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Showing most liked content on 01/12/2018 in all areas

  1. 8 likes
    Hi guys, I’m a brand new home brewer and forum member. My girlfriend knew I’ve been thinking about getting into home brewing as a fun hobby, so she got me a Mr Beer kit for Christmas. I never looked into it that much really, but had thought the idea of it was fun. I opened her up on Christmas Eve and was so excited (especially at how easy the directions made it seem) that I started that night. I love drinking IPAs so she got me the Long Play IPA kit. I read the directions twice and got everything ready, then went through and got the fermentation up and going. I placed the LBK in the hall closet. The home thermostat is in the hallway, and was set at 67 degrees. Ever since I got it set up on Christmas Eve, I’ve been reading on this forum (mainly RickBeers posts). I wish I had found this before I started my first batch, but oh well, I will chalk it up to a learning experience. I ended up getting an ink bird temp controller a few days ago, and plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s that holds 2LBKs this weekend (obviously for my next batch). High krausen was over when I got the ink bird, but I figured I’d try it out before the next batch. After taping the ink bird to the outside of the LBK (below the wort line, and with a folded paper towel on top) I found that my LBK has been fermenting in a steady 70 degrees (I know now that during high krausen it was higher). Kinda disappointing, but glad I’m learning and preparing for my next batch. Today was 18 days of fermenting (which is, I believe, when rick beer usually starts his cold crashing), so I tasted a small amount and it tasted like flat beer, so I took the LBK to my garage fridge and am starting 3 days of cold crashing at 38 degrees. I am tipping the LBK to keep the trub away from the spigot (I also tipped it ever since I read about it, during fermentation a few days after I started). After 3 days cold crashing, I plan on bottling and putting bottles in the closet for 4 weeks (although I am going to take one out at 3 weeks and refrigerate for 3 days just so I can compare the taste). I plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s in two days, so my next batch can be temp controlled during fermentation. I have another Long Play Kit that I am going to do so I can see the difference between temp controlled and my first batch. I plan on setting the inkbird at 65 with a 1 degree differential, and 5 minute compressor delay. I also got an Aztec Mexican Cerveza refill, and will brew that at the same time since the fridge will fit two LBKs. I just want want to say thanks to everyone on the forum. I’ve learned a lot over the last 18 days, and am looking forward to learning more. I want to thank RickBeer specifically. I’ve read a lot of his posts among others for about the first 10 days, but a few days ago, I decided I would religiously go back through ALL of his previous posts, and am currently on page 26 out of 352. I couldn’t thank my girlfriend enough, because I am enjoying this new hobby a lot. She picked out a great kit to get my toes wet in the hobby. I plan on just sticking with Mr Beer as well as to the simple recipes and instructions for the foreseeable future, and won’t get all mad scientist. I’m excited to show my friends this new hobby of mine and sharing my home brew with them, and hopefully teach them what I am learning if they’re so interested. If anyone has any tips or anything else after what I have wrote, feel free to comment. I mainly just wanted to introduce myself since I have been lurking for a few weeks. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how my first batch turns out.
  2. 7 likes
    Per request, I'm updating this post with the details of the meeting What: Mr.Beer User Group meeting in Munster, Indiana. When:: Friday, April 13 through Monday April 16 Definite attendees: @MiniYoda, @Creeps McLane Possible attendees: @hotrod3539, @C-ya. @scouterbill, and perhaps a member of Mr. Beer Hotel: SpringHill Suites by Marriott. 9651 Calumet Ave. So new that Google maps doesn't show it, and Google Street view shows it under construction. It is located on a golf course, and is the closest to 3 Floyds (a 10 minute walk to/stagger back). For reference, 3 Floyds is at 9750 Indiana Pkwy Proposed schedule (open to suggestions)@Creeps McLane - Friday evening - Bar/Room hop. There aren't many bars in the area, most places frown upon bringing outside alcohol into a bar, and most police frown upon open containers in public places. So, to avoid the hassle, we will "bar hop" between our hotel rooms, which each guest hosting a local/home brew sampling. We can call for pizza delivery. If the ladies prefer wine, let me know what type and I'll get a bottle of Kentucky wine. Also might be able to find something from Kentucky for the kids. - Saturday morning - After sleeping in a bit (we'll probably need it) and breakfast, we'll work on a care package for our thirsty friends in Arizona. - Saturday afternoon - Head to 3 Floyds. Tours are offered every hour between 12:30 and 5:30. Once we get a head count of who is going, I will call the pub and see if they can schedule a private tour for us. Regardless, we'll be there for a while, so we probably can do more than one tour. Note that the Cubs host the Braves at 1:20pm CDT and the White Sox visit the Twins at 1:10pm CDT, so things could be crowded at that time. - Saturday evening - Open. Stay there, go back to the hotel for more sampling, or go to True BBQ. - Sunday morning - Again, sleep in late (we'll probably need it again, and it *is* a vacation). Finish care package for Arizona with 3 Floyds beers. - Sunday afternoon - I'm open to suggestions. There is a place called "Brew and Blooms" a bit north in Hammond IN. Per the pictures on Google, they indicate that they are "home brewing and urban gardening". Their Facebook page indicates that they are open 10am to 6pm Sunday. Also Byway Brewing company isn't very far either. - Sunday evening - One last gathering at 3 Floyds for a final toast. - Monday - Back home again, unless you need to leave Sunday.
  3. 5 likes
    when boiling wort: use a big enough pot. one that has about 4 or 5 " of headspace or more. bring water to near boil.. remove from heat. have someone pour in lme while you stir. make sure it is fully mixed in before returning to heat. not doing the above can cause bottom scorching.. and boil overs. have a clean spray bottle of mineral water on hand set to fine mist. if you see the wort boil starting to gain in foamy hot break material, give the surface of the wort a good spritzing. it will cool the surface and break the bubbles up. be ready to carefully remove it from heat if it gets out of control. more headspace gives you more time to react. do NOT boil hopped malt ie mr beer cans. boiling drives out the hop goodness they worked to put into it. when you add your hops, if using pellets be prepared for foaming action. also a bunch of skeeze will float on the surface for awhile... this is normal. you may also see oil like stuff on top when the foam drops. also normal. when i am done with the boil, i try to cool the wort as fast as possible. put the pot in a clean sink filled with ice water. small pots will try to float. keep it steady. or use a wort chiller. if you can knock the heat down to about 100f when you add it to the cold water in the lbk you might end up close to pitching temp. as mentioned, when doing boils never let yourself be distracted. boil overs are an absolute horror to clean up. even if you are certain the hotbreak action has settled down and that the temperature of the boil is a happy controlled temperature... watch it. make sure when boiling that your dog, kids, wife, curious onlookers etc are leaving you alone to focus. hot wort makes serious third degree burns. for the mr beer kits with an lme boil you dont need to boil for an hour. you can do a 15 minute boil of the lme with your hops.. .depends on how much hop you want to add and if you are doing it for flavor/aroma or bittering. you also need less water than when doing a full boil or a bigger kit.
  4. 4 likes
    Boiling wort is a staring contest. Whoever blinks first wins. What I mean by that is that: you can watch your boil and everything will be fine, but the moment you turn your back or look away you will have a boil over! If you watch it the whole time you win because it never boils over.
  5. 4 likes
    @76shovel, don't forget about Spring seasonals -- Doppelbock, Helles Bock; and St. Patty's Day -- stouts, Irish Reds!
  6. 4 likes
    kedogn asked " Are you also ok if your breakfast omelette comes out looking like it’s been dropped on the floor, run over by a Mack truck and threw up by a pack of wolves... as long as it tastes good? " yes. yes i am. i am neither a beer snob or a food snob. either can look like a steaming pile of dog poop. if it didnt smell or taste that way, and i enjoyed it.. so what? if your child was born ugly would you love it less? would you go 'eeew omg what a vile ugly child.' and throw it away? i do not eat with my eyes. let me flip this on you. if i prepared for you an elegant looking dish... trimmed beautifully .. garnished wonderfully... that looked like jesus himself cooked it, blessed it and filled it with heavenly wonder and splendor..... and on tasting it the dish tasted like someone took unwashed feet , washed them with an even dirtier rectum.. then fed it to an incontinent moose who poo'ed it out on a hiway ... whereupon the moose and dish got ran over by a mack truck and feasted upon by vultures who likewise pooed it out.... would you eat it blissfully and compliment me? i think not. one does not eat or drink with the eyes. something in a pretty package can be really nasty. look at coral snakes. beautiful animals..yet deadly. i do not judge food, beer and i try not to judge people by appearance. beer for me can be cloudy... can have hop bits floating in it... it can even smell a little weird but if it tastes pleasant and i enjoy drinking it,, bring it on! cooks are like me. the average 'cook' wants the food to taste good. if it also looks good then its a perk.. an added plus, not the sought after goal. CHEFS are like the snobs of the cooking world. they tend to have god complex. take gordon ramsey. to me? he is a bloated windbag. what he considers fine dining i would not feed to a dog. sure it looks pretty but i dont eat undercooked meat. i dont eat a lot of the garbage he calls food. give me a fully loaded coney dog any day over his best. onions, chilli, mustard, ketchup, cheese... stacked high and overflowing all over the plate in all its chilli-laden sloppy wonderfullness! haze in beer doesnt contribute to flavor in and of itself. clarity is like head in a beer. it makes beer look 'pretty'.. nothing more. neither clarity nor head of foam is important if the beer tastes like @ss.
  7. 3 likes
    Your story is nearly identical to mine, but I started my batch a week after yours. So I will be curious to hear how your beer comes out. It is very true how much you can learn here. I've been quite obsessed. Funny that I didn't even know what words like trub and cold crash meant two weeks ago and now my family thinks that I talk crazy. I guess we are the new freshman class. Cheers!
  8. 3 likes
    I'm taking advantage of the cooler weather to brew some lagers for when it gets warmer. Saazquatch, Dortmunder Export, Austin Pils, and ChromosBeer are the four I'm doing.
  9. 3 likes
    Session beers are good for summer http://blog.mrbeer.com/what-makes-beer-sessionable/ Here's a good link for season beers http://blog.mrbeer.com/guide-to-seasonal-homebrewing-plus-brewing-calendar/ For me, anything light tasting, light in color, and low alcohol. Remember that both beer and the sun will cause you to dehydrate, so you don't want heavy alcohol beers.
  10. 2 likes
    LOL. I hear you there... and mine never thought that by getting me a MrB kit I would turn it into a business some day... but I did... and it keeps on growing. Best advice I can give is to Read, Read, Read! No reason to try to reinvent the wheel (at least not right away), so read what others have tried. done and seen and go from there. But don't be afraid to beat your head against the wall if you need to to be able to learn as experience is the best teacher.
  11. 2 likes
    I know exactly what you are saying. SWMBO never thought she would see the day I start talking about yeast and the processes involved in beer brewing
  12. 2 likes
    An elegant and brilliant solution!👍 Chill haze does bug me. Like, a lot. I'll let you know if this works the next time I have one of my Munich Helles'. The fact is, I worked dang hard brewing that lager to showcase SRM @ 2, but I can't think of a more appropriate style to enjoy in a German stoneware stein. Pictures @ 10.
  13. 2 likes
    Gotta get the ok from SWMBO, but I'm down!!
  14. 2 likes
    You throw it in the keg, put in some CO2 then pull the pressure relief a few times to get any oxygen out of there,Then i usually have my regulator set to 8-10 and i let it charge up, then i take it off the gas and let it sit until I’m ready for it.
  15. 1 like
    if chill haze (aka protein haze) bugs a person you can always serve your beer in a stein. or drink the beer warm as i do. all my home brew is served at room temp. i have found that chilling beer totally changes how i perceive the flavors. for me, chilling it muddies the flavors. the only beer i chill is a bottle that threatens to be a gusher on opening. chilling drives more of the CO2 into suspension. i did whirlfloc for a while then decided it was just an un-necessary expense and waste of time. i also drink wine and prefer a heavy dark fruity cab. i dont give a hoot about clarity in wine either. as long as it has been sufficiently degassed and doesnt taste like so4 or garbage. my one exception on clarity is when i do meads. i do not start sampling until i can read a news paper through the fermenter (glass). i have found that by the time the 3rd or 4th racking gets that clear the flavors are usually right where i like them.
  16. 1 like
    Yea, I know. The name of that city is on the tip of my tongue.... The only problem is that SWMBO hates flying!
  17. 1 like
    BTW, this is not restricted to those who live in the "mid west". All are welcome. Munster IN is close to a big city that has big airports. Can't remember the name of where the Cubs/White Sox/Bears/Black Hawks/Bulls play, but it'll come to me. and if SWMBO is skeptical, tell her "fly with me", "road trip up north", and give her a credit card. She'll figure out where Michigan Avenue is. EDIT. fixed spelling. Not Howks. HAWKS. and.....Go Fire!!!!!!!!!!
  18. 1 like
    I have Helles Spring Lager waiting in the fridge and an Austin Pils fermenting at 53F. I'm thinking of doubling down on those plus a Czech Pilsner and maybe some Aztec for fillers. MiniYoda, thanks for the links, lot of good suggestions in there. So many recipes I have not tried yet! Thanks all.
  19. 1 like
    If I remember to do it, I will toss in some Whirfloc tablets with every brew that I make. I prefer the tablets as they are easier to store as well as knowing exactly how much you have on hand. Plus, shooting baskets with them into the boil kettle is fun too However, I will only use Gelatin on my beers that will benefit from it. Obviously, hefes, porters, NEIPA and the likes you really wouldn't want to do that. But Pales, Ambers, most IPAs, they can really benefit from a dose of gelatin. I have noticed that a long enough cold crash and its not needed, but if you wanna speed things up some, gelatin works nicely. I only do AG, so its sounding like from others if its an HME/LME/DME you wouldn't.
  20. 1 like
    I only use clarifiers if my recipe involves grains. If it is strictly HME/LME/DME, then no. Also, I don't use them on wheat beers, as by nature they are supposed to be cloudy. And no, your man card isn't in question. Cooking for family is a manly thing to do (especially grilling).