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RickBeer last won the day on September 4

RickBeer had the most liked content!

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About RickBeer

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    Brewing Guru

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    Ann Arbor, Michigan (GO BLUE!)
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    Brewing 5 gallon extract recipes, skiing, my family, U of Michigan.

    I enjoy answering questions on forums and paying it forward. Please ask on the forum - not in PMs.

    Also, I don't accept Friend requests, they really serve no purpose on the forum. If you participate on the forum, consider yourself a friend :).

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  1. As long as it's sanitizer with a shelf life like StarSan. Mr. Beer sanitizer should not be stored for more than one week in a bottle. I wouldn't worry about a freshly washed measuring spoon, and you do not sanitize the vanilla.
  2. I would say that the Mr. Beer yeast that came with the can is fine to use.
  3. I'd suggest that in the future you sit down and plan what you want to do. For example, brew a 2.5 gallon batch in an LBK (which will hold 2.5 gallons just fine). Or a 2 gallon batch. Then find a recipe that you like online (there are thousands of extract recipes), convert it to the size you're going to brew, come up with a list of ingredients, and then go buy the ingredients (or order online). I come up with my recipes and the list of ingredients, and because my store is online also I cost them out. I then go and pull my grains for recipe #1, crush them, and seal the bag, labeling it. Then I go do #2. And so on. When I check out, if the bill is different I have them review what they entered wrong... Just buying stuff while at a store is backwards.
  4. So here's a reinforcement of this principle. Last week I tested my Apricot Wheat FG, a week after adding the 2nd can of apricots. It was right on. So I cold crashed it. And, apparently forgot to write down the reading, or the temperature. Not a big deal, I know it was in the 1.012 - 1.014 range, and would have been 64 degrees. But, this reinforces WRITING EVERYTHING DOWN.
  5. Me too. Except we rinse good, then fill with water UNTIL we are ready to wash at the end of the day. More efficient than washing 1 at a time, and nothing dries in bottle.
  6. Write down everything. Write down everything. Write down everything. 😀
  7. I find this easy to use - http://www.biabcalculator.com/ I found my rates different. Instead of 1.25 gallons per hour boiloff, I get 0.7, probably due to my stove not being as hot as a big propane flame. I also find my grain absorption to be different, instead of .045 gallons per pound, I use .075 gallons per pound. Of course, without exact measurements one doesn't know whether it's boil off, or absorption, but I seem to now routinely get 3.45 gallons pre-boil and around 2.6 - 2.75 gallons post boil, with 2.5 gallons going into the LBK. I found I needed to double crush my grains, and change QBrew's efficiency from 75% to 65%. I don't sparge at all, but I do squeeze.
  8. Like it should, because the yeast are eating the sugar as they are supposed to.
  9. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. There should be no difference in carbonation regardless of what you use (except for cost or ease of use) between table sugar, carbonation drops, sugar dots, sugar cubes, honey, LME, ... HOWEVER, time after time people post that the carbonation drops yield less carbonation. And people have done side by side tests. Conclusion - they don't contain the amount of sugar they say they do. People also fail to take into account how much residual carbonation may be left in the wort before bottling. The reality is most newer brewers don't carb by style. A British ale has much less carbonation than a German Weizen for example. Could be as much as little as 1/3rd the carbonation, or up to 1/2 the carbonation. I for one use table sugar and batch prime. I do NOT measure my final wort available (most don't), I figure I have 2.5 gallons (320 oz), and put in between 50 and 65 grams of sugar, based on style. Most batches I get about 25 oz less wort, so that's 8% less wort, which means I'm going to get 8.5% more carbonation than I had planned. And, most people couldn't tell the difference between 2.0 and 2.3 or 2.5 volumes of CO2. And to conduct a test you'd need to have the right instruments to read the level of carbonation, which are quite expensive. It's called a Gehaltemeter, and costs around $1,500. Hooks to the brite tank at a brewery, which is the tank that fermented beer is stored in to carbonate, and then either serve or keg/bottle.
  10. They should not vent from the caps unless the cap is defective. If they bottle feels firm, then it should not have a leak. Sometimes a PET bottle will blow out the bottom (ask me how I know, then ask me again). Storing them in a plastic container (with lid) is a safe bet (ask me how I know that too).
  11. Northern Brewer is no longer owned by AB. People who reuse yeast need to study what it does. Only live cells replicate, so each generation is different than the previous. Think mutation. There is a science to it.
  12. As Shrike pointed out, Mr. Beer recipes require no cooling of wort.
  13. Probably want to someone research before dumping a batch of yeast that includes a bunch of dead cells and trub and possibly ruining a batch.
  14. ???? https://www.mrbeer.com/churchills-nut-brown-ale
  15. Carbonating in bottles happens because the yeast remaining in the beer from fermentation eats sugar you add, and because the bottle is sealed. The amount of sugar added - table sugar, LME, DME, honey... - is insignificant. Given you are not focused on being Reinheitsgebot crazy, simply use table sugar as with Mr. Beer. I also highly recommend you get a CURRENT copy of Palmer's book, the free online version is over 20 years old and obsolete. My library has many brewing books.
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