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About ericg

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  1. I'm with Ryno on this one. pH all by itself won't cause metallic flavors. Iron in your well water sure will though. You can also get these off flavors from your brewpot or metal bottle caps.
  2. ericg

    MB Seasonals

    SenorPepe wrote: When can we get dibs on this Dubbel that's just sitting on the website, mocking me? Soon enough... soon enough. And don't worry, we'll send out an email!
  3. As many of you have pointed out, there is a lot of conflicting information out there about how much yeast you should pitch. Here is a good resource for those of you that are trying to determine how much yeast really needs to be pitched. Obviously it represents just one of the yeast pitching rate philosophies, but for whatever it is worth, I have used it for a while with great results. If you don't want to deal with all that math, here is the basic MB explanation. In general, I believe it is always better to err on the side of pitching more yeast rather than too little. For those of you that are wondering how long you can save your dry yeast, I don't have a real concrete answer for you. It depends on how you store it, and how old it is when it starts out. Because the shelf life is so variable once you open it, I think the best practice is to either pitch it all in one batch (especially if you a brewing a strong batch) or split it between two moderate batches on the same day. If that is not an option, and you HAVE to save it for a later date, I would stash it in the fridge and use it within 1 week, or just throw it away. You can roll the dice if you like, and if you are going longer and have good results, awesome. But that is my recommendation. Cheers! :hammer:
  4. I sent a ridiculously long response to Don's email, but since he posted here I thought I would too. The long and short of it is this: I completely understand if brewers prefer to use one sanitizer over another based on price, the way it is used, or how it performs. But those decisions should be made on facts. Relative to One Step, here are some relevant facts: 1) As Don mentions, One Step is not an EPA approved sanitizer (he said FDA, but they aren't in the business of approving products -- that's the EPA's bag). It is not EPA approved because it has never been submitted. It has never been submitted because the MFG believes it would be too costly. 2) The fact that it has not been registered does not mean that it does not meet the EPA requirements of an effective sanitizer. The EPA says a sanitizer must kill 99.9% (not 99.999% as stated above) of microorganisms with 30 sec contact. I don't know if One Step kills 99.999, 99.9, or just 78.4% of microorgansims with 30 seconds of contact, because it has never been submitted to that test. 3) Mr.Beer has 10 years of positive experience with this product. Personally, I have been using it for at least 3. It's true that some people have had problems using one step, which seem to have cleared up when using star san. It is possible that the chemical is the agent responsible for the improvement, but it is also possible that these folks are just more vigilant and rigorous in their procedures after suffering a couple of bad batches. Whatever the case may be, if you accept these anecdotal evidences, you should really be prepared to accept the anecdotal evidence of those that don't have problems. Some have mentioned that they don't buy the "It's too expensive to certify" line. My only response is that Logic is not the only company that has chosen not to certify. Many brewers use SaniClean (admittedly it is more commonly used in the brewing industry), which is very similar to star san. I've seen various reports from the company which state that they have chosen not to certify because of cost, and others where they say it is because of legal reasons in california. Regardless, it is not approved, but most people agree that it works phenomenally well. So why does One Step get this bad rap? Is it because it truly sucks, or could there be something else? I'd suggest that perhaps... Just PERHAPS, One Step gets a bad rap because it is used by hundreds of thousands of people that have never brewed a batch before in their life. If 2% screw it up, that's still an awful lot of people blaming a perfectly good product for their mistake (or our mistake in explaining the process). All I know is that I was not a Mr.Beer brewer when I started, and I didn't use OneStep, but I DEFINITELY still had problems, using everything from bleach to iodophor to star san. As far as Don's last questions goes, I guess it is too much to ask for a little benefit of the doubt... but, I promise that we aren't intentionally misleading people into thinking One Step is something it isn't. It is not a sanitizer. Period. We use the phrase "sanitizing cleanser" in a couple of places to make sure people know when they're supposed to use it (e.g. during the step labeled "Sanitizing"). Thanks for listening to me rant about this (again). :hammer: EDIT: and yes, this is the short version!
  5. I wouldn't recommend filtering your beer through any of the above mentioned items (or anything similar, for that matter), because you'll wind up aerating the beer as it passes through said filter. If you are worried about this sort of thing, I'd recommend racking to a second vessel and/or cold crashing, OR putting any weird stuff in a muslin or nylon sack and letting it ride through fermentation safely in that. There are other problems associated with both of those solutions, but I think they are less worrisome or problematic than aerating your beer.. :hammer:
  6. Just a reminder guys: if you feel a forum posting is inappropriate or antagonistic (or whatever) please use the "report to moderator" button. Disrespectful replies to these kinds of postings are also not appropriate, unless of course they make reference to Douglas Adams (in which case they are totally appropriate).
  7. No, it doesn't adversely affect the beer. But If you use none, or too little, the proteins don't settle very well. If you use the right amount, they settle like crazy (which is what you want). If you use too much, you still have a little bit better formation of clumps, but they don't settle well. You'll probably have better clarity than if you added nothing, but there's also good chances that you'll carry some big protein chunks into the bottle...
  8. I know it seems weird as they are essentially the same thing, just different forms, but I honestly think that whirlfloc works better. I use half a tablet in 2.5 gallon batches because I'm too lazy to cut it down farther. I'm not sure how well these products work with Mr. Beer ingredients. From what I understand they are primarily used during the cool down part of the brewing process. Basically clumping together proteins and dropping them to the bottom of the brew pot. Then you just leave all that behind when you transfer into the fermenter. Anyone else have any thoughts on that? You're exactly right. Whirlfloc is basically just concentrated carrageenan (which is the part of irish moss that works the magic), so it makes sense that the same amount of whirlfloc would work better. It is important to remember though, that with this stuff more is not necessarily better. So use the recommended amount, no matter which product you choose. Also, you're right to wonder how they work with MB products. They won't do much of anything with most malt extracts, because most of the protein and polyphenols have already been removed. DME will produce a little bit, but if you're just adding a pound or 2 to a batch, I think you'd be wasting your money by adding whirlfloc or irish moss. :hammer:
  9. Obviously, there are lots and lots of ways to do this... and none of them are better than others. It really depends on your setup and the way that works best for you. But, I've got a couple of general comments that might help folks decide the best way for them. 1) There's pretty good reason to believe that your beer will age a little better and faster in bulk than it will when separated into lots and lots of little bottles, so you may find that the same beer will condition a little quicker if you let it age just a little longer before kegging, or age it in a corny WITH LOW PRESSURE (see #2). 2) Pressure and CO2 both inhibit yeast quite a bit, so your beer will condition faster if you let it age without a lot of pressure. That said, here's what I do: I usually let my beer sit in the primary for about 2-3 weeks, then rack it to the keg (if I'm feeling frisky, I'll cold crash first). Plop it in the kegerator for 2-3 weeks at about 12 psi. Enjoy. If the beer is high abv or something like that, I just put 15 psi on it, and plop it in the back of the kegerator and forget about it for a while. The big thing is that I try not to stress about it too much. If a beer is a little green at first, I know it'll be better by the time the keg is empty. . . :chug: Edit: And whether you're aging at 30 psi warm or 12 psi cold, it's probably just about a wash as far as which is better for conditioning. Everything happens faster at warm temps, but the higher pressure probably negates some of that benefit.
  10. That's probably the best policy, Dag. I just realized, if you followed my previous instructions, you'd have dribbling out the top when you turn it over-- even though the spigot was off. I just can't win here, so I'm throwing in the towel. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the corner. :hammer:
  11. Sorry, I meant that if you're looking at the front of the keg and the handle is pointing to the left, it should say off. And if you turn around and the handle is pointing to your left, it should say off. I mean on. Sorry, let me be more clear: If you're looking at the back of the keg and the handle points right it should be on, but if you turn the keg upside down and the handle points to the right it should be off. Again, I apologize for being unclear in my earlier post! Or you could just look at the spigot. If the handle says off, no liquid will flow from it, but if any other word appears in the handle then you're probably dribbling beer on the floor.
  12. Just to chime in. All the spigots are the same. With the handle pointing to the left, the spigot should say "On" and your keg should be draining. With the handle to the left, the spigot should be off, and it should dribble to clear all the liquid from the inner workings. I appreciate all this feedback. Our online survey should be up and running soon, and we'll email links to all of you and post the link here (just in case I wind up in everyone's inbox again).
  13. Any idea when we might be getting those spigots? Mine has not arrived yet. That is up to the USPS now. They are all in the mail.
  14. There's no point in putting tubing around the standard spigot (because it sucks air like the dickens). Truckndad is referring to the spigots mentioned in this thread, not the locking spigots we currently sell. If you have the current locking spigot, you should be able to just jam the want into the spigot directly.
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