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Everything posted by SmokingTony

  1. I can see why you wouldn't want to cold crash a stout. My first brew, the Pale Ale, I wish I would've cold crashed. It was a little cloudy and a bit yeasty.
  2. yankeedag wrote: yeah...put a catch pan under it. it contains the mess. Wow, that's just plain ruthless! It looks like you lost half your batch there!
  3. 10 weeks!?! Thats a long time. What do you think is the reason for this? Booster?
  4. GermanyCO wrote: Seem obvious to me... you fermented at 66-68 degrees and your yeast was working hard, now your 6-8 degrees colder and your yeast went to sleep. you should bottle condition at the same temp as you ferment and you wont have flat beer. what about conditioning at a warmer temperature than what you fermented? the yeast wouldn't "go to sleep" due to coldness then, would it?
  5. SenorPepe wrote: Add DME to water, boil until it hits hot break (i.e. it stops trying to evacuate the pot and the foamy stuff dies down), and then turn off the heat and mix in the HMEs. That was my process for my first DME addition. So dissolve Booster, add DME, boil until hot break, then mix in HME. Sounds easy enough. Thanks, Pepe!
  6. GermanyCO wrote: haerbob3 wrote: the best way to use honey to prime is to batch prime. too much hassle to measure it out for each bottle. Plus with it as sticky as sticky as it is you may get inconsistent carbing this doesnt help me at all. thanks for nothing but at least you got one more post. It helps me. Thanks for your input, Haerbob3.
  7. SenorPepe wrote: Trollby wrote: just watch the hot break on the DME +many. If you have not boiled DME yet, and especially if you have a relatively small pot, it will want to boil out of the pot. It will especially take care to do so when you turn around for just a second to wash your hands, sanitize something, etc. Take it off the heat or hit it with a spray of cold water to take it down a bit. This is great advice. Thank you. This will be my first attempt at boiling DME. Do I just mix in the DME after I mix in the HME or do I need to do two separate boils?
  8. RECIPE INCLUDES: 1 Can High Country Canadian Draft HME 1 Can Mellow Amber UME 1 Pouch Booster™ 1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of HME) 1 Packet One-Step™ Sanitizing Cleanser Can I substitute 1# of Amber DME for the 1 can of Mellow Amber UME? It would also be great if anyone who has brewed this could leave some feedback on how their brew came out, especially if they added anything special to the recipe.
  9. my second batch, also bewitched, has been fermenting for about 12 days so far. After 21 days I will stick it in the fridge for a cold crash and then bottle it after two days. during it's cold crash I will also place a couple of CD cases under the front end of the fermenter so that the trub can run to the back of the keg (away from the spigot) and I can get a nice clear beer during bottling. I am learning!
  10. FedoraDave wrote: I agree that matching color to some extent (or going lighter) is the best plan. As it happens, I'm currently drinking a brew I named Red-Headed Stepchild. It's a combination of 1 can Bewitched Red, 1 pound of Amber DME (I forget the manufacturer; either Munton's or Briess, but I don't think it matters a whole lot), and about 1/4 oz of Horizon hops. I happened to have these ingredients lying around and wanted to use them, and my instinct turned out to be correct. Amber DME and Bewitched Red go together very well. The little bit of hops I added helped balance it out, and it's a very good brew that I would certainly consider making again. In general, if you're adding more malt extract to an HME, a little bit of hops boiling will help balance it out, unless you're going for a more malty brew in the first place. This is exactly the kind of thing I want to start doing. I want to use the standard refills and expand upon them by substituting DME for Mr. Beer UME. I don't think there is a more affordable approach to buying Mr. Beer products than Amazon's 4-3 promotion. You can get 12 standard refills for $90 (w/ FREE SHIPPING!) and then with a couple cans of DME you can really build your beer from there.
  11. yankeedag wrote: Just keep it at 2 (x)ME's to 1 Booster, and you should be fine. Sounds simple enough, thank you very much.
  12. would adding the booster to the HME and DME increase ABV as well as fermentation time and conditioning time? i wouldn't want a bunch of unused booster laying around...
  13. I will be purchasing a second brew kit and some variety pack refills, so I will be stocked up with plenty of Bewitched Red, Cowboy Golden Lager, and American Blonde. I would like to start adding DME in order to gain body, flavor, and ABV. I have researched the different types of DMEs and LMEs and I am interested in purchasing a couple of Briess DMEs. I was hoping someone could offer a DME recommendation for the types of Mr. Beer HMEs I mentioned above. I am guessing the sparkling amber or golden wheat DMEs would go well with the Golden Lager and American Blonde. I am under the impression that I would add 1 pound of DME to each 2 gallon batch of Mr. Beer HME and that I can mix and match the different DMEs. Is this correct? Also, does this require the addition of more sugars/yeast? I keep reading the Mr. Beer yeast is weak. I've read the simple guide lines, I just want to be sure I am proceeding in a way that will increase my brew IQ and quality while not spending more than I need to to make good beer. Thanks for hearing me out.
  14. I don't even see variety packs on Mr. Beer's webstore, but in general, the prices on refills are much better on Amazon and Ebay.
  15. Do these refills come in any of the variety packs or do you have to obtain them individually? I've read of people getting the Bock in a variety pack, but not sure about the others. Can anyone clarify?
  16. Although I have only made one batch, I have tried to learn as much as possible through these forums over the past month and my guess is that you should ferment at least another week before bottling. I also assume that you are a strong beer drinker, so low ABV beers don't do much for you. You can increase your ABV by adding more sugar during your fermentation process, but this will add more time. I hope you find your buzz.
  17. I am looking for some clarification on cold crashing. You place the keg in a refrigerator for a few days, then bottle, this I understand. But after bottling, do you bring the bottles back to room temperature for a few weeks then put them back in fridge for cold conditioning?
  18. thanks guys! it does smell pretty good though.
  19. I live in South Texas, so I moved my fermenting keg into an ice chest and threw an ice pack in there. The ice chest smells like beer (good beer). I don't understand why though? Is that just because the airlock is letting air out of the fermenter that smells like beer? There is some water collecting at the bottom of the chest, but it appears to be condensation from the ice pack. I doesn't seem like there is an actual leak on the keg, but during my first batch I kept the keg in the mr beer packaging box and I don't recall ever being able to smell beer, but maybe that's because the box wasn't very air tight so the beer smell was able to escape easily and spread throughout the room making it unnoticeable. Someone please calm my worries.
  20. I added the hot wort to the keg that already had 4 quarts of cool water and then quickly added another quart to fill up the keg. I stirred vigorously and then added my yeast. Do you think the mixture was cooled down enough to add my yeast? I am reading and it seems important to allow the mixture to cool down before adding the yeast. Since it was really just 1 quart of hot wort mixed with 3 quarts of cool water, I imagine the temperature dropped enough that I didn't kill my yeast...but I am worried. Should I be?
  21. Thanks, Dave. Your input is much appreciated. I will follow your advice and try out these brews as is. One thing I know I want to do is make a raspberry wheat beer, so I will try that out when I purchase the international mix pack that comes with the wheat beer. I will also likely try to do something with the Canadian draft since I have heard and expect weak things. The vienna lager sounds good as is. One last question, are the mix packs different each time? I was hoping for the bock beer.
  22. I am looking for tips such as adding honey, fruits, or other sugars to each specific brew
  23. I just received my first variety pack that includes the bewitched red ale, cowboy golden lager, and the classic blonde ale. Does anyone have any tips for these specific brews? I just did the west coast pale ale with a five week brewing period (2-2-1) and it came out way better than I expected. I am hooked.
  24. Thanks for your input. Those are some really helpful tips. The ice chest with the frozen bottles of water sounds like a good plan and seems like it will also prevent any messy spills in case of a spill over. I will invest in that for my future brews, and I will be patient with this first batch and see how well it comes out despite the high temps. Thanks again for your input, it is really appreciated.
  25. Hi, I just finished bottling my first batch of Mr. Beer. It was the West Coast Pale Ale. I have two questions that I hope some of you seasoned brewers can answer for me. 1.) I fermented the beer in the keg at room temperature for 15 days, which I believe is ample time, but living in south Texas, the room temperature likely fluctuated from 75-81 degrees. I tasted the beer before bottling it to check if it tasted like "flat beer", as advised by the instruction manual. It tasted fine. Should I be concerned about the fluctuation in temperature affecting the outcome of my beer? 2.) I washed the keg with dish soap and let it soak for a couple of hours before coming on to this forum to see people advising against scented soap. I have since rinsed the keg thoroughly and set to dry. It does have a slight scent to it. Will this scent fade? Is the keg ruined? Best, Tony
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