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  1. I don't necessarily want more alcohol. I just want to hit the expected marks. I'm going to pay closer attention to the dates. But why does Mr. Beer instruct 7-14 days fermentation? It never is. I've traditionally done 3 weeks anyway, just thought this one might not need as long. Plus I have to brew and bottle when I have time so that plays a role. Thx for your input guys.
  2. Yes meeting the OG for the most part. Occasionally a bit short. OG-FG X 131.25. Compensate readings for temps according to chart. I always use the yeast supplied. I don't usually refrigerate it but keep it at room temp not usually over 70°. Occasionally it might take me a week or so to get to brewing. Haven't looked at date codes. Guess I should. I do buy clearance kits occasionally but I assume they'd throw fresh yeast packs in there. Btw the American lager deluxe got 70% attenuation. Maybe it wasn't done after 16 days. I normally ferment 3 weeks.
  3. I bought an apartment fridge and installed a temp controller. Fermented at 54° for three weeks. It came out so clear and delicious. I've had it in there conditioning for several weeks and it's getting even better. This investment of about $100 was so worth it. I can ferment 2 lbks at a time in there and modulate the temps easily. Set and forget.
  4. I'm gonna use a couple shims. Should do the trick.
  5. I've had several batches of Mr. BEER come out short on abv by a few percent. I try to follow the directions religiously but some batches just come up very short. Most recently American lager, came out 3.57% after 16 days at 64-66°. I've had a suspicion that this is a yeast problem. I can see the yeast getting blown out by some if the high malt recipes but this one? I'm thinking old yeast. I brewed it within a week of receiving. Idk what do you guys think? Do you activate your yeast first?
  6. Josh, do you think one ounce would be about right for the LBK? From what I'm reading various places, guys use two ounces per five gal batch.
  7. So, you think one cup of soaked chips is too much for two gallons? How much would you recommend? I have a cup soaking but I don't have to use it all. I'm putting it in Saturday so if you see this please reply. Thx for the feedback. Ps to answer your question, 3/4 cup of bourbon-soaked toasted oak chips.
  8. Yes, thanks, that confirms what I'm planning to do. I'm soaking them for about 3 days before adding to e LBK. I'd probably have fermented this for three weeks anyway, I tend to do that with any big beer. Maybe use 3/4 cup?
  9. I've done chocolate and coffee but not with oak. Anyway thanks for the tip. And I plan to age it until at least December.
  10. I bought a mini fridge off craigslist for 30 bucks and a temperature controller for 70. I can fit two LBKs in it at the same time. I use it to lager at lower temps or just to ferment ales at a constant temp. In the summer even the basement temp fluctuates. Just set it and forget it for two weeks, it's great. And if you plan to keep home brewing (you will) it's a great investment. I like using the LBKs because I like to brew lots of varieties. If I need a lot of something I just use a couple LBKs instead of buying the big boy. But who knows, I might break down someday and get one.
  11. I have four, and they get put to good use. Stay thirsty, my friend.
  12. Ok, so toasted. Would you add them to the wort immediately or after one week?
  13. I'm about to attempt a bourbon barrel aged stout. I'm using the Shameless Stout recipe. I plan to soak oak chips in Maker's Mark and drop a cup full into the wort in a hop bag, then bottle condition with more chips in flavor infusers. My question is, do you guys think this is overkill? About right? Maybe lose the flavor infusers? I'm going to sample the wort for flavor when I take my FG reading. Thx GREG
  14. Based on feedback from all of you here is what I just bought. I may swap one or two items. Qty Product Name (Part Number) Unit Price Discount Ea. Price Ea. Total 1 Stainless Steel Bottle Washer (31080) - $10.95 $0.00 $10.95 $10.95 1 Bottle Washer Faucet Adapter (31085) - $3.49 $0.00 $3.49 $3.49 1 Nylon Bottle Brush (31075) - $2.95 $0.00 $2.95 $2.95 1 Bottle Drainer Tree (31070) - $29.95 $0.00 $29.95 $29.95 1 Hydrometer & 10" Sample Tube (31017) - $10.49 $1.05 $9.44 $9.44 1 Sugar Measure (31040) - $1.95 $0.00 $1.95 $1.95 3 2 Gallon Fermenter (Beer Keg) (41010) - $10.00 $0.00 $10.00 $30.00 1 BTF Iodophor Sanitizer (80312) - $3.95 $0.00 $3.95 $3.95 :gulp: About me: You may have gathered that I'm indeed a dyed-in-the-wool Buckeye. I grew up in Napoleon, OH, but have lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since about 1989. I'm currently a source of irritation to all the Monotony Lions fans here in the Easton, PA area. I have brewed before with friends at a brew-on-premises place in Freehold, NJ, which was great, but they have brewmasters to ferment it for you. This is my first foray into home brewing. I'm a bit of a do-it-yourselfer and I like making things (and drinking beer) so I expect to really get into this. I've been into craft for a while and I needed a hobby which is less strenuous than previous pastimes like mountain biking, etc. and infinitely more rewarding. My first batch, the American Lite, is currently bubbling away downstairs. I've already got some Patriot Lager and Witch's Amber HMEs lined up to brew as soon as I get my new LBKs. I'd love to try a weissbier for the summer too. Depending on my success I'm sure I'll branch out into recipes, grain, hopping, etc. like you old pros. Thanks for all the welcomes, advice, etc. Prost!
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