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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/14/2018 in all areas

  1. 3 points

    An experimental comparison

    I've been making Mr Beer batches for a few years now and I've always wondered what (if anything) I'm missing by not doing my own hop boils etc. On the other hand, I'm a big believer in the 80/20 rule, that is, you can get 80% of the benefit of most things with 20% of the work. So I've decided to run a direct comparison experiment to see if I can figure out whether the extra work and time involved in doing the full boil results in a beer that enough better than Mr. Beer to justify the work. So here's what I did. Last week, I made a 2.5 gallon batch of the Mr Beer "Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner" using the can of HME, two packets of booster, and 1 lb. of Mailliard Malt Pilsner LME I pitched one smack-pack of Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils and put it in the fermentation chamber at 55F. O.G. was 1.053. Total ingredient cost = $28.94. Total time spent = 45 minutes. This weekend, I made a 2.5 gallon batch of Pilsner using 2.5 gallons of water, 3lbs of Briesse Pilsnen Light DME. I dissolved the DME in the water, fired up the burner and brought the wort to a boil. After the hot break, I added .75 ounces of Czech Saaz hops and boiled for 45 minutes. With 15 minutes to go, I added another .25 ounces of Saaz. At the end of the boil, I put the pot in an ice bath and got the wort down to 68F in about 15 minutes, pitched one smack-pack of Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils and put it in the fermentation chamber at 55F. O.G, was 1.058. Total ingredient cost = $21.97, Total time spent = 2 hours. I tried to get the IBUs on the two beers pretty close, but no guarantees. I do prefer lower levels of hops and bitterness so I think they'll both be good. The plan is to treat the two batches exactly the same; 3 weeks in the fermentation chamber, 72 hour diacetyl rest @ 65F, 48 hours cold-crash @ 35F, then bottle. The Mr Beer batch will have a small advantage of being a week older at each stage of the comparison, but I'm okay with that. Anyway, stay tuned and I'll keep y'all posted about the results.
  2. 3 points

    how to handle a true lager?

    From what I've gleaned, the MRB lagers should carb at room temp for three weeks, then get lagered at their fermenting temperature. That's what I've done...to a point. I have an old wine fridge that I can get two full batches in. So after bottling them they sat at room temp for three weeks then into the wine fridge they went. I keep them there at 54*F until ready to drink, then I put one or two in the beer fridge for three days. The down side is that last winter I brewed four batches of lager. So two have been sitting at room temperature since bottling (this is why I brewed them during the winter - colder room temperature.) As room opens in the wine fridge I rotate some of the ones sitting at room temperature into it. But the ones that have stayed at room temperature have all been very tasty. Would they have been better if "properly" lagered? Quite possibly.
  3. 3 points

    Starting to think about HME and LME

    My Sir Kenneth tonight seems a bit twangy I just tried the dash of salt It works!
  4. 2 points
    Did nights for a several years and there were plenty of morning beers...... but I was a lot younger. These days the shift alone would kill me.
  5. 1 point

    how to handle a true lager?

    John Palmer says (quoting a familiar saying) "Lager": I do not think this word means what you think it means Check this out. https://www.homebrewing.org/Lagering--Chapter-1-Common-Misconceptions_ep_58-1.html * I have only one issue with this. He says traditionally lagering was done in deep caverns. Deep caverns adopt the subterranean temperature of the earth's crust and generally that is around 45-50 deg F. So much for lagering at 35 deg F. (Unless this was in their outhouses back in the days of no central heating. Or in winter with a fair amount of air exchange into the cave.) However, that does not mean that 35 deg lagering is bad just maybe not what was originally experienced. * So my take is that for an old fashioned beer, lager it at fermentation temps - otherwise do whatever you like :-D Of course it could be that the caves used to have 2 areas, closer to the surface for most activity i.e. brewing, and lower down/farther in for cellaring. That would make the cellaring/lagering happen at a lower temp probably, but still not 35. * Anyway that is my interpretation. * Another good read https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/06/lets-talk-beer-styles-pilsner.html Stranger than fiction.... https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/did-lager-beer-originate-south-america-180964962/ *
  6. 1 point

    Starting to think about HME and LME

    I'm 43 and just about every job I've had has involved night work. I enjoyed straight days for about 9 years as a local truck driver. I'm a railroader now.
  7. 1 point

    Thunder Bay IPA Reloaded

    I kind of like checking my OG and FG. I log it into a spreadsheet along with the other data, and now experimenting with Qbrew it gives me a better understanding of what to realistically expect if I add grains, booster, LME, honey etc to a recipe. Kind of fun for me anyway to play around and build to a starting OG, and then see if I finish out close enough to the FG. Then of course I drink the beer and try to figure out how to make it better the next time!
  8. 1 point

    Thunder Bay IPA Reloaded

    Bottled my 3rd Thunder Bay this morning. At 1 1/2 years into this hobby I still don't own a hydrometer. I figure that way I'm not disappointed.
  9. 1 point

    Starting to think about HME and LME

    Hmmm, a dash of salt.... Could be on to something
  10. 1 point
    Ironman brew

    Looking for a Christmas beer recipe

    Yes add this - this one is well worth it and very spicy - I entered this in the Home Brewers contest and recieved 34 on both scores !! Both judges said need more body so already working on that for the second go around.
  11. 1 point
    Palmetto Brew

    My first batch of brew

    I just tried a beer from my first batch ever brewed. It was the Classic American Light that came with the kit and it was awesome (that is as awesome as a classic light beer can be)!! Good color and tasted great!!
  12. 1 point
    Cool I might try that once I get a few basic brews under my belt.
  13. 1 point

    My first batch of brew

    That's quite an accomplishment! NOBODY enjoys CAL the 1st time, lol.
  14. 1 point
    Fire Rooster


    Don't know, the one who I sometimes listen to or obey bought them.
  15. 1 point
    Kevin Caffrey

    Honey Flustercuck

    Brewed the following today, kind of a variation/experiment on the Horse's Ass Ale recipe: CAL + Booster 1/2 cup honey 1 oz Cluster Hops (steeped for two minutes) We'll see how it goes! Kevin