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StretchNM

Full Mash Kit Instructions Faulty

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[Now...... this is not a question about a Mr Beer Kit, but rather about another Kit maker's instructions. I debated posting this here in Mr Beer forums, but I don't want to join other forums and if this question is done in bad form, then please delete this thread and I will have no issues.]

 

Ok. My wife and daughter gave me a Mr Beer kit for Christmas. I did not know then that they had also bought a little 1-gallon jug Kit. They planned on returning it after they saw and bought the Mr Beer Kit, but then when they saw my excitement, they just kept it and gave it to me for Valentine's Day. Ok, enough of this droning. I won't mention the maker of the Kit, but the initials are Refinery and Co (Heritage Collective).

 

This 1-gallon jug Kit is pure mash and hops - no extracts. The instructions overall are terribly lacking, but specifically this part (paraphrased):

1) I am to bring 4 quarts to 163-F and steep the grains (no sack) for 60 minutes.

2) Stir every 10 min while maintaining 149-F to 152-F without exceeding 160-F.

3) While the grains are mashing, separately heat another 5 quarts to 180-F.

4) While the grains are mashing separately heat another 4 quarts to 170-F. (<---no, sentences 3 and 4 are not typos).

5) Strain the wort into a separate kettle and sparge the grains with the 170-F degree water.

Now..... the instructions are more drawn out - I am paraphrasing here.

 

Ok, that's the problem part, the rest is completely understandable (boil, add 3/4 supplied hops in sack for 60 minutes and remainder at flame-out. Rapidly cool to 68-72-F and pour in jug. Pitch yeast and ferment.).

 

QUESTIONS:

- Is it their typo when they say bring two pots of 5 quarts to 180-F and also 4 quarts 170-F?

 

- Or...................Do they just want me to have some 170-F water available and then sparge with only a cup or so of it?

 

- If I add more than a cup or so, I'll have substantially more than a gallon for fermentation, won't I?

 

- Of course there will be a little loss from the steeping and boiling, but........ 4 or 5 quarts worth?

 

Since this is a full mash kit, I can't have unexplained stuff like that or maybe I might ruin the batch. I've poured over these instructions several times. Even the parts I understand are written incorrectly and with contradicting repetition. It's no wonder you can hardly find out anything about this company on the internet.

 

[Again, if asking about this Kit in these forums is "bad form", then please just delete the thread.]

 

Thank you.

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In general those are crappy instructions and wrong temps.

 

Without a sack you're going to have a mess.  Buy a paint strainer bag at Home Depot, two for a few bucks, and use one.  Rinse it out at the end and use it over and over.  

 

You generally want to remove grains from flame for the mash, and most people mash around 152.  Going up to 160 would be a very different result, as would going down to 145.  

 

No idea why they have step 3 at all.  Sparging water should not exceed 170.  

 

Grains absorb water.  The boil will evaporate water.  But no, not a gallon or more out of a gallon.    There are calculators you can use to figure this out.  http://www.biabcalculator.com/

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I have some muslin sacks (both sizes for mash and hops) that I bought at a brewer supply a week or so ago, so I can use those. Maybe even then I can pour the mash though the paint strainer too, for anything that escaped the sacks.

 

When I sparge, how much water should I use? I'm thinking maybe the instructions meant to say "heat 4 or 5 quarts to 170-F and then dip a measuring cup in and pour 1 or 2 cups to sparge the grains". Maybe? I think I saw a guy on Youtube sparging with about 1 cup or so, and it seems to me you would lose about a cup with an hour-long boil.

 

Yes, the instructions are vague, contradictory, poorly written, and evidently, wrong. I will keep the mash temperatures around 152-F. I will also check that link.

Thank you

 

ON EDIT: Ok, I see now what they were saying, but only about mash temperatures. I think they figure that heating the water to 163 before putting the grains in will compensate for the temperature drop, because they say to keep temperatures between 149-F and 152=F for the mashing process.

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If you use the calculator I linked to, it tells you what temp to heat the water to so that when mixed with the grain temp (you take that too), it yields the right temp.  

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almost all of the all grain mashes that i do, beersmith recommends starting with strike water at 163 deg and then add my room temp grains to get to ~152 deg or so. that's weird suggesting 2 different sparge water pots.

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Well, I plugged data into the calculator - 1 pound of grain at 70-F, in 1 gallon of water steeping at 153-F, and then boiled for 60 minutes (w hops).

 

If I'm reading the Output correctly, it shows that throughout the mash process I will use a total of 2.30 gallons of water..... which increases to 2.38 while mashing and then decreases to 2.25 gallons after the grains are removed and sparged. After a 60 minute boil the wort has been reduced to 1.0 gallons and that's what goes into the fermenter jug.

 

So as per this Kit's instructions (excluding step #4 which I think is an error, except the 170-F temp would be right to allow for heat reduction from addition of the 70-F grains), they are asking me to start with 1 gallon to steep grains for 60 minutes at 152-F, and then add that mixture to 1.25 gallon through sparging (5 qts), leaving me with 2.25 gallons ( less any water retained by the grains). So then approximately 2.25 gallons is reduced to 1 gallon after 60 minutes of boiling. Wow. I would never have guessed that more than a gallon would be lost to evaporation. Is that right?

 

Am I seeing this correctly?

 

Jdub, regarding using a different sparge water pot: why couldn't I just leave the mash water in the first pot, lift the grains out into strainer above that pot, sparge with the 5 quarts from the second pot (and thusly into the first pot)? Is that what you are saying? That using an additional pot is weird?

 

Thank you

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59 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

Well, I plugged data into the calculator - 1 pound of grain at 70-F, in 1 gallon of water steeping at 153-F, and then boiled for 60 minutes (w hops).

 

If I'm reading the Output correctly, it shows that throughout the mash process I will use a total of 2.30 gallons of water..... which increases to 2.38 while mashing and then decreases to 2.25 gallons after the grains are removed and sparged. After a 60 minute boil the wort has been reduced to 1.0 gallons and that's what goes into the fermenter jug.

 

So as per this Kit's instructions (excluding step #4 which I think is an error, except the 170-F temp would be right to allow for heat reduction from addition of the 70-F grains), they are asking me to start with 1 gallon to steep grains for 60 minutes at 152-F, and then add that mixture to 1.25 gallon through sparging (5 qts), leaving me with 2.25 gallons ( less any water retained by the grains). So then approximately 2.25 gallons is reduced to 1 gallon after 60 minutes of boiling. Wow. I would never have guessed that more than a gallon would be lost to evaporation. Is that right?

 

Am I seeing this correctly?

 

Jdub, regarding using a different sparge water pot: why couldn't I just leave the mash water in the first pot, lift the grains out into strainer above that pot, sparge with the 5 quarts from the second pot (and thusly into the first pot)? Is that what you are saying? That using an additional pot is weird?

 

Thank you

with a BIAB recipe, you would steep grains in pot 1 and that is also your boil kettle. You would heat water in a separate pot and use all or part of that to sparge with into pot 1. i just meant that you said that the instructions suggested 2 different additional sparge water pots? or that's what i read at least.

 

the grains will absorb some of the water, and some water will boil off too. just try it and see how it goes.

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No, you read it right. The instructions were funky.

 

Ok. I'll do it. Maybe next Monday.

 

Thank you all.

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9 hours ago, StretchNM said:

Well, I plugged data into the calculator - 1 pound of grain at 70-F, in 1 gallon of water steeping at 153-F, and then boiled for 60 minutes (w hops).

 

If I'm reading the Output correctly, it shows that throughout the mash process I will use a total of 2.30 gallons of water..... which increases to 2.38 while mashing and then decreases to 2.25 gallons after the grains are removed and sparged. After a 60 minute boil the wort has been reduced to 1.0 gallons and that's what goes into the fermenter jug.

 

So as per this Kit's instructions (excluding step #4 which I think is an error, except the 170-F temp would be right to allow for heat reduction from addition of the 70-F grains), they are asking me to start with 1 gallon to steep grains for 60 minutes at 152-F, and then add that mixture to 1.25 gallon through sparging (5 qts), leaving me with 2.25 gallons ( less any water retained by the grains). So then approximately 2.25 gallons is reduced to 1 gallon after 60 minutes of boiling. Wow. I would never have guessed that more than a gallon would be lost to evaporation. Is that right?

 

Am I seeing this correctly?

 

Jdub, regarding using a different sparge water pot: why couldn't I just leave the mash water in the first pot, lift the grains out into strainer above that pot, sparge with the 5 quarts from the second pot (and thusly into the first pot)? Is that what you are saying? That using an additional pot is weird?

 

Thank you

 

 

The calculator will calculate at the bottom a strike temp.  This is the water temp that you need, with the 70 degree grains, to get to 153.  

 

I question that you have only 1 pound of grain.  That is insufficient to make beer.  

 

You can't take the boil off rate and just use it.  1 gallon of water doesn't boil off 1 1/2 gallons of water...  Put a gallon in the pot you will use.  Boil for 1 hour.  Measure what's left, that's your boil off rate per gallon of water, roughly.  

 

I'd suggest your recipe is crap, and question whether it's worth even making.  Perhaps you want to contact the company and ask them.  You are trying to turn a crappy process into making beer, and we're trying to fix it, and we don't know what you have in front of you.

 

No, you don't sparge a pound of grain with 1.25 gallons of water.  No, you don't boil 2.25 gallons and get 1 gallon.  No, you don't add 170 degree water to grains and get 153.

 

Not pointing at you - you're working with crap and trying to figure it out.

 

You may want to better understand the BIAB process - https://biabbrewing.com/

 

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Also, please note that if you only have a 1 gallon jug to ferment this recipe in and you put 1 gallon of wort in that jug, you will end up with a mess. 

 

Also, I have brewed several beers with a 1 gallon volume.  These are test batches that I do on the stove when I don't want to get out all of my equipment for a recipe that I don't know how good it will be anyway.  They typically start with 2 to 3# of grain and my wort collected before the boil is usually a little more than  2 gallons.  I boil very aggressively and boil off about 1 gallon during my hour boil.

 

The instructions for your kit, aside from the line 3 and 4 duplication, are not great but they are not totally incorrect either.  These instructions were written by an experienced all grain brewer with an actual mash tun or a means of straining the grains to separate them from the wort.

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RickBeer, despite it's instructions, this Kit is absolutely worth the trouble. I'm a new brewer with enthusiasm - I would brew used coffee grounds if I thought there was a chance it would make beer. :)

 

OK. I'm embarrassed. I didn't open the packet that contained the grain, hops, and sanitizing solution. I picked it up a couple of times and approximated it to be 1 pound. Most likely due to my magnificent power and strength - everything seems light to me. So I opened and weighed the grains: 23.6 ounces with the plastic bag they're in.

 

Now.....when I change the data in the calculator to 1.5 pounds of grains, very little changes but this is what does: Total water needed to make the wort is 2.32 gallons. Strike water temp is 156-F. Total mash volume 2.44 gallons. Pre-boil is 2.25 gallons ending with 1 gallon for the fermenter.

 

So going by the calculator the way I see this is to heat 1 gallon to 156-F. Add grains and keep temperature between 149-F and 152-F for one hour. Separately heat 1.25 gallons total sparge water to 170-F and sparge grains with a cup or two of this water (total mash now is 2.25 gallons less any evaporation). Bring to rolling boil, add bittering hops, and boil for one hour. Add aroma hops at flame-out and cool the wort to 68-F to 72-F. At this point, there should be about 1 gallon. Add the 1 gallon of wort to the 1 gallon jug (making sure there is headroom for krausen and Co2) and pitch yeast.

 

I just have to assume, since there's no sugar added, that the sugars will come from the grains.

 

Unless someone yells "No! Wait! You're doing it wrong!", then I'm going to do it Sunday or Monday. Thank you.

 

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The calculator has a pre-set boil off rate.  YOU NEED TO DETERMINE YOUR BOIL OFF RATE.  When I put 3.5 gallons in my 5 gallon pot, and boil for an hour, I don't boil off more than 3/4 of a gallon.  Therefore, you're not going to boil off 1.25 gallons.  BDawg62 boils aggressively.  My stove won't boil 3.5 gallons aggressively, so I lose less.

 

Go put 2 gallons of water in your pot, bring it to a rolling boil.  Set timer for an hour, then let it cool (to make it safe).  Then, measure.  That amount that you lose, divided by 2 (2 gallons), is your boil off rate per gallon.  

 

Why does it matter?  Simple - let's say you end up with 1.5 gallons of wort, and you can only fit just under 1 gallon of wort in your fermenter.  That is different than if you end up 1 gallon of wort and can only fit just under 1 gallon of wort in your fermenter.  What does it matter?  Do you like weak, low ABV beer?

 

The mash converts starch to sugar.   😉

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Running the volume and grain in brewer's friend - it rates this at 4% ABV

 

It is beer - but very sessionable - but lower ABV  than most.

 

Mind you, some Mr B brews with HME and 1 soft pack LME come in at  4.5% or less, and I do personally brew some of them that strength. 

So ABV is a matter of taste. I don't need really strong beers that much - usually I make 4.5-5.5% beers with very occasional higher.

But I will agree 4% is pretty much on the low end. 

 

Someone gave me a Red Ale kit that was 1 gal. similarly and I made it in the Mr Beer LBK. 

If you got an LBK from Mr Beer kit, you could use that and it would not matter if you were over a gallon.

 

 

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For the Mr Beer with partial mash, I use water about 165 or 170 deg (my kettle does that ) and it come out in the pot in the  145-155 range generally. Then I sit it on the warming ring on the stove. IT will stay between 140-160 - not really accurate for careful all grain work, but I think for my PM it seems to work.

 

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Thanks RickBeer. Now, 2 gallons of water boiled for 60 minutes is right now cooling down. I set the timer when the rolling boil started. I also measured the water temp (204-F) thinking maybe I should wait until it was closer to 212-F, but then I thought, since I'm at 4300' elevation maybe 204 is as high as it will get, so I set timer at boiling. It is interesting that the water level went down more than 3" (Correction 2-3/8") in my 3-gallon kettle. We'll see soon how much is lost.

 

Thanks Nickfixit. There is no description of what kind of beer this is, nor any ABV or OG/FG expectations. All I know for sure (from individual package markings) is I'll be using 1.5lb of 2-Row Barley Malt, BSG Hops Goldings 5  1% AA, and S-04 Yeast. Both yeast and hops are dated 20190715, which I assume is "best by" or expiration date.

 

Are there any guesses as to what type of beer I'll be making? Or even whether it's a pilsner, or a wheat, or ale, or whatever?

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Hint - it's not a wheat, because you're using 2-Row BARLEY... 😉

 

It's not a lager, because you're using S-04 yeast, which is an ale yeast...  😕

 

If it's just 1.5 pounds of barley and Goldings hops, uses S-04 which is an English ale yeast, it's likely a _________

 

 

Spoiler

English Pale Ale

 

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12 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Hint - it's not a wheat, because you're using 2-Row BARLEY... 😉

 

It's not a lager, because you're using S-04 yeast, which is an ale yeast...  😕

 

If it's just 1.5 pounds of barley and Goldings hops, uses S-04 which is an English ale yeast, it's likely a _________

 

 

  Hide contents

English Pale Ale

 

 

Rick's new sobriquet should be "The Beer Detective".  😄

 

 

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You're keeping me in suspense, RickBeer. I'm just going to give a brand new brewers WAG at it. Don't laugh at me now: ....eh......some kind of English Pale Ale? Just a WAG.......

:)

 

Well, I boiled and cooled, and out of 2 gals lost almost exactly (but a tad over) .75 gallon, so I was left with 1.25 gallons after all was said and done. OK. I can see the sense in knowing that. Very good and thank you. 3 quarts out of 8 will be lost during the boil. Maybe I have to be prepared for a little more or less, since it is wort boiling and not just water, I'm thinking(?).

 

So then my boil-off rate per gallon will be.......... .75 / 2 = .375 which translates to 1.5 quarts per gallon.

 

It figures then that, in this recipe, I should steep grains with 1.0 gallon, as per instructions. Then sparge and combine with about .375 gallon, which after the boil will leave me with .86 of a gallon for fermentation. Then I can add water to the jug's 1 gallon mark to leave room for fermentation. Does that sound right?

 

That's a lot of math for me, and I was never good to start with.

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In a closed fermentation cooler, can you brew 2 different beers, using 2 different yeasts, started at 2 different times?

 

I was thinking maybe I could put this all-grain jug in with my already fermenting MRB 1776 Ale since there's room in there.

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2 hours ago, StretchNM said:

In a closed fermentation cooler, can you brew 2 different beers, using 2 different yeasts, started at 2 different times?

 

I was thinking maybe I could put this all-grain jug in with my already fermenting MRB 1776 Ale since there's room in there.

you mean can you put your jug into the same camping cooler with your LBK? of course. i have 2 fermenters in my mini fridge right now.

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12 hours ago, StretchNM said:

In a closed fermentation cooler, can you brew 2 different beers, using 2 different yeasts, started at 2 different times?

 

I was thinking maybe I could put this all-grain jug in with my already fermenting MRB 1776 Ale since there's room in there.

 

Basically, it depends.  Normally yes.

 

Check the yeast of the already brewing beer to see what it's optimum temperature range is (easily found via Googling to the manufacturer's site).  In your case, it's Mr. Beer yeast.  As long as you maintain that temp range in the wort, you're fine.  The only time you'd have a problem is when you add the frozen water bottles to the cooler, or use a temp controller with a fridge, and to maintain the temp in the newer batch when it's at peak fermentation it lowers the temp of the older batch and puts the yeast to sleep.

 

I've brewed as many as 3 different batches at once in my fermentation fridge.  I generally wait a week, then add the next one.  I put the newest one down low, because heat rises. I set the temp controller on 65, which is basically a 64 - 66 degree range.  That usually lowers the upper ones to around 61 / 62 during peak fermentation, then the temp slowly rises as the fermentation in the new batch slows down.  

 

If one yeast was a very high temp yeast where you wanted it to throw off esters, then it would make the regular batch have issues due to the high temps.

 

12 hours ago, StretchNM said:

You're keeping me in suspense, RickBeer. I'm just going to give a brand new brewers WAG at it. Don't laugh at me now: ....eh......some kind of English Pale Ale? Just a WAG.......

:)

 

Click on the "reveal hidden contents".

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4 hours ago, RickBeer said:

 

................

Click on the "reveal hidden contents".

I did see the hidden contents :), otherwise I'd have never guessed. I was kidding with the WAG comment. But the way you narrowed it down makes sense, of course.

 

Thank you for the write-up RE: multiple batches in same cooler. For whatever reason, I was wondering about maybe different yeasts somehow migrating to each other, like through the vent holes in the LBK, and causing infection or maybe affecting the taste of batches. Or maybe some wild yeast or other bacteria that got onto the outside of the LBK before putting it into the cooler, and then infecting one or more batches. But it seems many are fermenting several batches together at once, so apparently no worries like those I'm fretting over.

 

Right now I am brewing MRB's 1776 Ale with US-05 yeast. I was considering putting this English Pale Ale using US-04 yeast (in a jug with blow-off tube and later an airlock) in the same cooler.

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CO2 is being produced, which vents out the LBK via the notches in the threads for the cap.  Nothing goes in.

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I measured my gallon jug and put markings at each quart line. The gallon measures out right at the top of the "One Gallon" embossed lettering. There is room for exactly 1-cup up to the very top of the mouth.

 

Please look at the attached picture of the space left between the 1-gallon mark and the top of the jug.

Is that enough room for fermentation gasses do you think?

 

That's all the questions I have. Thanks for your time and patience. I promise not to bug you men anymore in this thread (unless...I have more questions).

 

 

IMG_1941-2.JPG

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OK. ONE MORE QUESTION (then that's all unless another one pops up).

 

Since this is only a 1-gallon kit, should I not use the whole packet of yeast? It's US-04.

The whole packet weighs 4 grams.

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44 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

OK. ONE MORE QUESTION (then that's all unless another one pops up).

 

Since this is only a 1-gallon kit, should I not use the whole packet of yeast? It's US-04.

The whole packet weighs 4 grams.

 

A standard pack of Safale S-04 is 11.5 g, so it sounds like the supplier of your kit accommodated the smaller batch size and included just enough yeast for a 1-gallon recipe.

 

Be sure to reread @BDawg62's post above.  Install a blow-off tube, place the fermenter in a tub and let 'er rip.  Active fermentation with S-04 is more than likely going to fill that headspace quickly and then some.

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My tube is ready as is the airlock after the initial ferment stage! Thanks Bonsai & Brew

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4 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

My tube is ready as is the airlock after the initial ferment stage! Thanks Bonsai & Brew

 

4 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

My tube is ready as is the airlock after the initial ferment stage! Thanks Bonsai & Brew

 

You're welcome.  Did you notice how I let the other guys do all the heavy lifting before I swooped in with the easy part?  Anyway, you've got a lot of us emotionally invested in this brew so good luck!🍻

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On Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 3:29 PM, StretchNM said:

[Now...... this is not a question about a Mr Beer Kit, but rather about another Kit maker's instructions. I debated posting this here in Mr Beer forums, but I don't want to join other forums and if this question is done in bad form, then please delete this thread and I will have no issues.]

 

Ok. My wife and daughter gave me a Mr Beer kit for Christmas. I did not know then that they had also bought a little 1-gallon jug Kit. They planned on returning it after they saw and bought the Mr Beer Kit, but then when they saw my excitement, they just kept it and gave it to me for Valentine's Day. Ok, enough of this droning. I won't mention the maker of the Kit, but the initials are Refinery and Co (Heritage Collective).

 

This 1-gallon jug Kit is pure mash and hops - no extracts. The instructions overall are terribly lacking, but specifically this part (paraphrased):

1) I am to bring 4 quarts to 163-F and steep the grains (no sack) for 60 minutes.

2) Stir every 10 min while maintaining 149-F to 152-F without exceeding 160-F.

3) While the grains are mashing, separately heat another 5 quarts to 180-F.

4) While the grains are mashing separately heat another 4 quarts to 170-F. (<---no, sentences 3 and 4 are not typos).

5) Strain the wort into a separate kettle and sparge the grains with the 170-F degree water.

Now..... the instructions are more drawn out - I am paraphrasing here.

 

Ok, that's the problem part, the rest is completely understandable (boil, add 3/4 supplied hops in sack for 60 minutes and remainder at flame-out. Rapidly cool to 68-72-F and pour in jug. Pitch yeast and ferment.).

 

QUESTIONS:

- Is it their typo when they say bring two pots of 5 quarts to 180-F and also 4 quarts 170-F?

 

- Or...................Do they just want me to have some 170-F water available and then sparge with only a cup or so of it?

 

- If I add more than a cup or so, I'll have substantially more than a gallon for fermentation, won't I?

 

- Of course there will be a little loss from the steeping and boiling, but........ 4 or 5 quarts worth?

 

Since this is a full mash kit, I can't have unexplained stuff like that or maybe I might ruin the batch. I've poured over these instructions several times. Even the parts I understand are written incorrectly and with contradicting repetition. It's no wonder you can hardly find out anything about this company on the internet.

 

[Again, if asking about this Kit in these forums is "bad form", then please just delete the thread.]

 

Thank you.

If any one had any doubts, this thread should put their minds at ease. MrBeer kit or not, the collective knowledge in this forum and the willingness to offer help and advice is reassuring. 

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After 3 days in the fridge, I bottled this jug of all-grain Pale Ale tonight. I had to do it the easy way, even though that meant it would be twice as hard. B)

 

So I got out my LBK and siphoned the Ale from the 1 gallon carboy into the LBK. (OK. I'm probably not going to do that again without investing in an auto-siphon). Then I bottled with a wand from the LBK. The trub in the carboy was fresh but cold, so I won't have it until tomorrow morning when I can warm it.

 

I managed to get 9 full 12oz bottles. My sample tasted flatly GREAT! I'm eager to see what a month will do to this beer. I NEED success here.

 

There sure was a lot of powdery stuff at the mouth of the carboy. You can see it in the picture. I'm guessing this is dried out yeast from the krausen? Maybe?

 

all-grain-bottling-3.JPG

all-grain-bottling-2.JPG

all-grain-bottling-1.JPG

all-grain-bottling-4.JPG

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Not dried out yeast, that's krausen.  If you dry hopped, that's hops also.

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No dry hopping in this batch, so I guess it is just krausen. Anyway I'm feeling happy at the way my sample tasted so.... I'm optimistic for the outcome.

 

Again though, this beer will probably be very low in alcohol content, IF my measurement for OG was proper and if I had mixed it thoroughly enough before taking the measurement. I didn't take FG measurement because it didn't matter to me unless I had confidence in the original gravity measurement, which I don't. I mean, taking the measurement was easy enough, of course, but then when it was only 1.022 or so, I realized something was wrong. Something more than just a weak wort. SO we'll see.

 

Thank you all for the input and encouragement in this thread.

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