Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 08/18/2016 in all areas

  1. 22 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. 12 likes
    After 3 weeks fermenting and 4 weeks bottled, I chilled a couple bottles of my first ever batch. It was an American Classic Light and was damn good a bit malty had a nice head and light golden in color. It will be a hit with my son who will like that I used the LBK Mr. Beer kit he got me for Christmas. Anybody else tried this?
  4. 11 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.
  5. 11 likes
    Tomorrow I'm brewing a Landbier dedicated to Jim Johnson. Last year, Jim and I were discussing a recipe for a competition he was going to enter but I never heard the results from the batch. This batch is a little different from the one he decided on but hey, it's a farmhouse ale, the is no real style. Using the Mangrove Jack M27 Belgian Ale yeast @HoppySmile! sent me a few months ago in a trade. A 1 liter starter is already cooking. Here's the recipe.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 10 likes
    Great, now @MRB Josh R is gonna be pacing around the parking lot yelling at stuff for the rest of the day
  10. 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!
  11. 10 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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!
  14. 9 likes
  15. 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!
  16. 9 likes
    I am also back....... although maybe with less impact, from trip to U.K. and consumption of various beers of different kinds. I had a great time despite visiting relatives. No seriously, that was why I went. Family birthday celebrations. My younger brothers officially joined the old fogey league at 70 and 65 - so we had a bit of partying. And a bit of touring. Stayed in this Inn - "Serving Great Beer since 1397". Fortunately they had some more recent brews - lol.
  17. 9 likes
    My first brew! My son and I got to try our first brew today, Churchill's Nut Brown Ale. It turned out so good! We started some Aztec Cerveza today, too.
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 8 likes
    While you were away... @Big Sarge got a promotion and now seems to have less time for the Forum. @HoppySmile! remains a brewing enigma. Some things are just best left undefined. @MrWhy can be somewhat elusive and unpredictable, but we would have no Hoppy CALs or La Noche Obscuras without him. @MiniYoda is on a "break." @MRB Tim has unleashed his brewing creativity with some pretty impressive recipes of late. @Creeps McLane has covered nicely in your absence and he gave me the shirt off his back. We have all brewed gushers. Even @RickBeer has brewed one or two. @Shrike wins the all-around good guy Brewer of the Year award. @MichaelL places a close second. @kedogn went pro. @hotrod3539 wins the award for most 2-gallon batches brewed in one weekend award. @gophers6, @dale hihn, @BDawg62, @John K. you know who you are. @Nickfixit has been pretty quiet lately, but now we know why. I think @MRB Josh R was getting a little bored with us, so it's a good thing you're back @AnthonyC! Ps Has anyone seen @Stroomer420?
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 8 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!! 😀👍🏽😉
  25. 8 likes
  26. 8 likes
    Mr. Beer Community Forum. Not kidding! I've learned more here than anywhere!
  27. 8 likes
    S-05 is my go to yeast, probably 80% of what I brew.
  28. 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
  29. 7 likes
    I am brewing my first batch of temp controlled brew via the ink bird temp controller and a fridgidaire mini fridge. Warming up for the brown bag special I plan to brew later this month which has a low brewing temp!
  30. 7 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. :-)
  31. 7 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.
  32. 7 likes
    Finally, I brewed a Hoppy CAL! 🍻 Calidelic Mandarin IPA Classic American Light HME BrewMax Pale LME, 0.55 lb. Rahr 2-Row, 1.25 lb. Caramel 120L, 0.06 lb. Summit, 0.25 oz., 20 min. Azacca, 0.25 oz., 10 min. Galaxy, 0.25 oz., 7 min. Citra, 0.5 oz., half for 5 min. and the remainder @ flame-out Mandarin zest @ 10 min. Mandarina Bavaria, 0.5 oz. dry-hop along with additional mandarin juice/zest on Day 7 Safale US-05 Mash grains @ 152 F for 60 min. Sparge with 2-3 cups hot water 30 min. boil including LME OG 1.058 IBU 58 SRM 5 ABV ~5.5% Inspiration for this recipe: Mr. Beer Tangerously Hoppy IPA and New Belgium Citradelic Tangerine IPA.
  33. 7 likes
    My partial mash of Sir Kennth Blonde Ale has turned out great! Lovely lemony taste in a beer that brews clean. I am really having great success with partial mash recipes from Mr. Beer! Thanks for taking the time to create these for us @MRB Josh R and others at Mr. Beer!
  34. 7 likes
    First outdoor all grain brew today. Set up up and ready. Got the water going up to 170 with ease. Once water was at temp, added the 9 pounds of Maris Otter. I let it mash at 160. Temp held really well. I ended up just letting it sit for 75 minutes. By then temp had dropped to 150. I don't do mashouts or anything crazy yet. I don't spare since I'm going full boil. I pull the bag out and let it drip. Then I squeeze. Yes, it is frowned upon. But I squeeze with no shame. Wort ready to boil. Wort foam! I did not let it boil over. First hop addition- .5 oz chinook. 60. Second was another .5 chinook with a smattering of cascade at 30. (Don't ask). .25 cascade at 15. .35 at 5 Chillin! Wort chill in effect. Yes. That is a snowman oven mitt. No shame in the game. Didnt get any pics of the transfer to the LBK but it was seamless. Pitched the saison yeast and this bad boy is in cooler fermenting naturally. No temp control. What happens happens. Three weeks and I will bottle. Not sure how this is going to turn out. I did not really put a lot of thought into this beer. I just wanted to get a brew in to start learning my outdoor process.
  35. 7 likes
    Today is the day! First taste of conditioned Funky Buddha Hop Stimulator and it is awesome! Great clear golden color. A wonderful, almost peppery Hop taste. And no extract tang to the taste. Very happy with this recipie!
  36. 7 likes
    hail hail the gangs all here......😁 🍻 PPA will be consumed this weekend for the forth of July.....everyone loved my orange wheat and its all gone,,been so busy haven't had time to brew,,but I'll be starting up again....
  37. 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.
  38. 7 likes
    Allow me to join the chorus in welcoming @AnthonyC back to the fold. This place is always more fun when The Beer SquirrelTM is around. Also: @Bonsai & Brew: you are too kind. You also neglected to mention that you are now an award-winning brewer, having placed in the Lost Cabin Homebrew competition while @AnthonyC was on his hiatus.
  39. 7 likes
    Finally i found a pic of me and josh discussing something very important im sure.
  40. 7 likes
    Wow, i cant believe i most this whole thread. To the best of my knowledge: 05 is not necessarily overkill. It is possible to get off flavors by over pitching and under pitching , however, i trust fermentis yeast more than i trust coopers. Sorry. I stopped using the MRB yeast early in my brewing. Any LHBS should have coopers yeast if you go that route, youll save on shipping that way. Or just use 2 packets for 4 lbks. 1/2 in each. I would also like to say that this is your experiment, your money, your decisions. You do whatever the hell you want to do that being said... CAL does kinda suck without major upgrades. Just read the description or each LME and youll know what each batch will taste like. I think in the end youll have 8 gallons of mediocre beer. Anyway. Ive done tons of experiments. Some made sense, some not so much. I was curious, so i brewed it. Screw you if you dont like it. Someone on this forum once said "if you dont brew it, who will" and ive taken that to heart. There might be 100s of us on this forum who benefit from this experiment when you report back. Or maybe just you. Either way, what you brew is up to you my friend
  41. 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
  42. 7 likes
    The Millennium Falconers Flight Red is probably my favorite home brew so far -- dry, hoppy, bitter, beautiful!
  43. 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 🤓
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 7 likes
  49. 6 likes
    All of the above advice is great. Read the forums, read the signature line from @RickBeer. Most importantly DON'T GIVE UP. 3 batches is the very beginning of any brewing hobbiest career. Temperature, Temperature, Temperature. I can't say it enough. The biggest single improvement to my beers was temperature control. I never pitch my yeast above 65 degrees, I also rarely start fermentation above that number either. I actually cool my wort to as low as 60 and begin fermentation there. Then I control it to not rise above 63 for the first 3 days. Believe me this works for most ale yeast. I know if you look at the optimal range for most yeast you will think this is too cold. Remember the word here is optimal. Let the temperature rise to about 68 once the Krausen has begun to fall back into the beer. This will help the yeast finish and clean up off flavors. Search the internet or this forum for ways to control fermentation. It can be done with items you most likely have at home already.
  50. 6 likes
    Hello everyone. I received the Mr. Beer premium kit for Christmas today and I am so damn excited! I haven't been this much like a kid at Christmas for ages. My kit contains the Aztec Mexican Cerveza and the Bohemian Czech Pilsner cans. I hereby agree to follow the directions to the letter and not mess with anything during the process of brewing my first batch. I will also not rush so that I can be sure everything goes as it should. This is going to be fun! Hello from Toronto Canada. Scott.