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rdrivas

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Everything posted by rdrivas

  1. So i bought the Pumpkin Spice Brown recipe and I need some help, plan on brewing this tonight and am curious about some insider recipes that have worked well for people here. I have some pumpkin puree, but no idea on what spices and amounts I should be using besides that. i was thinking the following for sure: Cinammon nutmeg but after that i am lost! Anyone?
  2. The American Pale ale is all in the fridge chilling right now, sooooo much better after 3 1/2 weeks of sitting as opposed to just 2 weeks! Nice pour and tastes great! I bottled the German Hefe Wheat tonight, waited the extra two days, SG was right where it was last time I measured, final AV should be about 4.8%...not too shabby...
  3. Sweet! I will wait 2-3 more days and take another SG to make sure it is done...then its on to a Pumpkin Ale for my wife...that will be my third batch (so far two have come out great) and my most complex one yet...
  4. "Screwy Brewer" post=332640 said:You got the making of a mighty nice beer right there, should be ready to bottle I would think. Thanks! Just tried it, very good taste to it, almost like Blue Moon or an Allagash White! Cant wait to bottle this one!
  5. "Jimjohson" post=332634 said:Wait 3 days and take another reading if it don't move it's done. So i read my (potential) ABV as 4.7% 1.042 - (what appears to be) 1.006 8 131 = 4.716% ? Does that look correct?
  6. So i finished my American Pale Ale, and it came out great after sitting a few weeks in the bottles. Started a German hefe and its been exactly three weeks today since it started. When i took the OG it read 1.42 (seemed very high) and now it reads well below that. I have attached two photos, where i believe i read it (sorry i didnt take a photo at the start...shoudl have) and where it is now after 3 weeks of brewing. START FINISH I think i am truly reading the hydrometer wrong or something...right now i have no idea if i am done or not...
  7. And here it is (only 10 days into settling after bottling) couldn't resit to open one early and see what it looked like, tasted like, etc. Nice golden color right now, some head on it, a bit low on the carbonation, which is fine for now. Tasted good, small bitter finish, which is good for me! Still have two more weeks to go! [attachment=10626]IMG_1002_2013-01-25.JPG[/attachment]
  8. So I could not help myself! I had to open at least one bottle to see how things were going. In checking the bottles I noticed bubbles in them, and sure enough when i picked on to open, it had a nice foam and some carbonation!!! Not a ton mind you, its only been about 10 days since I bottled it, and the color is darker than when i bottled it. Taste is good, just a touch of bitter at the finish, i think it just needs to get more carbonation... Attached a photo of the pour! [attachment=10625]IMG_1002.JPG[/attachment]
  9. "RickBeer" post=321511 said: "rdrivas" post=317463 said:Thanks guys! What should I be targeting for an AV on this American ale as my first batch? I know is preference to some extent, shorter or longer, etc. But any good ideas of an AV or specific gravity i should be targeting? I did read up on a few things, didnt realize I needed to let it settle so long..wont be putting it right in the fridge now! For the sugar/drops, in a 16oz bottle how much is everyone filling it up? To what area of the bottle is best so i don't get over carbonation and an exploded bottle. Just to clear up some possible confusion. You cannot change the ABV of a batch once you make it by keeping it in the LBK shorter or longer. The Borg recommend 3 weeks in the LBK so fermentation is done and the yeast has cleaned things up. Your fermentation is done when your hydrometer reading doesn't change over a 48 hour period. The Mr. Beer standard refills will come in in the low 3 percent, not 3.7% as claimed. How did you think you were at 2%? I think i was reading the hydrometer and trying to calculate myself....bad idea on my part. I never took my starting specific gravity either so that was an issue. With this next batch I just started, i took a lot of the tips from here and did some pre-planning...did the gravity at the start, etc. It should make a big difference in how I do future batches..
  10. Absolutely! No issues here with your statement, i came to that conclusion after reading a bit more here on the forums. I got excited by the idea of making my own beer, how could I make something unique to me, something my wife would like, etc. Then i came to my senses and realized.."I dont even have a batch done yet!..Let alone I dont even know if it will be any good!" I started my German HeFe beer on Wednesday, its my second batch and is brewing while my first one is sitting in the bottles carbonating, settling, etc. My next one is the Mr beer Pumpkin Ale (wife loves that stuff) I am ok with buying these and trying them out, but I totally agree, me trying to make my own flavors is way premature to say the least... The German HeFe wheat all was a lot more steps than the American pale ale was, hops, booster, etc...i can see how I know very little about the process and i need to talk before I can run.. "FedoraDave" post=321510 said: "rdrivas" post=317349 said:My next beer is going to be a blueberry ale, here in Maine we have these since its a big blueberry cultivation state...woudl it be adverse to add blueberries to the beer once it is bottled? First, welcome aboard! Second, regarding the blueberry addition, I do admire your enthusiasm and desire to create custom beers of your own, and I hate to be a buzzkill, but I'd advise against it for now. The stage you're at right now is a learning stage. You need to get the process down and understand what you're doing and more importantly, what you're working with. Creating a blueberry ale is fine, but what HME are you going to use, and why? What kind of beer does that HME create on its own? And how might a blueberry addition complement and/or alter it? Do you see what I'm getting at? You're experimenting with an unknown, so how will you know what to expect? Or what to change if you're not happy with the result? I'm taking the time and trouble to put this out there because I did the same thing myself. My first three brews were experimented with blindly, and it wasn't until I had a batch of West Coast Pale Ale that I added strawberries to that I woke up to what I was doing. That batch was unbelievably variable, with some bottles that were actually quite nice, some that were barely drinkable, some that were gushers when I opened them, and I don't know what else. That's when I realized I needed to slow down and learn what it was I was working with. I started brewing the Mr. Beer recipes as-is, with no alterations. This is something I still do, because they're easy to put together, and the beer is very good. But because I did this, I gained a better understanding of not only those HMEs and UMEs, but of many other aspects of other extracts and grains and hops, too. It seems paradoxical, but when I slowed myself down, I actually progressed a lot faster. I encourage you to experiment and create your own recipes, but just as I encourage that, I encourage you to learn the basics first, so that your experiments will be more likely to succeed. If, as you say, you're hooked on home brewing, you've got a lot of time for creativity.
  11. So my beer is all bottled, it actually tasted pretty good when i bottled it! Put in the sugar and its been about three days since then, and its all i can do not to go down and open a bottle! While those are sitting for the next three-four weeks, i went ahead and ordered the German Hefe beer (wheat style ale - assuming it is like Blue Moon) and got that all setup and started tonight! By the time my bottles are settled and ready to drink, the wheat ale will be done and ready to bottle, had to order 12 more bottles to be safe... I am hooked!
  12. I made the mistake of not taking my specific gravity when i started, so i am not sure at all what my real AV is. Just poured some out of the brewer and into my glass tube, looks darker even only 3 days later..specific gravity is changed, overall AV says about 2.5% give or take..I am going to leave it until at least next tuesday which will be three weeks... I will say, i tasted it today versus Monday, and it tastes A LOT more like beer/an ale...getting excited now! Have my coppers drops for the bottles that arrived today, i am ready to go! Ordered a pumpkin ale (my wife loves that stuff) and also a wheat beer (Hefe German) that will be the next two batches! May by another keg as well so i can do more than one batch at a time as i get better at this...
  13. A lot of good information here guys! Much appreciated! I am pretty excited for this first batch to be done, and even if it comes out horrible for some reason i think I have been bitten by the home brewing bug! I didn't measure my specific gravity prior to starting, so I know I wont be exact with my AV...no harm no foul. My nephew and a friend of his brew about 5-gallons at a time, they have been doing it for a couple of years. So i do have someone I can call to get some tips... After our last conversation he suggested I leave this first batch alone for another week, with the temp in the area where I was keeping the brew keg he had a concern that i either let the yeast go dormant or killled it a bit..it is changing now so he thinks letting it go a bit longer would be ok... When my carb drops come in, i think I will find a clean surface, and go with 1 1/4 tabs per bottle, then some with just one tab...and some people have said to do 1-1/2.. Some experimenting is in order.
  14. Thanks guys! What should I be targeting for an AV on this American ale as my first batch? I know is preference to some extent, shorter or longer, etc. But any good ideas of an AV or specific gravity i should be targeting? I did read up on a few things, didnt realize I needed to let it settle so long..wont be putting it right in the fridge now! For the sugar/drops, in a 16oz bottle how much is everyone filling it up? To what area of the bottle is best so i don't get over carbonation and an exploded bottle.
  15. So I got a basic kit (light ale) for Xmas form the wife. I followed the instructions exactly, set it all up on Xmas Day, and it has now been 16 days since it started. Here are my questions, thoughts, any feedback is welcome! 1. My beer is about 2.% AV, it seems very tasteless (is this because its the light ale?) 2. It seems to be brewing slowly, the box of course says between 7-14 days but i am aware that is conditional. 3. My temperature has not been even close to 70 degrees...our house never gets that warm (by choice) at most it is around 66 degrees. I moved the keg downstairs into my storage.furnace room that is about (I need to get a thermometer to see for sure) 68 degrees i think...is there a good way to tell when the beer might be done? 4. i love the idea of brewing, bought the 16oz bottles, i was going to try out carbonation drops instead of using sugar, has anyone done these? How much per bottle would be best? 5. My next beer is going to be a blueberry ale, here in Maine we have these since its a big blueberry cultivation state...woudl it be adverse to add blueberries to the beer once it is bottled? Thanks!
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