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Everything posted by Nickfixit

  1. I soak them overnight in bath with hot as I can get water. Next day some fall off, most others can be scraped off with putty knife and residue removed with Dobie scourer. Very few except plasticky ones do not work that way for me
  2. This is my favorite treatment of the Porter HME. Double Deluxe Milk Choc Porter. Porter HME, 1x Robust, 1xSmooth LMEs, 1/4 cup lactose, 1/2 oz EKG 5 min boil, 20 min steep 160 deg 1 oz choc and 1 oz pale choc grains. Mr B yeast pitched at 74. Ferment 63-65.
  3. I didn't try that one. I have tried several Cooper's refills and mostly liked them. None were what I would call super hoppy. For my taste I rate what I tried 0-5 below I rated none a 5 because then I would buy nothing else . 4= very nice ( bought more Pilsener and Dark Ale), 3= good, 2= OK but won't make again. You have to leave them several months though to be good. Generally I made 1 LBK standard then messed with the others. The review is of standard recipe Dark Ale 4 Bitter 3 Draft 3 Lager 3 Pilsener 4 IPA 4 Sparkling Ale 2
  4. Please just make sure all the recipes go in the archive so we can still make them later if you run out of the kits of ingredients. I think I am seeing this I the Customer Support Recipe section but don't lose any!
  5. I am very bad to the yeast. I do not have a separate brew fridge and SWMBO would complain too much if I kept them all in our regular fridge (I try to keep brewing impact to minimum as she does not drink beer and dislikes brewing smells). The following is not advice to do the same - just what I do and my experience with it. You may get different results and I do not want to be blamed if you get bad beer You can find what works for you. I keep unopened and even 1/2 packs sealed with scotch tape in my basement at ~ 62 - 65 deg. (occasionally going higher) and I have had no issues with viability that I can tell. I do go throw away started packs that I think are waaay too old every once in a while. Compare - One Fermentis (11g) pack usually OK for a 5 gal brew Cooper's kits use 7g yeast pack for 6 gal brew. Mr Beer use 5g yeast pack for 2 gal brew. I think that for Mr Beer 2 gallon brews, the Fermentis packs being 11g are usually totally overkill unless you are making VERY strong beer or want a very clean quickly fermented lager. So if one uses a whole pack, it can have degraded a lot and it will still be OK. If it is a Mr B pack and old, I guess one could put 2 old ones in if in doubt. I can put one in and see how it looks. If it starts fermenting right away and looks pretty foamy I figure it is OK. On occasion with the Cooper's yeast (using 1/3 pack ~ 2g per LBK) I have seen slow start so I have added more yeast after maybe 48 hrs. If it is real old I guess you could also make a starter to increase the number of cells. You can also do the calculations on active cells required to brew properly based on the cells per pkt. (see Fermentis descriptions) and the info on degradation over time and temperature. So I generally do not use all 11g unless I am making lager or want it to ferment quickly which I think will minimize stress and byproducts, or the pack is old. Sometimes I do the opposite (e.g. for wheat beers) and intentionally used less to get longer growth phase and more flavor byproducts. When I use 1/2 pack I divide the yeast by folding the packet in half and getting the same amount on either end. Then I do a straight cut at one end and empty out that yeast into the LBK. Then I keep the pack with the air squeezed out and fold scotch tape over the straight cut end and press hard to seal it, and mark the date on it with a sharpie.
  6. You need milk from really beefy cows. None of this wimpy low fat stuff. Maybe some cornstarch would help.
  7. I like the idea of sticking on paper labels with milk.
  8. I use the Avery 1 inch round seals and stick them on the bottle cap. Works for 12 oz anf Mr Beer PET bottles. They are just the ight size and much easier to read than hand printing and you can read them from the top which is great if they are in boxes or 6 packs. For reuse, you just stick on top of last one. If there are too many they will peel off and you start again. There are 15 per sheet. Enough for PET bottles and a couple of glass ones. per batch which is generally what I do so I have a couple glass ones per batch to give away. Avery plugin for Word lets you make these. Belgian Wit batch 4 label.docx For special occasions I will make regular style labels too
  9. I found some lemon drop hops today At LHBS. SO I figure I will try some in a Saison but I am shy of putting too much in. I hear if you use too much it tastes like lemon pledge - lol. So II am thinking Lemon Saison using Czech Pils as HME base. Steep 4 oz Flaked wheat, with 4 oz Pils malt crushed. 30 min at 165. Strain and rinse. Dissolve 2 oz Vienna malt LME, 8 oz Pils DME and 6 oz booster in 4 cups water Add grain water to sugar water boil hops 10 min in wort. 0.5 oz hop mix dry hop with 0.5 oz hop mix for 7 days. ferment warm with Belle Saison (should I put the whole pack? - 1/2 is really enough.) For hop mix I can make a variety of things, besides the Lemon drop I have a lot of left over small amounts of hop, e,g, Huell Melon, Kohatu, Nelson Sauvin, Amarillo, or more standard like the Hallertauer. Tettnager and Saaz. and some HBC438 and Bramling cross. Noe of these are real fresh but I have not had problems using saved hops yet. I still get good flavor. I would like it to be a bit lemony but not overwhelming but some other nice flavors too. Alright - no Kohatu - I don't want pine needles. The Huell Melon would be OK, Amarillo or even a bit of the HBC438. Bramling cross may be too blackcurranty. So I am tending towards a mix of 0.5 oz Lemon drop, 0.5 oz Heull melon and 0.5 oz HBC438 all mixed and split 2 ways for the boil and the dry hop. I find that 1.5 oz hop in 2 gal is plenty for me. Usually I put less. Is this too mad scientist? Or too much hop for Saison?
  10. The notion of mad scientist brewing is often mentioned as to be avoided for new brewers. SInce I am an old brewer (haha) I think we need a special thread for experiments. Having successfully made the "Golden One" as "Belgian Blonde", I figured I would try an "American Blonde" instead. (None of that sniggering there). So I started one today but deviated a bit in using a hop from "down under". "American Blonde visits Down Under"? Anyway this is the variant. 1 can CAL 1 can American Lager (actually Patriot - I had to use it up) 1/2 lb Wheat DME 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp coriander seed - crushed ( I may have overdone this) 1/2 oz Galaxy hop pellets T-58 yeast I started it around 2 pm and in 8 hours there is a nice foam on it and it has a really strong aroma coming out from the Galaxy. That is powerful. Currently wort temp is mid to low 70s in 65 deg environ. Any other experiments out there?
  11. Saw this today - yeast making flavors normally introduced by hops. In the future we could be using blends of yeasts with different flavor making strains. I have been wondering about this for a while. Once homebrewers get hold of these strains, I am sure that some will thorough home yeast reproduction evolve or separate the strains into different more interesting ones. Research article here There is a lot to be experimented with here and a lot of learning but a lot of opportunity too. Would anyone here try it?
  12. maltodextrin powder will also sweeten it up without making it more malty. If you add malt you will get more maltiness, higher ABV and not necessarily more sweetness but it will make it seem less hoppy in % in the taste. Also if you keep it 6 months the hoppiness will fade some.
  13. OK, I got another one. I like the Belgian wheat beers, but I will not have a wheat HME and I am looking to use up a Pilsner HME, Any opinions on this recipe? Czech Pils/Belgian Wheatified 30 min Partial Mash 4 oz 1 min Oat, 4 oz flaked raw wheat, 2 oz Pilsner Malt, 1 oz Aromatic malt , Rice hulls Crushed Coriander 1 tsp, crushed. - No Boil @ flameout Fresh small grated sweet Orange Zest - no boil @flameout 8 oz Wheat DME Czech Pils HME Belgian Wheat yeast tbd.
  14. I brewed right after I got mine. I read the instructions for temperature and brewed at room temp of 70-72. (within range but maybe not ideal.) The instructions (2013) gave a wide range e.g. 59-75 def F and sometimes an ideal ambient temp. e.g. 67F. My first attempts were varied some cidery, some meh, some quite good. I have got more consistent after learning more. But I can certainly empathize with the urge to get going and try it. As said above probably keeping it cool is the best advice.
  15. Find a post by Rick Beer and read all his footnotes and references. Some people do add hops with no bag, They mostly sink to the bottom, but they can get in the beer of clog the faucet. Lots of bag alternates. End of stocking or pantyhose, painters straining cloth e.g. From Mr B, or brew stores you can get disposable or reusable hop bags - as you prefer. For later experimentation........ Another altenative is to steep the hops, strain and just add the juice. Results can vary - some folks find this can add a vegetal quality . But I have been successful. Pour boiling water over hops and let sit for 30 min, drain and use juice or or let sit in fridge overnight for added flavors. Some Cooper's (Mr Beer parent Co.) recipes specify this treatment. Or use a coffee French Press. All these treatments will give slightly different results in terms of that flavors, aromas they extract from the hops. So it is something one can experiment with later after establishing a repeatable good brew result. Until you do this you have no idea why you get the different result you do. On the other hand some may say go for it and learn by your mistakes. Hopefully they will all be consumable - lol.
  16. Agreed. I like the small batch for the variety. Even when I split a 6 gal (e.g. Cooper's) recipe into 3 LBKs I make them all a bit different.
  17. On the Spiced Christmas Ale you will also want to get fresh spices (not included) but not too much. I made an old one of those last August it was fine. Yes, new yeast.
  18. I think I remember seeing one post that said he always puts 4 oz grain steep into the wort on all brews.
  19. Yeah I was right - people do that.... Hmmmm.................... looks like an easy way to make money. But OK with Ebay, but not with Amazon Prime apparently they cancel prime and ban you from it if they find out - lol. I would too, as Prime price is based on average home buyer volume I expect- not business volume.
  20. Ha, I looked at Ebay too, and there are Oktoberfest and Porter there for $14. I bet those sellers are just reselling the Amazon ones (<$12) and if they have Prime, they can get Amazon to ship to the customer at no shipping cost and not even touch the goods. Just order from Amazon with ship to customer and make $2. It might even be possible to automate this - looking for cheapest on Amazon, adding a % and reposting. More than I can do but..... Am I guessing right?
  21. Check Amazon too Oktoberfest and Porter base refill (no LME or booster) < $12. and with prime, free shipping.
  22. The price is good. You may have to wait for a free shipping deal. Or get a kit on sale that includes LBK + Refill. Check on Amazon.....if you have Amazon prime - free shipping.... These are not really cheaper, but you can get free shipping maybe with a smaller outlay. For the Mr B you have to spend $60 to get 20% off but for $67.95 you can get a couple of LBKs and a couple refills. But Amazon has Oktoberfest refill (basic - no booster or LME) now at $11.82 and Porter refill at $11.97 Or Amazon prime - free shipping for $49.99 you get ALL THIS - really not a lot cheaper but save on shipping. Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition 2 Gallon Homebrewing Craft Beer Making Kit with Two Beer Refills, Convenient 2 Gallon Fermenter, Bottles, Caps, Carbonation Drops, Sanitizer and Brewing Instructions
  23. If you don't like that sharp taste, lactose will help.
  24. Updated I am making Bewitched using Irish Ale yeast (currently fermenting) with added Cascade hops. Similar to the Rockets Red Glare recipe except I put 3/4 oz Cascade in that I had and 8 oz Wheat DME instead of an LME pack. Why that yeast? Because I used 1/2 pack for Irish Red Ale (see Rick Beer on overpitching) so had 1/2 pack left to use up and it being WLP004 liquid yeast, I felt the need to use it quickly.