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Bonsai & Brew

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Everything posted by Bonsai & Brew

  1. Take a look at the Nilla Porter recipe in the archive -- it uses smooth LME, brown sugar and vanilla. I've got this one conditioning right now so I don't have a final review yet, but it did have nice flavor coming out of the LBK prior to bottling. Your recipe sounds pretty good too -- good luck!
  2. Yes! Not only do the shop-by filters work perfectly, pages also seem to be loading faster. My beta test was to see how efficiently I could find the highest %ABV malty recipe and was looking at Heavy McWee in no time! Great job on this and thank you!
  3. I'm afraid OT has been my MO here lately, but thanks for the suggestions. Those beers look tasty! I am familiar with the Mr. Beer DMEs, but not sure about the other products you mentioned. I have only brewed straight-up Mr. Beer recipes so far, so I would need to look into this -- thx again
  4. I am curious though how that La Vie Boheme turned out back in January...
  5. We'll fortunately, I haven't brewed any lousy beer then. Just kidding Rick. So far the only issues I've run into have been under-carbonated beer and lack of head. I know there are many threads on the forum dealing with this, so back to learnin'. Oh, and the pipeline is strong! Lots of fall and winter recipes in the bottle! Later,
  6. There is at least one other recipe (in the archive) that specifies carbonating at 55 deg -- Mad Ludwig Marzen. I brewed this one (my first lager) a few weeks back and because I figured I should follow the instructions, I left the bottled beer at garage temp of 54-55 deg. for carbonating. After a week or so, the bottles were still soft. I found this thread and moved the bottles to room temperature for quicker carbing. Eventually, these will go back out to the garage for lagering/ conditioning. The more I think about this, it raises the possibility that the beers may have been carbonating just fine out in the garage and because of the cooler temp more of the CO2 is going into solution than going into headspace? Simple physics? Additionally, the Saflager W34/70 had no problem fermenting sugar at that temp all along, so... Any thoughts on this might help me with the Uncle Monkey's Dunkel lager I have fermenting out there right now. Later Forum,
  7. Thanks Rick -- Yeah, I probably did not phrase that last part very well. I have been using the hydrometer readings taken 48 hours apart starting after a minimum of 12 days fermentation. I did not mean clarity is more important than FG. This topic is interesting though considering some of the older marketing @ Mr. Beer tells us to enjoy our beer in as little as 2 weeks. I am relying on mostly from what I have learned from the experienced brewers on the forum, but am stubborn enough to want to 'move things along' when it comes to fermentation.
  8. Here is the breakdown of the 32 'Malty' profile recipes found using the "Shop by" filter: 15 are Malty 10 are Hoppy 5 are Balanced 2 are Fruity At this point , I am wondering if the filter is even finding ALL of the malties. I am not trying to be over-critical here -- this just seems like an issue that should have priority with IT. Thanks.
  9. So far, I have learned something new with each batch of beer I've brewed. The lesson with Batch #8 is be careful when sampling the hydrometer test beer...I noticed just a wee amount of trub and cloudiness in the tube (probably due to the very heavy layer of trub with this fermentation). Anyway, let's just say ingesting spent yeast is ill-advised. I am not talking TMI stuff here-- just some interesting cramping and 'roiling' that certainly got my attention. OK -- after just a few more days and having no fear of the beer, I took another gravity reading last night (steady @ 1.004). The Apple Brown Beery had clarified to a stunning amber color (just what you might imagine combining Oktoberfest with hard cider) and the taste was coming together nicely -- very lively and robust. I am going to like this beer! The other lesson here is, while the hydrometer can be a useful tool for the home-brewer, I would rely more on clarity to determine if beer is ready for bottling. And before I get chastised for being "The Newbie-Brewer That Drank Unfermented Wort", I don't think I was too far off on that Day-12 hydrometer test...just a few more days and it's there. Happy brewing!
  10. Highest point East of the Rocky Mts! A fine day hike here in the Black Hills...
  11. Gonna get me some ShockTop after work...funny thing, I just realized that I have not had one can of Red Dog since I started brewing in August!
  12. Thanks Nick -- I realized after I posted that 'Community Help' would have been better. That's what I get for browsing Mr. Beer websites at 3:30 in the morning...
  13. If you have poured over the Mr. Beer recipes on the website, by now you would have noticed that the 'shop by' filter is not very helpful. For example, select 'recipes' then filter for 'malty' profile. The search returns 32 recipes, some of which are indeed malty but many of them are not - like the fruity 'Apple Brown Beery'. Also, if you add up the numbers in parentheses for each of the different flavor profiles, it does not equal the 65 recipes searched. Very strange. I only bring this up so that your IT people can be the heroes of the day and create a more satisfying shopping experience, resulting in even happier brewers and More Beer!
  14. OK, we've established the fact that this beer is going to be cidery (funny). Since my only experience with the style is a couple Angry Orchard Hard Ciders (not the ones they had to recall this summer due to bottle-bombs), can anyone recommend a commercially-available Graff that would give me a basis for comparison? When I found this recipe, I figured it has to be good -- it has Oktoberfest in it! My second choice would have been the KT Caramel Apple, but I used my Bavarian Weissbier extract to do an experimental Dunkelweizen (more on that later). If anyone hasn't figured it out already, the reason I am brewing apple-anything is because my wife is convinced that she does not like beer -- we need to deal with this situation immediately so that I can continue to condition boxes of beer in the living room (it's the right temp!) and take over the kitchen on brew days!
  15. On the other hand, this is a hard cider/beer graff, so I am guessing there may always be a certain amount of acetaldehyde flavor present -- yes? I am not trying to justify my impatience -- I am new to brewing (not counting the moonshine I brewed back in high school) and am trying to absorb as much information as I can while making good beer! Thanks Josh.
  16. Good to know -- especially since the longest I've been able to let a batch ferment so far was just over 2 weeks, usually based on FG readings taken 48 hrs. apart after 10 days fermentation. I'm working on the solution to being impatient though -- get a couple more LBKs and get brewing!
  17. Just 12 days in on this one but I was curious how my FG was looking...right at 1.004. Of course checking FG is really just an excuse to sample the beer! My problem is I have no idea what I should be expecting for flavor on this recipe. Initially I can taste beer, then Wham! I get the hard cider followed by fairly obvious alcoholic finish. Interesting! After that, I am pretty sure this will be a stay-at-home-watch-football beer...any other takes on this recipe?
  18. As long as MB continues to offer the Winter Dark Ale at half-price, I'm sure there will be many posts in the coming days with new ideas on what to brew with it. I have a couple WDAs on hand as well and am looking forward to coming up with my own recipe. Until then, I would recommend Defibrillator Doppelbock!
  19. That sounds like a real winner! I'm already a fan of Bewitched Amber Ale, so will definitely add this recipe to the must-brew list. Steve
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