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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 15 points
  2. 11 points
    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.
  3. 11 points

    You live and you learn.

    The amount of extract I'm able to get out of the can nowadays, versus when I first started is night and day.
  4. 11 points

    First attempt starting tonight

    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
  5. 9 points

    A lesson in patience...

    I've been drinking beer I've brewed, so please humor me. Or ignore me. Either way. There isn't a question, just some observations (and anecdotes) as someone that's been brewing for less than a year and on a relatively small budget. I'm on my sixth batch of beer (all Mr. Beer extracts). I've done some experiments in meads and wines and a cider too, but essentially I just started beer #6 (and have ingredients for #7). Batch #6 is a Churchill Nut Brown Ale. I plan to add vanilla and cold-brew coffee to half of it just for fun. I'm not the hugest Brown Ale fan, but it was on sale last month. My first two batches had a lot of issues. The first one was undrinkable (an "American Lager"). I let it age for over 8 months and it never got better. I was slowly dumping a few out at a time (after tasting and gagging) to use the bottles, and finally gave up on it entirely. I've since bought a bottle capper and started saving my commercial beer bottles. The second batch was a Bavarian Weissbier where I wanted to add some hops in hopes of adding some citrus flavors... but I boiled the hops in water by themselves before adding the HME to the cooled hop-water, and it turns out "hop tea" beer isn't the best method. It tasted very tart at first. It was drinkable but not especially good. It got slightly better with age, but it never really stood out as tasty. I did drink them all eventually except for one, which I'm keeping just to see how it ages. My third batch was the Long Play IPA done straight up with only adding two booster packs for a higher ABV. I figured it may as well be strong since I'm not the hugest IPA fan (I'll do them, but not my first pick), but it came with the kit for my second little brown keg at a great Black Friday price. I brewed shortly after (beginning of December). My temperature control was pretty much spot on. I let it carbonate for two weeks, condition for an additional two. They were decent then. Since then, I've drank all of them but two of the 740ml bottles until about 3 months ago, when I finally bottled batch #5. Batch #4 ("Horses Ass Ale") decided to leak out into my fridge the night before bottling while I was cold crashing. The LBK (my first one) that I used for this had given me headaches with the spigot prior to both the brews I started in it, and then (for whatever reason) finally gave out, so at this point I just let it go and decided to not use it again. I bought a 3-gallon Fermonster carboy to replace it and plan to use it for batch #7. Batch #5 was another Bavarian Weissbier, with a Golden LME added. I've tasted it after many stages in aging, and it's been "decent" but has something of a "twang" (what I assume is the "extract twang" people speak of on these forums. A little dash of salt on top before drinking seems to help, but it may be in my head). ANYWAY.... I needed to free up space in the closest I'm using as my "brew area." Between all my one gallon carboys and extras for mead/wine, I needed just a little more room. Among the things sitting around, I had two of the Long Play IPAs (batch #3, bottled at the end of January) left as part of the things I wanted to clear out. I put them in the fridge for about 5 days. Today I planned to go out (and drink some tasty Hefes), but my girlfriend is on a new diet/exercise plan (not a "craze" diet thankfully) and wanted me to help her food prep since I'm always the one to man the cast iron skillet for chicken. So I decided to drink these instead. After conditioning (even in relatively high heat given I live in California) for about six months, these IPAs might be the best thing I've brewed! With age, they've become somehow more mellow and tasty than I even expected, especially for an IPA. The high ABV is a bonus. All of a sudden, I regret drinking all but two of them so soon. But these two were hands down the best thing I've tasted from my own beer brewing experience. Since they were in the fridge already... I also drank a couple from batch #5 (the Bavarian Weissbier, which has only been bottled a month), and again, it's pretty decent, but has a "twang" to it. The point being: giving my brews time to "mature" always seems to pay off. Though I understand that many IPAs (and wheats) are supposed to be good to go when they're still pretty "green," it seems that the mellowing that time brings really helps them stand out as pretty decent brews despite my lack of experience. This hobby is teaching me to SLOW IT DOWN. And being from the age of instant gratification, I really love it for that. And I love it because, well, I get to drink beer. I'm very excited to see how batches #6 and #7 turns out after being allowed to condition (with even better temperature control!) Thanks for humoring me.
  6. 9 points
    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.
  7. 9 points

    MUG MidWest meeting

    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
  8. 9 points

    MUG MidWest meeting

    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!!
  9. 8 points

    14 Days Into Fermentation

    You cant draw any conclusions about the final flavor from a sample you tasted during fermentation. It will change so much in the next 5 weeks. It's your 1st batch so I know you're anxious, but try to leave it alone. Remember, every sample you pull will take away from your yield.
  10. 8 points

    Starting to think about HME and LME

    If he is choosing to drink MichUltra over your homebrew it is time to cut him off. I have cut off two of my nephews after they brought a 12 of MichUltra to my Thanksgiving dinner knowing that I have all of the homebrew they could want. They don't even get it offered to them yet I offer to others who are there. My wife says that is mean spirited but I say there are unwritten laws that have been broken and they should be punished.
  11. 8 points

    Helles Bock

    I am just gonna say it - Helles Boch is the best tasting brew I have made with the least amount of effort yet! It may not be the best tasting overall (I'd say for me that is Lock Stock and Barrel Stout) but the taste per effort is highly favorable! The only modification I made was to steep some caripils in the brew water first.
  12. 8 points
    Palmetto Brew

    My first batch of brew

    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!!
  13. 8 points
    Kevin Caffrey

    No Hop Sack

    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
  14. 8 points

    How does Mr. Beer create new recipies?

    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.
  15. 8 points

    How does Mr. Beer create new recipies?

    Don't worry, guys. There's another hazy on the way. Stay tuned....
  16. 7 points
    Close to 100 outside but a steady 64 in the Brew cellar. Other pic is Carb Cond Chamber. 12 count liquor/wine empty boxes from liquor store are used, to transport and store 740 ml beer bottles. Old table place mats are folded to prop up front of LBK. Found two old dog/puppy crates in basement that have black plastic liners. Using them to sit LBK on in case of spill/leak. Using seedling mat in cooler to heat. Unscrewed and removed coolers spigot to feed wires in.
  17. 7 points

    Kolsch recipe using Czech Pilsner?

    I want to brew a Kolsch (one of hubby's fav) using extract recipe. Was going to make Shade Tree Kolsch - any recommendations for this one? Wondering if I can/should add any booster although I'm going to be using Pilsner (light) DME (have 1 lb but might only use 1/2). Also picked up some Tettnang hops for short hop boil near end. And going to try using WLP029 Kolsch yeast. Couldn't find the Safale K-97 anywhere & I don't want to pay $8 shipping for a $4 yeast. Kolsch will be my 5th batch and I think I'm getting better at this. Tried my second batch again last night, the Oktoberfest (basic/standard refill). After 5 weeks conditioning, it is much improved. Very drinkable. Might even give a few away to family to try. Brew de Ale ze Bub is currently fermenting using Safale 05 (first time using this yeast). I'm going to echo what someone else posted somewhere, but I almost enjoy brewing the beer more than drinking it! Has become new obsession. Cheers!
  18. 7 points

    how to handle a true lager?

    Proper way to create a Helles Bier! Works best in the cool early days of Spring!
  19. 7 points

    Cleaning labels off of glass bottles

    Cleaned used bottles today. Mostly followed @RickBeer ‘s advice. Cleaned 50 bottles today. Used hot water soak to remove labels. Wanted to mention what bottles were the most friendly to home brewers trying to remove labels. This is not comprehensive, but just my top 4. 1. Odell’s-hands down the most friendly. Label practically fell off in the water. 2. Sam Adams-after a soak just took a light scrape and it all came off. 3. Sierra Nevada-came right off after a soak 4. Paulaner-came off so easy. Honorable mention: deschuttes, real ale brewing, revolver (easy to peel off plastic label), modelo. Had a few that were literally impossible. Some use plastic labels and probably requires a solvent of some type to remove the glue. Just gave up or left the label on. Won’t buy those again. After label removal, filled up sink with oxy clean free and hot water for another soak. Shook the poop out of them and rinsed with hot water and hung on my new bottle tree. Ready to rock. I have to admit I did calculate what my time is worth professionally vs saving $50 in not buying 2 cases of new glass. Much less satisfying buying online. Plus I do love working on anything beer related. Jdub
  20. 7 points
    What a load of crap! I am actually privy to the process of how new recipes are created: Step 1 - @MRB Josh R sits in the janitorial closet, in the dark, and thinks. This takes a great deal of effort, and causes him to profusely sweat, so he's not in the closet for quiet, but to keep his sweat stink away from others. Here is a picture of him thinking about new recipes: Step 2 - When he doesn't come up with enough recipes, he gets punished. You'll see a picture of the punishment that @MRB Rick imposes on @MRB Josh R below, showing Josh and @MRB Tim being punished for lack of creativity. Step 3 - Finally, our heroes go in the warehouse and see what they have excess of, and then create recipes. Here they are chasing a helpless warehouse employee: Step 4 - Recipes are completed, typed into the website and published.
  21. 7 points

    First attempt starting tonight

    If only it were as simple as you state to make good beer. You didn't mention anything about maintaining a good temperature. Nor did you mention making sure that the wort you are pitching into is both aerated and the correct temperature for pitching yeast. Yes, you can just follow the directions and make mediocre beer and then get discouraged and quit the hobby. Or you can take a week to read and get as much useful information before beginning a hobby that can last a lifetime. I think I would rather do the latter at the cost on 1 week of time.
  22. 7 points

    MUG MidWest meeting

    So it looks like I will be attending this event with you guys, at least for the weekend. I will also be bringing a bunch of free MRB swag for attendees and possibly a few AZ beers to share, including a few of my own. If anything changes from the original itinerary on the top post, please let us know. We will look into doing a livestream on location, but I may just video the event and show some highlights in a later live stream. We'll figure it out. Even if there are only a couple of us there, we'll still have a good time (more beer for us, right? lol). See you all in a couple of weeks!
  23. 7 points

    First attempt starting tonight

    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!
  24. 6 points

    14 Days Into Fermentation

    TBone, If you pulled the sample from the spigot you need to make sure to sanitize it before pulling anymore of your beer from it. I know it is hard to wait but each of your children (beers) needs to grow up before you can see their full potential. Leave it be for another week, taste a sample at bottling (I always do), but know that sample is very young and not fully developed yet. By the time you are 75 batches in you can tell from this sample how the beer will turn out. Carbonation adds a whole new level of taste and aroma that helps dramatically with the final product. Until you have several beers in your pipeline it can be difficult to be patient. Do yourself a favor and buy a mixed 6 pack of craft beer bottles from your local supermarket or carryout. Drink them while you are waiting and while drinking listen to podcast or read forums to fulfill your brewing addiction. Or if you have the funds, get another LBK and start a second batch. Welcome to the obsession we call brewing, Dawg
  25. 6 points
    a lot of us have moved on from mr beer but still hang around to 'pay it forward' for having this place when we started out. my first batch i was fine because i was following someone elses tried and true recipe and did my research. when crazy stuff started happening to me on my 2nd and 3rd batch that is when i was a mess. lol. 1st- yeast took off in under 2 hours.. super quick start. behaved exactly as expected beyond that so i got spoiled. 2nd batch yeast decided to take its time. by hour 3 after pitching i was here posting OMG my yeast must be dead! it's been 3 hours and theres no krausen! lol. 3rd batch everything went wrong... all kinds of mistakes so i was a mess. 4th batch was the first time i used whirlfloc. OMG SOMEONE PUT SEA WEED IN MY WORT!!!! scrambled to run it through a filter into another carboy.. positive that i messed something up and ruined it. i gradually got better. most important thing i learned early: dont panic. everything that you think is wrong is likely just fine... ask someone here. having ppl to lean on in the early stages of brewing tends to keep ppl in the hobby.