EwanRGR

How many/how far in advance can you go?

17 posts in this topic

Have been enjoying the beer and the beer making experience, but reasonably sure that I don't want to get into boiling grains and hoping my own "stuff". I'm sure if I posted this elsewhere I'd get burned alive at the stake, but I have to think that you would almost always be better off with a Mr Beer starter that gives you some consistent quality from batch to batch, and then just add on other ingredients (such as the boosters, LME, and even hops I suppose if you really wanted).

 

Given that, I am a little curious how far you can go in ordering multiple Oktoberfest/Irish Ale base refills before you're likely to have stuff go "bad" before you get to it. I know one answer is to start paying more attention to dates on my packages as I get them. But if I do a couple LBKs a month, am I able to buy say 12 of each with a reasonable chance that next year I will just be hitting the end of my supply before it goes bad?

 

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18 minutes ago, EwanRGR said:

Have been enjoying the beer and the beer making experience, but reasonably sure that I don't want to get into boiling grains and hoping my own "stuff". I'm sure if I posted this elsewhere I'd get burned alive at the stake, but I have to think that you would almost always be better off with a Mr Beer starter that gives you some consistent quality from batch to batch, and then just add on other ingredients (such as the boosters, LME, and even hops I suppose if you really wanted).

 

Given that, I am a little curious how far you can go in ordering multiple Oktoberfest/Irish Ale base refills before you're likely to have stuff go "bad" before you get to it. I know one answer is to start paying more attention to dates on my packages as I get them. But if I do a couple LBKs a month, am I able to buy say 12 of each with a reasonable chance that next year I will just be hitting the end of my supply before it goes bad?

 

 

The 'pipeline,' as it is known, is a tempestuous beast and one of the most challenging aspects of brewing.  Too little brewing leads to a quickly depleted supply, while brewing too often can lead to a rare dilema called "too much beer."  All I can say is find your balance point -- brew a few more batches, maybe pick up a second LBK, think about partial-mashing, and take your time.  Take it from someone that ended up with like,14 Bavarian Weissbier refills last summer (courtesy of Target), brew and learn at your own pace and have fun!?

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1 hour ago, EwanRGR said:

Have been enjoying the beer and the beer making experience, but reasonably sure that I don't want to get into boiling grains and hoping my own "stuff". I'm sure if I posted this elsewhere I'd get burned alive at the stake, but I have to think that you would almost always be better off with a Mr Beer starter that gives you some consistent quality from batch to batch, and then just add on other ingredients (such as the boosters, LME, and even hops I suppose if you really wanted).

 

Given that, I am a little curious how far you can go in ordering multiple Oktoberfest/Irish Ale base refills before you're likely to have stuff go "bad" before you get to it. I know one answer is to start paying more attention to dates on my packages as I get them. But if I do a couple LBKs a month, am I able to buy say 12 of each with a reasonable chance that next year I will just be hitting the end of my supply before it goes bad?

 

They all have a "best by" date on them. But rumor on the street is they are still good well (and i am talking year or two) past this date as long as they are stored in a cool, dry place. The Yeast that comes with it should be removed and placed in the fridge for best storage. ( i think there is a date on the yeast too... that one i wouldnt go more than a month past that one for viability reasons someone else ( @RickBeer ) may have more to say on that one) 

 

in your purposed time frame, they should be just fine down to the last can.

 

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The HME is good for something like three years after the expiration date ( the yeast that comes with it for only six months).  But apparently as it ages the final product will be a bit darker.  So if the final color of your beer isn't critical (and it isn't for me), build that pipeline! :)  The most I've had in my brew queue at any one time is around 13 recipes.  

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3 hours ago, EwanRGR said:

I have to think that you would almost always be better off with a Mr Beer starter that gives you some consistent quality from batch to batch, and then just add on other ingredients (such as the boosters, LME, and even hops I suppose if you really wanted).

 

 

 

No.  Homemade soup beats canned soup.

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take brewing to whatever level you are happy doing. when it becomes too much work or a bother, you end up walking away from the hobby.  if you like mr beer kits and are pleased with your results then brava!   your opinion is all that counts.  me? I love overcomplicating things.  if I had the money I would be chin deep in grains and hops and stacks of chemical addition recipes for water etc.   i'd be brewing every day. 

 

homemade soup IS better than canned... but ...  if you are fine with canned, bon appetite!

 

 

oh and cans properly stored in a climate controlled environment , can keep for years.  finished beer can keep indefinitely if properly stored.  if I made up 1000 bottles of beer then stored them in my garage in summer....  ack.  cellar them though and they can keep forever. they just undergo some flavor changed over time.  grain gets more prominent. hops get muted.  flavors meld and mellow.... etc.

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6 hours ago, kedogn said:

WTF is this you speak of?! ;) 

 

As stated, this is very rare but one should be able to recognize the signs if ever encountered. B)

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9 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

The 'pipeline,' as it is known, is a tempestuous beast and one of the most challenging aspects of brewing.  Too little brewing leads to a quickly depleted supply, while brewing too often can lead to a rare dilema called "too much beer."  All I can say is find your balance point -- brew a few more batches, maybe pick up a second LBK, think about partial-mashing, and take your time.  Take it from someone that ended up with like,14 Bavarian Weissbier refills last summer (courtesy of Target), brew and learn at your own pace and have fun!?

 

 

"Too Much Beer"............interesting concept.  Don't fully understand that, though

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Just make sure that none of the cans are bulging; those are junk.  I bought up tons of the Bavarian Weissbier when it was on clearance at Target (10+), and I did have one that was bulging on the bottom.  The rest are now at or close to Best By Date, but I'm definitely going to use them for something.  I think I have 4 left. Good luck!  ?

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1 hour ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

As stated, this is very rare but one should be able to recognize the signs if ever encountered. B)

Is this self diagnosed or more generally done so by a better half? :) 

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Not on my phone, so let me elaborate.

 

The assumption that taking a can of HME (hopped malt extract), such as Mr. Beer, and adding things to it is better than starting from scratch is simply incorrect.  Mr. Beer is EASIER, and in fact makes good beer.  Mr. Beer partial mash recipes make very good beer.  However, either doing all grain brewing or steeps with LME/DME and hops will result in superior beer.  And less expensive beer.

 

The cans are all dated.  As stated, read the date and add two years.  Refrigerate the yeast when you get it and it's good for two years, or more, past the date printed on them (it's a manufacture date, whereas the can is a Use By date).  

 

The beer you brew can be stored in bottles, glass or PET, for two years or more.  Hoppy beer will mellow over time, and sharply flavored beers may also, but they will NOT go bad.  

 

Lots of this info is available on the forum already.  

 

So, build your post-57583-0-41459300-1416930320_thumb.jpg

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15 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

 

oh and cans properly stored in a climate controlled environment , can keep for years.  finished beer can keep indefinitely if properly stored.  if I made up 1000 bottles of beer then stored them in my garage in summer....  ack.  cellar them though and they can keep forever. they just undergo some flavor changed over time.  grain gets more prominent. hops get muted.  flavors meld and mellow.... etc.

 

Hey! Why you garage shaming me?????? Lol......

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back in the 80s I had the 'pleasure' of drinking garage kept beer. lol....   a friends father owned a bar in the 70s. when it went belly up he moved about 30 bins of jumbo bottles of Altes Beer home to his garage in Michigan.  for over 10 years I think they sat in Michigan heat...cold... all year round.  my chum and I thought it would be cool to break into it and get drunk. it was bad. couldn't get past the first glug from a bottle.  I don't remember too much from the 80s. I did a lot of silly things to myself and killed quite a few brain cells.

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Regarding the yeast. Yes, the best place for the yeast to extend its life is the fridge. That said, I do not keep yeast in the fridge, I keep it in my basement in average of mid 60's F.  I find that I have not had a problem with yeast not working, even with opened and resealed half used packets, even if retained for many month or more.  I think only one occasion I had difficulty in getting the brew started - at least I thought so because of the lack of foam - then I added more yeast after 2 days. This was a Cooper's pack split 3 ways. ~ 2g per LBK.

(Note though from Northern Brewer instructions, yeast can take a while to get going:

"Active fermentation begins. Within approximately 48 hours of Brewing Day, active fermentation will begin – there will be a cap of foam on the surface of the beer, ")

I mention this not to say you should do what I do, as this is not best practice, but to share the experience.

 

Mr Beer's 5g unopened packets of yeast will not be as effective as long as unopened brand name 11g packets, obviously the larger packets can suffer greater cell death before having insuffucient cells for the brew - if you use the whole packet.

 

Cooper's brews supply a 7g packet for 6 gallons in their kits . I imagine they also want to be successful so would supply enough yeast to have enough cells viable over expected storage and distribution time.  So think about that in contrast to 5g or 11g on 2 gallons.

 

Another factor is not that having initial low viable cell count will prevent you from making beer, probably it won't. What it might do though is give your beer more character from the byproducts produced during cell growth phase, the products desired in wheat beers and some ales but not desired in lagers.

 

So if you are concerned about the exact character of the beer, then you do need to make sure you pitch an appropriate number of viable yeast cells. I think for ales this is fairly forgiving, but not if you are making lager.

 

If you have old yeast you want to use, you can make a starter to ensure it is active, add more than prescribed, add it and supplement if needed,  or if you are really not wanting to use it, you can put it in the boiling water as "yeast food" and use a new replacement packet that is in date range.

 

If you are more analytic in mind, you can look online at the active cell requirement for pitching, in cells per gallon of wort for different beer styles; at the tested degradation rates of dry yeast; at the calculators available for determining how many cells you have and how to figure it out from saved yeast trub etc. etc. There is a lot to learn and  a lot of science in it.

 

Or you can put the pack in as the recipe says, and if it does not ferment, add more - but you risk you may get some variation in beer taste. You find what you can tolerate.

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On ‎7‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 7:49 AM, kedogn said:

Is this self diagnosed or more generally done so by a better half? :) 

Yes.                        "..............how much beer do you really need?"   LOL

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