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zorak1066 last won the day on December 23 2016

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    good job Mr Beer! thanks for making this place feel like 'home' again.
  1. I tend to agree that after a couple days from capping, upending gently makes the sugar a little more easier for the yeast to handle. consider too that after fermentation they might get a little tired or lazy. any time my bottles were really slow to firm up, upending remedied it for me. again though whatever works for the brewer... another thing that helps is raising the ambient air temp a little.
  2. I used to hate wheats. I drank nothing but stouts... then I gave wheats a fair go. love them. they are complex little buggers. they can be peppery, tart, tangy... wheat malt makes a good addition to many flavors and styles. if you have a good beer store, look for : weihenstephan hefeweizen or krystallweizen Schneider weisse aventinus good places to start. hefeweizens are fun because they can run the full spectrum of flavors depending on the temp they were fermented. you can go from rich earthy clove and peppery to banana and bubblegum notes. they are meant to be consumed 'mit hefe' meaning you upend the bottle and dump everything into a glass including the yeast dregs. caution: if you aren't used to drinking beer yeast take it easy with this. yeast in your gut can go nuts eating undigested food and cause bloating and gas from hell. . . until you get used to it. I like my wheat beers especially when they are served room temp. . . but they can be very refreshing cold. saaz hops are one of my favorites... a very mild hop with a nice aroma, it is found in a lot of pilsners. as for wheat malt, any beer I make with it has super head retention. it gives your beer a lot of body. my latest batch ( kitchen sink stout made from leftover malts and stuff I had wanted to use up) had a pound of wheat lme added just because. the krausen was through the roof and it smells fantastic .. 1.5 weeks to go to bottle time.
  3. re learning by mistakes.. first hand is the BEST way to learn. so I went from mr beer to 5 gallon kits with steeping grains. that went well enough so I figured lets go all grain! how hard can that be? lol. did my research... got my chemicals.. now what to make for my first all grain? I know! a Russian imperial stout! so what if it has a gravity of 1.095 and a ton of grain. i'll just scale it down to fit my 5 gallon mash ton. so I thought. well.. all my research kept showing that new to ag you really shouldn't do big beers until you get the technique and the math down etc. . . but I knew better. it also showed that on really big beers a partial mash with extracts works better. the efficiency is better. but nope... I knew better. so long story short I a) didn't mash long enough, b- didn't sparge well enough, and c) ended up with a fair but definitely NOT imperial stout of about 1.05 starting gravity. so I gained new insight on brewing. I still ended up with drinkable if not good beer. I still was able to turn the spent grain into bread later to eat with my beer... and thus the experiment was not a failure. I just wasn't as successful as I had hoped for. brewing is like that. you make mistakes. you learn from them.. and.. you can still drink your mistakes (usually). my first foray into partial mash prior to this I ended up with about 1/4 of the fermenter full of unusable thick pudding like sludge from all the grain dust and break material that made it into the beer. (palmers elevenses I think)... I still made good beer, just not as much as planned. I learned from that too. I run my pm through a mesh bag to strain out a lot of the grain dust. any break material that ends in the fermenter is less, and serves as yeast food.
  4. https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/whats-the-deal-with-peat-malt.43091/ "This malt is lightly peated and used to enhance flavor in Scottish type ales. While the malt is in the kiln, peat moss outside the kiln is gently smoked over slow burning coals, allowing its vapors to drift above the malt. Stronger in flavor than German Rauch (smoked) malt." - a grain/brewing supplier ive only used cherrywood smoked malt. I used it in a smoked porter. used in moderation it can give a nice smoky quality that pairs well with chipotle in smoked chipotle porter. I haven't used peated malt... but all accounts that ive read online say use it sparingly.
  5. this guy reminds me of john McEnroe. scene: wimbeldon. mcenroe serves.. net. mcenroe examines his racket like something is seriously wrong. he serves again... fault. he re-examines racket, and throws it to the ground stomping on it. 'STUPID #(*&$#($*& RACKET! STUPID BLOODY )@(#&$)($&@)& RACKET! IT'S DEFECTIVE! I HATE THIS CHEAP THING!!!'... always easier to blame the equipment isnt it? i think we've all had our moments like this in all honesty. so.. deep breath. calm the hell down. write a tactful note to mr beer customer support and sit back and wait for them to assist you. more than likely you will be taken care of. they are really good ppl who take their customers seriously.
  6. diablo was my favorite mr beer kit. I followed someones suggestions for tweaks and the result was outstanding.
  7. to me no matter what I am brewing, unfermented wort smells like raisin bran cereal. only when it is fully done does it take on hoppy smells or smells like just beer to me. unfermented wort tastes waaaay different from done beer. conditioned beer tastes way different from your bottling sample. if it tastes good at bottling it likely will be great after a couple weeks or more. if it tastes like meh at bottling, you cant judge the final product by your bottling sample. beer tends to get better with aging. you need to be aware of your yeast's needs when fermenting. ale yeasts typically like to be about 64f while fermenting. fermentation makes heat. if your wort starts at 60f, once it gets brewing up a storm it can be 70f or more in the fermenter. too hot? you end up with possible cider tastes. too cold? yeast go to sleep. lots of great research for you can be found in rickbeers signature block usually. stored finished beers can age indefinitely but undergo changes. hop presence slowly mutes. malt presence slowly melds and goes to the foreground. a very old ipa might taste more like just a imperial ale. your first few beers will likely be mediocre. don't get discouraged. welcome to your new obsession!
  8. I make a pretty mean porter with smoked malt and chipotle. just enough heat and just enough smoke... I steep my chipotles in rock and rye , enough to cover .. for about a week then dump everything in at the last week of fermenting.
  9. it's aliens I tell ya.
  10. i have had multiple batches, usually with US04 that look identical to that at bottling. they all came out fine. looks like nothing more than yeast rafts and hop dust to me. sometimes when the krausen collapses it leaves this junk behind as floaters. no biggee.
  11. i have never bothered cold crashing. it just isn't worth it. any crud that does end up bottled will settle out with the bottle trub. I don't shove my siphon all the way down to the bottom so I am not sucking up excessive amounts of trub or hop crud. if I ever see the wort coming up cloudy I pull the siphon up a little . only on my last bottle, my trub bottle do I suck up every last drop..trub and all be damned. that is usually my sampler. the trub bottle I WILL stick in the fridge for a couple days to settle out. I usually drink it without carbing too.
  12. you have to be careful not to use too much or your beer might get overwhelmed by tannins(?) from the wood. . . which will need longer aging. I used wood cubes (French oak I think). I put them in a small hop sack and soaked for a week in rock and rye. bourbon works. vodka works. etc.. then dump the whole lot in when ready. the liquor volume is small enough not to kill your yeast and sanitizes everything. you get a very small increase in abv.. not worth counting. I like rock and rye oaked cubes in imperial stouts. the sugar in the rock and rye mixed with the smoky wood adds a nice touch. when done I take the cubes, rinse, dry in microwave or stove.. then put in a jar for the next time until i'm no longer happy with the result.
  13. never wanted to try that. you never know what yeast you will get. you might end up with sour beer. I have however done yeast washing which was to me pretty cool. how would you identify which yeast you 'caught'? microscope? or just take the catch as catch can?
  14. I like the domino dots.. 2g sucrose per cube. use a priming sugar calculator set to bottle size.. ta da. easy peezy. if you are .025 g off? who cares one way or the other. I shoot for close enough on the carb level. better slightly under than over.
  15. if you added lactose that can make for a higher final gravity. lactose is an unfermentable sugar.