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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/13/2018 in all areas

  1. 15 points
  2. 12 points
    Brew #2 - MRB - 1776 Ale (ABV 4.2) Finally... a success! After losing to my first brew batch - MRB's American LAGER, I've got a winner. At least, to me it is! Not quite as carbonated as I'd like, and lacking in sustainable head, it's as sweet as I could have asked for. No sourness. No unpleasant aftertaste. Just a nice, sweet Ale. I can do this. I have one brew in the queue - an all-grain English Pale Ale. It should be just fine. We'll see. ON EDIT: Changed MRB's American Ale to MRB's American LAGER
  3. 12 points
    I just thought I'd chime in here on my experience in the past with brewing. It was about 40 years ago (yeah, I'm old) and I knew nothing about brewing. I bought a carboy and some extract and I don't remember what from a newly opened brewer supply store. I did not know a thing about beer brewing, but I knew I liked beer so I gave it a shot. I put all the stuff I bought into that carboy and thought, I'll have some beer in no time! Well, I made about every mistake that any newbie could. I knew nothing about sanitizing or temperature control or just about anything else that the you need to pay attention to. Needless to say after bottling and what I thought was a good amount of conditioning, I refrigerated the bottles and waited till the next day to try my new found hobby. My excited anticipation for a cold beer was instantly dashed upon tasting the absolute worst carbonated horse piss on earth. Gave me the case of the "I can't do this crap" and decided not to do it again. After all this time has passed and the creation of so many micro breweries and all kinds of beer recipes, I thought I'd give it one more shot. This forum has been the absolute best place for information and I really appreciate all you people that are so helpful and encouraging to keep one from giving up. I only wish this was here back when I first tried brewing, I probably wouldn't have quit then and taken so long to return to the craft. Thanks again for everyone's help in keeping it real.
  4. 12 points
    Long Play IPA, 3 weeks ferment, 4 weeks condition, 1rst of 3 days in fridge. This was the last bottle of 11, had some trub when bottled, some seems like it vanished. Designed my own label for first batch, used my dog Buster for label.
  5. 11 points
    Found these at my door step! Doing the brown ale next with US-04. Not sure if I will brew the Long Play straight up or not yet... Been out of the game for years love getting back in it!!
  6. 11 points
    I tried in the UK in the 1960's using HME from Boot's drug store. (Yeah, I am no spring chicken either which is one reason I like 2 gal LBK that I can carry, instead of 5 gal monsters.) Dissolve malt and sugar yeast and wait. I also tried using grain and hops, what a pain. No info about sterilization/sanitation except wash thoroughly. I covered my plastic pail with a tea towel to keep dust out. I got alcoholic beverage for sure. It tasted beerish but not great. I gave one to a neighbor and he walked around his yard for an hour with a colander on his head (don't ask). I tried again in the USA in 1980's. I got some beer but not great again. When I found Mr. Beer 215 brews ago It was so easy and results were good enough that I continued.😀
  7. 11 points
    Great questions! For our recipes, we get no guidance from Coopers, it's all us. Sometimes there's a commercial beer we want to emulate, sometimes we just try something and it comes out well, or it sounds good so we brew it. There is a test kitchen in which our Twitch stream takes place, so that's the best place to see it. We don't want to have too many recipes up on the website at once, because it gets confusing, so we typically stick to around the 80 or so top sellers. Lately we've been experimenting more with limited-release recipes, often having one or two ingredients that we get in a limited stock, sell through, and discontinue. It's been proving pretty popular. There isn't a set number to release, but we all brew as much as we can. So, sometimes we have a plan, and go through a few trials until we nail it, but sometimes it's just a happy accident.
  8. 11 points
    The amount of extract I'm able to get out of the can nowadays, versus when I first started is night and day.
  9. 11 points
    Welcome Dunkin dog, Many tips and tricks and plenty of advice. First piece of advice, seeing that you are just now joining the forum and your kit arrives today, don't brew it today. Take at least a week and read, read and then when you think you have read enough, read some more. Give yourself a week to research what advice this forum has to offer and make sure you are set up for success before you brew your first batch. You will be thankful you waited a week. Dawg
  10. 11 points
    First photo of the Doppelbock I am calling "Parsifalator". This has a zero percent chance of lasting all of Lent unless I make a real effort!
  11. 10 points
    Hello again Mr Sweat, Your second (tested) replacement, along with the 2 free refills that I promised, are set to be delivered tomorrow. Please message me here for tracking information. I'm sorry that this was insufficient in making up the inconvenience of the wait to you. I apologize also that my communication was insufficient. Tyson was trying to offer a faster solution, not weasel out of sending a replacement, and I'm sorry we created the impression otherwise. Other than having your second replacement tested (which I did) and including $50 of free stuff (which I did), I failed to consider any other ways I could have made it right. I would offer you a refund for the initial kit, had you purchased it from us directly. You are quite correct that our service was poor in this case, and I apologize for however my personal failures negatively impacted your view of this company. I wish you the best of luck in your brewing endeavor, regardless of where you get your supplies.
  12. 10 points
  13. 10 points
    welcome. relax. your first few brews will probably be full of mistakes unless you have ocd about following instructions to the letter. use these to learn the process. dont expect that your first few beers will be super awesome. they might be.. they probably will be at least as good if not better than store bought run of the mill beer. your first brews should be simple.. which is why we warn about not getting all mad scientist too early. the most important things to know when starting: 1. patience. can you make beer in 7 days? sure. will it be good beer? probably not. 2. dont lift the lid once its going. you can 'perv' the yeast all you want from the outside. just dont freak out when you see things like foam or gunk 3. ask. every mistake you can make has been made at least once by probably every other person here. there are no dumb questions. you WILL make mistakes. they happen. you might drop a label peel in the wort. you might forget to stir. you might do any number of things... we've all been there. relax. 4. yeast are incredibly hardy. if you dont go doing silly things to them like adding boiling water to them or stirring with a used toilet brush, they will do what they do. they might not do it like you hoped but they are living things. they do what they do. give them food, shelter and proper temps and time. 5. you dont need to stir them in. agitate the wort before you pitch. they will find the food. you agitate at the start to mix in o2. o2 is needed at the very start of fermentation only... the reproduction stage. once the yeast get going? leave them be. 6. yeast are not vampires. you will not skunk a beer under normal house light. UV light skunks hop oil. (sulfur development) 7. learn all you can. . . but dont be too eager to start new techniques and styles until you have built up on your basics. can you immediately start doing all grain? sure... but all grain is complicated as heck. math.. chemistry... science... more equipment. more work... learn the basics. master them. give yourself about 2 years of nothing but kits while you learn. gradually add stuff like hop boils with unhopped extract. .. or steeping grains. now one last point. remember this: garbage in - garbage out. if your water is full of chlorine from the tap.. or tastes like sewage, dont use it. chlorine can contribute an off flavor that is like rubber or band aids. use a good bottled mineral water. for extract brewing you can even use reverse osmosis or distilled water. the most important thing is that it tastes ok in the glass. good to drink? probably good for extract beers. if you ever get into all grain, that is when water chemistry becomes super important. good luck and happy brewing! if you get to the point where it's frustrating the snot out of you.. or you feel 'gosh.. this is hard work. i dont like this'... find a new hobby. no point in doing something as a hobby that you dont enjoy. you can make this as simple or as hard as you want. that's why i like brewing. i love making things difficult with gobs of science and extra steps. im weird that way. -z- ps. mr beer has an awesome customer support system. if something goes horribly wrong that isnt directly due to negligence on your part, they can work with you. if a spigot breaks for example, let them know. dont come here to bad mouth mr beer if you over-torqued the spigot. (which happens btw if you arent careful).
  14. 9 points
    My all-grain English Pale Ale 1-gallon Kit I brewed in March is ready. And the results of the first bottle are: Success! Wow, I can't believe I'm doing this. First goodness with the MRB 1776 and now Success with the no-name brand EPA. This beer is very pale, smooooth, hoppy, and well-carbonated. I'm a happy brewer right now. Thank you to all of you that helped out when I was doing this batch - @RickBeer, @Jdub, @BDawg62, @Nickfixit, @Shrike, @Bonsai & Brew, @D Kristof, and @StretchNM (that's me). Yes, I went through the old thread to find everybody who gave advice and encouragement. Thank you. Despite the sloppy instructions that came with the Kit, we made it work. Pretty dang cool. I would definitely brew this beer again. And again. I guess I'm going to have to break out my pilsner glass for this brew. I know, my logo and labeling needs work. But that's about as professional as I need to be ((( )))
  15. 9 points
    Jdub, thank you very much, my brewing hobby is renewed. Best beer I've made to date by far, and experiencing citra hops to the max. Below is your shared Zombie clone recipe.
  16. 9 points
    Man this is such a wholesome thread. Just wanted to add my $0.02 on the twang issue. I don't think we've ever disputed that liquid extracts can tend to have a twang. Every method of brewing has its pros and cons, none is the "right" way to brew. The advantages of HME are that it's great for beginners to learn on, doesn't take much time, space, or equipment, and I think the smaller batch size is an advantage to a lot of brewers. The disadvantages, as I see them, are less control over some factors, darker color, and occasional twang. To my palette, some refills have more twang than others. I get more of it with Diablo than Long play, and more with Blonde than Weissbier. So, that's one factor to consider. Another is that doing a grain steep or hop boil can reduce it pretty drastically. I find that more important than temp or sanitation, in terms of the twang aspect. I would also just add that I've brewed hundreds of HME batches by now, and only had a few batches where twang was strong and unpleasant enough to impact my enjoyment of the beer. Given our policy of replacing bad batches and, I think, our flexibility, I find that to be a pretty low-risk proposition.
  17. 9 points
    I've been drinking beer I've brewed, so please humor me. Or ignore me. Either way. There isn't a question, just some observations (and anecdotes) as someone that's been brewing for less than a year and on a relatively small budget. I'm on my sixth batch of beer (all Mr. Beer extracts). I've done some experiments in meads and wines and a cider too, but essentially I just started beer #6 (and have ingredients for #7). Batch #6 is a Churchill Nut Brown Ale. I plan to add vanilla and cold-brew coffee to half of it just for fun. I'm not the hugest Brown Ale fan, but it was on sale last month. My first two batches had a lot of issues. The first one was undrinkable (an "American Lager"). I let it age for over 8 months and it never got better. I was slowly dumping a few out at a time (after tasting and gagging) to use the bottles, and finally gave up on it entirely. I've since bought a bottle capper and started saving my commercial beer bottles. The second batch was a Bavarian Weissbier where I wanted to add some hops in hopes of adding some citrus flavors... but I boiled the hops in water by themselves before adding the HME to the cooled hop-water, and it turns out "hop tea" beer isn't the best method. It tasted very tart at first. It was drinkable but not especially good. It got slightly better with age, but it never really stood out as tasty. I did drink them all eventually except for one, which I'm keeping just to see how it ages. My third batch was the Long Play IPA done straight up with only adding two booster packs for a higher ABV. I figured it may as well be strong since I'm not the hugest IPA fan (I'll do them, but not my first pick), but it came with the kit for my second little brown keg at a great Black Friday price. I brewed shortly after (beginning of December). My temperature control was pretty much spot on. I let it carbonate for two weeks, condition for an additional two. They were decent then. Since then, I've drank all of them but two of the 740ml bottles until about 3 months ago, when I finally bottled batch #5. Batch #4 ("Horses Ass Ale") decided to leak out into my fridge the night before bottling while I was cold crashing. The LBK (my first one) that I used for this had given me headaches with the spigot prior to both the brews I started in it, and then (for whatever reason) finally gave out, so at this point I just let it go and decided to not use it again. I bought a 3-gallon Fermonster carboy to replace it and plan to use it for batch #7. Batch #5 was another Bavarian Weissbier, with a Golden LME added. I've tasted it after many stages in aging, and it's been "decent" but has something of a "twang" (what I assume is the "extract twang" people speak of on these forums. A little dash of salt on top before drinking seems to help, but it may be in my head). ANYWAY.... I needed to free up space in the closest I'm using as my "brew area." Between all my one gallon carboys and extras for mead/wine, I needed just a little more room. Among the things sitting around, I had two of the Long Play IPAs (batch #3, bottled at the end of January) left as part of the things I wanted to clear out. I put them in the fridge for about 5 days. Today I planned to go out (and drink some tasty Hefes), but my girlfriend is on a new diet/exercise plan (not a "craze" diet thankfully) and wanted me to help her food prep since I'm always the one to man the cast iron skillet for chicken. So I decided to drink these instead. After conditioning (even in relatively high heat given I live in California) for about six months, these IPAs might be the best thing I've brewed! With age, they've become somehow more mellow and tasty than I even expected, especially for an IPA. The high ABV is a bonus. All of a sudden, I regret drinking all but two of them so soon. But these two were hands down the best thing I've tasted from my own beer brewing experience. Since they were in the fridge already... I also drank a couple from batch #5 (the Bavarian Weissbier, which has only been bottled a month), and again, it's pretty decent, but has a "twang" to it. The point being: giving my brews time to "mature" always seems to pay off. Though I understand that many IPAs (and wheats) are supposed to be good to go when they're still pretty "green," it seems that the mellowing that time brings really helps them stand out as pretty decent brews despite my lack of experience. This hobby is teaching me to SLOW IT DOWN. And being from the age of instant gratification, I really love it for that. And I love it because, well, I get to drink beer. I'm very excited to see how batches #6 and #7 turns out after being allowed to condition (with even better temperature control!) Thanks for humoring me.
  18. 9 points
    I think many of us found this forum because our 1st batch was less than impressive. I'm pretty sure thats what led ME here. I think the first thing to be realized is that in the beginning you will make mistakes, which will result in your beer not being as good as it could have. You WILL get better though. The 2nd thing though, at least for me, is that I was just used to commercial beer. I had to acquire the taste for homemade ale. I now prefer mine over store bought. I just can't make enough to alleviate buying it, lol. Just keep it up and your beer will get where you want it.
  19. 9 points
    A great day today with the MUG Midwest team. we got a late start, well deserved considering the beers we enjoyed Friday evening. finally got our act together and made it to 3 floyds. The tour was very good. If you make it to this place, definitely do the tour of their facility. lots of beers sampled, and FINALLY @C-ya joined us. Due to a personal matter, I left, and freed up my seat for him. About 6:30pm we gathered in Josh's room for another beer sampling. C-ya brought an excellent Oktoberfest beer. We went through all 12 of Bonzai's beers, and our official beer judge said they were mostly excellent. Two had issues, and I'll PM him directly, but overall great beers Sadly, c-ya, creeps and friend Jeff will be leaving tomorrow. Josh and I will be in town, but probably do things on our own until late tomorrow when he has to leave. I want to thank *EVERYONE* at Mr. Beer for this event, and letting Josh join us. Creeps, C-Ya, and Jeff, great meeting you guys, and hope to see you in October Yoda
  20. 9 points
    Sitting at home wishing I was at 3 Floyd's. Was going through some of my older inventory and ran across some of my original Belgian Spiced Ale (brewed in June 2015). Decided to chill some so that I would have something to toast you guys with. Opened one tonight and all I can say is Wow! It's mellowed wonderfully. The spice came through nicely on the nose. Still wonderfully carbonated. A good malt presence with a warming spice finish. This brew has definitely aged well!!
  21. 9 points
    Hi, I was a member here years ago and got lots of good advice and made some decent beer. For various reasons involving a year and a half looking for a new house and an inability to control temperatures, I fell out of home brewing. But I always missed it and wanted to get back to it. Well now, I've got a new house, and a dedicated beer fridge with one of those InkBird digital temp controllers and this past weekend I brewed a couple batches of lager; a 1776 recipe and a Uncle Monkey's Dunkel. They're quietly bubbling away in the fridge at a cool 55F. For my next adventure, I'm thinking of finding an extract recipe with steeping grains and adjusting it to 2.25 gallons to fit in the LBK and doing my first hop boil. Any thoughts from the beer collective? I'm glad to be back
  22. 9 points
    My second brew: Irish Stout Deluxe... needed some rescue from a friend to stop fermenting at too high a temp. At 6 weeks, it is very good. I experimented with levels of carbonation. This one was too high for me. However, after letting it sit and warm up a bit, it’s a lot like Guinness Extra Stout.
  23. 8 points
    Thank you for all your comments on here. To address a few: 1) Security concerns on Facebook are real so don't join if you are concerned at all. It OK. 2) Facebook is a totally different group than the forum here. There is no need to join if you prefer to be here. 3) Every business goes through staffing changes and we have had many people throughout the years. Our former brewmasters include Eric Green who started one of the best craft breweries in Arizona, Dragoon Brewery, Gene Sandoval started Blackrock Brewing, Pat Butler joined Dragoon Brewing, Sam Diggens joined Sentinel Brewing, and most recently we had Josh move up to Pinetop Brewing Co. Then we have others like Tim, Tyson and Renae that were here for a time and then were able to continue to grow themselves (millennials change jobs 4 times between 21 and 32 according to LinkedIn study). We continue to bring in new people with or without experience. Right now we have two current agents with over 25 years experience in brewing not counting the additional 65 years of experience with the other people in the office. 4) It may appear that Mr. Beer participation is lagging in the forum, but instead the amount of searches that go on just show that people are finding the answers that they need. Similar to what many of you have said, they dont go that next step and further participate. With almost a half a million posts, they will find their answer. We have had to adjust our way of communicating and now had more people participating in our support chat on our website more than anything else. This too could possibly take away from participation here. 5) The homebrewing business has changed drastically over the past decade. Interest grew dramatically up to 2012 then slowed, then in 2015 reverse and many people lost interest. The craft beer craze that we all enjoy has some to blame as we all can go to one of many close by craft breweries and enjoy what we once could only brew. 6) With more people working, there is less time to brew. There is almost a perfect correlation to the unemployment rate to the interest in "how to brew" google searches. Most businesses go through this cycle and it will come back around with more interest developing again in short order. When that does happen we will have this forum, Facebook, our site and continue to look at all options where people want to be contacted. This forum is not going anywhere soon. We will continue to upgrade and maintain. We will continue to engage when needed and point new brewers here to get their answers. Please continue to be the warm and engaging group that you all are.
  24. 8 points
    To everyone on this awsome group. Been brewing for a year now 15 beers in the bank. I read more than post but it has helped me and I learn more every day keep it up. I am officially addicted lol. 1 week till bottling. Then back at it again
  25. 8 points
    After seven weeks, my first taste. I love the color it turned out. The taste is ‘ok’ not as carbonated as I expected/hoped. Although this first bottle was a partial bottle since the batch didn’t come out exactly even. I noticed there was some undissolved goop in the bottom that was the same color as the carbonation drops. So the other bottles may turn out even better. All in all, I figure a pretty decent outcome for my first try. Cheers!
  26. 8 points
    Ya gotta figure they are over compensating yeah? Maybe its about the size of their.... batches. Who knows? You have this kinda thing with all sorts of groups of people like car guys, motorcycle guys, hell even camera dudes (I once sold a ton of prints of a pic I took of Garth at the Opry that I took with a cheapo-depot camera and I was called a liar when I showed my camera - that was 18 years ago and it still makes me laugh). Equipment don't make the man or in this case, beer. I often refer to Manfish as "Home brewer's on steroids". We don't have fancy equipment, that's for sure. No stainless steel conicals anywhere in the brewery. Yes, we have bigger equipment than most home brewers do, that is true. All that really means that without the knowledge of what to do to fill those properly, we would end up with bigger batches of garbage brew. I've said it many times, here, in real life, on Facebook and anywhere I get the chance... "There would be no Manfish Brewing if it weren't for Mr. Beer." A 100% correct statement. I had *NEVER* thought about brewing my own beer, ever, until I got that fateful Christmas gift in 2009. People can say whatever they want about Mr. Beer, most people don't like facts anyways, it only confuses them. #PROST!
  27. 8 points
    Unless the area the beer sloshed into was infected with mad cow disease, turburculocious or had some @HoppySmile! drool on it, youll be ok. I move stuff around all the time. I have to move a fermenter tonight too. A little bump wont hurt. Actually, some times i give my carboys a little shake if the hop particles are caught on the ridges. Don’t tell anyone else on here ok?
  28. 8 points
    Congrats to all who placed!! Wish I had entered this year, but with my move, I just didn't have time (it also wouldn't have been fair...lol...). Great job on the saison, @Creeps McLane, it was fantastic and definitely the favorite! 🍻
  29. 8 points
    I can't believe 3 pages into this discussion and no one has posted this yet! Thanks for the memories @AnthonyC.
  30. 8 points
    Then let me add one last thing. You may be the best brewer in the world. You just don’t know it yet. Like @Gutterbunnie said (that should win the day everyday) is you just have to find what works for you. People talk about the high drop out rate on here all the time. For a Brewer who is doing everything right but your beer doesn’t taste like how you want it, that can be frustrating. Very frustrating. But you can’t give up. Ive made enough HME batches to learn I don’t prefer HME. I’ve brewed with enough LME to find that it wasn’t for me. I’m a freak for control and this isn’t a hobby that I’m ok with not putting the time into what I enjoy sitting down and enjoying on a daily basis. That’s me. I’ve had plenty of HME beers that @Bonsai & Brew sent me that blew me away. He’s f***ing good at working with what he has. I don’t have that. So I moved on. All I really wanted to say was this; don’t sell yourself short. Keep pushing. If something isn’t working, try something else. Look at @Nickfixit. He’s constantly tweaking and striving for the perfect balance in his beers. Don’t let one ingredient stop you from perfecting your beers. If you want to take the next step, ask questions. Be open to new ideas. This forum is filled with intelligent people who have been a newbie before. Partial mashes, hoppy beers, drying out your HMEs are a great start. But for me, the best thing I can say is to look at where you want to be in a year or five and start reaching for that level. Don’t sell yourself short! DONT SELL YOURSELF SHORT! Lastly, for years I’ve tried to stay relevant on this forum. I don’t really use HME anymore but I stay here to try to help others with my opinions though they very well may be wrong. Ask me anything and I’ll try to help. Freaking @kedogn is a professional Brewer, ask him. Sometimes a vet like @Screwy Brewer and @bpgreen will be on here. Listen to what they say. They’re amazing. This is what a forum is all about. this was supposed to be a quick post, I’m sorry. I was raised in a house full of women so I get emotional quickly, but God damn it I’m here for you.
  31. 8 points
    You cant draw any conclusions about the final flavor from a sample you tasted during fermentation. It will change so much in the next 5 weeks. It's your 1st batch so I know you're anxious, but try to leave it alone. Remember, every sample you pull will take away from your yield.
  32. 8 points
    If he is choosing to drink MichUltra over your homebrew it is time to cut him off. I have cut off two of my nephews after they brought a 12 of MichUltra to my Thanksgiving dinner knowing that I have all of the homebrew they could want. They don't even get it offered to them yet I offer to others who are there. My wife says that is mean spirited but I say there are unwritten laws that have been broken and they should be punished.
  33. 8 points
    I am just gonna say it - Helles Boch is the best tasting brew I have made with the least amount of effort yet! It may not be the best tasting overall (I'd say for me that is Lock Stock and Barrel Stout) but the taste per effort is highly favorable! The only modification I made was to steep some caripils in the brew water first.
  34. 8 points
    I just tried a beer from my first batch ever brewed. It was the Classic American Light that came with the kit and it was awesome (that is as awesome as a classic light beer can be)!! Good color and tasted great!!
  35. 8 points
    I've done it once w/o a hop sack ("going commando" as many refer to it) and do not recommend it. Had lots of residue/chunks at bottling. In retrospect, I could've cold crashed and that might've prevented it, but even so, I wouldn't do it again. Kevin
  36. 8 points
    When doing most recipes, I start with the numbers of a particular style first (usually going by the BJCP guidelines, but there is a lot of room for experimentation): ABV, SRM, IBU, OG, FG, etc. Once I have the numbers down for the style or clone I'm brewing, I then take a look at the ingredients themselves. Then I try to combine them in a way that matches up to all of those numbers. I use a couple of different software programs for this, including Beersmith and Qbrew, but I also use a special in-house spreadsheet that helps verify the numbers in case the software was inaccurate. Other times, I just throw a bunch of ingredients together and see what happens.
  37. 8 points
    Don't worry, guys. There's another hazy on the way. Stay tuned....
  38. 8 points
    Question - Do you think about brewing beer more than you think about sex? If so you are addicted. If not, you are not quite there yet.
  39. 8 points
    When I go out and I order a beer I always ask for a glass. Most places give you one no matter what. Not a single homebrew goes in my belly without first going in a glass. I bottle from a keg so i have no sediment and i still pour that baby out. I really like the english style pub glasses but i most frequently use a snifter. I like tulips also. God i just love beer. So much 😭 im getting emotional...
  40. 8 points
    re new brewer jitters... most if not all of us have been there. really want to get it right. you want to enjoy the hobby but you dont want to make mistakes. some of us obsess like first time parents on our first beers. we rush to the fermenter every 5 minutes and freak out at everything we see. common freak outs: omg it's not doing anything! i mean i pitched the yeast 2 hours ago and it's just sitting there! i mustve killed the yeast! - lol. that was me. yeast can take a day or 2 to get started. it's not uncommon for yeast to start off slow, especially if you didnt give them any o2 at the start. or if they arent happy with the temps. omg i see foam! it must be an infection! - foam on top is krausen. krausen is an old german word for 'hey! i'm making beer!' or something. foam on top = good. omg there's a layer of sludge on the bottom! i mustve killed the yeast! - sludge on bottom is 'trub', another old german word that means 'see i told you i was making beer'.. or something. omg i used whirlfloc and now it looks like my fermenter is full of sea weed! - me again. whirlfloc is made from sea weed or irish moss more correctly. when it first expands to trap proteins and such before it settles out, it can look pretty gross. omg i took a sample from the spigot and it tastes like bread! it must be an infection! - no. you are sampling trub. trub is yeast poop, lazy or dead yeast cells, fats, proteins, etc. prop up the spigot end a little with a couple cd cases and trub will settle out behind the spigot. not where it can flow out. omg i dropped a piece of label from a can in my wort! - it happens. you will likely be fine. if you want you can either remove the labels ahead of time on brew day or just give the can a quick dunk in sanitizer before you open it. i never worried about it. just use a sanitized spoon to fish the label out. etc. once yeast get going they are very tough and will aggressively defend their turf against intruders like bacteria, mold, other yeasts. you can still get these infections but healthy yeast that are happy will likely keep these things away. use proper sanitation and care and youre golden. so relax. ask questions. try to not panic. be orderly and take care while brewing. limit distractions. keep the dog and cat out of your brewing area. keep the kids out. follow instructions.. take your time. wait til youre done with brew day THEN have a beer. -z-
  41. 8 points
    How to avoid acetaldehyde aka cider taste: 1- pitch at your fermenting temp 2- maintain a consistent fermentation temp in the lower range for your yeast. In general, dont stress your yeast 3- pitch enough yeast 4- use a higher temped yeast ie K-97 or belle sasion. ways to mask acetaldehyde: 1- brew a maltier style like an amber or stout 2-brew a beer that favors esters produced by stressed yeast ie saisons, wheats 3- add fruit 4- whatever you think your target conditioning time is, double it Brewing beer is like cooking. You need to look at what you’re working with to decide the outcome. Im trying to think of a perfect analogy but all I can come up with is hamburger vs sweet italian sausage in my spaghetti. This is my suggestion for all of you who dont have an ideal way to control your fermentation temps. Don’t. Let the yeast do its thing. I dont temp control anything but my lagers and saisons. Heres my recipe for yall to try: 1 northwest pale ale HME 1/2 cup of honey dissolved before adding the HME (optional) 1/2 oz of amarillo or falconers flight at flame out 1 packet of danstar belle saison yeast pitch yeast anywhere between 65-75 ferment at ambient temps not to reach below 63 degrees and not to exceed 77 Bottle after three weeks with 1/2 the MRB suggested sugar amount condition for 6 weeks i guarentee a solid beer. HME is sweet by nature. The honey and saison yeast will help dry it out the higher you ferment, the more wonderful the esters will be. saison yeast is a beast thus 1/2 the sugar for bottling youll be left with wonderful pepper and fruity esters paired with the citrus of the hop aroma all working together to kick any cidery taste in the ass. Someone delete my profile if this is incorrect. If im gonna be honest and draw upon past experiences then i have to mention @Bonsai & Brew. I was lucky enough to try some of his beers and what i noticed was he’s really good at working with his weakness as an advantage. Dampfbier, wonderful with the HME residual sweetness. Lox Stock, wonderful at covering up any possible off flavors. Take the characteristics of MRBs products and work them in your favor or know what you have to do to change it. I think any MRB recipe can be made so much better by adding a little honey to dry it out a little. Im not a big fan of their yeast. Throw it away and use something from fermentis or danstar. Yeast nutrient is amazing. Shorter lag times and all the nutrients your yeast craves (dry yeast already has nutrients) but shorter lag times mean you beer is ready to bottle a day or two earlier. Partial mashes are great but if youre not ready for that than just skip it for now. Later youll be glad you made added them though. Something to work towards. So before you run out and buy a temp controller and a mini fridge, try different yeasts. I use safale US-05 often and could care less if my beer reaches 68 during peak. Have fun, stop stressing. Youre making beer! God damn if that isnt an amazing thing! MRB makes it so easy. Stop making it hard!
  42. 7 points
    @MRB-Rick Thank you for your post. Knowing that our concerns are relevant to Mr. Beer and that you have addressed them is good for us all. Also the update to our perceived lack of participation in this forum is wonderful. Knowing that the questions that we have spent a lot of time answering are still providing help is awesome. Even though I no longer brew with Mr. Beer products, I use this forum to help those who like me are starting out their journey with Mr. Beer. I hope that somehow my answers and the answers of others here have kept some brewers in the hobby that would have left otherwise. Your post alone will make me continue to check this forum every day as I have always done. Prost, Dawg
  43. 7 points
    I had a Mr Beer system years ago before Cooper bought them and for whatever reason just stopped brewing. I just got a new kit for Christmas with an Irish Stout refill. I just started the stout and am interested to see how it turns out. I am curious if it has changed with Cooper. Right off I can see that the brewing process itself is a little easier than it was such as having just two lines marked 1 and 2 instead of measurements and the carbonation drops are definitely an improvement over having to measure out sugar. I'll be interested to see if the beer is any different than I remember.
  44. 7 points
    Most of my recipes that I don't really like all that much sell very well, and all my pet favorites sit all-but-unnoticed, appreciated only by the true connoisseurs. I think I might just have bad taste.
  45. 7 points
    Close to 100 outside but a steady 64 in the Brew cellar. Other pic is Carb Cond Chamber. 12 count liquor/wine empty boxes from liquor store are used, to transport and store 740 ml beer bottles. Old table place mats are folded to prop up front of LBK. Found two old dog/puppy crates in basement that have black plastic liners. Using them to sit LBK on in case of spill/leak. Using seedling mat in cooler to heat. Unscrewed and removed coolers spigot to feed wires in.
  46. 7 points
    I want to brew a Kolsch (one of hubby's fav) using extract recipe. Was going to make Shade Tree Kolsch - any recommendations for this one? Wondering if I can/should add any booster although I'm going to be using Pilsner (light) DME (have 1 lb but might only use 1/2). Also picked up some Tettnang hops for short hop boil near end. And going to try using WLP029 Kolsch yeast. Couldn't find the Safale K-97 anywhere & I don't want to pay $8 shipping for a $4 yeast. Kolsch will be my 5th batch and I think I'm getting better at this. Tried my second batch again last night, the Oktoberfest (basic/standard refill). After 5 weeks conditioning, it is much improved. Very drinkable. Might even give a few away to family to try. Brew de Ale ze Bub is currently fermenting using Safale 05 (first time using this yeast). I'm going to echo what someone else posted somewhere, but I almost enjoy brewing the beer more than drinking it! Has become new obsession. Cheers!
  47. 7 points
    If only it were as simple as you state to make good beer. You didn't mention anything about maintaining a good temperature. Nor did you mention making sure that the wort you are pitching into is both aerated and the correct temperature for pitching yeast. Yes, you can just follow the directions and make mediocre beer and then get discouraged and quit the hobby. Or you can take a week to read and get as much useful information before beginning a hobby that can last a lifetime. I think I would rather do the latter at the cost on 1 week of time.
  48. 7 points
    I made it as per the recipe and it's great. As to what to do with the extra grains: - put them in a muslin sack and steep in four cups of water for 30 minutes at 155*. - stir in that extra booster you ordered - bring to a boil, stir in 1 cup brown sugar until dissolved - remove from heat and stir in the extra Robust LME you ordered along with one can of St Pat's HME - ferment in the LBK as normal. After one week use a very clean spoon to add 2 TBS vanilla extract. Don't stir, just open the lid, add the vanilla, and close the lid. - at bottling, add one shot of cold-brewed coffee to each bottle. It'll be a nice coffee stout with a hint of vanilla and a little extra ABV.
  49. 7 points
    @MRB Josh R I don't think you've thought this through. Do you really want this bunch logging on and harassing you on a live feed for an hour? Good Luck!!!
  50. 7 points
    No, I did not know this because I don't drink Miller, nor do I have any desire to research their recipes. I have heard of tetra iso-extract, but didn't realize Miller was using it. I assumed they were using some sort of chemical treatment. Again, I don't drink Miller. The reason I ask here is because this is a FORUM, which is intended for discussion among the forum members. These discussions wouldn't happen if everyone just went to Google.
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