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Old 02-15-2008, 03:38 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by 85 Haro Designs
OK, I have a specific question about Mr. Beer's instructions.

To be honest I've moved on since Mr. Beer but I still have at least 6 cans of Malt Extract that I want to use. I found a recipe that utilizes 2 cans of Malt Extract (that I happen to have).

Here's the ingredient list: (directly from Mr. Beer's Website)..

Hill Town Honey Wheat
This crisp golden beer is just like the one you remember from back home. A nice smooth yet dry profile makes this beer go down easy. With a slight fruity undertone and delicate floral aroma, this beer will have you thinking of the old days with a smile on your face.

RECIPE INCLUDES:
1 Can West Coast Pale Ale
1 Can Whispering Wheat Weizenbier
2 Packets Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of beer mix)
1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
1 Muslin Hop Sack
1 Packet One-Step™ Sanitizing Cleanser

YOU PR0VIDE:
1/2 Cup Honey

So my question is this........if I follow the Mr. Beer instructions they never have you boil the wort at all? Is this right - because Papazian says in his book that you should ALWAYS boil the wort for a minimum of 45 minutes.

I've done 4 batches from Mr. Beer's instructions (all using just one can of extract each) with booster in all, and then talbe sugar in the bottle for carbing. Well, the first batch was "good" and the rest either tasted like vinegar, chlorine, or champagne. I was impeccible with my sanitation of all the equipment on all 4 attempts. I used bottled water in every attempt as well.

Using the ingredients above - how would YOU brew this 2.5 gallon batch? I would LOVE to be successful this time.
Well, mr beers are no boil kits, and if you do boil then you run thr risk of major "Extract Twang" and carmelization of the LME which would make the beer darker than it should be...Saying that you could take it up to pasturization temp 165 degrees instead.

I think I'd go with 1.5 gallons water and bring it up to boiling. At that temp I'd add the wcpa can in first (taking it off the heat when you add it so you don't scortch it.) Then put it back on the burner...when It hits boils again, I would add in 1/2 pack of the tettnangers (don't bother with the hopsack, just strain it after since you only have one sack). Boil for 15 minutes. (I wouldn't normally boil, just keep it at 165, but you need it for your hops bittering)

After the 15 minutes are up reduce the temp on the stove and let the temp decrease to 165 degrees. (You might even lift the pot off the burner for a bit)

When it hits 165, Set a clock for 45 minutes.

At 20 minutes, remove from heat and add the whitbeer can. Then back on the stove.

At 15 stir in the honey.

At 5 minutes or at flameout add the rest of the hops pellets.

Cool in water bath to 180 and add to 1 gallon of water in Mr. Beer...

OR, even better if you have a pot that can handle a 2.5 gallon boil then add 2.5 gallons, plus another pint or so for evaporation loss... (This is what I would do- a full boil Mr. Beer would taste better than a dilute with water mr beer.)


Don't use any booster or table sugar...just the honey.

Obviously you'd aerate then pitch your rehydrated yeast.

Best o luck!!!
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Last edited by Revvy; 02-15-2008 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:37 PM   #282
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Hi there! Been lurking for a while and finally decided to sign up.

For years I've been entertaining the idea of getting into homebrewing. I've done quite a bit of reading on the subject, but for whatever reason I just never made the leap. This Christmas my wife bought me a Mr. Beer kit with a number of extra brew packs. She had to know what she was getting into. I've been consumed with all things brewing ever since. My first batch was the Classic American Light. Fermented for two weeks, then bottled and stored at fermenting temps for two weeks, then in the basement (50 degrees) for another week. I have to say it came out great for my first time. My latest batch in progress is the Czech Pilsner. The first batch was still pretty cloudy when I bottled it, and this batch was looking the same. I wonder if this is because Mr. Beer recipes are no boil. Anyway, I've transfered the pilsner to a secondary and it's now nice and clear and will be bottled this weekend. My understanding is that it's not really true to style, so I got what's supposed to be a Pilsner Urquell clone recipe and scaled it to Mr. Beer size and hope to give it a try soon. With my basement being a relatively steady 50 degrees right now, I'm going to do a lager for my next batch. Since pilsners are my favorite, I'm definitely going to have to get into brewing lagers.

I didn't really intend to go the Mr. Beer route. Not that I saw anything wrong with it - it's finally gotten me started and I've been having a blast - but I knew I'd probably outgrow it pretty quickly. I'm already looking forward to bigger batches. Being the tinker I am, I can see me eventually going all grain. I've also got a spot in the back yard I'm thinking about growing some hops in. Then I'm in my basement, and I start envisioning a row of conicals along the wall. Ack! I think I may need help!

Chris

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Old 02-15-2008, 04:54 PM   #283
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Wow thanks for the help.

I can do a 2.5 gallon boil so I'll go with that option.

When Papazian says that even when the kits say NOT TO BOIL, you still should.

I obviously had infected beers the last 3 times, I attribute it to not boiling the wort and possibly poor sanitization of the caps. Also I put table sugar in the bottles which made them all over-carbonated. (Which brings a new meaning to the old addage......champaign taste, on a beer budget)

And you think I should re-hydrate the yeast as well? How important is this step in overall performance of the yeast.

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Old 02-15-2008, 04:56 PM   #284
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Chris, I feel your pain, my friend.

I had that same vision of conicals. Then I told myself....

"first you take a the pebble from my hand, young grasshopper"


LOL

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Old 02-15-2008, 05:02 PM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85 Haro Designs
Wow thanks for the help.

I can do a 2.5 gallon boil so I'll go with that option.

When Papazian says that even when the kits say NOT TO BOIL, you still should.

I obviously had infected beers the last 3 times, I attribute it to not boiling the wort and possibly poor sanitization of the caps. Also I put table sugar in the bottles which made them all over-carbonated. (Which brings a new meaning to the old addage......champaign taste, on a beer budget)

And you think I should re-hydrate the yeast as well? How important is this step in overall performance of the yeast.
Well do what you believe is right...but Pappy also wrote the bible awhile ago...and if you listen to any podcasts, or read stuff around here there are debates against boiling lme for to long (extract twang)... best advice on working with the stuff is to do LATE EXTRACT ADDITIONS, really just to sterilize the stuff. But with hops you need some extract for utilization...that's why I suggested boiling the first can for 15 minutes with the hops, then taking it down to pasturization temps for the rest of the hour...

If you insist on boilng, then for god sakes add your honey at the final 10 or at flameout or else you'll boil away a lot of the honey's goodness (the flavors and smells)... Look at the mead threads for info on working with honey.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:17 PM   #286
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Nice, I appreciate all your attention paid to my request.

I'll take good notes and try what you suggested and I'll let you know how it comes out. I have my hopes up since I've been so unsuccesful with Mr. Beer to this point.

Here goes nothing.....

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Old 02-15-2008, 06:25 PM   #287
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Just don't use any of the "booster" packs if you still have them...they really result in cidery tasting beers... Save the boosters for when you make Cider or Mead...I used half a pack of it in my last mead batch because I was maybe a pound or 2 shy of the amount of honey I should have been using for my yeast...so I figured it would give it more sugar to eat...but still hoping that it would give it some body.

Post your notes/results here for the other people who come on this thread.

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Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew


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Old 02-15-2008, 08:13 PM   #288
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Understood !

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Old 02-16-2008, 07:52 PM   #289
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Default Fermenting Time?

I've been reading through these forums for a few days now as well as searching the web for answers and I came upon a little bit of contradictory information that I'm not sure how to resolve regarding Fermenting Times.

I've read that you should ignore the time tables Mr. Beer suggests and double them to create a better beer. Some of Mr. B's recipes say to ferment for a minimum of 7 days while others say a minimum of 14 days and to double that would be almost one month.

What puzzles me is that I've also read that you should never leave beer in the fermenter for longer than 10 days total because that will cause the beer to pickup a flavor called "Yeast Bite' from the decaying yeast cells at the bottom of the fermenter.

Can anyone shed some light on the accuracy of that statement? It appears that times varies depending on the style and recipe of the beer so is there truly an optimum Fermenting Period ?

Thanks :-)

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Old 02-16-2008, 08:24 PM   #290
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Quote:
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What puzzles me is that I've also read that you should never leave beer in the fermenter for longer than 10 days total because that will cause the beer to pickup a flavor called "Yeast Bite' from the decaying yeast cells at the bottom of the fermenter.

Thanks :-)

I think this is widely regarded as mythical. Almost everyone has numerous examples of beer being great after multiple weeks in the fermentor. I think over a month in a primary can be too much, perhaps. But even that is being on the safe side.

For the heavier mr. beer batches, 14 days should be fine. But don't hesitate to leave it for 3 weeks. In these cases, the only caution I suggest is this:

Don't move or take samples from your kegermentor until you are 99% sure it's fermented out (no krausen on top, or very little). This is because every time you take a sample, ambient air is taken in through the lid. Mr. Beer is not airlocked.

Also, if you leave it for a long time, the only thing keeping o2 off the beer is the layer of co2 from fermentation. That will be fine, unless you move the fermentor around and the sloshing pushes the co2 out and introduces o2.

My method is to let it ferment out for about 2-2.5 weeks, without moving it or taking any samples. Then I take a little sample right before I think I'm going to bottle. Usually the gravity is right and I bottle.

This is basically to get around the fact that mr. beer doesn't have an airlock on it. When you use a bucket or carboy or something with an airlock attached, you don't have to worry much about o2 getting in.

Good luck and have no fear!

monk

Edit: don't mean to say you CAN'T get yeast bite from autolysis; I just think most people agree that it takes way longer than 10 days.
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