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  1. 15 likes
  2. 13 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.
  3. 12 likes
    Long Play IPA, 3 weeks ferment, 4 weeks condition, 1rst of 3 days in fridge. This was the last bottle of 11, had some trub when bottled, some seems like it vanished. Designed my own label for first batch, used my dog Buster for label.
  4. 11 likes
    Great questions! For our recipes, we get no guidance from Coopers, it's all us. Sometimes there's a commercial beer we want to emulate, sometimes we just try something and it comes out well, or it sounds good so we brew it. There is a test kitchen in which our Twitch stream takes place, so that's the best place to see it. We don't want to have too many recipes up on the website at once, because it gets confusing, so we typically stick to around the 80 or so top sellers. Lately we've been experimenting more with limited-release recipes, often having one or two ingredients that we get in a limited stock, sell through, and discontinue. It's been proving pretty popular. There isn't a set number to release, but we all brew as much as we can. So, sometimes we have a plan, and go through a few trials until we nail it, but sometimes it's just a happy accident.
  5. 11 likes
    The amount of extract I'm able to get out of the can nowadays, versus when I first started is night and day.
  6. 11 likes
    Welcome Dunkin dog, Many tips and tricks and plenty of advice. First piece of advice, seeing that you are just now joining the forum and your kit arrives today, don't brew it today. Take at least a week and read, read and then when you think you have read enough, read some more. Give yourself a week to research what advice this forum has to offer and make sure you are set up for success before you brew your first batch. You will be thankful you waited a week. Dawg
  7. 11 likes
    First photo of the Doppelbock I am calling "Parsifalator". This has a zero percent chance of lasting all of Lent unless I make a real effort!
  8. 10 likes
    welcome. relax. your first few brews will probably be full of mistakes unless you have ocd about following instructions to the letter. use these to learn the process. dont expect that your first few beers will be super awesome. they might be.. they probably will be at least as good if not better than store bought run of the mill beer. your first brews should be simple.. which is why we warn about not getting all mad scientist too early. the most important things to know when starting: 1. patience. can you make beer in 7 days? sure. will it be good beer? probably not. 2. dont lift the lid once its going. you can 'perv' the yeast all you want from the outside. just dont freak out when you see things like foam or gunk 3. ask. every mistake you can make has been made at least once by probably every other person here. there are no dumb questions. you WILL make mistakes. they happen. you might drop a label peel in the wort. you might forget to stir. you might do any number of things... we've all been there. relax. 4. yeast are incredibly hardy. if you dont go doing silly things to them like adding boiling water to them or stirring with a used toilet brush, they will do what they do. they might not do it like you hoped but they are living things. they do what they do. give them food, shelter and proper temps and time. 5. you dont need to stir them in. agitate the wort before you pitch. they will find the food. you agitate at the start to mix in o2. o2 is needed at the very start of fermentation only... the reproduction stage. once the yeast get going? leave them be. 6. yeast are not vampires. you will not skunk a beer under normal house light. UV light skunks hop oil. (sulfur development) 7. learn all you can. . . but dont be too eager to start new techniques and styles until you have built up on your basics. can you immediately start doing all grain? sure... but all grain is complicated as heck. math.. chemistry... science... more equipment. more work... learn the basics. master them. give yourself about 2 years of nothing but kits while you learn. gradually add stuff like hop boils with unhopped extract. .. or steeping grains. now one last point. remember this: garbage in - garbage out. if your water is full of chlorine from the tap.. or tastes like sewage, dont use it. chlorine can contribute an off flavor that is like rubber or band aids. use a good bottled mineral water. for extract brewing you can even use reverse osmosis or distilled water. the most important thing is that it tastes ok in the glass. good to drink? probably good for extract beers. if you ever get into all grain, that is when water chemistry becomes super important. good luck and happy brewing! if you get to the point where it's frustrating the snot out of you.. or you feel 'gosh.. this is hard work. i dont like this'... find a new hobby. no point in doing something as a hobby that you dont enjoy. you can make this as simple or as hard as you want. that's why i like brewing. i love making things difficult with gobs of science and extra steps. im weird that way. -z- ps. mr beer has an awesome customer support system. if something goes horribly wrong that isnt directly due to negligence on your part, they can work with you. if a spigot breaks for example, let them know. dont come here to bad mouth mr beer if you over-torqued the spigot. (which happens btw if you arent careful).
  9. 10 likes
    Got my MB kit today. Super excited to get started! I think Sunday will be the day I start brewing. Found a Coleman cooler I had that's the perfect size, and I can store it at the bottom of my pantry PROPPED UP! Fits like a glove :-)
  10. 10 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.
  11. 9 likes
    Per request, I'm updating this post with the details of the meeting What: Mr.Beer User Group meeting in Munster, Indiana. When:: Friday, April 13 through Monday April 16 Definite attendees: @MiniYoda, @Creeps McLane, friend of Creeps McLane. @MRB Josh R, @C-ya Possible attendees: @scouterbill Hotel: SpringHill Suites by Marriott. 9651 Calumet Ave. So new that Google maps doesn't show it, and Google Street view shows it under construction. It is located on a golf course, and is the closest to 3 Floyds (a 10 minute walk to/stagger back). For reference, 3 Floyds is at 9750 Indiana Pkwy Proposed schedule (open to suggestions)@Creeps McLane - Friday evening - Bar/Room hop. There aren't many bars in the area, most places frown upon bringing outside alcohol into a bar, and most police frown upon open containers in public places. So, to avoid the hassle, we will "bar hop" between our hotel rooms, which each guest hosting a local/home brew sampling. We can call for pizza delivery. If the ladies prefer wine, let me know what type and I'll get a bottle of Kentucky wine. Also might be able to find something from Kentucky for the kids. - Saturday morning - After sleeping in a bit (we'll probably need it) and breakfast, we'll work on a care package for our thirsty friends in Arizona. - Saturday afternoon - Head to 3 Floyds. Tours are offered every hour between 12:30 and 5:30. Once we get a head count of who is going, I will call the pub and see if they can schedule a private tour for us. Regardless, we'll be there for a while, so we probably can do more than one tour. Note that the Cubs host the Braves at 1:20pm CDT and the White Sox visit the Twins at 1:10pm CDT, so things could be crowded at that time. - Saturday evening - Open. Stay there, go back to the hotel for more sampling, or go to True BBQ. - Sunday morning - Again, sleep in late (we'll probably need it again, and it *is* a vacation). Finish care package for Arizona with 3 Floyds beers. - Sunday afternoon - I'm open to suggestions. There is a place called "Brew and Blooms" a bit north in Hammond IN. Per the pictures on Google, they indicate that they are "home brewing and urban gardening". Their Facebook page indicates that they are open 10am to 6pm Sunday. Also Byway Brewing company isn't very far either. - Sunday evening - One last gathering at 3 Floyds for a final toast. - Monday - Back home again, unless you need to leave Sunday.
  12. 9 likes
    A great day today with the MUG Midwest team. we got a late start, well deserved considering the beers we enjoyed Friday evening. finally got our act together and made it to 3 floyds. The tour was very good. If you make it to this place, definitely do the tour of their facility. lots of beers sampled, and FINALLY @C-ya joined us. Due to a personal matter, I left, and freed up my seat for him. About 6:30pm we gathered in Josh's room for another beer sampling. C-ya brought an excellent Oktoberfest beer. We went through all 12 of Bonzai's beers, and our official beer judge said they were mostly excellent. Two had issues, and I'll PM him directly, but overall great beers Sadly, c-ya, creeps and friend Jeff will be leaving tomorrow. Josh and I will be in town, but probably do things on our own until late tomorrow when he has to leave. I want to thank *EVERYONE* at Mr. Beer for this event, and letting Josh join us. Creeps, C-Ya, and Jeff, great meeting you guys, and hope to see you in October Yoda
  13. 9 likes
    Sitting at home wishing I was at 3 Floyd's. Was going through some of my older inventory and ran across some of my original Belgian Spiced Ale (brewed in June 2015). Decided to chill some so that I would have something to toast you guys with. Opened one tonight and all I can say is Wow! It's mellowed wonderfully. The spice came through nicely on the nose. Still wonderfully carbonated. A good malt presence with a warming spice finish. This brew has definitely aged well!!
  14. 9 likes
    Tasted the 1st one of these beers and I can say even at 4 weeks that this is one of the best I've made. I'm impressed, this beer is plain ol delicious!
  15. 9 likes
    Hi, I was a member here years ago and got lots of good advice and made some decent beer. For various reasons involving a year and a half looking for a new house and an inability to control temperatures, I fell out of home brewing. But I always missed it and wanted to get back to it. Well now, I've got a new house, and a dedicated beer fridge with one of those InkBird digital temp controllers and this past weekend I brewed a couple batches of lager; a 1776 recipe and a Uncle Monkey's Dunkel. They're quietly bubbling away in the fridge at a cool 55F. For my next adventure, I'm thinking of finding an extract recipe with steeping grains and adjusting it to 2.25 gallons to fit in the LBK and doing my first hop boil. Any thoughts from the beer collective? I'm glad to be back
  16. 9 likes
  17. 9 likes
    My second brew: Irish Stout Deluxe... needed some rescue from a friend to stop fermenting at too high a temp. At 6 weeks, it is very good. I experimented with levels of carbonation. This one was too high for me. However, after letting it sit and warm up a bit, it’s a lot like Guinness Extra Stout.
  18. 9 likes
    Just letting you all know that I gave almost everyone off for the holidays. They deserved it after a very busy year. I have only a few people in the office here and @MRB Josh R is the main person doing support this week and then my accountant and myself. So we have sent many of the new customers here to the forums for help. Thank you for helping them out as seen by a few posts already. We will try to keep up with the phone calls and emails. On behalf of myself and all my awesome employees here at Mr. Beer I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
  19. 9 likes
    I really forgot how nice it is to just open the can and in less than an hour (including cleaning) have a beer in the LBK fermenting. I had the Bewitched Amber Ale and a packet of LME from a while back. Cleaning the counter tops and sink area was the most time consuming part (especially since my wife said "By the way, while you are at it, you might as well clean the stove"). Just too busy to brew even a partial mash, and the M.B. I'm sure will turn out very good.
  20. 9 likes
    I have been watching and reading all the forums now for 7 weeks - I received my LBK - 7 weeks ago and brewed up the Mexican Aztec. So after reading and following the Beer Gods advice I have left it fermenting for 3 weeks and Carbo / Conditioning for 4 weeks. I have put one bottle in the fridge and have now opened. It is good a bit on the lighter side for me but still very tasty. I am now on my 3rd batch "Yule Time Ale" and thank you Mini Yoda for you input. The second batch I bottled was with a bottle capper and it is Wild Wheat, only on the second week of Carbo / Condition and more in my taste buds liking I hope. So the Ironman brewer is off and running, just like a Ironman race, it doesn't matter how you finish, it only matters that you finished !! Thank you all for the very valuable information that you post - Ironman Brewer
  21. 9 likes
    Hello to all the individuals that got a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas. Welcome to what could become a very rewarding hobby for you. I know that each and everyone of you are just dying to brew this thing up and get to drinking your very own beer. Here is a little advice; WAIT AT LEAST 1 DAY. Why you may ask? Well if you wait 1 day and spend that time on this forum you will brew much better beer than if you brew it today without doing some reading first. Very few people who brew up a beer kit for the first time actually stick with it. That is because it is relatively simple if you know what you are doing. Without reading on this forum and elsewhere, you won't know what you are doing. Look for a post from @RickBeer and read through all of the stickies on his signature line. If nothing else this will give you a better start than without it. There are a lot of people on this forum who are more than willing to help so please ask questions. Chances are your first attempt won't turn out that great but then again neither did most of our first beers. Cheers and Welcome, Big Dawg
  22. 9 likes
    Thought I would say Hi after well over a month reading and still reading the new brewer's section. Yes, Rickbeer, I read the links in your signature line before I ever opened the LBK box. I bottled my first batch (American Lager) last Wednesday and started my second batch (Yule like this ale) yesterday. I know, I know, I jumped from the very simple to a little more complex but studied and read for weeks. Within 12 hours, I had a very aggressive fermentation and now, 24 hours after brewing, I have more than 2 inches of Krausen, tons of activity and a temp of 67. I love this stuff and enjoy shining led light to see the activity. When I bottled, the American Lager tasted like a very light flat beer, but good. So, after reading, I read some more, and then read some more. I almost feel guilty can't think of anything to ask that would result in rick beer telling me to read his links. hehehehehe..........I'm a 51 year old smartass government employee, soldier and Navy vet. Oh yeah, hey rick beer, I perv the beer over and over and over again. That sounds so wrong on a few levels. So, Hi, I appreciate all the time and effort you all put into answering everyone else's questions so I don't have to ask.
  23. 9 likes
    Today I am having a Chili and beer tasting party. My second such occasion. The first party I had early in the spring was virtually all extract beer. I have since branched out to virtually all partial mash recipes. We shall see how these are received! I find them much more balanced than my earlier efforts! On hand will be: - Sir Kenneth - Dry River IPA - Naughty Cream Ale - Hop Stimulator - Chug-a-lugger - 1776 Ale - Diablo - Apple Brown Beery (about the only one my wife likes) - Brown Bag special - El Gordito I seem to make the beer faster than I can drink it so a beer party is a good way to share the fun and drink down the inventory!
  24. 9 likes
    Brown bag special was my second partial mash recipe. It turned out great with a delightful head and color. Taste is on the sweeter side compared to other beers but typical for the style. At this point, I am only going to brew partial mash recipes!
  25. 8 likes
    I just tried a beer from my first batch ever brewed. It was the Classic American Light that came with the kit and it was awesome (that is as awesome as a classic light beer can be)!! Good color and tasted great!!
  26. 8 likes
    I've done it once w/o a hop sack ("going commando" as many refer to it) and do not recommend it. Had lots of residue/chunks at bottling. In retrospect, I could've cold crashed and that might've prevented it, but even so, I wouldn't do it again. Kevin
  27. 8 likes
    I think many of us found this forum because our 1st batch was less than impressive. I'm pretty sure thats what led ME here. I think the first thing to be realized is that in the beginning you will make mistakes, which will result in your beer not being as good as it could have. You WILL get better though. The 2nd thing though, at least for me, is that I was just used to commercial beer. I had to acquire the taste for homemade ale. I now prefer mine over store bought. I just can't make enough to alleviate buying it, lol. Just keep it up and your beer will get where you want it.
  28. 8 likes
    Hey there... Gosh, it's been a while since I've been here. The new FastFerment 3G fermenter grabbed my attention a few weeks ago, so I picked one up. I haven't completed a batch yet, but I thought I'd throw out a few tidbits for y'all in the meantime. First of all, the 3G is bigger than the LBK, for sure. One of the nice things about the LBK is that I could put it in my mini fridge when doing a lager. The 3G takes up much more vertical space, so using my mini fridge isn't going to happen. It looks like a hot air balloon. Maybe that should be it's nick name. The original keg is the Little Brown Keg=LBK, and the FF3G is the Hot Air Balloon=HAB. ("Gretchen! Stop trying to make 'HAB' happen. It's not going to happen!"). Sorry for the Mean Girls reference. Second -- Go to the FastFerment website and watch their assembly videos. The videos generally are for the larger versions, but the concepts are the same. The big takeaway from the videos is that you need to break in the threads, being careful to not cross-thread anything. Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth -- DO A LEAK TEST!!!! Do not be impatient at this step. It took me about three tries and more teflon tape to seal than I thought it would, but I finally got the fermenter/union valve connection to stop dripping. Let it sit overnight with a paper towel underneath so any leaks will be more obvious. In hindsight, I probably should have combined initial cleaning with PBK or One-Step with the leak test. No biggie. Seventh - After you fill the fermenter with your wort and yeast on brew day, securely tighten the fermenter lid to get a good seal. I noticed that my wort was foaming within a few hours, but I didn't see any activity at the bubbler. I sniffed the top of the bubbler and didn't smell anything, but when I sniffed around the lid, I could smell the yeast farts. After I tightened the lid -- bingo -- the bubbler went into action right away. A few minutes later, the activity stopped again. I cranked down on the lid some more and the bubbler went back to work. The lid gasket must be fighting back. I'll have to keep my eye on this. Eight - I can tell already that the little 1 foot hose included in the kit isn't anywhere near enough. Scooting the 3G to the edge of my counter, I still just barely had enough hose to get over the edge of the counter. Spend a couple bucks at your local home brew store for a few feet of hose. I suspect that two feet of hose, combined with my bottling wand, should be good. Pick up some DME, hops, and yeast while you're there, too. Disconnecting the wort-filled yeast collection jar from the bottom is surprisingly mess-free. Be sure to close the union valve before removing the jar, of course! I used the wort in the jar to do my initial gravity test. It was just enough to float my hydrometer. Excellent. That's it for now. If I have any more thoughts, I'll add 'em. My initial batch is a variation on the POTUS Honey Porter using a *really* old can of Black Tower Porter (Best by May 2014!). I still have at least a half-dozen cans of expired HME. I figure by adding some fresh DME/Grains and fresh hops, I should be good. Merry Christmas
  29. 8 likes
    When doing most recipes, I start with the numbers of a particular style first (usually going by the BJCP guidelines, but there is a lot of room for experimentation): ABV, SRM, IBU, OG, FG, etc. Once I have the numbers down for the style or clone I'm brewing, I then take a look at the ingredients themselves. Then I try to combine them in a way that matches up to all of those numbers. I use a couple of different software programs for this, including Beersmith and Qbrew, but I also use a special in-house spreadsheet that helps verify the numbers in case the software was inaccurate. Other times, I just throw a bunch of ingredients together and see what happens.
  30. 8 likes
    Don't worry, guys. There's another hazy on the way. Stay tuned....
  31. 8 likes
    Question - Do you think about brewing beer more than you think about sex? If so you are addicted. If not, you are not quite there yet.
  32. 8 likes
    When I go out and I order a beer I always ask for a glass. Most places give you one no matter what. Not a single homebrew goes in my belly without first going in a glass. I bottle from a keg so i have no sediment and i still pour that baby out. I really like the english style pub glasses but i most frequently use a snifter. I like tulips also. God i just love beer. So much 😭 im getting emotional...
  33. 8 likes
    re new brewer jitters... most if not all of us have been there. really want to get it right. you want to enjoy the hobby but you dont want to make mistakes. some of us obsess like first time parents on our first beers. we rush to the fermenter every 5 minutes and freak out at everything we see. common freak outs: omg it's not doing anything! i mean i pitched the yeast 2 hours ago and it's just sitting there! i mustve killed the yeast! - lol. that was me. yeast can take a day or 2 to get started. it's not uncommon for yeast to start off slow, especially if you didnt give them any o2 at the start. or if they arent happy with the temps. omg i see foam! it must be an infection! - foam on top is krausen. krausen is an old german word for 'hey! i'm making beer!' or something. foam on top = good. omg there's a layer of sludge on the bottom! i mustve killed the yeast! - sludge on bottom is 'trub', another old german word that means 'see i told you i was making beer'.. or something. omg i used whirlfloc and now it looks like my fermenter is full of sea weed! - me again. whirlfloc is made from sea weed or irish moss more correctly. when it first expands to trap proteins and such before it settles out, it can look pretty gross. omg i took a sample from the spigot and it tastes like bread! it must be an infection! - no. you are sampling trub. trub is yeast poop, lazy or dead yeast cells, fats, proteins, etc. prop up the spigot end a little with a couple cd cases and trub will settle out behind the spigot. not where it can flow out. omg i dropped a piece of label from a can in my wort! - it happens. you will likely be fine. if you want you can either remove the labels ahead of time on brew day or just give the can a quick dunk in sanitizer before you open it. i never worried about it. just use a sanitized spoon to fish the label out. etc. once yeast get going they are very tough and will aggressively defend their turf against intruders like bacteria, mold, other yeasts. you can still get these infections but healthy yeast that are happy will likely keep these things away. use proper sanitation and care and youre golden. so relax. ask questions. try to not panic. be orderly and take care while brewing. limit distractions. keep the dog and cat out of your brewing area. keep the kids out. follow instructions.. take your time. wait til youre done with brew day THEN have a beer. -z-
  34. 8 likes
    How to avoid acetaldehyde aka cider taste: 1- pitch at your fermenting temp 2- maintain a consistent fermentation temp in the lower range for your yeast. In general, dont stress your yeast 3- pitch enough yeast 4- use a higher temped yeast ie K-97 or belle sasion. ways to mask acetaldehyde: 1- brew a maltier style like an amber or stout 2-brew a beer that favors esters produced by stressed yeast ie saisons, wheats 3- add fruit 4- whatever you think your target conditioning time is, double it Brewing beer is like cooking. You need to look at what you’re working with to decide the outcome. Im trying to think of a perfect analogy but all I can come up with is hamburger vs sweet italian sausage in my spaghetti. This is my suggestion for all of you who dont have an ideal way to control your fermentation temps. Don’t. Let the yeast do its thing. I dont temp control anything but my lagers and saisons. Heres my recipe for yall to try: 1 northwest pale ale HME 1/2 cup of honey dissolved before adding the HME (optional) 1/2 oz of amarillo or falconers flight at flame out 1 packet of danstar belle saison yeast pitch yeast anywhere between 65-75 ferment at ambient temps not to reach below 63 degrees and not to exceed 77 Bottle after three weeks with 1/2 the MRB suggested sugar amount condition for 6 weeks i guarentee a solid beer. HME is sweet by nature. The honey and saison yeast will help dry it out the higher you ferment, the more wonderful the esters will be. saison yeast is a beast thus 1/2 the sugar for bottling youll be left with wonderful pepper and fruity esters paired with the citrus of the hop aroma all working together to kick any cidery taste in the ass. Someone delete my profile if this is incorrect. If im gonna be honest and draw upon past experiences then i have to mention @Bonsai & Brew. I was lucky enough to try some of his beers and what i noticed was he’s really good at working with his weakness as an advantage. Dampfbier, wonderful with the HME residual sweetness. Lox Stock, wonderful at covering up any possible off flavors. Take the characteristics of MRBs products and work them in your favor or know what you have to do to change it. I think any MRB recipe can be made so much better by adding a little honey to dry it out a little. Im not a big fan of their yeast. Throw it away and use something from fermentis or danstar. Yeast nutrient is amazing. Shorter lag times and all the nutrients your yeast craves (dry yeast already has nutrients) but shorter lag times mean you beer is ready to bottle a day or two earlier. Partial mashes are great but if youre not ready for that than just skip it for now. Later youll be glad you made added them though. Something to work towards. So before you run out and buy a temp controller and a mini fridge, try different yeasts. I use safale US-05 often and could care less if my beer reaches 68 during peak. Have fun, stop stressing. Youre making beer! God damn if that isnt an amazing thing! MRB makes it so easy. Stop making it hard!
  35. 8 likes
    Ah, tasted a sample of my extra strong Lenten beer (based on. a recipe for the Mr. Beer "German Doppelbock").. I added Mt. Hood Hops, 2 LME Robust, and a "few" boosters.) It was my first time building off a Mr. Beer extract beyond the base recipe. After 6 months of conditioning, at a cool temp in a dark place The brew, which I am calling Parsifaltor, (so called because I was trying to create a err similar to Salvator and the fact that I sang Wagner opera professionally) is smooth, malty, dark, with a slightly sweet aftertaste! And, as to the strength, it settled in. at 11% (thus the "-ator" addition to the name). Following the type, the higher ABV sort of sneaks up on one and no driving will happen after consumption! While I hoped it would be ok, it surpassed all my expectations. A great deal of the success of this quaff is due to the suggestions, recommendations, and warnings from this group! Thanks to all. Pros't!
  36. 8 likes
    Hi guys, I’m a brand new home brewer and forum member. My girlfriend knew I’ve been thinking about getting into home brewing as a fun hobby, so she got me a Mr Beer kit for Christmas. I never looked into it that much really, but had thought the idea of it was fun. I opened her up on Christmas Eve and was so excited (especially at how easy the directions made it seem) that I started that night. I love drinking IPAs so she got me the Long Play IPA kit. I read the directions twice and got everything ready, then went through and got the fermentation up and going. I placed the LBK in the hall closet. The home thermostat is in the hallway, and was set at 67 degrees. Ever since I got it set up on Christmas Eve, I’ve been reading on this forum (mainly RickBeers posts). I wish I had found this before I started my first batch, but oh well, I will chalk it up to a learning experience. I ended up getting an ink bird temp controller a few days ago, and plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s that holds 2LBKs this weekend (obviously for my next batch). High krausen was over when I got the ink bird, but I figured I’d try it out before the next batch. After taping the ink bird to the outside of the LBK (below the wort line, and with a folded paper towel on top) I found that my LBK has been fermenting in a steady 70 degrees (I know now that during high krausen it was higher). Kinda disappointing, but glad I’m learning and preparing for my next batch. Today was 18 days of fermenting (which is, I believe, when rick beer usually starts his cold crashing), so I tasted a small amount and it tasted like flat beer, so I took the LBK to my garage fridge and am starting 3 days of cold crashing at 38 degrees. I am tipping the LBK to keep the trub away from the spigot (I also tipped it ever since I read about it, during fermentation a few days after I started). After 3 days cold crashing, I plan on bottling and putting bottles in the closet for 4 weeks (although I am going to take one out at 3 weeks and refrigerate for 3 days just so I can compare the taste). I plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s in two days, so my next batch can be temp controlled during fermentation. I have another Long Play Kit that I am going to do so I can see the difference between temp controlled and my first batch. I plan on setting the inkbird at 65 with a 1 degree differential, and 5 minute compressor delay. I also got an Aztec Mexican Cerveza refill, and will brew that at the same time since the fridge will fit two LBKs. I just want want to say thanks to everyone on the forum. I’ve learned a lot over the last 18 days, and am looking forward to learning more. I want to thank RickBeer specifically. I’ve read a lot of his posts among others for about the first 10 days, but a few days ago, I decided I would religiously go back through ALL of his previous posts, and am currently on page 26 out of 352. I couldn’t thank my girlfriend enough, because I am enjoying this new hobby a lot. She picked out a great kit to get my toes wet in the hobby. I plan on just sticking with Mr Beer as well as to the simple recipes and instructions for the foreseeable future, and won’t get all mad scientist. I’m excited to show my friends this new hobby of mine and sharing my home brew with them, and hopefully teach them what I am learning if they’re so interested. If anyone has any tips or anything else after what I have wrote, feel free to comment. I mainly just wanted to introduce myself since I have been lurking for a few weeks. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how my first batch turns out.
  37. 8 likes
    Are you kidding me? It took almost a year for me to overcome the distraught feelings and pain suffered after the discontinuation of WDA was announced! Now Mr. Beer is toying with our emotions by offering a limited release! https://www.mrbeer.com/winter-dark-ale-craft-refill ps added to cart
  38. 8 likes
    for your first few kits, make them exactly as instructed. follow good sanitation practices. keep your temperatures around 64f for ale yeast (the yeast under the lid of mr beer kits is typically ale yeast). give your beer 3 weeks to fully ferment, bottle with the correct amount of sugar in the bottles.. make sure they are sanitized too! then move the bottles to a place with 70f+ temps and leave them be for about 4 weeks. if you want to you can experiment. after 2 weeks try one. after another week try another. then another week try one. and watch how the flavors change with time (for the better!). patience is your friend. http://howtobrew.com/book/introduction the above is a wonderful site full of brewing information and knowledge from a guy named Palmer. he is kind of a 'god' or icon of homebrewing. a lot of us got our first schooling on fermentation and brewing from his site. learn all you can wherever you can and dont be in a hurry to get to advanced brewing. as mentioned above rickbeer has taglines in his signature block with quicklinks to very helpful info here too. the bare bones mr beer kits still make good beer. the deluxe kits make better beer! over time you can add hop additions, different malts, steeping grains... to make even more betterer beer! also dont make the newbie mistake of thinking more alcohol by volume makes better beer. we say here 'chase flavor, not abv.' a common mistake for newbies is to think dumping 2 lbs of sugar into their wort will really really be super cool!!!! then they get disappointed when the beer comes out watery and tasting like crappy rocket fuel. dont blame mr beer. another common mistake is to go all dr frankenstein without knowing what you are doing. hmmm... wonder if i dump in 8 oz of molasses, a can of tuna fish and throw in a couple fist fulls of barley, 6 oranges and some bubble gum if i can make a super cool beer??!!! uh.. nope. again, dont blame mr b. so dont rush to over-complicate things. build a base of knowledge... take your time to grow. have fun. ask tons of questions. if at any time you find yourself thinking 'ya know? this is too much like work. its just not fun anymore...' then either go back to basics and simplify.. or find a different hobby. brewing should be fascinating, fun and never a chore. welcome aboard.
  39. 8 likes
    Dude I LOVE that smell! My wife looks at me crazy when I'm standing over the pot inhaling it.
  40. 8 likes
    Well, I had my 1st homebrew in a long time today, American Ale standard refill, on 3.5 weeks conditioning. I can't say anything bad about it really, except 2 tsps of sugar may have been a tad much for 24 oz of beer. It was super fizzy and the head was ridiculous, but the taste was fine. A week or so more of conditioning will probably make this really nice, although I think it's good now. I was a little upset that I only refrigerated 1 of them after it was gone, lol.
  41. 8 likes
    Will be putting brew #7 into the LBK today, May the Schwartz Bier with You. I won't be altering this from the basic formulation with the exception of one packet of booster. I cannot believe I have made quite this much beer since my 1st batch back in the first week of June. So I give a shout out to those who have given me advice, solved my frustrations and helped make each batch better than the last! Pros't!
  42. 8 likes
    I can't get over how friendly you all are. you long time Brewers know the little tricks and aren't afraid to trade your secrets just to keep good beer brewing. thanks for that advice. I'm going to do that with my 1st batch. Put it in the LBK on August 21, 2017 the day of the Eclipse. and it will be 3 weeks on September 11, hoping to bottle that day . I'm calling it my Eclipse Ale. I sure hope it turns out as nice as the people in this community!
  43. 8 likes
    2 American Lager HMEs (the ale will be too bitter for this recipe) 2 Golden LME Softpack 4 oz Carapils 4 oz Crystal 40 2 oz Aromatic Malt (optional, but recommended if you can get it) 1 packet Fuggles or Goldings hops (add at flameout) Safale S-04 yeast This should get you pretty close. The IBUs will be slightly higher at 21 instead of 19 and the ABV will be around 8.4 instead of 8.2 (though you might get about 8.0-8.2 because my software is always slightly high in the numbers). Brew it as you would the Lock, Stock, and Barrel, with the bourbon and wood, but there will be no hop boil.
  44. 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. :-)
  45. 8 likes
    TASTING NOTES FROM THE SONORA SAISON -- The other night I was sitting at the edge of my bed. I was strumming my guitar and singing an outlaw love song. I was thinking about what she was doing. And when she'd be coming back. I heard small knock on the door. My heart slowed. I went and tentatively opened it. There she was. My donkey. She'd come back. And tied around her neck was a little bag. And in the little bag was a bottle. And tied around the bottle was a little note and all it said was "Sonora Saison." I gave her a hug. She brayed. Todos estan bueno. Here are my tasting notes for this beer: Excellent pale gold color. The nose is pleasantly light. I am not familiar with the hop, but it has a mild air and evokes a summertime beer. The first sip brings a sense of belgian-y pepper, and then there is the spicy presence of the habanero. It is is a dominant taste, but not overpowering, if that makes any sense. It is not subtle, but it does not overtake the beer. Behind that there is a light, refreshing, subtle citrus presence. I like this beer a lot. It is definitely a complicated brew. There are elements that make it highly drinkable....the pleasant nose, that light citrus in the background, but the complexity brought by the habanero prevents it from being a beer that is guzzled down. It turns into a light, refreshing, sipping beer. As I continue to sip it and it warms up from refrigirator temps, I am wondering if there is more than just habanero? The habanero flavor is there, but I am getting different heat. Is there ancho there too? I am also, as it warms, digging the aroma more and more. I love the light scent, very mild and pleasant (in a good way) and then as you sip you just get this pepper and spice and heat and a great habanero taste, and then it ends with again this light, sense. I know this is a "saison" but it reminds me much more of almost a re-imagined belgian wit. If I had another one (or two!) I would experiment with adding a lime, corona style, or even an orange slice blue moon style.
  46. 8 likes
    Im not much at naming beers, but I did like "Devil Went Down To Belgium" The devil went down to Belguim He was lookin' for a beer to steal He was in a bind 'Cause he was way behind And he was willin' to make a deal When he came upon this young man Brewin' and brewin' it hot And the devil jumped Up on a hickory stump And said, "boy, let me tell you what I guess you didn't know it But I'm a beer brewer too And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you Now you brew a pretty good beer, boy But give the devil his due I'll bet a stein of gold Against your soul 'Cause I think I brew better than you" The boy said, "my name's Bonsai And it might be a sin But I'll take your bet And you're gonna regret 'Cause I brew the best beer there's ever been!
  47. 8 likes
    If you try something different, simply post the recipe here and we can all yell at you and argue amongst ourselves and then youll do your original plan anyway and have a learning experience. Its a good time
  48. 7 likes
    Just reading up on proper temperature control could make the difference between an end product that discourages you and one that makes you go "Wow, I made tasty beer in my kitchen!" Oh, and welcome to a great hobby!
  49. 7 likes
    No, it doesn't make a difference. Racking to a secondary is one of those things that seems to be "location" dependent. Some forums/communities it is absolutely gospel to rack to a secondary. Here, most of us don't seem to do it. I think that the "secondary" crowd comes from three things - bigger brewers, kegging, clarity. Here is how I see it - I've got my beer fermenting. I am going to let it do it it's thing for three full weeks. Then I am going to put it into bottles with priming sugar and let it do it's thing for another X weeks...maybe three....maybe a year. That is my secondary phase. Yeast is going to eat the sugar and whatever else it needs to. But if you are a bigger brewer, you have a LOT more yeast. You are brewing 60 gallons.....you might not be able to let your beer sit on 60 gallons worth of trub any longer than necessary. I can afford an extra week. It is not going to hurt anything. I'm dealing with what.....a quarter gallon trub in an LBK? I'm not too worried about it. Also, I have bottle conditioning in my favor. My beer is going into bottles with some priming sugar. The yeast is going to keep doing it's thing. I don't need to bottle it and get it out for consumption. I bottle and wait. I think if you are not doing this...you are going to keg it, or bottle it and then sell it....you might need to rely on a secondary phase differently. Lastly, I think clarity is something that is much more important on a professional/semi-professional level. These guys NEED to make clear beer. I don't need my beer to be clear as possible. Regardless, it seems like brewers here are able to achieve solid clarity (OXYMORON!!!!) with a good cold crash. In short, I've found no real reason to go through the time or trouble to rack to a secondary fermenter.
  50. 7 likes
    Yeah, it will happen. RickBeer has been taking classes in a Brewing and Distillation Technology program. 4 of the 7 done (4.0 in each), 3 more planned for this Fall. Goal is to know more than @MRB Josh R... (nope that's not going to happen). Knowledge will let me go far with all grain, plus possibly open a brewery or join one, although not as a brewer, can't handle the physical impact on my older body.