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Showing most liked content on 02/09/2018 in all areas

  1. 7 likes
    I have been a brewer and Mr. Beer customer for a relatively short time compared to most here. My favorite brew so far has been the Hacked Root Beer. My first batch was AMAZING! But sadly, the next two were not. I did not understand what I did wrong in subsequent brews, nor could the friendly folks HERE track down my issue. As suggested by a regular poster here, I turned to customer support. Created a ticket and waited. It took a while for the first reply and I responded. After that... nothing. I replied twice more, but still no activity from a rep. I got impatient and created a NEW ticket to complain about the first. Again, no activity. Convinced I was being ignored, I angrily closed out BOTH tickets and answered the resulting survey with just exactly how I felt. Well, turns out I was NOT being ignored. There apparently was some sort of glitchy snafu in the ticketing system and my emails were not being seen. Shortly after my tantrum, I was contacted by Rick Zich, who explained the situation, apologized and assured me my original rep would be handling this. And shortly after that, he was. Tim Falk emailed me, also apologized, offered a monetary credit to my account and sent me a replacement HRB refill... which arrived today. Now I guess it's time for ME to apologize. I was too willing to believe I was being ignored that it never crossed my mind that there could be technical reasons for this. I have never had an issue with Mr. Beer products, shipping, their website or any members of the forums in the past. There was no reason to believe I was having one now. Thank you Tim Falk and Rick Zich for understanding my frustration and handling this in such a professional manner. Your generosity and concern for this impatient old man will not be forgotten. Cheers, - Dean Rohs -
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    Just a heads up for you guys that free shipping on orders over $39 will start this afternoon and run through the weekend. It's the best time to stock up on those Winter Dark Ales before they're gone again.
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    Picture if you will, mother yeast at the trubside of little baby yeast, "I don't feel good mama yeast", so the dutiful mother yeast pulls out the yeast thermometer and takes his yeasty temperature. Ahhhhhh, a veritable beery Norman Rockwell moment brought to you by Malt, grain and Mr. Beer.
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    Folks, I have a MR Beer book printed in 1997 with some pretty cool recipes. I am sure the wort will have to be substituted. Any one interested? I can scan it into a PDF. Send PM. If the interest is grand I will post it here. Best, M
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    By the way, those are gag underwear you can buy at Amazon, believe it or not.
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    Big difference between hacked root beer and beer, that's why I was clarifying. And the fact that Mr. Beer's brewmaster recommended it is different than another person recommending it. And you did mention his name in the prior post. Josh isn't bashful.
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    Thank you Rick. I didn't know if Josh would mind being mentioned by name. But I think we can ALL trust his advice on brewing. And I have to partially disagree with Zoraks opinion. Although it certainly has been mentioned more than once that brown sugar can cause some off tastes, it doesn't explain why my first batch was so damn good. If I didn't know any better, I'd think it was jacked up A&W. But I think his advice is valid. Perhaps I should stick to the recommended procedure before improvising on a tried and true method. Or maybe use less sugar? I DO appreciate everyone's input here. I truly enjoy this hobby and want to be a better brewer. I take to heart everything that is presented here. I'll let you know what Tim has to say when he replies. - Happy Brewing -
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    So you sampled a beer before it had conditioned at all, and you're disappointed with the taste? Um... Bottle, then wait 4 weeks. Put one bottle in the frig for 3 days. Taste. Put another bottle in at 6 weeks, 3 days later taste.
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    Sometimes you can't help people that don't want to be helped. I would definitely listen to the homebrew suppliers, since they are the best source of information about another company's products... I mean, what does a Mr. Beer employee like Josh know anyway... And the homebrew guys aren't trying to win business or anything. I went to the store locator, and when I bring up the map I see that Canadian Tire sells them as does Peavey Mart. They seem to focus on the kits though. So I went to Amazon.ca and found numerous refills available. You were told that back on January 13th, but instead you stewed until now. #FirstWorldProblems Bewitched Amber Ale at Amazon Canada All Mr. Beer refills at Amazon Canada
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    The problem may have been the beer fermentation itself. If it's too warm, the yeast will create more "beery" esters. Try to keep the main beer fermentation as cool as you can (65-68 is best). This will give you a cleaner fermentation that will result in less of a beer flavor in the final product. @zorak1066, the brown sugar in the HRB isn't for ABV, it's for sweetness. The main fermentation has no sugar added to it. The sugar is added when the beer is mixed with the root beer extract. Like the regular Mr. RootBeer kits, the Hacked Root Beer uses special gasketed caps to prevent explosions during carbonation, which typically only takes about 5-7 days because of the high volume of sugar. Once the bottles are firm and/or the caps start to foam a bit out of the gaskets, the root beer is to be refrigerated right away to prevent any further fermentation. If done properly, the brown sugar will not ferment out creating the flavors you described. Keep in mind that the product is called "Hacked" for a reason. Feel free to experiment with different sugars and flavorings. I actually like to add a small amount of molasses (not black strap, something lighter) to my batches. I've also found that maple syrup tastes amazing in root beer.
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    heres what you get when you ferment with brown sugar: black licorice flavored crap. brown sugar is simply cane sugar with mollasses mixed in it. the yeast eat the sucrose and leave behind the sulfury mollasses. heres what happens when you dump tons of sugar in your beer or root beer... you jack up the alcohol by volume. . . hence the beer like quality instead of root beer. ya made rocket fuel son! follow the recipe as is a few times. see how it comes out before making mods. ive seen brewers dump all kinds of silly things in their beers trying to chase abv instead of flavor... and some chasing really odd flavors like cabbage and cheerios ( yes... i did that... once.)
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    when i first started mr beer kits my fermentation room was an enclosed shower full of tile. we keep the ac in the house around 66f ... so while i was brewing (in florida 'winter') my ambient temp was about 64-66f. during that time i had many wild fermentations , and i cant recall ever getting that green apple cider taste. even the fromunda yeast from under the lid, can go a little warm in the lbk and you will still be fine. even older fromunda yeast never gave me much trouble. the one yeast i have used that was quick to make apple cider was us04. it naturally produces fruity esters as it gets hot so ferment at the lower end of the optimal temps. . . unless you like apple cider. it also eats like a monster. i would guess that about 90% of the time that i have used us04, i have had ballistic fermentations that generated a lot of heat. since that first ciderfest in a stout i strive for my chiller box to be about 58f when using it , at least for the first week.
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    I've tried to retrace my steps and see what I'm doing differently. My first batch I used 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 cups of white sugar along with some vanilla extract in the second keg ~ this recipe suggested by a very well known veteran brewer here . And other than a good portion of sediment in the bottles, this batch was amazing. I attributed the sediment to undissolved brown sugar. So the next batch I pre-dissolved the sugar with warm water before adding ~ again, I've watched videos of long time brewers doing this. The result was nothing close to root beer. It just tasted like beer. With very little if any root beer flavor. I can't imagine this small change could make such a huge impact. Other than this variation, I followed all the other brewing instructions as listed. I've sent an email to Tim Falk with as detailed a description of my brewing technique as I can remember. Hopefully he can shed some light on this. The first batch was so damn good. I'd hate to think I can't do it again. Wonder if anyone else in the forums have experienced the same issue with their HRB.
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    Absolutely not. On top of the fact that it's not designed to hold pressure as stated, you don't bottle beer on a layer of trub... As noted, the Mr. Beer keg is a perfectly good 2.5 gallon fermenter. I've been using a bunch of them as fermenters since 2013, I prefer carrying 2.5 gallons instead of 5, and do split batches.