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Everything posted by walt_felix

  1. Same here, only used the drops in the bottles on the first batch, been batch priming with cane sugar ever since. I noticed a slight inconsistency in the carbonation, bottle to bottle of the first batch but since moving to batch priming, very consistent. I use the calculator on Screwy's website.
  2. Yeah, That's what figured. More a curiosity as I generally tend to be a control freak with my projects. The first batch of Sticky Wicket came out great, though slightly lighter in the ABV than advertised. The batch with Bourbon Staves I put in the chamber yesterday, I caught a good whiff this morning when I opened the top of the chamber to put in the 2nd LBK of Naughty Cream Ale. If it tastes half as good as it smells, that will be an awesome batch. The staves, which smelled incredible when I first open the package, sat in a mason jar of Jefferson's Ocean all summer. Looking forward to the finished product.
  3. The wort was at 61 degrees so the correction would be less than a thousandth. I assume the Mr. Beer Hydrometer is calibrated for 60. Not sure why I keep coming up short.
  4. OK, So you are coming in about were the instructions state (just noticed a typo in my earlier post. Instructions actually say to expect approx 1.047). On both batches I had 1.040 and a batch of Naughty Cream Ale I started this morning, same thing, also lite at 1.040. Only thing I can think of is the grains did sit in the fridge for a few months. Wife stuck them in that damn Vegetable drawer and I completely forgot about them, like I'm ever going to look in the F%^&n vegetable drawer. Remembered I had ingredients for two Partial Mash recipes in the frige while chatting with my nephew at my Sister In-law's on Thanksgiving. He was serving a nice Dubbel and two different hard Ciders he brewed up over the last few months.
  5. Thanks, A whole lot of work went into them. I estimate I have 60 hours into making the wife's Hammer alone. One or two shots I took will probably end up a labels.
  6. Just curious, What was you OG.? I just poured my 2nd batch into the fermenter and just like the first batch, starting off at 1.040. Instructions say to expect approx 1.040
  7. No, just their Pit Bull, Todd. Looking at the image again this morning, I didn't like the sparks on the Pins sticking out of the apple and the welding mask is too dark. So I had to tweak it a little. I also should of placed an LBK and some bottles on the counter.
  8. OK, the batch of Apple Brown Beery that I went all Mad Scientist on, Some may recall, I replaced all of the water in the recipe with Apple Juice. Original Gravity was 1.112, Just below the very bottom line on the Mr. Beer hydrometer. It stalled out after a week at 1.021, so I added a little more Apple Juice and pinched a packet of EC-1118 Champagne Yeast. After sitting another 2 1/2 weeks, It seemed like it stalled again at 1.007 so I just bottled it. The bottles have now been sitting in the basement for a month and tonight I cracked open the first one. It has a bit of a harsh aroma (smells like it could strip paint), but not a bad flavor, all be it very strong, but still Apple. Surprisingly it still managed to get a little carbonation, I didn't expect that. So I was sitting on the couch with a comfortable buzz off just 1 bottle, I had an idea for a label, embracing the Mad Scientist theme. Grabbed an old meat grinder out of the kitchen, some apples out of the fridge. Found some shear pins for the snow blower in my tool box, an old pair of jumper cables, an old welding mask, a lab coat the wife had in the closet. Some big ol' black rubber gloves under the sink. Set up the camera, some gelled flashes and a white backdrop and started shooting. Found a cool background on a Windows Wall paper website and spent an hour messing with it in photoshop.
  9. I'm just soaking them in real hot water with oxicleen free for about ten minutes and rinsing thoroughly. On bottling day, I rinse them again with hot water, squirt them again a few times with the wine bottle rinse pump filled with starsan and set them in the bottle tree until I'm ready to fill.
  10. Some online Clipart I found, Gonna use this on the current bottled batch in the cooler and pester my German wife to pull her Dirndl out of the closet for some photos later.
  11. Cool, I bookmarked this. Just bottled an ABB and have 2 cider kits waiting in the wings. The ABB I went mad scientist with and did all apple juice instead of water. I know that was not what recommended, only a gallon, but went for it anyhow. It stalled at about 12.5% and to be honest, didn't taste bad although strong. The smell however reminded me some something I've used to strip paint and rust off an old car fender. Since it was already iffy, I pinched some 111 wine yeast and let it sit for a few more weeks. It got a little above 13% and stalled again. But both the order and taste did improve. It's almost like a light Apple Brandy now and both the wife and I kind of like it. I don't think it's going to carbonate but we'll see if it smooths out some.
  12. I'll let some of the more seasoned members respond, but I would just leave it where it is while you are only out of town for a week. I typically haven't touched mine for the three weeks once I set it in the cooler (short of 1 mad scientist experiment).
  13. Hard Cider BONUS Kit Hacked Root Beer Kit Guess I know what I'm doing tonight.
  14. I can see in the log exactly when I opened the lid of the cooler after the first day and took a few minutes to mop up the foam in the bottom of the cooler. The temp cooler dropped to 66 while the lid was open but rose back to 68 within an hour.
  15. 70 was the temp of the wort at the time I took the gravity reading (taken with a thermometer before I pinched the yeast). I specifically targeted that temp based on the writeup on the Screwy Brewer site. (OG) - Original Gravity The first reading is of the beer in your fermenter, before you start the fermentation process. Take this reading when all the water has been added and you are ready to pitch the yeast. Pour a sample out of the tap into a test flask and set it aside to cool to about 70F (20C). (FG) - Final Gravity The second reading is of the finished beer. This is taken when you are ready to bottle your beer and this too should be about 70F (20C). The LBK sat in cooler that stayed a pretty consistent 68-70 degrees for the three weeks it fermented according to the digital wifi thermometer I have in the cooler, I have that sensor programed to one of the channels of a home weather station server so I have a log of cooler temp data captured at 5 min increments for the entire time. That sensor is not directly in the wort, but inside the closed cover of the cooler itself and should be pretty close to the liquid wort temp. The second gravity reading was taken a few minutes after I pulled the LBK out of the cooler. I'm very confident in the data I have here. I know there have been some challenges to the 5.9% number, myself included, but that's what the math is coming up with based on the data. I too think it is high but can't explain why based on what I've read about this refill.
  16. I'm not boiling the wort, the instructions are to boil the water, remove from heat and add extract to the hot water, then add the booster. http://www.mrbeer.com/refills/standard-refills/oktoberfest-lager-standard-refill There is noting about letting the water cool down before adding the extract and booster. Just remove from heat. On the back of the booster bag itself it said to add the booster to cold water and bring to boil, then remove it from the burner and add the extract. In the end, what was going into the LBK was the same either way, so I don't think this would make any difference.
  17. It was right on the #2 mark, now minus what I poured into the hydrometer tube last night. The only thing I altered here was I fully disolved the booster pack into the water by bringing it to a boil then added the Extract. There is a mismatch in the instructions. Instructions on the Booster says add it to the water and bring to boil first, extract instruction said to add the booster after adding the extract to boiling water. I did the booster first but I don't think that should make any difference. The first real sign of abnormal behavior was 24 hours after placing the LBK in the cooler, I noticed it had seriously foamed over. I just moped it up a bit with some paper towels, without moving the LBK. I did notice last night what I poured from the tube into a small glass and drank, had a little kick to it but I had just dismissed that as my blood sugar was low because I was busy at work and hadn't eaten all day. It doesn't take much when I'm hungry. Also note, Oktoberfest Lager Standard Refill say 5%. The booster took some effort to disolve, I had to continually whisk it to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Some of it didn't disolve until it was at a full boil.
  18. I was thinking the ABV was high but that's what the calculator returned. Readings started at 1.055 and now 1.010. Both taken at 70 degrees. My wife had verified both readings. One more thing to add is I noted the LBK foamed over considerably within 24 hours of starting. Made quite a mess in the bottom of the cooler. It did take a while to dissolve that booster pack when I brewed it.
  19. Yes, I've been running the numbers via the calculators on Screwy Brewer. Looks like it's landing at about 5.9% ABV. Targeting the desired CO2 volumes he listed, It says add almost 13tsb sugar but I figure I would do 12. I did use the refill with the booster pack but don't think it's an off flavor, I think this it's just green.
  20. Not yet, was thinking I would do that tomorrow by batching it with 12tsb cane sugar.
  21. OK, so it's been 3 full weeks now my first batch of Oktoberfest. Just compared my gravity. Started at 1.055 and now 1.010. I'm going to check it again tomorrow and bottle. Has the expected slight Apple flavor. Almost a slight wine aroma and good color. I think this will be great once conditioned long enough. So what next?
  22. Josh, This has intrigued me. I have the ingredients for the Apple Brown Beery as well and was thinking about ways to "Kick it up a Notch". So by doing this, what can I expect? I noticed that recipe didn't come with a booster, will using apple juice kind of boost this a little because of the extra sugars? Just trying to figure it out, this would be my 3rd batch and first time going off script.
  23. I think they just had a bad batch of spigots. Mine did the exact same thing (another thread in this forum) and there was a 3rd person complaining of the same thing. I just put something under it to catch the drips and let it sit for the 3 weeks. It eventually stopped on it's own. But even after bottling and fully cleaning the spigot, It still leaks when I tested it. I just ordered another spigot with the bottling wand and that doesn't leak at all.
  24. Well, my first batch got bottled tonight, after sanitizing the spigot like recommended. had the keg tilted back on a block I made from a couple of paint sticks. Seemed to keep the trub to the back until I had to tilt it the other way to finish filling the last bottle. There was a bit more liquid in the keg (about 1/4 bottle worth) after that but it started to mix a lot with the trub so I just dumped it. Only real observation, I was only able to fill 10 of the PET bottles that came with the kit. I figure between what dripped from the spigot over the 3 weeks and the bit I dumped, it would equal about a half bottle which I understand would be the norm for the 11th bottle. I took apart the spigot and cleaned it. also rinsed everything out of the LBK, put it all back together and washed it with a gallon of hot water with 2tsp of PBW cleaner I picked up at the local brew store. Rinsed it all again with hot water and then let it sit on the counter for an hour with another gallon of warm water. Spigot is still leaking slightly but I already have another spigot and wand on order so I'm not going to worry about it.
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