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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/17/2018 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    oldbagobones

    Backstory on my brewing experience

    I just thought I'd chime in here on my experience in the past with brewing. It was about 40 years ago (yeah, I'm old) and I knew nothing about brewing. I bought a carboy and some extract and I don't remember what from a newly opened brewer supply store. I did not know a thing about beer brewing, but I knew I liked beer so I gave it a shot. I put all the stuff I bought into that carboy and thought, I'll have some beer in no time! Well, I made about every mistake that any newbie could. I knew nothing about sanitizing or temperature control or just about anything else that the you need to pay attention to. Needless to say after bottling and what I thought was a good amount of conditioning, I refrigerated the bottles and waited till the next day to try my new found hobby. My excited anticipation for a cold beer was instantly dashed upon tasting the absolute worst carbonated horse piss on earth. Gave me the case of the "I can't do this crap" and decided not to do it again. After all this time has passed and the creation of so many micro breweries and all kinds of beer recipes, I thought I'd give it one more shot. This forum has been the absolute best place for information and I really appreciate all you people that are so helpful and encouraging to keep one from giving up. I only wish this was here back when I first tried brewing, I probably wouldn't have quit then and taken so long to return to the craft. Thanks again for everyone's help in keeping it real.
  2. 11 points
    Nickfixit

    Backstory on my brewing experience

    I tried in the UK in the 1960's using HME from Boot's drug store. (Yeah, I am no spring chicken either which is one reason I like 2 gal LBK that I can carry, instead of 5 gal monsters.) Dissolve malt and sugar yeast and wait. I also tried using grain and hops, what a pain. No info about sterilization/sanitation except wash thoroughly. I covered my plastic pail with a tea towel to keep dust out. I got alcoholic beverage for sure. It tasted beerish but not great. I gave one to a neighbor and he walked around his yard for an hour with a colander on his head (don't ask). I tried again in the USA in 1980's. I got some beer but not great again. When I found Mr. Beer 215 brews ago It was so easy and results were good enough that I continued.😀
  3. 9 points
    Tim F

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Man this is such a wholesome thread. Just wanted to add my $0.02 on the twang issue. I don't think we've ever disputed that liquid extracts can tend to have a twang. Every method of brewing has its pros and cons, none is the "right" way to brew. The advantages of HME are that it's great for beginners to learn on, doesn't take much time, space, or equipment, and I think the smaller batch size is an advantage to a lot of brewers. The disadvantages, as I see them, are less control over some factors, darker color, and occasional twang. To my palette, some refills have more twang than others. I get more of it with Diablo than Long play, and more with Blonde than Weissbier. So, that's one factor to consider. Another is that doing a grain steep or hop boil can reduce it pretty drastically. I find that more important than temp or sanitation, in terms of the twang aspect. I would also just add that I've brewed hundreds of HME batches by now, and only had a few batches where twang was strong and unpleasant enough to impact my enjoyment of the beer. Given our policy of replacing bad batches and, I think, our flexibility, I find that to be a pretty low-risk proposition.
  4. 8 points
    JoshR

    MUG Nationals

    Congrats to all who placed!! Wish I had entered this year, but with my move, I just didn't have time (it also wouldn't have been fair...lol...). Great job on the saison, @Creeps McLane, it was fantastic and definitely the favorite! 🍻
  5. 8 points
    Bonsai & Brew

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    I can't believe 3 pages into this discussion and no one has posted this yet! Thanks for the memories @AnthonyC.
  6. 8 points
    Creeps McLane

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Then let me add one last thing. You may be the best brewer in the world. You just don’t know it yet. Like @Gutterbunnie said (that should win the day everyday) is you just have to find what works for you. People talk about the high drop out rate on here all the time. For a Brewer who is doing everything right but your beer doesn’t taste like how you want it, that can be frustrating. Very frustrating. But you can’t give up. Ive made enough HME batches to learn I don’t prefer HME. I’ve brewed with enough LME to find that it wasn’t for me. I’m a freak for control and this isn’t a hobby that I’m ok with not putting the time into what I enjoy sitting down and enjoying on a daily basis. That’s me. I’ve had plenty of HME beers that @Bonsai & Brew sent me that blew me away. He’s f***ing good at working with what he has. I don’t have that. So I moved on. All I really wanted to say was this; don’t sell yourself short. Keep pushing. If something isn’t working, try something else. Look at @Nickfixit. He’s constantly tweaking and striving for the perfect balance in his beers. Don’t let one ingredient stop you from perfecting your beers. If you want to take the next step, ask questions. Be open to new ideas. This forum is filled with intelligent people who have been a newbie before. Partial mashes, hoppy beers, drying out your HMEs are a great start. But for me, the best thing I can say is to look at where you want to be in a year or five and start reaching for that level. Don’t sell yourself short! DONT SELL YOURSELF SHORT! Lastly, for years I’ve tried to stay relevant on this forum. I don’t really use HME anymore but I stay here to try to help others with my opinions though they very well may be wrong. Ask me anything and I’ll try to help. Freaking @kedogn is a professional Brewer, ask him. Sometimes a vet like @Screwy Brewer and @bpgreen will be on here. Listen to what they say. They’re amazing. This is what a forum is all about. this was supposed to be a quick post, I’m sorry. I was raised in a house full of women so I get emotional quickly, but God damn it I’m here for you.
  7. 8 points
    epete28

    14 Days Into Fermentation

    You cant draw any conclusions about the final flavor from a sample you tasted during fermentation. It will change so much in the next 5 weeks. It's your 1st batch so I know you're anxious, but try to leave it alone. Remember, every sample you pull will take away from your yield.
  8. 7 points
    youdontknowme311

    First batch ever. Flat

    Pull them from the fridge and let them sit at room temp for 3 weeks and they will carb just fine.
  9. 7 points
    Tim F

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Most of my recipes that I don't really like all that much sell very well, and all my pet favorites sit all-but-unnoticed, appreciated only by the true connoisseurs. I think I might just have bad taste.
  10. 7 points
    Bonsai & Brew

    Favorite MB Refill/Recipe?

    Alrighty then, I'll go with Mad Ludwig. I've probably brewed tastier recipes, but this one turned out great and started me down a path of learning classic German styles including Marzen, Vienna Lager, and Altbier. In brewing, getting inspired is half the fun so cheers🍻 to Mr. Beer and all their recipes that do just that!
  11. 6 points
    RickBeer

    What does extra yeast do?

    No, 11g in an LBK is not going to noticeably affect your beer. Yes, Mr. Beer supplies the proper amount of yeast for 2.13 gallons of beer. Yes, you can use an 11g packet of beer in an LBK. The answer isn't the amount of yeast, the answer is the amount of yeast cells. Unless you pull out a microscope and count yeast, you have no idea what number of cells are viable in the yeast you use. I suspect not one person on this forum does this. Most issues with yeast occur in a commercial brewery. Why? Because they have massive fermenters putting enormous weight (liquid wort) on top of a yeast cake, at the bottom of a tall fermenter that likely ends up in a cone. And most commercial breweries use yeast for multiple generations. If they are not careful, they can harvest weak cells that don't do well. With a Mr. Beer fermenter, there is a big surface with all the yeast spread out, and very little weight on it. That's why there's no issue. Here's one article on it - http://brulosophy.com/2016/11/07/yeast-pitch-rate-pt-5-underpitch-vs-overpitch-in-a-lager-exbeeriment-results/ There is a great book on yeast that is for those that are really, really, really into yeast (not me). Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (Brewing Elements) by Chris White and Jamil Zainsheff Chris White owns White Labs, one of the main purveyors of liquid yeast. In fact, there is a whole series of books: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse (Brewing Elements) by John Mallett For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops (Brewing Elements) by Stan Hieronymus
  12. 6 points
    BDawg62

    New (essential?) Equipment

    Mic Todd, So based on this skateboard analogy that you have spelled out it sounds as if it is a waste of time to give you any advice because you are just going to do what you want to anyway. I can respect that but I will also probably not be giving any advice to your questions since you are going to only listen to it if you think it is the right thing to do. Remember, those of us that help out a lot on this forum have made the mistakes, researched the hobby and or spent countless hours learning about the hobby from others. I have listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts and brewed nearly 100 batches of beer and mead. I have won many medals in beer competitions and am now also a BJCP beer judge. I don't brew Mr. Beer batches any longer, in fact I have converted to All Grain brewing. But I still take time on this forum to assist others who are just getting started in this hobby. I have seen countless post from users on this forum that have asked for advice and not taken it or have gone all mad scientist with their brewing. I have also seen many of them disappear from this forum. Maybe they just moved on or more likely they quit the hobby. So when @RickBeeror any of us who have been here for a period of time give advice that you may not like. Understand that we are trying to keep you form the members who have disappeared from the hobby. There is nothing personal in what some think are attacks. Dawg
  13. 6 points
    D Kristof

    New (essential?) Equipment

    All Rick was trying to explain was, in general, if I may use your skateboard analogy, too often after falling off multiple times the enthusiast got discouraged. When the boards warped instead of trying to improve them by laminating, the skateboard enthusiast quit. None of his comments were intended to be taken personally. Not everyone perseveres.
  14. 6 points
    Creeps McLane

    Hazy IPA dry-hopping tips?

    The whole point of dry hopping to get a hazy beer is to do it during active fermentation to get your hops to have a “bio transformation “. The idea is the interaction between the yeast and the hops turns certain hop oils into more desirable ones. You can pretty much only get the desired result from dry hopping during active fermentation
  15. 6 points
    youdontknowme311

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    El Gordito Mexican Lager Dead & Berried Saison Winter Dark Ale Cider Refill w Raspberries
  16. 6 points
    Creeps McLane

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    Brewing my first ever wet hopped beer probably tomorrow! I yielded enough prussia hops to make a lager so i can get an idea on what they taste like.
  17. 6 points
    I don't know...no one wants their Stout to be darker. Just sayin'
  18. 6 points
    Brian N.

    Backstory on my brewing experience

    I tasted a good many home brews for years, some very good and others not so. Always looked like too much work and waiting. But after 25 years of marriage, my wife ran out of unique gifts, until MB. Small batches easy process and an hour in the kitchen so I gave it a try. My first beer was not great but there was hope and the support of this forum.
  19. 6 points
    Nickfixit

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Aaaagh! Yes indeed. Tweak does not always improve. I am probably less scientific too than it reads - lol - certainly I am less picky about my process too than many here (not a control freak 😄) .. But overall I am up to 215 brews now. I do get some with funny flavors still. I very rarely get any that are undrinkable. Differing from Creeps, I prefer the ease of using HME, and I find the beers drinkable and my friends do too, so that is good enough. Also SWMBO hates brewing smells so prolonged boiling etc. is not tenable. But I like the ease, starting or finishing 1 LBK brew in about an hour including cleanup. (maybe more for PM) Today I bottled Oktoberfest enhanced with PM (2 oz each Munich, Vienna and Biscuit grain ) and strengthened by 2 packs of booster and flavored more with 0.5 oz Hallertauer hop at flameout in a bag. This tasted good with no off flavors. It was fermented in ambient low-mid 60's using Mr. Beer yeast. Why booster? #1 I have a bunch of it, #2, I do not like too malty as I also do not like too hoppy. I also have been messing around with beers so much I though I should try tasting more of the Mr Beer intent. I think it will be fine, having a sweetish start and a balanced finish where you can taste hops. Targeted at Halloween/Thanksgiving timeframe. The only place I am picky on is sterilization using Mr Beer sanitizer or Onestep. Having a basement room at 63-65 deg also helps. I actually have to warm some brews up in a different room if I want 70+. (Wheat or Saison) I use directional lamps with spot light bulbs as heaters - 2 for 80 deg, one for 70-72 deg. I do not use temp controller I just use a thermometer on the LBK and move lamps closer or further away to get desired temp. It seems close enough. For 80 I have to partly wrap the LBK in towels though. When people ask me about the long process of brewing, I tell them I do it the easy way. If you think warm temperature is your problem - cool the LBK ( I use Coleman cooler chest and ice packs) or ferment a beer that likes warmth e.g. Saison. For cheap temperature monitoring I use a $10 digital aquarium thermometer taped on the LBK side with paper towel insulation over the thermometer and under the tape. If you have a cooler with a drain hole, you can run the wire through that and see temp without opening the cooler. If you are concerned about temperature fluctuation, putting the LBK in a container will help even it out - even a cardboard box but cooler is best. Early on I used a $2 foam one (you can still run the thermometer wire out if you make a little groove where the lid fits) and that worked too,. But keep at it - try cooling the LBK in a cheap cooler with freezer ice packs of frozen water bottles (2/3 full only) first.
  20. 6 points
    Gutterbunnie

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Yeah, I can echo what others have said. Just don't give up. I just brewed up my 20th LBK batch last night, the Dead & Berried Mr Beer recipe. But i added a few things, and I substituted Safale BE134 for the Belle Saison (undecided if I'm a fan of that yeast). Really I believe it boils down to a matter or personal preference/tastes. I tried Safale US-05 on several batches: HME, partial mash, DME, LME & even all grain BIAB. Honestly, I don't like US-05 very much at all. There's some weird cabbage off flavor in my finished beer that I just can't quite describe. And I believe it's possibly my taste buds & olfactory senses, since so many others rave about it & I just don't care for it. So anyway. I've found that that I prefer 04 or even Nottingham. I've tried a few WLP (1272 is pretty good) and WYEAST (American wheat) which aren't bad at all. And I enjoy the WB-06 Wheat yeast (after cold conditioning a Bavarian Hefe a few months, awesome!). I would say this hobby is just as much about experimentation. And since it's 2 gallon batches, it's much easier to go that route & be OK with some not-so-great batches. Trial & error. Sure, I've had a few botched batches here & there (that I'm still drinking by the way) but overall I've had a lot more successes. Whether that's a Mr Beer HME/partial mash, an all extract using DME or LME, or an all grain BIAB. Find what you enjoy & keep doing it until you get it right the way you like it! Read up, borrow some homebrewing books from your local library such as from Papazzian, who if I can remember his quote, basically says you really have to work to screw up a home brew! Enjoy the process, take good notes, pay attention. But most of all, have fun. It's a hobby! Cheers
  21. 6 points
    Marius

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    I have been getting in to partial mash lately but not long enough to have a mature product. I have Let it Bee and Grass-cutter Lager conditioning - both tasted good at bottling. Dry River Rye is brewing at the moment. Next in line is Naughty Cream Ale and Foggy Days California Common. It is going to be an interesting pipeline.
  22. 6 points
    Shrike

    ABV boost

  23. 6 points
    Creeps McLane

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    Kettles are cleaned, pumps and lines are cleaned, plate chiller is cleaned. Fermenters are dirty... well one of the three im using is clean. By sunday ill have 15 gallons brewed up. Two of which are competition beers. Im so excited!!!
  24. 6 points
    BDawg62

    14 Days Into Fermentation

    TBone, If you pulled the sample from the spigot you need to make sure to sanitize it before pulling anymore of your beer from it. I know it is hard to wait but each of your children (beers) needs to grow up before you can see their full potential. Leave it be for another week, taste a sample at bottling (I always do), but know that sample is very young and not fully developed yet. By the time you are 75 batches in you can tell from this sample how the beer will turn out. Carbonation adds a whole new level of taste and aroma that helps dramatically with the final product. Until you have several beers in your pipeline it can be difficult to be patient. Do yourself a favor and buy a mixed 6 pack of craft beer bottles from your local supermarket or carryout. Drink them while you are waiting and while drinking listen to podcast or read forums to fulfill your brewing addiction. Or if you have the funds, get another LBK and start a second batch. Welcome to the obsession we call brewing, Dawg
  25. 5 points
    Tim F

    Safale US-05 vs Safale S-33

    Hey Mic, S-33 and US-05 are about as different as you can get. S-33 is a very low attenuator, meaning it leaves a relatively high amount of residual sugar. so you'll lose a lot of sweetness with US-05. That's neither a good nor a bad thing, it just depends on what you like.
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