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Jimbob

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About Jimbob

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. InsaneDragun wrote: You could also try Saflager W-34/70. I believe that is the one they use to make "Steam beer". That way you can use a lager yeast even if you can't quite keep it low enough to make a true lager. Someone please correct me if I'm thinking of the wrong strain. The W-34/70 is actually the Weihenstephaner strain from Germany... a wonderful, clean true lager yeast. Optimal fermentation temp = 53F. The Saflager S-23 is also a true lager yeast but when fermented in higher temps in the 64~67F range, it will give you a lot of steam beer characteristics. InsaneDragun wrote: You also have quite a bit of hops there. You'll need some bittering hops depending on your ingredients, but the dry-hopping may add too much flavor (it sounds weird even saying that! lol). FWIW, Miller Light uses a dry hop addition... multiple award-winning BMC clone recipes out there use dry hops... some of them even use 1/2 oz. of Cascade hops! There are a lot of great suggestions in this thread for the OP... follow any combination of them and good beer will be had by all.
  2. If you really want to make it "BMC-like" in nature, I would recommend using some Rice Syrup Solids for a portion of the fermentables in order to help dry out the finished product. Something like this perhaps: Fill to the bottom of the "Q" on the LBK for a 2.40 gallon batch 1 can Mr. Beer Cowboy Lager 1 lb. Briess Pilsen Light DME 1/2 lb Carapils steeped for ~30 mins. @ 158F or so 1/2 lb. Rice Syrup Solids (something like this 1 oz. Saaz hops for a 35 min. boil 1/2 oz. Saaz hops for the last 5 mins. of the boil 1/2 oz. Saaz hops for a 7~14 day dry hop. Either the Fermentis S-05 yeast that you already discussed, or better yet, the Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast, fermented at the bottom of its range (the Kolsch yeast provides a very light, dry, lager-like finish. Use a 40 min. boil for the extra light DME and hops, add the rice extract for the last 15 mins. of the boil and add the can of Mr. Beer CL at flameout. For a 2.40 gallon batch, this recipe will net you an O.G. 1.047, IBU's = 36, and SRM = 5L with a ABV of 4.6%... pretty spot-on for a BMC.
  3. Got two of them on my brewclub order... what timing.
  4. Mikerobrew wrote: Well the time came for me to sample my pumpkin brew. :woohoo: Wow, this is by far the best beer I have made. I want thank you guys for you help. The recipe Jimbob provided was perfect. This has an unbelievable taste, beautiful red/brown color, and excellent aroma. Smells like fresh pumpkin pie! I have to say, since trying a couple recipes off the mr beer recipe page, I dont think I could ever go back to just a plain brew kit, the difference is phenomenal. My first was Bill's Brew (uses blonde ale), and that was pretty good, but venturing out a little farther in the ingredient world seemed intimidating, but turned out to be a great thing. I guess I need to get crackin' on something new, need something to be ready for turkey day! Glad it turned out well for you and that you are enjoying it. Don't be intimidated by venturing out into the ingredient world... steeping some grains will be great next step for you when you feel like you are ready.
  5. Goin' back to my first reply on the topic... still sayin' that 1 can HME + 1 bag booster + 1 lb. DME without adding some additional hops into the mix = a whole lotta fermentable sugars without a whole lotta hops... i.e.a pretty malty, "hot," unbalanced brew. To each their own, however... brew it up how you think yer gonna like it.
  6. losman26 wrote: I'm going to brew up a standard refill with 1 lb of DME. Should I use or omit the booster? Unless you plan to make a high alcohol brew and boil some extra hops along with the DME, it would be best to use the DME in place of the booster, thus omitting the booster.
  7. Screwy Brewer wrote: Absolutely, that's what they do best. That and make more little yeasties. Exactly! And this extra fermentation from the sugar in the berries is what causes much of the berry flavor to be lost as they are converted to alcohol. Thus, why you "may" want to consider having some blueberry extract on hand to use at bottling time in the event the blueberry presence isn't strong enough to your liking.
  8. yankeedag wrote: might want to consider just using the pumpkin spice vice the actual pumpkin. +1... unless using a very light-SRM base recipe that would benefit from having the reddish hue the pumpkin offers, I only use the pumpkin pie spices. Many of the commercial brewers utilize this as common practice for their fall seasonal / pumpkin beers as well.
  9. Dberei wrote: I've also noticed that the basic kits (wcpa, bra, etc...) have a slight off flavor as well. I always seem to get a bit of a "wine" aftertaste, although very slight. The basic kits, with one can HME and one bag booster will have a similar flavor to them... it is from the booster and higher adjunct to malt ration that results from using the booster with only one can of malt. Some refer to it as a "wine" aftertaste, as you have, and others even sometimes refer to it as a "cidery" flavor.
  10. What process did you use in making this brew? Is there any possibility some portion of the "wort" was exposed to too much aeration while it was still hot (say anything above 130F)? "Hot-side aeration" in brewing will add a lot of different off-flavors, one of the biggest which is known to be a "tin-like" or "metallic" flavor in the final finish on the palate. Aerating the wort prior to pitching the yeast is always a good idea but it's best to ensure any aeration or transferring of wort is done when the wort has cooled to pitching temperatures. This is especially a concern for all-grain and partial mash brewers but it can happen to extract brewers as well... even when following straight up Mr. Beer instructions, it is best to minimize splashing as much as possible when transferring the hot wort into the LBK.
  11. +1 to what most everyone else has said. You will get a little more flavor from the berries added in the secondary than from the early berries. You may even still find you want to add some blueberry extract at bottling time as blueberries especially seem to get lost in the beer... that said, it's a lot easier to impart subtle fruit flavors on a wheat beer than it is a big, heavy, maltier brew. Adding extract at bottling time will require the batch priming method... if you do this already, you're all set. If so, just consider having the blueberry extract on hand so you can give the finished product a quick taste before bottling and determine if it suits your liking. If you want just a touch more blueberry kick, add the extract 0.25~0.5 oz. at a time (for a 2 gallon batch) and give a gentle stir, then recheck the flavor to taste. Also, as already stated, be mindful of sanitary practices. That said, adding a fruit (or anything else) into the secondary is the ideal time to add something as there is already a decent amount of alcohol built up in the brew and this helps ward of most of the potential bad guys. Adding unboiled items into the primary at the same time the yeast is being pitched is the highest risk time in a young beer's life and thus the point where sanitation is of the highest concern.
  12. +1 on mashani's post here... on a Belgian style brew, the funkier the better as far as flavors imparted from the yeast. In Belgium, many of the Abbey's and monasteries ferment their beer in open vats (especially Lambic brews) in the basement and relay on wild yeasts native to the area to do their job... spiders, rodents, bat guano, etc. It's all fair game. This tendency toward wild yeasts even makes it such that there are is only an area as large as a few square miles (measured in tens or less) where some lambics can be reproduced with any regularity.
  13. Screwy Brewer wrote: My only aluminum pot turned black on the inside, not sure how but its impossible to clean..... So I just use all stainless steel pots now. That black color on the inside of the aluminum pot is exactly what you want, A nice heavy oxide layer. It becomes almost impervious to anything. You don't want to try and remove it... that's why "they" say to boil water in it first, or bake it, or whatever... build up that black oxide layer and leave it there!
  14. D Rabbit wrote: Without carapils, flaked barley, other body building grains and the correct yeast you will be left with a thin beer. This isn't entirely true... you can use a highly attenuating yeast and still have plenty of body in a finished product even without those additions if care is taken in how the mash is completed. High attenuation is not synonymous with "thin" or "dry" in all circumstances. When using a higher attenuating strain of yeast, it becomes more important to have a higher amount of proteins in the wort. Proteins help build the body of a beer and also contribute to the "Brussels Lace" that we home brewers adore. Using an initial protein rest at 130~135F for ~20 minutes will help develop these proteins and thus help build the body of the beer. As to your suggestion, yes: The S-04 will attenuate less and thus result in a higher body in the finished product. It will also mask some of the spices added (though it will still make a fine brew). The US-05 also makes a fine porter, however, and is used by many professional brewers throughout the U.S. in making many of the porters that we buy off the store shelves. In fact, other similarly higher-attenuating strains of yeast, such as Wyeast's 1764 - ROGUE Pacman Ale (from Rogue Brewery) and 1450 - Denny's Favorite 50 (from award-winning homebrewer Denny Conn) are commonly used by professional brewers throughout our great land. I think what it really comes down to here is what the desired outcome is. Is it desired to have a true English Style porter with big body and big malty sweetness to match (English Porter as a style is supposed to feel under-attenuated), or is the desire to have a porter that is more American in style... one which has a lower overall malty presence and allows the pumpkin spices to have just a touch more forward presence in the final product? If the latter is the desire, the S-05 used in combination with a protein rest at the beginning of the mash is a great way to accomplish that goal. I've personally used both of these yeasts in various porter recipes as this is one of my most treasured styles of beer. When I'm brewing a pure porter, I like the S-04... when I'm adding anything extra in the way of spices or fruit extracts (made a blueberry porter a few times), I like the cleaner aspects of the S-05.
  15. pdrauch wrote: Haha true, guess I need to find some good beer drinking buddies. Plus I'll have to test the difference between the booster in the standard pack and the Golden Wheat UME, or is it really no comparison and just go with the UME from the start. Ah yeah... anytime there is a choice between booster and 100% malt, I'd take the malt.
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