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  1. 11 likes
    @Creeps McLane Moving into all grain is a big step for me. It is something I said I would never do because I didn't really believe I could ever do it. But here I am....a year an six into my life as a brewer and I just completed my first all grain session. And it wasn't a disaster! But this isn't because of any special talent. It's because i was blessed to find my way to this forum. Thank you for your support and help during this. And thank you to all my Mr. Beer peeps.. @MiniYoda @RickBeer.... @Bonsai & Brew @KaijuBrew @HoppySmile! @MRB Josh R @MRB Josh B @MRB Tim @AnthonyC (miss you brother brewer!) @Shrike @Big Sarge @Nickfixit ....and anyone I missed.....like @NwMaltHead!!!!! .. While I love both my wife and daughter deeply, they are not really committed to my growth as a brewer. (Although my wife has promised me she will learn to use a refractometer and do my gravity reading/testings.....) Brewing has given me a deep joy and, if I am not getting to deep or sentimental, has honestly brought a bit of meaning to my existence. I love brewing beer. I love the malts...the hops...the yeast...the process. And, still being honest, I have no doubt without the support of the people on this forum I would have given up, moved along, etc. Every single person who takes the time to read a post, like it, respond, give advice, ask a question.....thank you. I've never met any of you IRL (YET!) but I appreciate you all. And with that...I am out for the night!
  2. 11 likes
    I'm sure many of you have seen me mention something called "diastatic power" when referencing partial mash recipes. But what is it? When grain is malted, enzymes are produced during germination. They are responsible for converting the grain’s starches into sugar during mashing. Diastatic power is an indicator of the amount of enzymes (amylase/diastase enzymes, in particular) available to convert those starches into sugars such as maltose and dextrins (not all of these are fermentable and will contribute to the flavor and body). The higher that power is, the more amylase enzymes are in the mash, and the more starch can be converted by these enzymes. Diastatic power is measured in "degree Linter". Malts with enough DP to convert themselves are at least 30 degrees Lintner. Base malts, such as 2-row and 6-row can reach as high as 180 or more. Other malts, such as many specialty malts (Crystal, Carapils, flaked malts, etc.) have 0 DP. While malts like Crystal, Carapils, and most dark malts may not need conversion since they don't really have starchy interiors due to the way they were kilned, other malts, such as flaked malts MUST be mashed with a grain that has a moderate to high DP for proper conversion. The higher the average DP, the more likely your chances are of a successful conversion. If you mash flaked grains on their own, you won't benefit from them as much (your oatmeal stout might have come out good, but it would be better with proper conversion of the oat's starches). It's always best to add some 2-row to help. A 1:1 ratio is the rule of thumb, but depending on the DP of the malt, you can use more or less. The addition of 2-row (pale, pilsen, are also 2-row) will also prevent gelatinized malts, such as flaked malts, to "gum up" in the mash, which will reduce efficiency (the husks of the 2-row prevent this). The gravity of the final conversion may be important in all-grain brewing, but in a partial mash recipe, the mash represents such a small proportion of the overall gravity that it won’t make a huge difference. Most of the gravity points will come from the LME/DME/HME. So while grains may boost your ABV by a fraction of a point in a PM recipe, this shouldn't be their sole purpose. If you want more ABV, add more LME/DME/HME. The main purpose of the grains in a PM recipe is to add color, flavor, or body. A slight rise in ABV is simply a pleasant side effect. In the end, I wouldn't worry too much about diastatic power unless you're using flaked grains. Then you simply just have to add some 2-row to it. Don't worry too much about the math or the science (though I encourage you to learn, if interested). You're most likely doing a 2 gallon PM recipe, not an all-grain recipe. Just follow this basic mashing guideline and your beers will come out much better.
  3. 7 likes
    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!
  4. 6 likes
    I think you're confusing a bunch of different concepts here. Booster is an adjunct (non malt fermentable addition to beer). Booster is a mixture of fermentable and unfermentable sugars, so it's not as bad as other adjuncts (like white sugar, honey, etc). But it's still an adjunct. But Booster is used just to add ABV. Malt adds ABV and also adds flavor. Adjuncts increase ABV, but during the fermentation process, the yeast will create other compounds. Over time, the yeast will eat those compounds and create new (more favorable) compounds. Conditioning is the term we use to describe the time when the yeast changes the undesirable compounds into the desirable compounds. Booster and malt both add ABV. Malt also adds mouthfeel and body and flavor. Booster is mostly simple sugars (not only simple sugars like honey or table sugar, but it's not malt).
  5. 5 likes
    Just made a 5 gallon SMaSH Saison (single malt, single hop) using a single-step decoction mash. I'm calling it "Smashing Lemons Saison". 10 lbs Pilsner Malt 1 oz Lemondrop @ 60 mins 1 oz Lemondrop @ 15 mins 1 oz Lemondrop @ FL 1 oz Lemondrop Dry-hop for 4 days Zest of 2 lemons soaked in Everclear (added to the dry-hop) 1 Package of GigaYeast Saison #1 (GY018) - This is a French Saison yeast - drier and cleaner tasting than Belgian Saison yeasts 1 Whirlfloc tab 1 capsule of Servomyces yeast nutrient 1.051 OG 5% ABV 30 IBUs 3.5 SRM Fermenting at 66 F to keep it clean tasting. I want to minimize the esters so they are just in the background. This should be a crisp, dry, and sessionable summer saison. I'll keep you posted on how it comes out.
  6. 5 likes
    Wound up bottling 5 12oz bottles non carbonated, just to try it the old traditional way. Got 14 bottles (12oz-22 oz) carbonating. Has light, balanced flavor. Good malt profile with a kick of juniper and hints of orange blossom and "funk" from the kveik. Excited to sample it carbonated!!
  7. 4 likes
    Okay - Hop Stimulator was bottled this weekend and the first taste was GREAT! Also, thanks to @Josh R for sending me the adapter for my bottling wand. I was skeptical that it would stay in the 2G fermenter spigot during bottling but it did! I was using too much hose with the bottling wand before on my LBKs so I think the shorter tube adapter to the wand is the way to go! Thanks for all the help @hotrod3539 and @MrWhy too!
  8. 4 likes
    My dog crossed the rainbow bridge a little over a month ago. I was thinking of brewing a beer in his honor. Just wondering if anybody might have any suggestions as to what would be good . He was a golden retriever/ yellow lab mix. A very sweet, kind dog. Thinking of some kind of blonde ale maybe
  9. 4 likes
    I have yet to brew with this water (we just got moved in 2 months ago and well, yeah, no time lol) and so I am VERY glad that I saw this before trying to do a batch with the water just straight up, that's for sure! It was $27.50 to get this tested (plus $10 to ship the sample priority mail), and I think that's a deal for what I learned about my water
  10. 4 likes
    The start of something great
  11. 4 likes
    one of VERY few glasses of my Fantrastica Farmhouse Ale
  12. 3 likes
    LOL!! Kinda like the yoda/mr why situation we questioned a while back? Nope, we are two different people, but with the same thoughts on beer it would appear... LOL!
  13. 3 likes
    GAAAAA!!!! I did not read all the responses. In fact I did not read any of them....but if you are looking to work up an American Ale....I am your brewmuse. 1. Have you considered taking the Mr. Beer grains to the next level? Look at the grain profile...think go big or go home, and then, go big or go home. Forget any LME or booster and forget the whole "only use half" a grain pack nonsense. Take yourself into partial mash land and don't look back. 2. Have you considered that you can create the craziest hop schedule ever seen? Why not???? Take a look at those hops, get drunk, and be the boldest, drunkest, hop brewer ever. There is nothing to lose. 3. Combine 1 and 2. 4..........this is #goMAD #totalWAR #rockStar #brewingGOD territory.......take that American Ale....and make an 11% Belgium Dark hopped English India Pale....what does that mean? I don't know. This is your beer. Own. It.
  14. 3 likes
    1) Yep, it's still a 2 gallon recipe. It just has more malt going in to it, thus giving you higher ABV. 2) You can just tie a knot in the muslin sack itself; there's plenty of slack. However, make sure you do it so you leave a lot of space inside; the hops will expand a lot. And you are correct, no extra sanitizing is needed.
  15. 3 likes
    Is this place still active? I haven't been around in 2 years I bet! Its been that long since I brewed too, but I just ordered a couple refills. I'll have to read the instructions again after all this time, lol!
  16. 3 likes
    Reading before pitching, yes. As soon as you pitch your yeast alcohol can now be present thus making your refractometer useless without an online calculator, which youre using thus making the way youre doing things perfectly legit. Keep on keeping on.
  17. 3 likes
    BREAK TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! - This (early) morning I washed and rinsed 44 bottles - While they were sanitizing in the dish washer, I ran some errands and ate lunch, and drank some rather interesting beers. - Came home, and bottled Pale and Golden. Each took 20 bottles plus one at the end. I consider this the "trub bottle", even though there was almost no trub in the bottle. Cold crashing helped. Had 2 extra empty bottles. - Washed/rinsed another 40 bottles (the extra 2 were still in the dish washer not touched, and going through another sanitize cycle). - 42 total bottles are in the dish washer. It'll take about 2 to 2.5 hours to run the wash/sanitize cycle on the dish washer. BTW, no, there is NO detergent in the dish washer. Strictly water then a hot sanitize cycle. - Probably around 2000hrs EDT tonight, I'll bottle Robust and Smooth. While I'm waiting, I took samples of Robust and Smooth and compared them to the Golden and Pale that are bottled. Three of them came in right on the money. From Mr. Beer's site, I expected about 3.1% for the HME, about 1.0 for the LME and about another percent for the booster. I'm not going to release the exact numbers, because honestly, this isn't about chasing rainbows. It's about the flavor and how I can use the LMEs for future recipes. Based on the final numbers 3 out of 4 were very close to what was expected for ABV. Not sure why, but Pale came out a few decimal points lower, and a bit cidery. I'm not worried about Pale, because it was the first one that I bottled. I had problems reading the refractometer, and the taste could have been hampered due to what I ate for lunch (don't ask). After I bottled Pale, I thought.....should I recalibrate the refractometer? Sure enough, using a few drops of plain water, the blue line was a hair off. I made the adjustment, but by then the whole batch of Pale was bottled. These 80 bottles (20 per recipe) will be carbonating/conditioning at about 70 degrees until July 15. I decided to give them 8 weeks just to make sure that all is as best as it can be. Plus I'm hoping to get rid of any off-flavors of Pale, which I really don't think are there. I might crack open one each on July 8, just to see how things are.
  18. 3 likes
    No. Almost never do you go more than 3 weeks.
  19. 3 likes
    61-64 will work fine, though it is a little cool. Trying bringing it between 65-68 for best results. That's the sweet spot. You can ferment the beer at 68-72 if you want beer in 2 weeks, but "low and slow" is always the best - 3 weeks at 65-68.
  20. 3 likes
    I finally got around to sending a water sample to get tested and thought I would share with y'all what the results look like (for those that might not have seen one and were interested). I am very excited to finally be able to build water profiles for each of the beers I will be brewing based off of the #s below!
  21. 3 likes
    There's a reason Blichmann is more common at retailers. Because it's the best. That's what I would choose out of the list. The rest are perfectly fine burners, but Blichmann Engineering makes some of the best brewing gear around. They also have great customer service and all of their products are made in the US by brewers for brewers. Also, their burner has 4 legs instead of 3 for better stability than the others (you can also get extensions for it).
  22. 3 likes
    This is the contraption that a friend built to grow hops for us 6 years ago. He puts twine from the top line down to the ground for the bines to grow up and eventually over and back to the ground. Has worked like a champ
  23. 3 likes
    Even with shipping I'm still paying less than I would at my local homebrew store. Last time I bought Citra there it was over $4 an ounce.
  24. 2 likes
    I agree with @RickBeer, you have already begun to cold crash the beer. Just finish and then bottle. To help everything out, maybe do your carbonation at a slightly lower volume (say 2.3 instead of 2.5) and then store them at 75 for 3 weeks. That will make a mini fermentation in the bottle and should clean up any yeast issues. Then store them in the low 60s for another 3 weeks prior to drinking.
  25. 2 likes
    Very helpful. Thanks @Shrike and @MRB Josh R
  26. 2 likes
    The Munich should have enough diastatic power to convert the flaked grains. It has 70 degrees Lintner (the measurement of enzymes) and regular 2-row has 110 L. I would do your partial mash for 45 mins instead of 30 just to be sure you get a full conversion.
  27. 2 likes
    Here's a great post from MRB Josh R on diastatic power.
  28. 2 likes
    Im starting to wonder if @Shrike and @hotrod3539 are actually the same person using two email accts and then logging on commenting and then agreeing with themselves. Shame
  29. 2 likes
    Ya know... i am with @Shrike yet again...lol!! As for the boosters, in my humble and honest opinion....with the grain and LME additions, you really dont need them unless you want the extra ABV, the LME and grains will add plenty on their own. As for the recommendation with the second... i would toss in a couple oz of 2 row as a safety with those oats I would recommend adding some hops just as Shrike said just a 1/4 to 1/2 oz with a 5-10 min. boil before you add in the HME.... The hop choices would be yours, just find a couple with the flavor profile you want and go for it. ( i am a fan of citrus, so i would toss in some Citra hops for the second and maybe something simpler for the first like... Polaris for a bit of mint, pineapple thing)
  30. 2 likes
    If I were doing these I'd split them up so that one goes towards a lighter and crisper brew, and the other uses the sweeter grains for a maltier ale. Something like: First brew: - 1 HME and 1 LME - 3 oz Carapils - 2 oz 2 row - 2 oz flaked corn - 2 oz Pilsen Second brew: - 1 HME and 1 LME - 3 oz Carapils - 2 oz Crystal - 2 oz Munich - 2 oz flaked oats I'm not sure if you'd also need an extra 2 oz of 2-row in the second one to help convert the oats or if there's enough diastatic power in the other grains to get the job done; maybe @MRB Josh R or @MRB Tim can chime in with advice. I'd save the chocolate malt for use in a porter or stout, unless you just want to see what that amount will do for the ale, in which case I'd use it in the second one. The boosters are up to you. I don't normally use them so I'm probably not the guy to ask. You might want to think about adding hops to each one just to balance the extra malt. I think you'll get a tasty beer with both of those. The American Ale is a good HME to tinker with, and you're not adding so much grain that the character will be completely changed. If nothing else it will help you see what small additions to the HME do for your end product. And I'm like you: I love the PM recipes but sometimes wonder what to do with leftover grains. So far I've been able to make two beers that I really enjoy with the leftovers, my CALEX#1 and Blacker, Beardier Porter (this is a variation on the Black Beer'd Porter MRB recipe for which I added some leftover grains from making the Lock, Stock Bourbon Stout. It was the first time I'd really "experimented" and I love the results.)
  31. 2 likes
    I will be out of the office today 5/20 on a family trip. Please direct all questions and comments to my assistant @RickBeer
  32. 2 likes
    All 80 bottles are in the conditioning cabinet. Not counting the trub bottles. I think I wore the <CUSS WORD> out of my bottle crimper. And considering I just spent slightly more than 14 hours washing/sanitizing/filling four LBKs, I'm a wee bit on the tired side of life. Time for a bourbon and cola. Sad that I have four empty LBKs, but such as it is now that the brewery is about to close (still have one Beauty and the Yeast, and one 5.5 gallon Chug-a-Lugger fermenting for two more weeks).
  33. 2 likes
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  36. 2 likes
    Well, it sure as hell didnt hurt, lol! I just hadnt had time though, to brew or anything else.
  37. 2 likes
    thinking now I might start using purified water and engineering my minerals from scratch. I'm starting to think the wellhead changed sources and my minerals through it off. or perhaps the malt was wet when it was processed at the plant and soured? edit- found a post from 2015 on another forum . someone had the same outcome with us04 and MO and EKG hops. the general consensus is that it got hot while fermenting and the 04 through off fruity tart esters. being a lighter malt and a less burly ale, theres no way to hide the esters. perhaps that is what went off? my ferment temp was around 60f but it may have spiked while I wasn't checking on it... dunno. its cool. I'm not a big fan of lighter beers anyway. this was an experiment to see if I could make something the wife would like. going back to big beers like dubbels and stouts.
  38. 2 likes
    In all honesty though, I say let 'em rip. You're not going to yield many on the first harvest and you might lose a few over the winter. If not, we will just start calling you Hops McLane!
  39. 2 likes
    Sounds like first-world problems!
  40. 2 likes
    Centennial has 13 buds poking through now. Jesus, whats a guy to do?
  41. 2 likes
    First of all, What @RickBeer said above. There is no reason to go away from 2.5 gallon batches. I do All Grain brewing with a propane burner and still 90 percent of my batches are 2.5 gallon. If I find something that I really like and I am totally satisfied with the recipe, then I will make 5 gallons of it the second time. Incidentally, I have 1 beer that I have reached that point. I hear lots of brewers say "2.5 gallons is a waste, it takes just as long to brew as 5 gallons. This is true but if the recipe isn't right you only have 1 case of bad beer to choke down or give away. Also, your heart may be whispering "Keg, Keg your beer young man" but I'll bet your wallet is still screaming "bottle". Also, some things to consider with Kegging. Unless you invest a small fortune in a 6 or 8 tap kegerator. You will be stuck drinking one or two beers until gone and then you can put something else on tap. I also, still bottle and will for as long as I still want to go to the fridge and choose from 10 to 12 beers at any given time. Just my $.02.
  42. 2 likes
    @Bonsai & Brew La Noche Fuerte will be bottled este fin de semana!
  43. 2 likes
    Sparging really isn't that necessary with a full boil, but I do it with every batch anyway. If you choose not to sparge, use a bit more grains to compensate for the lack of efficiency. I highly recommend the Beersmith software to help you with this.
  44. 2 likes
    Propane burners have everything you need. All you have to do is screw it into a tank and turn it on. Some burners may require a lighter to get it going, while others have a sparking element. There are 2 basic kinds of wort chillers. Immersion and counterflow. You really only need to start with an immersion chiller. Basically, you hook it up up a hose or faucet and run water through it. One end attaches to the faucet, the other end goes into a drain, or bucket, or whatever. You place the body of the chiller inside the beer. The flowing water exchanges the heat and rapidly cools the beer. It's not as fast as a counterflow chiller, though. This is a chiller with another length of copper tubing inside the larger length of tubing. Water flows through the outer layer while beer flows through the inner layer. These are more expensive, but way faster. Plate chillers are another option, but also cost a bit of cash and are really better for use in jockey boxes rather than chilling wort. Any of these chillers can be upgraded with wort pumps so you can use already chilled water (instead of room temp tap water) and simply pump it through the chillers for even faster cooling.
  45. 2 likes
    Moots, sorry for you loss. My dog just crossed over this past weekend. Wasn't easy at all. But I did put together a recipe that I am hopefully going to brew in her honor this coming weekend. She was a Golden Retriever mix as well with a very gentle nature. I am going to do a beer that will reflect that nature and call it a light mild. 2.5 Gallon Batch "Dixie's Mild" 2.5 # 2 row malt (For extract batch replace with 1.5# Extra Light DME) 4oz Cara 10L 4oz Cara 40L .1oz Magnum Hops (60 min) .25oz Liberty Hops (10 min) .25oz Liberty Hops (2 min) American Ale Yeast Wyeast 1056, WLP001 or Safale US-05 Mash for 60 minutes at 148 (if extract steep both Cara grains for 30 min at 150 degrees) 60 minute boil with above hop schedule Ferment at 63 degrees Precicted numbers OG 1.033 FG 1.006 IBU 14.8 Color 5.2 SRM ABV 3.5%
  46. 2 likes
    Finally got my pale ale in the LBK. In two weeks I shall start a 5 gallon batch of my Spurgeon Farmhouse Ale, followed by a 2gal Hefeweizen and then a 5 gallon IPA featuring African hops
  47. 2 likes
  48. 2 likes
    Rough draft. Garbage can simply can not be by my precious hops.
  49. 2 likes
    wonder what you would get if at week 2 you fed it D-180, and maybe also used lactose? I do something similar to yours but use amber dme instead of dark (touch of caramelly goodness) , dark lme.. and on week 3 toss in rock and rye steeped chipotles. love that cherrywood smoked malt too.
  50. 2 likes
    Truly not trying to be a downer but... setting up a spot for them to climb planting harvesting harvesting... Seems like a pain so i say it twice drying packaging i would like to change my last post but ill just say i was wrong here instead. 5 lbs, had to have been 5 lbs he harvested. Still though for example columbus is $18 per lb, id rather pay $90 than put that much work in. But again i have never grown anything and when youre sitting by the computer late at night after a few home brews and it only takes a click of a button to buy something $90 seems more reasonable.