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About myhorselikesbeer

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. As long as your tap water is potable and does not contain chlorine/chloraminine then you are ok. Most tap/well water as well as some bottled water will have some mineral content which is actually beneficial for the yeast. Once you progress in this obsession you may get to a level where you want to know more about your water chemistry to improve your brews or duplicate an ale from a different region.
  2. I would not use them for a primary due to cleaning as mentioned above, but for a secondary they work fine. I aquired a few of the 5gal water bottles and have been using them for both beer and wine with no adverse outcomes. I use a heavy rag, avoids scratching, inside when cleaning and slosh it around and it removes the small amt of trub or lees left behind, then sanitize. They are also much lighter than the glass carboys.
  3. I would wait the full three weeks and cold crash the last few days.
  4. There used to be a way to google search before the site upgrade here. I think it was http:/community.forum.mrbeer.com"topic" not sure if this is correct or if it still works. RickBeer used to have it posted in his signature, maybe he can respond better.
  5. If you are going to start modifying HME recipes, I would go to Screwy Brewer's site and download the QBrew application. It is a simple to use brewing software that has the MrBeer profiles and most other ingredients that will allow you to "play" and design something you may like....hoppy, malty etc...Addin another can and steeping grains are the easiest ways to start followed by additional hops and partial mashes.
  6. Follow the 3,2,2 rule if you don't have a Hydrometer and you will be ok. I recommend getting a hydrometer from your LHBS, local home brew store, and using it to determine when fermentation is done. Read the forums and ask questions if you don't understand something. Congrats on your first brew, and welcome.
  7. Sugar does have it's place in brewing and as long as you keep your total fermentables from adjunct(non malt) below 30% then you should be ok. The adjunct fermentables will boost ABV, but throw off your flavor profile or thin the beer too much. The alcohol produced is harsher IMO then from grain/extract. In the beginning I did the Cowgirl Honey and went mad scientist adding extra DME, Booster, a lb of honey and I believe other fermentables(would have to check my notes) and it turned out to be an alcohol bomb(8.5abv) that initially tasted like crap. At 1 year it was much better and the harshness has mellowed, but the flavor leaves a lot to be desired. Note: take good notes on brew day and tasting sessions, they will be helpful in the future.
  8. It is still green. Give it time to condition out. Wait 4 weeks at room temp and then chill one and try. Sometimes the high adjunct beers take as long as 8 months to condition, but taste really good at that point.
  9. They are good sites as well as the beerborg index, Biabrewer is also helpful. Zymurgy and BYO (brew your own) magazines are good as well. I agree that it can become a brain overload. My advice is read everything you can find on the method you are using, i.e. extract HME and UME, partial mashes and steeping grains, BIAB full mashes and conventional 3 vessel systems and then browse what may interest you for future endeavours. All of the above methods will produce excellent beer, better than a lot of what you can buy. This site is growing in it's database again...a lot of valuable info was lost when they did the site upgrade, so keep asking questions as you research and you will learn.
  10. Pieces of the spice or even trub can collect CO2 bullbes as the wort is fermenting and then rise to the top layer in the fermenter and then sink again once the bubbles pop. Relax and don't worry.
  11. All of what was said above as well as you can wash and save your yeast for future use if it is a strain you particularly like or are doing a similar batch. Some people dump their next batch right on top of the yeast cake in the LBk. If you do this be prepared for a quick and vigorous fermentation with potential overflow meaning massive yeast party. You should also go from lighter to darker styles if re-pitching on the "cake".
  12. +1 to what Rick said. I made both versions and the first was better...as is, the second was a beginner going mad scientist and turning out an 8% that took 8 months to condition.
  13. My CAL took about two months to get rid of the green/off flavors, then it was not too bad. Not all of the MB kits take that long to condition, the deluxe and craft series are better.
  14. There are a lot of variables..yeast type- high or low flocculating variety, amount of hot/cold break that made it into fermenter, hops added for dry hopping etc. It will vary from batch to batch and is not always in proportion to ABV.
  15. Yeast party = happy yeast = good beer. It should be fine. When the activity slows down a bit wipe the top off with some sanitizer and put your airlock(sanitized) back in and in 3 wks bottle away.
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