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Everything posted by JoshR

  1. You can use store bought apple juice/cider and replace it with most of the water you're using. Just be sure it's 100% apple juice and doesn't contain potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate as these can inhibit the yeast and prevent them from reproducing/fermenting. Also, be sure it's pasteurized so you don't have to worry about contaminants. If you like, I can put together a recipe for you. Just let me know.
  2. I believe he meant registering for the contest, not the forums. If you registered for the contest in time, you would have received an email with your 10% off.
  3. With our oxygen-based sanitizers, you should only make up a batch of solution as needed. It will lose it's ability to sanitize fairly quickly when wet. I've heard people say they've used it with distilled water in spray bottles, but I'm skeptical about their shelf life. I usually use StarSan (an acid-based sanitizer) as a spray solution. It has a longer shelf life when wet, but it is a bit more expensive compared to our No-Rinse sanitizer. Yeah, there's really no need to sanitize your test jar since you shouldn't put the test sample back into the keg anyway. But you do want to sanitize the spigot and anything else that comes in contact with your beer.
  4. Whether specific gravity impacts alpha-acid isomerization depends on who you ask. Glenn Tinseth (A home brewer who developed the equations that are used by most brewing software) found that gravity does have an impact on utilization. This is commonly accepted by homebrewers. However, Mark Malowicki (Has a Master of Science in Food Science and Technology) found that there is no correlation between gravity and hop utilization. It is generally accepted that hop utilization is better in low-gravity worts than in high-gravity worts. This is why homebrewers are told to decrease the amount of hops in a recipe if they switch from boiling a concentrated wort to conducting a full-wort boil. Also, it's the concentration of proteins in the wort that affect isomerization/utilization rather than the sugars. As the proteins coagulate and drop out of suspension, they take some of the hop acids with them, decreasing the total amount available for isomerization. John Palmer explains it a bit in his free online brewing manual: http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter5-5.html So the basic rule of thumb is not to boil your hops in a wort that is over 1.030. So you're correct that a gravity is not needed (some will debate this). I, too make hopped meads and ciders and have never needed to depend on specific gravity for hop isomerization.
  5. I don't actually. I'm sure our Marketing Manager does though.
  6. There is no fermentation for root beer other than in the bottles for carbonation (you can't carbonate in an LBK) , so there's no need to use an LBK unless you're making alcoholic root beer (I've tried it, not so good...lol). Plus, as Jim said, once you use your LBK for root beer, you'd never be able to use it again for beer without introducing off-flavors. You can use any soda bottles (including our bottles) to make your root beer. Most people prefer 2 liter bottles.
  7. We have a larger fermenter called the 24Lx. It holds up to 6 gallons (24 liters). You can ferment in it, then go to secondary if you wish, or you could just bottle straight from the fermenter like the LBK and 8Lx. http://www.mrbeer.com/mrbeer-24l-beer-kits
  8. It should still be open. I'll check on that and see what the deal is.
  9. Our Bierre De Saison is on sale! Only 100 left!!! Get it now!! http://community.mrbeer.com/topic/32882-2013-summer-seasonal-on-sale-limited-quantites/
  10. Great info, Rick! I would like to also like to add, if there's an all-grain recipe that you simply MUST brew, feel free to post it on the forums (or PM me) and I will convert it to an extract recipe for you.
  11. I'll ask Josh B. about it and see if he knows why you can't "like". He may be able to fix it.
  12. The answer depends on what flavor profile you want in your beer. You will get different flavors from your steeping if you squeeze. Are you looking for the sweetness and body of non-fermentable sugars, or roasted flavors of the husk? Both? You will get all of the sugars out of the crushed grain with steeping (provided you use an ample amount of water and time)...no need to squeeze to get out sugars. Different recipes will give different amounts of water for steeping...a carefully developed recipe will utilize the correct amount of water and the correct steeping temperature to get the profile you want/need out of the steeping process. If the recipe calls for squeezing, then squeeze. Are your steeping grains mainly for flavor, or are they for body...mouthfeel, color, head retention? A combination of all? Brewers add steeping grains for various reasons...sometimes one reason is much more important than another...depends on the style of beer and the individual brewer's taste. Maybe you want all the color and some roasted flavor from the husk, but none of the sweetness or body: cold steep uncrushed grain and squeeze away. Squeezing will release tannins and other flavors...do you like tannins and other flavors in your beer? If so, squeeze away. If you don't want tannins and all the husk flavor...don't squeeze. Some brewer's don't even notice tannins...others are very wary of the flavor/bittering. Split the batch, divide the steeping grains into equal halves...squeeze one and don't squeeze the other...this is the only way to know whether you should squeeze to get the flavor profile you seek in each particular beer you make. You may find that you want to squeeze with one style, and not squeeze with another. Point is: it's your beer, your eyes, your nose, and your taste buds...experiment with your process to get the beer you like to drink.
  13. Yeah, this is definitely a debatable topic. Many brewers say to squeeze, many say don't squeeze...lol. That's the thing with brewing, a lot of it is personal preference, and not really an exact science.
  14. +1 for this. If you can get it, Belgian Carapils is AMAZING! I prefer it to American or German. But yeah, just get some carapils (milled) from a local homebrew supply store and steep it in hot water (about 155 degrees F) in a steeping bag for about 25-30 minutes. Then pull out the bag and pour about a cup of hot water over it to rinse/"sparge" any sugars/enzymes left. This will add body, head retention, and flavor to your brew. Don't go too hot with steeping grains or you will extract the astringent tannins to your wort. And don't squeeze the bag, this will also extract astringent tannins. Steeping grains is a bit more advanced, but fairly easy to do. In the near future (probably sometime this week), I will add a short primer on steeping grains in the "Advanced Brewing" subforum.
  15. +1 for Gopher's post. I would like to add that our Deluxe refills come with extra malt to add more ABV and body. They are a little more expensive, but very worth it if you'd like a more "hearty" beer.
  16. You don't necessarily have to boil, but we recommend it as a precautionary sanitation procedure to sanitize the malt and any hops that may be added. Most of our customers are beginners and we simply want them to take all necessary precautions to prevent any contamination.
  17. Another week should do it.
  18. Glad to hear our LBKs are still pretty rugged. I'm pleasantly surprised it didn't break! Like Rick said, you may have oxygenated your wort a little bit, and you may need to let it settle for a few more days, but other than that, it should be fine.
  19. The sale goes live to the public on Saturday. Then it will only be 50% off. So get it before then if you want to save that extra 10%!
  20. YOUR WELCOME!! It's a great beer, especially at that price. lol. Just keep in mind if you want to buy more, that on Saturday the sale will go live to the public. This means it will go from 60% off to 50% off. So get them while they're still 10% cheaper!
  21. It could be a cracked LBK. They are rare, but they do happen. If you email us with a picture of the crack (if you find it), we'll work on getting either a replacement or a discounted keg. We like to know about these things (with pics) so we can forward them to our manufacturer for their records. This helps us improve our products so we can prevent these types of issues in the future.
  22. Yeah, that's what I do sometimes...lol.
  23. JoshR

    grand bohemian

    AWESOME! That's what we like to hear!
  24. JoshR

    Abbey Dubbel

    Adding the hops after a week is called "dry-hopping". It will add more hop aroma to your beer. Boil your hop sack before adding the hops, then just throw it in the keg. You shouldn't need to worry about contamination with the short period of time your keg is open. Just be sure you do it quickly with minimal splashing. Plus most of the pelletized hops are sanitary and I've never had an issue with contamination from dry-hopping.
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