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Bonsai & Brew

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Everything posted by Bonsai & Brew

  1. Bonsai & Brew

    Full Mash Kit Instructions Faulty

    You're welcome. Did you notice how I let the other guys do all the heavy lifting before I swooped in with the easy part? Anyway, you've got a lot of us emotionally invested in this brew so good luck!🍻
  2. Bonsai & Brew

    Full Mash Kit Instructions Faulty

    A standard pack of Safale S-04 is 11.5 g, so it sounds like the supplier of your kit accommodated the smaller batch size and included just enough yeast for a 1-gallon recipe. Be sure to reread @BDawg62's post above. Install a blow-off tube, place the fermenter in a tub and let 'er rip. Active fermentation with S-04 is more than likely going to fill that headspace quickly and then some.
  3. Bonsai & Brew

    Brewing with Coconut

    Another option is to soak light toasted oak in your favorite spiced rum and add it your LBK following primary fermentation. Although the coconut flavor is subtle and fades with time, I've had decent luck with good ol' Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum which makes for a very nice barrel-aged Caribbean Porter.
  4. Bonsai & Brew

    How many types of beer mugs do you own?

    A nonic pint is nice for porters and stouts but more often than not I'll go for my favorite glass:
  5. I was 40 minutes into my boil on an Extra Special Bitter recipe when I started thinking. Tomorrow night is an eclipse of a Super Full Blood Wolf Moon and I would usually take advantage of such an event and brew a Howling Red Ale. Had I planned my brewing schedule better, I would have done that. As it is, I've got a batch of 1.058 OG/40 IBU wort chilling out on the deck. I used all UK-sourced grains and hops but did FWH using Warrior. Now I have a decision to make... Here is my recipe so far: Crisp Finest Maris Otter, 3.5 lb. Crisp Amber malt, 0.2 lb. Crisp Torrified wheat, 0.2 lb. Crisp Light Crystal, 0.2 lb. Warrior, 16.8% AA, 0.25 oz. FWH Styrian Golding, 2.6% AA, 0.5 oz., 20 min. Fuggle, 5.6% AA, 0.25 oz., 5 min. OG 1.058 IBU 40 SRM about 8 https://www.livescience.com/64550-super-blood-wolf-moon-eclipse.html
  6. Bonsai & Brew

    Extra Special Bitter or Howling Red Ale?

    Thanks for the bump @Cato! The votes are really coming in now! After the nice Saturday night out with my wife, I was looking forward to checking out the vote to see what everyone thought of my idea. Since there were only 2 votes, I broke the tie and pitched the crafted ESB with MJ Liberty Bell yeast thinking that I would brew a 4-gallon batch of Howling Red Ale on Sunday. I did not get around to brewing the Red Ale due to a conflicting NFL schedule, so in the end Choice #1 actually won.🍻
  7. Bonsai & Brew

    Extra Special Bitter or Howling Red Ale?

    @C-Note 1959 lol but I sold all my electric guitars years ago. Bonsai & Brew Unplugged?
  8. Ankerdampf 2 gallon, all-grain (mash-in-sack) Weyermann Pilsner, 3.25 lb. Weyermann Vienna, 0.25 lb. Weyermann CaraMunich Type 2, 0.25 lb. Chateau Biscuit malt, 0.12 lb. Weyermann Carafa II, a smidgen German Northern Brewer, 9.4% AA, 0.33 oz ea. 45 min., 15 min., 3 min. Mangrove Jack's Californian Lager, M54 Prepare a balanced water profile using the Brewer's Friend online calculator. For my high residual alkalinity well water I diluted 1:1 with DI and then added calcium sulfate and sodium chloride. Mash @ 150 F for an hour, adjusting pH (if necessary) to 5.2 with a half tsp. lactic acid. Mash out @ 168 F for 10 min. Sprinkle-sparge with hot tap water. Begin 60 min. full volume boil. Add yeast nutrient with 10 min. left. Chill wort to <65 F. Transfer to LBK, make to volume, aerate, and pitch M54. Ferment @ cool ale temp., 63-64 F or so. OG 1.055 IBU 35 SRM 11
  9. Bonsai & Brew

    Putting it all together...

    Yeah, about that 1-month lagering period...
  10. Bonsai & Brew

    Putting it all together...

    Maybe Mr. Beer could start marketing a 2-gallon version!
  11. Bonsai & Brew

    Putting it all together...

    I think my German version of Anchor Steam will benefit from a one month lagering period, but this is pretty tasty. The aroma is pronounced and reminds me of freshly baked bread cooling on the windowsill of a Prussian cottage on a crisp October afternoon.
  12. Bonsai & Brew

    Brews

  13. Bonsai & Brew

    5.3

    This is what your mash pH should be to maximize amylase enzymatic efficiency, reduce astringency, improve clarity, increase hop utilization and prevent off-flavors. I have never measured mine. Cheers.
  14. Bonsai & Brew

    5.3

    Agreed. The Precision Labs test strips appear to be crap. I bought a second pack of them thinking that my first might be expired or degraded but it made no difference. The wide range Hydrion papers work great though -- I can tell easily when my pH is somewhere between 5.0-5.5.
  15. Bonsai & Brew

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    In the spirit of friendly competition, grab some Churchills Nut Brown Ale refills for $10 and get crafting! I've always felt a little sorry for this extract because there is only 1 recipe for it. Maybe we can get some ideas going here and brew something special to keep Calavera Spiced Chile Stout company. This would be a great time for @AnthonyC to return to the Forum with his "Fat Bottomed Squirrels" Nut Brown Ale recipe, but get crafty, be original, and have fun!
  16. Bonsai & Brew

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    I understand your dilema -- for a while there it seemed that everything in inventory was dark. I am looking forward to the upcoming rotation of Commons, Pales, Alts and (even) IPAs. Good luck with your next entry in the Challenge!
  17. Bonsai & Brew

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    I had a Chartwell's Special Christmas Ale while cereal-mashing some wheat for a Belgian Witbier recipe -- worth the wait!🍻
  18. Bonsai & Brew

    US-04 or US-05

    Preferring S-04 or US-05 is sort of like the age-old debate of 'Ginger or MaryAnn.' It depends.
  19. Bonsai & Brew

    Putting it all together...

    I bottled Ankerdampf @ FG 1.008 and 5.25% ABV. The chilled hydrometer sample had a very nice hop presence that I'm attributing to the improved water profile.
  20. Bonsai & Brew

    Guiness Irish Wheat Clone

    I'm having a hard time with this. Why would Anchor package krausened beer (i.e. actively fermenting), boast about it on their label, then flash-pasteurize but not filter their beers?
  21. Bonsai & Brew

    Guiness Irish Wheat Clone

    I have not started my quest for local Anchor Steam, but the gas station a quarter-mile away has the Lager so I grabbed that. As for the question of which breweries pasteurize their product, there are a good number of craft breweries that do not. Sadly, it appears that Anchor is not on that list -- if one is to believe everything they find on the Internet, they "flash-pasteurize" all their beer.
  22. Bonsai & Brew

    Guiness Irish Wheat Clone

    Earlier today I had a bottle of Anchor California Lager. Like Anchor Steam, their lager is also a krausened beer. Sure enough, there was a nice thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle and my first thought was "I could culture that!" Then I remembered this thread. I'm not looking to trigger another guru-brewer backlash, but it certainly seems likely that this sediment may very well contain live yeast. https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/how-to-harvest-and-culture-commercial-yeast-for-homebrewers/
  23. Bonsai & Brew

    "Red Keep" Biere de Garde

    Here's the Zymurgy (July-August 2018) recipe that I scaled down to the LBK and brewed yesterday. Red Keep Biere de Garde Weyermann Vienna, 5 lbs. Belgian Aromatic malt, 0.2 lb. (I used Chateau Monastique malt) Target, 10.8% AA, 0.25 oz, 50 min. First Gold flavor hop (I subbed 0.25 oz. English Progress, 5.8% AA, 20 min.) Willamette, 3.8% AA, 0.25 oz., 5 min. Belgian Ale yeast (I used Mangrove Jack's M47) Mash @ 152-154 F for 60 min. Sprinkle sparge with hot tap water. Add optional Pale DME, heat to hot-break then begin 90 min. boil. Hop as noted. Chill wort, make to volume and pitch yeast < 70 F. Ferment on the cooler side, 63-65 F. Here is where it gets interesting. Following primary fermentation, rack to secondary and chill for 4 weeks at 48 F. Then batch prime, bottle and carbonate. Garde (keep/cellar) beer for at least 1 month following full carbonation prior to drinking. OG 1.068 IBU Low-mid 20s SRM 8 ABV 6.5% Recipe note: I am not brewing true no-sparge BIAB. My mash-in-sack process allows for a sparge step but becomes a challenge with grain bills exceeding 4.5-lbs. Given a slight reduction in efficiency and my equipment limitations, I'll sometimes add a Mr. Beer BrewMax Pale or Smooth DME (or booster) pre-boil to ensure I hit my OG. I did that this time.
  24. Bonsai & Brew

    "Red Keep" Biere de Garde

    For all to brew... @Creeps McLane - Thank you for your honest review and kind words, like referring to me as f*$@*ng guy.🍻
  25. Bonsai & Brew

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    I bottled Churchill's Tropical Stout @ 'FG' 1.020. So I've got the residual sweetness that I was hoping for but ABV barely makes it for the style at 5.5%. The hydrometer sample is quite nice though with roasty chocolate and dark malt flavors.
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