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  1. Bpgreen - thanks. Good info. I did use 2 cans of the sticky wicket. I'm a little too attentive to the water level and getting the extract out of the cans. I probably misread the OG. As far as the ABV goes for this one, how did you come up with an OG of 1.041 and 4%? The MB details say ABV should be 4.7, but I don't know how accurate they are.
  2. I'm starting to wonder if my hydrometer is acting up. In order to get 4.7% out of this batch, the FG needs to be 1.002 which seems pretty low. When I tested the gravity this morning, I put the hydrometer in the test tube multiple times and the readings were way inconsistent. I wonder if I misread the OG, because that seems low to me as well. Is there somewhere on MR beer website that will tell me what the OG of stickey wicket should have been?
  3. Update - I re-pitched a pack of S-33 by just sprinkling the dry yeast on the top of the wort. I did this on Monday 6/4 and just tested the gravity this morning. Gravity is now sitting at 1.016.
  4. Dchale, That is exactly the article I used as a guide! I said I fried the bacon, but I really baked per instructions in the article (the dry hogging method) and dabbed out the rest of the fat. Although, I didn't use parchment paper, so maybe that was my problem. I could tell there was some fat still in there because it looked like oil on the top of the wort. I think next time, I will try the bacon extract method using natural spirits. I'll test the gravity in a week and see if the bacon fat is just causing the yeast to be sluggish and requiring more fermentation time. If it's still at 1.028, looks like I'm stuck with a 1.3% beer .
  5. Thanks Swenocha, I will give bottled water a try for my next batch. I live in St. Louis which has been voted the best tasting water city in America, but maybe there's something in there that the Mr. Beer yeast doesn't like. My homebrew friends have experimented with bottled water vs St. Louis tap water and didn't notice a difference. They were using different yeast though. The 1st few batches, I sanitized using the mr beer no rinse. I now use a no-rinse from my LHBS that claims rinsing is recommended but not required. I have rinsed with both anyway.
  6. sorry to bring up an old post, but I emailed the mr beer brewmaster about the clove taste and this is their response: "Hi Ed, The clove flavor is caused by the production of certain esters in your beer. It could be from the lower temperature of your fermentation 72 is better than 68, and is below the bottom of the range. The insufficient oxygenation you spoke of in the first but not in the last two makes the common flavor unlikely to be a cause. In wheat beers a close flavor is not usually detracting, but I can see where it would be in the WCPA. The included yeast doesn't usually produce this ester and chlorine in your water is more of a band-aid, wet cardboard, or electrical tape flavor, so I think that the temperature is the likely culprit. Esters can mellow with age, so you may want to condition these for a few more weeks and see if that flavor dissipates in favor of a more pleasant one. You may also want to try upping the brewing temperature of your next batch and see if that doesn't fix it. Please let me know how the longer conditioning and that next batch turns out, I want to work with you to see if we can solve this puzzle. " So they actually think the temperature was too low. I have brewed 5 beers now and the only one that didn't come out with a clove taste was the imerial pilsner (quite awesome btw) which uses saflager yeast.
  7. Hi all, I am attempting to make a bacon stout and ran into my 1st issue. After two weeks of being in primary, the gravity is sitting at 1.028 (OG was 1.038). The temperature of the three stick on thermometers (a mr beer one, the mr beer registration freebie, and another one i had to buy for lager yeast) have been right at 70 degrees. I started with a sticky wicket oatmeal stout recipe and added both packages of yeast per the instructions. I fried up 1/2 pound of slab bacon I got from a local butcher, crumbled it up, put it in a muslin sack (all sanitized), and added it to the primary after pitching the yeast and before putting the lid on. It is exactly 14 days but the gravity is only 1.028. The recipe on Mr Beer website indicates an ABV of 4.7% but it looks like I'm sitting at 1.3%. I sampled the contents of the hydrometer test tube after testing the gravity and it tastes pretty good. A decent hint of bacon in the taste and bacon aroma. Sticky Wicket Oatmeal Stout Any ideas? Thanks, Ed
  8. I used a single pack of the MB yeast that came under the lid of the HME for both brews. I got the 67 degrees from the stick on thermometer. Air temperature was 72 degrees for both. Looking back though my notes: When I pitched the yeast of the WCPA, I just sprinkled the yeast on the top of the wort without stirring, I waited 5 minutes, then gently stirred the yeast in. For this one, I didn't stir aggressively, I just gently stirred the yeast in place. I watched the instruction videos on Mrbeer.com and noticed the guy was aggressively stirring the yeast into place after waiting 5 minutes. I did this with the wheat: I sprinkled the yeast in, gently stirred (instead of just letting it sit on top like I did with the WCPA), waited 5 minutes, then aggressively stirred the yeast, causing the thick layer of foam (is this what you call aerating?) The wheat does have less of a clove flavor than the WCPA. One important piece of info I left out is I misread the MB instructions and used a wooden spoon for these first two brews. I thought it said TO use a wooden spoon when it said TO NOT (do'h). Is this the correct way to pitch?: 1. sprinkle yeast into wort 2. gently stir 3. wait 5 minutes 4. vigorously stir until thick layer of foam 5. put lid on and ferment If this is the correct way to pitch, then I did do this for the wheat, but maybe for these two it was a combination of improper pitching and/or use of a wooden spoon?
  9. My first brew, the WCPA, had a strong somewhat unpleasant taste to it. It wasn't bad, it just didn't taste as good as I expected. If I was out and ordered that beer, I probably wouldn't get another one. I expected more out my 2nd brew, the whispering wheat, but this beer had the same taste to it as the WCPA. When my father-n-law and I were drinking both beers and talking about the strong flavor, he though it tasted like cloves. DING! That was exactly what it tasted like in both beers. Does MB use a lot of cloves when they make their malt extract? If it was something I was doing wrong, I would expect I made the same mistake twice since it was the same taste (or maybe it was something I didn't do right). Looking back through my copious notes, I don't see anything majorly wrong. One thing that is the same inbetween the brews is I used tap water and didn't filter the water. Our tap water tastes pretty good though. Here are the quick stats (I didn't have a hydrometer yet): WCPA - 2 weeks in primary, batch primed, 4 weeks conditioning wheat - 2 weeks in primary, 1 week in secondary, batch primed, 4 weeks conditioning All temps are 67 degrees. any ideas? Thanks, Ed
  10. I bottled my 4th brew, Chocolate Covered Cherries, yesterday. After I got the beer bottled in 12 oz bottles, I checked out my achievement and began cleaning up. I grabbed the sauce pan off the stove and there it was - the sauce pan was still filled with the sugar water I was supposed to use for batch priming... Do'h! I got the bottle opener out, cracked open all the bottles and gently poured them back into the slimline. I got the sugar water in there the 2nd time.
  11. I found a good spot in my basement. It's the corner spot in the creepy area underneath the stairs. It ties into a closet and I have to crawl through shelves to get there. The things we do for beer! Both the 55 degree and 59 degree are blue. I'm not sure exactly where this puts the temp (maybe 57?), but it definitely looks like fermentation is taking place.
  12. I brewed the Imperial Pilsner today and didn't read the directions beforehand (Do'h). After getting it into the LBK, I realized the Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast calls for fermentation temps between 48 and 59 degrees. I put it in the fridge for now, but I think they is going to be too cold (don't refridgerators run 38 ish degrees?). I have a dorm fridge and auto-shut off thermostat on my wish list for lagers in the future, but any ideas on what to do now? I did some poking around on the borg and found others who put the keg in their garage, but mine is detached and the lows are in the mid 20;s. Tanks, Ed
  13. +1 to sticky please. Would be nice to glance through really quick before posting a question.
  14. My 1st brew, the WCPA is going to be done on Sunday (2 weeks in primary at 67 degrees F, 4 weeks conditioning in bottles, same temp). I put one in the fridge last night and drank it tonight. I would expect it to be somewhat good, but it tastes a bit off. I would describe the taste of the beer as "all over the place". It starts off dull and almost not sweet enough, then it spikes up for a almost too strong finish. The one thing that seems dead on is the carbonation. I used ScrewyBrewers batch priming calculator. After reading through posts on here, I should have let it ferment for 3 weeks and will do that with future brews. Would these flavors work themselves out in the few days I have left conditioning or is something wrong? I worry because I got a little ambitious and have three more brews in progress (Whispering Wheat conditioning (fermented 3 weeks), Painted dawn in primary, Chocolate covered cherries in primary). I don't want these to turn out bad as well! Thanks, Ed
  15. Support was awesome, new LBK on the way.
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