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  1. 17 likes
    (more pics to come) Hey guys! I'm VERY excited to announce that we will be opening our VERY FIRST brick and mortar homebrew supply store in our 24 year history!! This will hopefully expand to become a nationwide franchise. I will be managing the store (don't worry, I will still be on here, too) and it will have EVERYTHING any brewer needs - even all-grainers and wine makers. While the store itself will have a much larger inventory than our website, we do plan on selling everything we have in the store on the website eventually (other than bulk grains/malt). The questions I have for the community are as follows: What do you want to see in your local homebrew supply store? What does your current LHBS lack that you wish they had? What types of events and/or promotions would you like to see from your LHBS? While I have several years experience running homebrew stores, times and trends change so I would like to get some input from you guys so we can make this store the best we can. For those of you in the area, we will have our social media site up soon. Grand opening in April.
  2. 13 likes
    Well... after 2 months of waiting... popped open first bottle of first batch (Classic American Light) 3 weeks fermentation 4 weeks carb/condition 3 days in fridge.... perfectly carbonated, clear, and tasted like a lite beer! I am happy with my achievement and I could not have done it without the help of everyone here on this forum, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you guys! Cheers to you!
  3. 10 likes
    Some of ya'll might remember me. Some of you might have forgotten me. But regardless your position.....one thing is undeniable. I AM BACK BABY! That's right. I am here. I am back. AND I AM BREWING!!!! Where have I been? Sapporo Tokyo Conrad Pistachio. And few other places here and there and between. But let's not move back. Let's go forward. Except of course in those particular cases where the only forward is by going back. The past - I've got a few brews that well conditioned and are unbelievable right now. My goldings pale, belgian wit, and hallertau special are all phenomenal. The future - I just brewed up a Brown Belgian Explosion. I know there are rules. I broke the rules. I chased the ABV. I went all in. Baltic Porter. Bewitched Amber. Three LME's. (two robust, one smooth.) And booster. T-58.....No shame in the game.... Just drank a biggie of my first quad. It was Belgianny...malty..and exquisite. Round two of the brewing game commences. Never down. Never out.
  4. 10 likes
    Great, now @MRB Josh R is gonna be pacing around the parking lot yelling at stuff for the rest of the day
  5. 10 likes
    I'm VERY excited to announce that we now have 11 new hop varieties available (more to come)!! We also got more Mosaic in!! Amarillo = 8 – 11% - Aroma Amarillo has a flowery, grapefruit-like aroma with some tropical notes and a medium bittering value. A great dual-purpose hop for pale ales and IPAs. Apollo = 15 – 21% - Bittering Super high alpha variety from the Hopsteiner breeding program released in 2006. High alpha acid makes it a great bittering hop. Exhibits some citrus and pine notes when used at end of boil. Great bittering hop for pale ales and IPAs Chinook = 12 – 14% - Dual-purpose The high alpha acid content in Chinook hops make them an excellent variety for bittering, but with a piney aroma with notes of grapefruit and spice, it is also a great aroma and flavoring hop. They have a similar fruitiness to other Northwest US hop varieties like Cascade and Centennial, but not as intense. Great for American pale ales and IPAs. Summit = 17 – 19% - Bittering Summit is a very high alpha hop predominantly used for bittering, but it can also be used for bright, citrus aromas and flavors if used late in the boil. With notes of tangerine, orange, and grapefruit, these hops are great for American pale ales and IPAs. Cluster = 5.5 – 8.5% - Dual-purpose Floral, earthy, and slightly fruity, Cluster is one of the oldest hop varieties grown in the US. This dual-purpose hop can be used in many beer styles, but it is most often used in stouts, porters, barleywines, and historical beers. Crystal = 3.5 – 5.5% - Aroma Crystal hops are a very versatile low alpha acid variety that is great in light ales and lagers such as blondes, golden ales, and pale ales, but it can also be used in stouts and porters. It has a combination of woody, green, and some floral notes with some herb and spice character. Ekuanot = 13 – 15.5% - Dual-purpose Formerly called “Equinox”, this very unique hop strain exhibits the flavors and aromas of melon, berry, citrus, pine, and fresh peppers. It’s great in any beer that calls for a pronounced hop flavor such as pale ales, IPAs, sours, and some wheat beers. El Dorado = 14 – 16% - Dual-purpose While the high alpha acid content of this strain makes it great for bittering, the bold, fruity aroma is what explains this hop strain’s recent growth in popularity, especially among IPA lovers. With notes of citrus, apricots, watermelon, and even “Jolly Rancher” candy, this is a very fruity hop for very fruity IPAs, pale ales, and wheat beers. German Bavaria Mandarina = 7 – 10% - Aroma German Bavaria Mandarina is a fairly new hop variety bred in 2012 at the Hop research Institute in Hull, Germany. When used for flavor and aroma, it exhibits strong citrus notes of tangerine, orange, and a hint of pineapple. Fruity and citrusy, it’s a great variety for American IPAs, saisons, sour, and wheat beers. Simcoe = 12 – 14% - Dual-purpose Simcoe is a high alpha bittering hop, but is also used for aroma and flavor. When used late in the boil, this strain exhibits notes of pine and citrus. Great in IPAs or any beer calling for intense hop flavors aromas, or bitterness. Used in pale ales and IPAs. Sorachi Ace = 10 – 16% - Bittering Originally created in Japan in the 1980s for Sapporo Breweries, this unique hop strain is popular for its aromas and flavors of lemon, lime, and dill. It works well in lagers and pale ales, but has also found some recent popularity in IPAs, sours, and farmhouse ales. Get yours HERE!
  6. 10 likes
    I'm finally chiming in after just looking around here the past couple weeks...................and holy heck there is a lot of info on this forum!! I recently built a bar in my cellar and figured I needed to make my own beer for when peeps come over. After doing a bunch of research and after receiving a bunch of Amazon gift cards for my birthday I came across this site and now I am hooked. I started with the Diablo IPA and just bottled it last night after a 3 week sit. About a week into it I couldn't take it and had to buy another Mr.Beer keg second hand and started the Pilsner that came in my kit which should be ready to bottle next week. Tonight or tomorrow ill get the Cerveza going after that next a Porter!! This is how it starts right hahaha I figure I'll keep it simple for a bit then maybe get into crazy brews. That's it for now I'm sure I will have a bunch questions. Thanks, Dan
  7. 10 likes
    What a great weekend for those of us in SE Michigan. A couple of sunny 70 degree days are exactly what we needed. Some wings on the grill, baked beans, and mashed potato salad was the perfect compliment to my first batch of beer. The CAL was better than anticipated based on what I've read in here. Very nice color, a bit darker than expected, and clear as a bell. Yes, it tasted like a standard bottled beer. Some have said Bud, I likened it to Miller. There was a slight cider after taste, not prevalent and well in the background. After about the third sip we either became desensitized or we just didn't notice it. Seems like the top of the bottle was more than the bottom. Excellent carbonation using table sugar. I chilled two 2-liter bottles, both are gone. So, all in all a success, much of which is to reading the excellent information posted by the fine folks in this forum. Thanks to you all! Nice color, very clear. Grandson Eddie Loves Puppa's baked beans and grilled chicken!
  8. 9 likes
    I bought a Frigidaire mini fridge from Lowes. It holds 2 LBKs. Hooked up the Inkbird controller to it. Cold plug to the fridge. Hot plug to a can heater.
  9. 9 likes
    First of all, welcome. Your Know-it-All son in law is wrong. Adding more yeast may change the taste because there would be less character from the yeast but it would in no way change the ABV of the beer. I have a couple of people in my family that have made comments about my beer. I deal with them in this manner. THEY GET NO MORE BEER.
  10. 9 likes
    Hey guys and gals! Our LBK kits have been completely overhauled with new packaging! We've also expanded our line of Starter and Complete kits so beginners will have more choices when starting out rather than being stuck with the just the Classic American Light as their first brew. While that is a great beer for beginners to brew, not everyone likes the lighter style. Now they can choose a kit that starts with the American Lager (one of our best selling refills) or one of our Craft Series refills. We will also be working on separate packaging for the recipes that will include instructions and ingredients all in one small package. There is a lot more to come. Stay tuned... Cheers! Check out the new kits here: http://www.mrbeer.com/kits
  11. 9 likes
    We just released a new Partial Mash recipe! You may recognize the name from our older kits. That Whispering Wheat was good, but this one is even better! I made a batch and it was only on tap here for a few days! It went FAST! http://www.mrbeer.com/whispering-wheat-hefeweizen We also now have Red Wheat Flakes that you can buy separately. Keep in mind that flaked products must be mashed with an equal amount of 2-row to be effective: http://www.mrbeer.com/red-wheat-flakes Cheers!
  12. 9 likes
    Well....we just found out today that.... WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BOY!!!
  13. 8 likes
    3 weeks is a guideline. not a rule. even with a vigorous fermentation, the extra time allows the yeast to clean up potentially off flavored byproducts. it also helps those who do not own a hydrometer to be fairly sure fermentation is completely done. bottling before the yeast are done can make bottle bombs. since your temp was a little high the yeast likely got stressed in the critical first few days of the ferment. stressed yeast produce off flavors. ale yeast tends to produce cidery flavors when warm or hot. it is a chemical compound acetaldehyde. giving the ferment 3 weeks will let the yeast clean up much of this but you still may taste green apples. do not expect great beer your first few times. you will make mistakes. learn from them. think of your first beer as your first child. sometimes kids don't come out perfect but you still love them right? so... even if it comes out tasting like watery apple cider.. enjoy. you made beer. your next will be better. next beer try for temperature control. put the LBK in a cooler. freeze plastic bottles with water. put a digital aquarium thermometer in the cooler. put in one ice bottle. close the lid and watch the temperature inside the cooler. ale yeast like to be around 60-66f. . . usually. if your cooler temp is 64f, the inside lbk temp will be around 70..maybe 74f during peak fermentation. this is fine. monitor and watch how adding different amounts of ice impact temp. . . how long does the cooling last? count on swapping out an ice bottle every 12 hours. you will have some minor fluctuations but it will be fine. know your yeast. some yeast like hot temps. (saison yeast). different yeast make different flavors at different temps. have fun... and welcome.
  14. 8 likes
    This will probably never change. It was that way back when I started with MRB and people will always have their opinions. I admit, when I got the gift of a LBK I thought that it was to brewing what an Easy Bake Oven was to baking. However, as I like to say, "What the Mr. Beer kit did was it started a fire". I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today, or what I hope to be doing in the future, if it wasn't for that Little Brown Keg. I also like to point out that most of the people that like to complain about MRB are those that have never tried it themselves and to me, their opinions mean nothing because of that. #KeepHoppy&BrewOn!
  15. 8 likes
  16. 8 likes
    Mr. Beer Community Forum. Not kidding! I've learned more here than anywhere!
  17. 8 likes
    S-05 is my go to yeast, probably 80% of what I brew.
  18. 8 likes
    Definitely not a sad day for us! When we see our customers taking their brewing to the next level, that only fills our hearts with pride knowing we got you started! Keep in mind, most of the Collaboration Recipes we have done in the past were with breweries whose Brewmasters got started with Mr. Beer. If we can help spark future generations of brewers, then we have done our job. Not only that, but the word of mouth really helps as well. So don't worry, B&B, we won't get jealous! As long as you promise to tell your friends about us! lol
  19. 8 likes
    OK, the batch of Apple Brown Beery that I went all Mad Scientist on, Some may recall, I replaced all of the water in the recipe with Apple Juice. Original Gravity was 1.112, Just below the very bottom line on the Mr. Beer hydrometer. It stalled out after a week at 1.021, so I added a little more Apple Juice and pinched a packet of EC-1118 Champagne Yeast. After sitting another 2 1/2 weeks, It seemed like it stalled again at 1.007 so I just bottled it. The bottles have now been sitting in the basement for a month and tonight I cracked open the first one. It has a bit of a harsh aroma (smells like it could strip paint), but not a bad flavor, all be it very strong, but still Apple. Surprisingly it still managed to get a little carbonation, I didn't expect that. So I was sitting on the couch with a comfortable buzz off just 1 bottle, I had an idea for a label, embracing the Mad Scientist theme. Grabbed an old meat grinder out of the kitchen, some apples out of the fridge. Found some shear pins for the snow blower in my tool box, an old pair of jumper cables, an old welding mask, a lab coat the wife had in the closet. Some big ol' black rubber gloves under the sink. Set up the camera, some gelled flashes and a white backdrop and started shooting. Found a cool background on a Windows Wall paper website and spent an hour messing with it in photoshop.
  20. 8 likes
    Contacted customer service to have my shipping address changed on an order I placed and spoke with @MRB Tim Took him all of 30 seconds to recognize who was calling. Thank you for the help, brother. You rock. Viva La 25th!!!!
  21. 8 likes
    Well, *sniff* my little brew has grown up to be a big man. I couldn't be more proud! *sniff* My Diablo IPA turned out great! My first taste was exceptional, even at 2 1/2 weeks (wanted to try, so I knew what it tasted like at this point). I had added Galaxy hops during brew process and dry hopped as well and has added some great taste to it! Good head retention and lacing. Can't wait to try at 3 and 4 weeks! My family tried some and they don't drink IPA's and they even said they really liked it! BOOM. SUCCESS!
  22. 7 likes
    My brew buddy and I trade 12ers of misc beers quite frequently. Not too long ago I gave him a few of my Grass Cutter Lager beers. A MRB partial mash recipe that i brewed as a true lager, complete with a DR and slowing crashing down to 35 and then lagered in the secondary for 6 weeks. Anywho, he texted me the other day and he brought that beer up again today when i was over there. He said its a delicious beer, really tasty. Then i said to him, thanks, you know thats a Mr Beer brew right? This is my buddy who has never and will never make an extract batch. He doesnt believe in it. The point is, you can make brewing as hard or as easy as you want. In the end, you will always get beer. Now, i do believe the brew day to drinking day on an all grain batch is a lot shorter but some of my best beers have been with ingredients from MRB. As I advance slowly further into the brewing world I have no excuse to do anything but all grain since ive spent a bit of money for the equipment but I will never look down at any extract brewer. That is all my friends. Now drink a homebrew if you agree with me
  23. 7 likes
    The Millennium Falconers Flight Red is probably my favorite home brew so far -- dry, hoppy, bitter, beautiful!
  24. 7 likes
    Greetings from Denton, Texas: The Home of Happiness! Just brewed my first batch today--a deluxe Oktoberfest. Looking forward to trying it out. I've found the entire Homebrewing community to be super-welcoming and great sources of information. I got my kit as a birthday gift from my brother. I've been the resident "beer snob" for a long time so I guess he figured it was time to take the next step 😁 Anyway I've been lurking in the forums for a while and thought I'd say "hey". The Geek 🤓
  25. 7 likes
    It has arrived. Need to get some distilled water to calibrate before taking a gravity reading of my Irish red. Might as well compare the reading to my hydrometer to see if there is a difference. I'm brewing at my cousin's Saturday so I have another opportunity to compare readings.
  26. 7 likes
    Greetings and happy holidays, all. This is my first venture into the Mr Beer Forum. I have consulted it in the past, but felt more time was required experimenting with the process before I actually stepped into the inner realm. I am still in the novice stage and apologize in advance if my inquiry tests your patience. To date, I have brewed 45 batches and presently keep six LBKs in rotational operation. So far, so good. Starting out slowly, I have taken to the more involved recipes recently. Thus far, every batch has turned out to be a success and the reviews from family and friends (with the exception of a snobby son-in-law) have been positive. Favorites include the Diablo IPA, St Patrick's Irish Stout, Raspberry Wheat and Foggy Days California Common. Did I mention a certain snobby son-in-law that visited for the holidays? And how, in his opinion, Mr Beer wasn't "real" brewing -- it was just "beer from a kit". Grrrr. I have read similar sentiments regarding Mr Beer on various sites. For reasons unknown, certain people possess a negative jones about Mr Beer. Haters have to hate, right? Any road, young Mr Know-It-All advised me that if I added TWO packages of brewer's yeast to the recipes calling for a single package, that the beer would have more "kick" to it (his attitude was that I should have already known this fact). I took his comment under advisement. Is there any truth to this suggestion? Or is it better to pitch only the prescribed amount of yeast (one package) into a two gallon fermenter? In other words, would additional yeast yield a higher alcohol content? Or would it negatively impact the finished product? Allow me to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mr Beer process. The LBKs are of perfect size to brew up a batch. I am fortunate to have access to pure well-water, which no doubt enhances the taste of the brew. Mr Beer's service has been terrific, and I look forward to many, many years of having fun, both brewing and learning about this fascinating craft. Thank you.
  27. 7 likes
    I got a little bit of guff for using Mr. Beer products as well. The criticism came from the local hobby beer store guy, and not from family. What he failed to see was that thanks to Mr. Beer, he WAS making money off of me! If I needed something in a pinch I would go to him. Also, thanks to Mr. Beer, I have expanded my brewing capabilities & capacity and again this means profit for him. Without Mr. Beer, and their forums (of course!) I would've never embarked on this incredibly rewarding hobby. There is always going to be that one critic of your Mr. Beer brews... He's usually the sober guy sucking down a Mich-Ultra... by himself! Keep brewing, Rick!! 😀👍🏽😉
  28. 7 likes
    New brewers usually start with the basic brew and enhance it as they feel comfortable and get into more complicated recipes. The best I can advise is to read the Mr Beer site ingredient descriptions and the recipe instructions and descriptions, and to read all of the references posted by Rick Beer. But this is the quick story: Booster contains fermentable and non fermentable sugars that will add alcohol (about 1.3% per pack) and mouthfeel & head retention to the brew. It is formulated to be similar to malt in effect on the brew but no flavor or color. This is useful with the Hopped malts extracts as they tend to be a bit dark and if you add malt extract, it will add color (and flavor). Simplest You can make the beer with just the Hopped extract can. Standard refills will then only give you 3.5% approx. beer. It will taste fairly light and will taste a bit more watery. This is the easiest brewing. If you add booster, it will up the alcohol and make it feel less watery. 4.5-5% beer. Craft refills will give you a better stronger beer. But Standard refills can make quite good beer without a lot of bother. Next simplest Now if you add a pack of Mr B malt (LME or DME) instead of booster, it will add alcohol (about 1%) and add flavor and color depending on the kind of malt. Read the malt descriptions. This is also easy. Using Liquid malt (LME) rather than dried malt (DME) is easier. Heat, mix, pour, ferment. There is nothing to stop you adding more than one malt pack or a malt pack and booster if you want - to get the desired flavor and texture. More complicated If these do not give you the taste or complexity you want, you can add hops. You can add these in a hop bag and put in a little or a lot. You can adjust bitterness by boiling them. in the pot with the unhopped malt. You can add flavor by adding the hops when fermentation start s or even later. Most complicated Mr Beer recipe The most complex is to do a partial mash which involves grains. You put the grains in hot water for about 30 minutes then strain the liquid and use it as the base for the brew before adding the Malt extract. Ultimate recipe. - all grain. Mr Beer does not currently do this but many on the forum do and can advise you. This is much more time consuming and messy so I would advise to start simple and see what it does then add complexity as you learn.
  29. 7 likes
    We maintain both websites and all ordering through the sites goes through us. Admittedly, we haven't maintained the Coopers site as well as the MRB site, but that will be changing in the coming year as we integrate both sites together. Mr. Beer is expanding from just sellers of 2 gallon HME kits. Eventually we will have everything you could need for homebrewing (including for all-grainers). It won't happen overnight, but that is the direction we have decided to go.
  30. 7 likes
    We've just released 3 new Partial Mash Recipes! Wit Your Whistle - Few summer beers offer the satisfaction of Belgian witbiers. Textured with wheat, and bursting with spices, this Belgian classic exhibits strong herbal notes with a citrusy finish and silky smooth body. While this beer is perfect for satisfying your summer thirst, it still has enough layered aroma and flavor to rival even the heartiest of winter beers. So “Wit your Whistle” with this quenching treat to beat the heat! Black Moon Weizen - This dark-as-night libation is a great representation of the complex and full-bodied characteristics of the German dunkelweizen style. The smooth and silky mouthfeel of the wheat perfectly compliments the rich, malty flavors from the Munich and Chocolate Malts. The underlying banana and clove notes that the yeast provide further add to the complexity of this robust wheat beer. It’s like a hefeweizen with a dark side. Dry River Rye IPA - Rye has been treasured by brewers and distillers for centuries for its spicy flavors and aromas. This full-bodied rye IPA blends the dry and spicy black pepper-like characteristics of rye with the tropical and slightly piney notes of the Zythos hop blend. This unique combination of flavors and aromas provides a complexity that is unmatched by your typical IPA. Cheers!
  31. 7 likes
    We just released a new recipe, Naughty Cream Ale! The flaked corn coupled with Carapils gives this beer a creamy texture, without bogging it down with too much malt flavor. It's very well-balanced and drinkable. http://www.mrbeer.com/naughty-cream-ale-partial-mash Cheers!
  32. 7 likes
    Headline Lawsuit for $3 million filed against Mr. Beer 4/26/16 A lawsuit was filed in Federal Court today by the family of the late Fred "HoppySmile" Flintstone. The late Mr. Flintstone blew himself up while attempting to brew beer with helium in an effort to make a true "light beer". Flintstone's family blames Mr. Beer, and their Brewmaster Josh "Shouldn't Have Given Hoppy A Challenge" Ratliff, for putting in Mr. Flintstone's head that it was impossible to brew with helium. Barney Rubble, a spokesperson for the Flintstone family, said "Everyone knew that giving Hoppy a challenge would not end good. Years ago while playing marbles with friends, Hoppy lost all the time. He also lost while playing cards and didn't even own a full deck. We knew this would end badly." A spokesperson for Mr. Beer, Tim "Oh Crap, Now I'm The Focus of Attention" Falk, said "this is a frivolous lawsuit. Josh had no idea that Hoppy would take the challenge seriously. I mean, what if Josh had said that Hoppy could not brew with hydrogen, would he be responsible if Hoppy made a hydrogen bomb and blew up half of whatever god forsaken town he lives in? This has no merit." The President of Mr. Beer, Rick Zich, refused comment, but was considering moving Mr. Ratliff to the company's warehouse in NoOneLivesHere Wisconsin to keep him out of trouble. A vote of the employees was 1-14 for Mr. Ratliff remaining at the headquarters, but it was noted that Mr. Falk only had his hand halfway in the air.
  33. 7 likes
    There is a bunch of misinformation / misunderstanding here. I'd strongly recommend that people read the MANUFACTURER'S WEBSITES, not beer forums, when searching for factual information about yeast. There are also many old discussions on the forum where fact is separated from fiction. Yeast is very, very complex. In fact, there are books about it. Here's one by Chris White, as in White Labs. He has a PhD in yeast biochemistry. I don't profess to be an expert. I only use dry yeast, and I've used 5 different ones in my nearly 4 years brewing. On the Fermentis site, they show >6 Billion cells per gram for all their yeasts, which would be >69 Billion per 11 gram packet. That's for S-04, S-05, S-23 and W-34/70 (both lager yeasts), and T-58, S-33, WB-06 and BE-256. Since Lallemand (Danstar) has let their domain expire (wow...), their fact sheets have to be found elsewhere. Nottingham lists >= 5 Billion cells per gram, so their 11 gram packet has >= 55 Billion cells, less than the Fermentis yeasts. Windsor lists >= 7 Billion per gram, or >= 77 Billion per 11 gram packet. Dry lager yeast does NOT have less cells than dry ale yeast. Lagers require TWICE the number of cells that ales require, so you need two packets of lager yeast for a 5 gallon batch versus one packet for an ale. Many have experimented with rehydration of dry yeast vs. just pitching onto the beer (i.e. Mr. Beer instructions). Fermentis provides instructions for both. Danstar's instructions imply they want you to rehyrdate. As I said, many have done both. The ONLY noticed difference was that active fermentation kicked in faster. No difference in the final outcome. Therefore, rehydration of dry yeast is basically a waste of time. As to the point of a big beer needing more yeast, it depends. Most dry yeasts can easily handle a brew with an OG of 1.11+ with no issue. S-05 is frequently used. The key is understand what you're trying to accomplish, because different yeasts have different rates of attenuation. It's math. ABV= OG - FG x 1.3125. So, if you use a yeast that lowers the FG more than another yeast, you get a higher ABV. S-05 will go further than S-04 for example. Like anything with brewing (or life in general), you'll find lots of information on the internets. The internets is full of information, often less full of facts. Anyone can type anything onto a website. I try to read and learn, but remember that facts are facts. Opinions are opinions. Some opinions are based on facts and experimentation. Some are based on nothing. On a truck forum I frequent, people get on and say things like "Tire X is amazing. Much better than tire Y." I ask if they did a side-by-side comparison. I ask if they did any scientific assessment, such as measuring stopping distance, again side by side. They usually have no answer. What Uncle Fred says on www.IMakeUpThings.com is not the same as what Chris White says. So take everything with a gram of salt (get it, gram, not grain, ....).
  34. 7 likes
    Bach's Brews MEANT: My wife has explained to me how things work. In the future, I will BE ASKING PERMISSION TO BREW MY BEERS so she has time to grant it if she chooses...
  35. 7 likes
    Our newest Craft Refill, the Long Play IPA (aka, LP IPA) is now available! http://www.mrbeer.com/refills/craft-refills/long-play-ipa-craft-refill
  36. 7 likes
    Finally the day is here......Oktoberfest, followed the 3/4/3 rule to the tee. I must say that it is a fine brew! Get to try me pilsner is 3 days.
  37. 6 likes
    I do indeed put 2.5 gallons in each LBK. I ferment at 64, and only Nottingham overflows, and just barely.
  38. 6 likes
    Home and on the long road to recovery.
  39. 6 likes
    A few thoughts on something Rick said about being a mad scientist - First, Rick is right. Going mad scientist too early is NOT a great idea. And it is isn't because being a mad scientist is bad. It is because it puts the focus on the wrong thing. Making good beer is not going to be dependent creativity, recipe building etc. Making good beer is going to be dependent on having rock solid skills in the essential techniques of brewing. It is about craftsmanship and skill...not recipes. In the beginning stages we need to absolutely master the basics. Setting up a proper system. Standardizing the process. Ensuring sanitation. Pitch temps. Fermentation temps. Bottling. Etc. We become good brewers by eliminating errors and learning to perform the brewing process the same time every time. This is what actually separates the highly skilled guys from the others. And I am talking professional brewers. The systems of brewing and the ability to make beer taste the way they want/expect every time. I was talking to a brewer from Stone once and I asked him, other than them, who were the best brewers around. He said Sierra Nevada. Why? Because their level of craftsmanship, skill and technique were second to none. When we go mad scientist we put our focus on "What hops should I use...how long should I boil....etc." But those are not the early questions. The early questions are...did I properly sanitize the LBK......is my pitch temp correct. The honest test of skill for an early brewer (and I put myself in that category) really isn't so much what does the beer taste like so much as could I brew this beer 7 times and have it taste the exact same each time. The quality of the steak cannot overcome the lack of technique with a bad cook....... Just some random thoughts.....
  40. 6 likes
    My first brew is ready for drinking. It is the American Ale. I fermented 3 weeks, cold crashed 3 days, conditioned 3 weeks and refrigerated 3 days. My results are a bit mixed. The last bottle I filled was only a partial fill and I guessed wrong about the sugar needed, it tasted kind of like cider. I had one bottle that the top didn't seal right, so it was flat. It tasted OK, so I drank it any way. I tried a third bottle. I would not normally consume 60+ ozs of beer at a time, but this was purely in the interest of science. It has a pleasant, but very light taste. I prefer something a bit more robust. It could have used a bit more carbonation. I moved my second brew to a place that is a little warmer, during fermenting and conditioning. On the whole, I don't think it was too bad for a first try. It turned out waaay better than some of my cooking disasters. I made things that would make spies give away secrets!
  41. 6 likes
    No problem. With a small batch, it doesn't make sense to periodically check your final gravity over a two or three day period to make sure fermentation has stopped as you would use up too much of your beer. Three weeks gives time for complete fermentation plus any clean-up the yeast need to perform. In the beginning, it was suggested two weeks (or even less!), but the collective wisdom of a whole slew of Mr. B brewers decided three weeks works. When you bottle your beer, let them sit for 4 weeks at 70°F or more. When you are ready to drink, put them in the fridge for 3 days and then drink. Don't worry if the first go-round isn't great. It's beer, you made it, and you'll do better next time! Look in the pinned topics above this for other notes, and seek out a post by RickBeer for many good notes in his signature.
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    In Pirates of the Caribbean, they say that the code is more guidelines than actual rules (if you don't know what that means, you haven't seen Pirates and you should stop reading this post and just give up life...). A lot of you come on this forum and want to know the RIGHT WAY to brew beer. Well, guess what. There is no right way, no absolute way to brew perfect beer. Mr. Beer recommends certain timing for fermenting and bottling. If you review their website, you'll see different timing in the past, which they then extended more recently. Why? Because while they'd like you to be able to ferment in a week and drink a week later, they likely balanced that old recommendation against how the beer tasted and how many new brewers dropped out, i.e. stopped buying refills. Like a shaving blade manufacturer, Mr. Beer makes more money selling refills (blades) then kits (razors). So more recently they extended the amount of recommended time. Prior to this change, members of the forum started recommending longer times than Mr. Beer, which developed into the "3 - 4" recommendation. Why? Because 3 weeks fermenting works for everything, and 4 weeks in bottles works for nearly everything. Most brewers starting out don't buy a hydrometer to read OG (original gravity) and FG (final gravity), and to determine when their beer is done - or if they do buy one they don't buy it initially. Waiting 3 weeks ensures that your beer is almost guaranteed to be done (there are rare, rare exceptions), that's why we recommend 3 weeks. Can it be ready in 20 days? Yes. 18 days? Yes. 15 days? Maybe. Do you want to be safe and be sure it's done? Then wait the full 21 days. Do you want it ready sooner? Then stop being a cheap SOB and buy a hydrometer and tube and test your beer at 2 weeks, then again 48 hours later, and see if the reading is unchanged and at your expected FG. As to the 4 weeks in the bottle, members of the forum experimented. Some tried a bottle at 1 week, then 2 weeks, then 3 weeks, then 4 weeks, then 5 weeks, ... They learned that at 4 weeks most beers were pretty good, but at 2 weeks most beers weren't so hot (they also learned that they were 4 or 5 bottles down, i.e. their "testing" used up most of their beer). Are there exceptions? Yes. Is there an exact, perfect time for all beers to be ready? No. So what should I do? Wait 4 weeks, and keep your bottles at temps of 68 or higher, but not over 80. Then, put 1 bottle in the frig for at least 3 days, and then drink it. If you like it, refrigerate a few more, leaving the ones you won't drink in 3 days to condition even longer. What do I do for 7 weeks? We really don't care . Go buy some craft beer, go bother your spouse, go lose 20 pounds. But posting 7 times a day "hey, I stuck my head inside my LBK, taste my beer with my tongue, and it seems ready" is not going to make your beer ready any sooner. What you should do is READ. Read the stickies on the forum, read the posts on the forum, read the recommended books (some online for free, some at your library for free). Read, read, and read some more. Is there a correct temperature to ferment at? Yeast has a temperature range that it likes best. Notice the term "likes best". So, if Mr. Beer recommends 68 - 76, that's the range they recommend. Will your beer be ruined at 67 degrees or 77 degrees? No, it's just not optimum. Kind of like filling your tires with 27 pounds of air instead of 32 or 35. Note that the temperature recommended is for the wort (beer) inside the keg, NOT for the air outside in the room. So, either buy a temperature strip from Mr. Beer, or pickup one at your local brewing store or aquarium store, or make sure that the air temp allows for a likely 6 degree increase during active fermentation (or 5 or 4, or 7). I brew at 64 degrees. Before I made a temperature controlled fermentation freezer, I fermented in a basement (like many on the forum) that ranged from 64 - 68 most of the year, meaning the wort likely never exceeded 74 degrees (I say likely because unlike some on the forum, I did not awake every hour and go check it). The key to brewing beer is that there is no right answer, people try things and it works for them, and most don't do scientific studies and comparisons. Yes, if you do stupid things (stick your foot in the beer, stir your beer with a spoon that your dog licked, etc.) you will likely ruin your beer. But, for the most part, nearly all of your batches will produce drinkable beer. The guidelines that we give you are to help you have a higher success rate and have higher quality beer. My first batches weren't so good. I fermented too hot. Now the beer I make gets rave reviews, most noticeable by the amount that people consume. I figured out what works for me and that's what I do. But I started with the 3-4 rule, and found the right temperature area of my house, and the rest is history (read the upcoming book "Rickbeer, A Brewing Success Story" available on Amazon for $954.00.). I ferment for 18 days at 64 degrees, except when I ferment for 17 days or 19 days. I bottle for at least 4 weeks, but with my enormous pipeline I usually have no need to try one at 4 weeks. I hope this helps someone, maybe two of you. So brew on, follow our guidelines (or walk the plank), and build your pipeline. Oh, and remember that you can Google most anything (not that, that's really sick) and you'll find lots of answers, some of them right.
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    1-itll just take longer at 64 2- in brewing, when asking yourself "should i clean this?" The answer will always be yes.
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    A good brewer always tastes the grains. My 2 favorite grains to taste and smell are Maris Otter and Belgian Caramel Pils (similar to American Carapils, but WAY more aromatic). Maris Otter is very nutty and slightly sweet, and The Belgian Caramel Pils smells like the best, sweetest cereal ever. In fact, if there was a grain with the flavor of Maris Otter and the aroma of the Belgian Caramel Pils, I would put it in a bowl, pour in some milk, and eat it every morning for breakfast. Take note, all-grainers, Beers made with these 2 grains are also amazing.
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    This is an entertaining discussion with some valid points being made on both sides (sorry for the passive voice AC). Yesterday, as I ordered my 3rd ESB in as many weeks, I did consider for a brief moment about how much $$ is going toward beer these last 8 months. OK -- the moment passed. Brewing beer is a fine hobby for me and Mr. Beer, with their partial mash recipes and 2-gallon batch size fits my level of brewing skill as well as consumption rate. I realized months ago that if I wanted to save money, make a whole lot of beer, and devote even more time to brewing, I could do that. But for now, I will continue to jump on every Mr. Beer sale or Target clearance that comes my way!🍻
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    Still messing around with ideas. Decided to go a different direction with the Aztec. This is close to finished. And the final for the Apple Cider
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    This IS the land of full-bodied ales. The US has more breweries than almost every country on the planet COMBINED.