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  1. 25 points
    Partial Mash Brewing: Are you looking to step up your brewing game with some grains? It's not too difficult and extra grains will add a lot more dimension and complexity to your brews. You will also have more creative control of your recipes which will truly make them your own. Here's a short primer on how grains are used in what's known as "partial mash" brewing. If you're just getting into using grains, this should help you out. If you've been using grains for awhile, perhaps you'll still find some helpful tips here. First, I want to explain the difference between steeping and mashing. From a procedural standpoint, steeping and mashing both involve soaking crushed grains in water. But when mashing, you have a more narrow range of temperatures and grain-to-water ratios to work within. Steeping Grains: You can steep specialty grains at almost any temperature, from the temperature of your water right out of the tap to nearly boiling. To be safe, it’s probably best not to let your steeping temperature climb above 170 F, especially when you’re steeping a small amount of grain in a relatively large volume of water. This may extract excess tannins and give your beer a slight iced-tea-like character. When specialty grains are steeped, the color and flavors from their husks are dissolved into the water. Likewise, any sugars from the interior of the grains are also dissolved. If a grain has a starchy interior, it should be mashed rather than steeped (see list below). Cold Steeping: Another method that is gaining traction for some styles of beer is cold steeping. Roasted grains such as Black Patent or chocolate malt are crushed and then steeped in cold water overnight. This allows the extraction of color and some flavor, but it reduces some of the harsher flavors that may not be appropriate such as tannins, which can create an undesirable astringent or bitter taste in your beer. This method works well with black IPA’s (also known as Cascadian Dark Ales) that want the color, and to a lesser degree the flavor additions, without the burnt acrid flavors that some of the darker roast malts can impart. If the roasted flavor additions are just as important as the color addition, you will need to increase the amount of steeping addition by at least half, if not more. Mashing Grains: Temps and Times: When base grains, or a mixture of base grains and specialty grains, are mashed, the temperature is usually held between 148 F and 165 F. Lower temperatures within this range and longer mash times (60–90 minutes) produce wort with a high degree of fermentability. Higher temperatures within this range and shorter mash times, followed by a mash out, make worts with a lower degree of fermentability. A "mash out" is a step in which the grains are heated, by direct heat or by adding hot water, to 168-170F after the mash. For most mashes with a ratio of 1.5 - 2 quarts of water per pound of grain, the mash out is not needed. (There are more complex mash programs, such as step mashing and decoction, but partial mash recipes rarely call for these. Almost all partial mash recipes call for a single infusion mash.). Grain to Water Ratio: In a mash, the volume of water is limited so that the grains make something similar to a porridge. Generally, the mash thickness varies between 1.0 and 2.5 quarts of water per pound of grain. A mash thickness of 1.25 qts/lb is frequently used in homebrewing as it is fairly thick and therefore you can mash a lot of grains in a relatively small volume. Thinner mashes are often used when the mash needs to be stirred, or for decoction mashing. For most partial mash procedures, anywhere within this range will work. I usually mash at 1.375 qts/lb in a partial mash, because this allows me to stir the grains easily when they are enclosed in a steeping bag. Malts that Should be Mashed (Base Malts): These malts are mostly lightly kilned (with brown malt as an exception), contain starchy interiors and sufficient enzymes to (at a minimum) convert their own starches into sugars. 2-row pale malt - this can come from the US, UK, Scottland, Belgium, Australia or other countries, and may sometimes be labeled with the name of the malting barley variety (Maris Otter, Golden Promise or Optic) 2-row brewers malt 2-row lager malt 6-row pale malt 6-row brewers malt Pilsner malt Vienna malt Munich malt wheat malt rye malt rauchmalz (smoked malt) acidulated malt mild ale malt amber malt brown malt honey malt aromatic/melanoidin biscuit/Victory some dextrin malts Flaked malts such as corn, wheat, rye, barley, rice, rye, etc. must be mashed with an equal amount of 2-row for proper conversion. These grains do not have the enzymes to convert the starches to sugars and will need the 2-row for assistance. Malts That Can be Steeped (Specialty Grains): These malts do not have starchy interiors, either because the starches have been converted to sugars (in the case of stewed malts) or degraded by roasting. These malts can be steeped or mixed with base grains and mashed. Stewed malts - including crystal malts, (most) caramel malts, most Cara [something] malts, including Briess Carapils (but not every dextrin-type malt), Special B malts Roasted malts (and grains) - including black malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, dark wheat malts, Weyermann Carafa malts peat-smoked malt A more complete listing can be found here: http://beersmith.com/grain-list/ Using Grains With Mr. Beer: You don't need a lot of grain to enhance your Mr. Beer recipes. As little as 2-4 oz can make a huge difference in a 2 gallon batch. Most grains that are considered "base malts", such as 2-row and 6-row aren't really needed in our kits because they won't add much to the beer other than a small amount of ABV. There are some exceptions to this such as wheat malt, which can be used as a base malt and as a specialty malt (adds head retention and body when used as a specialty malt). Some of the other base malts that can be used as specialty malts include honey malt, rye malt, rauschmalz, the toasted malts such as Biscuit and Victory, and kilned malts such as Vienna and Munich. Remember that when using any of these malts, they must be mashed rather than steeped. No more than 8 oz should be used in the Mr. Beer kits. Specialty grains such as the "cara" malts (Carapils, Carafoam, Carastan, etc.), dark malts, and crystal malts will not add ABV, but they will add body, flavor, and/or color. The cara malts will add body and some flavor. They will also help with head retention. Dark malts will add mostly color and roasted/chocolate/coffee flavors. Crystal malts will add some color (they range from Crystal 10 - Crystal 120, or from lightest to darkest respectively), but they will also add flavor and sweetness due to the caramelized, unfermentable sugars in the malt (these are also sometimes known as "caramel malts"). All of these grains can be steeped instead of mashed, or they can be mixed with some base grains for mashing. No more than 4 oz of specialty malts are needed for most recipes. Other non-malt adjuncts that are commonly used in addition to barley and wheat grains are oats, corn, and rice. These should make up no more than 10% of your total recipe. The total amount of malts/adjuncts recommended for use in our 2 gallon batches should be no more than 1lb. NOTE: Any flaked ingredient must be mashed with an equal amount of 2-row for proper starch conversion. While our Brewing Extracts make great beer, additional steeping/mashing grains will make it even better. By adding more depth and complexity to your beer using grains, you more creative control of your recipes, and a lot more room to improve or enhance them to your liking. Step-By-Step Partial Mash Instructions: Extra Equipment needed: Bowl for mixing grains. (Not necessary if working with only 1 grain style.) Thermometer (We sell them on our website here: http://www.mrbeer.com/accessories/brewing-utensils/temperature-control) Colander or strainer 1 Cup of water for rinsing grains Scale (Optional. See #2 below.) Brewing: 1. Bring 4-8 cups water to about 150 F. The amount of water will depend on the amount of grains you have and the size of pot you use. It is recommended that you don't use anything larger than 6 qts when doing PM recipes with our kits. You want the water to just cover the grains. If it doesn't, it won't hurt to add more water. 2. While your water is heating up, weigh and mix all of your grains in a bowl (This isn't necessary if working with only 1 grain type) and add to your muslin sack. Do NOT tie the sack too tightly. Try to leave as much space as possible for the grains to move around. NOTE: If you do not have a scale, simply split the grains the best you can. It doesn't have to be perfect. Most recipes will call for 2-4 oz of each grain. Since the bags come in 4 oz, you would simply have to split it in half visually for any recipe calling for 2 oz. 3. Once your water has reached 150 F, add the grain sack. Keep raising the temp until you reach around 160. Try to stay within 155 - 170 for 30 minutes, stirring the bag of grains around every few minutes. Using a lid might help to keep your temps consistent, especially if using gas burners. Going over 170 for too long can cause the malt to release astringent tannin into your beer. 4. After 30 minutes, remove your thermometer, and with a large spoon, carefully lift the grains into a colander or strainer. 5. With 1 cup of hot water (hot from the tap is fine), slowly rinse the grains. Then let them sit for about a minute to drain. Once drained, discard the grains (Or use them for chicken feed, bread, etc.). 6. At this point, you will bring the water to a boil and brew just like a normal Mr. Beer kit: Bring your water to a boil. Add any hops, if called for. Remove from the heat and add your extract. Mix well, add to your fermenter into the 4 liters of water. Top it off to the #2 mark (or 8.5 Liters if using the old LBKs) and stir well. Pitch yeast and wait! Please keep in mind when purchasing grains separately that they DO NOT include muslin sacks. You can purchase them here: http://www.mrbeer.com/muslin-hop-sack Please feel free to point out any errors or typos I may have made. Cheers!
  2. 17 points
    I'm sure some of you have seen the new packaging from this image posted to our Facebook page, and I'm sure some of you wondering what those 2 cans are on the middle left shelf? Well, it's time to reveal the 2 new Craft Refills. Many of you are already aware of the "Churchill's Nut Brown" that is being released soon. But here is the other new Craft Refill, the "Long Play IPA" (aka "LP IPA"). This is much paler than the Diablo, and is very easy drinking. While the malt extract can is the same size as the Diablo, the gravity of the HME is a little lower making this closer to a session IPA. I've already been experimenting with this as a base for other beers, and I'm loving it so far. I think these 2 malts are my current faves because I love browns, and I love IPAs. There is no set date for these to be released yet as we are still waiting on the shipment from Australia. But hopefully they will be released later this Spring or early Summer. Cheers!
  3. 13 points
    I was getting a little disenchanted with my IPA recipes, especially the extract recipes. Every IPA had the same taste. I was blaming the dreaded EXTRACT TWANG enigma. Honestly, I was ready to give up on IPA's. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what was going on. I tweaked the grains, hops, hop schedules, dme/lme, boiled with electric, boiled with gas. It was literally driving me nuts. Just when I was about to give up on my favorite style of beer it hit me! A private conversation that I had with our good ole Jim. I went back into my email archives and there it was. I pm'd Jim about this awhile back, and he was kind enough to respond. Jim simply stated, "It's your water." Doggone if he wasn't 100% right!!! He recommended using either bottled spring water or getting a filtration system. I opted to go bottled, and although I've only tried it with a quick 2g Mr. Beer based IPA, the difference was incredible. I'm confident, thanks to Jim, that I can make brewery quality IPA's now and my heavy-on-the-malts have NEVER tasted better. Wish I had the chance to thank him, but somehow I know that he knows.
  4. 13 points
    my daughter bought me an LBK for christmas. came with the classic light. i just wanted to say i followed all the directions and it turned out FANTASTIC. i include a pic of the finished light. since i have done 3 more ale patches in my LBK with products from the local home brew shop. each batch keeps getting better and better. thanks for all the info i have read on here about the processes and ingredients. it has been SO helpful!!!!! i look forward to many more awesome batches and being part of this community. thanks again!!! i am a home brew junkie now!
  5. 13 points
    Having acquired an Irish Stout and a Classic American Light from a Craigslist sale ($10 for those plus an LBK and 10 bottles), I decided to try a black and tan. I sought the advice of JoshR, the King Solomon of brewing information (ok, so he's not King Solomon, just go with it). Josh gave me guidance on brewing the two beers so that the Tan ended up heavier than the Black (higher FG), so it would be on the bottom. I steeped some grains to turn CAL into something I would not gag on (and raise the OG), used different yeast, and added a pound of LME to both. I also bought The Perfect Black and Tan Layering Tool. Today was D-Day, so I opened one of each and proceeded to fill 1/2 of each glass with the Tan, then use the layering tool to pour the black. The result - 90% mixed together... FAILURE. My son and I sat there drinking them and speculating. Maybe the Black should be on the bottom? Maybe we poured too fast through the tool (shouldn't matter, holes are holes). So for the next round, we filled one glass 1/2 way with Tan, and one 1/2 way with Black, and tried again. This time SUCCESS! The secret was pouring the Tan with a head on it to cushion the Black (I've also read that if the Black is warmer it works better too). Thanks to JoshR for his invaluable contribution to this success (stop bowing, it's Friday, and you work in place with free beer. We hate you).
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.😀
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 10 points
    Some of ya'll might remember me. Some of you might have forgotten me. But regardless your position.....one thing is undeniable. I AM BACK BABY! That's right. I am here. I am back. AND I AM BREWING!!!! Where have I been? Sapporo Tokyo Conrad Pistachio. And few other places here and there and between. But let's not move back. Let's go forward. Except of course in those particular cases where the only forward is by going back. The past - I've got a few brews that well conditioned and are unbelievable right now. My goldings pale, belgian wit, and hallertau special are all phenomenal. The future - I just brewed up a Brown Belgian Explosion. I know there are rules. I broke the rules. I chased the ABV. I went all in. Baltic Porter. Bewitched Amber. Three LME's. (two robust, one smooth.) And booster. T-58.....No shame in the game.... Just drank a biggie of my first quad. It was Belgianny...malty..and exquisite. Round two of the brewing game commences. Never down. Never out.
  12. 10 points
    I'm VERY excited to announce that we now have 11 new hop varieties available (more to come)!! We also got more Mosaic in!! Amarillo = 8 – 11% - Aroma Amarillo has a flowery, grapefruit-like aroma with some tropical notes and a medium bittering value. A great dual-purpose hop for pale ales and IPAs. Apollo = 15 – 21% - Bittering Super high alpha variety from the Hopsteiner breeding program released in 2006. High alpha acid makes it a great bittering hop. Exhibits some citrus and pine notes when used at end of boil. Great bittering hop for pale ales and IPAs Chinook = 12 – 14% - Dual-purpose The high alpha acid content in Chinook hops make them an excellent variety for bittering, but with a piney aroma with notes of grapefruit and spice, it is also a great aroma and flavoring hop. They have a similar fruitiness to other Northwest US hop varieties like Cascade and Centennial, but not as intense. Great for American pale ales and IPAs. Summit = 17 – 19% - Bittering Summit is a very high alpha hop predominantly used for bittering, but it can also be used for bright, citrus aromas and flavors if used late in the boil. With notes of tangerine, orange, and grapefruit, these hops are great for American pale ales and IPAs. Cluster = 5.5 – 8.5% - Dual-purpose Floral, earthy, and slightly fruity, Cluster is one of the oldest hop varieties grown in the US. This dual-purpose hop can be used in many beer styles, but it is most often used in stouts, porters, barleywines, and historical beers. Crystal = 3.5 – 5.5% - Aroma Crystal hops are a very versatile low alpha acid variety that is great in light ales and lagers such as blondes, golden ales, and pale ales, but it can also be used in stouts and porters. It has a combination of woody, green, and some floral notes with some herb and spice character. Ekuanot = 13 – 15.5% - Dual-purpose Formerly called “Equinox”, this very unique hop strain exhibits the flavors and aromas of melon, berry, citrus, pine, and fresh peppers. It’s great in any beer that calls for a pronounced hop flavor such as pale ales, IPAs, sours, and some wheat beers. El Dorado = 14 – 16% - Dual-purpose While the high alpha acid content of this strain makes it great for bittering, the bold, fruity aroma is what explains this hop strain’s recent growth in popularity, especially among IPA lovers. With notes of citrus, apricots, watermelon, and even “Jolly Rancher” candy, this is a very fruity hop for very fruity IPAs, pale ales, and wheat beers. German Bavaria Mandarina = 7 – 10% - Aroma German Bavaria Mandarina is a fairly new hop variety bred in 2012 at the Hop research Institute in Hull, Germany. When used for flavor and aroma, it exhibits strong citrus notes of tangerine, orange, and a hint of pineapple. Fruity and citrusy, it’s a great variety for American IPAs, saisons, sour, and wheat beers. Simcoe = 12 – 14% - Dual-purpose Simcoe is a high alpha bittering hop, but is also used for aroma and flavor. When used late in the boil, this strain exhibits notes of pine and citrus. Great in IPAs or any beer calling for intense hop flavors aromas, or bitterness. Used in pale ales and IPAs. Sorachi Ace = 10 – 16% - Bittering Originally created in Japan in the 1980s for Sapporo Breweries, this unique hop strain is popular for its aromas and flavors of lemon, lime, and dill. It works well in lagers and pale ales, but has also found some recent popularity in IPAs, sours, and farmhouse ales. Get yours HERE!
  13. 10 points
    I'm finally chiming in after just looking around here the past couple weeks...................and holy heck there is a lot of info on this forum!! I recently built a bar in my cellar and figured I needed to make my own beer for when peeps come over. After doing a bunch of research and after receiving a bunch of Amazon gift cards for my birthday I came across this site and now I am hooked. I started with the Diablo IPA and just bottled it last night after a 3 week sit. About a week into it I couldn't take it and had to buy another Mr.Beer keg second hand and started the Pilsner that came in my kit which should be ready to bottle next week. Tonight or tomorrow ill get the Cerveza going after that next a Porter!! This is how it starts right hahaha I figure I'll keep it simple for a bit then maybe get into crazy brews. That's it for now I'm sure I will have a bunch questions. Thanks, Dan
  14. 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.
  15. 9 points
    Tasted the 1st one of these beers and I can say even at 4 weeks that this is one of the best I've made. I'm impressed, this beer is plain ol delicious!
  16. 9 points
    I have been watching and reading all the forums now for 7 weeks - I received my LBK - 7 weeks ago and brewed up the Mexican Aztec. So after reading and following the Beer Gods advice I have left it fermenting for 3 weeks and Carbo / Conditioning for 4 weeks. I have put one bottle in the fridge and have now opened. It is good a bit on the lighter side for me but still very tasty. I am now on my 3rd batch "Yule Time Ale" and thank you Mini Yoda for you input. The second batch I bottled was with a bottle capper and it is Wild Wheat, only on the second week of Carbo / Condition and more in my taste buds liking I hope. So the Ironman brewer is off and running, just like a Ironman race, it doesn't matter how you finish, it only matters that you finished !! Thank you all for the very valuable information that you post - Ironman Brewer
  17. 9 points
    Our newest Brewery Collaboration beer is now available!! It is also our very first Partial Mash Recipe!!! Proceeds from all Sir Kenneth Blonde Ale recipes sold will be donated directly to Paladin Brewery's owner and Brewmaster, John Chandler. John started with a Mr. Beer kit several years ago, and recently decided to open his own brewery. However, he was diagnosed with sinus cancer right before the brewery's opening. Now, Paladin is celebrating their 6-month anniversary, and most importantly, John's health, as he is in remission. This Mr.Beer clone of Paladin's Sir Kenneth Blonde Ale is an American Blonde Ale using hops commonly found in a Bohemian Pilsner. This beer is crisp and clean with a nice, rich malt and spicy hop character. Get yours here for only $29.99: http://www.mrbeer.com/sir-kenneth-blonde-ale-collaboration
  18. 9 points
    Really enjoyed this. Did the 3-4 method -- this one was conditioned for about 31 days, refrigerated for about 6. Poured a solid black with a tan foamy head. Hints of chocolate, barley, a little dark fruit/raisin. I usually use slightly less table sugar than Mr. Beer recommends when bottling, and yet this still came out a little too carbonated for an irish stout. Next time, I'll try using even less sugar. Otherwise, this is very similar to the Winter Dark Ale, so in other words - excellent! Just brewed the Bewitched Amber Ale last night & thinking for next month of upgrading the Centennial Zest Ale recipe I came up with (see signature below) with using 2 oz. of Centennial Hops as opposed to one and Safale US 05 yeast instead of what normally comes with the Mr. Beer refills. Kevin
  19. 9 points
    I'm going to take exception with this comment. This section of the forum is called "New Brewers and FAQs". twadams777 said he tweaked his first brew. You're recommending that's great. I'm going to say it's not - it's a bad idea - as many others have said on the forum over the years. A new brewer needs to learn PROCESS. A new brewer needs to learn what base refills taste like BEFORE tweaking them. This hobby has a huge dropout rate, largely because people get results they don't like, have no idea why they got those results, and quit. Guidelines like 3-4 came about because people weren't allowing enough time for the beer to ferment and/or condition, and got bad results. While I don't have access to Mr. Beer's data, I'll bet that 3-4, along with efforts by contributors to this forum, have decreased the dropout rate. I, and others, strongly recommend that brand new brewers NOT experiment until they know what the effects of those experiments might be. But, it's a free country, so they can do what they want. Recommending to brand new brewers that they should experiment on their first or second batch (and by experiment I mean not even follow a Mr. Beer recipe), is in my opinion, bad advice. Your opinion is clearly different. And I'm sure you'll disagree with my opinion.
  20. 9 points
    Lots of good info in my signature including "New Brewer? Read This. No kidding, READ IT" and "The RIGHT way to brew". I would advise NOT brewing today. Read for a while. There aren't 3 things, there are more... The biggest is 3-4. 3 weeks fermenting, ideally around 65 degrees. 4 weeks carbonating and conditioning in bottles, ideally at 70 or above. More is always better. 3 days in the frig before drinking. Welcome!
  21. 9 points
    So yesterday I decided to brew my first "recipe". Howling Red Ale; I've done three brews before this what could go wrong? Well, heres a rundown....by the end of the process I felt like I should have put on some grease paint, some baggy pants, a rainbow wig and floppy shoes, and tried to sweep up a spot light up with a broom. Truly a comedy of errors. First off, I noticed that my LBK was more than a little funky from the last brew. So I need to clean it. Not thinking at all, I dump in a buttload of pink "Soft Touch Palmalive" and blast away with my high powered sink wand. Tweny minutes later, I'm finally convinced that the keg no longer smells like a stripper pole at Dirty Dan's. So I install the spigot (at least I have properly sanitized this) and much to my future horror leave the valve in the "open" position. Fun times folks, fun times. Now off and away to the brewing, I got my LME, HME, STP, and XYZ's all lined up. Problem is...I can't find my hop pellets. But my dogs have. My wife assures my that although the package was found under the sofa, it has been uncompromised. So, secure in the knowledge that all is right in the brewing universe, I read the directions and promptly put a gallon of spring water to the boil. Not 4 cups but 4 quarts. I was a chef throughout most of the 1990's and I know that you always read the recipe...twice. Doesn't matter, heat water long enough and it will boil, but by then my son has come back with some take out and dumps it all on my prepped counters. Argghh! No problemo, I sanitize again and cuff the young hoodlum smartly about the head and shoulders. You gotta be strong but fair with your parenting. Time to prepare the wort. I pull the pot off the heat, toss the bag of hops into the water and open up the can of HME. As I'm pouring the warm version of adult kool-aid into the water, my wife notes that a chunk of the soggy paper from the HME can has fallen into my pot of nascent wort. Point to remember...remove that label before opening the can. Okay, fish out the paper and continue on to the LME softpack. "Umm...honey have you seen the knife that I sanitized to open this"? "Yeah...I put it away. I didn't want you to cut yourseft". Two options present themselves; teeth or poultry shears. I dump the shears in to the sanitizing solution. Pull em out and they promptly fall apart. Well, in my defense, I can assure you all that I do brush regularly. After finally getting all my ingredients into the pot, I politely allow my better two-thirds to mix thoroughly. Love is all about sharing. Man, that pot is big and hot, then I remember to add the cool water from my fridge into the LBK. Remember a few paragraphs back what I said about the valve postion of the spigot? My lovely wife of twenty seven years sweetly informs me that I'm flooding the countertop. Sweetly translates to the decibel range of about 200. Amazing what can be accomplished in a matter of seconds with a sponge and the glare of a fairly pi**ed off Jamaican woman motivating you. Finally time to pour the wort into the LBK. Hey, I'm a pretty big dude but, it's a heavy stainless steal pot full of molten wort and I'm trying dump it all in without spilling any. Have I already mentioned the efficiency of sponges and Jamaican curses? Works a charm, trust me. Finally, with my Little Brown Dividend full up to the designated level, I decide (wisely) that mebbe, just maybe, it's too hot to pitch the yeast. At least I'm golden here. My culinary experience,along with the tools of my former trade, allow me to let the wort cool to 70 degrees and so, finally (once again opening the packet with teeth) pitch the yeast, cap the barrel and rack the beast. I won't say that I haven't ever cocked up something else in so many ways;however, in some ways home brewing is an intimate and personal endeavor. After reading more than a few posts on this forum, I am humbled by the knowlege and sense of shared pride that it's members demonstrate to each other. And I'm sure you will all agree that despite all the errors and miscalculations, beer is a fairly hearty beast and hopefully this batch will age from a rather ungainly fledgling into a brew that will spread it's wings and soar to the heavens. Or at least straight down into my awaiting gullet. Anyway, if you made it this far, thanks for reading. Best, Zoot
  22. 9 points
    I think I'd rather cook up some thick Apple Wood Smoked bacon and eat it while enjoying a tasty Oatmeal Stout.. But that's just my opinion.
  23. 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
  24. 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!
  25. 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!
  26. 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! 🍻
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 8 points
    Don't worry, guys. There's another hazy on the way. Stay tuned....
  30. 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...
  31. 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-
  32. 8 points
    Ah, tasted a sample of my extra strong Lenten beer (based on. a recipe for the Mr. Beer "German Doppelbock").. I added Mt. Hood Hops, 2 LME Robust, and a "few" boosters.) It was my first time building off a Mr. Beer extract beyond the base recipe. After 6 months of conditioning, at a cool temp in a dark place The brew, which I am calling Parsifaltor, (so called because I was trying to create a err similar to Salvator and the fact that I sang Wagner opera professionally) is smooth, malty, dark, with a slightly sweet aftertaste! And, as to the strength, it settled in. at 11% (thus the "-ator" addition to the name). Following the type, the higher ABV sort of sneaks up on one and no driving will happen after consumption! While I hoped it would be ok, it surpassed all my expectations. A great deal of the success of this quaff is due to the suggestions, recommendations, and warnings from this group! Thanks to all. Pros't!
  33. 8 points
    Hi guys, I’m a brand new home brewer and forum member. My girlfriend knew I’ve been thinking about getting into home brewing as a fun hobby, so she got me a Mr Beer kit for Christmas. I never looked into it that much really, but had thought the idea of it was fun. I opened her up on Christmas Eve and was so excited (especially at how easy the directions made it seem) that I started that night. I love drinking IPAs so she got me the Long Play IPA kit. I read the directions twice and got everything ready, then went through and got the fermentation up and going. I placed the LBK in the hall closet. The home thermostat is in the hallway, and was set at 67 degrees. Ever since I got it set up on Christmas Eve, I’ve been reading on this forum (mainly RickBeers posts). I wish I had found this before I started my first batch, but oh well, I will chalk it up to a learning experience. I ended up getting an ink bird temp controller a few days ago, and plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s that holds 2LBKs this weekend (obviously for my next batch). High krausen was over when I got the ink bird, but I figured I’d try it out before the next batch. After taping the ink bird to the outside of the LBK (below the wort line, and with a folded paper towel on top) I found that my LBK has been fermenting in a steady 70 degrees (I know now that during high krausen it was higher). Kinda disappointing, but glad I’m learning and preparing for my next batch. Today was 18 days of fermenting (which is, I believe, when rick beer usually starts his cold crashing), so I tasted a small amount and it tasted like flat beer, so I took the LBK to my garage fridge and am starting 3 days of cold crashing at 38 degrees. I am tipping the LBK to keep the trub away from the spigot (I also tipped it ever since I read about it, during fermentation a few days after I started). After 3 days cold crashing, I plan on bottling and putting bottles in the closet for 4 weeks (although I am going to take one out at 3 weeks and refrigerate for 3 days just so I can compare the taste). I plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s in two days, so my next batch can be temp controlled during fermentation. I have another Long Play Kit that I am going to do so I can see the difference between temp controlled and my first batch. I plan on setting the inkbird at 65 with a 1 degree differential, and 5 minute compressor delay. I also got an Aztec Mexican Cerveza refill, and will brew that at the same time since the fridge will fit two LBKs. I just want want to say thanks to everyone on the forum. I’ve learned a lot over the last 18 days, and am looking forward to learning more. I want to thank RickBeer specifically. I’ve read a lot of his posts among others for about the first 10 days, but a few days ago, I decided I would religiously go back through ALL of his previous posts, and am currently on page 26 out of 352. I couldn’t thank my girlfriend enough, because I am enjoying this new hobby a lot. She picked out a great kit to get my toes wet in the hobby. I plan on just sticking with Mr Beer as well as to the simple recipes and instructions for the foreseeable future, and won’t get all mad scientist. I’m excited to show my friends this new hobby of mine and sharing my home brew with them, and hopefully teach them what I am learning if they’re so interested. If anyone has any tips or anything else after what I have wrote, feel free to comment. I mainly just wanted to introduce myself since I have been lurking for a few weeks. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how my first batch turns out.
  34. 8 points
    Will be putting brew #7 into the LBK today, May the Schwartz Bier with You. I won't be altering this from the basic formulation with the exception of one packet of booster. I cannot believe I have made quite this much beer since my 1st batch back in the first week of June. So I give a shout out to those who have given me advice, solved my frustrations and helped make each batch better than the last! Pros't!
  35. 8 points
    2 American Lager HMEs (the ale will be too bitter for this recipe) 2 Golden LME Softpack 4 oz Carapils 4 oz Crystal 40 2 oz Aromatic Malt (optional, but recommended if you can get it) 1 packet Fuggles or Goldings hops (add at flameout) Safale S-04 yeast This should get you pretty close. The IBUs will be slightly higher at 21 instead of 19 and the ABV will be around 8.4 instead of 8.2 (though you might get about 8.0-8.2 because my software is always slightly high in the numbers). Brew it as you would the Lock, Stock, and Barrel, with the bourbon and wood, but there will be no hop boil.
  36. 8 points
    I just brewed a Black Beer'd Porter! And this time I added all the water to the batch! LOL! You can see the hop boil portion of the brew here. I printed instructions and checked off steps as I went. I *did* however, drink beer while making beer. :-)
  37. 8 points
    TASTING NOTES FROM THE SONORA SAISON -- The other night I was sitting at the edge of my bed. I was strumming my guitar and singing an outlaw love song. I was thinking about what she was doing. And when she'd be coming back. I heard small knock on the door. My heart slowed. I went and tentatively opened it. There she was. My donkey. She'd come back. And tied around her neck was a little bag. And in the little bag was a bottle. And tied around the bottle was a little note and all it said was "Sonora Saison." I gave her a hug. She brayed. Todos estan bueno. Here are my tasting notes for this beer: Excellent pale gold color. The nose is pleasantly light. I am not familiar with the hop, but it has a mild air and evokes a summertime beer. The first sip brings a sense of belgian-y pepper, and then there is the spicy presence of the habanero. It is is a dominant taste, but not overpowering, if that makes any sense. It is not subtle, but it does not overtake the beer. Behind that there is a light, refreshing, subtle citrus presence. I like this beer a lot. It is definitely a complicated brew. There are elements that make it highly drinkable....the pleasant nose, that light citrus in the background, but the complexity brought by the habanero prevents it from being a beer that is guzzled down. It turns into a light, refreshing, sipping beer. As I continue to sip it and it warms up from refrigirator temps, I am wondering if there is more than just habanero? The habanero flavor is there, but I am getting different heat. Is there ancho there too? I am also, as it warms, digging the aroma more and more. I love the light scent, very mild and pleasant (in a good way) and then as you sip you just get this pepper and spice and heat and a great habanero taste, and then it ends with again this light, sense. I know this is a "saison" but it reminds me much more of almost a re-imagined belgian wit. If I had another one (or two!) I would experiment with adding a lime, corona style, or even an orange slice blue moon style.
  38. 8 points
    3 weeks is a guideline. not a rule. even with a vigorous fermentation, the extra time allows the yeast to clean up potentially off flavored byproducts. it also helps those who do not own a hydrometer to be fairly sure fermentation is completely done. bottling before the yeast are done can make bottle bombs. since your temp was a little high the yeast likely got stressed in the critical first few days of the ferment. stressed yeast produce off flavors. ale yeast tends to produce cidery flavors when warm or hot. it is a chemical compound acetaldehyde. giving the ferment 3 weeks will let the yeast clean up much of this but you still may taste green apples. do not expect great beer your first few times. you will make mistakes. learn from them. think of your first beer as your first child. sometimes kids don't come out perfect but you still love them right? so... even if it comes out tasting like watery apple cider.. enjoy. you made beer. your next will be better. next beer try for temperature control. put the LBK in a cooler. freeze plastic bottles with water. put a digital aquarium thermometer in the cooler. put in one ice bottle. close the lid and watch the temperature inside the cooler. ale yeast like to be around 60-66f. . . usually. if your cooler temp is 64f, the inside lbk temp will be around 70..maybe 74f during peak fermentation. this is fine. monitor and watch how adding different amounts of ice impact temp. . . how long does the cooling last? count on swapping out an ice bottle every 12 hours. you will have some minor fluctuations but it will be fine. know your yeast. some yeast like hot temps. (saison yeast). different yeast make different flavors at different temps. have fun... and welcome.
  39. 8 points
    I got a little bit of guff for using Mr. Beer products as well. The criticism came from the local hobby beer store guy, and not from family. What he failed to see was that thanks to Mr. Beer, he WAS making money off of me! If I needed something in a pinch I would go to him. Also, thanks to Mr. Beer, I have expanded my brewing capabilities & capacity and again this means profit for him. Without Mr. Beer, and their forums (of course!) I would've never embarked on this incredibly rewarding hobby. There is always going to be that one critic of your Mr. Beer brews... He's usually the sober guy sucking down a Mich-Ultra... by himself! Keep brewing, Rick!! ????
  40. 8 points
    Sometimes it's not about saving money. That's not the reason most of us brew. I'm in my third year of growing them. I have Centennial and Cascade. Last year I got a couple pounds of each. This year I'm going to try to make a wet hopped IPA. Harvesting them isn't bad. Pruning scissors and a 5 gallon bucket make it relatively easy. @AnthonyC, I'd say go for it. I do like the suggestion of getting the, started inside and then moving them out. Good luck!
  41. 8 points
    I just started with Mr Beer and have my first three batches fermenting. A CAL, an apple cider and a Aztec. I bought a kit on Groupon and then bought the cider kit off Mr Beer as it was clearances. Then on Craigslist I found someone getting rid of a kit for $5. So first go and I have 6 gallons started just like that. I all looks foamy and nasty like it should. Ha ha I know I am hooked on this now.
  42. 8 points
    If they are bottled in our standard Mr. Beer PET bottles, they have about a year shelf life. If they are in our oxygen barrier PET bottles, they can last for up to 3 years or so. If they are in glass, they will last indefinitely. But most beers peak in flavor after 6 months to a year. After that, they don't improve much (the exceptions would be a barrel aged barleywine, porter, stout, or biere de garde style).
  43. 8 points
    Opened the first bottle from my 1st batch tonight! After spending just 6 days conditioning in my closet I put one of the bottles that didn't get quite full in the fridge. We had some friends over tonight and I wanted to share what I had made. Upon opening there was the nice distinctive hiss that indicated a good carb was attained. On pouring it had a nice head, and nice aroma. Taste however was not quite there. It is still on the green side, , but still, it was palatable with a smooth if somewhat fruity taste. Tho it did have a bit of a bitter after taste. I am pretty sure that after the full 2 weeks of conditioning and a couple days in the fridge it will only get better. But, for what it was it was awesome! A couple of pics of the nice clear Czech Pilsner...My 1st brew!
  44. 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/ Kölsch 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)
  45. 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!
  46. 7 points
    Blondes use a paler malt, no real distinctive taste to good old two row. Its like a blank canvas. I would say straw or biscuit flavored. Very subtle. Theres nothing for the imperfections of brew day and fermenting to hide behind on the CAL or pilsner or blonde. They arent hoppy, they arent malty, theyre just an easy drinking beer. Therfore you have to give them more time to let the flavors find harmony and some other ones subside. stouts for example use roasted malts. Very defined flavors like bitterness of coffee and bitter sweet of chocolate. Things you can pick up and say that tastes like (fill in the blank). Those tastes are stronger on the senses and help cover up off flavors that are common in HME.
  47. 7 points
    Finally i found a pic of me and josh discussing something very important im sure.
  48. 7 points
    It has arrived. Need to get some distilled water to calibrate before taking a gravity reading of my Irish red. Might as well compare the reading to my hydrometer to see if there is a difference. I'm brewing at my cousin's Saturday so I have another opportunity to compare readings.
  49. 7 points
    Possibilities: 1) Try a different deoderant? 2) Wear clothing without vomit on it? 3) Wait until the impression from the object you fell asleep against is not on your face? 4) Avoid public drooling, and zip your pants?
  50. 7 points
    As you get into this hobby, you become obsessed. Obsessed with making beer, obsessed with tasting beer, obsessed with keeping track of everything. You add bottles, you add LBKs, and pretty soon you don't know which end is up. I'm a very organized guy and wasn't going to let things get that crazy (yeah, right). I made a spreadsheet that is ever-evolving, and questions come up now and then that something like this can handle. While I'm not going to share the spreadsheet (I may make millions off it someday), I thought I'd share some of the things it does. Note - I am NOT a spreadsheet expert, this does nothing fancy. It just keeps things organized. I give the details below so that you can see what's possible, and say "yeah, I'm not doing that", so at some point when you do it you can laugh at yourself. FYI - I use a Google calendar for tracking the age of a beer, I put in when I brew it, an entry 18 days later to check FG, then I add an entry when I bottle it and entries for 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks. It's a totally separate calendar (you can have many in Google Calendars) that triggers me to remember things. The Excel workbook contains multiple sheets (this easily allows you to pull data from one sheet to another). Sheet One - Brewed Inventory It is divided into three sections - Drinkable, Undrinkable (also known as Conditioning), and Empty Bottle Inventory. Brewed Inventory includes lines for each batch, for example "Rick's Michigan Red". Within the batch it lists each bottle size I used, and calculates the total ounces. Example: Total Qty Size Total Oz Name 31 12 372.0 Rick's Michigan Red I 1 16.9 16.9 Rick's Michigan Red I (last) 4 16.0 64.0 Rick's Michigan Red I 4 33.8 135.2 Rick's Michigan Red I Total Oz is a calculated field. (last) indicates it's the bottle I hold to compare to future batches (and goes in a separate storage box) I do this for each brew, and on the bottom I total everything up in ounces, and then calculate gallons, 1/2 liter bottles 6 packs, and cases. This quickly shows me how much drinkable beer I have. Underneath that section I calculate the 12 oz equivalent I have of each brew (in this case it would be 49.01 bottles), and calculate that as a percent of the total (in this case 19.86%). I do this so I focus on drinking the beer I have the most of. I also have a box that shows the word REBREW when I hit 18 bottles (=IF((cell<=18),"REBREW",""). I also then show how much I have in fruit beers, Reds, Brown/Porter, Peanut Butter, and Other. And I calculate how many cases to make sure it matches the above number. You can see that summary if you click on the SHOW box in my signature. FYI, if you store beers at multiple locations (i.e. a summer cottage, a relative's house, etc.) you can divide the inventory into location columns and then add it together, this allows you to make sure you have a selection in each place. The middle section of this sheet is called Undrinkable and contains the exact same format as the Rick's Michigan Red section above. That adds up into the same ounces, gallons, 1/2 liter bottles, 6 packs and cases. Right now I have 8.23 cases of beer conditioning. Underneath that I have the number of bottle caps I have not yet used. I subtract the amount I use each batch AND note which batch, so I don't have to say "did I subtract the caps used in Oatmeal Stout"? I did this when I bought 2,000 caps on Ebay for a fraction of the cost at my LHBS (1.5 cents per cap versus 3.13 cents per cap). In a year I've used around 600 caps. The next section is my empty bottle inventory, and shows quantity, size, and ounces like the other sections. As I drink a beer, I deplete the first section by 1 and add 1 to the proper bottle size in this section. All bottles are listed as clean, or to be cleaned (bottles I get from friends for example). I calculate the number of clean cases to see if I can bottle the next batch, and I list underneath it bottles I've given as gifts that have a hope of coming back (versus ones I never expect to see again). On the sheet I have little sections of calculations including the amount of beer in any stage (gallons, 1/2 liters, ...) - that's now 18.51 cases. I also total bottles across all stages (882), by size, and have next to that the actual amount typed in, so if the calculation doesn't add up to the total number I know I've missed something somewhere. I do a physical inventory every few months to true up, usually off by a bottle or two. Sheet Two - Brewing History Much simpler sheet. For each batch I keep the name, the number (last was 69 and 70 - these are batches for LBKs, so a 5 gallon batch counts as 2), the date started, date cold crashed, date bottled, 28 days later (4 weeks conditioning) calories per bottle, OG, FG, temp for each, targeted ABV, actual ABV, cost per 12 pack (to compare to what I'd pay in the store), SRM and IBU, and a list of ingredients for the label. I add each batch as I go and then total the relevant numbers at the bottom. Sheet Three - Unbrewed Inventory Not really used anymore, had my Mr. Beer cans listed with expiration dates. Sheet Four - Recipes I list recipes to compare them, putting each grain in columns, so I can see how 5 stout recipes compare. That's it's only purpose, used infrequently. Sheet Five - Investment Although I track my total expenditures in Quicken, this sheet breaks things down into Equipment, Consumables, and Beer. Equipment is self-explanatory (under $200 so far), consumables includes sanitizer, bottle caps, etc. Beer includes ingredients. I list every one with it's cost, and put Unused next to it and then Used when I use it. This is where I can see my inventory of unused hops, yeast, etc. Sheet Six - Priming Simply lists the name of the batch and how many grams of sugar I used for that batch, and the warmest temp. I use 130 grams for most 5 gallon batches, going as low as 45 grams for a stout. Sheet Seven - To Buy Simply a list of what I want to remember to buy. Sheet Eight - Label Data I pull data from other sheets for my labels (see label pic below). It calculates 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, and 12 weeks (although the label only prints 4, 8, and 12). I then close the spreadsheet and open a Word template that pulls in the data to make the label (see example here: http://community.mrbeer.com/topic/33277-new-brewer-questions-first-batch/#entry409276) So that's it. As you can see, the meat is on the first sheet, and some of the other sheets really don't get used that often. I sometimes forget to add things to the Investment sheet, but can always go back and do it. I put recipes in QBrew, so all that data is in there. I hope this gives others ideas for how they want to track their brewing obsession.
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