Recent Email from Captain Jim’s Extract of Darkness
It took years and the Last Sixth Weeks to get the Extract
Here is the last few weeks of correspondence from me and Jim.


To: Jim ; Kate

Subject: old extract?

Jim – do you still have that old jug of darkened extract?

How you been?

Kate – how r u?

Me been busy and not out much.

Take care-

Mark S.

To: Mark

Subject: re: old extract?

Yes. Would you like it?

We're good. Kate is sitting right here. She says hi!


Hello Jim and Kate.

Are you going to be at the Brewer’s cup this weekend?

If so could you bring that old extract and some BBQ sauce for me to purchase.

Going to live in the woods for a week and will do some brewing and cooking.

Hope all’s well – Mark S.

Hi Mark. No we're not going to be able to. Our kid and grandkids are coming into town for a visit from Texas. We don't get to see them often. We will be running like crazy. What's the story on the woods?

Two stories related to the woods-

1) I been delivering smoking nut and fruit woods when I take down trees – Let me know if interested.

2) going to go to Michigan on a Island for a week to get away from it all with my family.

Will stop by some time for your sauce – getting into more BBQ lately.

Enjoy the time with the kids – gotta go – take care – Mark S.

I'm always interested in smoking woods. Any nut and fruit trees are good. Also oak and hickory.  Just give me a shout when you plan to stop by to make sure I'm going to be around.

Hey Jim (and Kate),

I have trouble getting time free lately but am going to head to the FestiAle downtown on the 21st. Will you be there? I know there is a lot of BBQ stuff this month also. Let me know and if so if you could bring the darkened extract I could purchase it at a BBQ fest.

Hope all’s well. Grilling-smoking a lot. Brewing tomorrow.

I want you to have the extract at no charge. I just ask that I get a taste of whatever you end up making with it.  Let me check with the boss to find out when it best to meet.

I'll be cooking about 150 pounds of pork low and slow over hickory this Friday night to sell at our annual Beech Grove Relay for Life. We're raising money for cancer research and support. If you are out and about this Saturday, come on down to the track & field (13th & Main) in Beech Grove and have some BBQ.  Yummy food for a good cause.

 Hot sauce, it's not just for breakfast anymore!


Hey Capt.

 Festiv-Ale is from 4-8p but I can change my times. Also, I may be one the Southside next Saturday. Let me know what is convenient and what you want for the extract and I’ll do whatever.

 Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

 Mark S.

 Mark, what time are you heading downtown? Kate's band is playing at the State Fair. Maybe we can swing by for a bit on our way to the fairgrounds. 

We will probably head to the fair around 4 or 5. Call me tomorrow if you think you might come over. I'll put the jug in the car. We will be at the Pioneer Village. The band is supposed to start at 6:30. My cell phone is ***-***

I will meet you at the fair and then go down town. What stage will Kate be at? Will call your cell if I don’t see you should be at the fair about 2p if all goes well in Muncie.

 See you then – Mark S.

Ok. We will be at the pioneer village. The stage is on the back side (north).

Sorry we were unable to connect last night.  We ended up riding the tram around the grounds in hope we would spot you. I'm sure you were walking up and down on the south side of the track while we were on the north side.  At any rate, I brought the bottle home. Let me know when you want to get together.

As many times as I have been to the fair I should have known where Pioneer Village was – I been there lots. In my exhausted and slightly buzzed state I got that confused with the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion and looked for you at the Ribeye place over there. The fair was very crowded and it was tough to hear you but when you said the North side of the track I headed that way but still couldn’t find you. Once the phone went dead I started to walk faster and faster and it became hopeless. The hip and then the back gave out so I also hopped on the tram to look for you and Kate. After a few trips I got a gyro and headed for the infield to find the car and head home. It wasn’t till this morning that I looked at the map and saw Pioneer Village. What an Idiot I am. No wonder I couldn’t find Kate playing. I am sorry for the inconvenience. Chris can’t understand the mix up – she thinks I had a little too much at the festival beforehand but only had a few over four hours..

 I hope to have some lighter days which will allow he to stop but and grab the extract so I can get err brewed.

 Hope you had fun at the fair – I may go back today – for dinner.

 Take care and sorry I messed up.

Buzzed? I can't imagine :-) 

You were probably on the tram the same time we were.  Probably following each other. Yeah, my phone died as well.  No worries. We'll hook up. Hey, I have a bunch of fresh hops that need picking. I'm not going to have time to brew. Do you want to come by and get them along with the extract?

Hey Captain,

I will be on the Southside of Indy today near Beech Groove. If there is a chance that you would be home I would stop buy.

Also, I saved the link below. Do you still sell BBQ sauce. If so I would like to buy some. Milder the better for me. Got a shoulder in the smoker.

 Hi Mark. I have to work till 5:30 then I have a club meeting to preside over so I won't be home till probably 9:00. I will put the bottle on the front porch by the door. If you happen to be in the area swing by and grab it.  The address is **** ************ ****.    I do have some BBQ sauce but it needs to be kept refrigerated so I don't want to leave it on the porch.  I do need a website. Hopefully we can get together someday in person and chat.

 Talk to ya soon,


Hey Capt.

I Got It!!!!!!!!

Many Thanks - Mark S.

Hey Captain Jim,

I may be able to brew tomorrow morning. Any suggestions? Let me know what you would like and if I can I will.

Can you fill me with the history of the extract? Might help me decide what to brew.

Thanks again-

Mark S.


I got that extract from a friend who lives in Pittsburgh. Must have been 16 years ago now? He'd been brewing extract beers and bought it from a co-op place in Pittsburgh where you take in your own bottles and fill up from their taps. At this point I don't remember what kind of extract it was, but it's obviously a dark malt. Can't remember if it was already hopped or not. You might want to taste it first. The stuff will never go bad but it might have crystallized so you may need to warm it up first to get it to pour out.  My only suggestion would be something dark. Perhaps a Schwarzbier? I got it from a friend who's last name is D*****. Sounds Germanic? He also worked for the railroad so perhaps a porter? I don't know if you saw them or not. Did you walk back under the car port to see the  smoker? If so you might have seen the poles up next to the back of the house. I have Hallertauer hops growing. I will not have time to use them and they are already starting to turn brown but there are still quite a few left. You can have them if you want them. Just stop by and pick 'em. One day I will have time again, but not any time too soon.

Yep – got some pity points for working the weekend and will brew today. Will find out definitely in two hours. Will use all 11.5 lbs. of the extract and make a bigger beer. D****** (Polish-Russian?)– thinking Baltic Porter or Russian Imperial Stout – got the grain bill and smacked an ESB and 1056 for the yeast. Going to add some crystal malts, RB, chocolate and BP and ???  Hopefully this can be a warming brew for you and Kate this winter.

Any last minute suggestions?

Off to work for a short day – I hope!

Mark S

Capt. Jim,

There is a lot here - it will be a big beer. I am doing an all grain mash and then adding your extract -

 Going with the RIS

Here is the recipe -



Still an extract brew but I had to do a separate all grain before the extract because the bill was as big as a regular brew. My first all Blichmann Brew – new pot to conical.

 Mark S.


Sounds Yummy. I love big beers!

Got hot sauce?

Hot sauce, it's not just for breakfast anymore!

Captain Jim, 

Here is what’s up-

Extract has been sitting in 140 degree bath for 2 hours and still is too solid to pour. Should be OK in one hour. Don’t think it is hopped – tastes like honey and malt.

   Jim – Day 2 - I came home to a vigorous fermentation I hope the 1056 can handle the OG of 1.12. Must have more fermentables that expected – maybe it was the super extract of darkness.


I'm really excited to see how this turns out! Can you get some photos of the carboy bubbling? I'd love to send them to my friend Dave who used to own the extract.



Will put the story and photos on web and send you updates – off to the yard -



 Final Gravity of 1.038 which yields an ABV of 10.7%. You said you like big beers.

I bottled 36 12ozers this morning and conditioned them. I miss-adjusted my siphon and lost about ¾ gallon as I was rushing.

I will check on them in a couple of weeks and if all looks good I will drop some off with a Schiess sampler after that.

I think it best that you let these age a few months if you can.

Hope all’s well – Almost got the old smoker repaired.


Take care – say hi to Kate – Enjoy the beer.


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