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Everything posted by EwanRGR

  1. Working my way through the recipes/kits I have bought over the last couple months (just bottled my Angry Bovine on Friday), and am still trying to figure out what to do with the American lager that came with my initial kit. I've never been a big fan of f'in close to water beer, but I don't like the idea of just throwing it out either. It occurred to me that if I cut up some apples that perhaps I'd get closer to a cider flavor I'd actually enjoy. Been then I thought that the yeast that comes with the kit might not do well with the addition. Thoughts?
  2. Have been enjoying the beer and the beer making experience, but reasonably sure that I don't want to get into boiling grains and hoping my own "stuff". I'm sure if I posted this elsewhere I'd get burned alive at the stake, but I have to think that you would almost always be better off with a Mr Beer starter that gives you some consistent quality from batch to batch, and then just add on other ingredients (such as the boosters, LME, and even hops I suppose if you really wanted). Given that, I am a little curious how far you can go in ordering multiple Oktoberfest/Irish Ale base refills before you're likely to have stuff go "bad" before you get to it. I know one answer is to start paying more attention to dates on my packages as I get them. But if I do a couple LBKs a month, am I able to buy say 12 of each with a reasonable chance that next year I will just be hitting the end of my supply before it goes bad?
  3. And the LME packs are on their way. Thanks again for the suggestions. I now have to buy the rest of the kit (again) so I can compare the straight way with the alternate way and see which is "best" :-)
  4. That's where it gets confusing. I selected "Angry Bovine" from the store, but looking at the order it didn't put all the items into the order. IOW it has the title of Angry Bovine, but then only some of the ingredients. That's why I say it's arguable where the problem is since I imagine Shipping looks at the order, and packs what's on the list. So either I ordered on a day the store was having a hiccup, or... Again, at this point I am less concerned about Mr Beer (other than to get an answer of what SHOULD have been put on the order), and more about how to actually do my brew this week. Have gone ahead and ordered the can of Dark LME and will be interested to see what the resulting product tastes like with the substitution.
  5. Figured that was the case with the Nibs, but glad to hear that confirmed. Am going to certainly see if MB can do something about the missing items, but am trying to make sure I have other options as well. Besides, starting to "play" with the recipe looks like it's half the fun as you get further along your homebrew journey. Thanks again for the kind words and suggestions!
  6. Well, I'm not sure where I would say the problem is. I would think having the recipe and the picture show those items if they weren't really included would suggest adding a disclaimer somewhere. But for the current need, I am more looking to things I can do myself to address the issue. Some further reading suggests that while the taste may be different (not necessarily bad), that one can should be about right. Will try to remember to post back here one way or the other.
  7. Getting ready to make my Angry Bovine Milk Stout this week, and got around to opening the box from Mr. Beer. Imagine my surprise to find that while the recipe calls for two LME packs and a muslin sack - and the picture in the store SHOWS the two LME packs and the muslin sack - the box contains none of those items. Pulling my order back up, it indeed shows that once added to the cart, if I had gone back and checked the ingredients I would have seen those weren't in there. Not happy about this, but figure that it once again proves you should measure twice and cut (order) once. In any event I could now order the LME softpacks, but to be sure I get them this week would cost as much or more as the packs themselves ($8 for the two packs plus $10+ for 3 day shipping). Amazon (since I am a prime member) sells a can of Dark LME for about $13 and free two-day shipping. My only concern is that the can is 3.3 lbs which I suspect is a bit much for a 2 gallon recipe? Should I add just half a can and try to save the rest for a future need or...?
  8. San Antonio myself. Had a great Oktoberfest as my introduction (that I am now slowly drinking through), and just put up my second brew - a Nut Ale this time. Am hoping I have learned enough to try the Milk Stout sometime next week. Hoping that if I keep two LBKs full I can always have something conditioning and something ready to drink.
  9. Per the title, is it ok to clean and reuse the 740ml PET or the O2 Control Plastic Bottles? I am concerned that after I've let them get hard with carbonation they might be weaker the next time around. I'd rather replace bottles than constantly be cleaning up wasted beer. If they can be reused, any thoughts on how many times? I presume dishwasher is a no-no, just dish soap and then the normal rinse-free cleanser before use? Lastly, I assume even if I reuse the bottles I should get new caps each time?
  10. I read the specs, and it says the top temp you can set it to is a little more than 64F. That sounds a bit cool to me. I would also want to make sure the shelves are removable. Good luck!
  11. Have been enjoying the results of my first batch, and have two more coming up. I am trying to space them out a bit, but still expect to have a week or two where I have bottles from more than one type of beer. I was hoping the store here might have some printable labels designed to go on the bottles, but all I see are preprinted ones that all say the same thing. Suppose I could do one lot with labels and one without, but have to think there is a more stylish solution...?
  12. Had let ferment in the LBK for the full 3 weeks. All of my bottles were 740ml plastic, and I used two of the "drops" in each. Other bottles seem to be firmer, but not hard. I am going to assume my best bet at this point is to sacrifice a little conditioning for making sure I don't get a gusher and put the one bottle in the frig for 3 days. That should at least slow things down.
  13. Bottled the batch on Tuesday afternoon, and checked on them a little bit ago to make sure everything was holding seal, etc. Everything seems fine except for one bottle that is already pretty hard (740ml plastic bottle from the kit). Do I "burp" it, put it in the fridge, or...?
  14. Suspect I'm not the first one to run into this, but while I see a few threads saying you really should make sure you remove and clean the spigot and rubber washer, nothing that shows how to easily do so. I may have overtightened a bit as I wanted to make sure there were no leaks. Have gotten it pretty clean, but can't seem to get the nut and the main assembly to let go of each other. Thought about a wrench, but the angle from the top to where the spigot is doesn't seem to make that possible. Or is there a long necked wrench you can use for this? Any tips other than buy another LBK?
  15. For anyone interested, I just picked up the Denby 4.4 all refrigerator model and the Inkbird. Looking forward to using for my next brew. Thanks for all the tips.
  16. For my next batches I would like to make sure things are a bit more temperature controlled. I have read I want to get an InkBird (I presume the Inkbird Itc-308 is ok) and a mini-fridge if I want to do things "right". But what size mini-fridge would hold a couple LBK's with decent separation? I presume I want one without the freezer section, but am I looking for a 2.x or a 3.x or...? Any particular models that are recommended?
  17. The Oktoberfest refill I received had a can of malt, yeast, sterilizer, and that was it. Not sure if that means it was dated or...? The kit itself had an American Pilsner, the 2 gallon keg, instructions, and that was it. I bought some of the carbonation drops and bottles separately. Other than my initial concern about the preparation (which I think we've beaten to death), my remaining concern is temperature. At this point, I am trying to find a way to measure the temp of the kit with anything I currently have, while looking into getting a proper strip thermometer and a mini fridge. Will probably see how bad this batch turns out and go from there. One thing I am also looking into is getting another of this particular refill so I can compare the "bad" way with the proper one :-)
  18. Brewing the Mr Beer "Deluxe" Edition, but using an Oktoberfest refill rather than the Pilsner that came with it. Went ahead and did the way I described, and a couple hours later a flashlight shows it does seem to be off to the races. Am a little concerned that even my cool, dark corner isn't going to be as cool as I think it should be (around 72 on average), but we will see. Probably want to get a min-fridge from some of the other reading I've done on here, but we'll see how it goes.
  19. I thought one did that only to clear up the beer, and so hadn't planned to. But I think you're also suggesting that a mini fridge since it can get colder is more flexible? Only thought is that if one goes that route one probably does have to buy the additional temp control. Still, I gather that would be your suggestion?
  20. How large a mini-fridge are we looking at here? 1.7 cu feet or...? It seems like wine fridges are about the same price as many of the mini fridges on Amazon ($90-$100 each), and I am wondering if those might be better since they are designed to run at mid to upper 60's?
  21. OK. Sounds like I may have misunderstood the order in that case. Thanks! Sounds like I need to get busy and get my three weeks kicked off!
  22. Got my kit, and was reading through the instructions (then read the helpful thread on here for Newbie's, as well as the rather old how-to on YouTube). All of which mention the need to add the "syrup" to water and boil it. While I have a large enough Pyrex bowl to do so, my only option for cooking is a Microwave. And I'm thinking that microwaving might do bad things to the wort. Can I boil the water, add the syrup to it while still hot, stir, and then add to the Mr Beer container? Or will not "really" cooking kill it as bad as the microwave would?
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