didn't hold much hope for it here's why:

1) First box from AHS came and the lid had come off the LME bucket a bit. There was LME/styrofoam balls all over the box and bucket. I weighed it and it was supposed to have 7 lbs in it. Only had 5 or so. O yea, the yeast was hot and already smacked/swelled(I just went and got a london Ale wyeast from LHBS as I was kind of disgusted)

2) Called AHS and complained and they sent another but the same thing happened during this trip to my house. Don't think I'll be buying from AHS in the future. (Midwest is much better and more responsible in their shipping/packing)

I was able to combine the two buckets to get ~7 lbs and then added another 1.5 lbs of DME that I had on hand cause I wasn't too sure about the amount of LME they sent. (Figured the LME wouldn't hurt the taste much as it's got Dark steeping grains and Chocolate in it.) did my usual late addition.

Fermentation didn't get going for 3 days and when it did it didn't stop for about 1.5 weeks. I left it in the primary for 3.5 weeks and then just bottled. (Sugar, ounce of chocolate powder, O yea, there's 4 ounces of maltodextrine in there too during ferment)


At the end of my bottling I had a bit left and no bottles so I just poured myself a glass and drank it down. (Wife looked at me like I was crazy, Couldn't get her to take a drink) It was pretty damn good. If it's this good with all that went wrong and before conditioning it's gonna be stellar when it hits three weeks. (Assuming it carbs..etc)

just a bit about my troubles with this one. Like I said i gave AHS two chances and they failed twice. I might go for three strikes with them but "burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me." I can probably make my own copy of this recipe in the future though. (needs more chocolate.)
What was the recipe exactly?
 

Evan!

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Congrats on a great brew. I've never had a single problem with AHS, personally, but I only buy my LME from Listermann. If you live east of the mississippi, you'd be better off doing that. They have LME for $2.15/lb, and if you spend $35 or more and live east of the mississippi, you get free shipping.
 
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RickWG

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BNVince said:
What was the recipe exactly?

tough to say as I'm at work right now. I'll look it up when I get home. They do send an ingredients list so it'll be easy. And since I was looking for a Young's Choc stout clone I got the kit to start out. The extra DME was a good thought.
 

brewt00l

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Sounds more like your beef should be with the shipper than the supplier....'can't say I have had a problem with either AHS or Midwest when it comes to packing. When I ordered LME from AHS, they ran tape around the buckets as an extra precaution.
 

ScubaSteve

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brewt00l said:
Sounds more like your beef should be with the shipper than the supplier....'can't say I have had a problem with either AHS or Midwest when it comes to packing. When I ordered LME from AHS, they ran tape around the buckets as an extra precaution.
I can second that. The heat of summer may also have something to do with your smack pack getting "smacked"
 

Beerrific

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Whatever the cause, you should let AHS know that you had a problem again. I have heard of this happening a few times. The more people report it, the more likely the problem will be fixed.
 
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RickWG

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Beerrific said:
Whatever the cause, you should let AHS know that you had a problem again. I have heard of this happening a few times. The more people report it, the more likely the problem will be fixed.

Yeah, I guess I will. I still have the order number and may do it soon. There was no tape around the bucket though. It was just a mess in there when I got it, both times. Like I said i can see it happening one time but twice and you're pushing my limits. I even told the guy that I heard about AHS on this site and that many here have recommended them.
 

Pedro-

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RickWG said:
Yeah, I guess I will. I still have the order number and may do it soon. There was no tape around the bucket though. It was just a mess in there when I got it, both times. Like I said i can see it happening one time but twice and you're pushing my limits. I even told the guy that I heard about AHS on this site and that many here have recommended them.
The owner of AHS posts here periodically. Search for AustinHomeBrew as a user and PM so he personally knows the problem. Also look at some of his posts, he explains some of the things like slightly higher prices but standard shipping rates across the board.

I would definitely let him know. For store owners, shipping is one of the weakest links in business. Just like brewpastor said about his bottling, distibutors just don't give a crap about your beer. It's simply a package, and that's the way most shipping companies see your brown box. The more the store owner knows, the better his case is against the shipper (think shipping insurance, tracking down problem distribution sites). I work with shipping everyday and this is the only way to take care of the problems.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
 
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RickWG

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Alright,
I left a note for austin on this board and he read it and replied back. At least he's aware of the issue. He says he's working on the issue and out of 6000 kits has only had 8 leak or so. Considering I got two of em that just means I'm the bad luck guy. O well, I might give em another chance in the future.
 

Austinhomebrew

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I am having a plastics manufacturer make a custom LME container for shipping LME. The best pre-made container for shipping LME is the 1 gallon paint bucket that most homebrew stores use. As you can see once in awhile they fail. No other homebrew store has made a custom container to solve this problem. I am spending over $10,000 for the mold for this container alone. I am committed to making the perfect shipping container for LME. We have had 8 1 gallon buckets fail out of over 6,000 sent this year but 1 failure is not acceptable. So, I started working on the new container. It certainly helps for us to know there is a problem so we can fix the problem. I would hate to think that someone would have a problem, and instead of contacting us to solve the problem, they go on a forum and say they are not going to shop with us anymore before we have a chance to correct the problem.

I am glad you like the recipe. People seem to really like the kit. It is styled after Young's Double Chocolate stout. If you think it needs more chocolate it wouldn't hurt to add more.

Forrest
Austin Homebrew Supply
 

malkore

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my first chime on this post...but are you sure the shipping service isn't to blame?
you can go to youtube and watch dozens of videos of FedEx and UPS drivers THROWING packages 10-15 feet onto people's doorsteps.

not to mention what we don't see happen at the shipping/sort facilities and when they load stuff onto the trucks.

plus those smack packs can swell even if they haven't been smacked yet.
 

Austinhomebrew

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We also receive some of the Wyeast packages that are a little puffy when they arrive. This is simply co2. The inside pouch has not been popped.

I realise that UPS doesn't always handle packages in a nice way. We just have to come up with a container that will survive no matter what the shipper does to the package.

Forrest
 

McKBrew

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Now that's service. I give you props for investing money to make things right.
 
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