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Old 08-27-2008, 01:29 AM   #721
Revvy
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Originally Posted by USFbulls View Post
Ok so i've been reading up and down these forums like a madman, and i've arrived at what i feel is my final question before i take "the plunge":

I'm leaning towards a Mr. Beer for starters because i think it's an easy way to check out the hobby and see if i like it. The reason i'm leaning towards it is because i think with smaller batches (2.5 gal if i'm not mistaken?) I feel like i'll be able to drink it all and re-brew twice as often as a 5 gallon setup. I'd like the opportunity to try a bunch of different things.

You guys all talk about stepping up to "big boy" setups, and i'm just wondering:

Is there a quality increase when you raise your quantity to 5 gallon batches? or do you all just like having more of what you brew? Can't I just half the recipies i'd like to try, stop using Mr. Beer pre-packaged recipies, and brew my own 2.5 gallon batches once i'm ready?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Have you read through this thread...if you have, or at least skimmed the last 30 pages, I've answered your question...and given examples...

I will say this a great beer at 2.5 gallons, is still a great beer, at 5 gallons...only there's more of it...

The rest you will have to read here to find out....



And don't whine that this thread is TOO LONG...someone on this page iirc said they just read the entire thread...So you can too!


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Old 08-27-2008, 01:35 AM   #722
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yeah i'm planning on reading through it. I saw the previous guy's post and thought it sounded like a good idea.

I tried to take a shortcut and use the search function, but i'll take your advice and read it cover to cover.


I'm about 1/4 of the way through Palmer's online book, so this thread will be next...I really just needed quick clarification on that one point so I can order my Mr. Beer tonight!

Thanks again mate, I appreciate it.



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Old 08-27-2008, 01:45 AM   #723
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Revvy just to clarify: using your Blonde Ale All Grain recipe your boil size is 2.86 gal, and your mash is 5.48 qt of water at 161.4 F to bring the mash to 150.0 F for a 75 min rest. When lautering/sparging, after the first runnings have been collected say you collect 5 quarts from the mash, you would then sparge with another approx 6.44 quarts to get the 2.86 boil size?
Yes...Beersmith gave me the numbers to use. Another way a lot of people do is to sparge to the intended volume...My brew spoon is notched at every gallon, so if after I have taken my first running in the pot, I keep running off my sparge until I acheive approximately amount in my kettle...then I take a pre-boil gravity reading (the number provided by beersmith) to double check...it's obviously easier with even volumes on my spoon....but you can fudge it...

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Last thing (for now) re: the 2 gallon mlt- on your brown porter recipe I notice the lauter was slightly over 2 gallons; how did your cooler handle this amount? Is there a little "wiggle room" I take it between listed capacity on these coolers and actual capacity? Thanks for your insight.
I can't recall, but I may have, becasue of that, used my 5 gallon cooler on that batch. To have more room....BUT, as long as you can get your mash volume in the cooler...You can keep adding sparge water to it, and using your notched spoon, like I said, keep running off more sparge until you hit your volume....
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:33 AM   #724
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Hi,

I just wanted to chime in. I recently got a used Mr. Beer kit for free and decided to brew up a mix. The problem is my can of nut brown ale hopped extract and yeast were 4 1/2 years old! I decided to go for it anyway cuz what have I got to lose? It has been fermenting for about 8 or 9 days and seems to be working. there is now just a few foam patches floating around, with sedement on bottom and has cleared up a lot. The booklet said old malt may taste more molasses and may take longer. Is there any hope for this batch? should I take the time to bottle it, or dump and try a new batch.

I'm not expecting greatness, but if I can make a drinkable batch and feel a bit of a buzz, that's cool. I'll try later with fresh ingredients because I don't have room for a larger kit.

any thoughts,

Thanks,

Guitar_d

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Old 08-29-2008, 06:43 AM   #725
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my first batch was a stout that i had laying around for 7yrs before i tried it again(first batch was a colossal fail!), what happens with old extract (dry or liquid)is called a malliard reaction that basically causes the product to darken over time and lose some stability. dry is affected less than liquid. since your making a brown i suspect that you might be okay enough to at least get ready to bottle, take a sample out after 10 days and see if you would drink a whole bottle of it in the meantime try reading mr palmer

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Old 09-04-2008, 01:39 AM   #726
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Mr Beer is where I got my feet wet. Without it, I'm not sure I'd be posting here at all. A lot of people like to rip on Mr Beer. Yeah its simplified down to where an 11 year old could do it, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I find it is not nearly as enjoyable to brew with Mr Beer as it is to boil up a 5 gallon batch the "real way", but no big deal. Good beer is good beer, and I have made some damn good beer with Mr beer. (There's a lot of "beer" in that sentence) Some of their all malt recipes (skip that "Booster" crap) are really tasty. Have made two impressive Octoberfest recipes and some sort of "custom" raspberry-honey beer that the woman went nuts over. Even though I have the real kit now and looking into doing some all-grain brewing, I have no plans to trash my Mr Beer kegs. They still come in handy here and there to brew up some of my fave recipes in smaller quantities. Mr Beer is a good thing.

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Old 09-04-2008, 01:50 AM   #727
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Mr Beer is where I got my feet wet. Without it, I'm not sure I'd be posting here at all. A lot of people like to rip on Mr Beer. Yeah its simplified down to where an 11 year old could do it, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I find it is not nearly as enjoyable to brew with Mr Beer as it is to boil up a 5 gallon batch the "real way", but no big deal. Good beer is good beer, and I have made some damn good beer with Mr beer. (There's a lot of "beer" in that sentence) Some of their all malt recipes (skip that "Booster" crap) are really tasty. Have made two impressive Octoberfest recipes and some sort of "custom" raspberry-honey beer that the woman went nuts over. Even though I have the real kit now and looking into doing some all-grain brewing, I have no plans to trash my Mr Beer kegs. They still come in handy here and there to brew up some of my fave recipes in smaller quantities. Mr Beer is a good thing.
thanks
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:21 PM   #728
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I started with mr beer and plan to keep the keg around for a bottling bucket for years to come. It is a simple way to get into the hobby I would say.

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Old 09-07-2008, 03:20 AM   #729
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I picked up a mr beer 2.5 gallon fermenter and a pilot brewery kit (1.5 gallon cosed fermenter, has airlock) at a local thrift store for $10. I then picked up refill kit from bevmo.

In the 2.5 gallon fermenter I started a canadian high country draft, using the booster, following the directions. .

In the pilot brewery kit was an old can of west coast pale ale with some signs of bulging. I brought the booster to a boil, then added the pale ale, and brought it to a boiled for 5 minutes. This was purely an experiment.

It's been a week since brew day. The 2.5 gallon fermenter has a little krausen on the top still, but looks to be in good shape. Going to let it sit another 7 days, and then bottle, carbonate and condition. No worries about this one.

The experiment 1.5 gallon fermenter is still fermenting with one bubble every 2 minutes or so. There is a light layer of krausen on the top. It had about 1 inch 2 days after brew day. Its very murky brown. Light makes it in about 3 inches. Do I dump it, or see where this journey goes?

It's in a closed fermenter, so I'm not worried about it oxidizing if I leave it on primary a couple weeks.

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Old 09-10-2008, 09:45 PM   #730
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I used a Mr. Beer kit a few years ago. I think it gave me a good basic handle on sanitation and the process. I know it gave me a good handle on patience. I once made a Russian Imperial Stout and let it sit for a year before drinking it. Damn fine beer if I don't say so myself.



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