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  1. 9 likes
    Today I am having a Chili and beer tasting party. My second such occasion. The first party I had early in the spring was virtually all extract beer. I have since branched out to virtually all partial mash recipes. We shall see how these are received! I find them much more balanced than my earlier efforts! On hand will be: - Sir Kenneth - Dry River IPA - Naughty Cream Ale - Hop Stimulator - Chug-a-lugger - 1776 Ale - Diablo - Apple Brown Beery (about the only one my wife likes) - Brown Bag special - El Gordito I seem to make the beer faster than I can drink it so a beer party is a good way to share the fun and drink down the inventory!
  2. 7 likes
    I just brewed a Black Beer'd Porter! And this time I added all the water to the batch! LOL! You can see the hop boil portion of the brew here. I printed instructions and checked off steps as I went. I *did* however, drink beer while making beer. :-)
  3. 6 likes
    No, it doesn't make a difference. Racking to a secondary is one of those things that seems to be "location" dependent. Some forums/communities it is absolutely gospel to rack to a secondary. Here, most of us don't seem to do it. I think that the "secondary" crowd comes from three things - bigger brewers, kegging, clarity. Here is how I see it - I've got my beer fermenting. I am going to let it do it it's thing for three full weeks. Then I am going to put it into bottles with priming sugar and let it do it's thing for another X weeks...maybe three....maybe a year. That is my secondary phase. Yeast is going to eat the sugar and whatever else it needs to. But if you are a bigger brewer, you have a LOT more yeast. You are brewing 60 gallons.....you might not be able to let your beer sit on 60 gallons worth of trub any longer than necessary. I can afford an extra week. It is not going to hurt anything. I'm dealing with what.....a quarter gallon trub in an LBK? I'm not too worried about it. Also, I have bottle conditioning in my favor. My beer is going into bottles with some priming sugar. The yeast is going to keep doing it's thing. I don't need to bottle it and get it out for consumption. I bottle and wait. I think if you are not doing this...you are going to keg it, or bottle it and then sell it....you might need to rely on a secondary phase differently. Lastly, I think clarity is something that is much more important on a professional/semi-professional level. These guys NEED to make clear beer. I don't need my beer to be clear as possible. Regardless, it seems like brewers here are able to achieve solid clarity (OXYMORON!!!!) with a good cold crash. In short, I've found no real reason to go through the time or trouble to rack to a secondary fermenter.
  4. 6 likes
    Just finished bottling my first batch!!!
  5. 6 likes
    Great question! The caps wear out, the bottles typically don't unless you overcarbonate a lot and they start bulging at the bottom. I'd say I get 6-10 uses out of the plastic caps. Two things things to keep in mind are that plastic: -Scratches easily, and scratches can harbor critters that will infect your beer. Only clean with soft cloth type material -Absorbs odors easily. They might smell kind of beer-ish, even when clean. Strong flavors like root beer concentrate leave a smell. The dishwasher is indeed a no-no, but unscented dish soap is fine.
  6. 6 likes
    I use beerlabelizer.com. They have several different label templates that are free, and you can customize them a bit with different color options. I like more customization options, such as uploading my own pictures for labels, so I became a "premium" member which cost a grand total of $8.00 for a lifetime. Yes, eight bucks for life. Here are a few of the labels I've done through them:
  7. 5 likes
  8. 5 likes
    Started this hobby from a gift last Christmas, I just ordered my 3rd fermenter and am looking for a larger fridge for the basement.
  9. 5 likes
    24 hours into the yeast orgy session
  10. 5 likes
    I didn't really contribute much (w/the exception of LOVE) to this recipe Creepy, but I have a name for you: Creeps Never Sleeps Ale. Get some sleep ya brewin' ass vampire! 👻
  11. 5 likes
    Bottled Devil Went Down to Belgium @ FG 1.015, 8.5% ABV following an extended cold-crash.🍻
  12. 5 likes
    So - the hit of the party was Sir Kenneth Blonde Ale! This is a very tasty recipe and quite impressive for its simplicity. I am pretty much sold on partial mash for great tasting beer but this pulls it off with a very simple recipe.
  13. 5 likes
    Hmmm...not a Mr. Beer recipe, it's actually two Brewer's Best one gallon kits combined into one LBK, if that makes a difference? He didn't carry any MB products but thought the BB kits might be a way to ease me into the next step involving steeping grains and hop boils. Sounded reasonable to me, since I don't have a ton of room to set up a brew shop with lots of other hardware laying around. (BTW, he said he got his start through MB as well, and in no way was he dismissive of anyone going the MB beer route. Given some of the reports I've read about the attitude of some in the LHBS community, it was nice to see.)
  14. 5 likes
    This is strictly opinion here, but I wouldn't bother to do a secondary on a Mr. Beer recipe. As far as I know racking a beer to a secondary does nothing for taste, but improves clarity and allows more time for big beers to finish up the fermentation process. I think that moving a Mr. Beer recipe from one LBK to another would increase your chances of it getting contaminated or oxidized. Keep it in the original LBK for the entire 3wks and you'll be golden. Good luck! 😀
  15. 5 likes
    Depends on how they are bottled. If using our MRB bottles, they are typically good for up to a year or so. If in our MRB Oxy barrier bottles, they can last for a couple years. If bottled in glass, they can last for several years (I just drank a 10 year old gueuze the other day that was fantastic). IPAs and most wheat beers are the exception. They should be consumed fresh or they will lose their flavors (hop flavors/aromas in the case of IPAs, estery fruit flavors/aromas in the case of wheat beers).
  16. 5 likes
    take brewing to whatever level you are happy doing. when it becomes too much work or a bother, you end up walking away from the hobby. if you like mr beer kits and are pleased with your results then brava! your opinion is all that counts. me? I love overcomplicating things. if I had the money I would be chin deep in grains and hops and stacks of chemical addition recipes for water etc. i'd be brewing every day. homemade soup IS better than canned... but ... if you are fine with canned, bon appetite! oh and cans properly stored in a climate controlled environment , can keep for years. finished beer can keep indefinitely if properly stored. if I made up 1000 bottles of beer then stored them in my garage in summer.... ack. cellar them though and they can keep forever. they just undergo some flavor changed over time. grain gets more prominent. hops get muted. flavors meld and mellow.... etc.
  17. 5 likes
    Unless I want a decorative label, I use the 1 inch Avery adhesive seals #5247, 15 to a sheet. I use the Avery tool installed into Word, and use #8 or 9 font. I stick them on the bottle cap so I can see what they are without having to take it out of the container. This works for the PET or the glass 12 oz bottles just fine. You don't have to take them off, you just stick the next one on top. If a thick layer wants to come off, let it and continue sticking on top of what is left. These are probably #10 font.
  18. 5 likes
    The 'pipeline,' as it is known, is a tempestuous beast and one of the most challenging aspects of brewing. Too little brewing leads to a quickly depleted supply, while brewing too often can lead to a rare dilema called "too much beer." All I can say is find your balance point -- brew a few more batches, maybe pick up a second LBK, think about partial-mashing, and take your time. Take it from someone that ended up with like,14 Bavarian Weissbier refills last summer (courtesy of Target), brew and learn at your own pace and have fun!🍻
  19. 5 likes
    #betterthandisney 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽
  20. 5 likes
    Well I tape a wash cloth over the probe taped to the side of my fermentetion bucket below the wort line as advised. I gotta tell ya it works beautifully. Temps are holding at 68.1* and the compressor has stopped "slammin" on every 15 min trying to keep up. I think this will take my beer to the next level.....I would recommend the inkbird to anyone trying to "up their game". Thanks all for helpin me out with the advice ,much appreciated .
  21. 4 likes
    Let it ride, sir. Let it ride. I bet it'll be just fine.
  22. 4 likes
    Bottled @ FG 1.020 -- ABV was a little lighter than expected @ 6.0%, but probably the 'wittiest' Belgian I've brewed thus far.🍻
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    Zero diastatic power means the grains have no power to convert starch into sugar, in short, the enzymes are destroyed in the kilning process. Specialty malts, like Chocolate Malt, are used to enhance flavor, add color, and complexity to a beer. While there are no enzymes to convert sugars, there are some sugars. That's why people often add enough base malt to convert the sugars. The impact on gravity from using a specialty malt can be seen with a brewing calculator such as QBrew. Of course with something like Chocolate Malt you are adding very little to the overall batch, so the impact of the sugars is slight.
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  26. 4 likes
    Now this is what im talking about! A pumpkin saison?!?! That sounds great
  27. 4 likes
    @Creeps McLane I'm not wanting to "steal" your idea, so I am asking if it's ok that I do. I love this idea so much, I would really enjoy doing something similar, then getting it on tap at Manfish Brewing and possibly a local bar. Full recipe by everyone here who wants to give suggestions and a name voted on by those who want to participate. You cool with that? For the record, I probably won't start the process until next month as I have several beers in line that I "have to" brew (there's that phrase again) that will take the next few weeks already. Overall, I just think it would be wicked cool.
  28. 4 likes
    End of Next Week I will be bottling my next beer: Oktoberfestivus. First sample today, after 4 weeks says I am on track to a fine brew. I will be bottling this in glass bottles. I have all I need to add table sugar into each bottle. I have practiced capping the bottles (easy with the stuff I got from Mr. Beer). I am planning a minimum of 8 weeks to carbonate and condition. (I must be patient and not rush this aspect, despite my desire to drink earlier!) If people out there have good suggestions let me know!
  29. 4 likes
    After 72 hours cold crashing, brew is in bottles. Full 12 pk of 12oz glass bottles and a bit of a tester in a plastic Mr. Beer bottle. I will give it 8 weeks before trying it out. This will be my first sugar, as opposed to tabs, priming of the beer. Followed suggestion of cutting back the sugar on the chart. I will be conditioning in a dark room where the temp is about 72-73 all day. So, based on what info I have should work out well. My next brew will be a Czech pilsner. I am already to order a second LBK so I can keep brews in a bit of rotation and so I don't have to be as a little kid impatient for Christmas! Pro'st!
  30. 4 likes
    Cammanron, Beer can not be color coded, there are far too many ways to combine malt, hops and yeast to make beer. A basic recipe of malt can be duplicated while changing the hop profile to make several different beers. Add a yeast change and that list will grow. Brewing is something that takes a while to perfect and can only be done by trial and error. What you need to do is spend time on this forum and other forums out there reading and researching. Youtube is a great source of information on brewing as well. There are also many great books on the subject. Don't look for the easy way out with a color coded system, do the research and do some educated experiments yourself. Yes, AC he poked the Dawg in the tiger's absence. Dawg
  31. 4 likes
    If this one turns out, I'll serve it as my 'House' beer (Biru) to friends visiting my koi garden (niwa).🍻 Niwa-Biru Pale Ale Canadian Blonde HME, 1.87 lb. Rahr 2-row, 0.5 lb. Flaked rice, 0.25 lb. BrewMax Pale LME, 0.55 lb. Sorachi Ace, 0.5 oz., 10 min. Sorachi Ace, 0.5 oz., 5 min. Safale US-05 Mini-mash milled grains for 45 min. @ 150 F. Sparge. Add LME, heat to hot-break, then boil 15 min. OG 1.047 SRM 4 IBU 43
  32. 4 likes
    And with that, you've earned your BrewMaster badge! Nice work, @MrWhy!
  33. 4 likes
    Not expecting to hit my OG. Every time i use two track grain i fall a bit short. Preboil gravity of 1.052, well see where were at in an hour. So many hops im going back to the hop filter. Ill do @kedogn's experiment and see what temp is inside of that thing while boiling. I hit my preboil volume of 12 gallons so that is nice. Patiently waiting on the protein hot break currently. 11pm. a few more pics, cuz why not. This is @MrWhy's beer. Im just brewing it first runnings, fly sparging, #shimsaresohandy
  34. 4 likes
    Wow, gotta give it up for Lowe's free shipping! I ordered it on Friday and it arrived today. I've got it hooked up to the Inkbird and coming down to 65F.
  35. 4 likes
    I'd chime in but this is a little beyond my level. I look over the list and would say "Brew up the Churchill's Nut Brown Ale. That sounds tasty!"
  36. 4 likes
    After another week of conditioning (bring it to about 4 full weeks) and 3 days in fridge, last opened bottle was well carbonated and had a much more of a mellow finish. Nice light feel, went quite well with burgers. I will continue to lager the remaining six pack and see how much it changes over time. Will help me live with the patience required for the October festival over the next two full months. All in all happy with the ingredients and first effort. Learned a lot! Still much more to learn, but have become a lover of the hobby to this point. Pros't to all newbies! Ad aster per aspera!
  37. 4 likes
    I should add - there is some API IPA in the chili base too! This particular bottle failed to cabonate after several months so I threw in the towel and used it to cook with!
  38. 4 likes
    Just to be clear though - we are talking about IPAs - and any beer that you are relying on a strong hop presence (added hops in your recipe) for it's taste. Over time it is the hop aroma that fades and aroma has a massive influence on taste. So as the aroma fades, the beer tastes different. The palate will pick up on the malt more. I have a heavily hopped stout and part of the aging process has been tasting how the beer changes when the hops start to fade and the malt becomes more pronounced. Interesting to experience. Those lights and aztecs, unless you heavily hopped them, are not relying on hops for their taste. In regards to aging beers - not every beer needs to age longer than it needs to and not every beer gets "better" after X weeks. it just becomes what it is. The beers that age well (improve over time) are beers that have a lot going on. Higher ABV beers......ingredients........flavors that need to mellow.....as well as beers that just did not turn out well and need more time to let those off flavors fade out (hopefully!). That is why IPAs are an exception to the rule - high ABV, lots of hops, etc.....generally you would want to age those types of beer out. But because our current taste in beer is so hop forward, they get consumed early so those hops don't mellow out. I am pretty sure the original IPAs were aged....they had to survive a long, many month journey from europe to india. (which is why they were heavily hopped and brewed strong.) And back to my stout, that is why I heavily hopped it (relatively speaking). I knew I since it was a higher ABV I was going to want to let it age, so I went heavier on the hops because I wanted a hop presence when it was ready. Now the question is will I really sit on it for 6 to 9 months? Probably not!!!! It is pretty good right now and I am learning there is such a thing as a summer stout.
  39. 4 likes
    I rack to secondary based on scenario. I don't usually plan on it but if my beer looks super cloudy or something then ill do it. The rule of thumb is that the CO2 in the primary messes with the dry hopping so most people who dry hop so a secondary religiously. It all boils down to this: its your beer, if it tastes good to you then do what you want. Lagers usually require a secondary but not if youre doing a fast lager. Its all situational. For me its usually that the more tlc you put into a beer the better it is. Is liquid yeast a must? No. Does it give you a wider range of styles? Yes. Do you need to keg? No. Is it 10 times easier? Yes. Its your beer, do what you want
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    Great question! Although you can usually get away with 2 weeks in the fermenter, we find that giving it 3 weeks will lower your chances of off-flavors, and save you some conditioning time. For most of our beers, you'll want to do 3 full weeks in the fermenter and 3-4 weeks in the bottles.
  42. 4 likes
    Bottled my first batch this morning! I ended up with 10 1/2 of the 750ml bottles.
  43. 4 likes
    Science says..........................YES to beer, if you are OLD. http://sciencenordic.com/three-beers-day-keep-doctor-away
  44. 4 likes
    Popped the top off of the first bottle. (American Light). Flavor has a nice finish and I look forward to seeing how much it improves with further conditioning. Had nice carbonation on opening but dissipated fairly quickly in the glass. Not flat but would have liked it if it stayed a bit longer. I am happy with my first efforts and it makes me look forward to going from fermentation to bottling and conditioning with the next style (Oktoberfestivus). Any suggestions welcomed.
  45. 4 likes
    I love my refractometer, use it all the time. So handy for pre boil gravitys and OG. Maybe im just not a big time brewer. Its a great tool for measuring the progression of my wort on brew day
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  47. 4 likes
    Well at least 6 months. Some are 12 months old. Beer Inventory 032816.xlsx
  48. 4 likes
    Just started drinking my Black Beer'd Porter after 3 months conditioning. Tastes great! Will definitely brew this one again.
  49. 4 likes
    What @Shrike said! It is very close to Descutes Black Butt (butte?)Porter. I added 2oz flaked oats to my second batch to give it a touch more creamy mouthfeel to try and match Dechutes exact.... prebottle sample tasted promising. We will find out in a month or two when it's conditioning is at earliest for me to test (I give it a solid 2-3 months conditioning time for starters)
  50. 4 likes
    Tasting Notes Lock Stock Barrel Stout, Bottled on April 1, 2017 I'm not going to go back and look up my notes on brewing this, but if I recall I forgot the chocolate malt. Other than that I brewed this per recipe instructions. I know the instructions say six months to a year....but I decided it was time to try one. We are at 15 weeks, almost 4 months. That is enough time to test a bottle. Color is deep. Almost black. Slight lacing. Not a lot of head on the top, but I wasn't expecting it. Nose is the Irish Stout with a strong oak and whiskey scent. Strong in a good way. it complements the stout scent. Taste is outstanding. It has a great body and mouth feel. There is a slight bitterness (as there should be) that is balanced by the additions of the grains. Lots of flavor. The oak and whiskey are there, but in the background. I want to say I purchased this recipe kit on sale, but it was still expensive. HOWEVER.....good bourbon barrel aged stouts come in at a hefty price. This matches almost any bourbon barrel age stout I've purchased. It is a great beer with a great flavor. I am not sure if I am going to keep aging this one. I'm not really getting the sense that it needs any more time. (Caveat.....I live in a warm area so my beers tend to develop quickly.) I love this beer. I am going to brew it again, but rework it a bit. I am going to tone it down a little (I cannot believe I just said this......) I'll go one HME, 1 smooth, 1 robust, and up the grains.......