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  1. 6 likes
    Introducing our newest Brewery Spotlight Edition* recipe from Funky Buddha Brewery in Florida, the Hop Stimulator!! *(formerly known as "Collaboration Recipes") This is a BIG double IPA (10% ABV) with a LOT of flavor and body. It was very difficult to source the Citra for this so it is a VERY limited recipe and when it's gone, it's gone for good. And to sweeten the deal, if you buy this recipe, you can get a complete equipment kit for only $20. That includes and LBK and a case of bottles. You're basically getting a free LBK out of the deal. So if you like big, juicy double IPAs, pick up yours HERE before they are gone!! Cheers! NOTE: This has a LOT of malt and hops in it so keep it on the cool side for those 1st few days of fermentation to prevent overflows. The LBK will work for this recipe, but the 2G upright fermenter is recommended.
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    Wow, i cant believe i most this whole thread. To the best of my knowledge: 05 is not necessarily overkill. It is possible to get off flavors by over pitching and under pitching , however, i trust fermentis yeast more than i trust coopers. Sorry. I stopped using the MRB yeast early in my brewing. Any LHBS should have coopers yeast if you go that route, youll save on shipping that way. Or just use 2 packets for 4 lbks. 1/2 in each. I would also like to say that this is your experiment, your money, your decisions. You do whatever the hell you want to do that being said... CAL does kinda suck without major upgrades. Just read the description or each LME and youll know what each batch will taste like. I think in the end youll have 8 gallons of mediocre beer. Anyway. Ive done tons of experiments. Some made sense, some not so much. I was curious, so i brewed it. Screw you if you dont like it. Someone on this forum once said "if you dont brew it, who will" and ive taken that to heart. There might be 100s of us on this forum who benefit from this experiment when you report back. Or maybe just you. Either way, what you brew is up to you my friend
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    Sometimes it's not about saving money. That's not the reason most of us brew. I'm in my third year of growing them. I have Centennial and Cascade. Last year I got a couple pounds of each. This year I'm going to try to make a wet hopped IPA. Harvesting them isn't bad. Pruning scissors and a 5 gallon bucket make it relatively easy. @AnthonyC, I'd say go for it. I do like the suggestion of getting the, started inside and then moving them out. Good luck!
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    Well after playing around with the American Lager Refill and adding the Booster and Dark Brewmax with Columbus Hops, I took some to My Aunt's Yesterday for Easter and My Cousin's and Brothers liked it, My One Cousin even compared it to one of the IPA beers he brought and said mine actually tasted better. The Only thing that I noticed was not much head with the pours, They sat in the fridge for a few days before I took them and this batch I used the Sugar Cube's (wanted to try and see if the is a difference between them and the Drops that come with the kit). Anyway they still said it had great Taste and they were happy with it, One even said I should sell it ( I know I can't), I had a few more so I gave them to my Cop buddy across the Street and he texted my last night telling me how good my beer tasted and I gave him my last 2 today and he said same thing great taste just carbonation seemed to be on the lower side. This Batch Fermented for 4 weeks cause I was in the Hospital and I started all these batched before I ended up with Open heart surgery. Temps stayed Around 70 entire time while conditioning, The Only thing I can think of like mentioned before in past post was they did not Let it sit in the Fridge for a few days so the Carbonation did not rebuild in the bottle. I turn 43 this Week and Already Sampled the API IPA one I made minus the Nugget hops, I loved it so I am Keeping that one all to myself as my birthday beer, The Oktoberfest will not even bee touched until end of Summer, I have an Long IPA one I am thinking about doing soon but I need to get my bottles back from my buddy but by the time I am done with my IPA beer I will have have enough for this next Run. What I liked also about these Runs I cold Crashed them LBK's before bottling and I have noticed the difference from the first time I made beer so I know I will be using that process every time. thank you also for all the helpful tips in recent Post also.
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    Well today was the day to bottle the El Gordito and I am super impressed. It tasted very clean with no weird after taste. Also, it had nice color that was very light and pretty. I put the sample I pulled in the fridge so the glass was a little frosty for the photo. But this should be a great beer once conditioning is complete! I am feeling good about the first partial mash recipe! To celebrate, I immediately brewed a 1776 Ale in hopes it would be ready for the 4th of July!
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    I'm still waiting on special ingredients to arrive from Mexico (OK..., Amazon) but for @MrWhy, @MRB Tim, and anyone else looking to craft a Belgian Cerveza, please post your recipe here! 🇲🇽🍻🇧🇪
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    Okay, Mr. Why asked, and while I wasn't going to post until tomorrow, I guess the earlier I do it, the more advise I'll get from you folks. My experiment is to brew 4 LBK's of CAL. Each will get a different LME (golden, pale, smooth and robust). I will add a booster to each, but I won't add anything else that would affect the taste (no additional grains or hops). The primary difference will be the LME used. I say "primary" because there are things that I can't control that might affect the experiment. Three of the CAL cans have a best-by date of August 5, 2016, while one is August 4 2017. Thus, while the CAL itself should be identical, three are a year older than the fourth. Also, the LME's aren't the same expire date, but the oldest has a best-by date of August 2017, and they are all very close to the same date.. A true experiment should have all four HME's and all four LME's of the same born-on date. I don't think this is going to be a huge issue, but I'm open to suggestions as to using one LME on the newer HME can to try to "even" things out. Each batch will ferment with Safeale 05, all four packs have the same best-by date. I chose this instead of the regular pack of yeast because of the addition of the booster. As of right now, the plans is to start two LBK's Saturday, and the other two next Saturday (I only have two available now, but will have two more freed up next weekend). Ferment standard 3 weeks, carb with the same box of Domino sugar cubes for all four batches, and carb/condition for at least 5 weeks (at least two months total time). Each will get a gold bottle cap with JUST the initial of the LME used. Once ready, and once my friend's pool is ready, I will take several of each to a pool party. I will let my friend, his wife, his daughter (she's 16, but he lets her sample beer, and it's not up to me), and any friends/family they have sample them. I will have them write notes as to what they think of the taste of each beer, knowing only the letter on the cap. I will report back on what they think is the best/worst, and what they think each tasted like compared to commercial brews. My current thinking: - As I said before, should I use a particular LME on the younger can of HME, or should the "best by" date not be a huge issue at this point - Should I wait a week, and brew all four at the same time? If I do, I will get a better balance of fermenting temperatures, and not a cases where two fermented/condition a week ahead of time, and thus not having a near-exact ferment/condition air temp as the other. No, I can't put them in the fridge and use the temp control gadget, as it is being used on the freezer to condition a lager. - I won't tell the people drinking the beer what the letter means. I'll just tell them it's a code used by the brewery. They also shouldn't tell each other what they think, but just write down notes, and once each of the four are sampled, I'll consider telling them that G is "golden", R is "robust", etc. This should help not bias the decision. I'm opening the table to thoughts.
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    I don't think anyone's getting annoyed by these posts. And if they are they need to call the police so they can arrest the guy that's forcing them at gunpoint to read them. I for one look forward to reading the results. If they're bad, I'll have learned something. If they're good, I'll have learned something.
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    Thanks, @Creeps McLane. I appreciate your input. Yes, CAL does suck without an upgrade. But, what would it, plus an upgrade, taste like?. Not a great beer, but perhaps a good beer with.........? That's my thesis to go from Freshman to Sophomore (in other words, I'm still in my first year of brewing). For the record I did read on what Mr. Beer's team said about the LME's. And I trust what they say. But, I feel that in order to advance to the next level of brewing, I need to study, learn and research. To me, this experiment is "research". You said you have done "tons of experiments". I have only done a hundred pounds or two. And for the record I am right now drinking a failed experiment. This adventure is another experiment for me, and I thought I would share it with my friends here. 8 gallons of mediocre beer....yep. no doubt. Waste of time and product, probably. Something for my friends to drink by the pool, okay. A means to get rid of some product......well, why should it sit on the shelf. I won't be brewing anymore during the summer anyways, so might as well use it. My first ever beer that I brewed back in September of last year tasted like sour green apple. A beer that I brewed back in January, per my friend Lee, was "phenomenal" (Mr. Beer's Belgian Blanc). Some of my beers that will be ready in May are probably rather good. I'm learning by reading and doing. This is an experiment on "doing". If I'm annoying anyone with my posts........sorry.....please ignore them. These are the rants of an old geezer. Unless the folks ta Mr. Beer object, I will still post my studies online.
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    Okay - My least favorite part of the brewing thing has been de-labeling bottles. I hate it. Soaking them...sometimes the sticker comes off easily. Most time I am left with a paper sludgy that I have to scrub and my scrub brush ends up with paper sludgy and my wife gets mad when she goes to clean something........ The whole thing. I hate it. I just finished soaking a Ninksai Tricerahops IPA bottle. Did the label fall off all nice and pretty? No. That damn label laughed at my silly attempts to soak it off. I was so frustrated that I went to the trash to through it away.....but then it hit me. Beer is on the INSIDE of the bottle. Not the outside. If I clean the inside as well as I usually do.....does it really matter if there is a label on the outside? This stunned me. I cannot think of any reason how NOT de-labeling a beer bottle will impact anything accept my joy and happiness, and that will be a positive. I have just improved my brewing experience by 87%. Now this might have been common knowledge to you all, and if it was shame on all of you for not posting about it because you could have saved me a lot of heartache. But for those new brewers, or maybe some not so new, who are living with this delusion that you HAVE to take the label off, I am here offering you freedom. I am giver.
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    Yeah - I was thinking more of my progression as a brewer......once I was convinced all I would ever do is 2.5 gallon extract batches. Now here I am bumping up into the 5 gallon extract, steeping grain route and already wondering if I've got a 5 gallon pot, maybe I can get into the brew in a bag thing......I just read a tutorial on partial mash/DME stuff using a BIAB...... I have four problems with the 6.5/7 gallon fermenters: 1. While you all are clearly people of supreme ability, I am much more confident carrying around one LBK at a time than lugging a 5 gallons worth of wort at a time. Don't get me wrong....I am actually quite strong. But still..... 2. Bottling - I prefer to have the option of splitting the bottling time if needed. My schedule can be quite chaotic and I love the idea of, if need be, bottling one LBK one day and then bottling the next. 3. Temp control - My fridges are totally lame and have this weird protrusion inside. I am not confident at all I can get a 6 gallon bucket in there and I really don't want to do any of those temp bags. 4. I already have the LBKs.......
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    Ooh ooh, let me guess! Ricks hops go commando! RIP @slym2none
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    Also, while were talking about it, just get an ale pail. Theyre dirt cheap and its just easier to use one fermenter as long as it fits in your chamber if you have one.
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    Thank you , this week I started my rehab so will be going there 3 times a week to get me ready to go back to the Street as a Medic (maybe). Beer even tatse better and different after I quit smoking go figure hahahahaha.
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    I knew I was going to be hooked after I did my first batch
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    Congrat's!!! Regarding the lack of head, that's not unusual with extract brews; it doesn't affect the flavor at all, just appearance. Steeping some carapils will help with head retention while not affecting the taste.
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    I've brewed a good number of batches with that yeast at ale temp. In particular light adjunct lagers work extremely well. There's virtually no yeast contribution once it settles a little. They ferment quick and clean, clear very well . I've gone from grain to glass in as little as 3 weeks pretty routinely with kegging, but there's no doubt that the beer gets better with a little time. Yes, sulfur is often present during fermentation of any lager, even at lower temperatures, but it dissipates completely by the time it's ready to bottle or keg. And, yes, it can smell pretty nasty, so if you do start using lager yeasts, keep your fermenters out in the garage, not in a closet in the house. You can only blame it on the dog for just so long before your wife catches on and puts the kibosh on your brewing activities. You can get very similar results with a really clean ale yeast. I've used S-04 on a lager grain bill and the result is a clean malty Kolsch with just a little flavor from the yeast. That dies down when it's stored cold for a while and you get something that barely resembles an ale at all. Most every yeast will ferment quite well considerably outside it's preferred temperature range. It just acts a little differently and produces different flavors...some desirable and some not so much.
  18. 3 likes
    ive stopped bothering to remove the labels on my 1 liter plastic carbonated water bottles. I don't label my beers. at most i'll use a marker on the lid with a letter code.
  19. 3 likes
    If bottling 2 lbk's is too much work for 1 day (which I agree with) then it's time to KEG. there I said it.
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    Some people need to read the posts about how to do things before reinventing the wheel... Oxiclean Free soak in hot water, Sam Adams bottles.
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    Thanks for all the replies. The wheat beer sounds like a winner, and all the general guidance is appreciated. I'm realizing, though, that I should probably try first to work with what's on hand, rather than bringing in new extract cans when I have some already. I have: -- a fresh Aztec Cerveza and an Aztec and CAL that are both a few months past their prime. -- one half-ounce of U.S. Saaz pellets, two half-ounce packets of Cascade pellets -- one Pale LME softpack, two Smooth LME softpacks. -- various ale yeasts, mostly fresh enough to use. So I'm thinking I could use the Aztec with U.S. Saaz and an LME (kind of a poor man's El Gordito) or the CAL with both Cascade packets and the Pale LME. Probably sounds like I'm going all Mad Scientist on you, but I am trying to look at the characteristics of various hops, etc., and keep in mind fairly low ABV for early drinking potential. Any thoughts? Jim
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    And I thought that the pic of Terry Bradshaw's naked a$$ would be the most inappropriate post of the day...
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    +1 to more hops. CAL is what it is, but there's always room for more cowbell...I mean, HOPS!
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    I swear I've only had three beers tonight, but I almost completely mistook that last line to read "you are sorta hot". I am ashamed.
  25. 3 likes
    4/19/2017 - So..... For those of you who might not know my story....I got into the homebrew thing last year (2016) heavily. This was after years (not joking on the plural) of doubt. Then, after a highly successful run, the will of the universe dictated that I take a LONG break and search the world of brewing for knowledge. At first I thought I needed to seek knowledge of brewing. But after my search, I understood that I did not seek to know more about brewing. I sought to know more of my own self. And only now do I see that that there is no distinction between the self, and the brew. But that is all for another time. All that being said, my first brew when "I" returned was the baltic porter, but because I am ME, I decided to brew an Imperial Baltic Porter. I did not take notes so I have no freaking idea what that even means. That being said.....my Imperial Baltic Porter was bottled on 3/4/17. I seem to remember a strong smell of banana. I had no plans to try this beer until January of 2018. But it seems like the universe had different plans for me. Because today, when I put my Zythos Hopped CAL in the fermenting fridge, I noticed in the corner a lone bottle of my IPB. (Imperial Baltic Porter.) What the hell is that doing there, I asked myself? Waiting to be drink-ed by you, the universe replied. Who am I to tell the universe no? I used my patented quick chill method and brought this bad girl down to drinkable temps..... -- I am not going to lie. This beer is about as outstanding brew as I have brewed. It is dark but there is a touch of light lingering in the background. That strong smell/taste of banana has faded and if you asked, it now just a hint, a lingering memory. The harsh alcohol taste is now a slight reminder that you are not drinking water. Respect me, but don't fear me, it whispers in your ear..... -- This is a great brew. And in case their is any doubt, please do not attribute this to me as a brewer, but rather the skill of the Mr. Beer peeps....because as hard as I tried to butcher it, it resisted. It INSISTED on becoming what it was meant to be....a great beer.
  26. 3 likes
    The jagged edges of the white pieces with their "broken ice sheet" look indicate that they were part of a film, or "pellicle" that is only created by bacterial or wild yeast infections. When you move the fermenter, the film breaks up into these jagged pieces. You can see the yeast "rafts", which are the more yellowish rounded blobs, especially noticeable in the bottom right of the photo. I've brewed enough sour beers to know a broken pellicle when I see one. And yes, it most likely happened by letting it sit for too long. Since fermentation was done, the Co2 will off-gas leaving the surface exposed to oxygen and bacteria, and bacteria love oxygen.
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    Also, auto siphons usually come with a tiny little plastic piece that fits over your hose. You pinch it to stop the flow, open to begin again. Why cant i find a damn pic of these things!?!?!?
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    IDK Dawg, I still bottle every batch 1/2 into glass and 1/2 into plastic. Never had a carb problem in the plastic.
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    Tastes like beer...so I will try a cold crash.
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    I'm thinking I'll do the following, with the tentative name of El Wit 1X Aztec Mexican Cerveza HME 1X Golden LME 4 oz Pilsen 4 oz Red Wheat Flakes 1/2 oz Halltertau Zest of one lime and 1 tsp crushed coriander X 5 min boil T-58 It's not nearly as fancy as @Bonsai & Brew or @MrWhy, but wits are my favorite Belgian beer, so I'll keep it simple. Both of y'alls sound excellent, though.
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    Gophers6 - seems that you have been wearing that same red cap for a while now !
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    GREAT IDEA!!!!!! El La Noche Oscura Cuadruplicar Fuerte (a remix of the Calavera Spiced Chile Stout) (Thank you @MiniYoda for keeping the Spanish real.) Base: 1 Churchill Nut Brown 1 Robust LME 2 Smooth LME 1 Booster Steeping Grains: Chocolate Malt Black Malt Honey Malt (go easy!) Carapils Hops: Tettnanger Cluster Additionals: Cacao Nibs Cinammon Stick 2 Ancho Chiles Vanilla Yeast: T-58 I'm really close to dropping the honey malt and booster and adding another robust LME and some lactose sugar to go for more of a chili spiced milk stout....in which case I might just go all in and make a nice Belgian Champurrado Milk Stout. I've got another one I am working up that I will post later. Doing a bit of travelling in a week or so. When I get back I am ordering and brewing some of these up.
  35. 3 likes
    1. room temp of 68f means inside the lbk if we assume a vigorous ferment, it will be anywhere from 75-80f. fermentation makes heat. hot ferments , especially with coopers yeast, makes cider flavors due to yeast peeing out acetaldehyde. 2. sweet icky beer, especially flat sweet icky beer means usually your yeast was too old and died. nothing fermented. 3. don't boil mr beer hme's. boil the water, turn it off. remove from burner and add the hme. stir. add to lbk that was already filled to mark with cold water. stir without scraping the bottom of lbk to add oxygen for the yeast. o2 is needed at the start for healthy yeast growth. once fermentation gets going you don't want o2. boiling hme's drives off the hop essence mr beer worked hard to put in there. 4. go to a home brew shop and pick up some FRESH packs of safale us o4 or o5. I would suggest o5 for a cleaner ferment. less esters. 04 makes fruity esters if fermented too warm. since you aren't looking for fruity stouts, you need to keep the ferment temp below 66f. ideally your ambient air temp will stay a near constant 64f for ale. 5. know your yeast. what is its optimal ferment temp? what esters can it make? use the right yeast for the job. coopers is ok for starters but you can get really old yeast under the lid, especially if you buy a keg kit from a store or an old can of hme. lots of good pointers above. scrap the booster. use the liquid malt packs from mr beer. use the right one for the beer you are making. good water makes good beer. tap water can contain chlorine ... which will likely make compounds in your beer that taste like rubber bands or bandaids. ick. a good bottled spring or mineral water is the way to go. just like good fresh ingredients make a good fresh cake, use fresh hmes and not expired ones. after my third kit I stopped using the yeast under the lid and bought better and fresher. I used the lid yeast as food for the other yeast by doing a 10 minute boil of the under the lid yeast in just water to kill it. cool this. added to the wort the yeast will cannibalize their dead cousins. another thing I like about safale.. you don't need to rehydrate it. just sprinkle it on top of the cooled wort. give it about 15 minutes then it's good to go. don't even need to stir it in*. it will do the job. using a 11g sachet, even if you do experience a 50% cell die off from osmotic shock you are pitching enough yeast for 5 gallons. it's still enough cells. as mentioned 05 is clean. 04 is a beast and tends to ferment quite vigorously..which means temp control is even more important. (*but do aerate the wort before pitching yeast) extract twang for me is hit or miss. I rarely experience it but have. it's real. I find dry malt extracts and especially the lighter ones like Pilsen have more twang than the dark... but that's just me. so before starting another kit, verify they aren't old. look for the best by or exp date. get good yeast. research rick's footnote posts. read howtobrew.com as it has lots of good info. consider temperature control. with the lbk it is easy. put the lbk in an ice chest. put the probe from an aquarium thermometer in the chest. freeze 1 liter bottles of water. put one in the chest with the lbk and shut it. monitor the temps. getting too cold? use less ice. too hot? add more ice. an ice bottle in a cooler should go for about 12 hrs before you need to swap it out. don't give up.
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    Update: I got anxious and tried one of my Rye IPAs (12 ounce in glass) carbed with a small Domino dot....it's great! 4th batch of Mr. Beer recipes, and this is the first one that I think is perfect! Tastes really good, and the carbonation is exactly how I like it... Thanks everyone for their suggestions and advice Dave
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    I am also dipping my toe in the 5 gallon brew lake. I picked up some stuff off craigslist. My question has to do with cold crashing. I am fermenting in the six gallon fermenter,, and my kit came with the ale pale with drilled hole and spout, but it will be quite difficult to get either one of those in the refrigerator. Can I "rack" (is that the right word?) my beer to two LBKs, then cold crash and bottle. Thoughts?
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    I think those would both work well and if you keep your fermentation temps good they should be ready to drink sooner rather than later. And your not even close to mad scientist yet! You want to get #madscientist - one smooth, one plale LME.....do 20 minute hop boil with one cascade, a 10 minute hop with the other cascade, and a five minute with the saaz after boil add both of the azteca HMEs. That my friend, is going mad scientist AND chasing ABV. Both of which I excel at. This would not be a beer you can drink sooner rather than later. Now you plan is certainly better.
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    Yep. I'll be brewing a weizen in about a week that I plan on starting to drink a month after I bottle it.
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    Here is my (completely unfounded, lame) opinion: If you want to be able to drink your beer faster......in order of importance...... #1 - minimize off flavors from pitching too warm, fermenting too warm. Pitch your beers cooler rather than warmer, ferment cooler rather than warmer. Pitching wrong/fermenting wrong takes longer to condition out, if ever. #2 - use purchased yeast - 05......t-58.....whatever. The Mr. Beer yeast is good....in fact it is awesome....but if your goal is drink it sooner rather than later then you cannot go wrong with a purchased yeast. When in doubt 05 is the answer. #3 - less booster, more malt. When in doubt, more malt. Use another LME. Use two more LMEs. The extra malt for wort is good here. But it will not help if you miss #1!!!! Nothing but time helps missing #1!!!! #4 - more hops, not less. Use more hops! Late in the boil (5 minute or flame out or dry). These will not overcome messing up on 1....but if you get 1 right, more hops help because the aroma can mask off flavors. (I am not sure if boiling for taste does the same thing. I am working on this.) #4 - steeping grains for freshness. More steeping grains, less time. That is my experience. (If you get 1, 3, and then 2 right!) Adding grains does nothing but good things. Even if all you do is add those simple brewers grains and carapils. #5 - don't look to brew clean. You want a crisp, clean, clear lager......speed is not your friend. If you want to drink it faster, brew a beer that can accept an off flavor. Or two, or three. Right now I am early drinking an Imperial Porter that has hints of banana. You know what? Who the hell cares???? This is not a lager. This is a possibly 8+ % monster that exploded in the fermentation fridge. A bit of banana? This beer wears it like an accessory scarf. -- Keep in mind that all this is a balance. And in the end, the honest answer might just be brew more and wait longer. But in my experience, if you want to drink you beer faster, look at those above for and see what you can work out. It might be pretty easy to come up with a good beer you can easily drink at the 5 week conditioning mark, if not earlier.
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    one problem you might have if the beer is drinkable.. green apple taste like cider. your pantry temperature was 72f. fermentation produces heat.. around 5-15 degrees f depending on how vigorous it was. this means your ale yeast was doing its thing around 77f or higher. waaaaay too hot. high temps make esters because you are stressing the yeast out. your ambient air temp for the typical ale yeast is around 64f. watch your fermentation temps and use an ice chest with a bottle of ice to control them. don't be surprised if you taste this batch when done and go ick. it tastes like apple juice. between poor temp control and the extra 2 weeks on the lees I would not be shocked if it comes out tasting really bad. just don't blame mr beer. . . and don't give up.
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    Wait, what.... @Bonsai & Brew - you've actually started brewing this???? Okay - a new rule for the Mexican-Belgian War of 2017 - Whatever anyone brews on this thread - at least ONE bottle needs to be saved for each participant - which so far seems to be me and @Bonsai & Brew.
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