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Everything posted by otg

  1. Is Kenny back? Personally, I don't think that the widely written about "MB twang" can be called sweet and yeasty. Obviously, Docpd is correct that there is not a consensus here about what exactly the Mr. Beer taste is. What sense in arguing about what is in all probability two entirely different things?
  2. otg

    spruce beer

    Hmm. Ever prowling, never posting..... My first impression of this beer was, meh. It is aging very nicely though. In the three weeks since I opened the first, it has really begun to develop some nice character. The spruce is much more noticeable, and provides a very refreshing accent. I am going to try this again next year in a lighter beer. This one attenuated rather poorly, I am guessing as a result of some temperature control problems. The temp in the small MB fermenter can fluctuate fairly rapidly, and I was up to 75* at times, then down to 66*-68* after putting it into the fridge to cool down. Used the US-05 yeast, which normally attenuates pretty well. The beer wound up with a 4.3% ABV, which actually makes it a nice summer refresher, but I wouldn't call it a session beer. All in all, I'd call it a success. I do think it would be better in a paler ale though, where the spruce is not so overpowered by the darker malts.
  3. QBrew gives you a recipe gravity of 1.083 IBU's 47 (default A.A.%) ABV 8.1%
  4. otg

    spruce beer

    This was bottled on 06/04. First tasting on 06/25.
  5. I could be wrong, but I think that would be largely dependant on how long it spent in primary, and if your hydrometer readings were stable before racking. Everything I've read says that while fermentation can continue in secondary, it is usually minimal to none, the main purpose being for the yeast to "clean up after the party".
  6. I am planning on doing a jalepeno beer this weekend. I am going to boil 2 jalepenos in my wort for 20 minutes then remove it. I want the flavor from the jalepeno but not the heat. I did a jalapeno beer recently. Cut and seeded four jalapeno's, and lightly roasted them on the grill, then added to wort after krausen started to fall. Bottled a little after a week later. Beer had very noticable roast pepper flavor, and little to no heat, which was just the opposite of what I was looking for, but still a good beer (and popular with friends and family). As to the Cave Creek Chili beer; I've noticed that the larger the pepper, the zippier the beer. I've been known to pick and choose bottles from several six packs to get the spiciest beer. :dry: I guess I won't need to anymore since I'm now brewing my own. Am planning on a habanero beer within the next few days.
  7. otg


    Store bought (29 cents per gallon) reverse osmosis filtered water, or spring water for extract brewing, 1/2 r/o filtered water, 1/2 well water for mashes. Our water is very hard, but tastes good. Mixing it seems to work nicely for proper ph.
  8. My understanding is that buckets that are not rated as food safe have chemicals in the plastic that can leach into your beer, especially given the acidic nature of beer wort. I don't know if they can affect your health, but they can influence the flavor of your beer.
  9. "Well why do you even need to drink beer" conversation....I wish I could tell her its so I can tolerate her but instead I usually tell her im stressed at work and need a fun hobby. :laugh: You almost made me spit my beer! :laugh: Good luck, I hope it works for you. Why can't you make beer? I guess I'll have to look through your posts. :party:
  10. Definitely do NOT try and filter when bottling. The big breweries do that under very controlled and expensive oxygen free environments. The biggest bottling no no you can commit (other than dirty equipment), is oxygenating the beer. I mentioned on another thread that I don't think aerating before fermenting temps are reached is a huge deal, but aerating after fermenting IS, according to every source I've read. I take their word for it. Welcome aboard, and remember the credo: Relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew. :party:
  11. I was very pleased and surprised to have a similarly high efficiency with my last couple of all grain beers. I've never tried to determine my brewhouse efficiency with a mini mash though, although I guess you can since you know to expect a 44 point figure for your extract. How did you sparge?
  12. I'm curious about how you came up with your grain amounts, i.e. 12 ounces of this, 10 ounces of that. Not in any way being critical, I am just wondering if there is a method to the madness. Going off a recipe? Just experimenting? I'm only 26 brews in, and with an infinite number of recipe permutations possible, I wonder if I'll ever experience half the possibilities.
  13. Dirk Diggler (I can't type that without cringing) is right. The iodine will basically stay the same color it was coming out of the bottle if your conversion is complete.
  14. otg

    spruce beer

    On the unusual ingredient front, I'm making the Kumdis Island Spruce Beer from "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, 3rd edition". The recipe couldn't possibly be simpler (I've scaled it down for a MB fermenter): 3.3 lbs. Briess CBW traditional dark malt extract syrup 2 oz. spruce tips (new green growth of spruce trees) 1 oz. Hallertauer hop pellets (I'm adding a 1/2 oz. spalt as well to acheive the called for 5 HBU's) American ale style yeast (using Safale us-05). Has anyone done a spruce or spruce essence beer? I'm very curious to know what to expect.
  15. I only used the included yeast with my first batch, and have upped the hops and used steeping grains, although I haven't used MB extract with a mini-mash. Wish I could say otherwise.
  16. More than one of the brewing books I've read has guided extract brewers to pour in hot or warm wort to cold water as you describe. I'm thinking that it's not that big a deal. As to straining the hops, my first couple of mini-mashes were strained similarly (and hot), and I never noticed an issue with them. I could be subject to correction, but my impression is that oxygenation is more of a long term than short term issue. If the beer is being consumed fairly soon after conditioning, I'm not sure that it is a great concern. As to the twang, I have been hesitant to say it, but from what I can tell, that is a product of the Mr. Beer extract. It has been very pronounced in every MB beer I've made, and non existent in every other beer, even though my procedures are largely the same. At first I thought it was the result of using booster, but the last MB beers I've made had the same character with no added sugars of any sort. I hate to say that, because I wouldn't be brewing if I hadn't started with the MB kit, but there it is.
  17. You never know. If you ask the sushi chef there, he may be willing to share their method. It sounds like a great experiment.
  18. Grocery stores do not generally sell brewers yeast. Don't use bakers yeast for your beer if you want to actually drink it.
  19. Look in your yellow pages for brewing supplies, and/or do a web search for homebrewing supply places. That's how I found the two places near me that sell extracts, yeast, equipment, etc. There are also a lot of online sources for yeast, including the Mr. Beer website. If you buy a dry yeast, they usually come in 11.5 gram packets. One half the packet is ample for a MB sized batch, but most sources recommend you use the rest of the yeast within a week or two once opened. In any event, you can use the entire packet without harm to your beer. Likewise with liquid yeasts, but using an entire vial or slap pack on a 2 gallon batch seems like a bit of a waste to me, unless you plan on harvesting the yeast and propogating it for more batches.
  20. I'm not familiar with the Caramel Pils; I assumed it was carapils until I saw that you had that included later in your grain bill. I have found that a little bit of caramel/crystal malt can go a long way though, so my only suggestion would be to tone down the caramel/crystal malts a bit (unless you've already used them in these quantities and were happy with the results). My first mini-mash and all grain brews were heavy on those malts (around 20% of grain bill) with less than desirable results. Have fun, I'm doing all grain with all my five gallon batches now, it's a nice way to pass the time. :cheers:
  21. The last suggestion shouldn't be "or" it should be "then". Always clean your bottles first and then use the One Step Sanitizer. You can't use One Step to wash the bottles. Cleaning your keg, bottles and utensils is a two step process. Wash with an unscented cleaner (like OxyClean Free) and then sanitize with One Step afterwards. With all due respect, my reply was NOT mistated. Daga68 asked about sanitizing, not cleaning. I prefer to give people credit for being smart enough to know that those are two seperate and distinct procedures.
  22. What I want to know is where you found Strisselspalt hops.
  23. Are you using the MB fermenter? I've found a pound of crystal malt, six pounds DME, along with a pound or two of mashed base malt in a five gallon batch has VERY pronounced caramel character, and darkens a brew considerably if the caramel/crystal malt is over 20*L. My preferred brew is a pale ale or IPA. Although the character is not bad, it is definitely not what I desired. I have done a couple of ambers that were darkened and noticeably flavored by a half pound of crystal in a five gallon batch. I would advise caution if you have not used a lot of crystal malt before. You may find you like the character it imparts, but if you study a lot of recipes and clone books, you will find that it is usually not used in proportions of over 12 ounces for a five gallon batch.
  24. One ounce regular unscented bleach in four gallons water. Immerse bottles for ten minutes or so and rinse well in hot tap water; OR, place bottles on oven rack and keep at over 200* for half an hour or so, OR, fill to top with One Step solution for at least ten minutes (immerse caps in one step as well, or if standard caps, i.e. non oxygen absorbing, they can be boiled.)
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