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  1. 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!
  2. 7 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.
  3. 4 likes
    Finally at a point where I have a number of beers to choose from! (Still not enough)
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 4 likes
    Dark Ale 2 is in the bottles and has been been moved to the brew closet for he next four weeks.
  9. 4 likes
    Just an update on the 2nd batch that this post was about, the WWH Partial Mash. Anyway, I sampled it earlier. My FG is 1.010, and the sample tasted just fine, no detectable issues. I should bottle on Saturday or so. I'm just glad they both seem like they are fine.
  10. 4 likes
    Absolute waste of time in 99% of cases.
  11. 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.
  12. 3 likes
    Stick with it @bigntall1983, they will get better!! I am sitting here drinking the last bottle of my first ever batch (Classic American Light brewed back in december) and i can tell you, patience and practice are key. Read through this forum, ask questions, but most importantly, keep trying. Make adjustments, take notes, review those notes. i am now over 20 batches and i can tell you, my first few were just meh... but once you fine tune the process, make the adjustments and work out the kinks, you know... find your groove.... it does get better. This one that i am sitting here drinking, on a scale of 1 to 10 gets about a 4... just meh... it has a cidery taste to it that has never gone away. Cidery taste comes from too warm on the fermentation not an infection... sour comes from infection (now if i am wrong, i am sure someone **** cough @RickBeer cough*****) will correct me. now if i compare that to one more recent, Smitten Bovine or even Black Beerd porter.... there is no comparison the more recent ones blow this one way out of the water they are more of an 8 or 9 on that same scale. Stick with it man!!!
  13. 3 likes
    In their Belgian Blanc recipe they do call for you to provide the Coriander and Orange zest. So there you have the amounts they recommend. I remember made this in the past and it is nice enough. Won't be quite same as SA. but there it is. Fresh and dried bitter orange have different tastes. If you use the fresh, just grate off the colored material, not the white under it, that makes it bitter (and is included in the bitter orange peel - lol) Lots to think about - so good luck with the brew. Checking my past recipes, in 2013 I did this and then, they called for Mt Hood hops. Now they use Hallertauer. Mt Hood is a new relative of the Hallertauer. I don't know what taste difference there is. Earlier this year and last I made 8 batches of Wit beer trying to clone Hoegaarden, did not succeed but I did learn about too much bitter orange peel :-D. But I got some drinkable refreshing brews out of it.
  14. 3 likes
    How is there not a thread labeled "Ask RickBeer" by now?
  15. 3 likes
  16. 3 likes
    I like to revisit my older topics and post updates. Anyway, both of these have at least 3 weeks conditioning now, and I've tasted them both. They're both pretty dang good. I dont know how high those temps really got, heck, it could've been in the 80s for all I know, but it obviously was far enough along as most of you said. Thank you guys for putting my mind at ease!
  17. 3 likes
    Yes, 3-4-3 and the 4 is a minimum, some beers do not get really nice until many months, but those are mainly the strong ones. It is horrible waiting on your first batch, but so good when you crack one open
  18. 3 likes
    I'm still fending for myself for sustenance, so...
  19. 2 likes
    After 3 weeks its probably as carbonated as its going to get, but it will certainly benefit from more conditioning, especially being a stout.
  20. 2 likes
    I do have that one in bottles right now conditioning. It should be ready a week or two before Thanksgiving. It tasted awesome when I was bottling it. I think it will be a favorite around my house. I already have it added to my favorites list on MrB. Then I'll share the list to friends and family for a subtle hint for a Christmas gift.
  21. 2 likes
    This recipe has really gotten my attention! Has anyone tried it, and how is it?
  22. 2 likes
    I'd use the Belgian Blanc as a starting point:https://www.mrbeer.com/belgian-blanc-recipe It's not exactly the same, but it's along the same lines. The Sam Adams has Grains of Paradise seeds as well, if you wanted to get fancy. For partial mash I'd add 2-row and white wheat. Apparently they use Citra hops, as well, so you might want to add those instead of Hallertau. Note: I haven't had this particular beer, but I've had many like it, so this is research-based, not experience based. You'd have to dial it in a little over a few batches.
  23. 2 likes
    Yes, and no. Yes, for the cider. No, for the hard root beer. Different caps, and the root beer ruins the bottles.
  24. 2 likes
    Welcome to the forum! A good place to start with the coffee (and as Rick said, use cold-steeped coffee) is one shot per bottle at bottling. I've found that to be a good amount on average. If you find it to be too much or too little then dial it back a bit or kick it up some on your next batch.
  25. 2 likes
    Looks like hoppy fell over on his keyboard and the keys are all mashed into his face. Again...
  26. 2 likes
  27. 2 likes
    I am very new to the homebrew scene and I have only been brewing Mr. Beer extracts, just as they come. I am keeping things simple so I can just enjoy the homebrew experience, but I need a brew for the Holidays and the wife wants chocolate and coffee. So this is what I have come up with: Mr. Beer St. Patrick's Irish Stout 4oz Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened cocoa ( Added at boil ) 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract ( added at flame out ) Cold brew coffee concentrate ( added at bottling ) [ not sure how much at this time, will update ] At bottling I think I will keep five bottles just a chocolate stout and the other five a chocolate coffee stout, by added the coffee concentrate The LBK is in the brew closet and it smells like chocolate love in there. I will update with the results
  28. 2 likes
  29. 2 likes
    you can tape your aquarium probe to the outside of the lbk below the water line, then tape a small piece of reflectix insulation over that and you will get a ballpark idea of wort temp. those thermometers (the yellow one above) are not 100% accurate but close enough. I use them. my lazy man's guide for temp control is if my cooler ambient air temp stays around 62f then my wort temp should be ok for most ales. 62f is good on its own. peak fermentation would mean wort would be around 72 max probably...which is a little high but still ok for most ales. . at least for me. ive only had apple esters on one or two batches. one was because I used us04 in a stout and let temps get way too high. imo stouts and apple esters are a major no no. if I wanted fruit in my beer I would dump a can of it into my glass. here's a thought. if you were confident about sanitation you could probably soak your probe and about a foot of lead wire in starsan for a bit... then run the probe directly into your lbk but how would you screw the lid down I wonder? or you could take a meat thermometer , sanitize the probe end and poke it through your lid into the wort... but then you would have a hole in the lid. I don't worry about it. I just shoot for ambient of 62f.
  30. 2 likes
    Any other recommendations for dinner or drinks? I'll have two nights open for dinner. If it is at a brewpub, so much the better. I'll most likely head over to Dragoon after leaving Mr. Beer since they aren't too far apart if they are open.
  31. 2 likes
    A couple of things. 1) Checking the air temp is a waste of time. 2) Checking the temp of an LBK full of water is a waste of time. Wort generates heat during fermentation, which is what you are trying to control. Water does not. 3) You want the wort temp to be mid 60s. That means during peak fermentation you will need more ice bottles than later in fermentation. How many, how big they are, how often they change is subject to your conditions. 4) After you bottle, you want 70 or higher. No need for a cooler unless you're worried about a bottle bomb or you cannot maintain 70 or higher. Even high 60s is fine, it will just take longer.
  32. 2 likes
    @MRB Rick, I would like to report @MRB Tim for not completing fermentation...
  33. 2 likes
  34. 2 likes
    Wow! You went there? Mods, please consider banning kedogn due to "humor unbecoming a brewer".
  35. 2 likes
    Actually the one I use is wired, my cooler has a drain hole so I run the wire through there and tape the sensor under a folded paper towel wad onto the LBK with Duck tape. like this one. at $5.99 - it actually might be the same , looking at my pic :-D. https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-digital-thermometer/dp/154874
  36. 2 likes
    Next time I'm in Tucson I'll have to stop by and check out the store! And probably Borderlands Brewery too!
  37. 1 like
    I'm guessing that this is okay but figured I'd better ask before exploding something... Can I use my beer LBK and bottles (16 oz. plastic) for the cider and/or hard root beer kits? I think I'd like to try that new blueberry cider Mr. Beer is pushing right now.
  38. 1 like
    After it is matured, make sure you chill it for at least 3 days before drinking, that will help you get smaller bubble maybe and a more Guinness like carbonation taste.
  39. 1 like
    I think we are about a week apart, but we have the same brew going, only difference, I am still using the no rinse sanitizer and my brew temp and conditioning temps are the same 72f. My American Larger is getting better with age, took about 6 weeks to carb up and loose a slight apple taste, but still not my favorite. My ales have turned out nice at 72f , which I have to brew at.
  40. 1 like
  41. 1 like
    I checked google. Couldn't find a clone. Glad I asked here.
  42. 1 like
    BTW, I was looking at this recipe, and started to wonder. What if I did everything, but didn't add the yeast. And yes, I've had some of my Helles tonight. and some other stuff Taste would be different (no alcohol), but the thought of no alcohol beverages sounds interesting. I know that Mr. Beer sells lemonade kits, and I hope they are doing well, but.......... okay, it's the alkihal talking. Just wondering about some of Mr. Beer's recipes without the yeast. Barley soda. But interesting flavors for barley soda And no, I'm not going to do it....just.....just.......just......I need another beer adoYiniM
  43. 1 like
    I guess depending on the style of beer you are brewing this new Hot Head yeast could be a way around the temp issues. 62-98 deg. F http://www.ritebrew.com/product-p/837057.htm
  44. 1 like
    I've also had the twang, that almost metallic, almost cidery under- or after-taste. It's not a troll, and it's not a rumor. I'm about 10 batches in, and follow the instructions to a "t" -- and had both my Staggerback Stout as well as Gila Monster IPA have that twang. (While Witch's Flight and Voodoo have not had it.) The first impression I had, about a month in, was the hops hadn't properly balanced or mellowed, and blamed it on the Diablo IPA HME but after 2 months, the taste does seem to go a little "metal" although not like oxidation. I use filtered water and start with 4 cups, then top off with room temperature water... As screwy brewer suggests above, perhaps I should add more water and boil the wort that way?
  45. 1 like
  46. 1 like
    61 deg F ambient temperature is on the low side, even for beer very actively fermenting. Keep in mind that the 2 gallon keg from MB will not retain heat as well as a 5 gallon pail. I aim for 64 degrees Fahrenheit, ambient air temperature. Seems to work well for me, whether I'm using the MB yeast, US-05, US-04 which are my most frequently used yeasts.
  47. 1 like
    I expect to bottle all my 3 parts of the Coopers Dark Ale + variants next Monday.
  48. 1 like
    Wish my better half said similar...
  49. 1 like
    I would see what the daily temperature spread is if you are changing the ice once a day. Also if the thermometer sensor is on the LBK and covered with insulation it will be reading LBK internal temp which is what you want. I would not get it below 60 or above 70. If you can do this and average 65 I think you will be good. A smaller range might be better, but it takes a lot of work to do that using bottles I think, mainly because of the time taken for the temp to change - after you change the icing. A heater/cooler and thermostat control is more accurate (See the Inkbird controller but you still need heater and/or cooler. ) You may find after the first flurry of activity it takes less ice and less frequent change out to maintain the temp. In the bottle, for carbonation, room temp low 70's is fine. 78-80's - not sure about that. Maybe you can just find your coolest place.
  50. 1 like
    I am drinking this and it is really nice but it does need months to taste this good. Coopers Australian Bitter #2 1/3 HME + 1 lb light DME + dry hop 0.5 oz cascade + 4 oz 2 row steep 30m + 1/2 Cooper's yeast