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Everything posted by sdrake

  1. Thanks to everyone who answered. I will stop by the local homebrew store and get a warm temperature yeast and try it later when I go on vacation. I'm all about experimenting and trying something new.
  2. I have some thoughts about your process. In the first few days, the keg temperature can be 8-10 degrees warmer than the air temperature around it. So if you're 68F with your room temperature, your keg temperature (the more important temperature) wlll likely be in the mid-70s. That might put you a tad on the warm side than what you want. Also, insulating the keg with blankets might keep the keg even warmer because it's not able to dissipate the heat generated from the initial rapid fermentation. Those two things concern me. Here's what I do that works very well. I have a large cooler (<$20 at Walmart) that I keep my LBK in. I regularly rotate freezer packs and frozen plastic bottles into the cooler to keep the desired temperature. I have a temperature sensor that communicates wirelessly to a temperature display (basic outdoor temperature thing you can get at Target or any other fine stores). During the first few days, I try to keep the temperature in the cooler a few degrees cooler than the desired fermentation temperature. Because the cooler is a small environment, the temperature in the cooler will more likely mirror the temperature in the LBK. Once I get beyond those first 4-5 days, I then rotate the cold packs to keep the temperature at my desired temperature. This has worked well for me through over a dozen batches.
  3. Down the road, I'll be taking a 2 week vacation so I don't expect I can leave anything fermenting while I'm gone as I won't be here to rotate cold packs into the cooler to keep the LBK at the appropriate temperature. But, perhaps I can. While out of town, I expect the house will be 80-85F. Is there an appropriate beer yeast that is ideal for fermenting at that warmer temperature range? Probably a dumb question since I probably already know the answer. But I ask because I'm hopeful.
  4. I always throw a little sanitizer in the big bowl of hot water where the cans are soaking. Part of the outside of the can always touches the inside where you use the can opener and pour. Sanitizer in the hot water just sanitizes everything. Just be safe.
  5. I bought Novacaine and will brew it up this summer.
  6. That one says "In Stock" and "Not Currently Available." Josh must be hoarding it for himself.
  7. How about starting a thread where you rank your Top 3 Favorite Mr. Beer recipes. One rule: Must be a straight Mr. Beer recipe without any tinkering or modifications. Here's mine: 1). Big Red One: This one came out perfect. It has an ideal mouth feel with a balance between body and bubbles. Great head. A hoppy taste that isn't too strong and a nice reddish color. This is a complete winner! I'll definitely make this one again. 2). Belgian Spiced Ale: The spices come through just right. You can taste them, but they don't overwhelm. Nice body. Nice head. A very balanced taste. I wish they'd make this a full-time refill and not a seasonal. 3). Mad Ludwig's Marzen: I like this one and it came out very good.
  8. Here's an issue I haven't seen in the forum. I have a batch fermenting for a week. I have it in a cooler with frozen packs to try to keep the temperature around the recommended 55F for this yeast. The last day or so when I've opened up the cooler to put in fresh frozen packs, I've noticed fruit flies. A few fruit flied I see alive in the cooler. There are 6 or 7 dead fruit flies on the floor of the cooler around the LBK. Anyone seen this before? Concerns? Are they in my fermenting beer? If they are in the fermenting beer, will that ruin the batch? The source of the fruit flies? My theory... My wife has been keeping oranges in another cooler because there isn't room in the refrigerator. So she's been using the same frozen packs that I've been using. Perhaps the fruit flies laid eggs on one of the frozen packs, assuming that 10F in the freezer doesn't kill fruit fly eggs.
  9. sdrake

    Big Red One

    I tried another bottle at 2 months conditioning. This is still the most AWESOME beer I've ever drank. I don't see how it can get better at 6-9 months conditioning. At 1 months and 2 months it's been awesome. I'll drink another bottle at 3 months, 4 months and 5 months.
  10. I've bottled over a dozen batches and haven't "washed" a bottle yet. I do rinse the heck out of them then use the sanitizer. I haven't had any issues yet with any of my batches.
  11. I just drank my first bottle of the Belgian Spiced Ale after only conditioning 2 1/2 weeks. I couldn't wait. It's awesome! You can taste the spices, the hoppiness, everything wonderful in it.
  12. How about a deeply discounted price for those in Arizona?
  13. Didn't Michigan basketball lose to NJIT back in December? And a few years ago they lost to Appalachian State in football?
  14. I went to Clemson and we've never lost to the Buckeyes in football. It's a gimme win on the bowl game schedule.
  15. Michigan State??? I'm surprised with adding the sugar to the bottles after the beer was already in them that you didn't get some small eruptions due to nucleation of the dissolved CO2 in the "flat" beer. When I bottle, I create stations... (1) Empty bottles, (2) Sanitized bottles, (3) Sanitized bottles with sugar, (4) Capped bottles with beer in them.
  16. I use blue painter's masking tape and a sharpie. It looks good every time.
  17. Here's where I wish Mr. Beer would depart from their "one size fits all" approach to recipe directions. They could in each recipe specify the appropriate amount of carbonation sugar based on the style of the beer. Obviously I've been over sugaring my beer at bottling by simply following the Mr. Beer directions.
  18. This seems non-intuitive. A agree that CO2 is absorbed differently based on temperature. But you're referring to fermentation temperature, which I understand is the temperature of the LBK for the 3 weeks. But during those 3 weeks, the LBK isn't under pressure such that the CO2 produced departs the wort. Sure, some CO2 is in the wort as atmospheric pressure will keep some CO2 dissolved in it. But are you saying that at a colder fermentation temperature, more CO2 is retained in the wort, which is therefore in it at bottling, such that less carbonation sugar is needed?
  19. Thanks, everyone! This is far more information than I was expecting. I've been putting in 3/4th of a teaspoon in every 12 oz bottle as Mr. Beer states. RickBeer... thanks for saying that you've been putting in less and been pleased. Based on your experience, the next time I bottle, I'll put the full Mr. Beer sugar in some of the bottles and maybe 75% of the 3/4th teaspoon in some bottles and mark which bottles are which. Then when I drink them, I can see which I prefer. I don't measure FG and just brew the Mr. Beer recipes as the directions state. It intrigues me that several of you have mentioned that the temperature and style of the beer can indicate a different amount of carbonating sugar. I don't think I understand this aspect of the comments. Nickfixit says something that I've observed. My beers with less head do seem to have more carbonation and more of a soda feel. I've found the general rule is that the higher the ABV (more stuff going into the LBK), the less the carbonation is the defining quality of the beer. That's why I've tended to more towards recipes that give 6%+ ABV. But, using less carbonating sugar, perhaps I can enjoy the lower ABV brews better.
  20. I put the amount of sugar specified by Mr. Beer for 12 oz bottles. Rather than receive a curt response, I'd like to hear from others whether they find their carbonation is overwhelming or on-par with what's expected.
  21. I've brewed and bottled over a dozen batches since last September. Look at my signature to see the variety of what I've brewed. All the batches have been successes and have tasted good (with the exception of the Cherry Wheat which I think is just a bad recipe). Since last September, probably 90% of the beer I've drank has been my own beer from these Mr. Beer recipes. Last week I've been drinking store-bought micro-brew beer because I wanted to try something different and I needed some bottles. But in drinking the store-bought micro-brew, it's drawn my attention to one perceivable difference between my Mr. Beer beers and this micro-brew. With my Mr. Beer beer from the various recipes, the carbonation is a much bigger part of the mouthfeel than the store-bought micro-brew. I do find that my Mr. Beer beers do taste better about 5-10 minutes after I've poured them into a mug and part of the carbonation has had a chance to release itself. I expect that this perceived difference in carbonation mouthfeel is due to our method of using the yeast to carbonate our beer as opposed to how commercial breweries do it. Am I just imagining something or have others noticed that the carbonation mouthfeel seems a little more dominant with our Mr. Beer beer? I did find that the bottle of "Big Red One" with an 8%+ ABV that I opened after a month of conditioning didn't have the carbonation as dominant as my other batches. I'm guessing that more body helps balance the mouthfeel.
  22. On the master recipe list, the Saazquatch Imperial Pilsner description is 6.6% ABV. But when you click on the recipe, the detailed page for it says 8.0% ABV. Based on the ingredients (2 HMEs), the 6.6% ABV is probably the more correct number. Based on the ingredients, there's no way 8.0% ABV is going to be achieved. I've noticed this with many of the recipes that the master recipe list has one ABV while the recipe's page has another. It might be good for someone to go through it and make it all consistent.
  23. So in the past month, I've ordered 6 recipes. I just bottled a batch so I have an empty LBK to start another batch. So I went to my Mr. Beer ingredients and sorted out everything needed to make Novacaine next. It's then that I noticed the 3 Bohemian Czech Pilsner cans that I've received this month all have June 2015 expiration dates on them where as all my other cans have 2016 dates. So, change of plans. My next 2 batches will be recipes using the Bohemian Czech Pilsner cans. An upcoming vacation limits my beer-making schedule but I think I can get these recipes made by June if I put them at the front of the train. Novacaine will need to wait until summer. Yes, I know people have discussed that the expiration dates on the cans are very flexible and they're probably good for months afterwards. But, I like not leaving anything to chance. Mr. Beer should really watch their inventory better and give customers a little more time between receiving the product and the product's expiration date. Or when the time-to-expiration is short, that's the good time to run the 20% off of that refill and let customers know before purchasing that the refills are nearing expiration (like was done with the Belgian Spiced Ale).
  24. Baseball season starts in a few weeks. It would be interesting for a blog to have a list by each of the 30 stadiums what types of beer are available. It would be interesting to see which teams are locked most into offering the macro brews, which ones provide the most choice and which ones provide the most micro brews. Personally, I never buy beer at baseball games because I won't pay $8 for a beer anywhere.
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