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Everything posted by woodeneye

  1. Flies in general are naturally attracted to beer. Some old timers (I'm not one myself) may remember that they used to sell old fashioned glass hornet and fly traps for people's homes. One of the most common attractants used in these one way ticket to death style traps was flat beer. I believe Garret Wade still carries these in their catalog and online. Point being-flies and many other insects LOVE beer, kinda the way I do. So I'm always very careful about aanitizing my storage cooler and anything that goes in it with the LBK.
  2. The math works out to about 6ml per gallon. I just use a small graduated cylinder for measuring it, rinse it a couple times to get all the StarSan out, and fill a 1 gallon jug, plus flush the jug out with a little extra water. It's not failed me yet.
  3. When I first started brewing, I needed a vessel for sanitizing my equipment, for cleaning and sterilizing bottles, and other misellaneous uses throughout the brewing process. I use an auto-siphon for some of my equipment, which is quite cumbersome due to it's length and for my Mr. Beer equipment, I have a bottling wand and hydrometer that I sanitize, as well. As mentioned, bottles were something I particularly needed this for, along with my spatula, long whisk, 13" spoon, measuring cup, funnel, can opener, bottle caps, and measuring spoons. Initially, I used a food safe 2 gallon bucket, as a big kitchen bowl just didn't suit my needs, nor did a deeper pan. So, I was placing an order on Amazon and decided I could find something better to suit my needs. Sure enough, I found just what I needed and I have to say, it works spectacularly for my brewing uses. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039V2G5E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 It's just a simple Sterlite White 12 Quart Dishpan (very spacious) that you would likely be able to find at your Walmart or similar store. It's flat bottomed, easy to clean and clean in, plus - it has all the room you need for your longer items and you can fit several bottles in it at once for sanitizing. It gets used for every phase of brewing. If you can afford $4-5 then you can definitely add this or something similar to your list.
  4. Welcome to the obsession! After you have brewed your first batch, you might consider getting another LBK and getting a pipeline going.
  5. I use Five Star PBW (powdered brewers wash). This stuff works insanely well at cleaning fermenting vessels. Just mix accordingly to the amount you need. I do as Josh said, fill the fermenter and then let it sit until all traces of trub or dried on Krausen are gone. If you're in a hurry, you can rub some of the more stubborn spots with a soft clean wash rag, but this really isn't necessary. Just a good soaking will do it. It's strong stuff: then all that is required is a thorough rinsing. Easy as... Well, brewing with Mr. Beer!
  6. Glad to have another member here. Just send any extra beer to me and you'll fit in great, I'm sure.
  7. You'll be just fine. I've had to move my fermentation vessels (LBKs and 1 gallon glass jugs) multiple times due to temperature fluctuations in different areas of the house and because of this ever changing Spring weather and as long as you're not disturbing the brew too much, all is fine.
  8. Thanks, guys. I think I have something worked out. Appreciate your input!
  9. Fantastic! Nothing like when a good plan comes together, eh? I'll be brewing the Oktoberfest soon, so it's nice to hear it came out well. I've read this is a great refill. Thanks for the good report. Brew on!
  10. Oh, and your choice of hops will help bring that out if so desired, also.
  11. I know of Boneyard Grapefruit IPA. Yeasts, zests, essential oils could all be used to add a grapefruit like aroma and taste to your beer. You should look the IPA I mentioned up, unless you're going for a different style of beer.
  12. I use multiple vessels, like Rick. But, since I use Five Star PBW, it cleans the bottles while the labels slip right off. Then I just scrub them with an ordinary dish towel to remove any residual glue (usually nine to very little left at this point) then transfer them to clean rinse water. I might use a bottle brush if I'm in doubt, but rarely am. That stuff works great! Five Star Powdered Brewery Wash is definitely worth every penny. It also is great for stuck on dried Krausen that you often find at the top of your fermenting vessel.
  13. Hope it turns out good for you, Phil! Thanks for the suggestion.
  14. Thanks, Brewer. Very insightful post. I'll remember this for future batches. I did some research, and found a recipe calling for lactose, which I would like to have on hand for a coffee stout I plan on doing anyway. So I ordered a couple pounds of it and will let y'all know how it turns out for me. Once I get a couple LBKs freed up, I also have plans for a Moose Drool clone that I want to try. Gotta love a good brown ale.
  15. I forgot to post this. I have heard of some people using lactose to sweeten their ciders but I don't know where to get this? An online brewing store or my local grocer. Also, even if I had said lactose, I wouldn't know how to use it. So any help or insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
  16. Title says it all. I have the Hard Pear Cider refill and was thinking of making it either plain, or with cherries or blackberries. Whatever route I go, how do I go about getting a product that will be slightly sweet on the finish rather than dry? We used to serve a perry at my bar and it was more on the sweeter side and the ladies loved it. I'm hoping to replicate that by some means. This is more for my mother and her friends and they don't like dry finishes so if you can help me out, it would be appreciated greatly.
  17. I have used most of the major cleansers and sanitizers now, and I use whatever I happen to have on hand. If I have some of Mr. Beer's No Rinse Cleanser, I use it. If I happen to be low on it, I use StarSan, which I also like for its low contact time. I use PBW to clean all my equipment after its done fermenting. It is an alkali based cleaner that's safe for most everything and cleans even the most stuck on messes on the sides and tops of my LBKs and 1 gallon fermenting jugs. It's also great for removing bottle labels. I'll often soak some bottles in 1 tablespoon per gallon. And those labels peel off within 5 minutes. I then save the solution to put in my LBK, swirl it around some and it will remove anything with little to no scrubbing, depending on how long you let it sit. I will start using oxyclean once I use up my scented tub and next time I'll be sure to buy Oxyclean free. But as mentioned, I always like keeping some PBW and StarSan around in case I need it.
  18. I agree with Josh, you would definitely ruin the hop's character at a temp like that. Even if you had a super low temp smoker, there are better viable alternatives to give your beer a smoky woodsy taste than ruining something as delicate as hops.
  19. Welcome! I'm sure you'll find this community a valuable resource as I have.
  20. Just placed my new order with Mr. Beer. I decided to take a certain matter into my own hands. This will be my third order from Mr. Beer along with two others from independent retailers. Can't wait!
  21. I use a combination of QBrew and my calendar app on my iPod to keep track of dates, ingredients, and additional notes that I feel should be included. That way it is in my pocket at all times, besides the QBrew printouts which I keep in a folder in my (beer) office. I keep all my materials and ingrediants in the closet of that room, but it barely holds it all, even though it's a big closet. My brewing takes place in the basement or a spare bathroom depending on temperatures. I can see where a simple spreadsheet would come in handy, especially once my brewe grow more complex and if I pick up additional LBKs. So far, though, my system is working for my simpleton ways.
  22. Yes sir, get those temps down in a hurry before you're posting "2nd Batch 2nd Fail."
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