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Everything posted by MiniYoda

  1. Friend of mine and I went to the local German Club's monthly outing. She has a love fare with all things German. She enjoys Spaten Munich Lager. Did some research, and this is a helles. I'm drinking one of the Helles from the Mr. Beer Seasonal section that I've been cold conditioning for a while. Just not the same. Color is darker and the flavor isn't the same. I was wondering if someone here has an all extract or partial mash recipe for a helles using Mr. Beer products, or knows of a source that sells a 5 gallon Helles kit. Rather not do a full grain on this, as I haven't done full grain (yet). More than willing to do the true cold conditioning. Just want to come as close to the Spaten Lager as possible. Thanks MY
  2. Last keg, Helles with grains Canadian Blonde, is in the fridge. Temp at pitch was 63.7. Other kegs are holding in the low 50's with the temp control at 52. Now we wait. And as we wait, we decide what to do. I've learned that if you ask 20 economists a question, you'll get 30 different answers. Based on what I've read in books, online, from this forum, other forums, and on pod casts, how to ferment/condition lagers is about the same thing. WAY too many different ways of what to do next. I'm inviting those who know, *everyone*, to post their thoughts on what I do next. 1) The beer is going to live in the keg for about 19-21 days. The keg I made today is going to ferment for 19 days (bottling this one on Labor day). What should I do before bottle day: a) remove from the fridge 2 days early for a rest? Is it called diastolic? b) cold crash for two days? The three kegs which are partial mash have 1/2 teaspoon of Irish Moss, my first time using (for the record, if you want to buy Irish moss, buy only one bag. I bought two, and after three kegs, I have enough to last..........quite a long time). Still I'm going for as much clarity as I can on these, and don't know if Irish Moss will sink to the bottom after a while, or if it might float in the bottle. c) a bit of both? Out of the fridge for a day or two for a rest, then cold crash for a day or two? 2) At what temp do I carbonate? I've seen carbonate at room temp just like regular ales. If so, would this eliminate the need to rest at room temp above? Or carbonate at the low 50's like they are fermenting 3) At what temp do I condition? Yes, these are lagers, so they will be conditioning for a while, probably past full Oktoberfest. But I want to make them the best I can. I've seen everything from condition at room temp to condition as low as 35 degrees. 4) And in the same theory of "best I can", recommended minimal lagering at the above temp? Thanks
  3. Never fails. Think you have everything planned, and you don't. I miscalculated, and I'm short a DME. I'm going to order it now, but keg #4 won't be made today.
  4. And for those of you who think that Helles "Bock" is better than Munich Helles................ adoYiniM. You might never drink another bock again without this entering your head.
  5. One done, three to go. Was good to get back into the hobby, even though I made major dumb <CENSORED> mistakes. Thermometer that I used to take temps of the mash ripped the mash bag, causing pretty little floaty things to escape the bag. I had to strain the wort when I put it in the keg. Also, I poured the LME too quickly, as I got impatient, and that caused clumps that stuck to the pot. And, I didn't start early enough because I forgot to turn the dish washer on, so I had to wait almost 2 hours. Still, keg #1 in the fridge, cooling down and almost ready for the yeast Now, three rounds of brewing tomorrow. Just wondering if anyone out there ever did three brews in one day, one regular and two partial mash.
  6. the "not" would be because it gives the beer a dry taste to it. We should probably have recommended honey malt. As for drops of honey in each bottle.....interesting idea
  7. Based on what I'm seeing, Mt. Hood hops is a hybrid of Hallertau, with a stronger Alpha Acid (so it will have a bit more bitterness). Per the BJCP guidelines, "Hop bitterness varies from moderate to moderately low, but always allows malt to dominate the flavor." While you can substitute Hallertau for Mt. Hood, I don't know if you would stay to might come out hoppier. The hoppier flavor might be something you are wanting, so feel free to substitute. It would be a replace, and not combine both, or else you go very hoppier. And those who know, please feel free to correct me.
  8. I don't taste any hop flavor to the Spaten Munich when I drink it. It's more on the malty side of the scale to me. However, I drink it from tap, not bottle. Perhaps I should do a side-by-side comparison
  9. items ordered and expecting delivery tomorrow. All this hurry hurry hurry to get recipes figured out, then hurry hurry hurry to order the stuff, and I probably can't brew this weekend. WAY too much on the personal front to spend time trying to brew all four this weekend. I'd like to get them all in the fridge at one time, as this takes away my only source to chill beers that I will be drinking. All this and now I have to wait @Big Sarge, I'm sure you are familiar "hurry up and wait"
  10. I'm not the best at designing recipes, but I know I'd drink it!
  11. So, I was surfing the net, like I every day at work (when it is slow), and see 5 gallon kits sold on other sites. Some interesting recipes that I'd like to try. Then I realized a problem. The LBKs are 2 gallon in capacity, and two 2-gallon LBK's doesn't equal one 5 gallon kit. So, I took an empty LBK, filled it with two empty 1-gallon jugs, and it was very close to the #2 mark of the keg. I then added 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of water. The LBK does hold 2.5 gallons of water, but it's so close to the top that there's no doubt in my mind there will be a blow-out if it were beer fermenting. Has anyone used the LBKs to brew 5-gallon kits? The only thing I can think of is to ferment two kegs at the normal 2 gallon each, then on bottling day at 8 cups of room-temperature water to each keg, to get it to 2.5 gallons each. I only use bottled spring water for brewing, and sanitize anything that touches the water, so that wouldn't be a problem. Since I'm getting the two halves of the batch from 2 gallons each to 2.5 gallons each, it shouldn't taste too strong or too diluted. I could use the 6-gallon fermenter that is sold here, but I'm approaching the warm days of summer, and am worried about temperature control (don't want to spend money on fridge that the 6-gallon would fit in...right now). Thoughts?
  12. @MRB Tim, instead of writing something up, brew something up. If it works out, publish the recipe in the store so that we can all buy it. And PS, I'm Eastern Daylight Time, so I had a 3 hour advantage over you
  13. @Cammanron, PLEASE don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way. It is REALLY not meant to be derogatory, It's just something that came into my head while re-reading this thread. What it sounds like you are suggesting is something similar to Garanimals, which is a method that kids can pair up clothing items to make sure they matched, based on an animal tag on each article of clothing. What it sounds like you are wanting is something similar, where if you wanted to make a certain style beer, you would match a yellow tagged HME with (or without) a yellow tagged hop, malt extract and/or grain. The problem I see with this, again, is that in the brewing hobby, (almost) anything goes. True most people wouldn't add a wheat LME to a Porter HME, but there are many many variations of what can, and what might, go together, that a solid color coding of each ingredient would be a challenge. Take a look at Mr. Beer's Grocery store. Pick a category (hops, for example), then look at one of the hops (such as Crystal). At the bottom of the page, you will see perhaps four recipes that Mr. Beer sells that has that item. From there, you can open each recipe to see what they used as far as HME, etc, to make the recipe. Again, just about anything can go with anything, but with this method, or my spreadsheet, you can find that certain things more often than not go with others, depending on the beer style.
  14. @Cammanron, the problem I see here is that just about everything can be mixed with anything. You can take a base HME, and some people will add one type of hop because they like mild flavor, while others will do a different hop because they like strong bitterness. Some won't add any hops, but have a different grain or malt extract. In brewing, just about anything goes. I have a suggestion. Try to devise a start to the color coding system, and show us what you have. From there we can make suggestions and pass on ideas. I had the wild notion once to create a searchable recipe database. I created a spreadsheet, added some recipes, and submitted it to the folks here for comments. They made suggestions on what to add, remove and change. After each refinement, I added more recipes, and submitted updates for further input. The final spreadsheet isn't perfect, but there has been some positive feedback and people said they use it. Pick one item, such as hop or grain or HME or LME/DME. Look over the different varieties available in the store, and come up with an idea on how to color code them. Maybe with hops, the more red the color, the more alpha-acid, while milder hops would be more toward the green color. Study the recipes (download the spreadsheet if you think it might help), and see how each of the particular category is being used with the various HME's, etc. Sounds like a challenging project. Not sure if we can get you started, but were always here to help give suggestions. Good luck
  15. Still doing research, but here are some thoughts. Note that I'm not going to post any exact recipes here in case they are considered "propietery", but if you want more info, send me a message. From what I've seen in my alternet stock pile of recipes, most are going with 1 cup of honey, zest of two medium oranges, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and one teaspoon of ginger. If you want to add cloves, recommend not more than 1/8 teaspoon. Also, if you like almond, no more than 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. An easier option? Search the web for "mulling spices". Mr. Beer has a couple of good recipes with mulling spices that would fit nicely for the holidays, such as KT's Carmel Apple Graff and Mulled Cider (not a beer, but I wonder about adding an HME like a CAL, and that would make the Wassale I keep claiming I will make). Do some reasearch on them, as different brands have different ingredients. I'm wondering if some mulling spices work better for Halloween while others better for Christmas. You could do the spices with just about any of the HME's such as Bavarian Weissbier (for a wheat flavor), Czech Pilsner, Canadian Blonde, Ameican Ale/Lager/CAL, Nut Brown Ale (Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don')........all depends on what flavor you want as the base. If you want more malt, replace the booster with one of the LME or DMEs recommeded for your base HME under the Deluxe Refills section of the store. You could also replace the orange zest with the Oregon fruit sold here, if you have a different fruit flavor preference. Tart or sweet cherries work well for holiday beers. I'm going to try a wheat beer but instead of Oregon fruit here, I'm going to add a can of cranberries (not the Ocean Spray gel, but more the one with whole berries) If that doesn't make your head start spinning, I'll keep throwing more ideas at you.
  16. if they only still made the Pear Cider mix
  17. if I find some time today at work (possible as of right now), I'll do some web searching for Christmas recipes and if I do, I'll post them
  18. Many of the holiday recipes that I've seen for Christmas beers are Ales and not Lagers. I've seen things added such as Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange Peel, (VERY LITTLE) Clove and nutmeg. I was thinking about doing a wassale, which would be part apple cider and part ale, with various holiday flavors. Also, don't shy away from fruit wheat beers. I'm going to do a cranberry wheat, and might do either a cherry wheat or a blueberry wheat as well. And, yes, I do agree too. Mr. Beer should have some holiday flavor recipes. Hint Hint.
  19. One thing I did was to go to various restaurants, especially those that sold lots of different beers varieties on tap. Order the smallest size (10oz is often used) of various styles, and sample them. Craft beer isn't about getting drunk, it's about flavors, so that's why the smaller amounts. You will like some, not others. Everyone has their own style that they like (I don't like hop bitterness, love wheat, and contrary to you, I like Miller Light over Bud). Most menus will include the IBU number. This is International Bittering Units, a measure of how much hop flavor is in a beer. Start with lower numbers, and work your way up until you find your preferred level. I like below 30, some people won't do anything unless it is above 70. If made well, you should like your first two batches. Look into the Bavarian Weissbier and Czech Pilsner under standard refill, as they are a step up from American beers. Find the basic HME that you like, then look at the recipes Mr. Beer has to enhance more flavors. And as always, if you have any questions about recipes, beer styles, or flavors, please feel free to ask. Most of the folks here have brewed many of the styles on this site, and have tasted even more than that.
  20. I could but I'm wanting to stick to trying to make a Munich clone. Perhaps in the near future I will make a lager out of the Mexican Cerveza, Canadian Blonde, Czech Pilsner and American Lager, and have an International Lager shootout. unless people think that might be a little to mad scientist
  21. okay, after reading up on Crystal 15, it's a "no-go" on that one. The notes say "Crystal malts (also known as "Caramel" malts) are produced in a roaster rather than a kiln.", and "Crystal 15 produces golden hues, and has a mellow, candy like sweetness and a mild toffee flavor." This pushes the flavor away from Helles Munich.
  22. I've considered LBK #4 to be similar to 3 but swapping out the Bavarian HME with either Canadian or Mexican. It won't be Helles Munich (even without knowing how the HME is made I can tell that). because Munich seems to require about 80% - 90% Pilsner malt from all grain recipes I've seen. Based on your recommendation, I might do your suggestion, but stick to 1/2 ounce of Hallertauer, to be more mild in hop flavor. Also, will do DME, as LME might affect color. Also I need to research the Crystal 15 (I'm still in learning mode when it comes to different malts). @MRB Josh R, @MRB Tim, et al.......thoughts?
  23. and if you think it was good in a green bottle, ask for it on tap next time you go to a German style restaurant
  24. very messed up weekend, and didn't have time to work on my plans for Helles Munich. Here are my (almost) final thoughts: Keg 1 - 2015 Spring Seasonal, altered to be closer to the Munich. I'm leaning toward adding a Pale DME and 6oz Pilsner malt, and fill the keg as much as possible to thin down the flavor/color. I'm worried about the keg overflowing on this one. Keg 2 - What The Helles, Bach? Suggested in the link above. It's not Munich, but I want to try it anyways. •1 Can Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Brewing Extract •1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract) •1 Packet Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast •1 BrewMax LME Softpack - Smooth •1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops •1 Muslin Hop Sack •1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser Keg 3 - Alter Keg 2. Drop the LME and add a Pale DME. Adding 6oz of Pilsner Malt and 2oz Munich Malt. Also alter the hops from Tettnanger to Hallertau, which is milder and more in tune with online all-grain recipes. Keg 4 - Due to lack of imagination, I can't come up with any other recipes for something similar to a Munich Helles using just Mr. Beer products. Since I have room in the fridge for a fourth keg, I'm going to do the Austin Pils recipe. Open to suggestions. I'll probably place the order very late today or early tomorrow so that I can get everything by the weekend.
  25. Munich Helles is what I'm pushing for, which is almost no hop flavor and no hop bitterness. Next time your at your local brew store, pick up some Spaten Munich. They effectively defined the style. Since I'm not going to do the decoction mashing, etc, and since I'm only using Mr. Beer products for now, I'm not going to be able to hit it right. I'm hoping to come close (or at least have a good light/hearty malty beer). I've seen several places that sell extract kits for Munich Helles, but doni't want to go that route right now I haven't tried BIAB yet.........maybe in the near future. Right now, until the apartment can be brought down to the mid 60's, I'm going to only lagers in LBKs in the fridge. Maybe a saison, don't know. MiniYoda..........very addicted to brewing.