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USMCMatt

First Brew and the F&%king pot booster explosion

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Warning, this is going to get weird.

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Woot pays off and finally shows up. Excitement builds as I look forward to ditching all the extra junk for just the LBK, My orders for bottles, cappers, premium mix from Mr Beer had already showed up.

I tear in... what the hell are all these white crystals all over the everything?

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Obviously anthrax... or boosters, yep, blew up all over everything. Anyways I'm glad I was going to brew the Pilsner for the first time and really had no intention of using the brew mix it came with (for now)

I wasn't sure if Mr. Beer would help me out though because I didn't buy the kit from them even though I did buy a ton of other stuff. So I consulted this guy.

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No help whatsoever, but the girl I chatted with live on their website said no problem at all and just added a pack to another order that hadn't shipped yet I placed earlier in the day. Cool we're going to start this party going. Even though I could probably do this in my sleep after the research I put while waiting for everything to show up, I cheated and follow the Drew videos so I wouldn't for get anything.

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Ok so here where the rage starts. I thought it would be cool to head to Wal Mark of all places and buy a pot to make the wort in. Found an awesome pot all stainless steel with even a little lip at the top for pouring for $26!!! But wait what's this, one for $6!!! Perfect sold!

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WHOS IN THE HOLY F*&%*&% HELL PUTS MASSIVE STICKERS WITH HEAVY ADHESION ON THE SIDE AND BOTTOM OF A COOKING POT

Seriously I rub, scrape, and razor blade this into a mess, now hurrying before the Mrs gets home.

I get it pretty darn decent and dump in my 4 cups of water and crank that baby up... smoke everywhere.. I'm pretty sure I just set fire to the house or the glue that even a razor wont take off is slowing killing me.

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I grab a new pot and start over while warming up my cans

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not very hot, but maybe I should of cranked it up because DAMN it takes forever to get it all out of there

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everything else goes pretty smooth, once I dump it into the LBK and add the rest of the spring water I had cooling I the temp is perfect and throw yeast everywhere and squirrel it away into the closet for 3 weeks.

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Stupid pot

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Congrats on your first batch!! Pretty sure we've all had our struggles from time to time, so welcome to the club.

Sucks about the pot :fan: , but I'm a big fan of how you tell a story! :lol:

Keep us posted on how it turns out. And since you obviously know how to do it, we require a pic of your first pour when it's ready!

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I bought a 16 quart pot from Acme Foods and had a %*!!% time getting the freakin labels off just like you. Then I bought a 20 quart pot at my LHBS and the entire label just simply peeled off in one piece and the co$t wasn't all that different.

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I'm sure you will laugh at this in time if you havent already. It was like a quick look into my short brewing past :laugh: wya to push thru.

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LOL - I still have a now-faded humongous sticker on my SS 20qt brewpot I bought about 10 years ago!

I'd be careful of putting the unopened cans of extract in a pot that is on the stove. You might think you're going through the 'Crucible' again if one BLOWS!

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pghFred wrote:

I'd be careful of putting the unopened cans of extract in a pot that is on the stove. You might think you're going through the 'Crucible' again if one BLOWS!


Great point Fred. I usually put mine in a pot then fill it with super hot tap water and set on the counter while I'm doing other prep work.

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There's nothing like funny and that is funny! I'm sure I will confirm my belief that brewers are smarter and wittier than average!

Fee

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The other thing you may want to do in the future is clean the cans better.

I boil normally 2 quarts and pour 2 cups boiling water back into the 2 cup measuring cup I use, after I pour all the HME (or UME) in I scrape out best I can then rinse with the hot water using the spoon to get it all off and pour that in the pot too.

One other thing I do is I clean the outside of the cans and remove the label then when ready to open sanitize the outside of the can too.

I know, pretty Anal but I want to make sure clean, hey they make you sanitize the can opener but dirt can is alright? :S :blink:

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I feel your pain regarding the pot, I have the same exact one. My wife caught it on sale for $4.50 about 2 weeks ago. I soaked it overnight in soapy hot water, then tried peeling the MASSIVE FU%*ing label off only to have it stuck to the side and bottom like crazy. I soaked it again for an entire day, and still couldn't get that stuff off. I finally got some of that goo gone stuff and smeared it all over the pot. Unfortuneatly I got it on the inside of the pot too and after I finally got the label glue off I decided to do a quick water boil to make sure the pot was up to par. Well boiling goo gone in a pot is not a good idea. Apparently it reacted with the stainless pot somehow and caused a layer of corrosion or pitting. I have used it to brew twice since then but I have yet to taste either of the beers made in it. I just hope I have not ruined 2 full batches of homebrew. Oh and another thing, I used it for a hop boil with about a gallon of water in it and it does not seem like it is a sturdy made item. When lifting the pot full of a gallon of boiling wort, the handles seemed to be a bit loose and wobbly like it could give out. So be careful if you are using it for that much water.

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Stupid pot

That's why it's best to drink beer. That pot will get you too befuddled.

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:lol: I never cease to be amazed by the inescapable idiocy that surrounds us. I mean seriously, gluing on a label to a cooking implement?! The fact that that could surprise me tells me I have too much faith in humanity. We're doomed.

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Probably made in china & the label was put on there. They obviously didn't call me because I would have given them removable adhesive. :laugh: Case closed. So many bad label companies out there they give good guys like me a bad name. :pound: FD_White_Panama1_steve_supcom-20120111.J

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Trollby wrote:

The other thing you may want to do in the future is clean the cans better.

I boil normally 2 quarts and pour 2 cups boiling water back into the 2 cup measuring cup I use, after I pour all the HME (or UME) in I scrape out best I can then rinse with the hot water using the spoon to get it all off and pour that in the pot too.

One other thing I do is I clean the outside of the cans and remove the label then when ready to open sanitize the outside of the can too.

I know, pretty Anal but I want to make sure clean, hey they make you sanitize the can opener but dirt can is alright? :S :blink:

For whatever reason I have never had any luck with a hand-held crank-style can opener. They always seem to leave at least two spots on the lid where it didn't cut through making it impossible to get the lid open. I can go back and forth and sometimes get it down to just one uncut spot and then peel the lid up but when you're in the middle of making a brew that get's to be very frustrating.

So what I do is I let the cans sit in a pot with very hot tap water (it's the first step I take in the brewing process). Then after pouring some of the sanitizing solution onto a plate to sanitize it as a place to put my utensils I pour the left over solution on the tops of the cans making sure I leave the tops covered with sanitizer. Then, when it's time to add the LME to the water I pour the sanitized water off the cans and I use an old fashion "church key" style can opener - sanitized of course - to punch a couple of holes in the lid and pour the LME into the water. Of course there's going to be some LME left in the can so I spoon ten spoon-fulls of the wort into the can, give it a real good swirl and pour it back out. The can is almost completely cleaned out when I'm done.

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That was funny. Not the last time you'll have an interesting brew day. Welcome to our disfuntional little hobby. :-)

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Chuck N wrote:

Trollby wrote:

The other thing you may want to do in the future is clean the cans better.

I boil normally 2 quarts and pour 2 cups boiling water back into the 2 cup measuring cup I use, after I pour all the HME (or UME) in I scrape out best I can then rinse with the hot water using the spoon to get it all off and pour that in the pot too.

One other thing I do is I clean the outside of the cans and remove the label then when ready to open sanitize the outside of the can too.

I know, pretty Anal but I want to make sure clean, hey they make you sanitize the can opener but dirt can is alright? :S :blink:

For whatever reason I have never had any luck with a hand-held crank-style can opener. They always seem to leave at least two spots on the lid where it didn't cut through making it impossible to get the lid open. I can go back and forth and sometimes get it down to just one uncut spot and then peel the lid up but when you're in the middle of making a brew that get's to be very frustrating.

So what I do is I let the cans sit in a pot with very hot tap water (it's the first step I take in the brewing process). Then after pouring some of the sanitizing solution onto a plate to sanitize it as a place to put my utensils I pour the left over solution on the tops of the cans making sure I leave the tops covered with sanitizer. Then, when it's time to add the LME to the water I pour the sanitized water off the cans and I use an old fashion "church key" style can opener - sanitized of course - to punch a couple of holes in the lid and pour the LME into the water. Of course there's going to be some LME left in the can so I spoon ten spoon-fulls of the wort into the can, give it a real good swirl and pour it back out. The can is almost completely cleaned out when I'm done.


Have you ever tried one of the safety can openers? The don't cut at all--the lift the lid off. No part of the can opener even goes into the can so technically you don't even need to sanitize.

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the picture where you are giving the pot the finger is absolutely hilarious!!!!!! I do that to my cell phone when my boss calls me :lol::lol::lol:

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Awesome picture story! I have that same pot i got at walmart for 6 bucks it was definitely a pain in the arse to get that label off! I'm glad to see you made it through your first batch with a sense of humor tho.

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bpgreen wrote:


Have you ever tried one of the safety can openers? The don't cut at all--the lift the lid off. No part of the can opener even goes into the can so technically you don't even need to sanitize.

I use one of those. I think it's OXO brand. Works very well. I sanitize it anyway, just in case.


BTW - Welcome Matt -- great story! Nice job taking photos at appropriate times in the journey. Happy brewing...

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:charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie: :charlie:

I tip my hat to you, Sir! ~ Hilarious and ultimately successful (dare I say, redemptive), story.

Welcome to the Obsession!

:charlie:

Tin Man

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Oh yeah, forgot... +1 on be careful about putting cans on a burner. I always use hot tap water and then as Trollby said, after emptying the cans put a little hot water back in to rinse and get out all those yummy extracts!

:charlie:

Tin Man

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pghFred wrote:

LOL - I still have a now-faded humongous sticker on my SS 20qt brewpot I bought about 10 years ago!

I'd be careful of putting the unopened cans of extract in a pot that is on the stove. You might think you're going through the 'Crucible' again if one BLOWS!

Actually the 'Crucible' cam about a year after I went through boot camp, I had to trudge though it like a real man! haha.

I was wondering about that, but figured if I left it on "1" I'd be ok, I mean even after a while I could still stick my hand into the water with no worries, but seeing how you mention it maybe I'll be a little more careful next time, but I was just trying to keep it lukewarm, for some reason I wasn't getting too much hot water out of the tap that night.

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Trollby wrote:

The other thing you may want to do in the future is clean the cans better.

I boil normally 2 quarts and pour 2 cups boiling water back into the 2 cup measuring cup I use, after I pour all the HME (or UME) in I scrape out best I can then rinse with the hot water using the spoon to get it all off and pour that in the pot too.

One other thing I do is I clean the outside of the cans and remove the label then when ready to open sanitize the outside of the can too.

I know, pretty Anal but I want to make sure clean, hey they make you sanitize the can opener but dirt can is alright? :S :blink:

I really appreciate this post Trollby, I have been wrestling with the same issue mentally while I was waiting for everything to get there. Nobody ever talks about the dirty ass cans and stuff, I didn't think to peel off the labels but I did dip them in the excess sanitizer I had and scrubbed the lids with it too just in case, I didn't scrape the cans this time and already was worrying about it touching the labels... goddammit now I'm all freaked out, I no longer appreciate your post :cheer:

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bpgreen wrote:


Stupid pot

That's why it's best to drink beer. That pot will get you too befuddled.

Wait wut man, yeaaaaaaa

:silly:

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Bumping this thread just so others can see the humor in it (not necessarily at your expense, USMCMAtt).

:charlie:

Tin Man

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Perhaps I missed it, but "Goof-off" works perfectly for those stubborn labels. Soak the label for a few minutes in hot water and then use a plastic scatchy to remove most of the paper. Squeeze the Goof-off on to the label glue, wait a couple of minutes and use the scratchy to remove the glue. Wash thouroughly with soap and water, rinse well. I have yet to have it fail.

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hmm i do the same thing when im telling a picture story

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luckily i didnt run into any problems brewing, just when i work on the jeep...

lol

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I love the story telling, the gesturing is what I really got a chuckle out of!

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mxstar21 wrote:

Get a big bucket or tub and soak in oxi-clean. It eats glue/labels off.


...and if that doesn't work, maybe SOS pads are the way to go. Great story, loved the humor.

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REWSTER wrote:

hmm i do the same thing when im telling a picture story

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luckily i didnt run into any problems brewing, just when i work on the jeep...

lol

haha Beers, Jeeps, and wives, isn't that how the saying goes!

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mxstar21 wrote:

Get a big bucket or tub and soak in oxi-clean. It eats glue/labels off.

Had the same issue with my brew pot. I should have used oxi-clean (works wonders on remove beer bottle labels), but used Goo Gone instead.

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SmokeDiver3zero wrote:

I have actually been to stove/kitchen fires where the people left the label on and started cooking anyways - No, I'm not kidding.

while that seems silly by the user, the ultimate responsibility could lie with the manufacturer in the court of law....scary

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mnstarzz13 wrote:

SmokeDiver3zero wrote:

I have actually been to stove/kitchen fires where the people left the label on and started cooking anyways - No, I'm not kidding.

while that seems silly by the user, the ultimate responsibility could lie with the manufacturer in the court of law....scary

JJ.jpg

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Haha Judge Judy

Yeah I thought I got it all all but there had to be some adhesion residue.. either way maybe a bucket of oxiclean may be the answer in saving it.

My new proud papa pilsner just got here so I'll be making that soon, been hard to get it started, my daughter was just born on Sunday! weeee zzzzzzz

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USMCMatt wrote:

Haha Judge Judy

Yeah I thought I got it all all but there had to be some adhesion residue.. either way maybe a bucket of oxiclean may be the answer in saving it.

My new proud papa pilsner just got here so I'll be making that soon, been hard to get it started, my daughter was just born on Sunday! weeee zzzzzzz


Congrats on the new arrival!! No better time for the Proud Papa Pilsner!

:cheers:

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mnstarzz13 wrote:

Congrats Matt!!!

+ Infinity! Congrats!!

:charlie:

Tin Man

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Thanks guys, so far so good, mom and baby are doing very well!

Speaking of well, I finally took a shot glass to the LBK to see where I was sitting 2.5 weeks into the first batch and I'll be damn, it tasted like damn good flat beer, no sweet taste to it, it's amazing how that first bit hits your tongue and you think to yourself "Holy shit... it really is beer, lol"

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congrats on the child and the beer!!! Good job on two homemade things in less than a month

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USMCMatt wrote:

Thanks guys, so far so good, mom and baby are doing very well!

Speaking of well, I finally took a shot glass to the LBK to see where I was sitting 2.5 weeks into the first batch and I'll be damn, it tasted like damn good flat beer, no sweet taste to it, it's amazing how that first bit hits your tongue and you think to yourself "Holy shit... it really is beer, lol"


Grats!
That was my first reaction when I tasted my beer for the first time. :cheer:

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Matt,

First off, congrats on the two new additions to the family. Second, awesome story telling. Despite your troubles, I really enjoyed the picture story. Please keep them coming as your insight to the problems you were having was very entertaining. Great job prevailing however, it had a happy ending! Looking forward to your continued adventures. Hoping to see how your bottling goes.

Best of luck and happy brewing.

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Deciding to Cold Crash my LBK

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I'm kinda lost on how to go from here, I'll probably just bottle right from it adding 3/4 corn sugar I got from Northern Brewer to each bottle, but I would like to swap out all my MrBeer spigots with some metal ones from Lowes so I can attach tubing and rack to a bottling container and batch sugar everything. I want to do it on this one but I can't really see a way of racking it in it's current state without adding oxygen to it, and I'm not going to get a siphon tube for this one this time.

I can't stop thinking about this stupid $6 pot... I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED!!

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After a loooong soak it's as clean as it's ever going to get... time to pointlessly boil some water....

"What are you doing, Why is the water running so long?" I hear coming from the other room.

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Ok just kidding I love her and she's got an amazing body

Anyways so far so good

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This is great I have another pot I can use for boiling wort and I salvaged my $6, I should tell the Misses, she'll be really proud of m, WHAT IN THE HOLY FUC(*^@$ING HELL

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Every one of the bottom rivets leaks, even without filling it all the way up the steam alone gathers there and slowly drips out onto the burner.

Screw the $6 I'm buying one of those Blichmann Boilermaker Brew Kettles

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Wally-world low price strikes again.....


So much of the crap they sell is junk, I watch it carefully when buying anything from there.

You just got a $6 hand job, atleast there was no sand-paper ;)

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USMCMatt wrote:

And as we all know there's nothing wrong with a $6 handjob


the ones for $6 are usually the ones that make your pee feel like fire

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Elsteve-o wrote:

USMCMatt wrote:

And as we all know there's nothing wrong with a $6 handjob


the ones for $6 are usually the ones that make your pee feel like fire

Hence the name :

Sand-paper Sally

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I have no idea what it would do to the taste of things but I am a huge fan of cast iron for just about everything. I would think that all you need to do is buy one good cast iron pot and it will last a lifetime.

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i'd think cast iron woud be bad for brewing becuse their pourous and require seasoning to enhance the flavor imparted in food. seaasoning expandd/contracts those pours to allow you to put oils and things into them. I'm no cook but watch enough Food Network to fake it ;)

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Well I've moved on and bought a stainless burner/pot setup from Home Depot and planning something nicer in the future, this was a pre-purchace before starting a simple MrB kit, doesn't really make much difference.

Anyways reminds me of this handjob I got in Tijuana when I was stationed in California... This beautiful girl slide into the booth next to my buddy and I swear to god I looked over at the girl I felt slide in next to me and she was like 70 years old.

yeah I did it, 2 beers, 2 shots for $2 is a hell of a drug

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Bottling...

Good lord...

Wasn't the biggest mess but I think the sanitation part could be a full time job. Maybe I'm too picky about it who knows.

I decided to rack the fermentor and batch prime everything.

Earlier in the day I got in a auto siphon and wand, it was a big help but ran into a few snags.

Cleaned all the bottles and threw them in this fancy tree thing

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Cleaning the stuff wasn't too bad I bought 2 food grade 5 gal buckets from Lowes and used them as my clean areas and sanitizing station.

I figured out that the LBK was holding enough beer to use 54g of corn sugar for 2.5 carbonation. I had read several place that the pilsner is good around the 2.6/7 range but I didn't want to push it for my first time. Boiled the sugar in a cup of water and cooled it down in a ice bath and poured it into the slimline I bought from Wal Mart.

Racking was a little bit of a hectic situation it was a little tough using a auto siphon that tall enough for a full size carboy. I stole the base plate off my daughters new baby bath and put the slimline on that and the LBK now out of the fridge on the counter and pumped it to get the flow going and it worked perfectly. The cool thing about the siphon is the end cap that you put into the trub and it keeps it there just skimming off the clear beer which was the perfect height and I ended up with crystal clear beer in the slimline. No bubbles no nothing, smooth, look at me go!

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I don't remember what I was doing at this point, probably freaking out or cleaning bottles still

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So the next part is where I learned a lot, and probably screw up a lot too but not enough to care.

I put the slimline now on the counter and bottles on the floor, attached the filling wand to it and went to town. The issue is the tubing connection to the wand fit perfectly, the tube to the siphon not so much. there was barely enough of a gap in there to let air in and I could get a good siphon going. I finally did and started filling bottles. It didn't work so great at keeping air out and the first 3-4 bottles I did what I now call "foam filled" the beer the the rim and pulled out, a technique that also resulted in me having a new born child.
After that it worked pretty good and filled each bottle with flat beer, no bubbles and exactly how I figured this would go. By the way bottling IS A PAIN THE ASS, brewing is fun, bottling sucks. Next time I do this (next week) I'm going to put a small hose clamp on the area to seal this bad boy.

4.jpg


So all in all I think I have 4-5 beers that got way too much oxygen and more that went perfect. After capping I put little marks on the caps of the foamed up beers so I could compare them to the good ones and see what happened, maybe their ok, but if not I'm cool with that it was a good learning experience.

For anyone reading this looking for info on their bottle I would say:

1. Don't be afraid to batch prime
2. Pulling out doesn't always work
3. Filling wands are the way to go
4. Auto siphons aren't really made for MrBeer, it's more of a carboy thing, I don't think I would ever use it on that again. It worked good but was awkward because of it's size. The key here is to throw out the MrBeer spigot and replace it with a valve you can hook a tube up to to rack and bottle.
5. You see that brewers cleaner tub in the first picture... yeah right after doing this clean your LBK with it, don't let it sit around, cleanup of the old gunk and such was a breeze and it's ready to go for the Gila Monster.

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I could see how the large auto siphone would be a pain. Maybe look at getting a Mini-Auto Siphon, mush more appropriate for MRB LBK's

I too have an issue getting air in the first few bottles with a siphon, I marke those and consume them first. I have yet to figure out how to avoid this. I am going to install an "italian spigot" to a 5 gal bucket so I can rack to it, add sugar and hook up hose/wand to barbed spigot, should get less airation.

Congrats on the batch prime! ;)

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OK USMCMatt, first off congrats on the expansion of your family. Second, helluva good story. Read through it at work and got some strange looks as I was laughing hysterically. Third, thanx for the link to the LBK mod. I believe I'm going to do the same to mine. Oh, if you're going to bottle with glass bottles, an easy way to sterilize them is to cover to opening with aluminium foil and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour. Let them cool and they'll be ready to bottle the next batch. Just clean them with a mild non-scented detergent about a day before(or at least enough time to dry).

Cheers,
Jeff

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mnstar! BUY BUY BUY

Devildude, interesting I never would of thought of that. Sounds like a good plan though. I was wondering the same thing about my bottle caps, I just boiled them for a while and I'm sure they hit the sanitizer too but seems everyone has their own little thing.

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I'd think boiling caps could cause the plastic o-ring seal underneath it to fail. not knowing what its made of, it's hard to say. I'd avoid this in the future unless you've read that its ok.

As for baking bottles, be sure to do this the night before bottling day and leave them in the oven to cool slowly. They may crack if cooled to quickly. Also, not sure why you'd want to wash them after baking them :huh:

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I hadn't thought of it either, and while I probably wont do it again, it worked fine and I saw tonsssss of web posts about people who do it this way without worry so it didnt really bother me

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thats funny sounds like something that would happen to me :laugh:

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Sorry mnstarzz, I should have said clean BEFORE baking, had a brain fart I guess. It works really well though, no worries of "bugs" in the bottle.

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Ok so after 2 weeks conditioning I pulled one out and gave it a shot to see where it was at.

VERY good, for my first MrBeer attempt I was pretty damned pleased, it's going to be perfect after another two weeks. head held up good and was damn tasty.

IMG_2387.jpg

IMG_2393.jpg

IMG_2394.jpg

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watch out world we have another fancy beer expert ^^^^^^^^^ wait untill you get into an argument at a gas station with someone who is attempting to knock you for not buying that swill known as bmc

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I'm not sure how I should take that, I've done enough wine to have an idea whats going on. Needless to say it still tasted better then any BMC I've ever had.

Except on the boat in the 300F degree Florida weather pounding beers with girls in thongs, BMC rules then

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