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  1. 10 likes
    Got my MB kit today. Super excited to get started! I think Sunday will be the day I start brewing. Found a Coleman cooler I had that's the perfect size, and I can store it at the bottom of my pantry PROPPED UP! Fits like a glove :-)
  2. 8 likes
    Will be putting brew #7 into the LBK today, May the Schwartz Bier with You. I won't be altering this from the basic formulation with the exception of one packet of booster. I cannot believe I have made quite this much beer since my 1st batch back in the first week of June. So I give a shout out to those who have given me advice, solved my frustrations and helped make each batch better than the last! Pros't!
  3. 7 likes
    Well, I had my 1st homebrew in a long time today, American Ale standard refill, on 3.5 weeks conditioning. I can't say anything bad about it really, except 2 tsps of sugar may have been a tad much for 24 oz of beer. It was super fizzy and the head was ridiculous, but the taste was fine. A week or so more of conditioning will probably make this really nice, although I think it's good now. I was a little upset that I only refrigerated 1 of them after it was gone, lol.
  4. 7 likes
  5. 6 likes
    Well, I made it to Mr. Beer headquarters. Josh and I talked for a bit, toured the digs, sampled some beer, got the skinny on some of the micros in town to hit, and I bought some half-price HMEs. Nice visit - thanks, Josh!
  6. 6 likes
  7. 6 likes
    Great questions! There's no need to re-rack, and I wouldn't bother re-aerating (although some will probably disagree with the aerating thing). I'd just pitch the new yeast in the current fermenter. The dead yeast will act as a nutrient for the live ones.
  8. 5 likes
    I just bought 150+ lbs of grain, almost 2 lbs of hops, and 10 various yeasts. I'm ready for some fall / winter brewing baby! First brew, tomorrow will be a 10 gallon split batch. Last round of Pantry brews. 1 MRB northwest pale ale 1 MRB Diablo IPA 1 MRB Churchills Nutbrown 1 Coopers pale ale 1 Breiss Sorghum 4 oz rye malt 4 oz golden promise 4 oz white wheat 4 oz red wheat 3 oz mild malt 3 oz extra special malt 4 oz raw merit barley 1/2 oz warrior @ 10 1/2 oz warrior @ 5 1/2 oz warrior @ 0 1 packet of MGJ empire ale 1 mason jar of harvested lager yeast
  9. 5 likes
    Finally at a point where I have a number of beers to choose from! (Still not enough)
  10. 5 likes
    Honestly didn't know boughten was an unusual word. People here use it all the time to identify something that's not homemade. Now excuse me while I finish skinning a possum for dinner.
  11. 5 likes
    I just did American Lager but added a small pack of Booster and Nugget hops to the boil and Smooth LME to the wort, left the hop sack in. 3 weeks X 4 weeks and then 2 more weeks in the fridge. Lately I prefer my beer hopped to the top but IMHO this is a good smooth balanced outcome especially for a cheap and easy mix. I do not know the ABV but I know I like it, definitely going to try to repeat it. I also am going to open another one.
  12. 5 likes
    Despite my crazy hydrometer readings, the final drinking results are outstanding. I have to admit I am really happy with the results. Smooth, very drinkable with the saaz hops, excellent head, great after taste. I have made my notes on what I have done wrong, what went well. This is a keeper. Round two already ordered!!
  13. 5 likes
    And here is the last mug of Doppelmunder -- sure gonna miss those Mr. Beer Seasonals!
  14. 5 likes
    @epete28 No idea how I missed this yesterday but yes, please dump that and contact us for a replacement. Never use bulging cans, even if they came right from us. It's most likely that it got squished on that end or something, but it's not something you should take a chance with.
  15. 5 likes
    Well, don't tell Mini Yoda, or he'll wind up putting all these recipes in his annoying spreadsheet. um......wait.........um......nevermind
  16. 4 likes
    I've managed to make 6 batches since early August by pretty much keeping both LBKs full at all times. I have another batch just waiting for an empty vessel to enter as well. I see how y'all build your pipelines with 3 and 4 LBKs. I hate to even think about 5 gallon batches. Haha
  17. 4 likes
    What hotrod said. My first few brews were very disappointing, so much so that I stopped for a couple of years. When I started up again, MRB had progressed quite a bit. Their craft refills and partial mash recipes are quite a step up from the old "base HME + booster" recipes. That, along with the accumulated knowledge on this forum, has re-ignited my "brew bug". Temperature control during fermentation is probably the single biggest factor that has improved my brews. So you're on the right path there. To me, the standard refills by themselves are a bit bland. When you branch out to the ones that use added LME/DME, hops, or have partial mashes/steeps of grains, then you'll really notice a difference. Since I started brewing again about 14 months ago I've made a couple of blah beers. But I've brewed many more that I'm proud to share with family and friends.
  18. 4 likes
    Has anyone seen this page at the Coopers website? http://store.coopers.com.au/recipes/index/list/section/craft Lots of new good Ideas and some new twists on Mr Beer original recipes.
  19. 4 likes
    @MRB Tim Right on cue, I received a package today! Y'all rock, just makes me want to give you more business! Thanks!
  20. 4 likes
    61 is too low for your ambient temp. Like I said, most breweries stay at 68. Yes, hot air rises, but not before it exchanges through the ambient temperature. It will dissipate into the surrounding environment before it even hits the lid because it's such a minimal amount of heat. The center may be warmer, but only by perhaps .01 degrees. It's so minimal that it doesn't really matter, especially when accuracy isn't as important as consistency. All you need to do is set your temp controller and forget it. There is no need to change the temperature at any time during your fermentation.
  21. 4 likes
    Just to let you guys know Tim reached out to me and replaced my can of extract, even though I did not ask for one. How is that for customer service. Inspired me to purchase three more kits, getting one hell of a rotation going.
  22. 4 likes
    Dark Ale 2 is in the bottles and has been been moved to the brew closet for he next four weeks.
  23. 4 likes
    Very interesting book to say the yeast
  24. 4 likes
  25. 4 likes
    Welcome to your new addiction... I mean hobby! This forum is a great place to share ideas and learn, too.
  26. 4 likes
    Just a note as to ambient air temperatures. I keep my cooling chamber at about 60 degrees to maintain a 63 to 64 degree wort temperature during peak fermentation. Sometimes with a very vigorous fermentation, I have to go below 60 for ambient temps. Ice packs will work to maintain these temperatures but it will take some time to get it right for your setup. You are on the right track, but don't get discouraged on this first batch if it gets too warm on occasion. Also, I let the temperature slowly rise after 4 days to get to about 68 or 70 by day 7 so that fermentation can complete. Another tip is to precool your cooler, put a couple of icepacks in several hours ahead of time and then use fresh packs when you add your LBK.
  27. 4 likes
    Okay Folks - good news - the early reviews are in and the Imperial Chile Stout is Awesome! Great bold flavor. Now I am not sure I would like it with all the water! LOL! I have had great success with the Mr Beer Stouts - Lock Stock and Barrel and Chile Stout. They seem well suited to extract brewing! The chile flavor was strong, but not overwhelming. A slight bite but balanced. Thanks for all the help.
  28. 4 likes
    Hey man, microorganisms gotta eat, too.
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  30. 4 likes
    @WisconsinBadger, @Shrike, @Kevin Caffrey, do yourselves a favor and let as many bottles age for as close to a year as you can. Believe me, you won't be disappointed!
  31. 4 likes
    I ordered Australian Sparkling Ale, Imperial Red Ale, and Let It Bee Honey Blonde Ale today.
  32. 4 likes
    re underpitching... sometimes this is actually desirable. when you want to stress the yeast early on and have a prolonged growth cycle to make lots of esters... if I am doing a hefeweizen with liquid yeast, I will skip the starter, under pitch... and let the temps go up a bit more than usual. this way I can get lots of banana esters while the yeast make up their cell count numbers. when doing a Trappist ale I also underpitch a little and let the temps ramp up wherever they want. if you don't want ester development you pitch enough yeast and keep the temps in optimal range... but where's the sense in spending all that money on liquid yeast for a result you can get with a 3 dollar dry yeast?
  33. 3 likes
    a very sad image of MiniYoda staring at the computer screen, salivating, and wondering..... Can I bring the wings? and the steaks? and the mac & cheese? and the green bean casserole? and the pumpkin pie for desert?
  34. 3 likes
    i am gonna take a stab in the dark and say The recommended temp range for yeast should always be as listed on the yeast pack/manufactures specs.
  35. 3 likes
    I made it to Dragoon Brewing after visiting Josh and stopping at the Tucson Hop House. Their Frosty Friends Red IPA was awesome. It was even more awesome cask aged with an extra dry hop addition.
  36. 3 likes
    Better with age. I too started with the kit, Classic American Light. It was "okay" after 6 weeks. After 6 months it wasn't great but it was pleasant. Some batches turn out good and some are amazing, but nearly all are better than what you get in the store. And each one is unique! I just love that first bottle opening of a new batch and getting my nose right over the bottle to get that first whiff. Always a delight.
  37. 3 likes
    Ha that is good. Today I bottled 2 of the 3 LBKs from my divided Dark Ale after 3 weeks. I checked the FG using Refractometer and web calculators. First the thing was off by zero error of about 0.5, so I fixed that. So #1 was BRIX 6.8 starting from 8.6 giving FG way too high (1.022 ABV 1.2% Huh?) and very bubbly when poured in glass. It was also much too sweet. See pic for fizz. So I figure that must have stalled so I added a pack of Mr B yeast and put if back to ferment more. #2 Smelled very citrus and aromatic and tasted good and the BRIX was 6.5 (from 12.8) giving FG target of 1.010 as planned. It tasted a little like Citra hop although I used HBC438. I like this hop. ABV calculates to 5.39% against initial calculation of 5.48%. Close enough. #3 Smelled sweet orangey and tasted a little that way too. I could drink this and #2 without any more maturing but will l see how much better it gets. BRIX was 5.8 (from 11.8) giving FG of 1.008 for target 1.009. Considering some of my calculations were approximations that is not too bad. ABV calculates to 5.19% vs initial calculation of 5.07%. Close enough. Note all these LBKs were fermented using 1/3 pack of Coopers Ale Yeast (7g pack). I have not tasted any commercial beers similar so I can tell you that is what they taste like. I primed conservatively. - 0.5 sugar dot per 12 oz., 1 sugar dot per 750 ml., 2 sugar dots per 1L. I don't like my dark beer real fizzy anyway.
  38. 3 likes
  39. 3 likes
    How is there not a thread labeled "Ask RickBeer" by now?
  40. 3 likes
    The science of yeast in brewing is quite fascinating, with many different variables. While most of us are interested in the "add yeast, make beer" aspect of it, things like flocculation and attenuation determine which yeast should be used to make which beer. Then there are the obvious esters that add to a beer'd flavor and aroma. In the end, there's a lot to learn about yeast in brewing. I see it as an advanced study. We can mix and match malts and hops all day to help determine flavors, but all of the workings of the yeast can make similar profiles very different.
  41. 3 likes
    Welcome. Have fun brewing and consuming!
  42. 3 likes
    You are overthinking things, but here's some facts: - The sooner in the process you add the fruit, the less fruit aroma you will have. - Not every recipe gets revamped when Mr. Beer (Josh) comes up with a better process. - Some fruits have very vibrant tastes and aromas (raspberries, cherries) while some are quite bland (blueberries). That's why they have you add two cans of blueberries. - When you add the fruit, you're adding SUGAR and you will kick off another round of fermentation. - It's really hard to "overpower" a beer with fruit since all the flavor is in the sugar. - If you puree the fruit in a blender, you should have no clogging of anything. Remember to tilt the fermenter to keep the spigot clear, and cold crash. I would add the fruit after 1 week.
  43. 3 likes
    If you close the lid on it while fermenting just be careful it does not overheat in there - especially the first week. Those are wonderfully insulated. A $10 digital aquarium thermometer will work well if taped to LBK You can monitor from outside if you run the sensor cord into the cooler. You do have room to put some freezer ice packs in there if you need to keep it cool - or water frozen in 2/3 (3/4?) full soda bottles. Too hot and you may get cidery flavors.
  44. 3 likes
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/is-boughten-a-word
  45. 3 likes
    Pretty sure it was due to the very old LBK I used. Probably had some scratches in it so I tossed it. In any case, it can still happen to the best of us - even with proper sanitation. In fact, on a homebreweing level, ALL of our beers are infected in some way. It's just a matter of controlling it before off-flavors set in. Fortunately, the ChromosBeer still came out tasting great. I really like that recipe and might try an all-grain version soon.
  46. 3 likes
    I sampled my first bottle of Thunder Bay IPA a few days ago. Since my tastes have been leaning to the hops lately I think this came out fantastic. I think it's a lot better than API-IPA (although I do like that one too). I immediately ordered two more TB mixes and started one fermenting last night. Might be my new favorite!
  47. 3 likes
  48. 3 likes
    I became impatient; at 3 months it still tasted horrid! I dumped most to free up bottles. However, I found one the last week of August hiding in my closet and it was pretty good. I learned a valuable first had lesson in patience.
  49. 3 likes
    Same here. If I had the means to control temps I'd be quite interested in one.
  50. 3 likes
    I carb in my basement in a "carbonation chamber". Nothing fancy really. Just a Coleman cooler, a 50 light strand of Xmas lights and a temp controller. Put your beers to be carbonated in the cooler, spread the Xmas lights around in the cooler and then set your temp controller at 75. Beers are perfectly carbonated in 2 weeks. Remove beers from the cooler and store at basement temps of 62 to 68 (depending on season). Alternative to temp controller is a timer set to be on for 10 minutes per hour. Monitor the temperature and adjust accordingly. More time on in the winter and less time in the summer. Just try to keep the beers at a temperature below 80 degrees during this time.