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  1. 7 likes
    Wow, i cant believe i most this whole thread. To the best of my knowledge: 05 is not necessarily overkill. It is possible to get off flavors by over pitching and under pitching , however, i trust fermentis yeast more than i trust coopers. Sorry. I stopped using the MRB yeast early in my brewing. Any LHBS should have coopers yeast if you go that route, youll save on shipping that way. Or just use 2 packets for 4 lbks. 1/2 in each. I would also like to say that this is your experiment, your money, your decisions. You do whatever the hell you want to do that being said... CAL does kinda suck without major upgrades. Just read the description or each LME and youll know what each batch will taste like. I think in the end youll have 8 gallons of mediocre beer. Anyway. Ive done tons of experiments. Some made sense, some not so much. I was curious, so i brewed it. Screw you if you dont like it. Someone on this forum once said "if you dont brew it, who will" and ive taken that to heart. There might be 100s of us on this forum who benefit from this experiment when you report back. Or maybe just you. Either way, what you brew is up to you my friend
  2. 7 likes
    Sometimes it's not about saving money. That's not the reason most of us brew. I'm in my third year of growing them. I have Centennial and Cascade. Last year I got a couple pounds of each. This year I'm going to try to make a wet hopped IPA. Harvesting them isn't bad. Pruning scissors and a 5 gallon bucket make it relatively easy. @AnthonyC, I'd say go for it. I do like the suggestion of getting the, started inside and then moving them out. Good luck!
  3. 6 likes
    Introducing our newest Brewery Spotlight Edition* recipe from Funky Buddha Brewery in Florida, the Hop Stimulator!! *(formerly known as "Collaboration Recipes") This is a BIG double IPA (10% ABV) with a LOT of flavor and body. It was very difficult to source the Citra for this so it is a VERY limited recipe and when it's gone, it's gone for good. And to sweeten the deal, if you buy this recipe, you can get a complete equipment kit for only $20. That includes and LBK and a case of bottles. You're basically getting a free LBK out of the deal. So if you like big, juicy double IPAs, pick up yours HERE before they are gone!! Cheers! NOTE: This has a LOT of malt and hops in it so keep it on the cool side for those 1st few days of fermentation to prevent overflows. The LBK will work for this recipe, but the 2G upright fermenter is recommended.
  4. 6 likes
    Well today was the day to bottle the El Gordito and I am super impressed. It tasted very clean with no weird after taste. Also, it had nice color that was very light and pretty. I put the sample I pulled in the fridge so the glass was a little frosty for the photo. But this should be a great beer once conditioning is complete! I am feeling good about the first partial mash recipe! To celebrate, I immediately brewed a 1776 Ale in hopes it would be ready for the 4th of July!
  5. 5 likes
    I don't think anyone's getting annoyed by these posts. And if they are they need to call the police so they can arrest the guy that's forcing them at gunpoint to read them. I for one look forward to reading the results. If they're bad, I'll have learned something. If they're good, I'll have learned something.
  6. 4 likes
    Okay, Mr. Why asked, and while I wasn't going to post until tomorrow, I guess the earlier I do it, the more advise I'll get from you folks. My experiment is to brew 4 LBK's of CAL. Each will get a different LME (golden, pale, smooth and robust). I will add a booster to each, but I won't add anything else that would affect the taste (no additional grains or hops). The primary difference will be the LME used. I say "primary" because there are things that I can't control that might affect the experiment. Three of the CAL cans have a best-by date of August 5, 2016, while one is August 4 2017. Thus, while the CAL itself should be identical, three are a year older than the fourth. Also, the LME's aren't the same expire date, but the oldest has a best-by date of August 2017, and they are all very close to the same date.. A true experiment should have all four HME's and all four LME's of the same born-on date. I don't think this is going to be a huge issue, but I'm open to suggestions as to using one LME on the newer HME can to try to "even" things out. Each batch will ferment with Safeale 05, all four packs have the same best-by date. I chose this instead of the regular pack of yeast because of the addition of the booster. As of right now, the plans is to start two LBK's Saturday, and the other two next Saturday (I only have two available now, but will have two more freed up next weekend). Ferment standard 3 weeks, carb with the same box of Domino sugar cubes for all four batches, and carb/condition for at least 5 weeks (at least two months total time). Each will get a gold bottle cap with JUST the initial of the LME used. Once ready, and once my friend's pool is ready, I will take several of each to a pool party. I will let my friend, his wife, his daughter (she's 16, but he lets her sample beer, and it's not up to me), and any friends/family they have sample them. I will have them write notes as to what they think of the taste of each beer, knowing only the letter on the cap. I will report back on what they think is the best/worst, and what they think each tasted like compared to commercial brews. My current thinking: - As I said before, should I use a particular LME on the younger can of HME, or should the "best by" date not be a huge issue at this point - Should I wait a week, and brew all four at the same time? If I do, I will get a better balance of fermenting temperatures, and not a cases where two fermented/condition a week ahead of time, and thus not having a near-exact ferment/condition air temp as the other. No, I can't put them in the fridge and use the temp control gadget, as it is being used on the freezer to condition a lager. - I won't tell the people drinking the beer what the letter means. I'll just tell them it's a code used by the brewery. They also shouldn't tell each other what they think, but just write down notes, and once each of the four are sampled, I'll consider telling them that G is "golden", R is "robust", etc. This should help not bias the decision. I'm opening the table to thoughts.
  7. 4 likes
    Thanks, @Creeps McLane. I appreciate your input. Yes, CAL does suck without an upgrade. But, what would it, plus an upgrade, taste like?. Not a great beer, but perhaps a good beer with.........? That's my thesis to go from Freshman to Sophomore (in other words, I'm still in my first year of brewing). For the record I did read on what Mr. Beer's team said about the LME's. And I trust what they say. But, I feel that in order to advance to the next level of brewing, I need to study, learn and research. To me, this experiment is "research". You said you have done "tons of experiments". I have only done a hundred pounds or two. And for the record I am right now drinking a failed experiment. This adventure is another experiment for me, and I thought I would share it with my friends here. 8 gallons of mediocre beer....yep. no doubt. Waste of time and product, probably. Something for my friends to drink by the pool, okay. A means to get rid of some product......well, why should it sit on the shelf. I won't be brewing anymore during the summer anyways, so might as well use it. My first ever beer that I brewed back in September of last year tasted like sour green apple. A beer that I brewed back in January, per my friend Lee, was "phenomenal" (Mr. Beer's Belgian Blanc). Some of my beers that will be ready in May are probably rather good. I'm learning by reading and doing. This is an experiment on "doing". If I'm annoying anyone with my posts........sorry.....please ignore them. These are the rants of an old geezer. Unless the folks ta Mr. Beer object, I will still post my studies online.
  8. 3 likes
    So first off, thank you @moots for bringing this to attention. I just happened to have had a book on hand at the time with a section all about Norwegian Farmhouse Ale and Voss' Kveik Yeast. I came up with a simple 2gal recipe that I'm fermenting now. I am very excited; the yeast is supposed to impart some funky notes and citrus fruit flavors which should marry well with the juniper berries. -1lb light DME -2lb dark bohemian floor malt -1oz Hallertau hops (14g for 40; 14g for last 15mins) -14g juniper berries (for 10mins) -Voss Kveik Yeast OG: 1.044 Any thoughts or comments? I will update in a week.
  9. 3 likes
    Just took a gravity reading, 4th day of fermenting. Temp was 80ºf first 24 hours and dropped to a steady 75-76ºf so far. OG: 1.044 SG: 1.010 Tasted hydrometer sample. Nice malt flavor, hints of Orange and juniper accompanied by a banana and biscuity like funk. I think I'm really going to like this one!
  10. 3 likes
    Update: I got anxious and tried one of my Rye IPAs (12 ounce in glass) carbed with a small Domino dot....it's great! 4th batch of Mr. Beer recipes, and this is the first one that I think is perfect! Tastes really good, and the carbonation is exactly how I like it... Thanks everyone for their suggestions and advice Dave
  11. 3 likes
    The Baltic Porter seasonal also was very good at 2 weeks (yes, the heretical 2) but better later. CAL with Pale LME/DME (or booster) and 0.5 oz Cascade or Citra is good. 4 weeks OK but better at 8 and I like Citra better. Wheat beers I like with the booster better than the LME/DME. I don't like the wheat beers malty. Add orange zest and coriander, or other citrus combinations, but only a little, you can overwhelm the subtle tastes from the yeasts (another reason not to over malt it). If I was going to malt it I would add the "Golden " - that is 50/50- wheat and barley malts I believe. They can be OK in a few weeks but I like them best at 2-3 months. As said above. The easy thing is to add a lot of hops. I would add 0.5 oz at flameout and another 0.5 dry hop 7 days before bottling. I guess if you REALLY like hops make it 1 ox each addition but it will (IMHO)be real hoppy then. I would start light and work up. 1 oz total is reasonable and drinkable. 0,5 oz total is a good accent without being "in your face" **. If you are doig this then, adding more LME/DME is good also to make a better balance. Anyway that is my 2c. ** update - unless you are adding Simcoe, when it will be VERY piney. At least mine was. Not my go-to flavor.
  12. 3 likes
    Some people need to read the posts about how to do things before reinventing the wheel... Oxiclean Free soak in hot water, Sam Adams bottles.
  13. 3 likes
    I just clean the bottles and leave them near the sink. Once there are five or six of them the labels magically remove themselves. It's like a year-round Festivus miracle! Actually, my wife for some reason enjoys taking the labels off of the bottles. Yes, I'm a lucky man.
  14. 3 likes
    Thanks for all the replies. The wheat beer sounds like a winner, and all the general guidance is appreciated. I'm realizing, though, that I should probably try first to work with what's on hand, rather than bringing in new extract cans when I have some already. I have: -- a fresh Aztec Cerveza and an Aztec and CAL that are both a few months past their prime. -- one half-ounce of U.S. Saaz pellets, two half-ounce packets of Cascade pellets -- one Pale LME softpack, two Smooth LME softpacks. -- various ale yeasts, mostly fresh enough to use. So I'm thinking I could use the Aztec with U.S. Saaz and an LME (kind of a poor man's El Gordito) or the CAL with both Cascade packets and the Pale LME. Probably sounds like I'm going all Mad Scientist on you, but I am trying to look at the characteristics of various hops, etc., and keep in mind fairly low ABV for early drinking potential. Any thoughts? Jim
  15. 3 likes
    +1 to more hops. CAL is what it is, but there's always room for more cowbell...I mean, HOPS!
  16. 3 likes
    Here is my (completely unfounded, lame) opinion: If you want to be able to drink your beer faster......in order of importance...... #1 - minimize off flavors from pitching too warm, fermenting too warm. Pitch your beers cooler rather than warmer, ferment cooler rather than warmer. Pitching wrong/fermenting wrong takes longer to condition out, if ever. #2 - use purchased yeast - 05......t-58.....whatever. The Mr. Beer yeast is good....in fact it is awesome....but if your goal is drink it sooner rather than later then you cannot go wrong with a purchased yeast. When in doubt 05 is the answer. #3 - less booster, more malt. When in doubt, more malt. Use another LME. Use two more LMEs. The extra malt for wort is good here. But it will not help if you miss #1!!!! Nothing but time helps missing #1!!!! #4 - more hops, not less. Use more hops! Late in the boil (5 minute or flame out or dry). These will not overcome messing up on 1....but if you get 1 right, more hops help because the aroma can mask off flavors. (I am not sure if boiling for taste does the same thing. I am working on this.) #4 - steeping grains for freshness. More steeping grains, less time. That is my experience. (If you get 1, 3, and then 2 right!) Adding grains does nothing but good things. Even if all you do is add those simple brewers grains and carapils. #5 - don't look to brew clean. You want a crisp, clean, clear lager......speed is not your friend. If you want to drink it faster, brew a beer that can accept an off flavor. Or two, or three. Right now I am early drinking an Imperial Porter that has hints of banana. You know what? Who the hell cares???? This is not a lager. This is a possibly 8+ % monster that exploded in the fermentation fridge. A bit of banana? This beer wears it like an accessory scarf. -- Keep in mind that all this is a balance. And in the end, the honest answer might just be brew more and wait longer. But in my experience, if you want to drink you beer faster, look at those above for and see what you can work out. It might be pretty easy to come up with a good beer you can easily drink at the 5 week conditioning mark, if not earlier.
  17. 2 likes
    Recipe added to the spreadsheet, which I will upload in a future date. I must say that the folks at Mr. Beer owe me a new keyboard for my computer. As I was typing the recipe, my keyboard saw the amount of hops and hopped itself out the window and down the road. Last word, it was hopping down I-65 to Nashville. I had to type this with a spare keyboard.
  18. 2 likes
    First year growths usually aren't the greatest. In the years after that, depending on how many you plant, you may end up with more than you would want lol This is 1 small section of a Cascade bine... and we had 6 cascade bines that year.
  19. 2 likes
    @MRB Josh R I've got my stockpile of Lagunitas The Waldo's, but I'm definitely going to brew this up for when my quantity of The Waldo's is gone!
  20. 2 likes
    The recipe I just brewed, 1776 Ale, had an OG of 1.042 and an anticipated ABV of 4.2, and Mr. Beer recommended Safale US-05 on that one. It seems to me that your CAL plus LME would have similar numbers, so the 05 would not be overkill. Plus you have it on hand, might as well use it unless there's a reason not to. One other thought: If you agree with Creeps that you're likely to end up with a truckload of mediocre beer, why not throw a packet of Cascades into each brew. Might bring it up a notch above mediocre. Jim
  21. 2 likes
  22. 2 likes
    Wife's part Hispanic. Pacifico, Caguama, and Modelo Negro were regular attendees at her families dinners. Pacifico is pretty decent unlike that skunk beer in the clear bottle. I like to have Pacifico around when she makes salsa. It helps to put out the fire!!
  23. 2 likes
    I think those would both work well and if you keep your fermentation temps good they should be ready to drink sooner rather than later. And your not even close to mad scientist yet! You want to get #madscientist - one smooth, one plale LME.....do 20 minute hop boil with one cascade, a 10 minute hop with the other cascade, and a five minute with the saaz after boil add both of the azteca HMEs. That my friend, is going mad scientist AND chasing ABV. Both of which I excel at. This would not be a beer you can drink sooner rather than later. Now you plan is certainly better.
  24. 2 likes
    No doubt that taste will be different between the four (hence the name of each LME). I doubt I will notice it much as I don't have a strong sense of taste. This is why I'm depending on others, and if I might be sexist, the women (they seem to have a stronger sense of taste). Not sure if color will affect taste, but it color is a concern, I can get Solo cups to make the color less noticeable.
  25. 2 likes
    This is going to be an interesting experiment and I am excitedly awaiting results!!! 1. I am assuming each LMe will affect color. But will it be significantly noticeable? Guessing the extremes....pale and robust, yes. But smooth and robust? Looking forward to finding out! 2. Will the taste between them be noticeable? Will color affect taste? If the color is perceptively different, I would love if you can control for that and for taste. -- Great experiment!!!!! Looking forward to whatever you discover!
  26. 1 like
    Holy freaking hell that is sweet
  27. 1 like
    Quite the timing, with the recent discovery and conversation!
  28. 1 like
    Centennial or Cascade They grow like weeds
  29. 1 like
    Love Funky Buddha! I went to try several of their beers when I was in the area last May. Cool place, great beers.
  30. 1 like
  31. 1 like
    I saw this in my email and must say that I'm pretty impressed!!
  32. 1 like
    Thanks, jasbo. I'm not worried about mediocre beer. I'm more interested in the flavor of the LMEs and how they compare to each other. I have some very good beers conditioning right now that will be ready in time for pool season. And after one or two very good Mr. Beer's beer on a warm day by the pool, a few mediocre beers won't matter anyways. Rather, they might be refreshing,
  33. 1 like
    Only 5 hours? Man, I would love that! Most of my brew days from lighting the fire on the HLT to finished cleaning are ~9+ hours.
  34. 1 like
    Personally, I am partial to porters. Mr. Beer's American Porter is a good one. After two weeks in the bottle you can begin drinking it. If you want to turn it into a teaching moment, drink one bottle each week. Jot down a few notes about each bottle. Not only will you enjoy the beer, you will see how the flavors mellow, meld, interweaving as it bottle conditions.
  35. 1 like
    a low abv esb or English pale shouldn't need prolonged conditioning. 4 weeks tops. Czech pilsners made with lager yeast benefit from a month in really cold temps after carbing. 'lager' means basically to put away or store. Belgian blonde probably wouldn't need tons of conditioning. experiment. sample your batches over time. try one at 2 weeks of carbing and no condition time. then another a week later. then another a week after that til you've gone through them all. you'll see for yourself which need more time and which are fine early.
  36. 1 like