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Old 03-30-2012, 07:30 PM   #3751
defalcos
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Originally Posted by Raenon View Post
Defalcos, I don't think I've seen you do anything but bag on the Mr. Beer and link to your shop.
Is that the only reason you're replying, to hawk your wares?
I don't want to "bag on the Mr. Beer." I am simply pointing out that ANY homebrew shop can give you more options and access to a greater variety of ingredients than just using those tiny cans. OTOH if you like the results that you're getting now, I suppose you don't have any incentive to experiment. Some folks like to play around with ingredients, others just want to follow recipes. It takes all kinds. . . As long as the beer is good. . .

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DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:44 PM   #3752
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Originally Posted by gtlaw10 View Post
that or perpetuate ancient myths that force customers into buying unnecessary equipment. but yes generally he only throws his weight around in this thread beating the same point to death and bashing MrB while linking to his shop...
Gosh, gtlaw. I guess that you haven't heard. . . we've severely reduced our use of firearms & pointy weapons to force our customers into buying unnecessary equipment. These days we're pretty much just reduced to begging & pleading. Not as effective, but at least the police don't show up as often. Gotta' go now. I have some weight that needs throwing around.

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Old 03-31-2012, 07:57 AM   #3753
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I still don't see you contributing anything worthwhile to this thread, just the same old diatribe about how there are better ingredients, and a link in every single post with your shop. It's seedy.

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Old 03-31-2012, 01:31 PM   #3754
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Let's not make this personal, y'all.

TL;DR - Don't fight. Not good for newbies.

For what it's worth, when I bought my first MrB kit back in 1996, it had a WCPA extract can in it. Those were the bad-old-days before the Internet was easily accessible, and it tasted awful. Even when I went to the homebrew store, the guys blamed using cane sugar (which was in the instructions) rather than fermentation temps and sanitation!

Now I know much better. Doing mammalian cell culture for a living, I know how to do sanitized (not sterile! very different) procedure. Biochemistry classes taught me about entropy in enzyme catalytic pockets leading to reaction side products, with more-perfect efficiency occurring at lower temps due to reduced Brownian motion interfering with the hydrogen bonding of aliphatic amino acid residues. (Of course Brownian motion works in your favor when mashing... but that's for a different discussion board.) From a yeast laboratory I learned about fermentation side products, and how they can be recycled into other necessary components using the little fungus' impressive array of metabolic scavenging (in many ways, more impressive than ours.) I learned about charge balance and solubility of, once again, aliphatics, and I learned about how the same protein cut into just two pieces can create very different products... cheese curds from milk, for example. I learned a *great* deal of science since then and up until now, but in the end all I really needed to know was...

... keep it clean. Keep it cool. Be patient. BEER!

I wish I had kept brewing back in those days. If my first beer had been good - even anywhere as close to as good as I can brew now - then I would have kept it up. But the LHBS guys told me I had to buy corn sugar instead of cane sugar, and that turned me off. A bit of encouragement, a bit of advice on how to use the stuff I already had, and they might have had a customer for years - if not for life. Instead, they just suggested that I buy more stuff (their stuff!) and even after I did I never used it.

Knowledge gained is not the same as knowledge applied. Experience teaches everything, but guidance can shorten and ease the journey. Those gentlemen, in a previous century, failed me when I asked for help. These boards are meant to never fail anyone who asks for help, and if someone can contribute to the collected knowledge, then they are welcome here.

Let's keep our little spats and self-serving diatribes to a minimum. Contribute, and if slighted, do try to be the bigger man. I know I've had my moments when I got a bit testy, but usually I think better of it and try to keep it off the boards. I'm not asking anyone to be perfect, but please don't fill a page or two with arguing.

I appreciate everyone here. Let's help make this a welcoming place for new brewers.

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Old 03-31-2012, 03:11 PM   #3755
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OK, my eyes are about to fall out, can someone please help! I am trying to verify how much sugar to use to batch prime my first batch of beer. I'll be using the 8 PET bottles that came with the kit, and I have one of the slimline containers to condition in. I think it is 2.5 teaspoons per bottle, add that to a cup of boiling water, then allow it to cool before adding the beer. Do I have this right?

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Old 03-31-2012, 03:38 PM   #3756
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Originally Posted by SGNellett View Post
OK, my eyes are about to fall out, can someone please help! I am trying to verify how much sugar to use to batch prime my first batch of beer. I'll be using the 8 PET bottles that came with the kit, and I have one of the slimline containers to condition in. I think it is 2.5 teaspoons per bottle, add that to a cup of boiling water, then allow it to cool before adding the beer. Do I have this right?
SGNellett,
If you're doing the first batch with the WCPA & booster, that figure is pretty good for one liter bottles. If you start making fuller-bodied beers in the future (i.e. replacing booster with more HME or UME), you'll probably want to cut that back a bit (~2 tsp per liter bottle). The fuller the body, the more slowly-fermentable sugars there are in the beer, hence the beer tends to carbonate more over longer storage. Of course, if you drink the beer quickly, this may not be a problem:-). Good luck!

Scott Birdwell
DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
Houston TX
www.defalcos.com
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:43 PM   #3757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGNellett View Post
OK, my eyes are about to fall out, can someone please help! I am trying to verify how much sugar to use to batch prime my first batch of beer. I'll be using the 8 PET bottles that came with the kit, and I have one of the slimline containers to condition in. I think it is 2.5 teaspoons per bottle, add that to a cup of boiling water, then allow it to cool before adding the beer. Do I have this right?
It depends on 3 factors:
1) What was your highest temp during fermention? Let's say it was 68.
2) What level of carb are you shooting for (high, low, med)? Let's say medium at 2.5 volumes of CO2.
3) How high did you fill your LBK? Let's say to the 8.5 mark as instructed - that's 2.25 gallons.

Use a calculator like this one and enter those parameters and you get 1.9oz of table sugar.

That equates to about 12.8 tsp (not tablespoons).

There's another calculator here if you find it easier. This one does give you the option to give you measurements instead of weights.

Edit to add: I use 1/2 cup of water for a MrB batch. Bring the water to a boil, take off heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Put back on heat just until it boils and then remove and cool.

Good luck.

2.5 teaspoons X 8 bottles = 20 tsps and that is going to give you bottle bombs and/or severly over-carbed beers.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:54 PM   #3758
defalcos
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Originally Posted by Justibone View Post
Let's not make this personal, y'all.

TL;DR - Don't fight. Not good for newbies.

For what it's worth, when I bought my first MrB kit back in 1996, it had a WCPA extract can in it. Those were the bad-old-days before the Internet was easily accessible, and it tasted awful. Even when I went to the homebrew store, the guys blamed using cane sugar (which was in the instructions) rather than fermentation temps and sanitation!

. . . I wish I had kept brewing back in those days. If my first beer had been good - even anywhere as close to as good as I can brew now - then I would have kept it up. But the LHBS guys told me I had to buy corn sugar instead of cane sugar, and that turned me off. A bit of encouragement, a bit of advice on how to use the stuff I already had, and they might have had a customer for years - if not for life. Instead, they just suggested that I buy more stuff (their stuff!) and even after I did I never used it.

I appreciate everyone here. Let's help make this a welcoming place for new brewers.
Justibone,
Your experience with the LHBS is unfortunate, without doubt. Over the years in both my shop and through the trade association, I've tried to encourage folks to patronize their local folks first. But, then you get this kind of incident, and you have to cringe. FWIW, I don't doubt that the fermented cane sugar had a significant role in the nasty flavor of that first batch, but I've never found corn sugar to taste that much better. Maybe marginally better. . . maybe. Booster (either powder or syrup) is better than sugar in the fermenter IMHO. It's noticeably more neutral. Obviously, replacing the sugar/booster with more malt extract produces a cleaner tasting, "better" beer if you like fuller flavor. I think you're right about the fermentation temperature. Temps above 70 - 75° tend to really exaggerate that twang. I've even tasted some all-malt beers that had some of that flavor. because they were fermented way too warm. Unfortunately, it's tough for some folks to keep the temps down, especially if you live in the sub-tropics like some of us do. (Easier to do with small batches, though!).

Peace,
Scott Birdwell
DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
Houston TX
www.defalcos.com
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:05 AM   #3759
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Me and my buddys first brew ever is fermenting and We're stoked to wait a month to drink it....... Fail haha

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Old 04-03-2012, 05:56 PM   #3760
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Wow so much information on this board.
I have been working with the Mr Beer for a few months now. I got it from a cheap website and then my wife bought me some MrBeer kits for my birthday. I must say I have fun with this!
The refill kit came with 3 different "packs" all of which I made following the directions that came with the MrBeer. I have noticed a.. I am not sure how to put this.. a "sweet" taste with all three kinds (Canadian,Weizebier, and West Coast Pale). I attribute this to using the boosters more then the cane sugar in the bottle to carb.

None the less I am starting to branch away from the standard kits and following some recipes from the MrBeer website (as I have another 3 "packs"). I am working on the Firecracker Red ale, which I hopes as a much different flavor then the others.

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