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Showing most liked content on 01/08/2016 in all areas

  1. 8 likes
    As you start into your brewing life, you learn that the trub on the bottom is a pain in the bottom (wow, he said that?), because it clogs your spout or bottling wand and gets in your beer. People who have been brewing for a while tell you that you can prop up the LBK with a CD case. You may say "what's a CD case"? If you try it, you will find that they crack, and slide around. And when you have an overflow they get all gooky (technical beer term). My solution was to build custom ramps (I use the word "custom" to hide the fact that I cannot cut a straight line with a straight edge). Work great, they stop the LBK from sliding sideways, or back, and hold it in the perfect position to fill bottles. I should patent it, but Mr. Beer is likely to get rid of them someday because of their new 8LX fermenters, so I guess I won't. I inherited / stole a fermentation freezer this summer, and the ramps work great - on two shelves. On the other shelf they are too tall, and the shelves cannot be adjusted. This summer, before I stole the freezer, I brewed at my in-law's and the neighbor brewed his first batches with me, and shared the space. He was remolding his kitchen and had spare tiles, so he used those to prop up the LBKs. Fancy, expensive tile. This week I started using my newly acquired Target LBKs, and have 4 going. I put the LBKs on DVD cases and cracked several. Today I stopped at Lowe's and bought white subway tiles, 3" x 6", for $.22 each. All set. 4 for $.88 plus tax. Here's the tiles: Here's the ramps, which I then stained with extra stain (that smelled for months and isn't waterproof):
  2. 5 likes
    I'm in the same boat. I just followed the directions exactly to start fermenting, but after reading up on these forums I'm planning on letting the beer both ferment and condition a bit longer than the guidelines. My plan is to try a recipe as-is next batch, then try the same recipe again with a little tinkering for my third batch.
  3. 5 likes
    Controlling temp to stay on the lower side of the yeast has improved my brewing more than anything else.
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    This is what I got when I added 1-1/2# wheat DME & steeped 4 oz Carapils to the WDA can: I filled a 20-22oz glass with a 12 oz beer. Gorgeous!
  5. 4 likes
    Because those directions are for making beer. You follow the 3-4 process at 65 for making better beer!
  6. 4 likes
    Day 1 - 65 Day 2 - 65 Day 6 - 65 Day 11 - 65 Day X - 65... Perfect beer - 65 degrees EVERY DAY.
  7. 4 likes
    If you don't want to waste beer, follow the 3-4 rules. 4 weeks carbonating and conditioning, temp 70 or above.
  8. 4 likes
    Is "extract twang" merely a brewing myth or Internet legend? For first time liquid extract brewers, who are following the brewing directions to the 'T', probably not and here's why. When you boil 4 quarts of water, turn off the heat and stir in a few cans of LME to make wort, well nothing could be any easier right? To this newly made wort you next pour in a gallon of cold water to cool the wort down to near pitching temperature. A very basic brewing process yes, but its one that is likely to blame for any 'extract twang' that develops in your finished beer. On the other hand if the 4 quarts of water, and the gallon of top off water, were combined and brought to a boil at the same time you could do a full wort boil. Adding the liquid extract to a larger volume of boiling water and then continuing the boil for 10-15 minutes will eliminate that twang for good. The twang, or caramel and toffee like flavors, are really caused by having a higher concentration of sugars in the wort produced using only a gallon of water. Doing full wort boils also requires the use of an ice bath or immersion chiller to cool the wort down to pitching temperatures, now that the top off water will no longer be used. As the brewing water heats up you could steep 8 ounces of grain in it, maintaining it at a temperature of 150F for 20 minutes. A full wort boil also allows you the opportunity to add hops to the boil for increased aroma. If you decide to advance your new found hobby and stick with it, you may soon find yourself owning a wide array of brewing gadgets and really enjoying yourself too.
  9. 4 likes
    Why would doing a brew from the LHBS not be as tasty as a Mr. B recipe? No offense meant to Mr. B, but there are plenty o' excellent beers to be brewed from ingredients at the LHBS. To the OP... Yes, all-grain will be your cheapest route. I've done a simple recipe, low gravity AG 3-gallon batch for as little as $8. BIAB (an all-grain process) can indeed be accomplished on a kitchen stove, and is likely as complicated as you get in that setting. It's essentially the same as traditional AG processes, except that you mash and boil in the same vessel. I almost exclusively BIAB 3 gallon batches in an electric turkey fryer (as the fam would prefer me not bring the brewing aroma into the house ). I also found that 3 gallon was what worked best for me inside based on my equipment and ease of getting to temps (both high and low) in a reasonable time, but YMMV. There are some great vids on Youtube regarding process. Basic BIAB process... - Place crushed grains in a bag. - Submerge bag in water in pot (at whatever temp makes sense for your recipe). Cover and mash for 60-90 min (or whatever makes sense for your recipe) - After conversion, remove grain, and start boil - Add hops to boil on your hop schedule - Cool, transfer to fermenter, pitch - Proceed with fermentation and packaging as per your normal process. You can add additional steps (multi-step your temps on the mash, sparge, etc.) if desired or if it makes sense for the particular beer you are brewing.
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    just kills me I have frnds who i'm trying to get started doin this beer brewing, one of them is too lazy to clean his kitchen, so I wrote him off, the other says they never have time, wow! once u put it in the primary and bottling process, u have time to do your own things! I believe if u have time to drink a case of beer every 4 days like a buddy of mine, then you should brew your own
  12. 3 likes
    dont' worry, give it a year, and all this becomes second nature... it isn't rocket science, but it is science. Just have to learn the ropes... always ask if you don't know, and people will help/offer their opinions.
  13. 3 likes
    If it's 65 degrees outside, it will be about 70 in the fermenter because fermentation creates heat. This is the optimal temp. But with that said, these temp recommendations are only a guideline and not "set in stone". Different yeasts and different beer styles will call for different recommendations. Brew your beer according to the style and yeast recommendations. If in doubt, simply use the 68 - 76 recommendation in the instructions. If we wanted to make our kits into rocket science kits, we could have, but we opted for simple instead.
  14. 3 likes
    One note: the amounts on the MrBeer priming sugar chart tend to be a bit high. Very early in my MrB brewing career, I started using 2/3 to 3/4 of the amounts from that chart. The recommendation is for 3/4 tsp for a 12 oz bottle; you might try 1/2 tsp instead. These days, I bottle in 22 oz glass bombers and use 1 carb drop per bottle for most styles; so far, everything has carbonated perfectly. As for the amount of time it takes to carb, the 4-week conditioning rule of thumb has served many of us well, although I started drinking my Diabolical IPA at three weeks as that style is best while the hop presence is still fresh. The beer will be fully carbonated long before then. Patience is the best virtue a homebrewer can have.
  15. 3 likes
    I keep my LBK in a cooler with frozen bottles (I haven't moved to a temp controlled fridge yet). The thermometer on my LBK helps me to monitor the temps from day one. That way I know my temps are staying rock steady at 65 (like RickBeer mentioned). My cooler is small to the point of just being able to hold an LBK and 2 frozen 16 oz water bottles. That's why I came up with this thermometer setup, because I can't see a stick on thermometer placed anywhere on my LBK that would be useful. My setup is far from perfect, however, I am able to craft some really nice beers. It does make reading the wort temp stupid simple. And if you ask my wife, she'll tell you to be certain to make things simple for me!
  16. 3 likes
    Taking the temperature after peak fermentation is over is really a waste of time - when it matters most has already happened. It is likely the exact same temp as the ambient air around it. At peak fermentation it can be 6 -8, or more, degrees higher. While Bill's way does work, an aquarium temp strip (or the ones that Mr. Beer sells) is more than adequate. For those brewing in a hot climate, you likely want a REMOTE thermometer that reads on the outside of the chamber you use (i.e. cooler, fermentation fridge) what the temp is on the inside (from the probe taped to the side of the fermenter covered with a cloth to insulate it from the air). My temp controlled freezer shows that I'm at 64 degree wort temp right now, and it runs the freezer when it climbs 1/2 degee C above that.
  17. 3 likes
    I've read that you want to use 1/4 to 1/3 of your lme/dme for the bulk of the boil and add the remainder the last 10 minutes. That will help keep the color close to what you want.
  18. 3 likes
    The Mr. Beet Beer sugar chart shows you amounts for many sizes (see below). I only used table sugar before I started batch priming, a Mr. Beer sugar measurer makes it easy. Mr. Beer sugar measure Yes, carbonation varies by style. And amounts vary depending on the highest temp your brew hit. www.screwybrewer.com has a calculator.
  19. 3 likes
    I don't know about a twang in the beer, but after a couple I can't help adopting a strong country accent.
  20. 3 likes
    That depends on the extract. The rule of thumb is usually 1-2 oz per 2 gallons. It is talked about at length throughout these forums. This is the most recent thread: http://community.mrbeer.com/topic/34676-adding-vanilla/?hl=%2Bvanilla+%2Bextract
  21. 3 likes
    just bottled the bourbon oak vanilla cherry porter, tried a sample and oh wow! the bourbon oak is really tasty strong! I remember jim Johnson sayin a little oak goes a long ways, oh boy! this brew will have to condition for at least 4 to 6 months, but its gonna be good! by then I might be able to use it as cologne.........
  22. 2 likes
    My recipe for a five gallon LME/DME IPA (Split between two LBK's) Malt/Grain bill: 3.3 pounds Briess Pale Ale LME 3.3 Pounds Briess Golden Light LME 1.0 pound Briess Wheat DME 4oz Carapils (steep at 155 for 30 minutes) 1 tsp Gypsum (Bringing steep water to temperature) 1 tsp Irish Moss (final 15 minutes of boil) Hops: 1 ounce Summit at 60 minutes 1 ounce Simcoe at 20 minutes 1 ounce Falconer's Flight 7C's at flame out 0.5 ounce Falconer's Flight 7C's four day dry hop Yeast: 11.5 grams SafAle US-05 (5.75 grams each LBK) Instructions: *Bring 3.5 gallons water to 155-160 and add 1 tsp Gypsum *Steep 4oz carapils for 30 minutes *Bring water to boil and add: 1 pound pale ale malt 1 pound golden light malt 1/2 pound wheat DME boil for 60 minutes with 1.0oz summit hops (bittering boil) *At 20 minutes add 2.3 pounds pale ale malt 2.3 pounds golden light malt 1/2 pound wheat DME with 1.0oz simcoe hops (flavor boil) *At 15 minutes add 1 tsp irish moss (for clarity) *Add 1.0oz FF7C's at flame out *Cool wort over 20 minutes *at 70 degrees add wort to 1 gallon cold water in each LBK and add the Hop sacks to the LBK's * Take OG reading. My recipe was 1.09 at 68 degrees (corrected 1.075) qBrew said estimated OG at 1.055. Not sure what happened... *Pitch 11.5 grams SafAle US-05 (5.75 grams each LBK) *Ferment at 64-66 degrees for 21 days *Add 0.5oz FF7C's to each LBK at day 17 dry hop for 4 days. *Take FG reading (to be updated) Cold crash 3 days Bottle with 3/4 tsp table sugar each 12oz bottle Condition at 70 degrees for 21 days. Refrigerate what I will drink for three days. Enjoy!!!!
  23. 2 likes

    Witches Flight

    From the album Bhob's Stuff

  24. 2 likes
    Good afternoon all. I recieved my Mr Beer for Christmas. Luckily for me my brother in law who sent it lives about 3000 miles away so no sharing, more for me. I am brewing Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner, 3 nights ago, which came with the kit. I did not have any booster packs or anything additional to add as it was not included. But after reading here I have some on order along with another LBK, bottles, refill kit of St Patricks Irish Stout, etc. would like to brew another batch shortly in order to build up a supply so that I am not waiting 5 to 6 weeks everytime for a home brew to enjoy. But hello to everyone, look forward to asking a lot of questions and contributing to posts as I venture along.
  25. 2 likes
    Before I would add the DME straight to boiling water and get boil overs all the time. Now I add after steeping and it works out just fine, no boil overs. If I need a late addition of DME I mix it in four cups of water, bring to a low simmer then add to the boil pot. Also since I bought my eight gallon brew pot I have plenty of head space to prevent making a mess.
  26. 2 likes
    "They're not so much rules as guidelines" Captain Barbossa - Pirates of the Caribbean
  27. 2 likes
    I've taken to the habit of adding wheat dme (about 1 lb) to practically every recipe I make. I've noticed a marked improvement in head formation and retention since I started. Some recipes I will even steep carapils (if I'm steeping other specialty grains) along with the wheat dme.
  28. 2 likes
    started my Baltic last night. measured 1.064 for it. I was using cooled water to get temps close to lager fermenting temps - I believe I was at low to mid 60s when I measured. So, if anything, the correction would be +0.001 or +0.0005... both the dortmunder and the helles measured 1.066, same process with chilled water. using S-23 for the Baltic, W-34/70 for the dortmunder and helles.
  29. 2 likes
    I have had unpredictable experiences leaving reviews as well. I understand that I now do not have to be logged in on the shopping site to leave a review, but instead am (apparently) identified by my "display name." I have left several reviews the last couple of days using this new dialogue and only had to enter "display name" and "e-mail address" on two of my reviews (cookies?). Also, I have only received one "no reply" e-mail to confirm my review (sorry -- I am old-school and will forever hyphenate the e-word "e-mail"). As far as my reviews that are actually appearing on the website, they appear to be in some sort of moderation limbo state and do not accurately reflect my response to the "have you brewed extracts before?" question. Yes, I have! I will continue to leave more reviews (we all want FREE BEER), but am unsure whether these reviews are actually "taking". As always, thanks for listening -- now, I feel the need to go review Bohemian Bronze! This is a great idea for a promotion, BTW. I always read through the user reviews before taking on a recipe, and sometimes read through them just for entertainment value. But yeah, some recipes/products don't have any reviews yet because customers are too busy brewing beer! Good luck with it!
  30. 2 likes
    while I agree with that, I have found grain gets some what better results.
  31. 2 likes
    I got referral points for a coworker ordering some HME!
  32. 2 likes
    Probably not a real pressing need to do a boil of the remaining extract. However, if I just spent the better part of an hour with hop additions and the cost involved (hops & dme/lme) I know that the extra 10 minutes to boil the remaining malt extract to be sure that it is sanitized is a small price to pay. But that's just me.
  33. 2 likes
    1.055 - 1.058 is the expected OG range for Diablo. For IPAs in general go to the beer styles web sites e.g. http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/style/116/ This one does not give you the expected OG and FG but you can figure the ABV from the difference between OG and FG. http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/ From this calculator, going from 1.055 to 1.1375 gives ABV of 5.51. Using the high end numbers, it is 5.78. This is lower than the general run of the IPA beers in the beer advocate site above - cited as Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.5-7.5% You can fix this by adding 1 or 2 packs of LME/DME or booster depending if you want 6.5 or 7.5 Simple Math?? Not so "simple math" if not familiar with specific gravity measurements. You only divide the part to right of decimal point (the .055) by 4, not all of it. 1.000 is water - the 0.055 is from the malt. The malt gets fermented into alcohol lowering the gravity. OG = 1.055 is the unfermented wort low end of range Josh mentioned -so you should get somewhere between OG in the range 1.055 - 1.058 depending on how much you got out of the can, exact amount of water in the fermenter, etc. Corresponding FG fermented beer (starting at 1.055) 1 + 0.055/4 = 1 + 0.01375 = 1.01375. The "4" you divide by is also a "rule of thumb" so it may vary depending on temperature, water, yeast etc. So as long as you get somewhere close to these numbers you are OK.
  34. 2 likes
    As Josh R said, brew according to the yeast & beer style. With the Coopers/Mr Beer yeast, 68-76 is fine. With Nottingham (and many other yeasts) you would want the 68 to be the top end of the spectrum, with 62 being common for a lot of ale yeasts, and ones like Nottingham can easily drop down into the mid 50's and still be fine. "Brewers make wort - yeast makes beer."
  35. 2 likes
    No. Because you're confusing CARBONATION with head. They aren't the same. You can have a highly carbonated beer that produces no head. In fact, MOST of the Mr. Beer batches won't have any head, people steep Carapils or Carafoam, or add wheat LME/DME to increase head.
  36. 2 likes
    Try it now. I had been looking into this, and while the vast majority of users do not hit their limit, I suppose if somebody is willing to spread the "like" love, then why stop them... to a degree. The limit has been bumped to 60 for the time being.
  37. 2 likes
    I agree completely. I used to bottle at 14 because my hydrometer said the beer was finished and of course it tasted great going into the bottle, it even tasted good at 3 weeks in the bottle. But as my pipeline built and my beer wasn't consumed as fast I started to notice the famous "extract twang" at 4 to 5 weeks that just got worse as time passed. I also found that beers that had been perfectly carbonated at 3 weeks were almost gushers by week 6. I now ignore my hydrometer, I still take readings to make sure fermentation is not stalled, and I go at least 3 weeks before bottling. Now my beers taste as they should and they are much more enjoyable. BE PATIENT, I know it is hard but it pays off big time in the long run.
  38. 2 likes
    At this point just let it go the full 3 weeks. Do your alterations of the LBK before your next batch. If you have a digital food grade thermometer (with a stainless steel temp probe) you can drill a hole (slightly smaller than the width of the probe) in the LBK lid and push the probe through so that it is at least 2" into the wort. Otherwise, get a stick on aquarium thermometer and adhere it to the LBK below the fluid line.
  39. 2 likes
    Thanks everyone for the feedback! I will stop perving my beer now like Sabres032 said and relax LOL. Its just my first brew and I am excited to see what happens everyday. I bet that when I start doing my second brew, I won't be as pervy as I am now LOL.
  40. 1 like
    I'll have to keep this on mind and report my findings once I sample the final product. :thumbup I also think I figured out why my OG came in too high. I took it straight from the boil pot before adding to the gallon chilled water in the LBK. With the additional water I'm assuming the OG will be somewhere around 1.05 or so. Oh well, live and learn.
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    No. At this point it's not a top priority. We've had the same chart for a long time now with few issues so it can stick around a little longer. But I do plan on doing a revision at some point soon. We're just a bit busy still with the residual holiday customers. Hopefully it should slow down by the end of the month and I can start working on the smaller, lower priority projects such as the priming chart. Welcome to the community, by the way!
  44. 1 like
    I add the dme to my pot as its coming up to temp. Never had a problem with clumping. It's sticky as all hell though!!
  45. 1 like
    I use LME exclusively and have never had a hot break. I also add all the LME after my steep, then bring to a boil, then do my hop additions. That's what the recipes I've used call for, and since I brew amber/reds/browns/porters/stouts the color is irrelevant to me (it would be irrelevant even if I brewed light beers). I read research on adding just enough LME to be 1.03 - 1.04 then adding the rest at the end, versus all up front. To me, the utilization differences (if they really exist because some say they don't) are so small I continue to add all at once.
  46. 1 like
    From what I've read, the extract manufacturers incorporate a hot break into their production of the extract. Because of that, there should be no reason to boil extract other than for hop bittering and sanitization.
  47. 1 like
    Slym, I'm using a 1/2 oz per LBK for dry hop. The wort was a little darker than I imagined when I racked to the LBK so I'm hoping it lightens up a tad during fermentation. I remember you posting having great success adding wheat extract to your IPA. I've been reading it adds body and some flavor to the finished product so why not as some, right?
  48. 1 like
    Menasha! Yes! My wife works for a company based out of menasha. Any good home brew stores by you?
  49. 1 like
    Sounds like solid advice, slym. I meant to say espresso actually. That is what I used when I did my original SMCD. I believe I used 1 shot of Cafe Bustelo the last time (per 12oz bottle) and that was pretty noticeable. I wasn't completely sold on the whiskey, I was looking to give it some bite.
  50. 1 like
    I like the idea of putting one beer in a plastic bottle (740ml MrB bottle) that came with my kit and put the rest in glass bottles. Now, does it matter if its the first bottle or the last bottle of my batch when I use the plastic for carbo testing? I don't know if the last bottle, maybe cause it it has more yeast, would carbo up faster than the rest (I read this in someone thread).