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Incognitum

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About Incognitum

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  1. Also, I know a lot of people here are fans of QBrew, but I'd very highly recommend BrewToad. It's all web-based, there are thousands of recipes in their database, and it's just a much more elegant solution than the other brew tools that are available. It's totally free and, while not an app, their website works beautifully on mobile.
  2. Here's one other tip that would've helped me when I moved from HME's to LME/DME: Make sure your pot is big enough. I used a small pot for Mr. Beer recipes and it worked great, but when I did my first 2.5 gallon batch with 3 lbs of LME, I realized my pot wasn't big enough for the water and LME. I had to go out and buy a 5 gallon brewing pot and a big spoon to stir with. Those were the only additional pieces of equipment I needed to buy. I do 2.5 gallons boils in that pot. I probably wouldn't go any higher in volume without a bigger pot. I top off with water to create 5 gallons and split them between 2 LBKs. One thing moving away from Mr. Beer kits will do for you, is to brew 5 gallons of beer rather that 2.5. You'll probably be looking at a 3-4 hour brew day regardless of whether you brew 2.5 gallons or 5 gallons.
  3. Phil -- thanks for the pictures. Those are real helpful. I'll do a little research into it and see if that setup could work for me. Thanks for all the tips, guys!
  4. I start thinking about my next batch as soon as I finish brewing the previous one. I have 4 LBKs and brew 5 gallon batches. So if I have all four LBKs going, I have 2 different beers fermenting and I am at full capacity for at least 3 weeks. So, I'd say I brew about 10 gallons a month. And I don't drink or give away 10 gallons a month, so I have no reason to brew more often. I have one more recipe to brew, with ingredients in hand. I'll do that either tomorrow or Monday. And then I will start planning my next two brews, knowing that they can happen in 3 weeks if I really need to, but will more likely happen in 5.
  5. Phil -- do you know the dimensions of your fridge? I was concerned that it would even have enough depth to hold an LBK if it had a rack on the door. The biggest thing for me is being able to fit two LBKs in there. I'd also like to be able to fit some bottles of beer and bags of hops in there as well. I usually have a dozen bottles in my fridge. If I could fit two LBKs and 6-12 bottles in there, that would really make it worth looking into... but that may be pushing it for a mini fridge. Honestly, and this may sound a little creepy, but if you could take a picture of the inside of the fridge, I would love to see it. Floyd -- The mini fridge is necessary due to space limitations. I live in an apartment and have one spare bedroom that has (unfortunately for my girlfriend) become a brewery that fills up the space around a big guest bed. I would not want to be a guest in that bed unless you love the smell of hops and the thrill of potentially get hit by a bottle bomb at 3am. Thanks for all the feedback.
  6. I'm just going to assume the best. The OG of this beer is 1.064 and I actually pitched 1 pack of Safale US-04 into each LBK. I pitched twice the recommended yeast, and I always do this for beers over 1.060. I'm hoping that the higher alcohol content of the beer and the big pitch rate could overpower any little buggers that took a dip in my wort over the last 6 hours. Not that it would be any real indicator yet, but when I opened the lid to pitch the yeast, it looked fine. And smelled really good.
  7. Thanks for the replies, guys. I may not have explained it accurately. It wasn't just the boiled wort that sat out for 6 hours. It was the wort mixed with the top off water, and distributed into the LBKs. So, imagine getting right to the point of cooling your wort to pitching temps... then your phone rings. Then you drop what you're doing for 6 hours. 1 gallon of wort and 1.5 gallons of cold water went into each LBK. That's my normal process. The issue came when I wasn't able to get those LBKs chilled to pitching temp until hours later. I did use a thermometer. I don't recall the temp of the wort after mixing it with the top off water, but I know it was too hot to pitch and I just didn't have time to properly chill it like I've done in the past. I know the wort was 72 F when i pitched the yeast. That's probably too high, but I just had to do it after leaving it sit for hours.
  8. For the first 6 months I spent brewing, I wasn't concerned much with controlling the temp of my fermenting wort. It's not that I didn't care, but it wasn't really an issue. Our central air unit keep everything at a decent temp. Now it's summer and it's becoming more of a struggle to regulate temps. If the AC gets turned off turn during the day, or turned up or down much, it can cause problems. I'm thinking of getting a mini fridge or dorm fridge and a temp controller to finally get some control over my beer. Has anyone done this? Is it as simple as plugging the fridge into the controller and the controller in the wall? I have no experience with anything like this, but if it's that simple, it would be a good option. I ferment in the LBK's. I have up to four going at a time (two 5 gallon batches). I know a mini fridge won't hold all four LBK's... but would it hold 2? I haven't looked at any of these at a store yet. I've browsed some photos online, but it's hard to get a feel for them. Let me know if you have any experience doing this. Thanks!
  9. Hey all, I brewed up 5 gallons of an Amber Ale this morning (not Mr. Beer's recipe). Everything went off fine, but while I was cooling the wort, I had something come up and basically wasn't able to finish cooling it to pitching temp until about 6 hours later. So it basically sat at room temp with no yeast for 6 hours. The two LBKs that I split that batch into were sealed and sat at room temp that entire time. When I got back to them, they were at 78 degrees still, so I set them in the fridge for a bit to get them down to 72. At that point, I was getting paranoid about all the time they sat there and I just had to pitch the yeast. I'm just wondering how this long lag in pitching the yeast could effect the beer. The fermenters were sealed, but I'm sure 5 hours is enough to potentially do some damage. One thing this made me realize, is I don't think I've been pitching at proper temps. I usually do an ice bath and top off with cold water, but I honestly think I have been pitching closer to 80 F on most of my beers. Sucks to realize it, but now I need to find a way to fix it. Any thoughts on how long this beer sat before I pitched?
  10. I go 3 weeks in the fermenter and 4 weeks in the bottle at room temp. That's what I learned here and it's worked fine for me. Even with a hydrometer, I don't really even take a reading until the day before I bottle. I know it's done fermenting at that point, so I don't need to take multiple readings. Just one to record the final gravity. With that said, I pretty much always try a bottle at 3 weeks. If it tastes good (and it pretty much always does) I consider it ready to go and throw a few more in the fridge. I probably wont drink more than those 3 before I hit 4 weeks anyway. Then they generally just improve a bit each week. I actually tried a wheat beer at 2 weeks yesterday and it was not bad at all. I'll give it another week before I really consider it ready to drink, but it certainly is not bad at 2 weeks.
  11. Thanks for the advice. I've never tried Summit, but I am changing this recipe every time I brew, until I get something I really like. Right now I'm adding orange peel to the boil, but I'm not getting as much orange flavor as I wanted. I was going to add more orange peel, but I'll give your hops a try next time and see how that works. What does the Carabelge do for your steep? I've never used additional grains in my wheat. Oddly, I'm getting no head retention on this beer. It's only been a couple weeks in the bottle, so maybe that will be improve, but I always thought Wheat was great in head retention.
  12. Chris, I'm Incognitum on BrewToad, same as here. I just looked you up and am following you on BrewToad. I took a look at your recipe and it's not that far off from mine, other than the IBU's. My 20 vs your 70. I would actually like get mine somewhere closer to 40-50 IBUs next time. 70 is probably more bitter than I'd want my wheat, but it sounds like you made an awesome beer.
  13. I tried the first bottle tonight at 2 weeks. It's totally drinkable. I'll probably add another half ounce of hops next time to balance a bit more. It will probably improve a bit in the next couple weeks, but I'm pretty happy with it as is.
  14. Gymrat -- I actually dropped one in the fridge right at the two week mark (which was yesterday). I've never tried a beer before three weeks, but maybe I'll give the first bottle a try tonight or tomorrow and see firsthand.
  15. "BigPapaG" post=387293 said:It has the hop level of many lite American beers... That's what I'm afraid of!
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