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Everything posted by sdrake

  1. I really would expect every HME can to have a small hiss when the can opener first goes into it. It's a liquid inside and every liquid has some dissolved air inside of it. The instructions say to take the HME can and put it in hot water before opening it to help the liquid pour better. Adding heat will only increase the pressure on the dissolved air inside the can. I smelled the wort of the swollen can and it seemed to smell ok. But I don't have a lot of experience smelling HME cans and it's the St. Patricks, so too dark to tell if there's any mold. Anyway, I'll know what I have in 3 weeks.
  2. I opened them and began making the Novacaine on Saturday. Only the soft can lid on the yeast packet side was bulging a bit. But no pressure behind it. When I opened all 3 HME cans (even the one without bulging), there was a small hiss. I guess in 3 weeks I'll have a better idea whether the bulging can was an issue if my Novacaine is garbage. But then again, Novacaine is designed to have a really potent taste, so how will I know? If I find I have something bad in 3 weeks, is there any kind of guarantee in place? Someone via the Mr. Beer Facebook page told me the cans were good, so I went ahead and opened them to make Novacaine.
  3. sdrake


    This morning after 48 hours, no overflow. Ambient air temperature of 55F around LBK has been good. Fermentation has still been happening. I'll now relax the ambient air temperature a bit.
  4. sdrake


    No matter how many ice packs I put in, I can't get the air temperature around the LBK any colder than 55F. The LBK just generates enough heat to keep the temperature from going any colder. I know the general rule is that the LBK is 8-10 degrees warmer (the first week) than the air around the LBK, so I figure that my wort is in the 62-64 degree range.
  5. sdrake


    22 hours in, the foam in the LBK is right up almost touching the lid. Last night before going to bed, I added fresh ice packs to my cooler and got the temperature down to 55F in my cooler. This morning it's at 56.5F and I added fresh ice packs again with the intent to get the temperature down to around 50F to try to suspend the fermentation briefly to allow the foam to subside. My cooler is 12 gallons. So the LBK is about 20% of the volume. The ice packs are about 10% of the volume. 70% of the volume is air. So the LBK in its rapid fermentation is creating some heat. Hopefully there's no damage to the beer if I take it down to 50F to slow down the fermentation and hopefully avoid an overflow. I figure if I can get past about 3 days without an overflow, I'm safe.
  6. It can't be 8% since the only fermentable ingredients are 2 HMEs.
  7. I don't understand why anyone would name anything consumable "Horse's Ass" anything. Horse's Ass Cereal, Horse's Ass Pie, Horse's Ass Salad, Horse's Ass Casserole, Horse's Ass Ale...
  8. sdrake


    I started Novacaine this morning with the unexpired swollen cans that Mr. Beer says are still good. Lots of ice packs in the cooler where I have the LBK to get the temperature down to 60F or in the high 50s in order to slow the initial fermentation so I don't get an overflow. Lid on LBK is a quarter-turn loose as per RickBeer's good advice.
  9. New website didn't fix this issue. When I click on this recipe, it shows it as 8.0%. No way!
  10. Initially I gave away a dozen or so 12 oz bottles in exchange for people collecting empty bottles for me and my seeking out their opinions about the quality of the beer. But I found that they don't give me any feedback so I don't see the point of giving it away.
  11. With the redesign of the Mr. Beer website, I'm at a loss for finding a customer service email address. I posted a question on here Saturday and it received zero response from anyone with Mr. Beer. Does anyone know their customer service email address? Thanks.
  12. Josh, are you still on here? What do you say?
  13. Sides aren't dented. When I push on where the can in bent outwards, there's no pressure behind it. If you were me, would you make the beer?
  14. I was getting ready to make Novacaine this morning when I took the plastic lids off the cans. 2 of the 3 cans appear to be a bit swollen. Both cans have December 2015 expiration dates on the bottom so they should be good (Mr. Beer guarantee???). They're St. Patricks (worse of the 2) and American Ale. Look at the picture. Would you consider these HMEs to still be good? Would you still make the beer?
  15. I've bottled 14 different batches of Mr. Beer refills and recipes and I've noticed one similarity about all of them... They're all much better beer than Budweiser, Coors, Miller, etc.
  16. This thread scares me a lot. If Vakko is exploding bottles, than there's little hope for humanity. So far in with 313 bottles, I've yet to have any explode. Now I'm a bit concerned with going off on vacation in a few weeks and leaving my beer in a house where the temperature will be in the mid-80s.
  17. Currently, the house isn't heating up enough during the day to go beyond the temperature swing you describe. When the temperature starts getting 105-110F regularly, we'll just turn the thermostat up 5-8F rather than turn it off. Normally we keep the house at 76F during the summer.
  18. I have my LBK in a cooler and I rotate in new ice packs to maintain a temperature in the 60-67F range for my current batch that has a recommended 68F temperature. (I've always been fermenting a few degrees colder than the instructions.) But this morning before leaving for work, I forgot to rotate in a new ice pack. It'll get to 100F today outside and we turn off our a/c when we go to work. The cooler will temper the absorption of the warmer house temperatures, but I expect the temperature inside the cooler to get to 72-74 by the time I get home this evening. The current batch is 11 days into it's 3 week fermentation, so it's beyond the heavy dose of fermentation. Will having the LBK at 73 or 74F for maybe 4-5 hours be critical or impart any unusual tastes? Thanks.
  19. All I do is rinse the heck out of my LBK after I've bottled, then sanitize it. Then I leave it to drip dry upside down with the lid off. I've never removed the spigot as part of my cleaning process. Each of my LBK's have been used for 6 or 7 batches. No problems and I just went over to my LBK and sniffed it. No significant smell.
  20. I used to use some twist cap bottles because it's what I had. I had mostly good luck with them in holding a cap with a good seal, but I found a few bottles of beer didn't hold the seal and I had flat beer. I probably had a 95% success rate. With pry-off caps, I'm having a 100% success rate.
  21. I'm from a place where we don't end sentences with prepositions.
  22. Good point. I think my LBK is good. The foam and activity on the surface looks totally normal this morning.
  23. Even if pouring in the small amount of hot water killed a few yeast, so what. They multiply like bunnies and the fermentation party will be going again in almost no time.
  24. This morning I mixed up Amberosia Tripel. And it kept bugging me how it could be listed as 7.5% ABV when it's only 2 cans of HME. So I looked at the recipe again and see I goofed. I forgot to add the cup of granulated white sugar. So I put 1.5 cups of water in a small pot and brought it to a boil, then added the cup of sugar until it was dissolved. I then added that sugar water to my LBK 2 hours after I had mixed it up. Hopefully I didn't screw it up and it'll still come out good.
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