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chalkjhawk79

Easiest ways to personalize beer?

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Hello all! I'm a proud owner of a new Mr Beer my wife bought me first Christmas (God bless her). Fermentation just started on my first batch last night and I'm looking forward to tasting it in a month or so. However, I'm already starting to think about my second batch! For my first batch I just followed the instructions to the T, but my real hope in brewing (like many others here I'm sure) is to brew my OWN beer. I want to change it up and make it truly unique so it's something I can call my own.

So, my question is, what are the best ways to personalize your own beer? I'm talking very broad here. Off the top of my head I'm thinking you can add more cans of hopped malt than just a single one, correct? Or, instead of using hopped malt you could use unhopped malt and add in your own hops? I'm just noticing that (unless I'm looking in the wrong place) mrbeer.com only lists 4 unhopped malt extracts and 16 hopped malt extracts? Do most people on here buy their malt extracts from mrbeer or other places? Also, do the majority of people use unhopped or hopped malts and what are the advantages of either of them? Sorry for all the questions, I'm really excited about brewing but also very new, which is a bad combination I think!

I am a big fan of wheat beers so I'm really hoping to figure out the best way to make a good, personalized wheat beer for my second batch. I don't want it to be as "easy" as just buying a wheat HME though. Would it be bad to use a couple of two different kinds of wheat UME and throw in some hops (have no idea what kind)? I just want to make something unique that will taste good...that's the point of home brewing, right?!

Sorry for the lengthy question, but like I said, just excited to get this new hobby going!

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Welcome to the beer borg!
First, you will want to check out the recipe page under the shop online, just to get a feel of how beer recipes look.
Second, you should read some of the threads in this section, they will answer a lot of your questions.
Third, there are many places that you can get a variety of ingrediants for home brewing. This link should help you if you don't have an LHBS (local home brew store) near you. http://community.mrbeer.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=8&id=212645

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Find a LHBS and start using LME/DME and hops to create your own brew...than start steeping and mashing grains. Oh yeah, create your own labels helps to make it your own brew.

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Hello and welcome to the borg, you came to the right place to learn how to make great beer. I think you'd like Witty Monk Staight up. After you try a few of the refills you will have a better idea on how to change things to suit your taste. Good Luck and Happy Brewing.

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welcome to the borg!!! I am new and have started to make some of the recipes. I also have added hops and such to some recipes I would suggest starting out with that, and going to a LHBS and talking with them about different beers to make. :barman:

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Chalk Jayhawk~

Welcome!!

I started brewing in June of 2011. What I will tell you is that this is one of the greatest hobbies...especially if you're wanting to be able to creat your own thing. I mean, when you consider the various types of grans and beer styles and hopes and yeasts...it's almost infinite.

No...Mr. Beer is not the only resource for brewing. It's obviously one of the more popoular considering most are using this equipment

However there are others...Briess, Munton's, Cooper, Northern Brewer, etc etc etc.

===============

In regard to how to "personalize" your brewing...again, that is up to you simply because of the expansive catalog of ingredient and styles available. For example, my personalization is that any recipe I use which calls for Pale ale Malt or Pilsner malt...I get Canadian superior Malting grains. Just suits my taste.

=================

You mentioned WHEAT BEERS

Mr. Beer has the Whispering Wheat HME and the Witty Monk HME. Mr. Beer aso has the Golden Wheat UME. Austin Homebrew has a Wheat Liquid Malt Extract. They also sell Wheat Dry Malt Extract. There is a Munton's Wheat LME. There is also a Munton's Wheat DME. Cooper's also has a Wheat LME. Northern Brewer has a Northern Brewer Wheat Malt Syrup.

That is just Malt Extracts.

There is also several types of malt Grains. White Wheat, Red Wheat, Torrified Wheat, Chocolate Wheat, Unmalted Wheat, Flaked Wheat ---
2 Lbs of Pale Malt and 1 Lb of White Wheat may be just different enough than 2 Lbs of Red Wheat and 1 Lb of Munich Malt.

Wyeast, White Labs, and Safale or Fermentis each sell their versions of Wheat beer yeasts.

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Welcome chalkjhawk, I agree with everybody. it's best to take it slow so you get your process down pat. Mr Beer's HME's & UME's are all great products. Very easy to add on to. I'm on my 110th batch & I 've used at least 1 can of Mr Beer in each one. :laugh:
Oh yeah & labels help a lot. :cheers: Lost_Dog_IPA_II-20120109.JPG

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That witty monk does look like my kind of beer! However, my issue is then I'd be making "witty monk" beer instead of my own beer, ya know? If I mixed witty monky with something ELSE then I could call it my own. That's more what I'm trying to get at. Love the feedback though!

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chalkjhawk79 wrote:

That witty monk does look like my kind of beer! However, my issue is then I'd be making "witty monk" beer instead of my own beer, ya know? If I mixed witty monky with something ELSE then I could call it my own. That's more what I'm trying to get at. Love the feedback though!

If you like Bavarian Style Hefeweizens, you could try this one. Came out really good. 3 weeks in the LBK, 4 weeks in the bottle at room temp. Cheers and welcome to the obsession. Brewing up an all grain BIAB version of this on Saturday.

Monkey's Hefe
Style American Wheat or Rye Beer
Batch 2.13 gal

Recipe Gravity 1.058 OG
Estimated FG 1.015 FG
Recipe Bitterness 15 IBU
Alcohol by Volume 5.6%
Recipe Color 10° SRM

Quantity Grain Type Use
1.21 lb MrB. Golden Wheat UME Extract Extract
1.21 lb MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Extract Extract
1.00 lb Wheat DME Extract Extract

Quantity Hop Type Time
1.00 oz MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Pellet 5 minutes

Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit White Labs WLP300 - Hefenweizen Yeast Temperature Range: 68°-72° F (ABV 10%) Low
Label_Monkeys_Hefe.jpg

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chalkjhawk79 wrote:

That witty monk does look like my kind of beer! However, my issue is then I'd be making "witty monk" beer instead of my own beer, ya know? If I mixed witty monky with something ELSE then I could call it my own. That's more what I'm trying to get at. Love the feedback though!

First, I will say that there is nothing at all wrong with using Mr. B (or Munton's, Cooper's, Briess, etc. for that matter) extracts. You can make a nice, quality beer consistently with these products. But I hear what you're saying, and I think the answer is to slowing expand your process to include different skills (adding DME/LME, boiling hops, steeping grains, using different yeasts, mashing grains in a mini or full mash, etc.) until you get to the amount of flexibility and creativity that suits your taste. There are many experienced brewers on here that are on all different ends of the spectrum. Onekyds has done 400 (or some crazy number) of beers that are exclusively Mr. B ingredients. As out BOM noted, he uses at least one can of Mr. B in each brew, but he tends to add additional ingredients. Though I will occasionally use an extract, I tend to almost exclusively use grains now in a BIAB. And there are some who do full-blown AG brewing. And there are many at various stages in between. And all of those are OK. You just have to find whatever you're comfortable with.

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To truly personalize a beer is going to take you some time. It will take you a while to learn what the different ingredients taste like in the finished product. From there you will experiment making one beer that you have chosen as a favorite slightly different each time. Tweaking until it is just the way you like it. The Hat has done this with his White Panama as I have with my Red Ale. Now I have a Red Ale that has been tweaked to just the way I like it. And it is my house beer. I accomplished this by doing a Red Ale every other brew. This allowed my to brew it often enough to keep experimenting with different malts, hops, hop schedules, and yeasts. But at the same time keeping a nice variety of beers in my pipeline by doing a different style between my Red Ales.

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genotype wrote:

chalkjhawk79 wrote:

That witty monk does look like my kind of beer! However, my issue is then I'd be making "witty monk" beer instead of my own beer, ya know? If I mixed witty monky with something ELSE then I could call it my own. That's more what I'm trying to get at. Love the feedback though!

If you like Bavarian Style Hefeweizens, you could try this one. Came out really good. 3 weeks in the LBK, 4 weeks in the bottle at room temp. Cheers and welcome to the obsession. Brewing up an all grain BIAB version of this on Saturday.

Monkey's Hefe
Style American Wheat or Rye Beer
Batch 2.13 gal

Recipe Gravity 1.058 OG
Estimated FG 1.015 FG
Recipe Bitterness 15 IBU
Alcohol by Volume 5.6%
Recipe Color 10° SRM

Quantity Grain Type Use
1.21 lb MrB. Golden Wheat UME Extract Extract
1.21 lb MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Extract Extract
1.00 lb Wheat DME Extract Extract

Quantity Hop Type Time
1.00 oz MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Pellet 5 minutes

Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit White Labs WLP300 - Hefenweizen Yeast Temperature Range: 68°-72° F (ABV 10%) Low
Label_Monkeys_Hefe.jpg


Love the label, awesome!

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wish i could take credit for them. my buddy makes 'em for me and i pay him in beer. very creative guy.

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I found that doing research on a recipe idea is also a good way to go. I am doing that right now, and I gotta say that I am avoiding a lot of stupid mistakes that otherwise I would have made and not realized that I was doing any thing wrong to begin with.

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