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RobNewland

Simple Questions

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I am so new at this. Got 2 batches brewing, 3 batches conditioning... and haven't tasted my first Mr. Beer brew yet.

I don't know squat, but I love it. I'm learning stuff every day.

The batches were standard HMEs and booster. Not much need for science. But it's starting to get intersting.

Got some gear from a relative and thats what started the process. Got a Hydrometer. How do I use it?
And some things seem obvious. Seems some people want high alcahol beer so they read somewhere that sugar boosts ABV. So they dump a bunnch of table sugar in their kegs. Ha!

I think that I understand that DME or HME or UME will improve your beers flavor (what I desire) or alcahol (not important). Do DMEs go in with the hot WART or in the cooled keg?

More Questions later!

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DMEs go into the hot wort. They go in prior to cooling the wort down to put into the LBK. You can usually boil it. But sometimes, if you want, you can add it as a late addition.

Be advised that HMEs are different than UMEs/DMEs. Usually what we call a UME is an unhopped malt extract. With Mr. Beer its a liquid, but I guess a DME (dry malt extract) is also an unhopped malt extract.

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When you add DME/UME to the hot wort it dissolves in there and becomes part of the mix. If you were to add it to the wort after it had cool, all you'd have it a lump of syrup.

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The biggest issue you should be aware of is not to boil the HME. HMEs are already predone and have a specific mix of hops in there. Boiling it would change the scope of the entire thing. UMEs/DMEs can be boiled.

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As for how to work your hydrometer:

After you've made your wort, cooled it and have it the fermenter (Little Brown Keg (LBK)) and just before you pitch your yeast you take enough of a sample in a tube to float the hydrometer in. If your hydrometer has more than one scale you take a reading from the scale that at the top of the hydrometer starts out at .990 then below that reads 1.000 then below that reads 10 then 20 and so on. At the top of the liquid (wort) is the reading you want to record on a piece of paper. Pour the wort from the tube down the drain (it may infect your beer).

You can wait until two weeks (I wait three) and do this again. Now subtract your new (second) reading from your first and multiply the sum by 131. That will tell you what your alcohol content (ABV) is.

If you're going to use DME in the place of Booster (a VERY good idea) you want to add it to the water first. Bring the water to a boil - watch it VEEERRRY carefully and get ready to move the pot or turn the fire off FAST if it starts to foam up as it will biol over, literally, in the wink of an eye - and boil it for fifteen minutes. Then turn off the fire and add the HME as per instructions.

You're right as far as I'm concerned to not chase after alcohol level and concentrate more on flavor and body. You seem to be well on your way to being a maker of good beer

Brew on.

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Guest System Admin

You're right as far as I'm concerned to not chase after alcohol level and concentrate more on flavor and body. You seem to be well on your way to being a maker of good beer.

+1 to that!

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I'm going to add another newbie question to the thread.
Can I add DME to an HME that doesn't already come with a booster?
For example, I get an HME without a booster (they seem to be bigger cans than the ones w/booster) and add DME without having to worry about it exploding? I guess this is where the whole malt to adjunct ratio calculation comes into play?

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"hindey19" post=286860 said:

I'm going to add another newbie question to the thread.
Can I add DME to an HME that doesn't already come with a booster?
For example, I get an HME without a booster (they seem to be bigger cans than the ones w/booster) and add DME without having to worry about it exploding? I guess this is where the whole malt to adjunct ratio calculation comes into play?

DME and HME are malts. They are not adjuncts. So there is no reason for concern on that level.

By adding malt to a pre-hopped can, you can upset the balance, and may have to do a hop boil.

And you've got to be trying to get it to explode for that to happen.

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Malt to Adjunct! Exactly. You could add DME,,,but you might want to add hops as well, depends on what you like to drink.

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"azmark" post=286862 said:

Malt to Adjunct! Exactly. You could add DME,,,but you might want to add hops as well, depends on what you like to drink.

AND it also depend on what the IBU of the Hopped Malt Extract is. For example, the Canadian Blonde. It starts out at about 1.032-to-1.035 (roughly 3.3% ABV) by itself. Ideally, you'd like 1 LB of DME to bring it up to a decent sized brew. But the IBUs on the Canadian Blonde are only 13. Even as-is, it's relatively light on hops. 1 Lb of DME would put this at an incredibly sweet/malty beer without a hop addition. ------- On the other hamd, the American Ale HME is also around a 3.3% ABV by itself. It would go perfect with 1 LB of DME. The IBU on the American Ale is 36. SO even with the 1 Lb of DME it's pretty balanced.


You have to look at everything.

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Guest System Admin

Chris is absolutely correct. I brewed the High Country Canadian with an added can of Pale Export UME and no hops additions. It was very malty and not hop forward at all. Kind of like a marzen style. Knowing what I know now, I would have added a hops boil to impart some bitterness to offset.

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Jeez! Can you tell I am new? I am trying to thank everyone that responded but my responses are going ... ? So thanks for ll the help..EVERYONE THAT RESPONDED.

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Welcome to the forum, Rob. Thanks to all the Borg heavies for helping with the questions. Rob, the Borg will steer you on the right path, never fear. (Resistance is futile)
:borg:

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Thanks for the great hydrometer use video. Even though I have not tasted my first brew I am planning another and will get a hydrometer to help keep me informed. Any specific "type" or brand that you can recommend?

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or try a refractometer. Less of a sample to take, less chance of breakage

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