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EwanRGR

If you only have a Microwave?

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Got my kit, and was reading through the instructions (then read the helpful thread on here for Newbie's, as well as the rather old how-to on YouTube). All of which mention the need to add the "syrup" to water and boil it. While I have a large enough Pyrex bowl to do so, my only option for cooking is a Microwave. And I'm thinking that microwaving might do bad things to the wort. Can I boil the water, add the syrup to it while still hot, stir, and then add to the Mr Beer container? Or will not "really" cooking kill it as bad as the microwave would?

 

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The MRB cans contain hopped malt extract (HME).  This is NOT boiled, just added to water that has been brought to a boil then removed from the heat.   Microwaving the water to boil it should work just fine; the water doesn't care how it's heated. :)

 

Now, if you're talking about recipes that require hops to be boiled in LME or DME, that's a different story.  

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OK. Sounds like I may have misunderstood the order in that case. Thanks! Sounds like I need to get busy and get my three weeks kicked off!

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Brewing the Mr Beer "Deluxe" Edition, but using an Oktoberfest refill rather than the Pilsner that came with it. Went ahead and did the way I described, and a couple hours later a flashlight shows it does seem to be off to the races. Am a little concerned that even my cool, dark corner isn't going to be as cool as I think it should be (around 72 on average), but we will see. Probably want to get a min-fridge from some of the other reading I've done on here, but we'll see how it goes.

 

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yep, you never boil hopped malt extract.  doing so drives off all the hoppy goodness mr beer put into it. 

 

a really cheap way to keep the wort cool while fermenting is to use a cooler and 1 liter bottles of ice... and a thermometer. a 48 qt cooler with 1 liter of ice should keep the lbk at about 65-68f for maybe 12 hours.  then you swap out the ice bottle with a new one. if you keep opening the cooler you will lose your chill quicker.

 

get a cheap aquarium thermometer or one that is wireless ... put the lead or the transmitter in the cooler and seal it with the ice bottle . watch how time impacts temperature.

 

if your ambient temperature is 72f,  fermentation raises the temp inside 5-10f or more so your wort will be too hot.  fermenting hot usually produces apple cider or green apple flavors in ale yeast.

 

if you fermented in a food grade bucket I would tell you to do a 'swamp cooler'.  put a bucket in a plastic laundry hamper full of water up to the level of the wort. have a fan blow on the water... or drop an ice bottle into the hamper.  cover lightly with a towel to trap cool air.  cheap.  effective? to a degree.  don't do this with a lbk.

 

you can be as frugal as you want with brewing.

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I'm with zorak.  Coolers are cheap and easy.  I have two LBKs, so I use two coolers.  I keep several one-liter water bottles in the freezer.  I have a MRB thermometer on each LBK.  One bottle of ice keeps the temperature of the wort right around 64-66.  I swap the bottles out every twelve hours for the first two weeks, then I swap them out once a day for the last week when I let the temperature come up to around 68-69.

 

As zorak said, It's the temperature of the wort you need to keep an eye on, not the air temperature where the LBK is.  Fermentation creates heat, so your wort will be warmer than you desire if the air temp is 72.

 

Now, having said all that, if I had the space to put a full-sized fridge with a temp-controller in my man-cave, I would.  But I don't, so I stick with the low-tech solution.  It works well and allows me to brew year-round, even when the room my coolers are in hits 75* during the summer months.

 

 

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9 hours ago, EwanRGR said:

Brewing the Mr Beer "Deluxe" Edition, but using an Oktoberfest refill rather than the Pilsner that came with it. Went ahead and did the way I described, and a couple hours later a flashlight shows it does seem to be off to the races. Am a little concerned that even my cool, dark corner isn't going to be as cool as I think it should be (around 72 on average), but we will see. Probably want to get a min-fridge from some of the other reading I've done on here, but we'll see how it goes.

 

 

I think you are a little confused with the Mr. Beer terminology.  Part of the reason could be that you are using a dated kit possibly, or you are looking things up elsewhere than the Mr. Beer site.

 

Standard Refill - used to be a 1.87lb can.  Then it was a can and a bag of booster.  Now it is a can and 2 smaller bags of booster that are the same size as one old bag of booster.

 

Deluxe Refill - a 1.87lb can plus an 8.8 oz pouch of LME (liquid malt extract).  

 

Craft Refill - one of 5 possible cans of malt, 2.86lbs.  No booster, no LME, because there is more malt extract in the can.

 

Seasonal Refill - even bigger cans, for much better beer.

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The Oktoberfest refill I received had a can of malt, yeast, sterilizer, and that was it. Not sure if that means it was dated or...? The kit itself had an American Pilsner, the 2 gallon keg, instructions, and that was it. I bought some of the carbonation drops and bottles separately.

 

Other than my initial concern about the preparation (which I think we've beaten to death), my remaining concern is temperature. At this point, I am trying to find a way to measure the temp of the kit with anything I currently have, while looking into getting a proper strip thermometer and a mini fridge. Will probably see how bad this batch turns out and go from there. One thing I am also looking into is getting another of this particular refill so I can compare the "bad" way with the proper one :-)

 

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Ah but does it slice? can it dice? does it make mounds and mounds of julienne fries? if I act now will there be more? much much more?

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Ewan..  remember your first dozen beers will be learning experiences.  this is the part where you make mistakes, see how doing things influences the final product and learn what to do to make the beer better.

 

don't expect great beer on your first few kits.  almost every mistake you can make has been done by someone else here.  if your final product tastes like green apples because it was too hot, drink it anyway.  you can add stuff to your glass to cover it up like a shot of booze or maybe some powdered orange drink.  the ONLY beer I would dump would be one that had an ecoli infection.. .which is very rare if you are even remotely careful about hygiene and sanitation.   a lacto infection can be covered up with juice or something to mask the tart.. or consume it as a tart or sour beer.  an acetobacter infected beer can be turned into vinegar and used in cooking.

 

...and remember, not everything you see is an infection.

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My concern is sterilization, A microwave does not kill bacteria or microorganisms as boiling on a stove top for a few minutes will. Make sure to wash and sanitize the bowl first, fill with cold clean tap water. Sterilize your work area, utensils, can opener, and even the can itself (after you remove the label). Wash your hands well too. Good luck to you (and watch your fermenting temperatures).

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5 hours ago, Brian N. said:

My concern is sterilization, A microwave does not kill bacteria or microorganisms as boiling on a stove top for a few minutes will. Make sure to wash and sanitize the bowl first, fill with cold clean tap water. Sterilize your work area, utensils, can opener, and even the can itself (after you remove the label). Wash your hands well too. Good luck to you (and watch your fermenting temperatures).

 

Proper sterilization is of course a must.  But I'd use bottled spring water instead of tap water.

As far as heating the water, boiling it is boiling it, regardless of whether it's on the stovetop or in the nuker.  The MRB directions don't require you to boil the water for a few minutes.  You bring it to a boil, remove it from the heat, and add the HME.

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On 21/06/2017 at 6:55 PM, EwanRGR said:

OK. Sounds like I may have misunderstood the order in that case. Thanks! Sounds like I need to get busy and get my three weeks kicked off!

I wouldn't use a micro unless you use a thermometer to check the temperature and see that it is actually 100°c.... Microwaves will SUPERHEAT the water to way beyond boiling. 

I'm thinking that would be bad based on the 'do not boil' rule.

On 21/06/2017 at 6:55 PM, EwanRGR said:

 

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1 hour ago, Cammanron said:

I wouldn't use a micro unless you use a thermometer to check the temperature and see that it is actually 100°c.... Microwaves will SUPERHEAT the water to way beyond boiling. 

I'm thinking that would be bad based on the 'do not boil' rule.

I think as long as the OP is planning to boil only the water and not the Hopped Malt Extract, it will be OK. The "do not boil" edict is for the HME.

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, Cammanron said:

I wouldn't use a micro unless you use a thermometer to check the temperature and see that it is actually 100°c.... Microwaves will SUPERHEAT the water to way beyond boiling. 

I'm thinking that would be bad based on the 'do not boil' rule.

 

If it's a concern, just throw a toothpick in it before nuking, then remove once boiling.  The toothpick will act as a catalyst for bubble production by breaking the surface tension of the water.

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On Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 9:35 AM, EwanRGR said:

Will probably see how bad this batch turns out and go from there. One thing I am also looking into is getting another of this particular refill so I can compare the "bad" way with the proper one :-)

 

I wouldn't worry about "bad". You made it and like it or not your ego with tell you it's good. ?. You or your sampling volunteers may decide the "bad" brew was the better brew.

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On 7/7/2017 at 4:26 PM, Shrike said:

 

If it's a concern, just throw a toothpick in it before nuking, then remove once boiling.  The toothpick will act as a catalyst for bubble production by breaking the surface tension of the water.

Who are you??? Bill Nye?

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Just now, Creeps McLane said:

Who are you??? Bill Nye?

 

LOL!!!  I actually did some poking around about this over 15 years ago.  One of the guys I worked with at the time saw something on the internet about water "exploding" after being microwaved and was freaked out about it.  He drank instant coffee and microwaved the water in his coffee cup every morning when he got into work.  He was worried he'd get scalded and wouldn't shut up about it; it got so annoying that I looked up how to avoid it just to keep him quiet. :)

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3 minutes ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

Turns out, @Shrike knows all kinds of stuff!

 

:) :blink::)

 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 10:17 PM, EwanRGR said:

 

or to save money, u can get a large Styrofoam cooler and use ice bottles . this way it's out of the light, the wort is under better fermentation temps, and if you so happen to blow off a lid, it'll be more contained. be a good start for a new brewer.  In addition you can buy adhesive temperature strips to put on your LBK to help monitor the wort too. I've learned to invest slowly at first to see if this is really what you want to do more than often, and really enjoy. after that you should become obsessed and spend your entire retirement savings on brewing great tasting home made beer!!!!

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12 hours ago, Shrike said:

 

LOL!!!  I actually did some poking around about this over 15 years ago.  One of the guys I worked with at the time saw something on the internet about water "exploding" after being microwaved and was freaked out about it.  He drank instant coffee and microwaved the water in his coffee cup every morning when he got into work.  He was worried he'd get scalded and wouldn't shut up about it; it got so annoying that I looked up how to avoid it just to keep him quiet. :)

I know someone who had her five year old get scalded pulling his mom's coffee mug from the microwave. Wanted to protect my kids and found the same advice about the toothpick. 

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