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stewrobe1

Comments on 1st batch

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1st batch was Classic American Light. I bottled them in the plastic bottles, and this past weekend I had family members sample the beer. I had actually been 5+ weeks since bottling soooo;

Many compared it to Grain Belt, Pabst, Schiltz, etc. We would have a Coors Light/Bud Light, as that is what we normally drink for comparison.

They never said that they hated it, but I got the feeling that it wasn't good either. I know it was nothing like what we normally drink, but when it was being compared to really cheap beer that we are not fans of at all, made me wonder.

I have Patriot Lager in bottles and will be ready on the 10th, Aztec is in the LBK and will be ready to bottle on the 10th as well. I have Oktoberfest in waiting. Hopefully those will be a bigger hit. Maybe I should try some Mr. Beer recipes instead of straight refills?

Thoughts?

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stewrobe1~

Probably a good decision to try others.

Generally speaking those Standard Refills...by themself are only going to get you to about 2.9%-3.2% ABV. I understand that the Website reflects 3.7%, but trials show it's probably a lot closer to that 3...3.2 range. The Craft Series would do better. And then once you really start putting a recipe together...you'll do even better. That being said, you took a relatively weak and watery-brew and chose the lightest of the bunch.

I think you'll have more success with other Standard Refills...but again, don't expect Budweiser to close production in fear of you.

One thing I would point out would be your target audience. First of all, what you brewed was the basic of the basic. And if your audience has drank Pabst all their life...their appreciate for an Ommegang or Bell's Hopslam or Old Rasputin may not even be there from the beginning. Nothing wrong with that...but there are people who have eaten Big Macs and Quarter Pounders so long that te McRib ain't never going to fly no matter what.

That being said maybe we could help you look at something for one of your next beers by adding to a Standrad with some LME or DEM or even a small inclusion of Steeping Grains or a different yeast. I hope we can help.

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That was my 1st also. By far not the best. But I did drink it all. Just because I made it ;)

My 2nd batch was the Canadian Blonde. Much better and a little darker than the American Lite.

Not much ABV in the standard batches as stated above.

Now drinking the Bewitched with LME. Way better and a much darker color that I like.

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It was also my first batch and also not the best. You know the old saying, you get what you pay for. Stands to reason the more you spend the better it tastes.

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+1 CAL is not my favorite either. It was ok but my next batches have been much more favorable. Since the CAL was also my first batch ever, I have learned how to brew correctly. I fermented too high, pitched too warm, moved the LBK too much, and perved the keg too much. It turned out a little fruity but it was beer! They only get better!

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Many things can contribute to the first batch of homebrew being less than expectations would lead one to believe.

First, you're not familiar or comfortable with the process of brewing, so even if you're trying to follow the directions and get everything right, well...you're probably not going to. Some of this could be impatience, resulting in drinking green beer. Some of it could be because you left out a step, or overlooked something. Some of it is simply because you don't know what it is you don't know. Experience is a good teacher.

Second, yeah, you were brewing probably the blandest of the Standards. It's a good light beer. But it's a light beer. The other Standard Refills would probably give you more satisfaction (provided you liked that style to begin with), and the Advanced Recipes bring it to a couple of higher levels. I regularly brew from the Advanced Recipes, and I'm rarely disappointed.

There may be other factors. Some of them may be totally out of your control, such as the beers your audience is used to. They'll most likely be comparing your homebrew to what they like and regularly drink, rather than approaching it from the standpoint of whether it's a good beer on its own, then proceeding to some kind of evaluation.

Try some other recipes and see what kind of results and responses you get.

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Thanks all!

Funny thing is my little brother got me the kit, it came with the CAL. He didn't seem to enjoy it. Oh well.

Plan on keep plugging away. At this point only planning on doing Mr. Beer products. All I have is the LBK, capper and caps. Do I really need anything else at this point?

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You're doing great Stew. Try the big cans & add the DME or LME. You'll get a real nice brew. :barman:
[attachment=11724]image_2088_2013-03-02.jpg[/attachment]

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Stew:

If you have a LHBS, I would add .5 lbs of LME to a standard batch vs making it straight up. Use pale or light so as to not alter the taste much. Take the Mr. Beer water, get it hot, remove from stove, stir in LME, put back on stove, bring to a boil for 15 mins (bulk LME needs to be boiled to remove any bugs). Remove from heat, add Mr Beer can. Very small cost and makes a difference.

Of the standards I have made (most were the old Mr Beer products), Oktoberfest is pretty good with LME, not as much without it. Better as Bohemian Bronze which adds 1/2 of Mt Hood hops, which I also got at my LHBS. Jamaica Mon is also pretty good. I replace booster with LME.

I have made Aztec with LME and Blue Patriot, but they are not at 4 weeks until 3/13. BP tasted ok at bottling, Aztec not so much. Bewitched Amber Ale and Winter Dark, both Craft Series, were excellent straight up.

You might also want to lower your carb level. I do 65‰ of Mr. Beer levels.

As to what else you could really use to make it a better experience, a hydrometer and bottling wand would be at the top of my list {$12 or so). Then a 4 foot piece of tubing and a 2.5 gallon slimline from Walmart to batch prime ($10}. Then a bottling tree and a vinator ($38 if you buy economy tree).

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"RickBeer" post=344667 said:

Stew:

If you have a LHBS, I would add .5 lbs of LME to a standard batch vs making it straight up. Use pale or light so as to not alter the taste much. Take the Mr. Beer water, get it hot, remove from stove, stir in LME, put back on stove, bring to a boil for 15 mins (bulk LME needs to be boiled to remove any bugs). Remove from heat, add Mr Beer can. Very small cost and makes a difference.

Of the standards I have made (most were the old Mr Beer products), Oktoberfest is pretty good with LME, not as much without it. Better as Bohemian Bronze which adds 1/2 of Mt Hood hops, which I also got at my LHBS. Jamaica Mon is also pretty good. I replace booster with LME.

I have made Aztec with LME and Blue Patriot, but they are not at 4 weeks until 3/13. BP tasted ok at bottling, Aztec not so much. Bewitched Amber Ale and Winter Dark, both Craft Series, were excellent straight up.

You might also want to lower your carb level. I do 65‰ of Mr. Beer levels.

As to what else you could really use to make it a better experience, a hydrometer and bottling wand would be at the top of my list {$12 or so). Then a 4 foot piece of tubing and a 2.5 gallon slimline from Walmart to batch prime ($10}. Then a bottling tree and a vinator ($38 if you buy economy tree).

Haven't batch primed yet. So get some tubing, move it into the slimline. What do you do with sugar to batch prime, and how much to the batch?

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I was actually a little impressed with the CAL. Maybe my expectations were lower than yours but I made something resembling PBR on my first attempt. Not to shabby if you ask me. Now I like PBR but it isnt really my style. Will I make the CAL again straight up?Probably not .Still I made it and it was drinkable.

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The amount of sugar for batch priming depends on the batch size and the desired amount of carbonation. Use Screwys calculator to determine the amount of sugar then boil some water add sugar to dissolve. Put sugar solution into bottling bucket. Rack the beer to the bottling bucket. Bottle as normal.

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"Meytchison" post=344678 said:

The amount of sugar for batch priming depends on the batch size and the desired amount of carbonation. Use Screwys calculator to determine the amount of sugar then boil some water add sugar to dissolve. Put sugar solution into bottling bucket. Rack the beer to the bottling bucket. Bottle as normal.

+1

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"Meytchison" post=344678 said:

The amount of sugar for batch priming depends on the batch size and the desired amount of carbonation. Use Screwys calculator to determine the amount of sugar then boil some water add sugar to dissolve. Put sugar solution into bottling bucket. Rack the beer to the bottling bucket. Bottle as normal.

can you use the bottling wand on the Walmart slimline rig?

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My bottling wand I got from mr beer fits right in the spigot of my slimline. The detailed batch priming instructions are in the sticky from yankeedag for new brewers. I use screwy brewers batch priming calc.

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"sluggo" post=344688 said:

"Meytchison" post=344678 said:

The amount of sugar for batch priming depends on the batch size and the desired amount of carbonation. Use Screwys calculator to determine the amount of sugar then boil some water add sugar to dissolve. Put sugar solution into bottling bucket. Rack the beer to the bottling bucket. Bottle as normal.

can you use the bottling wand on the Walmart slimline rig?

Yes, but... The wand fits on the LBK with plastic tubing over the wand and over the nozzle. On the slimline, it fits IN the nozzle. But, sometimes it's tight. So, you take a drill bit that size, stick into the nozzle with your hand, and gently turn it a few times. Then the wand fits perfect. I picked that up on the forum many months ago.

http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/199735-batch-priming-and-slimline

http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/252292-slimline-question

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Guest System Admin

Hey! You made a beer and now you're on the road to making better and better beers all the time. Not many people have hit holes in ones on their first time out on the golf course. It comes with learning, practice and experience.

The CAL, IMO was not a bad beer but not a great beer either. It was definitely a beer that you can build off of. A hop boil in the DME/LME and then adding the UME afterwards would, for sure, make a very fine beer.

Oh and...


[attachment=11732]HOMER_2013-03-03.jpg[/attachment]

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You know Dave if he wants a lite beer he should be brewing that Bit 'O Bitter of yours just bursting with flavor :charlie:

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Again I thank you all for the kind words and advice.

I live in the middle of nowhere NE, so no home brewing stores near, not even sure if there are any in this state. So I will be depending on what I can get on the Mr. Beer site or amazon.

So where can I get a vinator? Bottling tree can be had on the MB site along with the hydrometer if I am not mistaken. As far as the rest of the stuff, not quite sure what it all is. Still not sure about all the lingo here. So continue to be patient.

Again thank you!

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check out the OLBS Northern Brewer, Adventures In Home Brewing, Midwest etc. Amazon's brew prices are often very high. Going a more traditional route with the extracts and grains will get you more bang for your buck. As I am sure you have seen a lot of brewers here are splitting five gallon kits or have moved to 5 gallon batches. The first reason I moved out of the MR B kits was cost. I could buy a 5 gallon kit for the same price of a MR B recipe kit and get twice the beer.

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"stewrobe1" post=344811 said:

Again I thank you all for the kind words and advice.

I live in the middle of nowhere NE, so no home brewing stores near, not even sure if there are any in this state. So I will be depending on what I can get on the Mr. Beer site or amazon.

So where can I get a vinator? Bottling tree can be had on the MB site along with the hydrometer if I am not mistaken. As far as the rest of the stuff, not quite sure what it all is. Still not sure about all the lingo here. So continue to be patient.

Again thank you!

Links in my signature to the top mentioned sites. Most have a shipping charge, so make sure you price out the entire order to compare across sites.

Most terms are best defined by Googling them. ;) Slimline is a 2.5 gallon drink container. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Arrow-H2O-2.5-Gal-Slimline-Beverage-Dispenser-Blue/15915151 Vinator puts the sanitizer into your bottles. All of the sites listed sell them.

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