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

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.๐Ÿ˜€
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 8 points
    After seven weeks, my first taste. I love the color it turned out. The taste is โ€˜okโ€™ not as carbonated as I expected/hoped. Although this first bottle was a partial bottle since the batch didnโ€™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!
  10. 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!
  11. 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! ๐Ÿป
  12. 8 points
    I can't believe 3 pages into this discussion and no one has posted this yet! Thanks for the memories @AnthonyC.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 8 points
    Don't worry, guys. There's another hazy on the way. Stay tuned....
  17. 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.
  18. 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 ๐Ÿ˜ญ im getting emotional...
  19. 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-
  20. 7 points
    Write down everything. Write down everything. Write down everything. ๐Ÿ˜€
  21. 7 points
    HOME BREW RECIPE: Title: Alaskan Amber Clone Author: Web+ modifications Brew Method: All Grain Style Name: American Amber Ale Boil Time: 60 min Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermentor volume) Boil Size: 6.5 gallons Boil Gravity: 1.043 Efficiency: 70% (brew house) STATS: Original Gravity: 1.056 Final Gravity: 1.013 ABV (standard): 5.69% IBU (tinseth): 35.3 SRM (morey): 10.59 Mash pH: 5.62 FERMENTABLES: 9 lb - Pale 2-Row (80%) 1 lb - Caramel / Crystal 10L (8.9%) 0.5 lb - Caramel / Crystal 120L (4.4%) 0.5 lb - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) (4.4%) 4 oz - Rice Hulls (2.2%) HOPS: 1 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 28.29 1 oz - Saaz, Type: Pellet, AA: 3.5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 7.02 MASH GUIDELINES: 1) Sparge, Temp: 150 F, Time: 60 min Starting Mash Thickness: 1.6 qt/lb YEAST: White Labs - German Ale/ Kรถlsch Yeast WLP029 Starter: Yes Form: Liquid Attenuation (avg): 75% Flocculation: Medium Optimum Temp: 65 - 69 F Fermentation Temp: 65 F Pitch Rate: 0.35 (M cells / ml / deg P)
  22. 7 points
    Actually, you can get a lot more advanced. All beer is fermented. Mr. Beer's LBK is a fermenter. Regardless of how you make your wort (can of HME, LME/DME with steeping grains and hops, Brew In A Bag, or all grain brewing in a big pot over a burner, wort is wort. There are some features that make a Mr. Beer LBK "unique" over some other fermenters: 1) The fermenter is made of plastic. That means you must cool the wort to a temperature that will not damage the plastic before pouring it in. Given that all brewing requires the wort to be cooled to a proper pitching temperature (which varies by type of yeast used), that's not a big deal. However, if I had a big metal fermenter, I could choose to put hot wort in it and then cool it down overnight before pitching. Can't do that with a Mr. Beer LBK. And gradual cooling gives the chance for infection. 2) The fermenter has no "blow off" device. This means if you have a very active fermentation, it can overflow out the lid vents and make a mess. Fancy fermenters have a blow off device that during active fermentation can send overflow into a bucket and keep things tidy. Once active fermentation is over, you replace the tube with an airlock. No airlock or tube with Mr. Beer, but it's not needed. 3) Like any fermenter, the Mr. Beer LBK is limited to it's capacity. Basically that's around 2.5 or 2.6 gallons. And if you fill it to the 2.6 mark, you'll probably get overflow. I put in 2.5 gallons regularly, ferment at 65 or lower, and rarely get overflow. I used to regularly make a 5 gallon batch of extract beer, and split it evenly between two LBKs. I now do BIAB, and due to stove limitations I make one 2.5 gallon batch each time. 4) Because it's a plastic fermenter, it can be damaged, either by cleaning improperly (scrubbing) or by a beer that gets a bacterial infection. If an LBK gets a bacterial infection (rare), it's possible that it can't be cleaned well enough to be used again without transmitting that infection. Same goes for a bottling bucket, or anything else plastic. That's why good sanitation is important. Any beer you brew can be fermented in an LBK.
  23. 7 points
    Beer has 4 components - grain, hops, yeast, water. You can vary any of them, many ways, and get many results. The more you change at once, the less you understand about why you got what you got, and your ability to recreate it in the future. I'd recommend you restrict your yeast choices unless there is a strong reason to change, instead focusing on the difference in different steeping grains, and different hops. For example, make several batches of one refill, say CAL, and use different hops to dry hop. Teaches you in a neutral beer what differences those hops make. Or, make a batch using a packet of light LME vs. a packet of robust LME. See if you can tell the difference in a blind test. See if you can taste the flavors you get. Learn how to properly evaluate a beer. I've been brewing for over 6 years. Here is the extensive list of yeast that I have used in that time: - Original (pre-Cooper's) Mr. Beer Yeast - Cooper's Mr. Beer Yeast - S-05 - S-04 - Nottingham - Windsor - Whatever came with one can I bought of another HME - A lager yeast for the one batch of lager I made Here is a list of the different water treatments I have tried: - My well water I know I've harped on this theme, and I'll continue to, because I think it's the best way for someone to learn, and I try to learn in everything I do.
  24. 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!
  25. 7 points
    What a load of crap! I am actually privy to the process of how new recipes are created: Step 1 - @MRB Josh R sits in the janitorial closet, in the dark, and thinks. This takes a great deal of effort, and causes him to profusely sweat, so he's not in the closet for quiet, but to keep his sweat stink away from others. Here is a picture of him thinking about new recipes: Step 2 - When he doesn't come up with enough recipes, he gets punished. You'll see a picture of the punishment that @MRB Rick imposes on @MRB Josh R below, showing Josh and @MRB Tim being punished for lack of creativity. Step 3 - Finally, our heroes go in the warehouse and see what they have excess of, and then create recipes. Here they are chasing a helpless warehouse employee: Step 4 - Recipes are completed, typed into the website and published.
  26. 7 points
    So it looks like I will be attending this event with you guys, at least for the weekend. I will also be bringing a bunch of free MRB swag for attendees and possibly a few AZ beers to share, including a few of my own. If anything changes from the original itinerary on the top post, please let us know. We will look into doing a livestream on location, but I may just video the event and show some highlights in a later live stream. We'll figure it out. Even if there are only a couple of us there, we'll still have a good time (more beer for us, right? lol). See you all in a couple of weeks!
  27. 7 points
    Just reading up on proper temperature control could make the difference between an end product that discourages you and one that makes you go "Wow, I made tasty beer in my kitchen!" Oh, and welcome to a great hobby!
  28. 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.
  29. 7 points
    So here you see the dilemma. I recommend the long established 3-4 that brewers on this forum developed via trial and error years back. Then BDawg62 recommends 3 weeks. Who's right? Both of us. Remember, beer is tasted by people. Your expertise, and ability to taste differs from every other human being on the planet. In fact, there are people that are genetically predisposed to discern (or not) certain flavors. Let me state that clearer - some people have an inability to taste certain things, and others have an overly sensitive taste for certain things. I know an expert - an Advance Cicerone (there are 80 in the world and only 16 Master Cicerones) that has an inability to detect a skunked beer (3-MBT, a chemical created by ultraviolet light when a beer is exposed to sun or ultraviolet light). Most people notice it immediately. When driving down the road, if a skunk sprays, my friend says "who is roasting coffee out here?", because that is how they detect that smell. So what you think is a good beer I may think is a bad beer. Or vice-versa. That variation in ability to taste, combined with expertise, combined with preferences, make this a hobby where a rank amateur can brew a fairly good beer on their first few attempts, but an expert taster would list 20 flaws that the beer had. Who's right? Both of them. Why go 4 weeks? The issue here is that you are a new brewer. IMO, new brewers should follow established guidelines (notice my referenced post says guidelines, not rules). Why? Because if you don't, and your results taste lousy, then you'll quit the hobby. No one collects stats on the dropout rate in this hobby, but I believe it's well above nearly all other hobbies. There is zero reason for a new brewer to only go 3 weeks, assuming you eliminate the "well I want to see the change from 3 weeks to 4 weeks for myself". Few beers are better in 3 weeks than 4 weeks (a heavily dry-hopped beer would be one exception). As far as degrading over time, that's a fact. HOWEVER, 90%+ can't tell the difference. I'm down to 9+ cases of beer, having not brewed in a year, trying to use my inventory. My freshest beer was bottled last May. My oldest beer was bottled over 2 years ago. Tastes fine. Would it taste better fresh? Sure. But it tastes fine. A new brewer doesn't need to freak out about "old beer". Keep it in the basement, in a closed box or closet, and it's fine. Whatever fits in a frig is great, ONCE you reach the optimal conditioning time.
  30. 7 points
    If you look closely in the upper left, you can see the treadmill safely folded up and out of the way. #showmeyourstash
  31. 6 points
    Some people say the number one rule in brewing is sanitation. I thinks its "know what youre doing, and why youre doing it" You technically don't know if your beer is done fermenting until you take a gravity reading. I would also add that you can do a fairly simple diacytel test at home to ensure the beer is ready to be packaged. If the beer is done at day 7 and also tastes good and passes the diacytel test, then its good to package. It will not harm it to go another week or even two. So, yes, another reading at day 14 is pointless. But remember, attenuation (average % of sugars a yeast will eat) is only an average. Two readings are needed to prove the yeast is done eating. Keep in mind some yeasts are notorious for stalling out at any point and may test the same for days before finishing the job. Im an honest man. I only kinda go by days fermenting. But Ive also been doing this for almost 6 years. Every beer ive ever made has produced a krausen of varying degrees. Some much more larger than others. I pitch yeast, ferment, krausen appers for days then it falls. when it falls, I raise the temp for a day or three until im ready to keg. Keep in mind I keg, It wont explode like bottles would if you aren't careful. I generally go no less than 14 days because I try to only do brewing things on the weekend. So 14 days fits right into my schedule. If I don't get to it, then ill go 21 days. Doesn't affect the beer in the slightest. Also remember that dry hopping kicks up another mini fermentation, so don't dry hop and then bottle immediately. Know what youre doing and why youre doing it. US-04 is usually a quick mover but if your krausen fell yesterday then its probably not ready. Temperature is a tool, and also a measurement in brewing. At 65 degrees things happen fast. At 35 they happen slow. At 75 they happen too fast for most ales. Don't cold crash until youre sure the beer is done because youll either a) get exploding bottles due to imcomplete fermentation or b) lock in undesirable flavors. Carb the beer for 4 weeks and then decide what you want to do from there. Cold storage will preserve flavors and keep beers fresh while keeping your stored bottles at 70 degrees will age them for the better or worse. Its been a long time since I posted any useful advice. That's why Im goin on a tangent
  32. 6 points
    Works like a charm for grain steeping and 60 min hop schedule boil. "Keep warm" button allows it to stay around 155 for steeping. "Saute" button set at the "more" level, allows a slow continuous boil. Found 3 slight variations of Zombie Dust clone, trying all three.
  33. 6 points
    1) You can't look at powder and analyze what it is. If you bought bulk powder, it should have a name, and then you know what you own. Laundry detergent looks the same also... 2) Mr. Beer's sanitizer can be stored, for a week, in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then it needs to come to room temp to be used. If you just want to clean with it (not sanitize), then you could store it longer, but the oxygen content is gone at that point. 3) Sanitizing a hop sack, or a measuring cup, or such can be done with a pot of boiling water. Or a cup of boiling water in a microwave. 4) You should NOT store things with liquid sanitizer for periods of time. StarSan, an acid, will eat through things like chrome. 5) I use a batch of StarSan for several months, stored in a bucket with a lid. 6) Mr. Beer sanitizer, made at double strength, can in fact be used for cleaning. If you read the packet, it says "No-Rinse Cleanser". There are products that are similar to this, i.e. One Step and Easy Clean. LD Carlson, who makes Easy Clean, told me that it's the same as One Step, but can't be labeled as a sanitizer because they haven't gone through the process ($$$) to get it labeled as such. 7) The dishwasher can be used for sanitizing, but it's not recommended. Bottles don't get properly washed inside, and rinse agents aren't good for beer bottles. Utensils would be fine going through a sanitizing cycle, which is not the same as heated dry. You could also bake metal utensils in your oven to sanitize them. But that's all pretty silly, when dipping them in sanitizer is a one and done thing. I would not store anything for a period of time and then consider it sanitized.
  34. 6 points
    Mic Todd, So based on this skateboard analogy that you have spelled out it sounds as if it is a waste of time to give you any advice because you are just going to do what you want to anyway. I can respect that but I will also probably not be giving any advice to your questions since you are going to only listen to it if you think it is the right thing to do. Remember, those of us that help out a lot on this forum have made the mistakes, researched the hobby and or spent countless hours learning about the hobby from others. I have listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts and brewed nearly 100 batches of beer and mead. I have won many medals in beer competitions and am now also a BJCP beer judge. I don't brew Mr. Beer batches any longer, in fact I have converted to All Grain brewing. But I still take time on this forum to assist others who are just getting started in this hobby. I have seen countless post from users on this forum that have asked for advice and not taken it or have gone all mad scientist with their brewing. I have also seen many of them disappear from this forum. Maybe they just moved on or more likely they quit the hobby. So when @RickBeeror any of us who have been here for a period of time give advice that you may not like. Understand that we are trying to keep you form the members who have disappeared from the hobby. There is nothing personal in what some think are attacks. Dawg
  35. 6 points
    Aaaagh! Yes indeed. Tweak does not always improve. I am probably less scientific too than it reads - lol - certainly I am less picky about my process too than many here (not a control freak ๐Ÿ˜„) .. But overall I am up to 215 brews now. I do get some with funny flavors still. I very rarely get any that are undrinkable. Differing from Creeps, I prefer the ease of using HME, and I find the beers drinkable and my friends do too, so that is good enough. Also SWMBO hates brewing smells so prolonged boiling etc. is not tenable. But I like the ease, starting or finishing 1 LBK brew in about an hour including cleanup. (maybe more for PM) Today I bottled Oktoberfest enhanced with PM (2 oz each Munich, Vienna and Biscuit grain ) and strengthened by 2 packs of booster and flavored more with 0.5 oz Hallertauer hop at flameout in a bag. This tasted good with no off flavors. It was fermented in ambient low-mid 60's using Mr. Beer yeast. Why booster? #1 I have a bunch of it, #2, I do not like too malty as I also do not like too hoppy. I also have been messing around with beers so much I though I should try tasting more of the Mr Beer intent. I think it will be fine, having a sweetish start and a balanced finish where you can taste hops. Targeted at Halloween/Thanksgiving timeframe. The only place I am picky on is sterilization using Mr Beer sanitizer or Onestep. Having a basement room at 63-65 deg also helps. I actually have to warm some brews up in a different room if I want 70+. (Wheat or Saison) I use directional lamps with spot light bulbs as heaters - 2 for 80 deg, one for 70-72 deg. I do not use temp controller I just use a thermometer on the LBK and move lamps closer or further away to get desired temp. It seems close enough. For 80 I have to partly wrap the LBK in towels though. When people ask me about the long process of brewing, I tell them I do it the easy way. If you think warm temperature is your problem - cool the LBK ( I use Coleman cooler chest and ice packs) or ferment a beer that likes warmth e.g. Saison. For cheap temperature monitoring I use a $10 digital aquarium thermometer taped on the LBK side with paper towel insulation over the thermometer and under the tape. If you have a cooler with a drain hole, you can run the wire through that and see temp without opening the cooler. If you are concerned about temperature fluctuation, putting the LBK in a container will help even it out - even a cardboard box but cooler is best. Early on I used a $2 foam one (you can still run the thermometer wire out if you make a little groove where the lid fits) and that worked too,. But keep at it - try cooling the LBK in a cheap cooler with freezer ice packs of frozen water bottles (2/3 full only) first.
  36. 6 points
    I have been getting in to partial mash lately but not long enough to have a mature product. I have Let it Bee and Grass-cutter Lager conditioning - both tasted good at bottling. Dry River Rye is brewing at the moment. Next in line is Naughty Cream Ale and Foggy Days California Common. It is going to be an interesting pipeline.
  37. 6 points
    Just tasted the Diablo IPA that I brewed and conditioned for 4 weeks. Not bad, I'm interested in seeing what it taste like with a couple of more weeks of conditioning.
  38. 6 points
    Okay guys, gonna share a recipe I made. Turned out very good if I must say so myself. Partial mash using BAA. I did 5 gallons. Here is the recipe for a 2.5 gallon batch: 300g pale malt 125g 60L crystal 125g 20L crystal 250g flaked oats 80g roasted barley 30g black patent 30g chocolate malt 60g light chocolate malt 125g wheat malt mash 156deg F/60 min. 0.5oz Columbus@60min 0.5oz cascade@30 min add Bewitched hme with 10 min left in boil 0.5 oz cascade at flameout ferment with MrB ale yeast Turned out very well balanced and tasty. Aged two months it is creamy with a clean hop finish. Just enough roasty character. A very robust brown ale if not a porter. Cheers! g
  39. 6 points
    Add this "@MRB Josh R" and he'll get a message letting him know someone's looking for him. It's like summoning a demon, except you get beer info instead of burned alive. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
  40. 6 points
    Hopadopoulos Pale Sour Ale won 2nd place in its category in the Belgian Brew Brawl (Austin, TX). ๐Ÿป
  41. 6 points
    I put my last bottle of American Porter that I bottled 10/11/17 in the fridge. It is a trub bottle that I almost forgot about. I'm sure it'll be delicious, as was the rest of the batch.
  42. 6 points
    I feel the same. Plus, if I make a batch of beer that turns out "meh" I'd rather have two gallons of it to drink than five.
  43. 6 points
    Thanks everyone I will follow your recommendations. As my husband is always reminding me, patience is not my strong suit. So, probably I was jumping the gun hoping I could drink some within about a month. I will wait longer, try some more later. Anyway. It was my first batch & didn't have temp control, etc etc. I didn't think about taking the rings off - I thought they were supposed to stay there All good recommendations. With the recent Mr Beer sales I've bought a bunch more stuff, some refills, a hydrometer, more temp strips. Plenty to keep me occupied for a while. And I'm trying out temp control with my 3rd batch currently (in cooler with ice bottles). And, after reading posts on That Voodoo That You Do, I see now my patience is going to be tested! 4-6 months. Well there's other beer out there I can drink in the meantime. And husband teases me, & says he's going to buy me a TShirt that says "Beer taught me patience" or are those already out there to buy? OK guys, not many gals on these forums, I noticed. But, hey, I think Mr Beer's LBK is a great way for gals to get into this hobby. I can easily manage all steps myself, (I seriously doubt I could carry a full 5 gallon carboy) and my hubby just stays out of my way unless I ask for help. He's not interested in brewing beer, but then he's never been much of a cook either. If my beer is good enough, I'm sure he'll help me drink it will let you know how things turn out.........
  44. 6 points
    I ferment in coolers. When I open the lid I get a fermentation aroma blast! So absolutely.
  45. 6 points
    @Jdub, Photos from two of my Rauchbier brews. Actually seeing a hot break was interesting. I attempted a BIAB mash. Much easier. Quite pleased with the results sparging with a collander.
  46. 6 points
    Tasting my first sample of Oktoberfest at 3weeks. Probably needs a few more weeks, but it's certainly drinkable, so that's something positive. Got wife to try it and she said, " That's not bad at all", hey I can live with that on first sample! Carbonation seems fine while drinking but didn't produce much head when pouring.
  47. 6 points
    @Jdub, Please do not stroke the ego of @RickBeer. Everytime that a new forum member does this, it takes at least a month to get his head back down to normal size. You should have seen when he won brewer of the month. That took forever to get him back to normal. Dawg
  48. 6 points
    Bottled @ FG 1.006.๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿป
  49. 6 points
    Had my first ever beer a day earlier than expected. It was good, not great at first. However, I started enjoying it more and more as it warmed up and noticing flavors not tasted when colder. Tomorrow I will try another not being in fridge, but in a chilled glass. I do have the benefit of a 55 degree cellar that most don't. Will report on findings tomorrow.
  50. 6 points
    yeast are living things. living things act weird from time to time. no 2 fermentations will be identical for this reason. i double pitched us04 that was expired, thinking i needed to boost cell count. big mistake. it was still very very viable and the fermentation was a gushing volcano for over a day plus. i've seen us04 behave like saison yeast.. slow, dainty eater with a very small krausen head. same yeast. ive had rafts of yeast on some batches at bottling, that were absent on others. you can predict the flavor outcome based on temperatures and expected ester development. you cant predict how vigorously the yeast will feed. that's one of the things i find fascinating about yeast.
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