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swenocha

Going back in time...

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I have one AG recipe purchased and ready to go as my next brew, but while out at lunch today, I went into the overstock/clearance store that's usually good for some electronics browsing, and what do I see on the shelf? American Series Variety packs and International Series Variety packs, both for $15.99. Thus, I decided to buy one of both to follow through on a little project I've spoken to before... to run these per Mr. Beer specs, incorporating my current knowledge of process, time, temps, etc., to see what I think of the standard brews now. The theory is that many of us see these brews as inferior simply because they were the first ones we did and we had a lot less understanding of the process and procedures that lead to a successful brew.

So, I'm committed to do at least three of these six extracts just that way... HME, booster, and yeast (though I do plan to triple yeast two of them, and then supplement with Notty or something to replace the fromunda I stole from the other ones). The other three will likely add some DME, hops, and possibly steeping grains.

So... I have the following six...

Octoberfest Vienna Lager
High Country Canadian Draft
Cowboy Lager
Blonde Ale
Bewitched Red
Whispering Wheat

Which should I run straight up? Which should I modify/add on to?

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I would go with the Blonde and Cowboy Strait up.

Sounds like a fun side project.

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I'd go with HCCD, OVL and WW as-is.

Here are my reasons for that. This gives you a bit of a cross section (one dark, one light, one wheat). You could use BRA instead of one of the lighter ones, but it's pretty low in IBUs, so you may want to add hops to it. Also, I think those three are the ones that make the most acceptable beer out of the box.

Actually, I think the CGL could be substituted for the HCCD if you wanted. I think they're pretty similar.

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I think Brian's suggestion is sound. I would go with that, also.

FWIW, I've been working with Mr. Beer recipes for a while now. I always order at least three recipes in my Brew Club order, which ships every odd-numbered month. One from the Balanced Recipes, one from Hoppy Recipes, and one from Malty Recipes. I don't alter them at all, and I've been pleased with the results.

I know there's quite a difference between HME/Booster/Fromunda and any of the recipes using a different yeast or HME/UME combos or additional hops. But at their base, the Embee extracts produce fine beer.

I'll be interested in reading your thoughts after you've done this.

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I have to say that the OVL + Booster batch I did a while ago for this same experiment has turned into a nice drinkable beer after some time in the bottle and something that I am proud to share with others just as I would my AG batches.

The only thing I changed was to use WLP810 instead of the fromunder yeast, but other than that it's just HME + Booster and a fine beer.

Hope you like the results. I still have a can of HCCD that I'm trying to figure out what to do with.

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I'd vote to do a CGL + booster with 100 grams of crystal 10 L steep and 7 grams of Hallertau at flamout.
You'll be pleasently surprised.

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I'll have to review my grain and hop inventory... I'd like to stick with what I have for the most part just to clear some inventory out (I have quite a bit of inventory on the hop side of things due to some bulk purchases with co-workers and just scraps from other recipes), but buying a bit of crystal wouldn't kill me. I may just do that... I'm debating whether to open my criteria up to include recipes on the Mr. B site so as to incorporate some dryhopping, etc. into the mix. I did the Prince Ludwig early on and thus it seems a good candidate for a recipe, for instance. Hmmm....

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Cheers Beer Brothers :drinking:
All I can say is all of those work well with booster & will make 3 star beers. But... all of those work really well, & your friends will think you are a master brewer, with 1 can Mellow Amber, 1/2 lb to 1 lb lite DME, 1/2 pack booster, & 1/2 cup of honey - Hops to taste & that's a whole other story - to be simple only 1 hop at end of boil. That's a great brew every time. Oh - Of course, a great label to top it off. :barman: captain_lawrence_xtra_gold_american_trip

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I'll depend on my AGs to convince my friends I'm a master brewer... I'm convinced I have a long way to go still, but they seem happy with the efforts thus far.

;)

I'm intentionally planning to keep these simple. I'm looking at this more as a way to revisit past efforts and see if memories are valid and also to see if experience makes a difference in these simpler recipes. Of course, I'll get some good pipeline inventory as an added bonus...

:chug:

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Add some hops to the Bewitched! Very malty and caramel without some xtra bitterness, ya know?

Trifle not with the HCCD, but add some Munich malt to the OVL...
;)

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I wasn't on my office computer before so I didn't have this picture that I wanted to post for Swen's back in time project. We can use this pic on the label. :party: time_tunnel_2-20110520.jpg

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All right... so far the following has gone forward...

HCCD + Booster + Glacier & Saaz + 3 Fromunda
BRA + Amber DME + Booster + Goldings & Mt. Hood + Notty

Also have ingredients for...

WW + Wheat DME + Booster + EKG + Munich
OVL + Light DME + Booster + Mt. Hood + WLP820
CGL + Booster + Notty

So, one left...

CABA... I'm thinking of going a bit funky with this one. Maybe a saison. So, I'm figuring some earthy hops (Goldings, Saaz, Sterling, Pearle, Palisades, Hallertaur, or Tettnanger) in a 60/15 schedule. Also thinking some wheat DME, and maybe a grain steep of some sort. I plan to avoid spices/orange peel/etc. Finally, a saison yeast (obviously).

So, questions... any advice or suggestions regarding a saison? Ferment temps? Ingredient advice?

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I always use 20% or so of wheat in my Saisons.

T-58 is the best dry yeast, if your not going to use an actual WYeast smack pack. It's OK to ferment the T-58 on the warm side for a Saison, you as want the spicyness to come through. Be careful though, T-58 can easily go insane at 72 and spike up to 78+ in no time if it gets happy.

If you do go for a Wyeast, be aware that one of them needs to ferment at 85-90 degrees to really work well... it gets stuck if you don't ferment that hot.

Any of those hops will be fine, but I'd use the Perle for primarily bittering. I like saaz, sterling, goldings, hallertuar, and tettnanger, although lately I've been using santium and saaz/sterling combos... Santium is a hallertuar/tettnanger/cascade cross, it's an interesting hop, has lots of fruityness, some orange/citrus flavor, and the tettnanger spicyness.

I do not add any actual citrus or spices to my saisons. I like to get all of my citrus and spices from yeast and hops.

I sometimes make my saisons pale, other times I toss in a touch of special B and bring them up to about 10SRM. That is enough to add more fruit - special B is yummy.

I think it's fine for saisons to have a bunch of hop flavor/nose, especially when it contributes to the spicy/fruityness of the beer.

I like to split up my hops and pitch multiple kinds in each addition. IE an addition of saaz + goldings or sterling + santium or what not at each step.

I tend to use a more complex hop schedule in them then most beers I make besides APA/IPAs, because I am trying to get the hop flavor/aroma/fruit/spice to come through.

That's about it?

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Someone was looking for something to do with a HCCD? The only recipe I have used it in was the Brew Ha Ha Bock.

Bock

I added a bit of honey to keep it from being too sweet, but this was a nice beer, even though it was one of my first batches. It was really sweet at first, but with about 3-4 weeks conditioning it really became a tasty amber beer. I used fromunda yeast the first time (because I didn't know the difference) but I plan to brew the same batch again with some lager yeast, to make it a true bock.

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So, my little experiment is proceeding slowly but surely.

In the bottle:
Pilsner: HCCD + Booster + Glacier & Saaz + 3 Fromunda (Have done some early tastes... not bad at all)
Red: BRA + Amber DME + Booster + Goldings & Mt. Hood + Notty

In the fermenter:
Weisen: WW + Wheat DME + EKG + Munich

Also have ingredients for...
Oktoberfest: OVL + Light DME + Booster + Mt. Hood (though I need to get some WLP820)
Cascadia Pale Ale: CGL + Light DME + Booster + Notty (a co-worker is bringing some fresh cascade hops from his vines, so I intend to dry hop with those)
Saison(?): CABA + DME + Booster (need to figure out my hops, and get a bit of wheat DME and a saison yeast)

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For my 1000 post it has to be Swen :cheers:
That's all I do. Mr Beer + DME + Hops + Booster, Sugars, Honey in many combinations & it works every time.
I just made a brew Northern Lights
1 Can Blonde
1 lb Light DME
1/2 pack Booster
1/2 Cup Wildflower Honey
1 oz Willamette Hops split into 3rds (30,20,10)
4 Mr B Yeast Packs Re-Hydrated
Delicious - I'm bringing a bomber to Fedora Dave's Rib Fest this Sat.
Mr Beer is OK by me! Northern_Lights_Version_2-20110714.JPG

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Nice label... and congrats on the even 1000.

In honor of the Label-Man, here's my Northern Lights label that I (of course) never used...

4397495446_0d520c59f2.jpg

EDIT: And have a great time at Dave's ribfest... I would love to make that trip some day. And, of course, if any of you venture towards Music City, the first round at Yazoo or Jackelope is on me...

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Wow Swen - I love that label. Sooner or later, I'm going to be in Memphis & I'll be sure to take you up on that offer. Fedora Dave's will be fun. I'm going to try to take a pic with Dave's hat on. :laugh:

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swenocha wrote:

...And, of course, if any of you venture towards Music City, the first round at Yazoo or Jackelope is on me...

Careful, I may actually by heading to Nashville soon....

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Beerlabelman wrote:

Wow Swen - I love that label. Sooner or later, I'm going to be in Memphis & I'll be sure to take you up on that offer. Fedora Dave's will be fun. I'm going to try to take a pic with Dave's hat on. :laugh:

Preview:
bogey.jpg

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Kealia wrote:

swenocha wrote:

...And, of course, if any of you venture towards Music City, the first round at Yazoo or Jackelope is on me...

Careful, I may actually by heading to Nashville soon....

Bring it on... as long as it's a Thursday or Friday, Yazoo is the spot.

bilde.jpg
(part of the sampler with hefe, lager, pale, porter... mmmm...)

On Saturday, you can even score the tour...

Of course, on other days Bosco's, Blackstone or Cool Springs breweries generally suffice...

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swenocha wrote:

So, my little experiment is proceeding slowly but surely.

In the bottle:
Pilsner: HCCD + Booster + Glacier & Saaz + 3 Fromunda (Have done some early tastes... not bad at all)
Red: BRA + Amber DME + Booster + Goldings & Mt. Hood + Notty

In the fermenter:
Weisen: WW + Wheat DME + Booster + EKG + Munich

Also have ingredients for...
Oktoberfest: OVL + Light DME + Booster + Mt. Hood (though I need to get some WLP820)
Cascadia Pale Ale: CGL + Light DME + Booster + Notty (a co-worker is bringing some fresh cascade hops from his vines, so I intend to dry hop with those)
Saison(?): CABA + DME + Booster (need to figure out my hops, and get a bit of wheat DME and a saison yeast)

These all sound like respectable beers. I just did a Saison recently (though I used all DME w/o any MB products for the first time). I used Spalt hops in mine along with some orange, fresh ginger and Grains of Paradise. I wanted to use Citra hops, but I couldn't find them anywhere. I still think it should be pretty decent. I used Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison and I've heard nothing but good things about that. The hydrometer sample tasted pretty nice. I have nothing but high hopes and good vibes about this brew. The fact that the yeast actually work very well at 85+ degrees was a huge turn on for me. I don't have to monitor or change ice packs for the next 2 weeks! :banana:

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Hey, all. Good to see some familiar names around. Been a busy couple of months for me. No brewing at all, and half of my bottles went down at a friend's bachelor weekend, so I'm going to need to get busy soon. Just way too busy at work to do much of anything else...

Anywhoo... as to why I came back around. My last brew was the Oktoberfest discussed in this thread that I finally brewed in October. Tasted trubbie the other day... it has a slight off-flavor that I also had in the mystery powder brew. Hmm... Wish one of you were around to give it a taste, as I'm kinda puzzled as to how to describe it. It is the exact flavor as the other brew had, but it is much, much less pronounced in the new one (so that's good). I wrote the first one off to ferment temps, but that may not have been the issue. This one was my first lager, so I fermented at 50ish.

I (obviously) used some of the same equipment (as have 50+ other brews though), and both had Mr. B extracts at their base (is this the famous twang some speak of but I've never experienced? Twang was the exact word a friend used who tasted the first beer with this flavor), but I used a totally different yeast and a lot of additional ingredients in the new one, so it's hard to pinpoint. The taste was there at bottling, so it's not a bottling issue. Kinda puzzled. The non-trubbies are in cold condition until February, so I may have a better idea by then. Thinking of talking with the Yazoo guys or the LHBS folks, but if anyone has ideas...

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I think some of the extract off flavors some of us have chalked up the 2 grams of yeast they give you straining to ferment so much alcohol. Some on here have tried the Fromunda yeast in larger quantities to quite good results.

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It is obviously seriously contaminated. I strongly suggest you package it up and send it to me immediately for proper disposal!!

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