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Nickfixit last won the day on March 29

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  1. Science says..........................YES to beer, if you are OLD.
  2. Well at least 6 months. Some are 12 months old. Beer Inventory 032816.xlsx
  3. Unless I want a decorative label, I use the 1 inch Avery adhesive seals #5247, 15 to a sheet. I use the Avery tool installed into Word, and use #8 or 9 font. I stick them on the bottle cap so I can see what they are without having to take it out of the container. This works for the PET or the glass 12 oz bottles just fine. You don't have to take them off, you just stick the next one on top. If a thick layer wants to come off, let it and continue sticking on top of what is left. These are probably #10 font.
  4. So I have 2 thoughts (no wait - 3): First, Mr Beer states that their liquid malts get darker with age, so this could be a factor. However, LME is easier to add to the hot water. But use as fresh LME/HME as you can get. Following the Mr B instructions will be the best guarantee of a good result, diverging as I indicate below may change your result - but should not if you are careful about the sterilization. Second, try not boiling it - or limiting the boiling - a minute is enough to sterilize - unless you are high altitude. If you are using a MR Beer recipe with their Hopped Extract, the only time you really should need to boil any malt is if you are adding bittering, boiling hops with malt. Otherwise, as long as everything is sterile, you should not need to boil the actual malt. If you are adding LME - it is easy to add to hot preboiled water, if DME, you can add to water when cool and stir while warming until dissolved and boil enough to sterilize the water (and hopefully not darken too much). This is what I often do. However, the hotter the water, the better the malt will dissolve and the better it will pour. The malt extracts should be sterile and you could boil the water ahead of time if you want to sterilize it but not add DME to it hot, this way you could avoid boiling the mix. I suppose also you could put the DME in the container, then boil water (e.g. in a kettle) and pour it over the DME and stir to dissolve (disclaimer - I did not try this). For more advanced recipes, If you are using actual grains e.g. with partial mash or steep, you should boil that to sterilize at least. If you are determined to add bittering boiling with malt, I don't think you need that much malt and you can use the lightest DME, starting to dissolve it in cool water to get least clumping and steam making the DME stick on the containers. Coopers - the MR B Parent company, for a number of its recipes do not have you boil the malt extract - just dissolve in hot water. Also for hops they also often specify a hop steeping separate from the wort then adding the liquor. This may not get you as much bitterness, but should get you a lot of flavor. So there is some flexibility there I think. You can look at their recipes for process ideas once you have had a few successes. Oh, and using that much criticized "Booster" will give you a better drinking experience and feel to the beer and not add any coloration at all. I find that by adding mouthfeel, body and ABV, it provides a significant difference to the basic extracts - although if you want more maltiness, it is not the thing to use. But for me, often the base level of flavor is enough if the brew is beefed up a bit using the booster - and maybe adding a little aroma dry hop. Take this as a personal preference, since I am not a big fan of heavy malty high ABV beers although there are many here that are :-D. Although I do like the dark porters, but usually I don't make anything over 6% - mostly 3.5 to 5.5%.
  5. Taste is not always reliable, Depending on beer type it might still taste sweet when done. Best way is to take readings with hydrometer or refractometer before/after fermentation. I don't always do that (despite RickBeer's enthusiastic encouragement) but it is the best to ensure good results.
  6. Rick - good point on the washer - re food grade. But if outside, maybe not an issue? - since it would have very limited contact with beer if any. I generally use the Mr B washer inside and the garden hose one outside.
  7. I tighten until I feel the washers engage then another 1/2 turn on the external spigot. I get it undone by turning the spigot back the other way. The nut inside only needs a little restraint. But then I put washers inside and out usually. 5/8 inch garden hose washers work. I always take the spigot out and wash it but I don't take it apart. I would buy a spare spigot then try to undo the current stuck one by turning the external spigot anticlockwise. If it breaks- you have the spare. I don't think you will break the LBK. It might turn easier if you run ice water over it to shrink it a bit. (maybe)
  8. It is still second to pheromones - lol. But a close second.
  9. I also buy 1 lb bags of DME (cheaper in larger bags but more difficult to manage in small quantity and keep dry.) With the 1 lb bags, it is easy to drop in 8 oz (for 1% ABV) into a brew, or smaller amounts to tweak recipes. After partial use I expel air gently and reseal with packing tale or scotch tape folded over the cut off corner. This works well for me. (I use the same reseal method on partially used yeast packs too.) For the LME, I am less accurate on using but go by change in container weight (after pouring some out) or rough level in container if using a lot. (Like 1 lb from a 3.3 lb tub). The 3.3 lb tubs (plastic) are screw top so easy to reclose and I dump a splash of vodka in to sterilize it after use.) I would be interested if anyone has an EASY NON-MESSY way to measure LME out. That said, the Mr B packs are much easier to use and good flavors, but sometimes I want to try a different malt. The ones I have currently are Porter, Vienna and Special Dark.
  10. Now both have their hops, but there is such a difference in the yeast activity. The one with S-05 (LBK#2) still showing some surface bubble accumulation whereas the Nottingham and Cooper's cleared very fast. The Cooper's did have less malt, to be fair, but the other 2 had the same amount each. And these are all fermenting at ~ 63 deg so far.
  11. I agree with you DME can be a pain. Using MR Beer LME packs is much easier and it should provide the same result - but of course if it comes with have to use it. The other problem I have with DME is even if it does not clump, there is a cloud of fine sugar particles that spread around and stick on everything. But for the future, you will know and be able to minimize the issues. I think it would just be easier if Mr B. always used the LME. I am not sure of the advantage of DME except is it lighter to ship. Maybe also costs less for them. From what I can see the benefits quoted for DME are - longer shelf life - easier to measure out quantities than with sticky liquid. Of course with Mr B, and the small LME packs this is no issue. I sometimes get 3 lb LME containers (for different malt flavors) and only part use them and this is more trouble.
  12. too much beer

    I think he will have to re register as MrWhyNot.....................
  13. Also I don't think it would be a problem if you had some clumps in the LBK. I have on occasion forgotten to add enough DME to the recipe so I have added it direct into the wort in the LBK. It worked out fine, as the DME is pretty much sterile and the yeast will stir it up as it makes bubbles.
  14. No matter what it says, it clumps a lot less adding it to cold. But you really have to keep stirring especially if you use booster. Cooper's AU recipes often use hot water but they put the dry malt in the fermenter first then add hot water and swirl it around until mixed. No clumping on the bag when you do it that way. I have not tried the sequence of adding water to the dry powder yet but I may. Sometimes the Coopers say just dissolve the DME/Brew enhancer in hot water. I don't think they usually boil it.
  15. too much beer

    Huh?> you could not make it 1.100?