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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/17/2018 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
    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.
  4. 11 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.
  5. 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˜€
  6. 9 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
  7. 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
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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
  11. 8 points
    I can't believe 3 pages into this discussion and no one has posted this yet! Thanks for the memories @AnthonyC.
  12. 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.
  13. 7 points
    Write down everything. Write down everything. Write down everything. ๐Ÿ˜€
  14. 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)
  15. 7 points
    Speaking of which, Forum Friends, they are coming. Let's greet them warmly and help them...no matter how many times the questions have been asked and answered. ๐Ÿ˜œ We were all newbies once. I don't know if I'd even still be brewing if it weren't for the great advice I found here.
  16. 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.
  17. 7 points
    Most of those guys don't brew decent beer either. They tend to deflect to their equipment because their product does not speak for itself. In my experience in my brew club the guys more interested in equipment and who's is better don't bring beer to share and when they do it usually isn't that good. Those of us who concentrate conversations on processes are the base that bring beers to share and surprise, it is usually good beer. We also as a club support anybody that brews with Mr. Beer and try to help them through any issues. It is how I started and even though a lot will not admit it, they started the same way too.
  18. 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.
  19. 7 points
    Pull them from the fridge and let them sit at room temp for 3 weeks and they will carb just fine.
  20. 6 points
    Administrators you can choose to remove this post if inappropriate Gentlemen, Here is a recipe for a simple Blueberry Mead that I demonstrated last night for my brew club. Note: if you were to ferment this in one of your LBKs, I would probably not use it again for beer since the aroma will be impossible to remove. Also, you could substitute any flavor of Knudsen Juice for this recipe. Simple Blueberry Mead 1 gallon Batch (finished) Recipe 2 โ€“ 32oz bottles of Knudsen Blueberry Juice 4# - Honey (any variety) 1 โ€“ 5gm pkt of Lalvin 71B yeast 6.25 gm โ€“ Go Ferm Protect 6 gm โ€“ Fermaid O (4 additions of 1.5gm at 24hr, 48hr, 72hr and 1/3 sugar break) Instructions 1. Mix together the juice and honey and mix until honey is completely incorporated 2. Top off with water to 1.25 gallon mark 3. Rehydrate yeast in 125ml (about 4oz) 95 to 105 degree water with Go Ferm dissolved 4. Pitch yeast after rehydration 5. For first 7 days, degas every 12 hours to remove excess carbon dioxide 6. Add 1.5 gm of Fermaid O per schedule above (use Tosna 2.0 to determine actual requirements) be sure to degas prior to this step, you will make a mess otherwise. 7. After approximately 2 to 3 weeks (when gravity is stable) transfer clear mead into a secondary container. 8. At transfer add .38gm of Potassium Metabisulfate and 1/2 tsp of Potassium Sorbate 9. After another 3 to 4 weeks transfer clear mead to a 1 gallon jug and age for another 1 to 3 months. 10. Bottle and then age to your liking. Mead is ready to drink at bottling but benefits from aging from 6 months to a year.
  21. 6 points
    Gentlemen, This mead recently received a bronze medal at a competition. Ciders and meads were combined in the category and it was the only mead to medal.
  22. 6 points
  23. 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
  24. 6 points
    creeps... beer has all the nutrient your body ever will need.they even named a vitamin after it.. vitamin B for Beer. no need to clutter it up with fruit. ive been drinking beer for ages and i'm in the best shape i've ever been in... round.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 6 points
    Lol, I'm on another forum occasionally and for sure there is a segment of AG guys that are all about my equipment is superior to yours type of thing. Those guys are all about bigger and better, shinier more heavy duty bragging stuff. They pretty much dismiss small batch and extract brewers as not being "real brewers." The funny thing is in the same forum there's a tremendously expanding segment of small extract brewers AND a significant group of traditional 3 vessel system guys that are overhauling their system to make it simpler by going to BIAB. I think it's great that you can pick from so many levels to fit your preference, style, capacity, budget, whatever and still produce not only good beer but more importantly "your beer." Each batch you produce has your unique signature on it. That's what craftsmanship is all about, to me anyway.
  28. 6 points
    not only does mr beer make it easy... they are kind enough to provide us a support group. in my entire life i have NEVER stuck with anything for very long. i get bored. i get lazy. i walk away. ive never had any lasting hobby... or anything that gives me a modicum of pleasure.. until i discovered brewing.. and cheap wine making... and mead. where else can you experiment... get as complicated or simple as you want .. and drink your mistakes AND get buzzed while doing it? i just checked.. ive been brewing since 2012! time flies. i have never had a hobby this long.
  29. 6 points
    WOW... I cant believe I have been away for almost an entire year.... anyways.. I am finally getting to brew again. I am going to do the Octoberfest refill again (w/o booster) but this time I am using Safale US-05. I will continue to update this thread Hope everyone has been well this past year and had a good Thanksgiving!
  30. 6 points
    You have a great sense of timing, we just posted a new blog about that: https://www.mrbeer.com/blog/brew-beer-with-coffee/
  31. 6 points
    No, 11g in an LBK is not going to noticeably affect your beer. Yes, Mr. Beer supplies the proper amount of yeast for 2.13 gallons of beer. Yes, you can use an 11g packet of beer in an LBK. The answer isn't the amount of yeast, the answer is the amount of yeast cells. Unless you pull out a microscope and count yeast, you have no idea what number of cells are viable in the yeast you use. I suspect not one person on this forum does this. Most issues with yeast occur in a commercial brewery. Why? Because they have massive fermenters putting enormous weight (liquid wort) on top of a yeast cake, at the bottom of a tall fermenter that likely ends up in a cone. And most commercial breweries use yeast for multiple generations. If they are not careful, they can harvest weak cells that don't do well. With a Mr. Beer fermenter, there is a big surface with all the yeast spread out, and very little weight on it. That's why there's no issue. Here's one article on it - http://brulosophy.com/2016/11/07/yeast-pitch-rate-pt-5-underpitch-vs-overpitch-in-a-lager-exbeeriment-results/ There is a great book on yeast that is for those that are really, really, really into yeast (not me). Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (Brewing Elements) by Chris White and Jamil Zainsheff Chris White owns White Labs, one of the main purveyors of liquid yeast. In fact, there is a whole series of books: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse (Brewing Elements) by John Mallett For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops (Brewing Elements) by Stan Hieronymus
  32. 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
  33. 6 points
    El Gordito Mexican Lager Dead & Berried Saison Winter Dark Ale Cider Refill w Raspberries
  34. 6 points
    I tasted a good many home brews for years, some very good and others not so. Always looked like too much work and waiting. But after 25 years of marriage, my wife ran out of unique gifts, until MB. Small batches easy process and an hour in the kitchen so I gave it a try. My first beer was not great but there was hope and the support of this forum.
  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
    Yeah, I can echo what others have said. Just don't give up. I just brewed up my 20th LBK batch last night, the Dead & Berried Mr Beer recipe. But i added a few things, and I substituted Safale BE134 for the Belle Saison (undecided if I'm a fan of that yeast). Really I believe it boils down to a matter or personal preference/tastes. I tried Safale US-05 on several batches: HME, partial mash, DME, LME & even all grain BIAB. Honestly, I don't like US-05 very much at all. There's some weird cabbage off flavor in my finished beer that I just can't quite describe. And I believe it's possibly my taste buds & olfactory senses, since so many others rave about it & I just don't care for it. So anyway. I've found that that I prefer 04 or even Nottingham. I've tried a few WLP (1272 is pretty good) and WYEAST (American wheat) which aren't bad at all. And I enjoy the WB-06 Wheat yeast (after cold conditioning a Bavarian Hefe a few months, awesome!). I would say this hobby is just as much about experimentation. And since it's 2 gallon batches, it's much easier to go that route & be OK with some not-so-great batches. Trial & error. Sure, I've had a few botched batches here & there (that I'm still drinking by the way) but overall I've had a lot more successes. Whether that's a Mr Beer HME/partial mash, an all extract using DME or LME, or an all grain BIAB. Find what you enjoy & keep doing it until you get it right the way you like it! Read up, borrow some homebrewing books from your local library such as from Papazzian, who if I can remember his quote, basically says you really have to work to screw up a home brew! Enjoy the process, take good notes, pay attention. But most of all, have fun. It's a hobby! Cheers
  37. 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.
  38. 6 points
  39. 6 points
    Kettles are cleaned, pumps and lines are cleaned, plate chiller is cleaned. Fermenters are dirty... well one of the three im using is clean. By sunday ill have 15 gallons brewed up. Two of which are competition beers. Im so excited!!!
  40. 6 points
    TBone, If you pulled the sample from the spigot you need to make sure to sanitize it before pulling anymore of your beer from it. I know it is hard to wait but each of your children (beers) needs to grow up before you can see their full potential. Leave it be for another week, taste a sample at bottling (I always do), but know that sample is very young and not fully developed yet. By the time you are 75 batches in you can tell from this sample how the beer will turn out. Carbonation adds a whole new level of taste and aroma that helps dramatically with the final product. Until you have several beers in your pipeline it can be difficult to be patient. Do yourself a favor and buy a mixed 6 pack of craft beer bottles from your local supermarket or carryout. Drink them while you are waiting and while drinking listen to podcast or read forums to fulfill your brewing addiction. Or if you have the funds, get another LBK and start a second batch. Welcome to the obsession we call brewing, Dawg
  41. 5 points
    I ran across this 2017 Mr Beer article and while there are many hops not on this list, it's a great reference list that might help tickle your thought process when choosing your hops whether your brewing extract or AG. https://www.mrbeer.com/blog/post/aroma-hops-bittering-hops-dual-purpose-hops
  42. 5 points
    Tonight was the big night. Bottled my first attempt. Gonna be a long 4 weeks! Fingers and eyes crossed!
  43. 5 points
    At a temperature in the low 40s fermentation either stopped or never started to begin with. Warm up the keg to 62 to 66 degrees and let it ferment for at least 2 weeks, probably 3 weeks.
  44. 5 points
    Agreed! I brewed my 1st batch 9 years ago today. Had it not been for the help of people here, who knows where I would have been or if I would have even stuck with it.
  45. 5 points
    My two cents: as I navigate throughout this hobby and talk to people about beer and brewing, I find that some newbies don't know the difference between head retention and carbonation. We know that extract brewing makes head retention wane and add Carapils to boost it. The bubbles in the beer make it a carbonated beverage.
  46. 5 points
    I think we can all say now what we entered right???? I did the following: saison beire de garde / assistant brewer-Steve Ristau berliner weiss / assistant brewer-Tom Korder i swear @Bonsai & Brew if i have to go up against your raspberry sour im gonna be pissed
  47. 5 points
    You, sir, are an artist. That looks damn good. It bears a damn fine name, too. I swear I'm going to make a tshirt with that on it! We just graduated the the kids from basic training this afternoon, with the next cycle starting in a mere 10 days. In the interim, I have lots of catching up in all things beer.
  48. 5 points
    I had to revise my schedule today. I received my latest order from MRB. While sorting everything out I dropped a CAL on the floor...which dented the can pretty well. So I moved that to the top of the Brew Queue. One benefit of putting it at the top is that my first batch of WDA I brewed a couple of months ago will have reached minimum conditioning time before I brew the next WDA. So I'll get to taste it and figure how I want to tinker with it...if at all. - CALEX#3 - Tangerously Hoppy IPA - Winter Dark Ale - Redwood Ale - Santa Rita Pale Ale - Crater Stout Then depending on the weather I'll transition to lagers for a couple of months.
  49. 5 points
    I think it's funny how nobody can name just one!
  50. 5 points
    With several Churchill's in inventory, I'm taking a shot at a Belgian Dark Strong Ale: Oxford Quad Churchills Nut Brown Ale, 2.86 lb. Weyermann Light Munich, 0.5 lb. Weyermann Pilsner, 0.5 lb. Mr. Beer Booster, 0.78 lb. Weyermann Melanoidin, 0.2 lb. Weyermann CaraBelge, 0.2 lb. Chateau Special B, 0.2 lb. Fuggle, 0.5 oz., 4.9% AA, 20 min. SafAle BE-256 Belgian Ale yeast Vanilla extract, 0.75 tsp. added following primary fermentation OG was 1.072
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