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StretchNM

Brewing with Just HME?

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Maybe this'll be too dumb of a question for this group. I mean, I think I know the answer.

 

Could you just boil some water, toss in a can of HME, and pitch the yeast when the keg is topped off? For example, the can of Bewitched HME is rated at about 5.5%, so what would happen if you didn't add booster, or LME, or DME?

 

Thank you

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6 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

Maybe this'll be too dumb of a question for this group. I mean, I think I know the answer.

 

Could you just boil some water, toss in a can of HME, and pitch the yeast when the keg is topped off? For example, the can of Bewitched HME is rated at about 5.5%, so what would happen if you didn't add booster, or LME, or DME?

 

Thank you

You would have beer. It would be a great way to taste what the hme has to offer. Thats a craft refill so it has more hme than the standards do. Nothing wrong with that

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Well, I was looking at the standard (shorter) cans and their ABV is about 3.5 or usually less than 4%. So then that's why if you get a craft refill  recipe kit there's always booster or more LME or maybe even hops. It would be beer anyway, just a lower alcohol, less-bodied beer. (?)

All of the taller cans have an ABV of 5% or more.

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I encourage this with the craft refills.  Long Play IPA and Bewitched Amber are very tasty as is.  If I'm going to be tinkering around a lot with an HME I like to brew it "straight up" first for a baseline.

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5 hours ago, Shrike said:

I encourage this with the craft refills.  Long Play IPA and Bewitched Amber are very tasty as is.  If I'm going to be tinkering around a lot with an HME I like to brew it "straight up" first for a baseline.

Yep. Even the non craft (standard) ones should be quite drinkable when prepared with no additions (other than the booster or LME that it comes with which will give you a beer of around 4.5% )  although I found most  to my taste needed a touch of hops extra. But that is just me and I am not one for really bitter hoppy beers. An addition of 0.5 oz of your favorite (or style matching)  hop at flameout or later makes all the difference. When you buy from Mr B you get the booster or LME anyway. If you buy from other sources on the Internet, it may be cheaper, but packaged with nothing other than the 3..5% can and sanitizer.

I found the Amber too malty for me - but making Rocket's Red Glare, the added Wheat LME and Cascade hops made it so I really like it.

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I see now what I couldn't then - the can has the grain and hops, the yeast is included, you add water, and the 4 equal beer. Sometimes I can miss the most obvious things. I just always thought you had to have the can and the yeast, and then some booster, or LME, or something else. Now I see.

(Wake up boy! Lest these fellows see that you are indeed a dumb ash!)

 

I will never ask another dumb question again! (Unless I need the answer to one)

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2 hours ago, StretchNM said:

 

I will never ask another dumb question again! (Unless I need the answer to one)

There's never a dumb question, unless the resident guru ( @RickBeer) declares it to be so.

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Has anyone tried just taking a short can and using it one gallon of water? Would that be too malty and strong?

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If you brew a regular can of Mr. Beer with the specified amount of water, you would end up with roughly 3.1 ABV.  If you put more water than specified in the LBK, you will end up with a lower ABV and impact the flavor profile.

 

If you brew with just LME or DME, and no hops (can of HME is LME and hops), you will end with no beer (by definition), and the result will spoil because hops are the preservative.

 

You can download QBrew, plus the update, from here - http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/2010/09/qbrew-homebrewers-recipe-calculator.html.  You can then put in the specific can (follow the directions including how a can of Mr. Beer gets entered in the HOPS section, and to do that first).  Once you have the can entered and specify a 2.13 gallon batch, change the batch size to 1 gallon and see what changes.  In short, it will be more hoppy, more malty, higher ABV, and not as intended or even close to as intended.

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11 hours ago, StretchNM said:

Has anyone tried just taking a short can and using it one gallon of water? Would that be too malty and strong?

If you brew the can in 1 gallon of water, you will get ~ 6-6.5%? beer. Will it be too hoppy? will it be too malty?

That will depend on your subjective taste.

Note that there are some Mr Beer recipes that use 2 HME short cans. So you could look to those as models.

So yes you can get an acceptable drink doing that - but acceptability depends on YOU.

e.g.

 https://www.mrbeer.com/munich-malt-monster-recipe

https://www.mrbeer.com/surly-dog-ipa-recipe

https://www.mrbeer.com/double-black-diamond-recipe-now-with-palisade-hops

You could make 1 gal of these by halving the other additions.

Look for recipes that are in the price range of $45-55 for ideas.

 

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Or you could use QBrew and see what your intended changes are going to yield.  It's a great way for brewers to play "what if" scenarios for planned brewing.  Otherwise, you're guessing.  

 

Also, keep in mind, you will have doubled the cost to make the beer.

 

American Porter - 2.13 gallons, per QBrew, yields 3.1% ABV with IBU of 41 and SRM of 21.  Change to 1 gallon yields 6.5% ABV, IBU of 63, and SRM of 36.  

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I thought I had already downloaded Qbrew and used it for a small all-grain batch, but can't find it now on my computer.

 

OK. Found it.

 

Gracias (That's "thanks" in Farsi [a southeastern Zimbabwe language])

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Make sure you add the other file of data.  That has all the Mr. Beer refills, under Mr. Beer / Coopers.  

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I guess I haven't used it before. I installed it and opened it. Everything is blank. I can't import anything. I do have another folder called qbrew database, but I can't access it from the program.

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Screwy provides instructions.  There is nothing to import.  You copy the updated database, then proceed to add an HME or build a recipe.

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