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Everything posted by Lorenzai

  1. I'm going to be using ice packs in the vicinity to make sure that my ferment temps stay under control. My first beer (which was only a can of HME) turned out to be a total esterfest. It's got more yeast character than malt lol. That was fermented somewhere between 68-72F room temp and I think that was too high. My second batch turned out good having been fermented at the same temp, but the hop character is so pronounced that I think it might be hiding any imperfections. I'm hoping to keep it around 65F in the fermenter this time.
  2. I have a problem with not being able to leave recipes alone. lol. It's a serious condition! Some might even say dangerous. I managed to fight the temptation though, I didn't use the booster packet in it.
  3. Yeah, I decided to stick with the base recipe instead of adding anything to it. My brew 'day' went well! The wort is pitch black. I eyeballed the amounts of the grain. The only scale I have is in a moving box somewhere and I can't be bothered to go digging for it - lol. I think I accidentally used a little more than half of the chocolate malt, but it'll be just fine I'm sure. I didn't add the booster or the robust LME. I'll save those for the next round. Now I have to wait for the wort temp to come down before I pitch the yeast. The water I topped off with wasn't as cold as I had hoped, so my wort is still at about 85F. I tossed it in the fridge for awhile and now I'm playing the waiting game. I had meant to take a video of the whole process but I remembered when I was already halfway through. Whoops. Maybe next time.
  4. Very nice! This is what I'm planning to do. BIAB looks like a really nice alternative to expensive equipment for all grain brew.
  5. You could probably do BIAB with Mr. Beer for not much investment in extra equipment, if you already have a large enough pot to fit it in. BIAB = Brew in a bag.
  6. I just got mine in the mail yesterday evening. I ordered an extra LME 'robust' packet and also a packet of booster to add to it. Does this recipe lack in body? I want to add more body and flavor without fundamentally changing the flavor of the beer. Also, did you guys follow the recipe exactly, or did you use all of the grain? I don't know what I'm going to do with 2oz of chocolate and 2oz of 2 row laying around, but I don't want to upset the balance of the beer by using it all.
  7. I'm a little confused about the booster packets Mr. Beer is selling. The Mr. Beer website says that the new booster is half the size of the old one, and only raises the alc/vol by .65%. It shows a picture of a packet that says it raises alc/vol by 1.3%. What I received is 6.65 ounces and the front says raises by 1.3%. Did I get the new one or the old one?
  8. Find a local homebrew store if you can, and buy a 1lb bag of dried malt extract. It's by far the easiest / cheapest way to spruce up your Mr. Beer recipe kit.
  9. Honestly.. I used dawn platinum and a splash of bleach to clean all of my bottles glass and plastic. It is scented but if you rinse it really well there shouldn't be any problem. It did not affect the head retention of my first batch or impart any tastes or smells and trust me, I know what soap tastes like. lol. I have cleaned my fermenter with the stuff twice now and I don't see any reason why I would use anything else unless I could find this mythical unscented dish soap. If you're not sure, just rinse it again.
  10. My package arrived from Mr. Beer today. A day early I might add. Got a bottle capper, 144 caps, bottle cleaning brush, hydrometer, proper temperature strip, a muslin bag, and some extra sanitizer. I wasn't able to get an initial hydrometer reading of my beer since I didn't have one yet, but I just pulled a sample a minute ago and it is very close to what QBrew says my final gravity should be. I drank the sample too and it was pretty darn good! You can taste the bitterness from the .75oz of willamette that I boiled for 30 min and the .25oz I added at flameout. It has a nice subtle floral aftertaste that goes pretty well with the can of American Light + 1LB of Briess Amber DME. It's like a light beer version of a pale ale. I think it's ready to go into bottles whenever I'm ready!
  11. If you've never drank home brew before, make sure to modify your pouring procedure. I had a bad/weird taste the first time I tried mine and it turned out to be trub/yeast making it into my beer. Leave an inch or two of beer at the bottom to keep fine sediment out of the glass and don't pour too aggressively.
  12. Mine had that same winey-cidery taste. It does subside. If you end up making the Oktoberfest, make sure that you have booster packs or at least a pound of DME or LME to add to it. The can of HME by itself makes beer water lol.
  13. I agree, any blanket statement made about how you should enjoy your beverage is borderline snobbery in my opinion. I encountered this a lot in the craft beer scene. Lot of people telling you what you aught to be enjoying. I think some get so caught up in etiquette and this view of what beer should be that they forget to just enjoy it. Hundreds of thousands of people drink Budweiser directly out of a can every day and are satisfied with it. Are they wrong? I don't think so. Since taste is so subjective it's hard to tell anyone their way is wrong.
  14. You were right. It was a trub bottle that I originally drank. I just tried a full bottle out this time and it was MUCH much better. The carbonation was OK but not quite there yet. The beer was weak as can be considering it was only the 1 can of HME and nothing else, but it was drinkable for sure. I drank it no problems nice and cold. As I got down to about the last 2 inches some sediment stirred up and it tasted exactly the same as what I was complaining about before. It was just nasty yeast flavor. So I gotta be careful about my pours and it'll all be good! I'm just happy that I tried it and it's passable, so I guess that means I'm a 'real' brewer now! Lol.
  15. Well you give me hope then! Hopefully the beer is just too young and it will be wonderful when it matures. Thanks. I ordered a fermometer so I can track and control the temps more accurately than that yeast thermometer thing.
  16. Zorak I think that you might be right. I think my beer was fermented too hot. I was under the impression that a normal room temp of 66-72f would be fine, and it would be if fermentation did not generate it's own heat. I was reading that fermentation can kick temps up an additional 10f for really vigorous fermentation and so even if your room temp is where it should be, that doesn't necessarily mean that your fermentation is at that temperature. That would be a nice tid-bit of info to include in the Mr. Beer pamphlet that comes with kits in the future. Regardless, I think I'll be able to get away with it for my second batch because it has a quite hoppy profile. Hopefully it will mask my newb mistake and come out passable. I'm investing in a bottle capper and going to glass bottles so if it needs to sit for a good long time to mature it will be able to.
  17. Actually I am a little disappointed. They're out of stock! Hope they get some more in soon.
  18. I'm not usually a fan of beers with any kind of adjuncts in them, but this seems like a really solid recipe and a great way to step up into partial mash. I'm definitely considering it based on the description.
  19. Nope, just about 2 or a little over. There was so little in that last bottle of the batch I figured it would be oxidized from all the headspace in the bottle so I just went ahead and chilled it and gave it a try. I'm mainly hoping that the rest of the batch doesn't come out that way after it goes another 2 weeks. The full bottles are starting to firm up pretty well.
  20. I'm just brainstorming here, but what if you only used enough malt to get a 2G batch of non alcoholic beer up to what would normally be the finishing gravity of a fermented beer? FG of 1.012 or something in that ball park? That way you have the malt presence in the quantity it would be in a finished beer but without the crazy sweetness? It would probably be watery as heck but I don't know. It was an idea that popped into my head. If it was too watery maybe you could augment it with something designed to mimic the malt profiles of beer that is not fermentable?
  21. Does the proprietary ale yeast that Mr. Beer includes with their cans of HME contribute a bakers yeasty / bread smell to your beer? Or is my beer just too green still? I've noticed that in my newest batch that's still in the LBK finishing up. On top of that, I had one bottle from my 1st batch that was only about 1/5th full or so. It got stiff quicker than the others so I threw it in the fridge for awhile so I could give it a taste. It wasn't actually carbonated and the beer was cidery and weird tasting. Is that from the little secondary fermentation that happened from the carb drop? The only way I can describe it is that it tasted like dumpster water lol. I haven't cracked any of the full bottles yet because they're not ready but I wanted to see how it was coming along so I chose the partial bottle for a taste. I'm really hoping that taste clears up and that my second batch doesn't taste like a loaf of bread with hops (or worse) - lol.
  22. I just want to say that although their email times are long (I had to wait almost a week for a response), once they got to me they took care of me very promptly. JoshBeer was super easy to work with and fixed the problem I was having. They aren't the cheapest company on every single thing, but their customer service was good enough that I will undoubtedly be spending some coin with them in the near future.
  23. Welcome. These guys are good at helping out when you have questions. Hope it goes smoothly for you.
  24. Pellets seem to break up into the mush you're referring to. When I tossed some in a boil yesterday my beer turned green for a little while too. The rolling boil took care of that quickly and the color turned back to normal.
  25. I would stick with what the instructions say. 3 weeks ferment + 3 weeks bottle condition. If they're nice and carbonated at that point you can put a couple in the fridge. If you find yourself particularly desperate to try one, I'd give it at least 24 hours in the fridge. That's what I plan on doing with a couple of mine as well. I'll stick to closer to a week for the rest of them. I think the extended time in the refrigerator is supposed to put the yeast to 'sleep' and make them drop out of solution which helps with clarity. I don't know what other benefit leaving an ale in a refrigerator for a month or more would have. I would think an ale should condition better and faster at room temperature.
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