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  1. 9 likes
    Thought I would say Hi after well over a month reading and still reading the new brewer's section. Yes, Rickbeer, I read the links in your signature line before I ever opened the LBK box. I bottled my first batch (American Lager) last Wednesday and started my second batch (Yule like this ale) yesterday. I know, I know, I jumped from the very simple to a little more complex but studied and read for weeks. Within 12 hours, I had a very aggressive fermentation and now, 24 hours after brewing, I have more than 2 inches of Krausen, tons of activity and a temp of 67. I love this stuff and enjoy shining led light to see the activity. When I bottled, the American Lager tasted like a very light flat beer, but good. So, after reading, I read some more, and then read some more. I almost feel guilty can't think of anything to ask that would result in rick beer telling me to read his links. hehehehehe..........I'm a 51 year old smartass government employee, soldier and Navy vet. Oh yeah, hey rick beer, I perv the beer over and over and over again. That sounds so wrong on a few levels. So, Hi, I appreciate all the time and effort you all put into answering everyone else's questions so I don't have to ask.
  2. 8 likes
    Dude I LOVE that smell! My wife looks at me crazy when I'm standing over the pot inhaling it.
  3. 7 likes
    Blondes use a paler malt, no real distinctive taste to good old two row. Its like a blank canvas. I would say straw or biscuit flavored. Very subtle. Theres nothing for the imperfections of brew day and fermenting to hide behind on the CAL or pilsner or blonde. They arent hoppy, they arent malty, theyre just an easy drinking beer. Therfore you have to give them more time to let the flavors find harmony and some other ones subside. stouts for example use roasted malts. Very defined flavors like bitterness of coffee and bitter sweet of chocolate. Things you can pick up and say that tastes like (fill in the blank). Those tastes are stronger on the senses and help cover up off flavors that are common in HME.
  4. 7 likes
    Monday I brewed my very first partial mash, a Nut Brown Ale, 5 gal. I had to deviate from the directions a little, because I thought I had a lager kettle than what I actually had. The directions called for a 3 1/2 gal kettle and what I had on hand was a 3 gal. So when the directions called for 2 1/2 gals of water, I started with 2 gal. When I brought the wort to a boil and added the 1oz of hop pellets, I failed to realize the pellets would break up a disperse as tiny flakes within the wort. After cooling the wort and dividing it between my two LBK's, using a cup, I realized I had stirred up the hops and sludge and some of it ended up in the LBK's. Guess I should have got a bag, for the hops, or very fine strainer for the transfer. Hoping most of this will come out in the cold crash. Anyway the brew closet smells great and this is the first time I can see the yeast at work, in the LBK, a violent storm going on in there.
  5. 7 likes
    Today I absolutley killed it with a great deal. I bought 4 NW Pale ale with LBKs kits for $10 each. This gives me the extra kegs I need/want to try some batches in the cooler winter months. I have to bottle an expierimental batch next weekend for drinking a couple on New years Eve. Now I've got to order some HMEs. Brew some porters and stouts to enjoy next fall/winter. Whoooo hoooooooooooooo!!!!!
  6. 7 likes
    I don't recommend using sanitizer because it soaks the muslin sack leaving a larger ppm of sanitizer in your beer than you should want. Save your sanitizer and use boiling water instead.
  7. 7 likes
    Hi all, i'm very excited to get started learning how to brew beer. I love beer!!!!!!
  8. 6 likes
    You have broken quite a few rules in your first posts... First, you said you read before you brewed. Shame on you. Second, you said you followed directions. How could you? Third, and most important, you made fun of the Revered High Lord of Beer, and he shalt bring fury upon you... Welcome!
  9. 6 likes
    One thing that I always liked from I brewed before, extract with specialty grains, is how good it smelled and I could just taste that smell when I had a few beers afterwards.
  10. 5 likes
    Just so you guys know, we have switched to a new manufacturer for our kegs and these issues should be solved in the coming year as the new kegs are released.
  11. 5 likes
    I like how you joined an hour ago, took the time to choose a nice profile pic, then start your post about a poor product. Ive had 6 lbks and one 6 gallon fermenter from Mr Beer, all were flawless.
  12. 5 likes
    I would normally agree, but 1st hand experience IMO is way better than reading what others have done. I would suggest using what others have done and posted about as a guide, but beat your head against the wall if you need to so you can learn your own way. Most people have to start smaller, which is why MRB is great, not everyone can just read and learn from that because if they could, why not just start with a more complicated process? If you are learning, it’s never pointless. Learning by mistakes is a great way to learn. One might try something and learn something they might not have read about or better yet, make a beer they like better than what they read others have. I am am way more of a hands on learner. Reading and fully trusting someone else’s words doesn’t stick things in my head nearly as much as doing. By doing and making mistakes, it’s easier for me to understand and make correction... plus, it’s fun learning by doing. Just thoughts from my personal experiences... but then again, what do I know about brewing or anything for that matter.
  13. 5 likes
    normal thread direction around here...lol
  14. 5 likes
    If you want to sample one on Thanksgiving, refrigerate it TODAY. You ideally want 3 days for the carbonation to full absorb back into the beer. Carbonation likes COLD, not warm, so it will be better with 3 days in the fridge.
  15. 4 likes
    I recently received a shipment, and everything was in order, except for the fact that one 4 oz package of carapils had come open, and the grain was everywhere. I let CS know, just because I'd want to know if I shipped something and it came open. Anyway, I wasn't trying to get 4 ounces of grain replaced, it's simply too easy for me to get that small of an amount at my LHBS. I was thanked for the info, and given a little store credit for for my trouble! I mean, WHO does that? Just awesome!
  16. 4 likes
  17. 4 likes
    If you like that porter, make this: Mr Beer Baltic Porter - with maybe a couple shots of cold espresso (I have not tried adding coffee but others here do that to beer.) It is on sale I used the warm ferment with S-04 yeast. I see that is package option out of stock but the cold ferment is still available. I would get that and buy the S-04 yeast as well unless you have a spare ale yeast. You can use the lager yeast for other beers later. OR if you are feeling like branching out with a recipe that worked well for me ...with grain steep and hop boil (you can also do it without). It will be a little sweeter and you can always add some cold black coffee to juice up that coffeeness if you want. But for me this is like dessert without the coffee. Double Deluxe Milk Choc Porter. Porter HME, 1x Robust, 1xSmooth LMEs, 1/4 cup lactose (2 oz?), 1/2 oz EKG hop in a bag 5 min boil (leave in LBK during ferment), liquor from 20 min steep 160 deg 2 oz choc grains. Mr B supplied ale yeast. Ferment @ 63-65. Process: Steep grains in muslin bag with hot water to cover keep hot (150-160) for 20-25 min, drain and rinse bag through with cup hot water. Discard grain bag. Make drained liquid up to 4 cups volume if less. Boil the hops in a muslin bag in the liquid. Transfer hop bag to LBK with the 1 gal cold water in it. Dissolve lactose in wort, dissolve all liquid malts in wort, transfer to LBK, and top up to line. add yeast when under 75 deg. Ferment @ approx. 65 deg if you can. Take out the hop bag before bottling - it gets in the way. If you like it stronger, add a pack of pale LME too.
  18. 4 likes
    I started this beer thing because I was too much of a bourbon fan. I get up at 4:30 -5:am 7 days a week, these days by 9-10 pm it only takes 2 beers and I am snoozing. There are evenings where I just have ice water but I do have a few fingers of bourbon on Friday and Saturday evenings. epete's post made me go count. In 240ml bottles I count 78 in the beer fridge, 48 more conditioning, Then there's 4.5 to 5 gallons fermenting. At my rate of consumption I am technically set for a while .....THEN something else catches my eye that I need to order. I am forcing myself to slow that roll by not ordering more bottles..... for now.
  19. 4 likes
    Some help here from fellow AZ brewer who did a few very successful brews in July and August. I have a combination of large and medium rre-freezable blue packs available from Target .As I started learning to brew, as I changed the packs, I found that a combination of one large and one small was the best combination for keeping the fermenting brew at a nice mid 60's temp. I changed them daily and kept a log of temps. I changed to 2 larger ones to lower temps for the Pilsners and lagers, which I prefer. All have fermented well. Only one of my 10 brews not tasted yet is one which I am lagering for 6 months. (Ah, the joy of heightened patience!). I hope to obtain a nice 4 cub. fit or larger fridge after our move next spring. Welcome to the hobby. And even an imperfect beer is most often tasty. I have made my fair share of mistakes but never a regret. Pros't!
  20. 4 likes
    The wife baked some raspberry short bread cookies and I broke the seal on the Basic Chocolate Stout, this was the trub bottle. And the cookies were great....... and so is the stout. It is so different from the sample taken during the bottling, the cherry taste is gone and the chocolate has really come through. The chocolate taste is like a milk chocolate and the stout has silky smooth mouth feel to it. So far I think this is a great success, This was the trub bottle and I know the favor could be slightly different, but here to hoping it is not.
  21. 4 likes
    re learning by mistakes.. first hand is the BEST way to learn. so I went from mr beer to 5 gallon kits with steeping grains. that went well enough so I figured lets go all grain! how hard can that be? lol. did my research... got my chemicals.. now what to make for my first all grain? I know! a Russian imperial stout! so what if it has a gravity of 1.095 and a ton of grain. i'll just scale it down to fit my 5 gallon mash ton. so I thought. well.. all my research kept showing that new to ag you really shouldn't do big beers until you get the technique and the math down etc. . . but I knew better. it also showed that on really big beers a partial mash with extracts works better. the efficiency is better. but nope... I knew better. so long story short I a) didn't mash long enough, b- didn't sparge well enough, and c) ended up with a fair but definitely NOT imperial stout of about 1.05 starting gravity. so I gained new insight on brewing. I still ended up with drinkable if not good beer. I still was able to turn the spent grain into bread later to eat with my beer... and thus the experiment was not a failure. I just wasn't as successful as I had hoped for. brewing is like that. you make mistakes. you learn from them.. and.. you can still drink your mistakes (usually). my first foray into partial mash prior to this I ended up with about 1/4 of the fermenter full of unusable thick pudding like sludge from all the grain dust and break material that made it into the beer. (palmers elevenses I think)... I still made good beer, just not as much as planned. I learned from that too. I run my pm through a mesh bag to strain out a lot of the grain dust. any break material that ends in the fermenter is less, and serves as yeast food.
  22. 4 likes
    Sorry to hear that! We do make every effort at quality control, but unfortunately every now and then a defective unit gets out. If you could please DM me your shipping information, I'll be happy to replace the fermenter and the beer.
  23. 4 likes
    I believe I recall from the instructions or if not there, many places here on the forum, it calls for filling your LBK with water and doing a leak test. That is just common sense. Don't blame the equipment for a mistake with regard to forward thinking.
  24. 4 likes
    Hi everybody, Well I brewed this and let it condition for about 3 weeks. This beer is my best tasting so far. I just wanted to see what it tasted like and wow. I'm going to drink a few more around Christmas and new year's. This should even be better by then.
  25. 4 likes
    *ALWAYS* a great suggestion I probably use too much sanitizer honestly and I know I am one that replaces it too soon... but I would rather be safe than sorry, that's for sure! Triple San costs me about $.045/oz. It takes 1oz of it to make 6-8 gallons of sanitizer. I would much rather have to make a second batch on a brew day than to screw something up and get an infection, that's for certain! On brew days I typically have a bucket at the ready that I just toss things into. I also keep a spray bottle close by for quick and easy access when needed.
  26. 4 likes
    I have always gone with the idea that if I am not sure it needs sanitized then it should be sanitized.
  27. 4 likes
    Don't waste your time. The 3-4 system was developed after dozens of brewers on this forum tried other things. In short, 3 weeks (at wort temps not to exceed 68) is perfect to ensure that fermentation is done, and 4 weeks of combined carbonation and conditioning (70 degrees or higher) is perfect for many brews, followed by 3 days of refrigeration only for those you're ready to drink. Some brews need more than 4 weeks conditioning, some 6 months or more. I recommend only refrigerating one bottle to test it. Or, put a few in, test one, and if it's not ready REMOVE the others and let them condition longer.
  28. 4 likes
    Ive had fermenters in the fridge lagering at 35 for 4 weeks and not had a problem bottling with no additional yeast. 8 days will be fine.
  29. 4 likes
    i would still follow the 3-4 rule. in my opinion and experience anything less and the brew doesnt live up to its full potential.
  30. 4 likes
    It's a little more involved, but its not hard. I love it, I feel like I'm doing more than the "just add water" technique. And the end result.....really good beer.
  31. 4 likes
    to me no matter what I am brewing, unfermented wort smells like raisin bran cereal. only when it is fully done does it take on hoppy smells or smells like just beer to me. unfermented wort tastes waaaay different from done beer. conditioned beer tastes way different from your bottling sample. if it tastes good at bottling it likely will be great after a couple weeks or more. if it tastes like meh at bottling, you cant judge the final product by your bottling sample. beer tends to get better with aging. you need to be aware of your yeast's needs when fermenting. ale yeasts typically like to be about 64f while fermenting. fermentation makes heat. if your wort starts at 60f, once it gets brewing up a storm it can be 70f or more in the fermenter. too hot? you end up with possible cider tastes. too cold? yeast go to sleep. lots of great research for you can be found in rickbeers signature block usually. stored finished beers can age indefinitely but undergo changes. hop presence slowly mutes. malt presence slowly melds and goes to the foreground. a very old ipa might taste more like just a imperial ale. your first few beers will likely be mediocre. don't get discouraged. welcome to your new obsession!
  32. 4 likes
    Here it is!!!! heres the bunk bed i put together tonight instead of assembling my conical. Im still a dad people, geez give me a break
  33. 4 likes
  34. 4 likes
    Excellent. Thanks Tim. I thought so but didn't want to overdo it and have a set of bottle bombs! (and btw, this Mr. Beer forum is really, really a great testament to your company, as well as the fellowship of brewers here. Bravo!)
  35. 4 likes
    This is the kind of batch that makes me wish that I was making 5 gallon batches rather than just 2 gallons! It's so good.
  36. 3 likes
    That is a recipe from @hotrod3539 and I believe it was handed down from a real brewer if im not mistaken. I do however believe that any recipe is just a recipe and the real crafting comes on the brewing process. But i wouldnt do a two hearted clone and enter it into competition. Its not mine. You know? That recipe is the bleeding buckeye that he brewed
  37. 3 likes
    With the exception of hoppier light-colored beers, Conway Twitty seems to rear his ugly head in the lighter ones more often than the darker. At least in my experience, that is. And longer conditioning helps with that.
  38. 3 likes
    @epete28, I get an email every time a new thread starts. The email came in from you as 91 beers, and I was impressed. Best I can drink in one day is 30. Then I read the body of your email. Nevermind,
  39. 3 likes
    Email our customer service department at customerservice@mrbeer.com and we will see if we can send some replacements out to you. Be sure to include your full name and shipping address.
  40. 3 likes
    hehehehe...thanks oh lord of all things mr. beer.......You answered a lot of my questions before I even started this. thanks for the effort to make this hobby better.
  41. 3 likes
    Yeah, I thought I was obsessive until I started reading here. No offense, but there are people here that redefine the word. It's good though, I get to learn from everyone else's mistakes.
  42. 3 likes
    Welcome to your newest obsession. After reading for hours on the forum, one of the things I come away with is we are all obsessive compulsives in one way or another. But it works well in this hobby!
  43. 3 likes
    This brew was the first batch that actually tasted good. Still has that slight off taste which I think is either the extract "twang" or from the Mr beer yeast.
  44. 3 likes
    Don't. Make them as is. Those are all good as is. Then, if you decide you want to enhance them, you can make the next one different and compare.
  45. 3 likes
    It carbonates in 2 weeks. The extra 2, or more weeks, is for conditioning. There was no bitterness because American Lager has only 17 IBU. Dry hopping impacts aroma quite a bit, but won't impact bitterness virtually at all.
  46. 3 likes
    The line that sticks in my mind always is "Sanitize ANYTHING that will come into contact with your wort/beer after boiling" (also stated as "from this point on" in some instructions) so i have always sanitized the spigot in and out before bottling/keging. If i open fermenter for dry hopping/additions i will resanitize the lid and opening (and airlock if using that style fermenter) just as safe measure. I use Star San and i will keep some in a spray bottle and some in a covered tub so i have some on hand made up for precautionary purposes during fermentation. I will make up fresh for bottling/keging time.
  47. 3 likes
  48. 3 likes
    Put 'em in the fridge for three days then enjoy them. They should be perfectly fine, although they will have lost a bit of the hop character.
  49. 3 likes
    Alright... version 2.0 Couldnt get the sight glass under the conical like i wanted. I wanted to harvest yeast in it but the legs aren’t tall enough to do so. Of course, they want you to buy their leg extensions. I dont play those game. A little lumber and some screws later and I raised it just where i need it. moved the chiller so my hand isnt smacking it when using the hoist. Moved the pump which included rotating the pump head 180 degrees. swithched the thermometer and recirculating valve on my kettle to make the valve closer to my pump also. Should be good to go now. i also emailes the guy who made my mash and boil controller and asked if he could add a mash PID to the 240v boil controller. He said “no problem” and $50 later im officially a BIAB brewer. my last concern was that my raised false bottom was resting ever so slightly on my heating element. I dustes off my old false bottom, threw that in my kettle with my current false bottom and now it sits just above the element. Many problems solved tonight
  50. 3 likes
    I say let it ride as is. Then when you brew it again with the sugar you can compare and decide which you like better.