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Old 12-17-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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Default Converting 5 Gallon to Mr. Beer Keg?

So I currently have some Mr. Beer kegs that I would like to continue to brew in for practice before I jump into buying more equipment and for the fact that I already have them. I have read around here that instead of jumping into All Grain I might be better off looking into Extract Recipes. Two questions regarding this:

1. Where do I find these extract recipes from and what are they exactly? Do recipes online specify a certain extract or do I find it as part of a kit online?

2. I went to my LHBS the other day and saw some Extract Kits (labeled as such) in there, but they were for 5-gallon recipes. Is it as easy as multiplying everything in the recipe by 0.4 or should I use those specifically for 5-gallon recipes only?

Thanks in advance for all your help!

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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Food grade buckets are pretty cheap.

Rick

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:11 PM   #3
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Yes, extract recipes can be found online. They will note the color of the extract to be used. Multiplying a five gallon kit by 0.4 is as good a way to start as any. You can always adjust from there if the final beer turns out different than expected.

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Old 12-17-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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You can find extract recipes online as well as in books, magazines, etc. To answer your question of "what are they exactly", they're just the next incremental step up from Mr. Beer. Instead of taking hopped extract from a can and combining it with sugar (Mr. Beer), you'll use unhopped extract and maybe even some steeping grains, then boil your own hops in it. It's just a way of taking a little more control over your recipe and making something more homemade.

I agree with Shooter. Multiply all amounts by 0.4 to start, then change it up if the beer comes out different from expected.

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Old 12-17-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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So I was looking online and I found this and it sounds delicious: http://morebeer.com/view_product/18333/102178/American_Amber_Ale_-_Extract_Beer_Kit

If I were to do that Extract kit I would still boil for the same times listed with 0.4x the amount of ingerdients? I guess at $30 it can't hurt to try and it looks really delicious. I guess I will also be able to modify the hops on the second batch to something I might find more aromatic or taste a bit different.

Thanks again for all your help everyone - it is very, very much appreciated.

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Old 12-17-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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Yep. Keep the boil time and grain steep time (if using them) the same, just decrease all the quantities of ingredients.

The one thing I wouldn't automatically multiply by 0.4 is the amount of yeast. If you get liquid yeast, you should just pitch the entire vial/smack pack in your 2 gallons of wort because the amount of yeast you get isn't really enough for 5 gallons anyway. If you get dry yeast, you could weigh out half of the yeast packet, but extract kit dry yeast packets aren't always the freshest ... and it's so cheap I'd pitch the whole thing, personally.

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnbou View Post
Yep. Keep the boil time and grain steep time (if using them) the same, just decrease all the quantities of ingredients.

The one thing I wouldn't automatically multiply by 0.4 is the amount of yeast. If you get liquid yeast, you should just pitch the entire vial/smack pack in your 2 gallons of wort because the amount of yeast you get isn't really enough for 5 gallons anyway. If you get dry yeast, you could weigh out half of the yeast packet, but extract kit dry yeast packets aren't always the freshest ... and it's so cheap I'd pitch the whole thing, personally.
So pitching the whole thing of dry yeast wouldn't be a bad idea?

Also do I just scale down the water by 0.4 as well?

I really like this idea as I pretty much get a test batch first then I can make modifications as I see fit with different hops, etc which I think is really cool.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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My understanding is that those Mr Beer fermentors can handle 2.5 gallons. If so you could just split the kit between 2 fermentors.

Even if they can only handle 2.25 you could make it slightly stronger.

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Old 12-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
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My understanding is that those Mr Beer fermentors can handle 2.5 gallons. If so you could just split the kit between 2 fermentors.

Even if they can only handle 2.25 you could make it slightly stronger.
Oh wow didn't think of that - that might be a LOT easier.

Just split the recipe and water in half and I should be okay?
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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Indeed.
But you'll need to confirm that it can handle 2.5 gallons of the gravity you'll be making. You don't want it spewing out of the top or bursting!

If you don't have a brew calculator there's one online that is free, which I use for now. Check out hopville.com and go to brew calculus. Make sure you enter the top off water so it adjusts the IBU's properly.

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...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
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