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Everything posted by Bassman

  1. To be clear, I am talking about bottles that have been initially cleaned of any labels and glue. Also, I am not talking about sanitizing. After pouring a homebrew I rinse a couple of times and leave it filled with water. I then rinse them the next day and set them aside to store. When getting ready to bottle I do a quick rinse and then use Star San before bottling. Is that enough or do I need a PBW clean between batches? I don't let the beer trub dry out in the bottom of the bottle.
  2. I have the ones that you buy for the carboys on my LBK, they're about a foot long. I keep my LBK in a Cool Brewing bag with frozen bottles of water. So it's not the easiest method of temperature control. But it's better than leaving them on the counter in a NYC apartment with radiators going crazy and weather swings. Point is, the stick on thermometer says 60', it was as high as 66' earlier this week, and I had a nice kreusen. Too cold?
  3. I just brewed the Santa Rita Pale on Sunday, the kreusen is beautiful! The recipe called for 2 oz. of Crystal 15, so I have 2 ounces left in a zip lock bag. My upcoming brew, in about 2 weeks, is a Thunder Bay IPA, which I don't want to alter. After that it's a Shillelagh Stout and also a Baltic Porter. I guess I'm asking, how long would you keep a previously opened bag of crushed grains? It's in a zip lock bag in a closet.
  4. What is the size of the various MB cans of HME? I think the seasonal are 3.3 lb. I think the crafts are 2.86 lb. and the regulars are 1.87 lb. Just trying to get my numbers down for qbrew.
  5. I live in an apartment on the top floor and the temperature is about 66' right now. Is that too cold for bottle conditioning? I'm hesitant to move them into the living room or bedroom because of fear of bottle bombs. The plastic bottles are pretty firm, so my guess is they have carbonated.
  6. They've been in the bottle for 2 weeks. The reason I'm worried about bottle bombs is because it finished after 4 weeks in the LBK at 1.014. So I've been storing the bottles in a plastic bin with a cover.
  7. Maybe it's shy
  8. I didn't want to start a whole new Refractometer thread, so I thought I'd ask here. How off is the ABV using a refractometer as opposed to a hydrometer? The other night night it bothered me how much I'm drawing off the LBK to take a hydrometer reading. If we're talking 1/4 to 1/2% ABV, then that is nothing compared to losing a lot of beer.
  9. I pitched a little cool on my batch from Tuesday night. I pitched S-04 at 60' into Churchill's Nut Brown Ale. I had activity by Wednesday morning and a really nice kreusen last night and this morning, at least an inch thick. The temperature rose to 68' by Wednesday morning and I put the LBK in a Cool Brew container to keep it from getting too high. I did oxygenate for a good 30 seconds, as opposed to just stirring a lot. That doesn't mean it won't get stuck, but my point is that pitching a little cold may not be a problem.
  10. I mean, before I dump the beer. I recently brewed up 2 old MB seasonals, an ESB and a Saison. The yeast and malt were old. Also, when I brewed the ESB I pitched way too high. I did get a kreusen, but not much. Last week I checked the gravity of the ESB and it was 1.025 with temperature correction. It also tasted sweet in a bad way, almost cloying. I thought of bottling it, but was concerned about bottle bombs. Luckily I was busy this week so I had a chance to let it sit on the back burner of my mind. I called a couple of LHBS and the advice I got was that I got a stuck fermentation because I stressed the yeast, so I should pitch fresh yeast and not give up yet. I will be doing that tomorrow. I even "admitted" to one store that it was a Mr Beer kit and he was supportive, even told me to look for sales after the holidays at Best Buy. I liked that he was not a jerk about it or judgmental! By the way, I checked the gravity of the Saison and it is at 1.016, which is close to what it should be. It also tasted good, and I like Saisons. So tomorrow I will bottle that and brew the Santa Rita Pale Ale kit that I bought. So the ESB may not be dead after all. I have some fresh MB yeast that I got with the Santa Rita kit. I also got the MB Churchill yeast with the can of Churchill Nut Brown Ale that I bought. Two questions. Does it make a difference which MB yeast I use to restart a fermentation? Should I rehydrate the yeast? I know the MB instructions have you sprinkle the yeast, but I'm in triage mode.
  11. I used Belle Saison, it was 4 weeks in the fermenter. I bottled it last night and put the bottles in a covered plastic bin in the kitchen. This way, if there's a bottle bomb the mess will be limited.
  12. I used a hydrometer.
  13. Thanks for your insight Rick. I definitely don't want to end up with a bunch of bottles of beer that I hate and have to clean out for no good reason. At least the Saison should turn out good based on the gravity reading I got and the little taste I took.
  14. Yes, I can transfer t my other LBK after I bottle and clean it today. Thanks!
  15. I pitched a month ago. When I did the gravity test a week ago it tasted sweet but not sour.
  16. If you stand a MB can with the label rightsize up, the top of the can is the deeper side, the side that the can opener can't open. So, do you store the can rightside up, keep it that way when you put the can in hot water, but turn it over for opening? Or do you just store it with the opening side up, so that the label is upside down?
  17. How would you draw a sample, for hydrometer reading, from the LBK? I could open the top and use a sanitized wine thief. If I do it quickly, then I lower the risk of airborne bacteria. I could pour it from the spigot. I have Star San in a spray bottle so I would spray the crap out of the spigot afterwards. Thoughts? Thanks!
  18. I was mistaken, I thought that you had to hold it open. Thanks for the clarification.
  19. I have the spigots that turn for On or Off. It looks like MB is back to the kind that you have to hold open. Why did they do that?
  20. I'd like to try a couple of Craft Refills. Has anyone tried the following: Northwest Pale Ale - Is that like a Sierra Nevada? Use US-05? Churchill's Nut Brown Ale - More Samuel Smith than New Castle? Use S-04 or Nottingham? Thanks and suggestions always appreciated.
  21. I used the Diablo for a Black IPA, it was amazing.
  22. One thing to be aware of is over tightening. I did that once and broke the spigot. Mr. Beer was kind enough, of course, to replace it free of charge.
  23. In this case I'll use Star San in a spare bottle. It will be easy to get up in there after drawing the sample. To me, Star San is well worth the cost. I also use PBW to clean the LBK afterwards, and carboys when I used to brew larger batches. I bought a big jar a few years ago and it makes cleaning out the LBK a breeze. The only thing is if you get a lot on your hands, it tends to burn the hands a bit. I should probably get some good gloves!
  24. I just ordered the Baltic Porter, the S-04 version, the Santa Rita kit, Churchill's Nut Brown Ale and a pack of S-04 for the Churchill's. I was hoping for a Black Friday sale, but no such luck. Thanks for all of the feedback.
  25. It's got fiber, keeps ya regular.