RickBeer

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RickBeer last won the day on February 9

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About RickBeer

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    Brewing Guru

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    Ann Arbor, Michigan (GO BLUE!)
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    Brewing 5 gallon extract recipes, skiing, my family, U of Michigan.

    I enjoy answering questions on forums and paying it forward. Please ask on the forum - not in PMs.

    Also, I don't accept Friend requests, they really serve no purpose on the forum. If you participate on the forum, consider yourself a friend :).

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  1. Keep in mind that you can use that setup on any frig or freezer. Instead of a dorm frig, I have a normal sized freezer that I absconded with from my in-law's house after we moved them to assisted living. It's on the right in this picture. You can then make a freezer into a frig by setting it to 37 degrees for example. Mine allows me to ferment as many as 7 LBKs at once, although it's tough to do that if you start each a week after the other, because peak fermentation drives the temp controller (I move it to the newest batch), and therefore makes the others cooler. And temp does differ from bottom to top. The main issue with this freezer is that it has coils under the shelves, so they aren't moveable. Therefore, I couldn't use it to do say a 5 gallon bucket. Those that are handy can make their own controller. You don't end up saving that much, but mine has the advantage of both operating as an extension cord (i.e. supplying 2 non-switched outlets, plus I have a heat side, so I can put a paint can heater in the bottom of the freezer and use it to warm things if they are too cold.
  2. No. OG, 42, so 4 weeks. Again, just a guide.
  3. No calculator is needed. (OG - FG) x 131.25
  4. Read this post, including the video I posted after it. Clearly, if you think your hydrometer is reading "4.3", you don't know how to use it.
  5. I actually did that with all of mine when I got them, because the forum told me too Remember to make sure you measure the water very carefully. The more times you fill a smaller measuring container, the more inaccurate your total will be... Also remember that a few ounces one way or the other won't make any noticeable difference.
  6. Again, you may want to do some reading. Sugar, is sugar, is sugar. Well, not really, from a chemical composition standpoint. But whether you use table sugar, or corn sugar isn't going to make a squat of a difference. Yes, there are some recipes out there that have you add sugar. Not many here, if any. If you buy a can of Cooper's extract, it will tell you to add 2.2 pounds of sugar. Add LME instead, much better result. Belgian beers often add Belgian candi sugar or syrup.
  7. Every day yeast cells die. You can hear them screaming in tiny little voices if you listen carefully... Ok, if you just put your ear to the yeast packet please exit the forum and do not return. Refrigerate them to keep them the most viable possible. Remove the night before brewing.
  8. All Mr. Beer refills, recipes, and cans are designed to brewed with 2.13 gallons of total wort. Bigger cans are more malt, but no more wort. Examine your LBK when it is empty, in bright light, to ensure you can see all markings. So, what happens if you put in 2 gallons total instead of 2.13 gallons? Your beer will be slightly maltier and slightly hoppier and slightly stronger.
  9. I've been brewing for almost 6 years now, and have NEVER added sugar to a batch. NEVER. You do used a special sugar for certain types of beer, but otherwise use LME or DME.
  10. That will simply thin out your beer. The cup of honey raises ABV and makes the finish drier, and the corn sugar just did it more. I always recommend making the recipe as stated before altering it so you know what it tastes like.
  11. No different than any other refill.
  12. You might want to spend some time reading the stickies at the top of the forum, and reading through posts that discuss your questions. Lots of good info to read. A way to cheat on conditioning time is to look at the original gravity of a recipe. Us the last digits, often a 4, 5, or 6, as the minimum number of weeks you should wait. But the reality is that everyone has different tastes. Go 4 weeks, take ONE bottle and refrigerate for 3 days, then try it. Do another bottle at 6 weeks, and another at 8. See what YOU like for that recipe.
  13. You don't. Meaning, as a newbie, brew them as specified. There are Mr. Beer recipes and the Mr. Beer Deluxe versions, that include extra malt extract, often a packet of LME. Do those. Then, when you've got things understood and can compare tastes with and without malt extract added, go for it.
  14. There is ZERO reason to go 4 weeks fermenting. It won't be better. The true way to know it's done is with two readings on a hydrometer, but I can tell you that 3 weeks is enough.
  15. Flat beer.