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Everything posted by StretchNM

  1. Yep! Filling out an application right now for head brewmaster at a mountain resort brewery near me. I'm on the "relevant experience" section right now. How come my title hasn't been changed from "in Training" to "Guru"?
  2. My all-grain English Pale Ale 1-gallon Kit I brewed in March is ready. And the results of the first bottle are: Success! Wow, I can't believe I'm doing this. First goodness with the MRB 1776 and now Success with the no-name brand EPA. This beer is very pale, smooooth, hoppy, and well-carbonated. I'm a happy brewer right now. Thank you to all of you that helped out when I was doing this batch - @RickBeer, @Jdub, @BDawg62, @Nickfixit, @Shrike, @Bonsai & Brew, @D Kristof, and @StretchNM (that's me). Yes, I went through the old thread to find everybody who gave advice and encouragement. Thank you. Despite the sloppy instructions that came with the Kit, we made it work. Pretty dang cool. I would definitely brew this beer again. And again. I guess I'm going to have to break out my pilsner glass for this brew. I know, my logo and labeling needs work. But that's about as professional as I need to be ((( )))
  3. CORRECTION: I reported my ABV as 4.2. That was MRB's expected percentage. My batch has an ABV of 4.0, which I am more than happy with. Next Up: Voodoo, probably with white cane sugar as opposed to brown.
  4. I should have got a pic of straight through the glass. It's a clear as a clean window. Not that I would mind some haze, but this one is super clear. Also, I up-ended the bottle when finishing it, without thinking. Very few crumbs! I will be proud to offer this beer to my visiting friends. Good stuff.
  5. Brew #2 - MRB - 1776 Ale (ABV 4.2) Finally... a success! After losing to my first brew batch - MRB's American LAGER, I've got a winner. At least, to me it is! Not quite as carbonated as I'd like, and lacking in sustainable head, it's as sweet as I could have asked for. No sourness. No unpleasant aftertaste. Just a nice, sweet Ale. I can do this. I have one brew in the queue - an all-grain English Pale Ale. It should be just fine. We'll see. ON EDIT: Changed MRB's American Ale to MRB's American LAGER
  6. Thanks for that recipe. I would like to clarify with these questions: - How much water are you starting with (at point of steeping)? - When you say "Make liquid up to 4 cups", does that mean that after steeping and boiling the first .5oz of hops (and removing both), add water to bring the wort volume back up to 4 cups so then you add LME, booster, and boil the second hops? I know maybe they're dumb questions, but I'm going to add that recipe to my "Recipes.doc" and I just want it to be clear for the day I might brew it. Thank you
  7. I have alluded to this before - the instructions that come with the Kits and refills need work. All of you have read a competitors instructions (BB are their initials) and I find them leagues ahead of MRB instructions. OK, I'm a new brewer and still asking questions like "What is beer?" and "Why is there air©", and others, but life is simple - You write the basic instructions, but you also provide additional relevant data, such as fermentation temperatures for lagers and ales, benefits of conditioning time, cold crashing(?), etc. What will it cost? An extra page of instructions per refill or Kit? Educate the customer or they will go elsewhere for the education and....for the product. This forum, to me, is more personal and doesn't carry the risks of facebook. But even with the benefits of a Mr Beer facebook page, it's still no excuse for lackluster instructions.
  8. Well, Ashley looks to be a bit of a babe. So...uhm.... there's that.... But about the facebook page, I quote for you my Uncle Shamus O'Horgan (and indeed he often did!): ("Aye, always find a good word for those who try, laddie, but never a trophy unless they win!")
  9. OK. Just wondering. I certainly can see how it would "work", like efdbrian said, but it sounds like a lot of trouble at high risk, as RickBeer says. I'll do it like Jdub says. I have confidence in that method, at least, since I did it with my all-grain batch. I was just thinking maybe I could "cheat" a little. Thank you
  10. Can you bottle from a carboy that has no spigot, by using a siphon or auto-siphon with a bottling wand attached to the end of it? The reason I ask is because I have these 2 very nice, plastic carboys that I don't want to drill for spigots. I know I could use them as second fermenters, then when ready siphon into a LBK or other bucket with spigot, but just wondering if I could skip a step. See I was thinking that the siphon tube might lose it's draw through the repeated opening and closing of the wand valve, causing me to have to restart the siphon several times while bottling. Thank you
  11. @Lukon, I've been looking at investing in one or two of those. Can they be used for carbonating and conditioning? Thank you
  12. At mrbeer.com the recipe calls for Aztec Mexican Cerveza extract, and..... - the Standard Refill has 2 booster packs and the Deluxe has one Pale LME. You may know all that by now. It sounds like you're going to get standard (dry) light beer. ON EDIT: Since the deed is already done, at least float a couple 'penos or dried chile arbol in there.
  13. A large plastic bowl was what I used too, until I got the Sterlite container. It's long, narrow, and shallow so 1 gallon of sanitizer covers tubes, scissors, openers, my silicon spatula, a measuring cup I use to pour solution over and into long objects, and all else. My issue is not with those who put utensils in the LBKs, but rather with Mr Beer for not warning against it (as my humble opinion thinks they should). In an earlier thread, I complained that Mr Beer should include more information in their instructions about ambient vs active wort temperatures, a little information on the actual process involved and how beer develops from wort, etc. Someone reminded me that they're aiming at first-time brewers who have only average knowledge, equipment, and space. That's all true, of course, but is no excuse for lackluster instructions. People will have trouble with their first batch(es), give up, bad mouth the company, receive info that MRB is junk and "here's how you should do it", start doing it that way, become successful, and join the ranks of the mockers and bashers. I guess I ought to just mind my own business and rest in the comfort there are many other sources of equipment and fermentables out there.
  14. I agree with you both. But!...... people are making videos where utensils are placed inside their fermenters (inside both MRB fermenters and other fermenters), and then agitated, with gusto. Additionally, if we agree scratches in a fermenter are bad, or very bad, WHY would we put utensils in there in the first place? There is always....always.... the chance that one or more could scratch the inside, whether it's when we put them in, take them out, or during an unintentional dropping or jostling of the LBK (or other fermenter). In fact, I'd say there's a probability. An experienced brewer I'm not, but a logical, reasoning person with life experience I am. No......logic dictates we use a bowl or other container (I use a long Sterlite container for mine) to sanitize our utensils. I'm not putting a can opener, a spoon (plastic or steel), or scissors in my LBK. And I'm suggesting logic dictates Mr Beer should make mention of it in their instructions. That is, of course, IF.... scratches inside the fermenter can harbor harmful bacteria.
  15. Why doesn't Mr Beer point this out in their instructions? There are so many videos out there showing people throwing all their utensils in the fermenter with solution and shaking it up. In fact, I could be mistaken but I believe there are a couple of three MRB videos showing this practice. If it's true that minute scratches can harbor harmful bacteria, won't the utensils scratch the fermenter? I think so, maybe MRB doesn't. But if they do, the instructions should boldly state not to do this so as to alert those making videos that they're doing it wrong. Luckily, I never did this, and this last time, since I store my spigot inside the LBK, I've started putting my spigot in a ziplock baggie so it won't scratch the inside. Am I wrong on this? Maybe small scratches aren't so bad after all.
  16. There's nothing wrong with a little petty thievery now and again. I stole the whole idea of drinking beer from my dad and.....used it all for myself for several decades.
  17. "........and then one day, out of the blue.... just like that!.... this case of home brew shows up on my doorstep."
  18. Consider the source (me), ok? But why couldn't you add 1/2 or 1 pound of corn syrup? I've seen a brewer do that in absence of another extract. Or honey like Jdub said. @Mic-S, I understand what you want to do - use up some base malt extract and clean out your inventory without ordering anything else (or...maybe without waiting for it to arrive), so it sounds to this rookie like a good time to go all-out mad scientist. Who cares if it doesn't fit within accepted parameters? Get rid of that base extract and 50/50 you get something acceptable. Again, I say, consider the source. And good luck! (StretchNM is not responsible for any mishaps or ruining of beer batches due to improper or unacceptable advice. In fact, he didn't even write this post. I did. signed: his dog, Lucy.)
  19. No dry hopping in this batch, so I guess it is just krausen. Anyway I'm feeling happy at the way my sample tasted so.... I'm optimistic for the outcome. Again though, this beer will probably be very low in alcohol content, IF my measurement for OG was proper and if I had mixed it thoroughly enough before taking the measurement. I didn't take FG measurement because it didn't matter to me unless I had confidence in the original gravity measurement, which I don't. I mean, taking the measurement was easy enough, of course, but then when it was only 1.022 or so, I realized something was wrong. Something more than just a weak wort. SO we'll see. Thank you all for the input and encouragement in this thread.
  20. After 3 days in the fridge, I bottled this jug of all-grain Pale Ale tonight. I had to do it the easy way, even though that meant it would be twice as hard. So I got out my LBK and siphoned the Ale from the 1 gallon carboy into the LBK. (OK. I'm probably not going to do that again without investing in an auto-siphon). Then I bottled with a wand from the LBK. The trub in the carboy was fresh but cold, so I won't have it until tomorrow morning when I can warm it. I managed to get 9 full 12oz bottles. My sample tasted flatly GREAT! I'm eager to see what a month will do to this beer. I NEED success here. There sure was a lot of powdery stuff at the mouth of the carboy. You can see it in the picture. I'm guessing this is dried out yeast from the krausen? Maybe?
  21. Now.....a disclaimer: I did a search of "How Beer is Made" and one of "History Channel. I admit, I didn't wade through them all - I might not live that long. But I couldn't find anything related to this video in the first couple of pages of results. But..... maybe it's been posted over and over again by many MrBeer Forum members, newbies and others, I don't know. If so, moderators can delete this thread... I don't mind. But if not, this is a very interesting video. So here: How Beer is Made - a YouTube video by the History Channel.
  22. I have seen videos of guys using electric pumps to go from mashtun to fermenter to bottling bucket, etc. Evidently it works well, but I wonder: Even though surely santizer is run through, is there any worry about lubrication oils or other debris from the pump "turbines" might get into the wort?
  23. Thanks @Cato, I never even thought of that. MRB's and One Step have no foam (NOT that I fear the foam, you understand. No, no, I have a deep appreciation for the foam).
  24. @RickBeer Thanks Rick. Just to add a little, off-topic but comparable when speaking of hobbies: I've reloaded for shotgun since 1979 so I could afford quail and dove hunting, and shooting clays. I was a young buck back then and didn't see the big picture. SO then I got back into reloading in 2008, but added metallic handloading (rifle and handgun). Like beer brewing, we can save money over the cost of store-bought ammunition (or beer), but what we find in handloading is that we shoot so much more! There is equipment and tools, and load development to build loads for each bullet for each firearm (all unique), so by the time it's all said and done, we've spent way more money than we would have had we relied on commercial ammo. But again, we shot much more and..... fed our passion for the hobby. I like to say I handload so I can keep shooting AND keep handloading. I expect and am prepared for the exact same thing in brewing beer. Because of a serious health problem I went through a few years ago (that still is a part of my life), I would have a beer every so often. But now already I'm drinking a minimum of 1 a day. I'm saving money, but I'll spend more on beer and brewing this calendar year than I've spent on store-bought brew in the last decade (of course, that's just me. Others will vary because they used to drink more and so haven't increased their expenditures quite as dramatically). So I'm thinking - yes I'll save money over buying at Walmart or Albertson's, but I'll drink more beer than I ever have just so I can keep brewing. ON EDIT: I already took care of mama's unhappiness. Just like with my handloading passion, she's good now.
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