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Rick60

Brewer's Yeast

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Greetings and happy holidays, all. This is my first venture into the Mr Beer Forum. I have consulted it in the past, but felt more time was required experimenting with the process before I actually stepped into the inner realm. I am still in the novice stage and apologize in advance if my inquiry tests your patience. To date, I have brewed 45 batches and presently keep six LBKs in rotational operation. So far, so good. Starting out slowly, I have taken to the more involved recipes recently. Thus far, every batch has turned out to be a success and the reviews from family and friends (with the exception of a snobby son-in-law) have been positive. Favorites include the Diablo IPA, St Patrick's Irish Stout, Raspberry Wheat and Foggy Days California Common.

 

Did I mention a certain snobby son-in-law that visited for the holidays? And how, in his opinion, Mr Beer wasn't "real" brewing -- it was just "beer from a kit". Grrrr. I have read similar sentiments regarding Mr Beer on various sites. For reasons unknown, certain people possess a negative jones about Mr Beer. Haters have to hate, right?

 

Any road, young Mr Know-It-All advised me that if I added TWO packages of brewer's yeast to the recipes calling for a single package, that the beer would have more "kick" to it (his attitude was that I should have already known this fact). I took his comment under advisement. Is there any truth to this suggestion? Or is it better to pitch only the prescribed amount of yeast (one package) into a two gallon fermenter? In other words, would additional yeast yield a higher alcohol content? Or would it negatively impact the finished product?

 

Allow me to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mr Beer process. The LBKs are of perfect size to brew up a batch. I am fortunate to have access to pure well-water, which no doubt enhances the taste of the brew. Mr Beer's service has been terrific, and I look forward to many, many years of having fun, both brewing and learning about this fascinating craft. Thank you.

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Welcome!

 

37 minutes ago, Rick60 said:

Mr Know-It-All advised me that if I added TWO packages of brewer's yeast to the recipes calling for a single package, that the beer would have more "kick" to it

 

That is incorrect. If you want more alcohol in your beer, you need to add more fermentable sugars to your brew. What kind of fermentables would depend on what you're trying to accomplish flavor-wise, but our Booster adjunct is a pretty safe bet. It can be purchased on its own here: http://www.mrbeer.com/mrbeer-booster, and is also included in the cost of standard refills (http://www.mrbeer.com/refills/standard-refills)

 

37 minutes ago, Rick60 said:

Mr Beer wasn't "real" brewing

 

I also just wanted to say don't get put off of talking to other brewers because of this. It isn't a brewer thing, it's a snob thing.

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Thank you for your responses and sharing of information. Going forward, one package of wheat it is (unless otherwise directed).

 

Is there a difference in the yeast that is supplied? I noted some packets are made of gold foil, whilst others are dull white. Just curious, is all.

Should there be any concern about rehydrating the brewer's yeast? Or just continue sprinkling it dry straight from the package into the fermenter?

 

As for the criticism of Mr Beer or its methods, I agree with BDawg62 -- if there are issues with either, make sure to BYOB. My product will be off-limits! I have shared the end results with some fairly seasoned beer connoisseurs. The Raspberry Wheat, Belgian Blanc and Churchills Nut Brown Ale drew rave reviews.

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21 hours ago, Rick60 said:

Greetings and happy holidays, all. This is my first venture into the Mr Beer Forum. I have consulted it in the past, but felt more time was required experimenting with the process before I actually stepped into the inner realm. I am still in the novice stage and apologize in advance if my inquiry tests your patience. To date, I have brewed 45 batches and presently keep six LBKs in rotational operation. So far, so good. Starting out slowly, I have taken to the more involved recipes recently. Thus far, every batch has turned out to be a success and the reviews from family and friends (with the exception of a snobby son-in-law) have been positive. Favorites include the Diablo IPA, St Patrick's Irish Stout, Raspberry Wheat and Foggy Days California Common.

 

Did I mention a certain snobby son-in-law that visited for the holidays? And how, in his opinion, Mr Beer wasn't "real" brewing -- it was just "beer from a kit". Grrrr. I have read similar sentiments regarding Mr Beer on various sites. For reasons unknown, certain people possess a negative jones about Mr Beer. Haters have to hate, right?

 

Any road, young Mr Know-It-All advised me that if I added TWO packages of brewer's yeast to the recipes calling for a single package, that the beer would have more "kick" to it (his attitude was that I should have already known this fact). I took his comment under advisement. Is there any truth to this suggestion? Or is it better to pitch only the prescribed amount of yeast (one package) into a two gallon fermenter? In other words, would additional yeast yield a higher alcohol content? Or would it negatively impact the finished product?

 

Allow me to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mr Beer process. The LBKs are of perfect size to brew up a batch. I am fortunate to have access to pure well-water, which no doubt enhances the taste of the brew. Mr Beer's service has been terrific, and I look forward to many, many years of having fun, both brewing and learning about this fascinating craft. Thank you.

 

Think of yeast as goldfish. There is a common myth that goldfish will grow to the size of their tank, then stop growing. Yeast are similar when it comes to their population in a volume of fermentable liquid (but unlike the fish, this is a fact and not a myth). It literally only takes 1 yeast cell to start the reproduction process. The yeast will continue to reproduce until they have reached a maximum population. This population is purely determined by the volume of liquid in the container. Once this population has been reached, the yeast will begin to ferment the sugar in the liquid.

 

The time between the beginning of the reproduction phase and the fermentation phase is known as "lag time". During this lag time, the yeast can produce certain esters that will carry over into the flavor of the beer. This is why some people who brew Belgian ales, saisons, wheat beers, or any yeast-forward beer (where the yeast creates most of the flavor rather than hops, malt, etc) will under-pitch their batches, or add less yeast than required. This forces the yeast to reproduce and create these esters (such as the banana or clove flavors in a hefeweizen). But if you are brewing something a bit cleaner, such as a pale ale, or especially a lager, it's usually best to overpitch by adding extra yeast or by growing the yeast in a starter before adding to the beer.

 

But neither underpitching or overpitching will affect the alcohol content or "kick" of the beer whatsoever. As Tim pointed out above, ABV is purely determined by the volume of fermentable sugar in a batch, not the yeast. Any yeast over the maximum population (again, determined by the volume of your batch) will simply die and precipitate into the sediment.

 

18 hours ago, Rick60 said:

Thank you for your responses and sharing of information. Going forward, one package of wheat it is (unless otherwise directed).

 

Is there a difference in the yeast that is supplied? I noted some packets are made of gold foil, whilst others are dull white. Just curious, is all.

Should there be any concern about rehydrating the brewer's yeast? Or just continue sprinkling it dry straight from the package into the fermenter?

 

As for the criticism of Mr Beer or its methods, I agree with BDawg62 -- if there are issues with either, make sure to BYOB. My product will be off-limits! I have shared the end results with some fairly seasoned beer connoisseurs. The Raspberry Wheat, Belgian Blanc and Churchills Nut Brown Ale drew rave reviews.

 

The white yeast pack under the Bavarian Weissbier lid is a wheat yeast. The Gold packets are all basic Coopers ale yeasts, and the Gold packet under the lid of the Churchills is an English ale yeast.

 

There is no need to rehydrate your dry yeast unless it is old and past the expiration date. Then you would hydrate it and add it to a small amount of wort to test its viability (if it foams up within an hour, it's good to go, but you still may need to make a starter or add yeast nutrient). Otherwise, I always just sprinkle it on.

 

As for the critical reviews of our products, a lot of those people haven't checked back with us since the 2012 Coopers acquisition. If they only knew about the things we've been doing lately, they'd change their tune in a second. ;)

Welcome to the community, by the way! Cheers! :D

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I got a little bit of guff for using Mr. Beer products as well.  The criticism came from the local hobby beer store guy, and not from family.  What he failed to see was that thanks to Mr. Beer, he WAS making money off of me!  If I needed something in a pinch I would go to him.  Also, thanks to Mr. Beer, I have expanded my brewing capabilities & capacity and again this means profit for him.  Without Mr. Beer, and their forums (of course!) I would've never embarked on this incredibly rewarding hobby.  There is always going to be that one critic of your Mr. Beer brews...  He's usually the sober guy sucking down a Mich-Ultra...  by himself!  Keep brewing, Rick!!  ????

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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 9:53 AM, Rick60 said:

Did I mention a certain snobby son-in-law that visited for the holidays? And how, in his opinion, Mr Beer wasn't "real" brewing -- it was just "beer from a kit". Grrrr. I have read similar sentiments regarding Mr Beer on various sites. For reasons unknown, certain people possess a negative jones about Mr Beer. Haters have to hate, right?

This will probably never change.  It was that way back when I started with MRB and people will always have their opinions.  I admit, when I got the gift of a LBK I thought that it was to brewing what an Easy Bake Oven was to baking.  However, as I like to say,  "What the Mr. Beer kit did was it started a fire".  I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today, or what I hope to be doing in the future, if it wasn't for that Little Brown Keg.

I also like to point out that most of the people that like to complain about MRB are those that have never tried it themselves and to me, their opinions mean nothing because of that. :)

#KeepHoppy&BrewOn!

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I made surprisingly good beer with mr beer kits... even unmodified.   it was a foot in the door to brewing. I owe mr beer my thanks because they make it so simple that if you are willing to follow instructions, you learn the basics and get to drink the results. 

 

anyone that considers themselves 'expert' at anything has earned my instant contempt. your son in law only proved without doubt that he doesn't know jack about beer, let alone good beer.  add more yeast for better beer?? lol!  use quality yeast and pitch the amount needed for the strength and volume of beer.  use the right variant of yeast for the beer style. learn what temps the yeast like. do everything you can to keep the yeast happy and safe and they will almost always make great beer for you. you can play with different pitch rates to encourage or discourage ester development. .. again this all comes with knowing your yeast.

 

think of it like this..  when ppl enter culinary school they do not start making complex Julia child dishes that take hours and hours to prepare. they start simple, learning knife skill...cutting techniques..  learn to make simple sauces...  make simple dishes ... over and over and over... gradually building on their knowledge and skill.  mr beer starts you off with the basics and they even did most of the work for you!

 

oh and for the record? my very first mr beer kit was a modified northwest pale ale with orange peel that dogsnharleys formulated.. and it was fantastic!  the guy at work who I shared it with loves beer and he gave it 2 thumbs up. his beer snob  friend even liked it.

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1 hour ago, zorak1066 said:

think of it like this..  when ppl enter culinary school they do not start making complex Julia child dishes that take hours and hours to prepare. they start simple, learning knife skill...cutting techniques..  learn to make simple sauces...  make simple dishes ... over and over and over... gradually building on their knowledge and skill.  mr beer starts you off with the basics and they even did most of the work for you!

Sadly though, that is too much logic for people who don't need facts to be able to complain and try to put others down because of something they once heard or saw someone tweet about.

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Talking of yeast, I have been saving and repitching my wheat beer yeasts. I was just looking at the MR Malty calculator for yeast pitching, which gives some better idea of the amount of yeast to pitch - how many packets of what size for what type of brew. That is relevant to the initial  discussion here of do you need to add 1 pack or 2 packs of yeast??

Probably the answer is usually one, but - it depends. You can see the 5g is mostly what is recommended for average ales up to 1.06 SG.

You can find a calculator input where > 1 is advised. Certainly for Lagers it looks like it you need twice as much and the 11g dried yeast packets are close.  Half of an 11g is enough for most ales unless you want a cleaner taste. But then you have to save and worry about is it still good or chuck the other half. I have had good luck with saving 1/2 packets but............ 

It is interesting to look and play with it.

http://mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

 

I was trying to see how much slurry I saved to re-pitch. Again I am faced with "it depends". Is it thick or thin slurry? How much of it is yeast and how much is junk?

Of course the safe way is to get a fresh purchased packet (assuming it has not been mistreated).:lol:

 

For me, with saved yeast slurry, using the LBK at 2.13 gal and 1.054 SG, I need 22 ml of thick (wont pour) or 97 ml of thick (pours smoothly).

At ~ 15 ml to a TBS, that is  1.5 to 6 TBS approx.  

That is a big range and any suggestions from yeast savers on evaluating "thick" or "thin" would be appreciated.

e.g. let it settle in jar and pour off clear liquid. Add X times the amount of water and shake up. (getting a predictable dilution) then use Y amount of that per gallon.

 

The answer may be here. This is quite informative.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Nickfixit said:

So my conclusion is that I can get approx. 1.2 B cells per mL by taking settled yeast solids and adding equal amount of water and evening it out.

But I need to mix enough to get at least 100ml end product.

 

Based on this peek into  re-pitching, I probably have been over pitching - OK, but less yeast character in the beer

 

Then I can apply the Mr Malty and other factors to see how much I need.

 

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I haven't really got into using of yeast a 2nd time or more, honestly.   I have tried yeast washing in the past and I find it to be a big PITA.  What I have started doing is taking a couple smack packs of yeast and making a 5L starter from it.  I then split that 2-4 ways, depending on what and how soon I will be brewing, let that settle and then make a fresh starter off each of those, as needed.  My thinking might be wrong, but I feel doing this I come out with fresher yeast and it is not nearly as much of a hassle to do compared to washing or making sure I have the right amount for repitching. Plus, with just a little DME I am taking 2 smack packs and making it work for 4 brews (a minimum of 1/2BBL on each) which, with DME & water, not including the time factor (or obviously the cost of the stir plate or flasks) is ~$3 for the yeast I need for a 1/2BBL brew, on average. There could always be a better way and with the conicals we use I am sure that it would make harvesting yeast much, much easier (I would just need to collect it as I open the dump valve),  but this seems to have been working just fine for me, so I will keep doing it for now anyway :).  

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yeast washing and repitching is just another aspect that is not necessary but if you like overcomplicating things like I do, adds to the hobby.  I have repitched washed yeast a couple times.  I gauge the density of the slurry by how easily disturbed it is in the solution.  nudge the jar. did the yeast stay relatively stable? thick.  did it get sloshed up into solution like crazy? not dense.

 

using a mason jar gives me a built in ml measure.

 

yeast really isn't that expensive but it can  be fun to experiment.   the most times ive ever reused the same yeast was about 3.. all wheat beers. 

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6 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

yeast really isn't that expensive but it can  be fun to experiment.

Yeast can end up being quite spendy.  As your batch sizes go up, especially if your SG goes way up, you could end up spending a bundle on yeast if you don't do something to mitigate that cost, such as washing or growing your own (like I do).

As an example:  my Triple IPA I brew in 26 gallon (into the conical) batches. With a SG of 1.095, according to Mr. Malty's calculator (assuming a yeast production date of today, to get 97% viability), I would need 17.2 packs/vials without a starter and with a 25.32L starter I would need 6 packs/vial (who has a 25+L flask though?!? lol).
 

The typical, retail, price of a smack pack or vial is $7.00 in my area ($3.50 with my wholesale account - if I remember to order it in advance).  Without a starter, or washing, that would be ~$120 in yeast alone for that 1 batch. The way I do it, it might take more time, but I can take 2 packs, some water and some DME and have more than enough in a few days.  For my 3xIPA, that would basically mean my yeast cost me ~$12 vs $120.  With an end result of ~20 gallons kegged from the batch (after loss from trub dumps, tubing, samples, ect...) @ $120 for yeast, and 160 pints in 20 gallons (20gx128oz/16) the yeast alone would contribute $0.75/pint. (120/160) vs $12 which would be $0.075/pint (12/160), a difference of $0.675/pint.  That means then the per pint pricing (ingredients only, not taking into account for time or depreciable cost of equipment) of my 3xIPA (11.2%) is $1.11.  Not too shabby, especially after it sat a few weeks it came together nicely and was quite tasty!! :) 

So, even while doing smaller batches, it's still good to learn techniques that you can apply down the line when you start doing bigger batches as a way to save cost and bring down your per pint price, without sacrificing quality.  :)

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

@kedogn post your setup. Show us your conicals

I am at work, but I can certainly do that later, sure.  They are 35G food grade conicals.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them! :)

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@Creeps McLane Her are a few I found on my phone. The brew stand was obviously as I was setting it up, so the kettles weren't finished. :) 

 

IMG_0452.PNGIMG_0453.PNGIMG_7777.JPGIMG_7809.JPG

 

 

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20 minutes ago, kedogn said:

@Creeps McLane Her are a few I found on my phone. The brew stand was obviously as I was setting it up, so the kettles weren't finished. :) 

 

IMG_0452.PNGIMG_0453.PNGIMG_7777.JPGIMG_7809.JPG

 

 

That looks really nice! Where is the brew stand sculpture thing from?  What kind of fermenter is that? I wouldnt mind doing some yeast harvesting in the future. Ive been eyeing up the fast ferment setup but im a little nervous the wife would stop talking to me, take the kids and move in with the inlaws...

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1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

That looks really nice! Where is the brew stand sculpture thing from?

A friend of mine fabricated the brew stand for me.  He took some steel that his company was gonna toss out, reclaimed it and now I brew on it thanks to him.  

 

1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

What kind of fermenter is that?

They are 35 gallon inductor tanks (conical) from Tank Depot.  Easy to use and easy to clean as seen in the one picture with the Clean In Place (CIP) that is also used to sanitize (though I would warn against using Star San, because you will end up at a foam party if you do, trust me on that lol).  Best part is they are a fraction of the cost of Stainless Steel conical.  It was Mike Hess of Hess Brewing in San Diego 5 years ago who told/showed me he used them and the virtues of them.  

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@kedogn I was looking at CIP valves but from what I read online it didn't seem like they were that great at cleaning especially in a brew kettle. How have they worked for you? They're not exactly cheap. do you just use them for your fermenters and use your hot liquor tank as your soap tanker? Or do you have a tub and run a pump?

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30 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

@kedogn I was looking at CIP valves but from what I read online it didn't seem like they were that great at cleaning especially in a brew kettle. How have they worked for you? They're not exactly cheap. do you just use them for your fermenters and use your hot liquor tank as your soap tanker? Or do you have a tub and run a pump?

I use the CIP just for the conicals.  I have it attached to a lid that can be moved between my conicals. In that picture you can see that I just use a bucket filled up a little over 1/2 way (its right to where the handle falls on the side of the bucket).  I use a sump pump to move the cleaner/water/sanitizer.  It works great for what I use it for.  I just set it and forget it and let it do its thing while I am doing other things.  Its a little loud, between the noise of the water spraying on the side of the conical, it splashing back into the bucket and of course, the pump running.  Funny thing is, that after a couple minutes I don't really notice it until I shut it off :). It was a little spendy to set up, but I love it and I am glad I did it.  It will come in handy for a long time to come. 

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<-setup envy...   but then I don't brew on that large a scale.  I tend toward cheap so my 'rig' is way more primitive.  I use buckets...  totes lined with insulation...  ice bottles...  anything to save a buck.  I lucked into a sweet deal on a 10 gallon stainless steel pot on amazon.  reg 80+ bucks.. got it for 17.  I use my spent grains for flour adjuncts to make bread.   I got a buttload of hops that my lhbs marked down 50% at a year end clearance sale last year.. still good.

 

mostly I use dry yeast.. 3 bucks and change? no biggee.  that's another perk of mr beer kits. the size is such that you don't need to buy a dozen yeast packs per batch. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

I tend toward cheap so my 'rig' is way more primitive.

I know how that is too.  I started with an LBK, then I went to a used cooler for mash tun, then on to some kegs I got for $20/each that I made into keggles.   The false bottom for that set up was a $5 pizza plate that I sat for hours drilling small holes into (I still have it, makes me smile when I see it) and it worked great!  To do bigger batches, I eventually bought a used 30 gallon crab cooker from a guy on craigslist for dirt cheap.   I used that set up, fermenting in buckets and carboys (that I bought off craigslist) until earlier this year when I made a much bigger jump.

 

12 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

mostly I use dry yeast.. 3 bucks and change? no biggee.  that's another perk of mr beer kits. the size is such that you don't need to buy a dozen yeast packs per batch.

Most certainly and I agree.  I remember those days well and fondly.  I got to the point that I wanted to start making more.  To better utilize my time and $$ and get the bigger bang for my buck. I love spending time writing recipes, doing cost analysis and trying to make the best beer I can for a great price per pint.  Its funny to me how this 'hobby' has allowed me to do so many of the things I enjoy, well beyond just brewing and drinking beer. :)  

 

Here was my first "big" system. I was so proud of this thing and made a lot of really good beer using it. A big part of this hobby that I love is the DIY aspect of it. Building new things to use, to me, is almost as exciting as using them. 

IMG_0456.JPG

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I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this post, as it serves as my first trip in the public forum of Mr Beer. There is a LOT to learn and you all are great sources of experience and information that will help improve the brewing skills of novices such as myself. Kedogn = the brew stand is ingenious! Well done. MRB Josh R = thank you for the clarification. To all the rest, I look forward to crossing paths with you in the future.

 

In the meantime, here's to a healthy, prosperous and successful 2017 -- may it be full of brewing, brew-related thoughts & action, and great beer!

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there's always gonna be haters towards mr.beer and they're usually ignorant haters to boot....but I'll tell you this is a great time to get into Mr.beer I actually first started in 2007.. Then had to stop ya know life happens and just got back into it last year and what a difference,,,, the product is so much better then back then ,the tools to are better the knowledge is better ,all things about mr.beer is way better.... You picked a great time to get into Mr.beer.... Enjoy!!! Don't listen to the haters... I love the simplicity of the all extract brewing and have now moved up to partial mash recipes ,, learning by doing... I feel you'll enjoy this way very much... Have fun with it ,that's the important part.. ?

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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 0:53 PM, Rick60 said:

Greetings and happy holidays, all. This is my first venture into the Mr Beer Forum. I have consulted it in the past, but felt more time was required experimenting with the process before I actually stepped into the inner realm. I am still in the novice stage and apologize in advance if my inquiry tests your patience. To date, I have brewed 45 batches and presently keep six LBKs in rotational operation. So far, so good. Starting out slowly, I have taken to the more involved recipes recently. Thus far, every batch has turned out to be a success and the reviews from family and friends (with the exception of a snobby son-in-law) have been positive. Favorites include the Diablo IPA, St Patrick's Irish Stout, Raspberry Wheat and Foggy Days California Common.

 

At 45 batches down, you are hardly a novice. So don't be shy.

You must know by now what you like and dislike, and what works for you and what does not, and maybe have some personal process tweaks. And what beers you prefer from the recipes offered up.

And that is a lot of what info gets exchanged here.

And welcome too.:lol:

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