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Banjo-guy

Splitting a 5 gallon kit in 1/2. Advice?

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My son re-gifted a 5 gallon Brewers Best Robust Porter kit to me for Christmas. The yeast had expired on 11/12.
Is the rest of the kit ok? Everything is vacuumed sealed or in cans. I just got fresh yeast for it.

I would appreciate any advice about dividing this up into two LBKs.
I don't have big enough pot to brew all at once. I'll have to do the whole thing twice.
This will be my first non Mr. Beer kit.

Thanks for the advice.

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if it is extract you'll have to measure lme use a measurring cup dme you'll need a scale and divide by weight and divide up the hops. if there is grain it also must measured by weight. sterilize everything. you can find a scale at walmart in the cookware accessories get one that measures lbs and metric. rehydrate about 1 tbs of yeast, if it's for a 5 gal kit. (at least this worked on a batch i split)

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The kit has
1/2 oz of bittering hops in a vacuum sealed bag .
1/2 oz Willamette aroma hops in a vacuum sealed bag
Two 3.3 lb cans of amber liquid malt extract.
8 oz of crushed chocolate and crushed crystal(?) in a zip lock bag
8 oz of crushed de- bittered black malt in a zip lock bag
5oz priming sugar

Bottle caps, sack to steep in.

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you'll have to get a scale and measure. seal everything and keep refergerated at least, I freeze everything but the yeast. until the next batch.

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I've never done a brew where I have to add the hops and additives . I'm a little nervous about getting the timing right.

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it's not hard probably 1 hr boil right? 1 hop goes in at boil then start the clock when the clock has 15 min left add second hop at 0 flame out. that second number is just a usual one use what ever you kit says

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For one thing, one 3.3 can of LME is perfect for a MrB LBK batch.

Spit the other ingredients in half by eyeballing ... close enough.

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"Tabasco" post=343393 said:

For one thing, one 3.3 can of LME is perfect for a MrB LBK batch.

Spit the other ingredients in half by eyeballing ... close enough.

your no fun I just gave him an excuse to upgrade, ;)

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seriously he's right you can eyeball, measuring will just get you a more even taste over 2 batches imo. i always chase flavor.

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Thanks guys. I've got a scale so I will probably obsess on the measurements .
When the wort is done I've got to cool it down by putting the pot in ice water right?

I don't have a thermometer , but maybe I should get one. Can I just find a cheap one at the supermarket?
That way I could pitch the yeast at the right temp.

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you have 2 lbks? Just brew the entire batch and put half in each,,,might want to go light on the water to make sure you don't over flow.

Did it come with instructions?

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"azmark" post=343419 said:

you have 2 lbks? Just brew the entire batch and put half in each,,,might want to go light on the water to make sure you don't over flow.

Did it come with instructions?

I've got two but my pot is too small for 5 gallons. I'll brew it twice.
It's easy to see that I'll be buying more and more stuff as I get into brewing.

It has instructions. With times to add hops ect...
It's all new to me.

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I'm a noob, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but he doesn't have to boil 5 gallons does he? That would only apply to an all-grain kit where you're actually using non-reduced wort you made by steeping/sparging grains. As I understand, the only real difference between doing an LME/hops kit to a Mr Beer HME kit is the longer boil for the bittering hops, and the added steps for the added grains (if any) and the flavor and aroma hop additions late in the boil. You can still use only 6-8 quarts or so of water to do the whole 5 gallon batch LME/Hop boil, then add the rest of the water (preferably refrigerated) from a sanitized container to the LBK's before pouring the hot wort in. Just wait to pitch the yeast until the LBK temps drop to pitch temps.

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correct,,,,boil with 2-3 then use the top off water as you would with a Mr. B recipe.
Many 5 gal instructions also call for top off water, that is why I was asking.

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You might want to wait until some of the "old timers" on this forum weigh in on this post.

You have specialty grains in your recipe and they will want to see what kind of experience you have then help you with the steps you need to take.

Steeping grains is kind of tricky as I've been discovering lately. Also they may not advise you to boil all the extract at the same time.

You also might try looking for stout recipes on this forum to familiarize yourself with how others have brewed them.

Just mention this because you said you were a little worried about hop additions etc.

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Brew your beer per instructions. I believe it will have you do a 2 1/2 gallon boil. Once complete, cool your wort per instructions. While the wort is cooling, put 1 gallon cold water in each LBK. Divide your wort between the kegs; a little in this one, a little in that one, a little more in this one, a little more in that one. Basically any method to get equal amounts in each LBK. A ladle would work; one scoop for you, one scoop in the other, etc. Using a sanitized plate, divide your yeast in half, and pitch each half in each LBK. You don't have to be exact; trust your eyeballs.

I've been drinking, so I hope that makes sense.

Edit: Oops! You will need to top off each LBK with more cold water.

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"Banjo-guy" post=343415 said:

Thanks guys. I've got a scale so I will probably obsess on the measurements .
When the wort is done I've got to cool it down by putting the pot in ice water right?

I don't have a thermometer , but maybe I should get one. Can I just find a cheap one at the supermarket?
That way I could pitch the yeast at the right temp.


I use a cheap digital from the grocery store and it works great.

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+1 to Packerduf but I would suggest getting a second yeast instead of splitting the yeast. Then you can try a different strain and see first hand how different yeast effect the same beer. Beer and a learning experience.

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Thanks for all of this advice. I had it my head that I had to use 5 gallons of water. I see now that this should be just a little harder than a Mr. Beer kit.

I would still appreciate any other help that I can get.

This board is great.

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"Banjo-guy" post=343415 said:

Thanks guys. I've got a scale so I will probably obsess on the measurements .
When the wort is done I've got to cool it down by putting the pot in ice water right?

I don't have a thermometer , but maybe I should get one. Can I just find a cheap one at the supermarket?
That way I could pitch the yeast at the right temp.

a candy thermo will work to start

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I got a question. Why can't he brew it up in however much water he can cook in split it between the lbks then top off with water? a la MrB HMEs :unsure:

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"Jimjohson" post=343547 said:

I got a question. Why can't he brew it up in however much water he can cook in split it between the lbks then top off with water? a la MrB HMEs :unsure:

Changing water volume changes the boil gravity, and therefore changes hop utilization. The recipes are specifically designed for a 2 1/2 gallon boil to achieve a specific outcome.

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A trick I've used to evenly split concentrated wort between two LBKs is to put some in LBK #1 and some in LBK#2 and then with both LBKs on the same tabletop/countertop connect a siphon hose between them. The liquid level in both LBKs will automagically equalize and then the siphon will stop. Then you can add your top off water to each one.

As someone else mentioned, it is also fun and educational to then pitch a different yeast in each LBK.

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"StatsnBrew" post=343631 said:

A trick I've used to evenly split concentrated wort between two LBKs is to put some in LBK #1 and some in LBK#2 and then with both LBKs on the same tabletop/countertop connect a siphon hose between them. The liquid level in both LBKs will automagically equalize and then the siphon will stop. Then you can add your top off water to each one.

As someone else mentioned, it is also fun and educational to then pitch a different yeast in each LBK.

I have a bottling wand. If I pick up,some tubing could I put those two things together to make a good siphon?

What diameter tubing would I need to attach to Mr. Beer bottling wand?

I've never needed to siphon anything. Obviously I can't put my mouth on the tube.

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just take the piece of tubing that comes with the wand and get more that size. easy pleasy. more to the point why use a wand just use tubing.

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"Tabasco" post=343393 said:

For one thing, one 3.3 can of LME is perfect for a MrB LBK batch.

Spit the other ingredients in half by eyeballing ... close enough.

I was going to say this same thing. Great minds. B)

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I just did the same thing last Sunday.

I brewed everything in a 3 gallon pot.
After I was done with my 60 minute boil I filled my 2 lbks up to the 4qt mark with cold filtered water, then I used sanitized measuring cups to transfer to chilled wort into the lbks until they were both at about the 8 qt mark.
Then I topped up to the 8.5qt mark with more cold water. The OGs came out to 1.080 and 1.082 respectively so I was really close with my measuring! But the OGs were lot higher than I anticipated since 2 full kegs are only 4.25 gallons.

I had a danstar Nottingham yeast that came with my NB kit which I re-hydrated in a little warm weak wort for about 20 minutes and transferred to one lbk.

For the other LBK I used a leftover MRB american ale yeast.

It was very interesting to watch the danstar yeast take off in a matter of minutes. The MRB yeast took about 36 hours to start foaming.

I think I'm going to start making full on starters with all of my yeasts.

I can't wait to try each of these Nut Browns to see the differences between the yeasts.

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"m3n00b" post=343805 said:

I just did the same thing last Sunday.

I brewed everything in a 3 gallon pot.
After I was done with my 60 minute boil I filled my 2 lbks up to the 4qt mark with cold filtered water, then I used sanitized measuring cups to transfer to chilled wort into the lbks until they were both at about the 8 qt mark.
Then I topped up to the 8.5qt mark with more cold water. The OGs came out to 1.080 and 1.082 respectively so I was really close with my measuring! But the OGs were lot higher than I anticipated since 2 full kegs are only 4.25 gallons.

I had a danstar Nottingham yeast that came with my NB kit which I re-hydrated in a little warm weak wort for about 20 minutes and transferred to one lbk.

For the other LBK I used a leftover MRB american ale yeast.

It was very interesting to watch the danstar yeast take off in a matter of minutes. The MRB yeast took about 36 hours to start foaming.

I think I'm going to start making full on starters with all of my yeasts.

I can't wait to try each of these Nut Browns to see the differences between the yeasts.

It was very interesting to watch the

I stirred the pot every few cups to try to insure that the heaver portions of wort got evenly distributed instead of just settling and ending up mostly in the second lbk. I also did aggressive pours to help with oxygenation.

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"Banjo-guy" post=343378 said:

The kit has
1/2 oz of bittering hops in a vacuum sealed bag .
1/2 oz Willamette aroma hops in a vacuum sealed bag
Two 3.3 lb cans of amber liquid malt extract.
8 oz of crushed chocolate and crushed crystal(?) in a zip lock bag
8 oz of crushed de- bittered black malt in a zip lock bag
5oz priming sugar

Bottle caps, sack to steep in.

I'm not sure why no one has asked this yet but since you said the yeast had expired I am wondering how old the grains and hops are?

Are the hops in the original packaging or a home type vacuum sealed bag??

Have the grains been opened and transferred into the zip lock bags?

Are the grains whole or crushed? If they are both crushed and old there is a possibility that they can impart off flavors in your finished beer.

Both ingredients are perishable and will oxidize and degrade over time and grain can mold if exposed to moisture.

You said it was a kit so I assume that everything has been sitting around since Christmas. You may want to at least check for "funky" odors before you use them.

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Do you happen to have the recipe for the Nut Brown? I've got 3 LBK's now empty and looking to do my first 5 gallon recipe. I'd like this one to be my first venture into a hop boil process.

Thanks!

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"Brewbirds" post=343873 said:

"Banjo-guy" post=343378 said:

The kit has
1/2 oz of bittering hops in a vacuum sealed bag .
1/2 oz Willamette aroma hops in a vacuum sealed bag
Two 3.3 lb cans of amber liquid malt extract.
8 oz of crushed chocolate and crushed crystal(?) in a zip lock bag
8 oz of crushed de- bittered black malt in a zip lock bag
5oz priming sugar

Bottle caps, sack to steep in.

I'm not sure why no one has asked this yet but since you said the yeast had expired I am wondering how old the grains and hops are?

Are the hops in the original packaging or a home type vacuum sealed bag??

Have the grains been opened and transferred into the zip lock bags?

Are the grains whole or crushed? If they are both crushed and old there is a possibility that they can impart off flavors in your finished beer.

Both ingredients are perishable and will oxidize and degrade over time and grain can mold if exposed to moisture.

You said it was a kit so I assume that everything has been sitting around since Christmas. You may want to at least check for "funky" odors before you use them.

I think the kit has been sitting around for at least a year. The yeast was over a year past itt's experation date.
Only the hops are in a vacume sealed bags.
The 8 oz of crushed chocolate and crushed crystal and
8 oz of crushed de- bittered black malt are in zip lock bags.
All of the packaging is original.

Is it even worth brewing this old kit?
The yeast is fresh and the LME is canned so that should be fine I think.

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"Kroger" post=343899 said:

Do you happen to have the recipe for the Nut Brown? I've got 3 LBK's now empty and looking to do my first 5 gallon recipe. I'd like this one to be my first venture into a hop boil process.

Thanks!

I used the following kit but added 2 more oz. of us fuggle hops (2 oz @ 60min 1/2 oz @20min and 1/2 oz @ 7 min) and another 3.25 lbs of maris otter LME. I think I may have overdone it since my OG was really high(1.080) and my IBUs were 50+. My calculations in qbrew were for 5 gallons when 2 lbks are only 4.25 gallons. Hopefully my yeast can handle the OG.

Next time I'll just follow the recipe.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/NutBrown.pdf

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"packerduf" post=343552 said:

"Jimjohson" post=343547 said:

I got a question. Why can't he brew it up in however much water he can cook in split it between the lbks then top off with water? a la MrB HMEs :unsure:

Changing water volume changes the boil gravity, and therefore changes hop utilization. The recipes are specifically designed for a 2 1/2 gallon boil to achieve a specific outcome.

You can still work around this by tweaking your hop schedule and changing up late additions, but this takes some experience.

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I used the following kit but added 2 more oz. of us fuggle hops (2 oz @ 60min 1/2 oz @20min and 1/2 oz @ 7 min) and another 3.25 lbs of maris otter LME. I think I may have overdone it since my OG was really high(1.080) and my IBUs were 50+. My calculations in qbrew were for 5 gallons when 2 lbks are only 4.25 gallons. Hopefully my yeast can handle the OG.

Next time I'll just follow the recipe.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/NutBrown.pdf

So if I'm reading the hop schedule right, you put 2 oz of the fuggles in at the beggining once it's boiling (@60), after 40 mins or when there is 20 mins left in the boil, you put in 1/2 oz, and then with 7 mins remaining you put in another 1/2 oz?

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"Kroger" post=343912 said:

So if I'm reading the hop schedule right, you put 2 oz of the fuggles in at the beggining once it's boiling (@60), after 40 mins or when there is 20 mins left in the boil, you put in 1/2 oz, and then with 7 mins remaining you put in another 1/2 oz?


Yes, that's exactly right. I will be taking a hydro sample on Sunday and I'll have a taste at that point. I honestly don't know what to expect and I'm pretty excited. Could be a hop monster....or a sweet mess if I pissed off those yeasties too much.


A link to that thread:
http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/335852-nb-nut-brown-questions?limit=20&start=20

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When doing your boil, keep an eye on it at all times. You do not want a boil over.

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"Banjo-guy" post=343907 said:

"Brewbirds" post=343873 said:

"Banjo-guy" post=343378 said:

The kit has
1/2 oz of bittering hops in a vacuum sealed bag .
1/2 oz Willamette aroma hops in a vacuum sealed bag
Two 3.3 lb cans of amber liquid malt extract.
8 oz of crushed chocolate and crushed crystal(?) in a zip lock bag
8 oz of crushed de- bittered black malt in a zip lock bag
5oz priming sugar

Bottle caps, sack to steep in.

I'm not sure why no one has asked this yet but since you said the yeast had expired I am wondering how old the grains and hops are?

Are the hops in the original packaging or a home type vacuum sealed bag??

Have the grains been opened and transferred into the zip lock bags?

Are the grains whole or crushed? If they are both crushed and old there is a possibility that they can impart off flavors in your finished beer.

Both ingredients are perishable and will oxidize and degrade over time and grain can mold if exposed to moisture.

You said it was a kit so I assume that everything has been sitting around since Christmas. You may want to at least check for "funky" odors before you use them.

I think the kit has been sitting around for at least a year. The yeast was over a year past itt's experation date.
Only the hops are in a vacume sealed bags.
The 8 oz of crushed chocolate and crushed crystal and
8 oz of crushed de- bittered black malt are in zip lock bags.
All of the packaging is original.

Is it even worth brewing this old kit?
The yeast is fresh and the LME is canned so that should be fine I think.

Well this will be a judgement call for you IMO.

You would not be out any money by tossing the old grains & hops and you have amber LME which can

be used for a lot of different recipes (though it will get darker with time).

If you have a local home brew store you could replace the old stuff and stick with the instructions you

have or turn the amber lme into something else.

Also, if you do not want to mess with grains yet you could try posting a new message on the forum for a

recipe that uses the amber and a Mr. Beer HME with a hop addition.

Be advised that the size of your pot(kettle) is very important when trying to split a five gallon batch.

All I have are 8 quart stock pots and it is a bear trying to get the pre and post boil water right.

It really messes with the gravity readings from one batch to another.

I usually ask questions here and don't answer them but I am following your post because I want to do a

Porter soon and am starting to learn about the specialty grains.

If you want to do a collaboration porter sometime send me a PM, I would be interested.

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"Banjo-guy" post=343531 said:


This board is great.

+1


It isn't a difficult process, just make sure to keep an eye on the hop boil, boil overs are messy, clean up isn't fun.

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