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About Rokitman

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  • Birthday 12/11/1958

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  1. Thanx Rick, I may have to do that. As for adding extra ingredients, this recipe was recommended by MRB Josh R in a previous post of mine ~ "The amount of sugar is up to you. For a sweeter root beer similar to A&W, use 4 cups of sugar. 1 or 2 cups of brown will give an extra dimension to the flavor, but you can just use white sugar, if you wish. ", and worked out amazingly well. And plenty sweet. It IS root beer after all. The problem with the specified recipe is they are different depending on where you get the ingredients. The directions that came in the full kit are different than the refill and don't include the booster pack. I'll have to check with Customer Service and see which they suggest. - Thanx -
  2. Hello fellow brewers, I'm having an issue with the Hacked Root Beer recipe that's really got me confused and very disappointed. I started brewing with Mr. Beer a couple years ago and have had great success so far. Started with the basic kit and loved the CAL that came with it. I loved brewing so much my son bought me the complete Hacked Root Beer kit and that 1st batch turned out fantastic. Problem is, every batch I've tried to make since then has turned out horrible and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. The Hacked Root Beer refill kit comes with slightly different ingredients than what comes with the full kit. Namely, the Booster packs. From what I've read, the Booster pack is used to increase the ABV. So, I don't think that could be the cause. The only other thing I'm doing differently than what the recipe calls for is adding 2 cups of white sugar, 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Those ingredients were suggested by another poster here and worked out fine with my first batch. But the two batches I've made since then have tasted terrible. The second batch was drinkable, but didn't taste like root beer. It just tasted like beer. Not a bit of sweetness or root beer taste. I don't understand this. Where did the 4 cups of sugar go? The current batch that was just finished a few days ago is complete garbage. I'm going to have to dump it all out. Again, no sweetness and no root beer flavor. But this one has a bad bitter taste and just not palatable at all. I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong with these last 2 batches. But I'm getting tired of wasting my batches and my time. That first batch was so amazing I just don't understand what is going so terribly wrong. Has anyone else had an issue like this with a HRB refill? I'm at my wits end and very gun shy about making another batch. I can give more details if needed. Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated. - Dean -
  3. Hey Guys, Sorry for the long delay. I have a carpentry side business and this year my clients are keeping me CRAZY busy! Yes, the Zombie Fest was ready and it was very well accepted. I took the entire batch to our yearly family picnic and shared it with my two brothers and several friends. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and not a single bottle survived the night. My brother remarked he thought it was my best brew yet. I only let it finish in the fridge for a couple extra weeks after carbonating. To say they were well carbonated is an understatement. It's nearly impossible to pour into a mug without tons of foam, but we managed. It had a nice dark, caramel color and a rich, bold flavor. No bitterness or aftertaste at all and a nice alcohol bite. It had a heavier flavor than I'm used to. Not the kind of beer I could drink all day. But I'm used to cheap Lite Nonetheless, it went down very smooth has a very nice kick to it. I highly recommend this brew and will definitely brew this again in the future. - Dean -
  4. Haa! Love this video and thanx for posting it Shrike. Makes me feel better about my technique. I would have liked to seen the hand mixing section in REAL time. Just to see how long it really takes.
  5. I mentioned that in an earlier post in this thread. Long story short. The DME clumped horribly while I was mixing it. I ended up putting the mess in a blender to break it all up.
  6. Hi Andy, My Zombie Fest is in the bottles and will be ready to chill and further condition September 3rd. The bottles are starting to firm up nicely. So my first taste should be mid to late September. I'm very excited about this and will definitely let you all know how it turned out. I had some issues with dissolving the DME in the initial brewing stages and had to use a radical approach. So if this turns out OK, it just further proves how easy ~ and forgiving ~ home brewing can be. - Good luck to you -
  7. Thanx for this Rick. Although it's too late to label my old yeast packets now, I'll definitely do this in the future.
  8. Thanx Jim for your thoughts. I'll continue to look around to forums and see what others might be doing with their leftover yeast. I currently keep my LBK's in a closet which consistently stays about 68 degrees. I guess only time will tell if my Zombie Fest turns out drinkable. I'll definitely report back here when the tasting begins. - Dean -
  9. Speaking of yeast, is there any use for all the leftover yeast packets that come with tubs of LME that are not used for some recipes? I probably have 6 of them now. For recipes that DO use them, can I add a little extra to the batch to slowly use them up, or can they be stored for an extended time? So honestly, do you think this batch of Zombie Fest is going to be drinkable when all is said and done? It looked pretty sketchy going into the tub. One other question. Why exactly does the yeast need to be sprinkled on top and not mixed in? What happens if the yeast is mixed.
  10. Well, All I can say is I followed the instructions specifically made for Zombie Fest Lager: "8. Open the can of Brewing Extract and DME packs and pour the contents into the hot mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed and the DME is dissolved. This mixture of unfermented beer is called “wort”." The only reference to heat being an issue is in step 7 where it says to remove from heat. Doesn't even say to let it cool. If there is an issue with DME clumping in hot wort, it would be extremely helpful to know this before you ruin a batch. It's not like I can return it. And I'm not going to ask for my money back since it was ultimately my fault. Even stirring vigorously while adding it slow still produced some clumping. This might be something the brew masters at Mr. Beer might want to look into. Perhaps come up with another technique that reduces the risk of failure. At the very least, reword the instructions to give new brewers proper warning.
  11. I thought about that as soon as it started clumping. And according to the directions, I DID do it right. It says to add it to the HOT mixture.
  12. Yes, made sure it was sanitised before hand. Ya, perhaps I just set a beer brewing president! Do I need to get a patent? More than likely though, this will go down as one of the best beer brewing fails in history. You're welcomed for my contribution! Lol!
  13. You may want to take a raincheck on that tasting. There's a very good chance this batch will be garbage! Everything went well until the point that I added the DME to the hot wort. I know I was forewarned about adding the DME too quickly. But I had no idea just how slowly you had to add it. Would be nice if there were a mention of this in the instructions. I was warned by a member here, but new brewers would have no idea in advance. The first bag clumped HORRIBLY! I was able to get most of the second bag in without too much issue. But by then, the damage was done. I stirred forever trying to melt the clumps. It would have taken an hour to melt them just stirring the mixture like this. At this point I figured the batch was pretty much toast and had little to lose. So I poured the clumpy mess into a blender and set it to high. It indeed brought the mix back to a lovely frothy goo. I added everything to the LBK with the hops bag and yeast and set it in it's resting place. I'm not expecting too much from this and quite frankly expect it to be terrible. So tell me, had badly did I screw this up? - Dean -
  14. You're asking a lot from an impatient beer drinker. Lol!
  15. Thank you, I will definitely keep all this in mind. Hoping to brew tonight.