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Everything posted by btomlin75

  1. When in doubt, CLEAN CLEAN and CLEAN again. There is nothing worse than taking the time to brew a good beer then having it go bad due to an infection. Home brewing requires more care because there are a lot more chances for contamination.
  2. If you do not think that water makes a difference drink a Red Stripe here in the states versus a Red Stripe in Jamaca, they taste different. The main culpret are the things used to treat tap water, chlorine products, flourides etc. Some areas have higher concentrations of iron or sulfur or other things that have a distinct flavor or smell. If you are unsure about your tap water try makeing 2 batchs of the same brew, one with tap water and one with bottled or filtered water. If you or your friends can taste a difference then you will have to choose which water to use, if you can't taste any difference then save money and use the tape water. I filter my tap water because I merely need to get the clorine out so that I don't bleach my beer.
  3. Glad to hear the brews are conditioning well. Enjoy them if they are ready. If the temp will be stable you might consider saving one as a homecoming brew. They keep pretty well.
  4. I have used both and the 3 gallon works well but the slimline has some advantages. 1. it is lighter, 2. it is easier move to a frige if you want to cold crash, 3. you can bottle sraight from the slimline, 4. its easier to transfer if you batch prime. I use an air lock for both but just prefer the ease of the slimline.
  5. Carbination and aging will have an affect on the bitterness by reducing it. The best thing to do is bottle it, ship it to me and I will let it sit for a few weeks or a few months ad test it a few times to determine how much of the bitterness has faded. Bottle, let it sit and then enjoy.
  6. Like Yankeedag said the yeast will handle the extra sugar. The bigger question is how much is too much yeast. Just as different strains of yeast have different characteristics, pitching rates, temps and available nutrients can change the taste, texture and consistency of the finished beer. Overpitching (too much yeast) rarely if ever ruins a batch but it does change the final product.
  7. 60 on the last birthday I celebrated. But I decided to stop counting birthdays and start counting brew days until the brew days catch up.
  8. like yankeedag said cover it and wait a week or so. Could very well be salvagable. But it does look painful and I have suffered that same pain and worry with a MB set up, the lid stayed on but there was krausen everywhere.
  9. "break it down" means to put it in smaller containers. 3.3 pounds of LME is a large amount for a MB size fermentation. Easiest thing to do is to measure our a pound or so which is close to a MB can of UHE. Once you have removed what you want pour enough vodka into the can to cover the surface of the remaining LME and tightly cover the top. The vodka will not affect the LME but will keep oxygen from getting to the LME. If you have a means to vacumn seal the remaining LME you can do that to avoid oxidation of the LME.
  10. More info is needed. What beer, fermentation temp and a better description of sour. Some brews take a while to clear and some never clear completely. The sour taste is more of a worry, is it really sour or is it flat hoppy beer?
  11. Pure cane sugar is great for priming. There is a very slight variation in the amount you use but if you bottle prime it is not a factor in anything smaller than a 1 liter bottle. I have used it in some brews and I can't tell any difference.
  12. Carbing is somewhat different than fermenting. The sugar that you put in the bottle is quickly consumed and the head space is quickly filled with CO2, assuming that you sanitized you bottles properly, nasties have no opportunity to grow. As to the info that your LHBS guy gave you, it is what you do for batch priming. Do a search on the board for "batch priming" and you will find a lot of info on why and how to batch prime.
  13. Wonderful to get excited but you might want to take a breath and take a moment to be sure that you have your basic brewing skill down before you get too carried away. Beer is best when savored and brewing is best when done consistently. Have fun and enjoy.
  14. Screwy Brewer is right as usual. Temperature consistency is very important. Yeast like consistency as much as they hate temperature extremes. Most ale yeast function well into the low 60s and some work well down to the mid 50s. There have been some good podcast from Brewsmith and the Brewing Network lately on yeast properties and fermentation temps. Keep your temps consistent and ere to the cool side rather than the high side for best results.
  15. I don't use Oxi-Clean but lots of people do. The main thing is to clean the keg with non-abrasive methods. Plastics scratch, scratches harbor germs and germs love to grow in wort(imagine the keg full of wort as a giant pietre dish just waiting to incubate germs). I always run sanitizer through the keg after I clean it just kill any germs.
  16. Start off with several batches using just what comes in the kit. Good beer requires good hygiene and consistency. The temptation to experiment is strong but it is much better to develop good brewing habits first. Having said that, most people won the board will tell you that the instructions for 7 days in the fermenter, 7 day carbing and 7 days conditioning should read 14-14-14 as minimum. Have fun, enjoy and ask questions because life is too short to drink bad beer.
  17. Welcome to brewing. Hope that you have some patience in addition to loving beer because good beer takes more a week or two. Remember to keep good notes, follow the sanitizing instructions and keep your fermenting temp stable. I live in Mobile so that is close. I know that there is a brew store somewhere on East 9 Mile but I have not been in there. Local supply stores can be helpful or they can be arrogant(some brew store owners frown on extract brewers) but they do carry bottles and supplies. Have fun and enjoy.
  18. If you have a LHBS use them as well the ones above. The info that you can gleen from the other local brewers is invaluable.
  19. Taste the brew, sweet taste. leave it in and check a day later. Flat beer taste bottle the stuff. Next time yo sou order stuff get a hydrometer, taking a taste is always recommended and lets you know what the beer taste like, but having a hydometer reading helps.
  20. Taste it, if it taste like flat beer, then bottle it. 3 weeks should be enough time for Czech pilsner standard. Cold crashing will help with final clarity but is not a required action. Prime and bottle the brew. Carb and condition for a minimum of 4 weeks, if you can leave some for 4 to 6 months, you will find it ages well. Next order buy a hydrometer and take readings to know when the brew is done.
  21. If you used the PET bottles be sure the caps are on thight. Check them and check them again. You might also give the bottles a shake to get the sugar off of the bottom(not a lot of shaking).
  22. Did one very similar last year, only added the coffee as a part of batch priming (coffee was a near french roast, cold brewed). The brew tasted very good after 4 weeks in the bottle but make sure that you keep a few for 5 or 6 months and they will be even better.
  23. A good brew that gets better with time.
  24. You can ...but: loss of carbonation, loss of flavor and oxygenation rob you of good beer. Start collecting glass 12 oz bottles and get a capper or just buy 12 oz PET on line or at a LHBS. Down the road you can look into small keg systems where they use co2 to push the beer out.
  25. There have been other threads noting LHBS people that took a dim view on MB brewers. Just look on their shelves and you will find HME and UME. The cans will be bigger and the names will different but they amount to extract brewing. It's the snobbish LHBS people that loose business and hurt themselves. The only question that my LHBS guy asked me was why I didn't move up to all grain and 5 gal brewing, he actually enjoyed the MB that I brewed. I buy most of my non-hopped stuff from the local store because they are helpful.
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