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About Neldred

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. Belgian candi sugar is an invert sugar, and it's usually used for adding a subtle rummy type flavor to the fermentation and increasing alcohol. It's not just boiled sugar, you have to boil sugar with ascorbic acid or cream of tar tar for at least 30 minutes. But I'm not sure I would use that for batch conditioning, it would be a big waste of time. Just use table sugar, corn sugar, or DME for batch conditioning. The very quick boiling is just to sterilize. Here is a good thread to read: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/priming-lme-corn-sugar-17069/
  2. Davjohn wrote: Dumb question, but isn't that what the muslin sacks are for? Pureed fruit will go right through a muslin sack or nylon sack. I would just rack to a secondary MB fermenter or carboy.
  3. If you want to steep you should read this http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/can-only-certain-grains-steeped-103379/
  4. Steeping grains in combination with extract has won countless awards in beer competitions. Some guys who have been brewing for 15+ years that I talk to say that they have tried to make big name craft brew clones and all grain is not as close many times as extract with steeping. Most longtime brewers recommend this as a good intermediate step between all extract no boil kits and full all grain. I personally just got all the gear to do that and move up to 5 gallon batches so I'm excited to start moving in that direction. I'm going to do an Anchor Steam and Pilsner Urquell clone first.
  5. Again, I didn't add any hops, and the head amount and head retention on my WM is A++ perfect. It's been that way since week 2 of bottle conditioning.
  6. My first batch was a Witty Monk. It's quite good (after a timely bottle conditioning), but it is very sweet. I wish I had utilized boiling hops in the recipe to balance it (I only used dry hopping which isn't going to do anything for head retention based on my research). I didn't know any better at the time. 7 minutes in itself isn't going to do a lot for hop bitterness (and bitter is a strong finite word depending on how you do things). I would recommend doing an hour boil, with less hops in general, than just 7 minutes of any amount of hops just by itself. Unless you like extremely malty beers, in that case just leave it alone completely and don't waste your money because there is already hops in the HME. If you use some simple noble hops, like Saaz, Styrian Golding, Fuggles (and I consider it noble->) East Kent Goldings then things will be pleasant and balanced. In a 2.13 gallon batch, use about half an ounce of hops and boil along 1 can of UME, or about a pound of DME (anything not hopped). It depends on what you want your ABV to be, you can look on one of the many beer calculators to pin it down precisely. .5 oz (depending on type and alpha acid, the noble types are generally more mellow) will take the IBU to approx 15-25 IBU which is still quite malty.
  7. I think with the simple one HME and booster, it tastes decent. Letting it condition in the bottle about 5-6 weeks @ room temp really goes a long way (time is your friend as a home brewer). The off flavors definitely mellow in general when you wait. The remaining yeast in the bottle will gobble off flavors. I still have some of my first batches in bottles which are now about 14 weeks old, and they taste really nice. Like the others here said, UME really helps, more malt means more quality in my mind. Quality Wyeast or White Labs liquid yeast also is a big upgrade from the stock dry yeast to my taste buds. Bittering and finishing hops can add more complexity brew and balance the sweet taste of the malt.
  8. The only difference between and Ale and a Lager is the yeast. Mr. Beer sells a true Lager because they offer both dry and wet Lager yeast. Lagers are less forgiving and more complicated to make than an Ale because you have to ferment at a lower than room temperature (and higher than a regular fridge temp, meaning you either have to have a special fridge or put your fridge higher). If you live in cold areas and your basement is around 50 F then you can get away with it, but if you get a hot snap it could ruin the beer.
  9. I'm doing a batch right now with 1 St. Patricks (added after boil) 2 cans creamy brown UME (boiled with one, added 1 after boil) 1/3 oz (9 grams) Northern Brewer hops (hour boil) 1/3 oz (9 grams) Glacier hops (10 min boil) Liquid MB/Wyeast "stout" type OG @ 60F 1.058 It definitely smells and tastes much sweeter than Guiness even with the hops I've added, so we'll see after it bottle conditions for a few weeks or more to see if it comes together.
  10. Pilsner Urquell boils for 2 hours!!
  11. mcgrewc wrote: A rule of thumb goes like this. 30 min+ bittering 15 min or less flavor 5 min or dry hopping aroma +1 Also, make sure you add any and all hopped malt after the boil is over.
  12. esheppy wrote: Yes, that is based on regular table sugar, but it has been generally acknowledged here that Mr. Beer suggested amounts are on the high side, and I think that the difference will actually put you in a pretty good spot. +1 I use about 75% the recommended MB amount and the head amount turns out perfect.
  13. I've got 5 groups of bottles conditioning right now (although the older ones are almost gone). In the fermenter right now is 1. Stout (St.Patricks, 2 cans CB UME, Northern Brewer bittering and Clacier finishing hops) 2. Hybrid high ABV Amber (1 can Vienna Octoberfest, 1 can West Coast PA, 2 cans Light UME, 1 lb clear Candi sugar, 1 can Oregon Figs, hallertau bittering, fuggle and saaz finishing)
  14. Thanks. The boil for the hops were short, with a small amount so there isn't much hop influnce, probably around 15 IBU. Maybe it just needs to condition a bit.
  15. This batch had 1 can Whispering Wheat Weizen 1 can Golden Wheat UME 1 can Mellow Amber Argentine & Cascade hops (partial boil, partial dry) With the MB/Wyeast liquid Wheat yeast So with all these wheat-y ingredients and the right yeast, I expected the typical lemony/sour (but pleasing) taste that it is supposed bring, but it's just not there. I fermented @ 71-72 degrees for 3.5 weeks. Batch conditioned, bottled, and tasted after 1 week. It's not a bad tasting beer, but just tastes like a plain light amber ale. Is it just because the beer is still green?
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