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Everything posted by Brewbs

  1. I found food grade translucent buckets at Walmart last week, under $4, another buck for a matching lid. In the paint section, these don't seem to have a good seal tho for a fermenter but would be great for making a bottling bucket (which is what I'm going to do). I was also thinking of the 3 gallon plastic carboys that come full of springwater at Costco for $2.99, might be good for small batches and will likely take standard carboy attachments, even come with nice water for that first batch
  2. I cut the door panel out with a utility knife. The plastic is very thin. In behind it is filled with expansion foam. Use a longer knife to cut through the foam then gently pry around the whole cut panel and it will pop out. The seal just pushes in easily by hand so pull it out and get it out of the way so you don't damage it while doing all that cutting. I then picked up a panel of Styrofoam. Cut it to size and glued it in place with silicone the sealed around it with aluminum duct tape. The metal of door is really thin so be careful. I put a couple small wrinkles in mine when I removed the factory door panel. I very gently pushed them out with my thumbs.
  3. believe it or not I forgot to check the O.G.! One can of coopers is exactly 2x a can of Mr. B by volume so I'm betting it was pretty close to any of the double can of stout recipes.
  4. This was my first attempt at making my #1 commercial brew, which is not available up here in Canadia. This beer and availability is actually what sparked me to get started with making my own beer. I searched the interwebs for clone recipes, took all that I read and came up with this; 4oz Crystal 40L 4oz Carapils Dropped the grains in the pot at 160 with heat off. I left them for 20 minutes in a 1 gal paint strainer, dunking every few minutes. The temperature didn't drop below 150. After the time was up I gave them a good few dunks and then squeezed out the water. I dumped the grains and rinsed out the strainer for my hop additions. Then I added; 700ml United Canadian Malting VLM LME (Pale) 200ml United Canadian Malting Amber LME Bring to boil. 60min boil time. Hop Schedule: 1) at 50min remaining 0.1oz Magnum 0.3oz Perle 2) at 15min remaining 1/2 tsp irish moss 0.4oz Cascade 3) at flameout steeped for 3min 0.4oz Cascade crushed Re-hydrated and started safale US-05 with 1 tsp sugar (as per 'How to Brew'). Pitched at 80 degrees (as per recipe online) The plan is to... 4) Dry hop after 7 days ferment. 0.4oz Cascade, pellets in sack I got an O.G. of 1.042-1.043 and was happy with the colour and clarity. I even had a taste of that stuff in the cylinder and my hopes are high.
  5. Note to self; maybe pitching the yeast at 60 degrees will work better if I do this with the 2nd can :laugh: Bottling next weekend....
  6. The last batch of beer I made, I reused the 1 gal paint strainer from my grains for my hops, after rinsing it out I put the hops in it, twist tie it just in case, then I would dunk it a couple times and then I would just loop it through the handle on the side of the pot to stop it from sitting on the bottom of the pot. With each hop addition I'd just open it, add the hops, dunk and loop through the handle again. I'm still a newb so I can't speak for the end result vs. going commando like had up until this batch but in the short term the brew sure was clean compared to before and it smelt plenty hopsy. For now I plan to go this route moving forward.
  7. I can tell how accustomed/biased I was getting towards the taste of my Mr. B brews up until this point. After the way my last couple batches turned out, I have to drop this down to just 'good' from 'approaching awesome' I think the biggest lesson was that the soapiness will eventually go away. It's good to have something good to drink while I wait for the next couple batches to condition for a couple more weeks
  8. My 4th and 5th batches have been conditioning for two weeks and I just couldn't wait to try them out. Up until now I've only brewed Mr. B recipes, and they have had a somewhat home brew flavour for lack of a better description, they have been a little cloudy and had very little head, that said they were growing on me and I looked forward to cracking one. I've finished the batch of Classic American Light that came with the kit, I have just started working on another batch of CAL that I added a little DME and hops and a batch of Patriot Lager which I also added a little DME and hops to. I like what I'm drinking but I'm pretty far from where I want to be, and so far I've been telling myself I'll get their in time. I just finished making my first mini mash which I imaged was going to be my first batch with some decent head ....until I cracked the two little 300ml testers I filled I filled up just two weeks ago. First off, batch 4 was 3/4 of a can of Thomas Coopers Select IPA, with nothing else done to it. These cans are the same price as Mr. B this side of the border so I figured it was worth a shot. Batch 5 was the remaining 1/4 can of IPA mixed with the full Classic Light ....and then 3 minutes after I took it off the heat I decided to throw in a half oz of Cascade. I also added a pinch of the yeast from the IPA on top of the Mr. B packet. I made a couple mistakes when I did these two batches at the same time, 1) my finished batches were way too cold to pitch the yeast, so I had to wait quite a while for them to get up to 60. Once they got up to 60 I tossed the yeast and put them in the basement covered but with a lamp nearby to help warm them up a little. 2) a couple days later I decided to put a small heater near the LBKs because it was still a little cool down their, well the thermostat crapped out and they got cooked for a day, they were at 80 degrees when I checked in on them later that day. Batch 4, the TC IPA was a little concentrated, excellent clarity, nice deep redish brown but a little too much hops. The head was over the top and the carbonation was good. This was my best brew yet. Next time I will split the can even between two batches, add 300ml of amber ULME to each and maybe dry hop with a little Cascade. Batch 5 was the big surprise. It was spectacular, only two weeks conditioning! Reminded me of a Sierra Nevada but a bit darker and with less aroma. Almost perfect. I need to figure out how I'm going to replicate this with more generic ingredients. I have to be honest, I was having second thoughts on whether or not I'd stick with the hobby but after these two I'm here to stay, I really can make something that rivals any craft beer I've bought from the liquor store! :chug: Cheers Neil
  9. 5 weeks conditioning and 6 days in the fridge and it's approaching awesome. Just to recap, it's a Classic American Light + 1/2lb wheat DME + 1/2oz Glacier. I boiled 1/4 lb of DME added 1/4 oz of Glacier at 15 minutes remaining in the boil and the rest at flameout, along with the other 1/4lb of DME and HME. It has a really nice mild bitterness, I will definitely do something similar with the Glacier in the future with other brews. I'm thinking I'll do similar with my mexican HMEs, it should suit it, maybe a little less hops would make it universally more drinkable and use a 1 lb of the pale ULME that I picked up in bulk instead of the DME. This batch isn't going to last long.... :stout:
  10. What at coincidence, I did my first partial today, I too was shooting for 1.050 and ended up at 1.042. I was experimenting with a locally produced ULME, I guess next time I'll have to add a little more in my recipe. My pot must have lost a quart during the boil.... I guess I'd be OK with 4.3%, it looks and smells right at least I'd rather have 4.5-5%. I was just searching on my O.G and came across your recent post
  11. "Jason_1977" post=327046 said:...Prolly has more flavor but less ABV%... that pretty much sums it up. It took 4 weeks conditioning for mine to get decent, after which it was just fine for a light beer. I'd add a little something to it tho next time, just a little too watery. I made a second one with a 1/2lb of DME and some extra hops, it's not quite ready yet, I'll be getting into it this weekend A tester told me that it's still a little light tho although it's probably realistic for a light beer.
  12. I too like my commercial/mainstream beers pretty cold maybe it numbs the taste a bit and makes them more tollerable cause boy do they get disgusting as they warm up. ...but these Mr. Beer brews, they just seem to get better and better. I'm super paranoid about stirring up the trub so very careful in that regard. My new fridge temp is 40 F, will try this next.
  13. I guess I'm looking for an ideal temperature guestimate for Mr. Beer/homebrew ales. I found with my latest batch sampling that the beer was crystal clear when it went in the fridge. After a couple days in the fridge I found it poured quite cloudy, and the taste was a bit more intense. As I sipped it (yes, believe it or not I said "sipped" ) the glass warmed, the beer cleared up and the flavour improved. The next glass I poured I let it sit a good ten minutes before I got started. Now you can imagine this is a very frustrating experience, having to wait to touch a glass that's locked and loaded. I believe all I have to do is get my fridge temp. just right. It was sitting just above freezing, I think approx. 35 F, but my thermometer isn't very easy to read. I turned it up a little and will check again later today. I did do a search but I believe the answers are drowned in all the hits regarding fermentation temps.
  14. Anyway to add a $70 window style AC unit?
  15. alright, after 4 weeks conditioning and a couple days in the fridge I tried this one out. I was thinking it was pretty good, then my wife tried it and without me even hinting that it was the beer that tasty soapy she tells me it tastes kind of soapy. I guess their is an ever so slight taste still but I didn't pick up on it right away, it's definitely drinkable. Maybe it's the 1/2 oz of glacier I added?
  16. ok, I couldn't wait a week, I tried them both today. I originally bottled a small plastic sampler of each to test it out, it was this sampler that wasn't great. Now the first one I cracked today was a Patriot Lager with a 1lb DME and a little extra hops, I boiled half the DME for the full length of the boil and put the other half in at flameout. I bottled this one in 1L glass bottles and I have to say the head on this one was good, and lacing good too and plenty of carb, a success I would say. It still needs to condition more though. The second one was a Mr. B Classic American Light, this one got just 1/2lb DME and a little extra hops. It was done the same as the other one except this one was bottled in PET. It was definitely better than the straight up Classic Light I'd previously made, a teenie amount of head and a bit of lacing ..and actually a bit too much carb. This one needs a bit more conditioning too. so I guess I'm carbed well enough if not too much and I'm getting their, next batch I'm ready to try carapils and crystal. thx for the feedback Neil
  17. I'm having a similar issue. Alright so my first batch got sampled regularly from week 2 until it was all gone after 6 weeks. It didn't improve in carbonation, and stayed a little cidery tasting which did improve. It had some just OK light carbonation. It was drinkable but never had any head at all. When I watch the posted videos on youtube it seems like many guys have these nice foamy looking beers with a nice head even after only a couple weeks. My batches 2&3 seem similar to my first batch, they've had 4 weeks in my basement which fluctuates between the low 60's and lows 70's, part of the time I had a heater nearby to keep the heat closer to 70 (had a couple issues which caused it to spike a couple times for a short while but nothing serious). I'm down to two ideas. 1) I've cold crashed every batch, maybe this is taking too much yeast out of suspension? (used one Mr. B yeast packet in each) 2) maybe the dextrose I'm using is possibly especially light and I should go by weight, although on the first batch I did half the bottles with table sugar and half with dextrose and it didn't seem to make much of a diff. I hope I can figure this one out before I bottle my stout in a few weeks. I put a bottle of each 2&3 in the fridge, will leave them there until next weekend at which point it will be 4 weeks conditioning at room temp plus one week in the fridge, do you think the fridge will make much of a difference?
  18. yup, full can. It was out of date as of Nov. last year so the brew shop gave me an extra yeast ...which was likely out of date also, and a couple bucks off. I took 1 full Cooper yeast and then a half of a second pack, rehydrated them and started them with a teaspoon of sugar (as per "How to Brew") to make sure they were still alive, they woke right up and in they they went in the mid-80s, took off like a rocket. It's still busy and even though it's in my 65-70 degree basement the keg temp is still 80 after 28 hours. I cleaned her up real nice with sanitized soaked paper towels as suggested. It wasn't fun, what a mess. Almost a full pint of liquid settled out of that krauzen and I had to chuck it, what a waste It was a great lesson Can't wait to try this St. Pats day. I have a couple more cans of Coopers, another stout and an English Bitter. Based on this experience I'll likely split them between two kegs and add a few hundred ml of LME on top and maybe take a crack at some enhancer grains, carapils and crystal too. But before that I need to make a SNPA clone... I haven't remembered to take specific gravity yet, wish I did on this one, I'm curious how much alcohol it will have.
  19. After fermenting a 3/4 can of Thomas Coopers IPA without issue I decided to put a full can of Coopers Original Stout in an LBK and ferment as is. Wow, it's a good job I put this keg in a cooler, what a delicious smelling mess Now I've heard some folks say to just leave it but I've got a keg smothered in krausen and sitting in a puddle of settled liquid. I want to leave this for 3 weeks but I'm afraid I'm going to have mould growing all the way through the cooler and up the sides of the lbk. I really don't want to unsettle it but right now I'm considering that once the intial fermentation craziness has finished that I pull the keg from the cooler and give it a really good wipe down with a sanitized cloth. If it was just a little overflow down the sides I could live with leaving it but since their is standing liquid I think I should do something about it. Thoughts? I guess I need to just accept the fact that doubling the amount of extract is just a little too much for an LBK and possibly going back to my original plan of splitting a can between two LBKs and adding a little UME. Neil
  20. mrblase, when you make the stout do you do a full can as is in an LBK? I did some research and it seems that the coopers original stout is a very popular beer, and some guys add quite a bit of stuff to a can and short their big batches quite a bit so I figured I might as well just try the can as is in a single LBK with a slight overfill. I made it around noon today and the keg is already overflowing At least I'll have a baseline to sample for St. Paddy's day. I just bottled a 3/4 of a can batch of Thomas Coopers IPA. Hopefully I'll have results on that one in a few weeks. I have to check in with my local Home Hardwares, can't believe I missed this post.
  21. thanks all, all good info., I'm much more optimistic now and back into looking forward to it instead of potentially dreading it I'm going to let it go another week, about 18 days total before I crash 'em for a few days and bottle, then I swear I won't touch them for 4-5 weeks, after my first batch I decided at least a month from now on. ...which reminds me, I have sa couple batches conditioning in the area too, I don't suspect 80 is much of an issue at that point tho, especially since it was short duration.
  22. Welcome, I'm in a similar boat to you, got my beer kit's in November and I've been consumed (and consuming) ever since. My first batch was the light and I did 2 tsp cane sugar in half and 2.5 tsp of corn in the other half, however I only left mine in the keg for 2 weeks. I started sampling at the 2 week mark and I found that they were pretty flat but my basement was on the cool side. I moved them to warmer pastures and the carb came up a bit but I never did get any head worth mentioning. The corn sugar was definitely a better amount/type of carb, pretty much just right. I wasn't a big fan of the beer overall, it was pretty watery but still got a weird satisfaction out of drinking it and a little buzz too The last bottle was the best it had the least amount of homebrew taste (slightly cidery/yeasty) after nearly 5 weeks conditioning. Curious how yours turn out, I did cold crash mine for a day before bottling, I'm wondering if crashing took more yeast out of suspension and maybe had something to do with taking a while to carb up and nil head. I did a patriot for my 2nd batch, added some DME and hops, still a couple weeks from sampling it, the wait is killing me. Neil
  23. so about 8 days in I noticed that my circuit breaker had tripped to the heater that keeps the temps in line in my basement. Well something must have gone wonky with the heater because I reset the breaker and when I returned some 10-12 hours later outside temp on the keg had gone up from mid 60s to 80 degrees. It was warm. I don't imagine the LBKs were warmed all the way through but that could mean the ambient was well above 80. I'm hoping I caught it in time. Anyone go through something similar? I think from this point forward I'll just leave the heater off and take a gamble that it drops a little below 65 during the night when the main furnace is on low, it should be ok the rest of the time. I like to keep it simple. I didn't use a heater at all for the first few batches, but the weather has been a little cooler lately and I noticed it getting close to mid 60s. I had a small heater that was keeping the temps right around the 70 degree mark with these two batches until it began mis-behaving.
  24. Have you sampled this one yet? :cheer: thinking about this for my first non-hopped lme brew.
  25. Brewbs


    I do heed a word of warning, I'm a 'noob' but I did get a cold water coffee brewer for xmas, and I have to say that I think the end result would be excellent in any kind of recipe (beer or otherwise) that calls for coffee flavouring. We overshot on the brew and went 36 hours instead of 24 with a Starbucks French roast at a medium-coarse grind, coffee was very strong and flavourful with no bitterness, so smooth. Basically you pour a few ounces of the concentrate into a mug and top up with boiling water, like an Americano ...you substitute the concentrate as if it were espresso. I might take a crack at a coffee stout, trying to locate a can of Muntons Irish nearby...
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