I'm new at this and I have a few questions

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danculwell

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So I bought a Mr. Beer half off after Christmas and am currently fermenting the East Coast Pale Ale mix that came with it. I bought some ingredients and am going to try my hand at creating something more a la Dan.

I got:
A lb of Sparkling Amber DME
a couple packets of S-33
an oz of Cascade pellet hops
an oz of Saaz pellet hops

I'm planning on making two Mr. Beer (2 gal) size batches with this doing a 60 min boil with the Cascade and adding the Saaz for the last 15 minutes.

What do you more seasoned brewers think of this recipe as a beginning beer? What should I expect from the results. I'm not really sure how it will turn out since I've never brewed before. Any suggestions for changing the recipe?

Also I didn't look at the expiration date on the yeast till I got home. One packed expires this month. Any reason I shouldn't use it?

I'm sure I'll have more questions but thats a good start.

Thanks in advance.
 

FxdGrMind

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Sorry, never used a Mr, Beer. I don't even know how that process works.

but the proper DME amount for a 1gal batch (+ boil off liquid)
Some Hops

some yeast, I think you would be way overpitching if you used a packet for a 5 gal batch... but don't know if that would be a bad thing...

if you have an appropriate fermentation chamber with air lock....

I say go for it. Try and learn something every time you brew.
 
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I would check on the amount of DME extract you need. Just 1 lb seems very low for what your are planning (if you wanting to do a total of 5 gallon between your 2 Mr Beer kegs). I think you might be needing much more DME or LME for this size of batch. If you are only doing a one gallon batch then the amount of hops is way too big for most beer recipes. Most Mr Beer recipes (or general 2-2.5 gallon recipes use one third to one half of 1 oz of hops). Thus, many recipes will suggest using about 4-5 lbs of DME or 6-7 lbs of LME for 5 gallon batches. There are some nice recipes you can view in John J Palmer's book, How to Brew. The first edition is posted online for free. Just google his name.

As far as the yeast try to rehydrate thes yeast prior to pitching. Boil 1/2 cup of water and let it cool to about 95 F - 100 F. Addd the yeast and cover for at least 15 minutes prior to pitching.

You may also want to read about the two uses of hops for bittering flavor versus aroma. Bittering hops are boiled much longer (60 miuntes is common). The aroma hops are added the last 5-10 minutes of some boils. Google hop types to see the uses of the types your purchased.

Keep in mind this is just advice and you get to be in charge of your brews. But given the costs of the DME and LME and the fact that it can take 4-8 weeks before your beer is ready to drink you might want to read a few more recipe ideas before brewing so you can choose a style you like.

Just FYI
 
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danculwell

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I would check on the amount of DME extract you need. Just 1 lb seems very low for what your are planning (if you wanting to do a total of 5 gallon between your 2 Mr Beer kegs). I think you might be needing much more DME or LME for this size of batch. If you are only doing a one gallon batch then the amount of hops is way too big for most beer recipes. Most Mr Beer recipes (or general 2-2.5 gallon recipes use one third to one half of 1 oz of hops). Thus, many recipes will suggest using about 4-5 lbs of DME or 6-7 lbs of LME for 5 gallon batches. There are some nice recipes you can view in John J Palmer's book, How to Brew. The first edition is posted online for free. Just google his name.

As far as the yeast try to rehydrate thes yeast prior to pitching. Boil 1/2 cup of water and let it cool to about 95 F - 100 F. Addd the yeast and cover for at least 15 minutes prior to pitching.

You may also want to read about the two uses of hops for bittering flavor versus aroma. Bittering hops are boiled much longer (60 miuntes is common). The aroma hops are added the last 5-10 minutes of some boils. Google hop types to see the uses of the types your purchased.

Keep in mind this is just advice and you get to be in charge of your brews. But given the costs of the DME and LME and the fact that it can take 4-8 weeks before your beer is ready to drink you might want to read a few more recipe ideas before brewing so you can choose a style you like.

Just FYI
Thanks, I was thinking that those ingredients would make a total of 5 gal in two batches, one now and one when the fermenter is empty again. I'll defiantly do some more research and make sure I use enough DME. I'm planning on using the Cascade as bittering and Saaz as flavoring. Thanks for the advice to get my yeast going ahead of time. That's one thing I was wondering as well.
 
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Dan,

I looked at a few recipes last night and many will use 4-6 lbs of DME or 6-7 lbs of LME. You can use both DME and LME in the same recipe. Cascade hops can be used for bittering or aroma. I think you are going to want to buy more extract before brewing. Many brewers recommend that you store the hops in your refrigerator especially after opening the container and having some left over.

Cascade-Domestic-Finishing
Cascade was developed in the USDA breeding program in Oregon and released as a U.S. aroma variety in 1972. Derived from a cross between fuggles and the Russian hop Serebrianker. It is characterized by a dark green elongated cone which contains low amounts of alpha acids. The aroma is of medium strength and very distinct. A pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like. Good for flavor and aroma, but an acceptable bittering hop. Can be used for most any Ales and Lagers. It’s Alpha Acid can be as low as 4% or as high as 7.5%. Most likely the most popular hop in North America


Saaz is a very traditional aroma hop that has been grown in the Czech Republic for centuries. It is classified as one of the four true Noble varieties. Alpha acids are low (around 3 to 4.5% AAU) and its primary use is for its distinct mild spice aroma and mild flavor. The saaz aroma can be described best as spicy, clean, classic and noble (a term that you just have to taste to understand, really.)
Saaz hops are the defining element for the classic Pilsner Urquell and Budìjovice Budweiser beers, and are a welcome addition to any light lager, pale ale, and even the wit style.



You might want to get another type of hops that is used more for bittering. Then you could make one batch with Saaz as aroma/flavor and another batch with Cascade for aroma/flavor.

Just FYI
 

LordHedgie

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I'm not too familiar with Mr. Beer, but the magic question for aeration is do you add water after you're done boiling? If you add cold water to chill the wort before pitching yeast, I find aeration completely unnecessary since the new water will have dissolved O2. If you do a full-boil (all the wort is boiled), then boiling will drive off the O2. You can get away with not aerating, but it slows down the start of fermentation... For such a small batch, shaking it up could work. Sometimes I'd spin a sanitized slotted spoon between my hands to froth up a nice layer of bubbles, and that does the trick for 5 gallons or less just fine.
 
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