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Everything posted by JoshR

  1. The maple syrup won't add any flavor to the beer at all and it would be a waste of maple syrup because that stuff isn't cheap. Priming only adds Co2 and the amount of sugar added won't add any flavor to your beer, especially to a stout. Also, like honey, the amount of sugar contained in the syrup can vary (this measurement is called "Brix"). Unless you're using a refractometer to find out the actual brix of your syrup in solution to find out the amount needed, then you could have gushers or your beer could be under-carbonated. For priming, always use standard cane or corn sugar. It's cheap, effective, and easy to use. All flavoring sugars should be added in the fermentation stage (after 5 days of primary fermentation will give more flavor). Save your maple syrup for this stage.
  2. @John A: Your order will most likely be shipped out today or tomorrow morning. Your order was placed on Friday the 22nd and Mr. Beer had a 3-day holiday weekend so no shipments were made until Tuesday, 26th. Because of this delay, the 24 hour processing time will be closer to 48 hours until we can get all caught up with the heavy holiday ordering. I apologize for the inconvenience. You should have received a confirmation email when you placed your order. Sometimes it ends up in the spam box. Also, if you open an account by registering to the website (https://www.mrbeer.com/registration), any order you placed while logged in will be saved and you can check shipment info and tracking from there. If you have anymore questions or concerns about your order, feel free to PM me here or email customerservice@mrbeer.com. Please keep in mind that this is the busiest week of the year for our CSR team so some replies may be delayed. Cheers!
  3. Email our customer service department at customerservice@mrbeer.com and we will see if we can send some replacements out to you. Be sure to include your full name and shipping address.
  4. We will be using the current spigots we are using now, but the kegs will be more custom fit for them. Also, there are plans to have the molding seam go AROUND the spigot hole instead of through it, but I cannot confirm at this time if the design has been adapted yet. I will try to have more info for you as soon as I can.
  5. Just so you guys know, we have switched to a new manufacturer for our kegs and these issues should be solved in the coming year as the new kegs are released.
  6. I don't recommend using sanitizer because it soaks the muslin sack leaving a larger ppm of sanitizer in your beer than you should want. Save your sanitizer and use boiling water instead.
  7. Carafa is a dehusked grain whose main purpose is to add color without a lot of flavor. It is preferable to any of the darker grains if that's what you're looking for. You can even get less flavor by doing an overnight cold steep instead and adding that to your boil. If you can't get Carafa, Blackprinz is basically the same thing, but from a different brand (Briess).
  8. Yeah, that should go without saying, but I will make the update.
  9. The FastFermenter is a great way to brew your beer AND harvest yeast. A few people, however, have been confused by the instructions included in the FastFermenter kit. These instructions are intended for unhopped malt extract and all-grain brewing. You will NOT boil your wort at all when using Mr. Beer refills in this fermenter. Remember, it's simply a fermenter and nothing about the brewing process changes, other than the fact that you can harvest your yeast and easily remove trub before bottling. Here are the updated instructions for brewing MR. Beer in this fermenter: Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the can of Brewing Extract, then place the unopened can in hot tap water. Using the cleaned measuring cup, pour 4 cups of water into your 3-quart or larger pot. If Booster Pack is included, add slowly while stirring into cool water until dissolved. Bring water to a boil, and then remove from heat. Open the can of brewing extract and pour it into the boiled water. Stir until thoroughly mixed. This mixture is called “wort”. With the bottom valve all the way open, fill the fermenter with cold, refrigerated water to the 1-gallon mark. TIP: For best results, use bottled spring water or charcoal-filtered tap water between 40° - 60°F. Pour the hot wort into the fermenter, and then bring the total volume of the fermenter to the 2-gallon mark by adding more cold water. Mix vigorously with the spoon or whisk. Sprinkle the entire yeast packet into the fermenter (do NOT stir), then screw on the lid and attach the airlock. Fill the airlock with water up to the line. After 5 days, close the valve and remove the collection jar from fermenter. Discard the sediment (called “trub”) from the jar, then clean and sanitize the jar in boiling water for a few minutes and replace onto the fermenter. Open the valve allowing the jar to fill with beer and continue the fermentation period. Once you are ready to bottle, close the valve and remove the collection jar from fermenter. The contents of the jar, which will mostly be yeast, can be discarded or saved to ferment a future batch. If saved, put a lid on the jar and refrigerate right away until use. This yeast may be used for up to 4 weeks after refrigeration. After removing the jar, screw on the barbed hose adapter with 3.8” hose attached for bottling or kegging. You will use this hose to transfer your beer into bottles or kegs for carbonation. To reuse your harvested yeast, simply pitch into your next batch by pouring the contents from the collection jar into the fermenter when it calls for yeast. I hope this clears up any confusion about using Mr. Beer/Coopers products with the new 3G FastFermenter. But as usual, if anyone has any questions, post here, call us, email us, or reach out via our web chat. Cheers!
  10. I will try to throw one up tomorrow. I've been a bit busy lately with the store, I haven't had a lot of time to come on here as much as I used to, but I'm always still watching.
  11. SS growlers are fine to carbonate in as long as they have a tight-fitting cap. When bottling lagers, lager the beer AFTER carbonation. One of the primary reasons to lager is to clarify and brighten the beer. Lagering before-hand, then adding priming sugar defeats the purpose of lagering because the carbonation process promotes the suspension of yeast (though you can always lager it for a longer period of time in the bottle later). Carbonate, then lager in the bottle at 35F for 4-6 weeks after the beer is carbonated (carbonate at room temps). If you were using regular corny kegs and force-carbonating with Co2 tanks, then I would suggest lagering while the beer is uncarbonated. This is because you are adding pure Co2 to the beer later and don't have to worry about suspended yeast from adding extra sugar.
  12. As you can see from this post, by @hotrod3539, what you have is totally normal. His has a bit more Co2 off-gassing, but you can still clearly see the yeast "rafts".
  13. Definitely not infected. That's just yeast floating on top. Most infections will create a biofilm that is usually white and chalky. In early stages, it looks kinda like thin sheets of ice with jagged edge like this:
  14. JoshR


    It doesn't taste anything like tea (I don't like tea). It's more like a fancy soda.
  15. JoshR


    It's not always sour, just like not all beer tastes like Budweiser. It can also be very sweet and/or fruity. It all depends on how long you brew it, the type of tea used, how much sugar is added, and whether or not fruit or spices are added. Typically, the longer it is brewed, the more vinegary it gets. Shorter brew times will yield a sweeter tea with minimal to no sourness. I personally prefer mine more vinegary, but I've had some really good fruited ones that tasted like candy. Asian Pear Kombucha from Wonder Drink is amazing and has no sour flavor whatsoever.
  16. Ahh, yes. Beer Essentials. Great place. One of the nicer shops I've seen. Almost got a job there several years ago, but I didn't want to move to Lakewood. lol. The shop I worked at was the oldest homebrew shop in WA. It was formerly called "Olympia Homebrew Supply" many years ago, but in the mid 90s, cannabis growing started getting more popular so the owners invested in a bunch of indoor gardening and lighting inventory and they changed the name to "Healthcrafts". So it became a hydroponics/gardening/homebrew shop. It was all inside a little red barn. I really do miss working there sometimes.
  17. THAT is how these LHBS employees/managers/owners should be treating their customers - not ridiculing them or making them feel bad because they started on Mr. Beer (or any other HME kit). Mr. Beer has ALWAYS been the easiest, most affordable and accessible way to learn how to brew. Any one of these LHBS people could do a little research and see that we're the #1 best-selling homebrewing kit in the US, and #1 on Amazon. They should be catering to these customers' needs rather than ridiculing their consumer choices if they want to stay in business. It is a business, after all, not a soap box. Speaking of soap boxes, time to get off of mine. But I will leave you with this: When I was at the National Homebrewer's Conference in MN this year, the #1 thing people said to me was "Thank you for getting me started".
  18. I lived in Oly for a decade. The homebrew shop with the guy from Dick's is Rocky Top Homebrew. Great folks. Not sure what the other place is because the only other homebrew store in Olympia used to be Healthcrafts and I managed it (it closed a few years ago). We were never anti-Mr. Beer products. In fact, we sold Coopers HMEs. So the place you're referring to must be new (within the last 3 years).
  19. 61 is too low for your ambient temp. Like I said, most breweries stay at 68. Yes, hot air rises, but not before it exchanges through the ambient temperature. It will dissipate into the surrounding environment before it even hits the lid because it's such a minimal amount of heat. The center may be warmer, but only by perhaps .01 degrees. It's so minimal that it doesn't really matter, especially when accuracy isn't as important as consistency. All you need to do is set your temp controller and forget it. There is no need to change the temperature at any time during your fermentation.
  20. It's really more of a guide and not for accuracy since it will be slightly warmer inside the keg, but by only a few degrees at most. Accuracy isn't as important as consistency. An external sensor on top of the lid won't be as accurate as if it were on the side under the liquid level. But again, we're not looking for accuracy. As long as your ambient temperature around the fermenter is within your range, it will be fine (most breweries are at 68 F).
  21. Yes, that is definitely an infection. Mine wasn't as pronounced as this, and am pretty sure it was a lacto infection. This looks like a wild yeast (Brettanomyces or wild Sacchromyces) pellicle, but lactobacillus and/or acetobacter could be in there, too. What does it smell/taste like? http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Pellicle <--- Great website, by the way.
  22. Pretty sure it was due to the very old LBK I used. Probably had some scratches in it so I tossed it. In any case, it can still happen to the best of us - even with proper sanitation. In fact, on a homebreweing level, ALL of our beers are infected in some way. It's just a matter of controlling it before off-flavors set in. Fortunately, the ChromosBeer still came out tasting great. I really like that recipe and might try an all-grain version soon.
  23. An infection can sometimes over-carbonate a beer before it displays any off-flavors/aromas. In some cases, especially in the presence of high IBUs and cold temperatures, it could take weeks or months before an infection will actually create off-flavors (this is why some sour beers take so long to make if they aren't kettle-soured). I did the ChromosBeer recipe recently and it got infected and even had a small pellicle (biofilm) formation. But, fortunately, it tasted fine so I kegged it. Once kegged, the pellicle won't reform because it only does so in the presence of oxygen. And because of that, you can also have an infection without any signs of a pellicle if the headspace is free from oxygen.
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