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Everything posted by Damehasajojajo

  1. Thanks, guys! I think I'll make a trip to the hardware store to pick up a couple of nylon paint strainer bags -- sounds like it might be the least complicated way...
  2. Thanks for your input, guys. I think I'll go ahead and put in an order to see how it works. Swenocha, I thought the idea of using a half tablet for a MB sized batch was a great idea! Thanks to you too, Kealia!
  3. Hello Everyone, I'm just getting into 5 gallon extract batches and have a question about hop additions during the boil. I'm wondering if you more experienced brewers can comment on the use of muslin hop sacks & nylon bags to contain hop pellets: Do you use multiple muslin hop sacks for pellet hop additions at the various points in the boil? Does doing so decrease their effect as opposed to just tossing them in un-bagged? Do you place a large nylon bag in the brew pot and remove the hop residue all at once at the end of the boil? Do you just toss the hop pellets in and let them dissolve without any kind of bag in the pot and try to leave the sludge in the bottom of the pot by careful pouring? Just looking for some ideas/advice on process. I tried hopping without any kind of bag(s) last time around and it left a lot gunk in suspension when I poured the wort into the primary fermenter.
  4. Hello Everyone, I've been reading about Whirlfloc Tablets lately and am considering using them when I brew 5 gallon batches. The instructions say to use 1 tablet per 5 gallon batch and to add during the last 15 minutes of the boil. Do these instructions assume that most people will only boil about 2.5 gallons of water when doing a 5 gallon batch, and so the tablet will initially be added to only about 2.5 gallons of wort? Also, for those of you who use these products, is there much difference between using Whirlfloc Tablets and Irish Moss? Happy New Year to all!
  5. Thanks, guys -- I guess that was pretty clear cut!
  6. Hello Everyone, As I've been doing more reading on this forum and other sources, the following question has planted itself in my brain: Would there be any taste/quality benefit to boiling a large amount of water (maybe a gallon or so), turning off the heat, stirring in the MB extracts (in a MB recipe that did not call for any other additions), and then resuming the boil for an hour or so? My wife recently bought me a copy of the Papazian & Palmer books for my birthday (she a good woman!), and I noticed that Papazian recommends boiling the extract for at least 45 minutes. Does anyone here do this with MB extracts?
  7. Thanks for the help, guys! Rinsing with One Step was not originally part of the plan, just an extra step to ease my mind. Next time I won't re-rinse, and will invert the bottles more gently to cut down on the foam produced. Thanks again to all!
  8. Hello Everyone, Today I bottled a batch of Bewitched Red Ale with Mellow Amber and used Star San for the first time. I've read the warnings in other posts not to "fear the foam", but was pretty surprised by the amount of foam the product actually produced. I bottle with 12oz long necks and noticed that after I sanitized each of the bottles, there was a solid 3-4 inches of foam left behind after I emptied the sanitizer. I had some extra One Step laying around, and so used it to re-rinse each bottle (didn't want to use tap), which left a little bit of lacing, but not nearly the amount of solid foam that the Star San left. Do I understand correctly that I could have just left the foam in the bottles and filled as usual? It seems at the very least that the wort would push out most of the foam, and I know I've read in other posts that whatever is left behind has no effect on the taste or quality of the final product. Those of you who use SS regularly, do you bottle with your bottles half-full of foam, or do you rinse?
  9. Thanks, Guys! Trubadour, I'll definitely take your advice on squeezing the hop sack - I wouldn't have thought to do that. I'll also head to the store to pickup some rolled oats. Thanks again for your help!
  10. Hello Everyone, I'm planning on brewing The Dubliner this weekend so that it will have plenty of time to come together for St. Patrick's day next March. The recipe calls for oatmeal, and I was wondering if it matters if I use "quick oats" or if I should use regular oatmeal. We have Quaker Quick Oats in the house and I will need to run out at buy the other variety if necessary. Also, does anyone have any words of wisdom for this recipe (or style), in particular?
  11. Thanks for the quick reply, 'Dag. There were slight differences in temperature at bottling time (maybe 6-8 degrees between the two batches), which I thought I accounted for in my priming calculations. Both batches were cold crashed for 24 hours, but I used the temp in my basement and not the fridge to calculate honey amounts. Other than that, I simply followed the MB directions and primed using the same method. Even with the difference in ambient temperature at bottling, I would think that 70g of honey would be enough to achieve a decent level of carbonation, no? I'm wondering if I just goofed up the measurement... Edit: but to answer your question directly, yes, they conditioned at the same temperature
  12. Hello Everyone, Last night I cracked open a couple of brews that I intend to drink next month. The first was the MB Englishman's Nut-Brown Ale with Mellow Amber, which I fermented for two weeks and then bottled six weeks ago. Tasted great with good carbonation. I then tried the MB Christmas Ale, (brewed and bottled a week earlier than the Nut-Brown) which tasted promising, although I think it can use another several weeks to really come together. The problem with the Christmas Ale was the carbonation, which was very low. Interestingly, I batch primed both recipes with honey, 70g for the Christmas Ale and only 52g for the Nut-Brown, but the Christmas Ale still came out under-carbed. Does anyone have any thoughts on what might have happened (aside from my just weighing the honey incorrectly)? Also, am I correct that nothing can be done at this point to help improve the carbonation?
  13. Thanks for the input guys! I'll let everyone know how it works if I decide to take the plunge and buy it (still on the fence)...
  14. Hello Everyone, I am looking at purchasing a wort chiller and wanted to tap the community's collective wisdom regarding model options. My current procedure is to place my 3 quart brew pot (still only brewing MB-sized batches) in an ice bath in the sink, but I'm always worried about water spilling into the wort and contaminating it. I've noticed that most models are for larger sized batches but saw herehere that a smaller version is also available. Does anyone use one of these for MB sized batches? If so, what do you use?
  15. Do you think adding the juice (after a week or so) would help, or would the flavor come mostly from the zest?
  16. Great topic - I've been considering brewing something like this for a while now. I wonder if anyone thinks the orange addition might work well with the MB Witty Monk Witbier, which is itself spiced with orange and corriander (or would that be too much of a good thing?). Also, how many oranges would be appropriate for a MB sized batch? Hope you don't mind these questions in your thread, Header75!
  17. Almost forgot! I'm also looking at MB Winter Dark Lager -- any suggestions there?
  18. Hello Everyone, Looking ahead to my next few brews, I'm considering the following: MB Blueberry Bock MB The Dubliner MB Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Could anyone recommend some yeasts (dry or liquid) that would be appropriate for each (especially The Dubliner)? Lately I'm looking into experimenting with yeasts other that the standard pack that comes under the lid.
  19. An update: 30 hours in, I now see a nice thick layer of krausen. Feeling a little foolish for panicking -- next time I'll wait at least a day or two before getting nervous. Thanks to all who walked me off of the ledge and thanks, olorin, for all your trouble in looking up those yeast reviews!
  20. Thanks, guys. Olorin, yes, I feel pretty good about my aeration of the wort. My process was the same for this batch as for those I've done in the past, which have always produced krausen within 12 hours or so. The difference this time was the use of liquid yeast and the higher pitching temp (which was the result of having to leave the house suddenly to do some unexpected errands). I've just not had a batch take this long to show visible signs of fermentation, but then again, this is only batch number 8 for me - still lots to learn! Also new with this batch is the fact that I'm fermenting on top of the fridge (under a cardboard box). My basement is getting too cold to maintain temps above the lower 60's, and this yeast calls for 70+, which seems to be working on top of the fridge. One thing I did notice today was a little vibration coming from the fridge, which can be seen as disturbing the surface of the wort (very, very slightly). Does anyone know if this would have adverse effects on fermentation? Thanks again to all of you!
  21. Hello Everyone, I have a bit of a situation here. Yesterday a I brewed up a batch of MB Abby Dubbel and for the first time used a liquid yeast, White Labs WLP575 Belgian Ale Blend. The instructions said to pitch between 70-75 degrees and that fermentation should start in 5 - 15 hours. I pitched the entire vial a little high (76/77 degrees) and after 18 hours there is NOTHING going on in the keg. Does anyone have any advice? Should I pitch more yeast? Is it too late to save the batch?
  22. No worries about hijacking, Boredwalk - it's all good information! ... and thanks to all who chimed in!
  23. Hello Everyone, So the wife came home from the store today with a 12 pack of Leinenkugel Octoberfest (a Wisconsin microbrew). We enjoy their beers, but I noticed today that their caps are the twist off variety. Am I correct that these bottles cannot be used for bottle carbing/conditioning? I guess I've graduated to a new level of home brewing assimilation when my first instinct about store-bought beer is to wonder if I can reuse the bottles!
  24. As always, thanks for all of the great information! I think that reusing yeast is a little out of my league for the time being, but it will definitely be on my list of things to do as I get more confidence. The idea of brewing lagers in the winter and ales in the summer is a great idea, and one that I hadn't considered. I think I'll also continue to use the hop sacks for the time being and will likely move my operation upstairs for the winter months unless I start up with some true lagers... Thanks again to all!
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