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  1. 12 likes
    We recieve many calls and emails here at Mr. Beer on how to use a hydrometer. Many of the hydrometer instructions can be confusing to newbies so I thought I would create this primer on the correct way to use a hydrometer and the explanation of specific gravity. Understanding Your Hydrometer: The hydrometer is a simple instrument that measures the weight (or gravity) of a liquid in relation to the weight of water. Because the relation of the gravity to water is specified (1.000), the resulting measure is called a specific gravity. A hydrometer will float higher in a heavy liquid, such as one with a quantity of sugar dissolved in it, and lower in a light liquid, such as water or alcohol. The average homebrewer has a very keen interest in the amount of sugar dissolved in their wort, for yeast converts sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. By knowing how much sugar one started with and ended with, one can easily calculate the resulting alcohol content. There are many variants of the hydrometer. Some have only one scale, some two and some three. The typical hydrometer measures three things: specific gravity (S.G.), potential alcohol (P.A.), and sugar. How To Use Your Hydrometer: It's really pretty easy to use the hydrometer; just follow these simple steps: 1. Sanitize the hydrometer, test jar, and any tools that may come into contact with your wort/beer. 2. Place test cylinder on flat surface. 3. Draw a sample of "clean" wort/beer (Avoid testing samples that contain solid particles, since this will affect the readings.) 4. Fill the test jar with enough liquid to just float the hydrometer - about 80% full. 5. Gently lower the hydrometer into the test jar; spin the hydrometer as you release it, so no bubbles stick to the bottom of the hydrometer (this can also affect readings). 6. Making sure the hydrometer isn't touching the sides of the test jar and is floating freely, take a reading across the bottom of the meniscus (see image below). Meniscus is a fancy word for the curved surface of the liquid. 7. Be sure to take good records of your readings! That's it! Pretty simple, huh? There are a couple of other things you need to know to get an accurate measurement. Most hydrometers are calibrated to give correct readings at 59-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures thin the liquid slightly and result in lower readings than you'd get at the correct temperature. At 70 degrees F., the reading will be 0.001 low. To correct it, add 0.001 to the reading. At 77 degrees F., add 0.002. At 84 degrees F., add 0.003. At 95 degrees F., add 0.005. At temperatures above 95 degrees F., you risk killing your yeast and losing your beer. If you can't remember all that just print out the chart below. Another thing you need to know is that most hydrometers come with three scales. Specific Gravity, Balling, and Brix are the ones that are usually on your hydrometer. Specific Gravity and Brix are the ones that are most used. Sugar can be measured as ounces per gallon, or as degrees Balling, or Brix. Ounces per gallon are measured on a numeric scale in which an S.G. of 1.046 equals 16 oz. (one pound) of sugar per U.S. gallon. Brix is measured as a percentage of sugar by which pure water has a Brix of 0 (or 0% sugar), an S.G. of 1.046 equals a Brix of 11.5 (11.5% sugar), and an S.G. of 1.095 equals a Brix of 22.5 (22.5% sugar). If you have a choice and want to simplify your life, buy a hydrometer that measures sugar by ounces per gallon. That should cover everything you need to know about your hydrometer and how to use it. Here are a few tools that may help: Handy Tools: Brix/SG Conversion Calculator Hydrometer Temperature Adjustment Calculator Cheers!
  2. 8 likes
    I just brewed a Black Beer'd Porter! And this time I added all the water to the batch! LOL! You can see the hop boil portion of the brew here. I printed instructions and checked off steps as I went. I *did* however, drink beer while making beer. :-)
  3. 7 likes
    I get more courageous. That could just be the alcohol though...lol.
  4. 6 likes
    Tried the Diablo IPA I made with some different grains from this posting and it turned out really good! Lots of flavors hit the mouth all at once. I'm really proud of this one. I think the cascade/galaxy hop additions were a nice combo. Even gave a couple away to get feedback and all of them really like it. So that's a plus!
  5. 6 likes
    I get funnier after several glasses of Mr Beer.
  6. 5 likes
    Winning recipe. Im going to BIAB this one im the driveway tonight. 57 degrees, a nice sweat shirt brew night. Right after i keg some why so creepy ipa. Very excited for tonight. Ive been thinking about it all week
  7. 5 likes
    3 weeks bottle conditioning and my first taste. Wow! Great beer. I can see these going quickly. A hint of banana, and a bit of clove. Will certainly be re-ordering this recipe.
  8. 5 likes
    24 hours into the yeast orgy session
  9. 4 likes
    Just carbonated my first batch!!! Got the American Lager and it tasted great flat, so I cant wait till its done!!
  10. 4 likes
    Let it ride, sir. Let it ride. I bet it'll be just fine.
  11. 4 likes
    Zero diastatic power means the grains have no power to convert starch into sugar, in short, the enzymes are destroyed in the kilning process. Specialty malts, like Chocolate Malt, are used to enhance flavor, add color, and complexity to a beer. While there are no enzymes to convert sugars, there are some sugars. That's why people often add enough base malt to convert the sugars. The impact on gravity from using a specialty malt can be seen with a brewing calculator such as QBrew. Of course with something like Chocolate Malt you are adding very little to the overall batch, so the impact of the sugars is slight.
  12. 4 likes
    @Creeps McLane Was that K-97 there before? Anyway, I crafted a partial extract 10 gal. variation of a Blonde for your perusal: Pale malt, 12 lbs. Canadian Blonde HME, 3.74 lbs. Warrior hops (15.4% AA) 0.5 oz., 60 min. Mandarina Bavaria hops, 1 oz. @ flame-out Safale K-97 Mash malt @ 152 F for an hour. Mash-out @ 168 F. Sparge. 90 min. boil. HMEs @ flame-out. Ferment @ 60 F. OG 1.046 IBU 19 SRM 4 Blonde Warrior Ale?🍻
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    If this one turns out, I'll serve it as my 'House' beer (Biru) to friends visiting my koi garden (niwa).🍻 Niwa-Biru Pale Ale Canadian Blonde HME, 1.87 lb. Rahr 2-row, 0.5 lb. Flaked rice, 0.25 lb. BrewMax Pale LME, 0.55 lb. Sorachi Ace, 0.5 oz., 10 min. Sorachi Ace, 0.5 oz., 5 min. Safale US-05 Mini-mash milled grains for 45 min. @ 150 F. Sparge. Add LME, heat to hot-break, then boil 15 min. OG 1.047 SRM 4 IBU 43
  15. 4 likes
    welp here it is,,Diablo ...tweaked.. Only two weeks old... So still green but tastes like Diablo still,, just chocolate is a little enhanced and the bite as it normally has is faded a little.. Think its gonna be pretty good in a month or so... Looks really good though...check that now that its warming up the bite fades and turning nice and creamy
  16. 4 likes
    I made this last night and did 2 oz of Munich, Crystal, and Victory with Target hops (didn't have any Fuggle or Williamette at my LHBS). Smelled amazing and can't wait to see how this turns out.
  17. 3 likes
    Mr Why, could you repeat the part where you said that stuff about the thing?
  18. 3 likes
    It's been 16 days, so I pulled a sample last night to see how it was going. With me only having used one of the booster packs, I was estimating about 3.75 abv. It's 3.8, and tastes pretty good! No off flavors that I can detect. I think it'll wind up pretty decent.
  19. 3 likes
    Wow, that's a lot of info... The LME packet added some ABV. You won't notice it's not there.
  20. 3 likes
    Yeah, it doesn't make much sense, but the sales results after several years don't lie. With that said, we should be releasing some holiday beers soon, regardless.
  21. 3 likes
    I'd say let it ride as well, it'll just have less muscle, so to speak. By all means DO NOT DUMP IT OUT! Lol! Save that LME to beef up your next batch.
  22. 3 likes
    I think ill break the internet again tonight... though its a BIAB, it wont be nearly as interesting. Current status, laying in bed with the three year old waiting for his little eyes to shut. 12 lbs of pale malt measured into a paper bag. Lager yeast spinning on the plate, k-97 still happy in the fridge. Kettle is cleaned and the false bottom is locked in place. Full pack of cigarettes, two monster rehab drinks in the fridge, leftover pizza waiting for fourth meal. Lets do this
  23. 3 likes
    No idea if I'm trying to use already-used items, but: 1X NWPA 8 oz Pale 1 oz each Citra/Cascade Flameout 1 oz each Citra/Cascade/Sorachi dry hop 1 week before bottle/keg Belle Saison, fermented cool, like 65F I'm envisioning a hoppy pale with a really subtle Saison funk. It's a frankenbeer, but I think it sounds good. More involved stuff has already been posted, mine is intended more for a squeeze-a-session-in-a-free-afternoon sorta thing.
  24. 3 likes
    Great, now I have to go make a Snickers milk stout since you put the idea in my head. Thanks a LOT, @AnthonyC
  25. 3 likes
    Sorry... kind of on a roll now. I was also thinking Butterfinger Stout w/chocolate malts and powdered peanut butter. Hmmm...
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  27. 3 likes
    It's not just in your mind about the hot water. I do the same thing! Every time the water cools off I replace it with more hot water until I can feel the extract moving when I shake the can.
  28. 3 likes
    It's really only a "mistake" if you're trying to be exact. If you're just having fun, it's not a mistake, it's your next great beer.
  29. 3 likes
    soy has more phytoestrogens than hops ever will. American men are becoming sissified because they eat too much soy products... directly or indirectly. the government puts gobs of it in processed foods to keep us fat and passive. the ONLY cure is to consume MORE alcohol!
  30. 3 likes
    None, tasted like it could have come from any quality brewery. That is the magic of steeping grains and mini mashing.
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  32. 2 likes
    Ooohh ohhhh yeah baby! Harvest day i think will be in three days or so
  33. 2 likes
    The BJCP does do cider. Here are the guidelines. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjbstGdpOTVAhWpilQKHRC6DJoQFggoMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bjcp.org%2Fdocs%2F2015_Guidelines_Cider.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGld1mYj2NyJ6F9UOVOuhz-PX1jMg
  34. 2 likes
    I received the e-mail about this recipe today and have already added it to my "To Buy" list. I'm glad I got the fermenting fridge I did and have the capability to easily do lagers now. I just need to knock a few more recipes that I have on hand out and then I'm going to do a few lagers.
  35. 2 likes
    Mr. B's timing seems to be a bit off. They need to release the new recipes a bit earlier. It's like releasing a Holiday ale on Christmas rather than enjoying it on Christmas.
  36. 2 likes
    In bed at 3, up at 8. The things we do for love
  37. 2 likes
    2 am, holy shit does ice work! 17 lbs in, tooped off with filtered water, 10.9 gallons 40 degrees 😂 that some crazy stuff. OG 1.037 i filled the kettle to 11 to allow .5 gallons for trub. Now to rack into the big mouth bubblers!!!
  38. 2 likes
    1214 am, 60 minute addition added. Switched to tech n9ne collabos. 1 slice of pizza down. 1 gatorade. Now enjoying a sir kenneth blonde ale.
  39. 2 likes
    Oh well. SWMBO has chosen. Given the choice between jars of yeast in the fridge and spending money on new yeast each time, the choice is - keep that stuff out of the fridge! It was interesting to know I could save and successfully reuse yeast, but now I know I will be using good fresh yeast every brew .
  40. 2 likes
    I've used DME quite a bit, and this is how I always do it as well. Dissolve in cold water, then crank it up as you said.
  41. 2 likes
    Pale ales and saisons are my two favorite styles. This is a contender for sure
  42. 2 likes
    Yes. Very likely. However, there are 2 things I see would be useful - in priority : 1. A link on the main recipe page to the support page "old recipes" 2. Ability to order for any of those recipes all stocked ingredients by putting in the cart. Non stocked or out of stock ingredients can be identified as "provide your own." To add to what I said, there seem to be 3 main components to this, one is - the ability to search the recipe pages and ID the bulleted items for a given recipe (this can also be used to make or update the list) second - having a list of the ingredients available and not available third - when an available ingredient is identified, have that be put into the cart, maybe that link or data is associated directly with the available ingredients list and the action triggered (like the "add to cart" button action on the ingredient page) when the ingredient is found. I am not a web site designer but have done some programming and I don't think it sounds too hard.
  43. 2 likes
    Though ive never made a hoppy saison before... Thats interesting
  44. 2 likes
    Sure, or use the US-05 on the NWPA with a little Simcoe dry-hop? Now you've got me thinking again.... Or you could wait until @MrWhy, @MRB Tim, and others finally show their cards, and post their recipes.
  45. 2 likes
    The RB is a Belgian IPA, coming in at 60 IBU and 8%. It is hopped with Warrior, Columbus, and Amarillo. I haven't had it in a long time, but here is how I would go about it. Take the Diablo IPA (IBU 70, ABV 5.5%). Steeping Grains - Brewers 2 row 1 pack, carapils 1 pack, crystal 60 1 pack. LME - 1 pale 2 cups of sugar (maybe 1.5....) Hops 2 Columbus and 2 Amarillo Yeast t-58 Steeping grains - follow Mr. Beer instructions. Depending on process, slowly stir in the LMEs, sugar, bring to a boil. 10 minute boil 2 columbus, 2 amarillo 5 minute boil 1 columbus, 1 amarillo Pitch with T-58 Make sure to ferment around 70 degrees....watch for overflow! Part of me wonders if it should go 2 pale LME and 1 cup sugar.....Like I said, I haven't had RB in a long time and cannot remember if it is more of a dry/drinkable belgian or more of a malty sweet IIPA style. Not sure how close to an RB this would get you, but it definitely gets you into the Belgian IPA territory. Probably darker than the RB though.
  46. 2 likes
    8,600+ posts totaling 10,000 words.
  47. 2 likes
    No. It will only add flavor, color, and some complexity through body, mouthfeel, etc. There is some fermentable sugar in chocolate malt, but only trace amounts that won't really effect your gravity. The roasting process that makes chocolate malt destroys most of the fermentable sugars in the malt. This is true for all dark/black malts.
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    I am pleased enough to keep making more beer, The gas is no problem and I welcome vitamins in the diet, B will give energy, motivation and mojo for some. It has become more desirable than the Light beer I have been drinking for years. Cheers
  50. 2 likes
    If it carbonated, then you have alcohol. There's no way yeast would fast for 3 weeks in the LBK then only eat in the bottle to carbonate it. I agree with the others that you were probably making a standard recipe that yields beer in the 3.0% to 3.5% ABV when standard store-bought beer is generally 5% ABV or a little higher. If you want to get 5% ABV or higher, you need to go to one of the more advanced recipes. I just tasted my first Big Red One that is rated around 8% ABV and one bottle does make you feel it a bit.