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Keithen

Stupid question from a Christmas added newbie

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Hello Mr.Beer world this is my first post. I am on the wagon of people who got Mr.Beer's LBK for  christmas (at a freaking amazing price) I have always been interested in brewing and I understood that most use HMA syrup as a base to their beers. Well jumping to my first question (assuming all my terminolgy has been correct) do I even need to use HME or can I use a UME only? Basically, I am asking if you HAVE to use hops in beer? Sorry, ancestors but it seems that HAVING to use hops really kills the ability to experiment.

So that was question 1, now question 2. I understand LBK doesn't have an airlock but does that mean I can NOT make wine's or honey mead using my LBK?

3. What is a booster? I know it adds alcohol but what is it? Its not sugar.

4. When calculating malt to adjunct do you inculde boosters and if so is it a simple 2/3 ratio? 2 cups/ounces/pounds/tons of malt per 1 cups/ounces/pounds/tons of adjunct or is it more complicated than that?

5. last but most important, can I add bacon falvor to my beer?

Sorry for asking questions that have probably been answered 1 million and 3/4 times.

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Ill answer at least part of this. Your MB kit shouldve come with a can of HME (hopped malt extract). The hops are already in it. Hop is kinda what makes beer taste like beer.

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You could make beer w/o hops but it would be unbearably sweet. The bitterness of hops is what balances out the sweetness of malt. 

 

You don't have to use HME. You can use UME and add hops. Since there are umpteen kinds of hops your statement that using hops kills the ability to experiment isn't right.

 

The airlock on the lbk is actually slots in the threads where the lid screws on.

 

I don't think they'll say exactly what's all in booster, but I think it's corn syrup, maltodextrine and maybe other things. It's for sure an adjunct.

 

Bacon flavor, I have no idea.

 

The best advice around here is to make a few batches as is to get the process down, then experiment if you wish.

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Welcome to the forum, Keithen!

 

 

1)  you can make very good ale with LME or DME and hops http://howtobrew.com/ here is a place to help you start learning how.

 

2)  well when they started making wine there were no airlocks, just cloth laid over the opening so...

 

3)  it is mostly sugar just not table sugar. (there are other things in there, so I've been told, but DIK what it is),  

 

4)  not sure I understand. 1 booster pack to 1 HME.

 

5)  don't know how but there is/was a bacon beer so I guess it can. (they also make/made a mountain oyster beer...a whole new spin on "beer nuts")

 

If I was you I'd avoid the booster for the first few batches. Work on procedure and do the reads. Just in case you're unaware, we recommend(without hydrometer) 3 weeks in the LBK, 4 weeks in the bottle @ room temp., and 3 days in the fridge. The instructions with the kit will make "green" beer.  

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Beer without hops would be very sweet for adult taste. The hops balance the sweetness and add a flavor and aroma profile of their own -earthy, citrus etc. I am not a fan of booster which is a mix of fermentable and non fermentable sugars, but if you use adjuncts, keep the amount of adjunct low. Lastly, adding a protein and fat such as bacon to your beer would not be a good idea. Great flavors can be achieved from combinations of different grains, hops and even chocolate or berries. Why not start simple and make the beer straight up, no additions? Learn the process and the beer flavors, then in the future you'll have a better idea of how you might want to change things. If you have been drinking mostly Bud, Miller, Coors or some of the other big beers, your MB brewed right from the can will be better. One important thing to remember is that MB is an Ale, not a larger, so expect different flavors. 

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Thank you for all your help and points of view! You are a welcoming group of people. This is all just for my knowledge. I really enjoy micro brews and expreimental drinks. I also really like dark beers and lagers. Specifically I like Sam Adams Octoberfest and Guiness. I trule enjoy all beer though. I like I.P.A. kick in the mouth to the choclatey sweetness of some of the crafts I have had.

1) Okay I didn't ask this question very good. Is there something other than hops you can add for bitterness if you don't like hops flavor (though I LOVE it)

2) So I can make honey mead then :) which was my first intention anyway.

3) So I will not spend money on the booster then, thank you. If wanted I will design my own.

4) I keep hearing that when I add adjuncts. (don't worry my first batch is brewing straight from the instruction book this is for future refrence) I have to follow a 2/3 abv ratio of malt to adjunct. Does that mean that basically for every 2 quantites of malt I can add 1 quantity of fermentable sugars? Since I have the LBK I will use 2/3 the can of malt and 1/3 that same can of an adjunct. Is it that simple or is there more to it I am missing?

5) This is A LONG ways down the road but basically I have tried bacon beer and it was horrible and I was looking for some ideas to make a better one. I have pulled ideas offline but they don't sound.....appetizing.

Thank You All

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11 is all you will fill from one batch, and one of those will be full of trub. You got the right amount.

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11 is all you will fill from one batch, and one of those will be full of trub. You got the right amount.

What does one do with the bottle of trub?

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hops were originally added to beer to preserve it for long travel times. IPA's or india pale ales, were very hoppy because hops act as a natural antibacterial agent, and the brits used to ship beer via boat and rail to india from England.  it also added bittering and flavor.  you could make beer in theory without hops but why? at the very least one would want flavor or aroma hops, if not bittering. 

 

can you add something else? well... my first time using orange peel I did not scrape off the pith. this made a bitter taste.. not a good one necessarily.

 

2. the lbk doesn't have a traditional airlock. it does have slits around the lid area with a vapor barrier. it lets excess co2 out. that's why it isn't a good idea to pick up a full lbk and shake it. youll end up wearing whatever is inside. yes, you can use the lbk for wine and mead but since both take months and months... you'll be tying up your lbk.

 

3. booster I believe is corn syrup solids. it is largely crap. yes, it will jack up your alcohol by volume. adding malt instead (LME) is preferable because it wont thin the beer's body.

 

 

 

every generation of new brewers asks the same basic questions. it's how you learn.  we don't mind.  in no time you'll be answering the same questions here too.

 

oh..as for experimenting , hops is just another avenue to experiment with. there are tons of varieties with all kinds of flavor/aroma/bittering profiles.  that are really bitter hops...fruity hops... grassy hops... etc.

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Thank you for all your help and points of view! You are a welcoming group of people. This is all just for my knowledge. I really enjoy micro brews and expreimental drinks. I also really like dark beers and lagers. Specifically I like Sam Adams Octoberfest and Guiness. I trule enjoy all beer though. I like I.P.A. kick in the mouth to the choclatey sweetness of some of the crafts I have had.

1) Okay I didn't ask this question very good. Is there something other than hops you can add for bitterness if you don't like hops flavor (though I LOVE it)

2) So I can make honey mead then :) which was my first intention anyway.

3) So I will not spend money on the booster then, thank you. If wanted I will design my own.

4) I keep hearing that when I add adjuncts. (don't worry my first batch is brewing straight from the instruction book this is for future refrence) I have to follow a 2/3 abv ratio of malt to adjunct. Does that mean that basically for every 2 quantites of malt I can add 1 quantity of fermentable sugars? Since I have the LBK I will use 2/3 the can of malt and 1/3 that same can of an adjunct. Is it that simple or is there more to it I am missing?

5) This is A LONG ways down the road but basically I have tried bacon beer and it was horrible and I was looking for some ideas to make a better one. I have pulled ideas offline but they don't sound.....appetizing.

Thank You All

Welcome.. Remember have fun and be patient...Its a completely new learning experience.   I'm still learning myself but just wanted to say the best I.P.A. in my opinion is the Diablo I.P.A. here on Mr. Beer.   I personally brew every batch with a LME Softpack or DME for added body and alcohol boost.  From everything that I read most experienced users here do not care for the booster itself.  I would start out brewing a few batches not all fancy or anything yet.  Get your feet wet and then you can get more involved.  Use this forum as your guide book also.

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Keithen, on 29 Dec 2014 - 5:12 PM, said:

Thank you for all your help and points of view! You are a welcoming group of people. This is all just for my knowledge. I really enjoy micro brews and expreimental drinks. I also really like dark beers and lagers. Specifically I like Sam Adams Octoberfest and Guiness. I trule enjoy all beer though. I like I.P.A. kick in the mouth to the choclatey sweetness of some of the crafts I have had.

1) Okay I didn't ask this question very good. Is there something other than hops you can add for bitterness if you don't like hops flavor (though I LOVE it)

2) So I can make honey mead then :) which was my first intention anyway.

3) So I will not spend money on the booster then, thank you. If wanted I will design my own.

4) I keep hearing that when I add adjuncts. (don't worry my first batch is brewing straight from the instruction book this is for future refrence) I have to follow a 2/3 abv ratio of malt to adjunct. Does that mean that basically for every 2 quantites of malt I can add 1 quantity of fermentable sugars? Since I have the LBK I will use 2/3 the can of malt and 1/3 that same can of an adjunct. Is it that simple or is there more to it I am missing?

5) This is A LONG ways down the road but basically I have tried bacon beer and it was horrible and I was looking for some ideas to make a better one. I have pulled ideas offline but they don't sound.....appetizing.

Thank You All

 

 

1) All kinds of stuff was used before hops were discovered, some of which are still in use. i.e. juniper berries however the hops also act as a preservative and , if I remember the reading I did, the others did not.

 

2) Sure, but it'll tie the LBK up for awhile.

 

3) sounds like a plan

 

4) Malt IS sugar, table sugar will raise the ABV alright but it will also "thin out" the brew.  Use DME in place of sugar you'll get a better beer

qualifier; unless it is called for by the recipe.(Some Belgian ales call for a little candi sugar)

 

5) Think I'll solve it by eating BLTs and drinking beer. :D  (mmmm Bacon)

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Basically, I am asking if you HAVE to use hops in beer? 

 

   Well, I think technically beer has to have hops.  That doesn't mean you can't make something with fermented barley and X, but it would be called gruit or grut.

 

Some herbs commonly used in gruit:

  • sweet gale
  • mugwort
  • yarrow
  • ivy
  • horehound
  • heather
  • juniper
  • ginger
  • aniseed
  • carraway

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I've brewed beer using heather instead of hops.  It was a Scotch Ale and the result was ... interesting.  Not bad at all, but I'm a hophead at heart.

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