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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/06/2018 in all areas

  1. 3 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
  2. 3 points
    So it has been five weeks and I finally bottled. Sampled it yesterday and was surprised that I had no green apple taste and I’m on the right track. Here’s a few picks... The Coleman cooler has been my wingman during this process.
  3. 1 point
    After careful consideration, Yoda's next beer adventure will be.......Lexington, KY, Memorial weekend. Yea, not a major event. Lexington is about an hour from where I live now, and not a major Mecca for craft beer enjoyers. However, there are some nice breweries, I have some friends I haven't seen in over a dozen years who live there, and my parents are buried at a cemetery about 30 minutes south of there. It would be nice to visit them. It's not an official MUG meeting, but if anyone is in the central KY area, let me know. I'm toying with the idea of what to do for the 4th of July. It's on a Wednesday, and if I take two days off (either Monday/Tuesday, or Thursday/Friday), I can do a 5 day beer adventure. I need to work out several things first, such as which two days I can take off work, and where I'm going to go, but I've got ideas. Yoda
  4. 1 point
    Thanks for all the recommendations & will let you know how my Kolsch turns out. I will check out the Maryland Home Brew shop. I would love to get my hands on some yeast variations & I prefer the dry for my purposes right now. My local Home Brew shop carries mostly liquid yeast strains, WLP or WYEAST smack packs. Those really are meant for 5 gallon batches. But I'm not at the stage to make starters either, that's why I wasn't so sure about just pitching the WLP029 straight up (as per instructions, I let it sit out & warm to room temp). But anyway, for my Kolsch, 30 +hrs after pitching (no starter), there was definitely a very thick Krausen, just one large layer of foam head (like the head in a glass after pouring a Guinness). I don't know how else to describe, but the Krausen wasn't as light & fluffy as other yeasts- it just seemed much thicker/denser. I went ahead with my Kolsch using 1/2 lb of the light DME & about an oz of Tettnang hops. The aroma when brewing was wonderful, delicious, and light. It's been almost a week & did notice slight Sulfur smell from LBK, which I've read is common, and should go away with conditioning/lagering. The gal at my home brew shop told me to hide a few bottles from myself & try after several months - she said the taste will be quite different! I may start experimenting with partial mash recipes as I think I'll enjoy the added flavors. Right now I'm wanting to get the hang of brewing extracts with some additions & different yeasts/temps. And I want to try some wheat beers & maybe Saison this summer but need to wait for things to warm up. We're having a cooler spring where temps are hovering 60/70s during the day. From what I've read, Saison's love high heat, consistently over 80 degrees! That might have to be a garage brew:)
  5. 1 point
    Hi I new to brewing too but I read that you can condition anywhere between 68 to 80 degrees. I conditioned my first batch at 72 degrees.
  6. 1 point
    @Nickfixit has never sent me beer, nor have I sent some to him. This needs to change. Please accept my Beer peace treaty offering
  7. 1 point
  8. 1 point
    Hey gents, just wanted to introduce myself and share what I have experienced so far. My name is Jesse and I received my Mr.Beer Kit from Santa this past Christmas. - I knew we were going to be moving at the end of January, beginning of February so I did not want to start right away. I Started my first batch ( Classic American Light) February 13. - I am sure I am not the first, but even after reading, re-reading, and reading instructions again, I felt like I was messing up every step along the way. - The spigot, I do believe has given me the most problems, I had to retest it for leaks 3 different times because I just couldn't seem to get it tight enough. - Not sure if it matters, but I feel like I let my wort sit for too long before adding it to my LBK. It looked like it was starting to clump up, but spread back out after mixing it again. - I do think I messed up by not having refrigerated water to top off the LBK. I just used the cold water out of the faucet. - After adding everything and screwing on the lid, the stick on thermometer it came with took a few hours to turn into a check mark. I bought a 2nd thermometer to set in the box with the LBK which has been right at 70 the whole time. - 2 days later, my spigot seems to be properly holding, temperature is holding at 70, but for some reason I still feel like I've done something wrong. Probably just Newbie Jitters. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated, it looks like March 6 is my bottling date. Please share any suggestions
  9. 1 point
    Your question has no right answer, because it depends on consumption. I know someone that brews every weekend, because he drinks 4-6 beers per day. I drink 4-6 beers per week... By the way, just because you want 5 gallons doesn't mean you can't use the LBKs. I brew 5 gallons and put 2.5 gallons in each LBK. 1/2 the weight to carry. As someone once told me, you can ferment in the back of a toilet. Make your schedule easier, eliminate the "condition step". Just go 4 - 6 weeks from bottling for both carbonating and conditioning. From a standard Mr. Beer recipe, if you cold crash, you will get around 20 - 22 12 oz bottles at most. 2.13 gallons = 272.64 oz / 12 = 22.72, minus the trub. You have to figure out your consumption, then figure out how the brewing cycle fits into that. At first, you'll be scrambling for bottles. You'll be drinking at 4 weeks instead of going 6 weeks or longer. You'll put beer in the fridge at 4 weeks, then at 6 weeks pulling out 3 bottles that you haven't drank yet and putting in 3 bottles that have aged 2 more weeks at room temp. Then, as you build your pipeline you won't worry about anything. If you're using glass flip top bottles (don't use screw top), and you're in a state with a deposit law, run an ad in Craigslist offering to meet people in the grocery store parking lot and buy their bottles from them, a case or more only (to make the trip worth it). They don't have to stand at the stupid machine, and you get 24 bottles for minimal cost. I initially bought more PET bottles, then switched to glass and a bench capper, and got many cases of bottles from Craigslist. In fact, last year I ended up returning a bunch of the ones I hadn't yet prepped to the store for deposit as I was never going to use them. At one point, I had 15 different beers in the frig with a total of around 24 cases made. I'm down to around 10 cases now, and not brewing because the inventory is getting old. And, I have enough bottles - glass and PET - to have 29 cases of beer. Oh, and this is what a pipeline looks like...
  10. 1 point
    If you want to be obsessive. If you want to freak out I suggest trying the following. If course this is assuming you already read the directions three times. Compared the directions against those printed on the label. And have finally gotten yourself mentally prepared and ready to begin. DO IT! BREW LIKE YOU'VE BEEN THERE BEFORE! Now for the obsessive part. Sit down and write notes to yourself. List everything you thought you were doing wrong. List everything you KNOW you did wrong (you forgot to sanitize your thermometer when you checked the wort before pitching your yeast). Document the wort temperature when you pitched the yeast (maybe you forgot you wanted to do that. Add that to your list of mistakes.) Document the room temperature where you placed your LBK to perv on. Document any times you were distracted by your wife, your kids, your dog wanting to be let out, your cat knocking your spoon off the counter, that phone call from Mom... Then pour yourself a glass of your favorite brew and move your chair closer to the LBK so you can get a better look, you perv, Why? Because, the next time you brew that recipe all of those factors will be different. Your knowledge of the process will be better. The yeast will react differently. Etc. Your goals are to make a better tasting brew than the first, to make a brew that tastes as great as the one your buddies consumed watching the game. Try to recreate that mistake riddled, overheated, oxygenated, skunked brew your family loved and gave a name to as they dreamed about your future brew pub. Laugh obsessively about how you acted when you first gave yourself to this addiction.
  11. 1 point
    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).
  12. 1 point
    All hail the mighty beer nong.3 cheers
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