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Gutterbunnie last won the day on August 4 2018

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About Gutterbunnie

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    bicycling & beer (city biking mostly, not mountain biking, hence the "gutterbunnie"

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  1. I'll have to check out the yeast harvesting. As for mead, it's something I've been curious about. Heard it can be harder than beer to get right so you'll have to let me know how your first batch turns out, was it worth the wait? My LHBS has all the mead stuff, but right now I'm focusing on beer. I tried making a beer with blueberries, none of the blueberry came through (like Rickbeer said, blueberries are a weak fruit). So I caved in & tried a Dead & Berried Saison tonight & was not disappointed. In fact was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it so much. Hint of boysenberry, hint of sour. I can't help but tweak the recipes a bit, and I added 2.7 oz Carapils for body, I used 12 oz of wheat DME that I had on hand, and 1 Mr Beer booster, at flame out 0.3 oz of Tettnanger hops (I have a surplus of these for some reason) & used Safale BE 134 yeast as I'm not sure I'm a big fan of Belle Saison. So the end result was very very tasty, dry and tangy, somewhat reminds me of a lambic of course not anywhere near the mouth-puckering sour that a lambic is. Ha, that is funny about Okotoberfest! Same here, my dad really enjoyed that one, so I gave a lot of them to him. Go figure!
  2. There is so much to learn, that's another great thing about this hobby. The forums have great tips from others who've been there, done that. I've spent many nights reading up on stuff. Pretty cool idea with the sours, and pretty ambitious! I've been curious about harvesting/washing yeast, haven't stepped up my game yet. Let me know how your fruit lager turns out. Time will tell about the bottle bombs, I haven't quite figured out the right formula for fruit beers yet. And, I've had a gusher batch before I bought my hydrometer, well after that, I make sure I'm getting the attentuation I expect before bottling. Like with the Saison, the yeast chewed through all the sugars even after adding the fruit at 1 week - FG was about 1.002, right where I wanted it. (Will try to remember to report back about the end result of the Saison). And then with the Chocolate Milk Stout, FG was much higher, around 1.016, I read that's because the lactose is a non-fermentable sugar. Yup, that's about where I'm at, experimentation, trying different recipes, using the kits. Just ordered more Mr Beer supplies during sale, can't wait to make the Amberosia Tripel. I do like Belgian ales, so I'm curious how it will turn out. Next up, maybe another Wheat, or perhaps another winter/holiday beer like Yule Like this Ale. I see that you're conditioning a blueberry mead. Are meads something you've made before - how have those turned out? How long do they take to condition? Are they harder to make than beer?
  3. Yeah, I've been contemplating investing in a good bench capper. Not sure about cleaning that old one, but I might give it a try this weekend. My LHBS has a super sale on Black Friday for members, 20% off everything in the store. Well, I have 2 more batches ready to be bottled, & will likely have to use hand capper for those. will hope for the best:)
  4. Welcome back to brewing! I just started with Mr Beer in February of this year, and I'm really enjoying the creativity of this hobby. Well, and the science behind it too! Mr Beer has made it so simple to feel confident with being a beginning brewer. After a while, I spread my wings & tried partial mash recipes, & so far I've done about 3 all grain, BIAB, batches, all of them in an LBK. Love my LBKs❤️ I brewed an Oktoberfest last winter at room temp & it actually turned out fine. I think it was beginner's luck;) Also, I brewed the Dead & Berried in Sept at room temp (ambient temp fluctuated 60s, low 70s) but at night when temps dropped, I filled a few bottles with hot water & propped them against LBK. At bottling the sample actually tasted pretty good, and I didn't have a can of blueberries, so instead I used boysenberries and substituted Safale BE134 for Belle Saison. Just bottled mid-October so I have not tried a bottle conditioned one - not quite ready yet. I'm going to give 'em a few more weeks. Cheers - happy brewing!
  5. ah good ideas. Yeah I just bottle at my kitchen table as it gives me just the right leverage, but it's just wood, nothing under the bottles. My brother gave/loaned me his ancient bench capper (on a plank of wood) but it's been in an old wooden storage shed that had mice running all over the place & so I've been hesitant to use it. And I haven't taken the time to scrub it down & sanitize it - how would one sanitize a bench capper attached to a piece of wood? Anyhoo, I'll just use the LHBS bought- bottles for the most part & stop recycling commercial bottles over & over. That may do the trick I hope.
  6. My first experience breaking off the tops of glass bottles using the wing capper from Mr Beer! I've bottled at least 19 batches with it & not too many problems. An occasional stuck bottle inside capper. But, the other night when bottling Dead & Berried Saison, I literally broke off the tops of 2 glass bottles. Not shattered - the bottles were still standing full of beer. They were recycled bottles, although I've not had much trouble in the past with recycled bottles either. Well my hubby saved my butt that night, because he was able to pry out the broken cap that had the glass lip of the bottle jammed into the capper & I finished bottling, minus some beer. I thought I was going to have to put everything away & go to LHBS, buy new capper & start all over. But the saddest part, I lost 2 full bottles of beer☹️ Has this happened to anyone and is it just the bottles, my technique (maybe I don't know my own strenght?), or is it time to buy a new capper tool? I just prefer glass over plastic, but I also don't want to be losing 24 oz of beer at every bottling when I'm only making 2 gallon batches. Just glad to be making beer again - my weekends for the last few months have been otherwise occupied with family stuff. I'd rather be brewing beer, honestly. Just made 2nd batch of Golden Empire IPA last night. Looking forward to trying my first Pumpkin Ale & Chocolate Milk Stout. I'm hoping the Dead & Berried Saison conditions well, but I liked the sample before I added the fruit & lactic acid. I used Safale BE-134 & I like the light spicy flavors it produced, more subtle funk than Belle Saison. Happy Brewing everyone:)
  7. Yeah, I can echo what others have said. Just don't give up. I just brewed up my 20th LBK batch last night, the Dead & Berried Mr Beer recipe. But i added a few things, and I substituted Safale BE134 for the Belle Saison (undecided if I'm a fan of that yeast). Really I believe it boils down to a matter or personal preference/tastes. I tried Safale US-05 on several batches: HME, partial mash, DME, LME & even all grain BIAB. Honestly, I don't like US-05 very much at all. There's some weird cabbage off flavor in my finished beer that I just can't quite describe. And I believe it's possibly my taste buds & olfactory senses, since so many others rave about it & I just don't care for it. So anyway. I've found that that I prefer 04 or even Nottingham. I've tried a few WLP (1272 is pretty good) and WYEAST (American wheat) which aren't bad at all. And I enjoy the WB-06 Wheat yeast (after cold conditioning a Bavarian Hefe a few months, awesome!). I would say this hobby is just as much about experimentation. And since it's 2 gallon batches, it's much easier to go that route & be OK with some not-so-great batches. Trial & error. Sure, I've had a few botched batches here & there (that I'm still drinking by the way) but overall I've had a lot more successes. Whether that's a Mr Beer HME/partial mash, an all extract using DME or LME, or an all grain BIAB. Find what you enjoy & keep doing it until you get it right the way you like it! Read up, borrow some homebrewing books from your local library such as from Papazzian, who if I can remember his quote, basically says you really have to work to screw up a home brew! Enjoy the process, take good notes, pay attention. But most of all, have fun. It's a hobby! Cheers
  8. Being fairly new to this hobby myself, and somewhat short on patience, I wholeheartedly agree that learning patience with brewing seems to make a huge difference. And experience, and experiments I have learned quite a bit from my mistakes.........Or, just keeping reading the forums to avoid making mistakes. Anyway, keep at it - it's worth the wait!
  9. Today I brewed my 2nd AG attempt, a Voodoo Ranger IPA clone, BIAB. All in all it went pretty well. Took me 5 hours (including clean-up) compared to a Mr Beer partial mash which takes on average, 1.5 hours. And that's usually because I'm not in a hurry. I've definitely noticed that not being able to sparge efficiently using the bag is seriously affecting my overall efficiency. But, I listened, and I stuck to recipe & paid attention to process. I didn't try to hit a specific OG. No late DME additions. As I've read time & time again, better to chase flavor than alcohol. I think the hops will shine through in this one - the hydrometer sample had great hop aromas (didn't notice any overpowering malt like last MOFF SMASH). My LHBS gave me some pointers & suggested I use IBU calculations - so I used this: https://www.brewersfriend.com/ibu-calculator/. Used a few specialty grains in addition to the 2Row base grain, & used 4 hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Mosaic & Cascade. I'm going to dry hop @ 7 days. I look forward to trying this one!
  10. Thanks! The dowel will be my DIY before next AG. And I recently bought a plastic mash paddle. A mistake for sure was altering that SMASH recipe. For now, I won't worry so much about the OG. Will just pay more attention to process & sticking to recipes. Extract brewing sure makes homebrewing easy & AG gives me a much greater appreciation for Mr Beer. I've had success with the partial mash, and Golden Empire IPA has been a hit with friends & neighbors. Which is why I bought another recipe to make again soon Anyway, I do have plans for another AG BIAB. Not a SMASH but still fairly simple. 2 Grains, some added sugar. 3 different hops. I've been enjoying Voodoo Ranger Hazy Juicy IPA by New Belgium brewery (@ $10/ 6-pack - so expensive to buy craft beer these days!) I looked up a few clone recipes for Voodoo Ranger, & that may be my next AG attempt. I realize mine will not turn out like the store-bought one, but it might be a good next attempt using some different grains (American Pale 2Row, Caramel 120L, Chinook, Simcoe & Cacade hops). Try, try again - it's my mission to make a drinkable All Grain!
  11. For 2 Gallon recipe: 5 lbs Maris Otter Pale malt 1lb light DME, late addition (20 min) to increase efficiency as recipe indicated OG should be 1.067 - I only got 1.058 even after adding the DME Mashed @ 152F for 60 min Hop schedule, per the recipe: .25oz Falconer's Flight @ 60 min .5 oz FF @ 20 .5 oz FF @10 .25 oz FF @ 0 Yeast - Safale US-05, dry pitched entire packet I ended up going about 20 min longer on boil (to condense wort- too much water added while sparging.) But I realized later it really wasn't necessary. I'm thinking of finding a way to mark the inside of my kettle - gallon or half gallon marks on the inside- so I know my post boil volumes & how much I'm losing in evaporation. I didn't dry hop but thinking that might have helped some......? My attenuation seemed fine - around 1.005. It's not too sweet just very, very malty on the nose. Thanks!
  12. Bottled yesterday after cold crashing 3 days in fridge. FG looked good at around 1.005. Cold crashing worked great and beer came out of spigot much clearer than I was expecting considering all the sediment initially. There was a lot of trub, but not that much more than extract brews. Questions: this being my first BIAB SMASH, I am not sure if it was my recipe, my process or just this particular grain (Maris Otter) but the sample was strong on the malt aroma & flavor, with a little bitterness on the end. How will flavors change after carbonating & conditioning - will the malt mellow & will the carbonation bring out the hops (Falconer's Flight) more? Or will this just be a very malty brew? What should I do next time to correct this? Other than the super-maltiness, I didn't detect any other off flavors or aromas. Just very grainy/bready. I thought 1.5 oz of pellet hops & almost 90 minute boil for a 2 gallon batch would have been sufficient......but then I also added some light DME as late addition, and some more hops. Maybe that was my mistake? Would dry hopping have helped? Cheers!
  13. You're probably tired of hearing about my Saison experiment with WYEAST 3724. But anyway, after waiting another 2 weeks (almost 5 weeks fermenting in primary ) and keeping temps very elevated with hot water bottles, at least 90F - I checked gravity this morning & it has dropped some. Not as much as I'd hoped but maybe 6-8 gravity points. It doesn't taste the same as gravity samples from 2 weeks ago. Definitely a change, not as one dimensional or sweet. I'm not sure how to describe, not terrible, but I may have detected some soapy aftertaste but I'm not sure. For better or worse, I've decided to bottle today with a gravity reading of around 1.014-1.016. So that's where I'm at with this beer trying to salvage it. Maybe it will turn out OK after some carbonation & bottle conditioning. I just don't want to leave it 3 more weeks for it to drop a few more points at an excruciatingly slow pace at the risk of the final product tasting awful and like soap. Cheers! ****and my final recommendation is don't use WYEAST 3724 unless you want to wait 8 weeks for primary to finish & can keep temps in the upper 90s for it to finish up********
  14. Got it- canned it is! Best deal seems to be through MR beer. Yup will make it work: mini blender will just take a bit longer to prep. no potassium sorbate - when I researched more it's mostly used in winemaking?
  15. For my next batch I want to make a blueberry beer. Found a recipe I'm going to tweak which calls for 10 oz crushed blueberries at 20 min boil, & then add more frozen blueberries at 14 days in secondary, but to also add potassium sorbate to stop blueberries from being fermented. I was wondering if potassium sorbate does something to stop ALL yeast fermentation which I don't want & therefore I don't want to add that compound. Plus I bottle condition so I still want my yeast to be working to carb my beers. From what I've read it can be difficult to get enough blueberry flavor in the end product. What if I add like 2lbs of crushed/frozen blueberry at 7 days without the potassium? This is for a 2 gallon all extract using Safale K97. Or should I buy a few cans of the Mr Beer blueberry & add that at 7 days? I haven't done a fruit beer before so this is stepping out of my comfort zone. Also I don't have a large blender so I'll have to use a magic bullet mini bender or just a potato masher that's been sanitized. Thoughts on this process? Thanks!
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