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Rokitman

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Everything posted by Rokitman

  1. Just started a batch of watermelon wheat last week. The name sounded interesting to me so I thought I'd give it a try. For those who have brewed this before, how did you like it? Any advice on the process? What's a good amount of watermelon juice to use? Getting ready to add the juice Sunday. - Thanx -
  2. Rokitman

    First Batch OF Watermelon Wheat. Advise?

    That being said Rick, have you ever used those extracts during the brewing process? If so, during what stage? Seems it would be more convenient to do this prior to bottling.
  3. Rokitman

    First Batch OF Watermelon Wheat. Advise?

    I'm not sure how that would work or how much to use. I haven't really seen anything in the forms about using extracts. And I've read elsewhere some brewers don't recommend it.
  4. Rokitman

    First Batch OF Watermelon Wheat. Advise?

    Thanx Rick. I also follow a homebrewers thread in reddit. A couple suggestions were posted there that I'd like to know are valid or not. Keep in mind these are not Mr. Beer brewers, just home brewers. First was to heat to juice to 170 degrees for about 15 minutes to pasteurize it. The watermelon I'm using was pre-cubed at the store. Is this necessary? Next was a suggestion to create a concentrate by freezing a container of juice. Then inverting it over a jar and allowing the "concentrated" juice to thaw into the jar. Apparently to reduce the amount of water that you add to your brew and enhance the flavor of the watermelon. Wasn't going to take any of this advice till I checked here. Thanx
  5. I have been a brewer and Mr. Beer customer for a relatively short time compared to most here. My favorite brew so far has been the Hacked Root Beer. My first batch was AMAZING! But sadly, the next two were not. I did not understand what I did wrong in subsequent brews, nor could the friendly folks HERE track down my issue. As suggested by a regular poster here, I turned to customer support. Created a ticket and waited. It took a while for the first reply and I responded. After that... nothing. I replied twice more, but still no activity from a rep. I got impatient and created a NEW ticket to complain about the first. Again, no activity. Convinced I was being ignored, I angrily closed out BOTH tickets and answered the resulting survey with just exactly how I felt. Well, turns out I was NOT being ignored. There apparently was some sort of glitchy snafu in the ticketing system and my emails were not being seen. Shortly after my tantrum, I was contacted by Rick Zich, who explained the situation, apologized and assured me my original rep would be handling this. And shortly after that, he was. Tim Falk emailed me, also apologized, offered a monetary credit to my account and sent me a replacement HRB refill... which arrived today. Now I guess it's time for ME to apologize. I was too willing to believe I was being ignored that it never crossed my mind that there could be technical reasons for this. I have never had an issue with Mr. Beer products, shipping, their website or any members of the forums in the past. There was no reason to believe I was having one now. Thank you Tim Falk and Rick Zich for understanding my frustration and handling this in such a professional manner. Your generosity and concern for this impatient old man will not be forgotten. Cheers, - Dean Rohs -
  6. OK, I definitely need a beer after this!
  7. I did not know this. I've never noticed the pin holes before. I thought the excess Co2 escaped around the edges somehow. Knowing this, should the bottles be chilled at the first sign of staining, or when the bottles become hard?
  8. Temperature has never been an issue with any of my brews. My closet stays a constant 68 degrees day and night. Of course all my clothes now smell like beer! But only the best beer I've ever tasted. 👍 Perhaps the carbonation time could be an issue. I've generally left the bottles to carbonate the full time listed in the directions. Even though the bottles get fairly firm within the first few days. I've also noticed that many of the gaskets develop small pin holes in the center, and show small brown stains around the hole in the cap. Even though the bottles still seem to maintain good carbonation, I guess this is a sign I've left them too long?
  9. I guess I did, didn't I? In this crazy Internet thing, you can't be too careful when it comes to security. Especially someone else's.
  10. Thank you Rick. I didn't know if Josh would mind being mentioned by name. But I think we can ALL trust his advice on brewing. And I have to partially disagree with Zoraks opinion. Although it certainly has been mentioned more than once that brown sugar can cause some off tastes, it doesn't explain why my first batch was so damn good. If I didn't know any better, I'd think it was jacked up A&W. But I think his advice is valid. Perhaps I should stick to the recommended procedure before improvising on a tried and true method. Or maybe use less sugar? I DO appreciate everyone's input here. I truly enjoy this hobby and want to be a better brewer. I take to heart everything that is presented here. I'll let you know what Tim has to say when he replies. - Happy Brewing -
  11. I've tried to retrace my steps and see what I'm doing differently. My first batch I used 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 cups of white sugar along with some vanilla extract in the second keg ~ this recipe suggested by a very well known veteran brewer here . And other than a good portion of sediment in the bottles, this batch was amazing. I attributed the sediment to undissolved brown sugar. So the next batch I pre-dissolved the sugar with warm water before adding ~ again, I've watched videos of long time brewers doing this. The result was nothing close to root beer. It just tasted like beer. With very little if any root beer flavor. I can't imagine this small change could make such a huge impact. Other than this variation, I followed all the other brewing instructions as listed. I've sent an email to Tim Falk with as detailed a description of my brewing technique as I can remember. Hopefully he can shed some light on this. The first batch was so damn good. I'd hate to think I can't do it again. Wonder if anyone else in the forums have experienced the same issue with their HRB.
  12. 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 -
  13. 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 -
  14. Hello Brewers, As the title says, I'm going to be starting my first batch of Zombie Fest this weekend. I choose this kit because of the name ~ big zombie fan here. But I'm even more fascinated that it's an advanced brew using two kinds of malt, BrewMax DME softpacks, pelleted hops and hops bags. This will also be my first advanced brew kit I've tried. So I want everything to go perfectly. I'm looking for any advice or special instructions I might need to make this process as smooth and successful as possible. Are the fermentation and carbonation times the same as a typical brew? Would it benefit from cold crashing? Anything you think I might need to know to make this a memorable brew. I'd also like the opinion of those who have tried Zombie fest before on it's taste and quality. What did you think? I look forward to your responce. And Thank you. - Dean -
  15. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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 beer...so. 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 -
  16. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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.
  17. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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.
  18. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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 -
  19. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    Thanx for this Rick. Although it's too late to label my old yeast packets now, I'll definitely do this in the future.
  20. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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 -
  21. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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.
  22. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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.
  23. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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.
  24. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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!
  25. Rokitman

    Advice On Starting First Zombie Fest Brew

    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 -
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