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Everything posted by zorak1066

  1. zorak1066

    Bottling wand

    there is no such thing as a silly question.. except maybe the one you dont ask that later bites you on the buttock. anything your yeast will come into contact with should be sanitized.
  2. the 3/2/2 is just a guide.. not a rule. (3 week ferment, 2 week carb, 2 week condition). . . can you check your final gravity? if so anything close to 1.01 is usually done. (slightly higher if you used lactose in the beer as it is not fermentable sugar). the reason the 3 week suggested time came about is because many new brewers dont have a hydrometer. 3 weeks at the right temp is usually more than enough time for the yeast to get it done without the risk of bottle bombs.
  3. zorak1066

    Returning to Mr Beer

    the beauty of mr beer's system is its ease. one can always come back to it after storming off for whatever reason, losing interest, or when the smoke clears from familial turmoil and stuff. plus... the lbk makes a great fermenter for just about anything... except beets. there i said it. now i dont feel so bad about hijacking the thread. i tried the canned beet ferment experiment. nice sour after 3 days and wow did those buggers foam! i reused the entire brine without issue. the only complaint is that fresh beets have less muddy taste than canned. when i do fresh beet root it comes out like borscht. this time more like fizzy, sour, slightly muddy tasting soft beets... but i'll still eat it. :)
  4. zorak1066

    Returning to Mr Beer

    i perv my fermenters when i can. buckets can be challenging. ive a hard cider on the table at end of week 2.5 ive been watching. . . and. . . to prove it can be done, im lacto fermenting CANNED beets in the brine from my sweet potato experiment. i perv lacto bacteria too. they dont seem to mind. i fully expect though that the texture will be more mushy than whole raw beets.. no worries. wonder how many times you can reuse lacto brine before it starts making poopy of your fermentation?
  5. zorak1066

    New Brewer Today

    WELCOME remember yeast are living things and no two batches will likely do the same exact thing. sometimes yeast will start right away eating.. some times it takes a couple days. when i first started on my first batch i ran here in a panic.. OMG I KILLED MY YEAST! BEEN 2 hours and nothing is happening! lol. Then i got spoiled. i started getting foam (krausen) on every batch by 8-12 hours after pitching. On the batch 4 i ran here posting: OMG! I KILLED MY YEAST! every other batch started in 8 hrs. IT'S BEEN A WHOLE DAY AND NOTHING!!!! stupid yeast! If you did everything right and the temps are good.. and your yeast is alive and happy... you can start seeing something in a couple hours or a couple days.. or not at all. sometimes they go nuts while you arent looking and the krausen drops leaving you thinking nothing happened. that's when you look from the outside at the bottom of the lbk. if you see crud building up, you have fermentation. you will be your own worst enemy in brewing. be patient. learn all you can. take your time to develop your skills. when it starts turning into 'work' it's time to find another hobby. it should be fun and fascinating.
  6. zorak1066

    US-04 or US-05

    gotta agree. lifetime? us05. it's the wonder bread of yeast but you can use it in just about any ale. the ale will just lack any yeast esters. us04 is a monster yeast but if it gets warm it makes fruity apple-y flavors that i dont like.
  7. zorak1066

    Using yeast as nutrients

    5 mins in boiling should be more than enough to kill them i would think. i concur that they add no off flavors. i use them when making hobo wine or hard cider. while i can smell the boiled yeast at first on pitching, there's no harmful effect. i too love their screams as they boil. first though before i pitch them into the boiling stuff i dangle them over the pot so i can build up their fear. yeast fear adds subtle nuances to the beer and wine just like how lobsters always taste better if you scare them first. the dead yeast serve 2 purposes: food for the live yeast, and motivation to make good beer or wine lest they end up with the same fate.
  8. zorak1066

    Wort, Yeast & Temperature

    i am impatient and usually pitch hot and worry about cooling to fermentation temp later. as long as you arent pitching into scalding hot wort, and you work to bring down the temps it shouldnt hurt anything. i have pitched yeast into 80+ degree wort with no ill effect. of course it takes ice forever to drop temps to 64f but i cant tell any off flavors. the important thing is that you want to avoid thermal shock i think. if you rehydrate, your wort temp should be no more than 10-15 degrees f different than your hydrating water temp. ex rehydrating in 98f water... pitching into 62f might cause shock.
  9. zorak1066

    did my bottling for first batch

    leave the last little bit in the bottle rick?? nonsense! besides, yeast cramps and the runs can be fun and an exciting way to lose weight in time for the holidays! i remember fondly my first experience of drinking beer yeast and bottle trub. :P
  10. zorak1066

    Miller Lite

    havent bought mr beer kits in about 3 years.. yes, cheaper than buying craft beer by the bottle ready made, but cost per gallon at least for me was less practical than doing a 5 gallon batch. a 5 gallon all grain cream ale can be done for about 28 bux... 53 bottles of beer for 28 dollars. thats about $4 a 6 pack? i think. sales are always good.
  11. zorak1066

    Miller Lite

    hoppy, stop wasting perfectly good vodka in coffee. you put rock and rye in coffee.. or seagrams. incidentally- discovered McCormick Distillery's 360 Vodka. cheap.. smooth... no headache. good stuff. i would rate it better than luksasova. as for sticker shock with mr b kit prices.. when you do the math for cost per gallon, yeah. it's not cheap... but when you consider that they have done most of the work for you.... i used my mr b days to build up skills enough to do 5 gallon kits (which are still not very economical).. and this lead to all grain. AG brewing once you gather all the equipment is dirt cheap. lots and lots of work.. but the savings are good.
  12. zorak1066

    Miller Lite

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AB_InBev_brands easier to ask what dont they control... how is this not a monopoly????
  13. zorak1066

    Getting back into this!

    freeze concentration ("distillation") while really good at jacking up abv and smoothing stuff out... is really wasteful. you end up with about 1/4 the product volume. . . at most. good thing i went small anyway. curious to see how the hobo wine concentrated comes out. not overly worried about methanol concentrations but the fussels might be a little heavier than i care for. when i started the ferment, i pitched some redstar pasteur and some cuvee' yeast together just for kicks. my only complaint so far is that neither wanted to settle out and compact. the last couple inches in the bucket were full of loose yeast slurry... which i ran through a paper towel filter and now have chilling in the fridge to encourage settling.
  14. zorak1066

    Getting back into this!

    re expired malt being crap... yeah.. but if it didnt have any signs of bulging can or crap floating in it... i'd use fresh yeast and make it anyway. crap flavors can be masked. did i mention i was a cheap bstrd? i just racked a hobo wine off the yeast bed today. yes i even complicate hobo wine ... lol. wow. i think i may have hit about 15% abv (didnt take any grav but man... what a buzz) from my sample. tastes ok too so .. winning! i had about a half gallon left that wouldnt fit in my glass carboy so i am trying freeze 'distillation' / concentration to see what happens. i'm using the spent blueberries i tossed in to ferment with it in a topping for icecream. boil and reduce.. sweeten.. tada. next in line for brewing is an applejack... if this freeze thing works, i'll try it with the applejack too.
  15. zorak1066

    Cleaning 740 ML PET Bottles

    what i use when not doing glass: i buy 1 liter bottles of carbonated water. our tap water here is crap. since the bottles held pressure they can be used for beer. wash... rinse... put on a rack upside down to dry... put in a bag. when i go to use them.. fill with stansan solution, drain. repeat with caps. boom. the only issue: the bottles i use are all clear. since my bottles are like me and never see the light of day, not a problem. 1 liter is perfect for me. i can easily do 1 liter of any strength beer without a problem.
  16. zorak1066


    star san is really so much more betterer...really. take a washed bottle.. dunk to fill, let sit for about 10 seconds... drain back into bucket and set bottle aside while you continue. cant get much easier. open bucket... dip... sit.. .use. tada. i never bother to sanitize until i am ready to use something too. no point sanitizing a washed bucket that is going to storage for a month. . . or a spoon.
  17. zorak1066


    starsan is great. it is relatively noncaustic though if you have delicate skin or open scratches and cuts...wear gloves. it burns a little on open skin. the makers of starsan used to at presentations for sales, mix up a batch and drink some i heard to prove it is safe (when mixed to directions). also be careful not to leave it sit on counters or tile floors as it will stain a little. it looks like water spots on my counter that never go away because the acid content has stripped some of the finish. starsan can be made up in advance and stored in a bucket for months. you will want to put saran wrap over the top before you put a lid on. as starsan sits, the bucket will develop condensation under the lid. the water will get into the gasket and you might develop black mold in the gasket and underside of the lid.. possibly the sides of the bucket too. no worries though. dip paper towel into the sanitizer and wipe it clean... change the lid. wash/sanitize the lid and gasket. as long as the starsan keeps a PH of about 2 i think it is effective. it will not quickly break down. after sitting for a month or so i just drop a little more star san into the bucket and stir to bump down the ph a little. (low is acidic. high is basic. you want acidic). i dip stuff in the bucket to sanitize and reuse over and over without problems. it is also fast. a quick dip or soak and youre bucket or tool is sanitized (if clean when it went in.. you cant sanitize poopy tools). it will not add flavors to you beer like iodophor might so it does not require rinsing off. they say 'dont fear the foam!' because it is safe. remember that starsan is a mild acid. exercise care in handling and dont use it to wash your eyes out and youre fine.
  18. zorak1066

    Pumpkin Rising

    in order to impart any kind of real 'notes' you would have to use honey as an adjunct in the recipe... in about a 12 oz bottle at 2 units of co2 (for illustration only) - you are using less than 2 grams of honey in one bottle.. less than TWO GRAMS. a TEASPOON is 7 grams. so in 12 oz can you detect less than half a skimpy teaspoon of honey? i doubt it.. unless you use some really expensive funky manuka honey from new zealand and as expensive as that is, you'd be a fool to do so. Sugar Amount in Grams Amount in Oz Amount in Cups Corn Sugar 1.57 0.06 0.01 Sucrose 1.43 0.05 0.01 Turbinado 1.43 0.05 0.01 Demarara 1.43 0.05 0.01 Dextrose 1.57 0.06 0.01 Corn Syrup 2.09 0.07 0.01 Brown Sugar 1.61 0.06 0.01 Molasses 2.01 0.07 0.01 Maple Syrup 1.85 0.07 0.01 Sorghum Syrup 2.09 0.07 0.01 Honey 1.93 0.07 0.01 DME - All Varieties 2.10 0.07 0.01 DME - Laaglander 2.87 0.10 0.02 Belgian Candy Syrup - All 2.26 0.08 0.01 Belgian Candy Sugar - All 1.91 0.07 0.01 Invert Sugar Syrup - All 1.57 0.06 0.00 Black Treacle 1.65 0.06 0.01 Rice Solids 1.81 0.06 0.01
  19. zorak1066

    Whole Leaf Hops

    mason jars work nice as do ziplock bags for hop storage. just keep them in your fridge, sealed tight.
  20. i get emails from another forum that runs a contest to win a free stainless steel uber fermenter with dials and knobs and shiny bits and.... no thanks. why over-complicate brewing to that extent? do i really need to have the ability to drain the yeast out from the bottom with a lever? or am i just being lazy? yeast washing is as simple a process as it gets. do i really need something that requires gaskets and misc part replacements, and a masters degree in rocket science from MIT to figure out? lol. now if you ask me, THAT is NOT brewing. the guy working on a stove with pots and pans and buckets.... and doing things manually... or who uses a panty hose filter as a hop sack... who makes due by improvising equipment.. this is the true homebrewer. screw all your fancy toys. there is also nothing wrong with extracts. all you are doing is using a prefab base to build your kit around. there's nothing wrong with ready mix malt. it's like a fine chef using a box of chicken stock then building a recipe up around it. whats wrong with that? the aussies take this approach to extremes of work smarter not harder. biab came about as a means of water and work conservation. no chill method for the same reasons. if you can get it done with less work and cost, where's the problem as long as the end product is still good? biab- toss in a bit more grain, mash in the full volume of water... dunk dunk..swish swish.. no sparge.. boom. bob's yer uncle. boil, flame out. cover... walk away til the morning. no sitting there for a half hour wasting gallon upon gallon in a chiller to lower the temp to pitching temp. myself, i like and dont mind working a little harder for my craft. i enjoy it.
  21. zorak1066

    Pumpkin Rising

    makes no diff what sugar you prime with except for maybe the amount to use being different based on type. oh and brown 'sugar' tends to produce licorice flavors if used in batches. i doubt the priming amount will have any adverse effect. i used it in a stout once... ew. black licorice stout was not good. as for honey why waste good honey on priming? the amount of sugar used for priming contributes nothing but co2 gas.
  22. not only does mr beer make it easy... they are kind enough to provide us a support group. in my entire life i have NEVER stuck with anything for very long. i get bored. i get lazy. i walk away. ive never had any lasting hobby... or anything that gives me a modicum of pleasure.. until i discovered brewing.. and cheap wine making... and mead. where else can you experiment... get as complicated or simple as you want .. and drink your mistakes AND get buzzed while doing it? i just checked.. ive been brewing since 2012! time flies. i have never had a hobby this long.
  23. zorak1066

    Whole Leaf Hops

    take a cone... rub it in your palm between your hands. wear gloves if you have super allergen sensitive skin. smell it. does it smell floral? piney? fruity? earthy? it is a heavy smell or just a hint? another thing you can try is steep some in hot water like a tea. take a taste. is it grassy? citrusy? these things will give you a good idea how to use them. a common hop variety people grow is cascade. it is a bittering hop that has a grapefruity taste in beer. to me it smells a little piney. you could do a mini 1gal beer of just some dme (1#) and maybe a 1/4 oz of cone? boil for 20 mins.. at 8 mins left toss in another 1/8 oz. flame out. chill... strain. toss in sachel of coopers fromunda yeast (under the lid)... ferment and try it. see what the hops taste like to you. should give you a 1 gallon sampler beer at about 4% and about 20-30 ibus (guessing not knowing what variety they are).. i used cascade as a guesstimate. they could be anything really. if it comes out really bitter or really tasting like citrus or tangerines... or mellon.. or grass.. you can get a better idea of how to use them. i had a bunch of really old stale hops that still had some flavor and had not gone cheesy yet. i ground some up and mixed it with salt to use as seasoning. that was odd.. but not unpleasant. made everything i put them in slightly bitter.
  24. zorak1066

    Bottle didn’t carbonate

    yeast might be slow to carb... adding sugar is just asking for bottle bombs if you already added the appropriate amount. klr just move them to a slightly warmer area and give them another week. ive had flat bottles do nothing until the third week.
  25. zorak1066

    Whole Leaf Hops

    what variety? cones or pellet? or leaves? if they are aroma or flavor hops (ie low bittering) you can dry hop lbk batches. (see above) if they are bittering hops (ie high alpha acid content) you can kick up the bitter on meh batches by adding a pound of lme fitting to the style, boiled with a gallon of water and a measure of the hops. boil for about 20 minutes , cool, strain... add to mr beer kit. ask for the amount to use when you know the kit... or plug and chug in a recipe calculator to see the impact on IBUs the addition would have. when you open the bag for first use, you can transfer the rest to a mason jar. if you have one of those jar that you can suck out the air from even better... or transfer to a ziplock bag.. use a straw to suck out the air.. seal.. put in another ziplock bag and store in your fridge. over time they start to lose 'freshness' but ive used whole hops that were in the fridge for over a year and a half without any noticeable loss in quality. now, thank your wife for supporting your hobby and get busy brewing!