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About pspearing

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    Brewmaster in Training

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  1. I wish the temperature in my basement, in fact in any part of my house, was that consistent.
  2. Not using swollen cans is pretty basic, and the one who sold them to you was plain wrong. The only responsible thing he could have done was dispose of them in the garbage. No kidding, people sometimes die from botulism, and taking a chance of killing someone in exchange for a few bucks is beyond irresponsible. Your post is a worthwhile warning.
  3. The PET bottles that Mr. Beer sells have screw-on caps and those work well. I don't see why a glass or aluminum bottle wouldn't. That's not the same as the twist-off caps on many beers, which I'm told do not work.
  4. Half a cup isn't really all that much, and probably after conditioning the only effect will be more alcohol with very little change in flavor. My feeling is that experimenting is good, and that even a terrible batch can be a learning experience (learning experiences always seem to be things that you wish hadn't happened, but that's just life).
  5. 2 cans of CAL in one batch give a stronger flavor and more alcohol, and with a half ounce of hops added I think it would be decent. Better yet, a pound or so of malt extract boiled with a half ounce, or even an ounce, of hops for 20 minutes or so, then turning off the fire and adding a can of HME and proceeding as usual will probably give you good results.
  6. FWIW, I have found that a 3.3 lb can of liquid malt extract plus hops and yeast can make a really good LBK sized batch of beer. I'd suggest not more than half of a 3.3 lb can added to one of Mr. Beer's standard sized refills to boost it.
  7. Are there stores in Australia catering to home brewers? There are many in the U.S. I absolutely agree that malt extract is the best thing to add. I know that buying things from outside one's own country of residence can be anything from easy to very difficult, so local advice is your best bet. You might check this link: http://aussiehomebrewer.com/ I hope it works out well!
  8. Northern Brewer advertises kegging equipment, including the parts needed to convert a fridge to a kegerator. Our friend Google can help find fully functional kegerators for sale, They are not what I'd call inexpensive. A Party Pig will fit in a dorm-sized fridge. If there's a good LHBS near you they're probably your best source, because if the ones near me are typical the staff will be VERY well informed about anything related to beer. I'll shut up now.
  9. There is a thing called a Party Pig, which I have used. It's a small keg that holds a Mr. Beer sized batch and, based on one batch to date, works well. There's a second batch conditioning in it now. I got mine on ebay, and the LHBS sells the pressure pouches for it. Having home brewed beer on tap impresses guests. I have mixed feelings about bottling. I don't much like bottling, but I like having a variety of beers, for different moods, weather, and company. I can't afford, much less find room for, a keg system that gives me a half-dozen different beers on tap all the time. Using a bottling wand with the large PET bottles with screw caps and either sugar cubes or carbonation drops helps reduce the PITA factor, and a 1 liter or 740 ml bottle that's been opened and closed back up will stay good for a few days. I like the aesthetics of glass bottles, but PET is convenient, and if a PET bottle ruptures because of pressure (bottle bomb) it doesn't leave chunks of broken glass bottle on the floor. It has been said that there are 3 kinds of home brewers--those who have had bottle bombs, those who will, and those who keg. Keg bombs don't seem to happen, which is just as well because something that size exploding would be more than just a nuisance.
  10. Zorak made several good points, the most important one being that patience is rewarded with good beer. I would say that a few weeks of bottle conditioning at room temperature can be the difference between awesome and awful. The nice thing about developing a pipeline is that you can compare beers and drink what you're in the mood for, offer friends whatever best fits their tastes, and learn about the styles. The only down side is that I find that my weight and a sense of responsibility limit how much I can drink.
  11. If you'll email me at pwspearing at gmail dot com perhaps we can come to a deal. I wish the forums still had the private message feature, but that seems to be gone.
  12. I'm interested. Sorry about the situation, and I hope things work out for the best for all concerned.
  13. The instructions for Bavarian Weissbier say 68 to 76 degrees. That's one that I've been wanting to try but not gotten to yet, but from everything I've read the banana flavor comes with higher temperature, so fermenting it closer to the high end of the range seems smart. Depending on where you are, that may mean that January and February are not great times to make that one--I doubt that there's anywhere in my house that's up to 68 right now.
  14. I have occasionally found a few bottles that didn't carbonate. I suspect that they didn't get primed, but having a cap that's not fully sealed will do it too, and I know that happens once in a while. Usually snugging the cap does the job, but not always.
  15. A dog breeder I know slightly told me that a team of standard poodles ran in (and finished) the Iditarod at least once.
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