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Found 10 results

  1. For my next batch of brew I want to use the 12 oz. bottles. The Mr. Beer carbonation drops are to much. What amount of sugar does one need, any special kind of sugar or a way to use the drops, that is the question.
  2. I've made several batches of beer now but not many that have reached the drinking stage. Still a newbie. What is everyone's preference when it comes to priming the bottles? I started with the Cooper's Carbonation Drops. But it says for a 12 oz bottle use 3/4 of a drop. Even with a pill cutter I had a hard time getting that very precise. So I switched to the Brewer's Best Conditioning Tablets. It's carbonation scale is 3 tablets/low 4 tablets/medium 5 tablets/high per 12 oz. I like these so far. I usually put 4 or 5 tablets per 12 oz bottle. But I'm reading where many of you are using the Domino Sugar Cube Dots. I haven't tried these yet. I hear 1 dot per 12 oz works good. So lets take a poll. For those of you who bottle prime what do you like the best? Pros and cons of each? 1. Cooper's Carbonation Drops 2. Brewer's Best Conditioning Tablets 3. Domino Sugar Dots 4. Table sugar or something else? Inquiring minds want to know
  3. We recieve many calls and emails here at Mr. Beer on how to use a hydrometer. Many of the hydrometer instructions can be confusing to newbies so I thought I would create this primer on the correct way to use a hydrometer and the explanation of specific gravity. Understanding Your Hydrometer: The hydrometer is a simple instrument that measures the weight (or gravity) of a liquid in relation to the weight of water. Because the relation of the gravity to water is specified (1.000), the resulting measure is called a specific gravity. A hydrometer will float higher in a heavy liquid, such as one with a quantity of sugar dissolved in it, and lower in a light liquid, such as water or alcohol. The average homebrewer has a very keen interest in the amount of sugar dissolved in their wort, for yeast converts sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. By knowing how much sugar one started with and ended with, one can easily calculate the resulting alcohol content. There are many variants of the hydrometer. Some have only one scale, some two and some three. The typical hydrometer measures three things: specific gravity (S.G.), potential alcohol (P.A.), and sugar. How To Use Your Hydrometer: It's really pretty easy to use the hydrometer; just follow these simple steps: 1. Sanitize the hydrometer, test jar, and any tools that may come into contact with your wort/beer. 2. Place test cylinder on flat surface. 3. Draw a sample of "clean" wort/beer (Avoid testing samples that contain solid particles, since this will affect the readings.) 4. Fill the test jar with enough liquid to just float the hydrometer - about 80% full. 5. Gently lower the hydrometer into the test jar; spin the hydrometer as you release it, so no bubbles stick to the bottom of the hydrometer (this can also affect readings). 6. Making sure the hydrometer isn't touching the sides of the test jar and is floating freely, take a reading across the bottom of the meniscus (see image below). Meniscus is a fancy word for the curved surface of the liquid. 7. Be sure to take good records of your readings! That's it! Pretty simple, huh? There are a couple of other things you need to know to get an accurate measurement. Most hydrometers are calibrated to give correct readings at 59-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures thin the liquid slightly and result in lower readings than you'd get at the correct temperature. At 70 degrees F., the reading will be 0.001 low. To correct it, add 0.001 to the reading. At 77 degrees F., add 0.002. At 84 degrees F., add 0.003. At 95 degrees F., add 0.005. At temperatures above 95 degrees F., you risk killing your yeast and losing your beer. If you can't remember all that just print out the chart below. Another thing you need to know is that most hydrometers come with three scales. Specific Gravity, Balling, and Brix are the ones that are usually on your hydrometer. Specific Gravity and Brix are the ones that are most used. Sugar can be measured as ounces per gallon, or as degrees Balling, or Brix. Ounces per gallon are measured on a numeric scale in which an S.G. of 1.046 equals 16 oz. (one pound) of sugar per U.S. gallon. Brix is measured as a percentage of sugar by which pure water has a Brix of 0 (or 0% sugar), an S.G. of 1.046 equals a Brix of 11.5 (11.5% sugar), and an S.G. of 1.095 equals a Brix of 22.5 (22.5% sugar). If you have a choice and want to simplify your life, buy a hydrometer that measures sugar by ounces per gallon. That should cover everything you need to know about your hydrometer and how to use it. Here are a few tools that may help: Handy Tools: Brix/SG Conversion Calculator Hydrometer Temperature Adjustment Calculator Cheers!
  4. Got a simple Chocolate Porter working now, wondering if I should use the carbonation tablets I purchased or use sugar. I'm seeing mixed reviews on the subject; I'm thinking about doing half with sugar, the other half with the tabs. Thoughts??
  5. Hi all, after watching the videos and reading the instructions I jumped in quickly and brewed a few batches of beer with the 2 LBKs I got as gifts recently. So a few questions I wanted to clarify to improve my brewing process in the future: 1. What is the proper fermenting period for beers? I tried per instructions for both batches - 7 or so days for the basic light LME and 10 or so days for the Bewitched Amber Ale LME. I let the Bewitched go an extra 2 days to boot. I figured it was better to wait a little longer, but how much longer? 2. How much sugar should be added when bottling? The Mr Beer instructions say 2.5 Tbs for the 1 liter bottles...so I estimated about 1 Tbs for the 12 oz bottles. But on several forums I've read people suggest 0.5 Tbs is sufficient for 12 oz bottles. If too much sugar is added during bottling, how will this effect the beer? 3. I got a bit more creative on the 2nd batch with Bewitched and added 3 sets of hops to it. I started a 60 minute boil with just 1 set of hops, then LME, then added a set of hops at the 30 and 45 minute marks. My wort smelled sufficiently hoppy when I poured it into the LBK to begin fermentation. But unfortunately when I bottled it, it did not smell hoppy at all. My first thought was I didn't use enough hops (a total of 1.5 oz of Cascade and Centennial). Is it still likely it will have some hop taste in a few weeks even if the aroma wasn't present during bottling? Or should I have let it ferment longer? Does longer fermentation affect hop smell/taste? 4. And related to #3, when adding hops is there a set of basic steps to follow? Hops then malt? Malt then hops? Both at the same time? I've watched youtube videos of people who boil the hops separately to make a "hop tea" and then add the LME after a 10-15 minute hop tea boil. I've seen videos of people boiling the LME and then adding the hops. I imagine it's "to each his own", but as a beginner it'd be nice to start with a basic hop recipe plan. Thanks in advance.
  6. Hi everybody! I've just started to brew the Sugar on top IPA and I wanted to ask you, considering your experience, what is the best temperature to brew it. As usual, the Mr.Beer instructions said that the optimal temp is 68F but I was wondering since this is an IPA, if a different temp is optimal for this specific recipe. The yeast is the US-05. Thank you very much for your help/inputs!
  7. Fermenting now for 2 weeks should I let it go anther week? And how much sugar? I read 3/4 tsp. and 1 tsp. Thanks
  8. Hi all, I've seen previous recipes mostly call for sugar to be added during bottling (American Ale, Pale Ale). The one I just brewed (IPA) last weekend calls for carbonation drops during the bottling phase. My question(s) is will it make a huge difference if you substitute one for the other? And if so, what advantages/disadvantages are there to using one or the other? Or is it more specifically preferred for one style of beer vs the other? Thanks, John
  9. So I totally forgot to order carbonation drops for the last brew I ordered which was the Hop Head Red IPA. I had a few from my last batch and weighed one out at 3.3g. I used 16oz bottles to brew with and used 4.3g of granulated sugar which is about 2/3 less than I normally use with the drops at a rate of 1.5+/- equaling 4.95g+/- in weight. This batch of beer gives more than nice head . It is not over obundant but doing a solid obtuse pour of about 160 degrees does provide a lot of foam. This is not happening to all bottles though, I found one with a leaking gasket which poured out perfectly, about 90% of the other beers were really foamy and the other 10% as soon as I flipped the tops "POING!" the beer started over flowing right away. So I had a couple things going on which to me seems inconsistant as I measured out the granulated sugar to the T and used less than I normally do all around then when using the drops from Mr. Beer. Is there a difference between using the Mr. Beer solidified glucose versus granulated glucose for carbonation? Please note: There has to be some science involved in this so a dumb generic answer will not suffice as there is a difference in how the yeast will handle seperated glucose particles compared to a solidified glucose block that the yeast has to work through. Indulge me
  10. So I am trying my third batch that I have made...the first two came with the home kit and then I tried (drinking it now) one of the wheat beers. The first, which was a lager tastes the same as this third wheat beer batch. Tastes almost like a flat beer but with some bitterness...I followed the brewing instructions to the letter, only adding a week to the fermentation and conditioning respectively. The first thing that comes to mind is that I am using granulated sugar....could that be the common denominator in preventing my beer from having the various flavors expected? Thanks in advance for your feedback and assistance...