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  1. 10 likes
    I was getting a little disenchanted with my IPA recipes, especially the extract recipes. Every IPA had the same taste. I was blaming the dreaded EXTRACT TWANG enigma. Honestly, I was ready to give up on IPA's. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what was going on. I tweaked the grains, hops, hop schedules, dme/lme, boiled with electric, boiled with gas. It was literally driving me nuts. Just when I was about to give up on my favorite style of beer it hit me! A private conversation that I had with our good ole Jim. I went back into my email archives and there it was. I pm'd Jim about this awhile back, and he was kind enough to respond. Jim simply stated, "It's your water." Doggone if he wasn't 100% right!!! He recommended using either bottled spring water or getting a filtration system. I opted to go bottled, and although I've only tried it with a quick 2g Mr. Beer based IPA, the difference was incredible. I'm confident, thanks to Jim, that I can make brewery quality IPA's now and my heavy-on-the-malts have NEVER tasted better. Wish I had the chance to thank him, but somehow I know that he knows.
  2. 9 likes
  3. 8 likes
    While you were away... @Big Sarge got a promotion and now seems to have less time for the Forum. @HoppySmile! remains a brewing enigma. Some things are just best left undefined. @MrWhy can be somewhat elusive and unpredictable, but we would have no Hoppy CALs or La Noche Obscuras without him. @MiniYoda is on a "break." @MRB Tim has unleashed his brewing creativity with some pretty impressive recipes of late. @Creeps McLane has covered nicely in your absence and he gave me the shirt off his back. We have all brewed gushers. Even @RickBeer has brewed one or two. @Shrike wins the all-around good guy Brewer of the Year award. @MichaelL places a close second. @kedogn went pro. @hotrod3539 wins the award for most 2-gallon batches brewed in one weekend award. @gophers6, @dale hihn, @BDawg62, @John K. you know who you are. @Nickfixit has been pretty quiet lately, but now we know why. I think @MRB Josh R was getting a little bored with us, so it's a good thing you're back @AnthonyC! Ps Has anyone seen @Stroomer420?
  4. 8 likes
    I am also back....... although maybe with less impact, from trip to U.K. and consumption of various beers of different kinds. I had a great time despite visiting relatives. No seriously, that was why I went. Family birthday celebrations. My younger brothers officially joined the old fogey league at 70 and 65 - so we had a bit of partying. And a bit of touring. Stayed in this Inn - "Serving Great Beer since 1397". Fortunately they had some more recent brews - lol.
  5. 7 likes
    Finally i found a pic of me and josh discussing something very important im sure.
  6. 6 likes
    Funny story: This beer was made by accident. It was one of @MRB Tim's 1st days here and I was tasked with showing him how to brew our MRB kits. I pretty much just grabbed the first ingredients I saw - a Bewitched, a Golden LME, and some Falconer's Flight Hops - and proceeded to show Tim how to make a basic Mr. Beer kit with hops. We ended up fermenting it and this is what came out. Still one of my favorite MRB recipes ever. One of our most popular, too.
  7. 5 likes
    brewing isnt for everyone. it IS a lot of work. it takes dedication and not everyone is willing to do that when they can go to the store and buy beer, even if it is swill. i can go on for hours talking to people about making beer but dont have anyone who shares my interest... so i pretty much just become a bore. i regret not learning the craft in my youth when i actually had friends that i could brew for. ive become incredibly introverted and agoraphobic in my old years. thats ok. i have my beer.
  8. 4 likes
    Allow me to join the chorus in welcoming @AnthonyC back to the fold. This place is always more fun when The Beer SquirrelTM is around. Also: @Bonsai & Brew: you are too kind. You also neglected to mention that you are now an award-winning brewer, having placed in the Lost Cabin Homebrew competition while @AnthonyC was on his hiatus.
  9. 4 likes
    I know Sarge & I will. A lot at once.
  10. 4 likes
    Wow, and I was gonna take the night off from drinking! Let's all have a "welcome back/where the hell did you go?" beer!🍻
  11. 4 likes
    Ewan.. remember your first dozen beers will be learning experiences. this is the part where you make mistakes, see how doing things influences the final product and learn what to do to make the beer better. don't expect great beer on your first few kits. almost every mistake you can make has been done by someone else here. if your final product tastes like green apples because it was too hot, drink it anyway. you can add stuff to your glass to cover it up like a shot of booze or maybe some powdered orange drink. the ONLY beer I would dump would be one that had an ecoli infection.. .which is very rare if you are even remotely careful about hygiene and sanitation. a lacto infection can be covered up with juice or something to mask the tart.. or consume it as a tart or sour beer. an acetobacter infected beer can be turned into vinegar and used in cooking. ...and remember, not everything you see is an infection.
  12. 4 likes
    worst part about this. Im 25....my and my fiance dont enjoy going out partying and to clubs so we dont have many friends that enjoy what we enjoy. EVEN FREE BEER. sadly my generation and one behind me are lazy...
  13. 4 likes
  14. 4 likes
    Personally, I love wheat beers. I made the Belgian Blanc, and it knocked the socks off a friend of mine. Said it tasted like a Blue Moon
  15. 3 likes
    Bottled on Day 23 @ FG 1.010, ABV 5.25%. I think I've found my session beer for the upcoming dog days of summer.
  16. 3 likes
    I was touring the world playing Pokémon Go with @RickBeer!
  17. 3 likes
  18. 3 likes
    Only one has gone from kettle to keg b/c the others have a conditioning time of anywhere from 1-2yrs! The one I've tried was the Cream Ale and the difference has been day & night. I've also used bottled water exclusively and that has helped as well.
  19. 3 likes
    1) as many times as you can until they are busted and cannot be used..... 2) Caps... when they leak and do not hold pressure or are broken/cracked.. Bottles when they are not the original shape or are broken/cracked
  20. 3 likes
    This was bottled on May 20, 2017. It is my version of the Mexi-Belgi quad. I have never been able to decide if I am calling it La Noche Obscura or La Noche Fuerte. Whatever. In my mind I just consider it La Noche. I used the Bewitched Amber, 2 pale, 2 smooth, 1 booster, and a whole bunch of steeping/mashing grains including munich, crystal 60, some chocolate and some black malt. I did 2 ancho chiles, some cinnamon stick, and a liberal dosing of vanilla/bourbon abstract. In addition I went with El Dorado hops. I am going to say it. I am trying my best not be be biased. This is a pretty great beer. The el dorado hops work amazingly well with the cinnamon and chile. The whole thing blends in better than I would have ever imagined. There is nothing that is too overpowering. I was worried about the cinnamon, but it has faded and left a nice subtle flavoring. The chile is providing a good counterbalance to the sweetness of the malt and crystal. I was a bit worried that I fermented this too cool, or cool enough that the flavor of the yeast would not shine through. And in all honestly, that might be the case. I am not picking up as much of the "belgian-y" flavor as I would normally like, but in this case I think it is a good thing. There are enough flavors happening that adding one more might be too much. I would need someone else to taste it and give me honest feedback as to whether this is belgian enough to be belgian. All that being said, I love this beer. -- edit- one other thing, I am not getting a good fuzzy head on this. But a lot of my beers seem to not have a strong fuzzy head. I might need to start adding carapils and what not.
  21. 3 likes
    I have opened the first bottle of La Noche Fuerte. Behold.
  22. 3 likes
    @Bonsai & Brew @MRB Tim Tonight it happens. The first tasting of La Noche Fuerte. Approximately 7:00 PM, my time. I will do a full on review. We are talking pics. Interviews with the brewer. Food pairing recommendations....... Of course, depending on how it turns out it might just be a video of me sobbing an muttering "why did I use so much cinnamon." Stay tuned.
  23. 3 likes
    I have now made 28 batches of Mr. Beer refills/recipes. I like variety and always want to try new things, so there are only 3 recipes I have repeated: Fresco Chile Lime, Let It Bee Honey Blonde Ale, and Millennium Falconers Flight Red, all very good. Other favorites are Howling Red Ale and Wild Wheat.
  24. 3 likes
    I've now brewed a couple of dozen different recipes over these past two years. I have ratings as my signature. My favorites off hand are Millennium Flight Red, Diablo IPA, Cherry Wheat (see recipe below), French Roast Stout (see recipe below) and Orange Spiced Pumpkin Lager (see recipe below). Kevin
  25. 3 likes
    I would have to go with the Nilla Porter and Bewitched Amber Ale as my two favorites with Chug-a-lugger close behind.
  26. 3 likes
    I know this thread is almost nine years old, but now that someone's revived it, I'd be curious to know what current members' favorites are. I have just one batch that's been in the bottle long enough to drink. It's a Bewitched Amber Ale that's pretty decent but still needs to mature some after two months of carbonation/conditioning. I have also bottled a 1776 Ale and the Noche del Lobo recipe. Fermenting a Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner with Pale LME and a packet of U.S. Saaz now. I have high hopes for all, but am curious what others thought of the beers they've brewed so far. So back to the OP's original question, what are your favorite Mr. Beer kits? Jim
  27. 2 likes
    Understand. I too have well water, and my water goes through a water softener, which doesn't add a lot of salt. Water softeners are a no-no with all grain also. When I move to all grain, I will get a water analysis done from before the filter and softener to figure out what water treatment I might need.
  28. 2 likes
    Just to point out - water chemistry is much more than using bottled spring water. Certain styles of beer benefit from certain types of water. For example, English Pale Ales are brewed with Burton-On_Trent water, which is a very high sulphate content. Other types of beer from other areas have very different water. Some helps darker beers, some helps lighter beers, some helps hoppy beers. A great resource is Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski. Here's some info from Palmer's How to Brew: http://howtobrew.com/book/section-3/understanding-the-mash-ph/residual-alkalinity-and-mash-ph Note - water chemistry will not greatly affect extract brews. If the water tastes good, it should brew good extract recipes. You want to eliminate the chlorine (let the water sit out for 24 hours), but otherwise if it tastes good the beer should be good. Minor additions to the water can accentuate things like hops.
  29. 2 likes
  30. 2 likes
    Welcome home @AnthonyC and @Nickfixit!!!
  31. 2 likes
    WTF AC!?!?!!?!?!??!?!? UNACCEPTABLE!! Welcome back!!!
  32. 2 likes
    1. Still Around 2. Not yet, but set a date. 3. Yes, a lot of all grain. (Honey Wheat, Cream Ale, Bourbon Porter, Barleywine) 4. Hell NO!
  33. 2 likes
    Creepyyy! Missed ya, man! Lotsa catching up to do!
  34. 2 likes
    Update. Bottled tonight. 10 full bottles and 1 about 1/4 way full. Tasted pretty good. Can't way to try one in a few weeks.
  35. 2 likes
    Ah but does it slice? can it dice? does it make mounds and mounds of julienne fries? if I act now will there be more? much much more?
  36. 2 likes
    Go fridge and Inkbird. As Ron Popeil says, "set it and forget it!"
  37. 2 likes
    It's good, but good enough to place 2nd in 'beer wars?' That will be up to the newly Anointed Beer Judge, @MRB Josh R!
  38. 2 likes
    some yeast link up hands and form rafts that float on the surface. there is a marked difference between a pellicle and yeast rafts. floating yeast do not mean your beer is infected. when krausen drops it can sometimes leave behind bits of dregs and foam. that's not infection either. why would anyone squeeze a lbk?
  39. 2 likes
    The MRB cans contain hopped malt extract (HME). This is NOT boiled, just added to water that has been brought to a boil then removed from the heat. Microwaving the water to boil it should work just fine; the water doesn't care how it's heated. Now, if you're talking about recipes that require hops to be boiled in LME or DME, that's a different story.
  40. 2 likes
    1) Do NOT remove the lid to look in. 2) You're not going to squeeze the LBK with a water bottle and cause a problem. 3) STOP LOOKING. 4) Wheat beer is supposed to be cloudy, not clear.
  41. 2 likes
    I'm not-so-patiently waiting for my Nilla Porter to be ready. I've got another 6-8 weeks before minimum conditioning time. Must...be...patient!
  42. 2 likes
    I have to say that I am pretty happy with my version of Chug-a-lugger. Minor revision uses Safeale US-05, adds Centennial to the LME for 20 minutes, and Goldings at flame-off. Very nice beer, mild hops, very drinkable. Best to let it sit in the bottle for 4 weeks minimum, 5-6 is even better.
  43. 2 likes
    62 is good. If that is the ambient air temp of the cooler then the wort will be warmer. You are good, I set the ambient of my fermentation chamber at 58 to 60.
  44. 1 like
    I did speak w/Stroom. He left me a message on PS4 awhile back.
  45. 1 like
    For my next batches I would like to make sure things are a bit more temperature controlled. I have read I want to get an InkBird (I presume the Inkbird Itc-308 is ok) and a mini-fridge if I want to do things "right". But what size mini-fridge would hold a couple LBK's with decent separation? I presume I want one without the freezer section, but am I looking for a 2.x or a 3.x or...? Any particular models that are recommended?
  46. 1 like
    Now that's the Beer Squirrel I remember!
  47. 1 like
  48. 1 like
    That's next in my queue, too; should be brewing it in about 10 days or so.
  49. 1 like
    Yeah, I can agree to that, from experience. My issue was and let me say I still have and use some of the equipment I originally bought over 7 years ago, but overall my issue was with batch size. I figured I would never want to do more than 5 gal when I moved to AG. So I bought what I needed for a mash tun in a small cooler, build it and used it maybe 5x before I went out and got the kegs to make Keegles and made a false bottom. My suggestion to add is to do the research and possibly pay a little more to get bigger/better equipment so you aren't spending way more in the long run. When I was going to buy my current kettles, for the price I almost just got the 30gal sized ones. I opted to spend a little more and get the 50gal ones and with a few beers I'll be brewing regularly now, the 50s are too small really for what I'll need and will force me to brew 2x for that 1 beer. Just something to think about...
  50. 1 like
    The Oktoberfest refill I received had a can of malt, yeast, sterilizer, and that was it. Not sure if that means it was dated or...? The kit itself had an American Pilsner, the 2 gallon keg, instructions, and that was it. I bought some of the carbonation drops and bottles separately. Other than my initial concern about the preparation (which I think we've beaten to death), my remaining concern is temperature. At this point, I am trying to find a way to measure the temp of the kit with anything I currently have, while looking into getting a proper strip thermometer and a mini fridge. Will probably see how bad this batch turns out and go from there. One thing I am also looking into is getting another of this particular refill so I can compare the "bad" way with the proper one :-)