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Revvy

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Thwizzit said:
I saw where you had replied to another question from someone with an older model MRB by saying Since you have an older model, you could consider actually getting a hydrometer to test fermentation so I figured using a hydrometer would help figure out when it was done fermenting. Should I not use it and just wait 14 days?




Can't I just fill the test jar with a little beer from the spigot? Why would I need to open the top?



I wasn't planning on taking repeated samples.I figured if I took one after 14 days of fermenting that would let me know if it was ready and I figured it had to be better than just guessing.
If the trub (the gunk at the bottom of the fermenter) is higher than the spigot (which it usually is if you have fruit in your fermenter). It's really hard to pull a clean sample...but if you're brewing a pretty straight forward beer, then if you can fill your testube with a clean sample from your spigot go for it...

With larger volume fermentors you usually take 4 hydrometer readings...When you put the wort in the fermenter...and usually after a week, you take 3 consequetive reading on 3 conseq. days...if they haven't changed fermentation is complete and you can rack to secondary pr bottle...The larger volume of beer produces more c02 which protects the beer from oxydation (which results in a wet cardboard taste in beer) And the airlock helps release both any air oxygen pushed out by the co2 after you open it, and enough co2 is vented out to hopefully keep from blowing the lid off the fermenter...

The problem to me with the new mr beers, is that the newer lids don't effectively work as well, and with opening the lid repeatedly if you were to take multiple readings, you really don't know if it is effectively venting out the O2 and excess CO2....

The problem is, if you didn't get to take an original gravity reading in the mr beer....you'd still have to take 3 readings (or 2 readings in 3 days skipping the middle reading) to see if there's any change...

14 days will pretty much gaurentee that fermentation is complete...

a lot of people making larger batches don't even bother with hydro reading, and let the beer set longer to make sure...

The hydrometer does let us know asap when fermentation is complete.

I do different things depending on the situation. For example I have a 5 gal. batch of amber ale in my fermenter. On Sunday it will be 2 weeks since I brewed it...I haven't touched it all since I took my OG and pitched the yeast. Normally I would check it after a week...But I am planning on sunday to brew a brown ale recipe right on top of the yeast cake, after I rack the amber to secondary (as well as make a batch of pretzels with some of the same yeast cake- the recipe is on this forum somewhere if anyone's interested.)

Since I knew it was going to be 2 weeks I didn't bother taking any more readings, pretty much believing that after 2 weeks in the fermentor it would be done.

I have a target final gravity for what the beer should finish at... On Sunday I'll take a reading to see how close I was to it, and also to figure out the alcohol content of the beer.....

Hope this helped!
 

cola

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subject: canadian draft (mr. beer)

ok is there a way to put more life in this dead-tasting beer called "canadian draft"? it came standard with my premium beer kit and it tastes dead.

another question... are all mr. beer mixes dead like this crap canadian draft? cause that stuff is horrible...
 

timgman

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canadian draft (mr. beer)

My beer is flat.. like the salt lakes...

Seriously. it has a little carbonation but nearly none....
what can I do? let it cook longer?
it's in a 68-80 degree environment .. it has been for 2 1/2 weeks...
should I let it go longer or just start another brew?
The flavor is fairly nice and robust.... I can still taste some un-fermented sugar. Am I rushing this?
??????

PS: I followed the directions perfectly....

thanks
timg
 

timgman

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2 1/2 weeks for carbonating. in 68-80 degree stable temp... not conditioning time as I was waiting to see ample carbonation prior to that move...
should I just cold store? will the co2 still be created in lower temperatures?

thanks much timg
 

Revvy

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timgman said:
2 1/2 weeks for carbonating. in 68-80 degree stable temp... not conditioning time as I was waiting to see ample carbonation prior to that move...
should I just cold store? will the co2 still be created in lower temperatures?

thanks much timg
What was you priming/bottling procedure? how much sugar and how did you mix it with the beer?

You can try this;
Lay the bottles on their sides, and gently roll them back and forth a couple time to re-rouse the yeast...Then upright them and put them back in storage for a week....Check a bottle to see if it's any better. If so then you're fine, enjoy them...if it's only a little better let them sit for 1 more week.

If they're not carbed, I wouldn't cold store them until we get them carbed.

I've had beers both from mr beer and full sized batches need 5-6 weeks to get fully carbed...Usually the problem is my temp storage issue of my loft-too cool....I've had to re-rouse then move them to a warmer place...if you're in the 70 degree range that may not be an issue (unless your storage area has gone colder than you said and you weren't aware of it.)
 

timgman

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I just opened another bottle for the heck of it and it seems to have some pop to it.... actually developed a little head/.....
I used 3/4 tsp per bottle priming sugar... (12 oz bottles)
I may roll them and let them cook another week though.
timg
 

Revvy

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timgman said:
I just opened another bottle for the heck of it and it seems to have some pop to it.... actually developed a little head/.....
I used 3/4 tsp per bottle priming sugar... (12 oz bottles)
I may roll them and let them cook another week though.
timg
Part of the problem with bottle priming is getting the right amnt of sugar consistantly in the bottles. The pre-measured priming drops are a good thing to use in that situation...but the best is to do the bottlling bucket/or cooler with spigot thing that i mentioned a few posts back, just make sure you gently yet thoroughly mix the dissolved priming sugar and the beer together...

But yeah the best thing is patience...unless we filter or have killed off our yeast by letting you fermentor's temp drop below the 60-75ish range AND we haven't forgotten our priming sugar (been known to happen to the best of us) then carbonation eventually occurs.

Oh...you can as you get more brews under your belt also "carb to style" there are references online that will tell you how much carbonation each style of beer should have and how much priming sugar you'll need to get there. I haven't started to do that yet...but I will start doing that as I try to brew more complex styles...
 

Thwizzit

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I couldn't figure out how to delete this post so i just copied it and reposted it under an Apfelwein thread
 

cola

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Revvy said:
Cola and tingman...How long have you let the Canadian Draft condition in the bottles?
like two weeks.

i have no problem with the carbonation or anything... its just the taste of it... it tastes "dead" compared to some of the fancy stuff they sell at the liquor store.

but yeah... it tastes like apple juice... except apple juice has more flavor... waaay more flavor...
 

Revvy

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cola said:
like two weeks.

i have no problem with the carbonation or anything... its just the taste of it... it tastes "dead" compared to some of the fancy stuff they sell at the liquor store.

but yeah... it tastes like apple juice... except apple juice has more flavor... waaay more flavor...
Well first off 3 weeks minimum is the earliest to start drinking. It really takes at least that long for ANY beer to come into maturity.

What did you prime it with, white sugar? Although Mr Beer says to use table sugar, it's probably the worst thing to use..the yeast will eat that sugar and leave what many would call a "cidery" taste, similiar to apple juice.....The best thing to use is priming or corn sugar...
 

cola

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Revvy said:
Well first off 3 weeks minimum is the earliest to start drinking. It really takes at least that long for ANY beer to come into maturity.

What did you prime it with, white sugar? Although Mr Beer says to use table sugar, it's probably the worst thing to use..the yeast will eat that sugar and leave what many would call a "cidery" taste, similiar to apple juice.....The best thing to use is priming or corn sugar...
yeah i used white sugar. and the sugar made my beer very very foamy.

but concerning the "conditioning"...

i started counting my "conditioning" at day 8 after the beer was bottled. so for example day 8 would refer to conditioning day 1. i didn't refrigerate the beer bottles or anything.

well anyways i have an octobkerfest fermenting in the bucket. on friday it will be week three. and i plan on conditioning the beer for three weeks (this means four weeks of being bottled up). and i plan on using corn sugar.
 

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cola said:
yeah i used white sugar. and the sugar made my beer very very foamy.

but concerning the "conditioning"...

i started counting my "conditioning" at day 8 after the beer was bottled. so for example day 8 would refer to conditioning day 1. i didn't refrigerate the beer bottles or anything.

well anyways i have an octobkerfest fermenting in the bucket. on friday it will be week three. and i plan on conditioning the beer for three weeks (this means four weeks of being bottled up). and i plan on using corn sugar.
Most of us refer to conditioning beginning the day the beer was put in the bottle, it encompasses carbonation....so 3 weeks from when we put the cap on is the first time most of us would even think of cracking the first one...and that is with at least 48 hours in the fridge (placed there on day 21 in the bottle.) Some people advocate an entire week in the fridge before cracking it open...but to be honest, my patience is gone by day 23 in the bottle, so I'm ready to try a nice cold one.:D

It's actually easier when you have more beer of yours "in the pipeline" you then tend to sweat the details less....and also you can let batches go longer....I'm trying with 5 gallon batches to keep one case out of site so that it can be left alone and age as long as possible....

Currently my beers are stacked up like 747's waiting to land....I have one case left of a stout I brewed after christmas that I'm trying to hold off on til St Paddy's day (I'll probably say uncle and only end up saving a six of it for then. It's mighty good right now!) I have another beer at 2 weeks bottle conditioning. Tomorrow I'm racking an amber ale into secondary and brewing a batch of brown ale right on that yeast cake.

So once next weekend rolls around, I'll have 2 drinkable beers (if the one at week to in the bottle will be ready by then.) 2 weeks later I'll bottle the amber and rack the brown ale to secondary...

I've also got at least to brews on the drawing board for the next couple sessions...plus some styles I'm going to investigate for possible brewing (some low ABV session beers for my swmbo).

Plus I have a mead and Ed Worts Apfelwein fermenting right now. SO I'm pretty set for a bit.
 

cola

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Revvy said:
Most of us refer to conditioning beginning the day the beer was put in the bottle, it encompasses carbonation....so 3 weeks from when we put the cap on is the first time most of us would even think of cracking the first one...and that is with at least 48 hours in the fridge (placed there on day 21 in the bottle.) Some people advocate an entire week in the fridge before cracking it open...but to be honest, my patience is gone by day 23 in the bottle, so I'm ready to try a nice cold one.:D

It's actually easier when you have more beer of yours "in the pipeline" you then tend to sweat the details less....and also you can let batches go longer....I'm trying with 5 gallon batches to keep one case out of site so that it can be left alone and age as long as possible....

Currently my beers are stacked up like 747's waiting to land....I have one case left of a stout I brewed after christmas that I'm trying to hold off on til St Paddy's day (I'll probably say uncle and only end up saving a six of it for then. It's mighty good right now!) I have another beer at 2 weeks bottle conditioning. Tomorrow I'm racking an amber ale into secondary and brewing a batch of brown ale right on that yeast cake.

So once next weekend rolls around, I'll have 2 drinkable beers (if the one at week to in the bottle will be ready by then.) 2 weeks later I'll bottle the amber and rack the brown ale to secondary...

I've also got at least to brews on the drawing board for the next couple sessions...plus some styles I'm going to investigate for possible brewing (some low ABV session beers for my swmbo).

Plus I have a mead and Ed Worts Apfelwein fermenting right now. SO I'm pretty set for a bit.
pipeline. haha. i like that.

do you have any experience with mr. beer mixes? do all mr. beer mixes like the canadian draft i was talking about tastes horrible?
 

Revvy

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cola said:
pipeline. haha. i like that.

do you have any experience with mr. beer mixes? do all mr. beer mixes like the canadian draft i was talking about tastes horrible?
I never brewed them as is...for example I always dumped the "booster" packs and replaced with a pound of DME instead. (I saved the booster packs for making ciders and meads.)

And despite the fact the the concentrate was pre hopped I still tried to

hop to style...at least with some flavor/aroma hops.

And usually didn't use the yeast that cane with it either, again I used whatever yeast was appropriate to style...

And I did full boils, or late extract additions to avoid Extract tang.

So I can't really tell you what a straightup mr beer recipe tastes like.

They ones you are using could be stale...or your pallet is discerning and you can taste the flaws in the mr beer kits....maybe it's time for you to step up a bit and start using non mr beer ingredients and making small batches, using the freshest ingredients possible....in other words just use the mr beer as a fermentor and not as a provider of ingredients.

Shafferpilot has some really tasty recipes he has scaled down to mr beer sized...he might have posted them here...but PM him, and when he get's back from his cruise im sure he'd be glad to give them to you. (I might have one of them that he sent me if you don't want to wait.)

Or

Look at some of the recipes on HBT and scale them down for you volume...some of the software, even the free ones, automatically re-calculate ingredients depending on the size of your batch...

You can really step up and go allgrain in your mr beer if you're feeling confident.... I posted some info on it in this thread earlier this week...
 

Thwizzit

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I always dumped the "booster" packs
Is there any use for the Booster packs? I have a couple of extras and I hate to just toss them if there might be another beer brewing use for them or just for ciders? Can you use them in Apfelwein?
 

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If I remember my weeks correctly, this is what happened:

I left my Mr Beer Canadian Draft in the "carboy" for about 4 weeks...

Tossed it in 12 22 oz bottles with corn sugar purchased from the local store. Let it set for about three weeks.

Tossed the two cloudiest bottles into the fridge and cracked one open on Friday. It had a fair amount of carbonation... and a very watered down taste. I had a lot of sediment on the bottom of the beer. It smelled like my Aunt Mary's beer bread... but more on the bread side than beer. Very cloudy beer.

Any guesses as to what I did wrong?

I suspect maybe I left it in the "carboy" too long, or maybe something happened when I was putting the sugar in the bottles. I didn't have a funnel ... so I got a piece of paper and rolled it up funnel style to pour the sugar with. I did sanitize the measuring spoon but obviously not the paper. :D

Or maybe the Canadian Draft just tastes like balls!?
 

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Thwizzit said:
Is there any use for the Booster packs? I have a couple of extras and I hate to just toss them if there might be another beer brewing use for them or just for ciders? Can you use them in Apfelwein?
I use them sometiimes in ciders and meads...If I'm worried I won't have enough fermentables for the yeast. Like if i'm short of honey...It gives some more stuff for the yeast to eat so it won't be too dry.
 

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When I turned 17 my 16 year old brother bought me a couple Mr. Beer kits. We brewed in secret from my parents in the basement making as much of the stuff as we possibly could.

When it was finally done - one of our friends across the street came over. We then decided to 'go to the saloon!' and proceeded to drink beer the way john wayne takes shots.

"Do you feel drunk yet?"
"I don't know - better drink another. Are you drunk yet?"
"I don't feel anything - gimme another!"

within a half hour we drank until our stomaches couldn't hold anymore and then proceeded to just kind of drink slowly out of the plastic sprite bottles.

When my parents came home they found a bunch of ****-faced teenagers. We all threw up and got in big trouble. They couldn't believe that we managed to brew something that massive and not get caught.
 

cola

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Revvy said:
I never brewed them as is...for example I always dumped the "booster" packs and replaced with a pound of DME instead. (I saved the booster packs for making ciders and meads.)

And despite the fact the the concentrate was pre hopped I still tried to

hop to style...at least with some flavor/aroma hops.

And usually didn't use the yeast that cane with it either, again I used whatever yeast was appropriate to style...

And I did full boils, or late extract additions to avoid Extract tang.

So I can't really tell you what a straightup mr beer recipe tastes like.

They ones you are using could be stale...or your pallet is discerning and you can taste the flaws in the mr beer kits....maybe it's time for you to step up a bit and start using non mr beer ingredients and making small batches, using the freshest ingredients possible....in other words just use the mr beer as a fermentor and not as a provider of ingredients.

Shafferpilot has some really tasty recipes he has scaled down to mr beer sized...he might have posted them here...but PM him, and when he get's back from his cruise im sure he'd be glad to give them to you. (I might have one of them that he sent me if you don't want to wait.)

Or

Look at some of the recipes on HBT and scale them down for you volume...some of the software, even the free ones, automatically re-calculate ingredients depending on the size of your batch...

You can really step up and go allgrain in your mr beer if you're feeling confident.... I posted some info on it in this thread earlier this week...
from what i understand mr. beer stuff is at the bottom. so i guess i should "modify" the ingredients a bit. i saw some stuff on their website where they sell different types of yeast and hops and even fruits. so im not totally giving up on mr. beer.
 

cola

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subject: sanitizer

what exactly is the sanitizer stuff... i mean that stuff is awesome. i sanitized a rusty can opener it looked really old and dirty but when it came it, it was sparkling silver with all the rust and stuff gone. that stuff is awesome.
 

cola

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cola said:
subject: canadian draft (mr. beer)

ok is there a way to put more life in this dead-tasting beer called "canadian draft"? it came standard with my premium beer kit and it tastes dead.

another question... are all mr. beer mixes dead like this crap canadian draft? cause that stuff is horrible...
i take this back

this beer is awesome.

i probably said this because i opened up a new bottle of beer without refrigerating it first. i am drinking a cold canadian right now one that i chilled for a couple of hours and it tastes awesome.
 

Revvy

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cola said:
i take this back

this beer is awesome.

i probably said this because i opened up a new bottle of beer without refrigerating it first. i am drinking a cold canadian right now one that i chilled for a couple of hours and it tastes awesome.
*Snicker Snicker Snicker* My young jedi, Patience you must have! LOL
 

Revvy

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cola said:
from what i understand mr. beer stuff is at the bottom. so i guess i should "modify" the ingredients a bit. i saw some stuff on their website where they sell different types of yeast and hops and even fruits. so im not totally giving up on mr. beer.

I wouldn't give up on it....actually if you can make a perfect mr beer...then you'll have the basics down for when you make the switch to larger batches.

And you're right, don't stick to the straight kit recipes.....Some of the recipes on the website actually look really good...but you notice that they usually use 2 cans of the extract...(as opposed to the 1 can that came with the original kit.) ANd they actually use hops as well...

If you don't just slop stuff together, you can make good stuff.

This thread has inspired me to put together an article/photostory to submit to some mags about going allgrain in a mr beer... I'll probably either start a thread, or post the stuff here as I go along... I'll probably start it in a couple weeks.
 

cola

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Revvy said:
I wouldn't give up on it....actually if you can make a perfect mr beer...then you'll have the basics down for when you make the switch to larger batches.

And you're right, don't stick to the straight kit recipes.....Some of the recipes on the website actually look really good...but you notice that they usually use 2 cans of the extract...(as opposed to the 1 can that came with the original kit.) ANd they actually use hops as well...

If you don't just slop stuff together, you can make good stuff.

This thread has inspired me to put together an article/photostory to submit to some mags about going allgrain in a mr beer... I'll probably either start a thread, or post the stuff here as I go along... I'll probably start it in a couple weeks.
im thinking after about 20 more batches minimum until i will allow myself to move on and graduate from mr. beer. im sure i will learn a thing or two within the 20 batches.

good luck on the article
 

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I posted this over on the Wine Making forum but after almost 40 views there was still no answer so i figured I'd better just stay in the Mr. Beer thread where I belong...

I've been reading through the threads different recipes and I'm about to start up my first ever batch of Apfelwein in my spare Mr. Beer container and I just wanted to double check with some experienced Apfel-heads and see if this sounds like it's going to work.


Blue Pom Apfelwein

• 2 Gallons Mrs. Adlers All-Natural Apple Juice (Made from Fresh Apples, not concentrate, No Sugar or Preservatives added)

• 1/2 Gallon Langer's All-Natural Pomegranate/Blueberry Juice (No Sugar or Preservatives added

• 1 Lb Dextrose

• 2.5 Grams Cote de Blanc yeast

Ferment at least 4 weeks

Bottle & Condition for at least another 4 weeks


Does this sound correct? Any other advice?


Thanks :)
 

Thwizzit

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So, it's been two weeks in the fermenter and I bottled up my first batch o'brew but I have a couple of questions.

1) I used dextrose (2.5 tsp. of dextrose per liter and 1 tbsp of water per tsp of sugar) and boiled it and let it cool then added 2 tbsp to each liter bottle. The question is, there was a bunch of the syrup left over so I was wondering if enough priming sugar made it into the bottles?

2) There wasn't quite enough beer to fill all eight liter bottles, is that normal? I ended up using 7 liter bottles and one Grolsch swing-top

3) The instructions say to fill the bottle to 2 inches from the top. Does that mean the very top including the threads for the screw top or right up to the part where the cap goes on because the threads and cap are almost an inch so I wasn't sure if that is part of the measurement.

Well, that's it. I'm off to start a new batch and have to say I was amazed at how good the beer smelled while bottling. I hope it tastes as good in three weeks.

Thanks in advance for any help :)
 

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Thwizzit said:
So, it's been two weeks in the fermenter and I bottled up my first batch o'brew but I have a couple of questions.

1) I used dextrose (2.5 tsp. of dextrose per liter and 1 tbsp of water per tsp of sugar) and boiled it and let it cool then added 2 tbsp to each liter bottle. The question is, there was a bunch of the syrup left over so I was wondering if enough priming sugar made it into the bottles?

2) There wasn't quite enough beer to fill all eight liter bottles, is that normal? I ended up using 7 liter bottles and one Grolsch swing-top

3) The instructions say to fill the bottle to 2 inches from the top. Does that mean the very top including the threads for the screw top or right up to the part where the cap goes on because the threads and cap are almost an inch so I wasn't sure if that is part of the measurement.

Well, that's it. I'm off to start a new batch and have to say I was amazed at how good the beer smelled while bottling. I hope it tastes as good in three weeks.

Thanks in advance for any help :)
1) after they've been in the bottle a week, roll them gently on the table to re-rouse the yeast...Making sure you're storing them in a place that's around 70 degrees, they should be ok. But that's why I recommend the 2-3 gallon cooler to use as a bottling bucket where everything is integrated evenly, rather that priming each bottle individually. At least you didn't just dump dry sugar into each bottle like it says in the Mr Beer book. :D

2) It's pretty common to be short or even a little extra when you bottle, it really all depends on how much beer ends up as trube at the bottom of the fermenter (especially if you're doing a beer with fruit where there is a lot of sugar conversion)...Or all the little dribbles that happen during bottling, etc.

3) I'd fill 1-2 inches from that plastic lip that is at the bottom of the threads. A bottling wand is great because it always gets the right amount of headspace, no matter what size bottles you're filling.



So, what are you gonna be brewing next???

Shaferpilot has some great 2 gallon batch recipes if you're interested, instead of the kits.
 

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Another n00b waiting to upgrade.

One of my best friends got me a small kit for Christmas in 2006 and my craze has yet to decline. I have been very lucky in the fact that of the two batches I have made, neither were bad. I have two batches in process right now so I cannot tell you what they are like yet. My first batch was a beer that resembled Budweiser and it tasted fine. The amazing thing was that I was like a little kid with a chemistry set. My second batch was a Dark beer that I made for my wedding in June of 2007. It was fantastic. Due to it being dark and it being the wedding (shameless plug for my wife). I am currently making another dark beer and at my wife's suggestion a Strawberry beer. I cannot wait to try both of them. I am going to upgrade to a Two-stage brewing kit in the near future (I can't let my buddy outshine me...lol) and I look forward to being that kid with the chemistry set again.

Having said all this and going through this entire thread I have found out why some things have happened. Like the over foaming when pouring the beer from the bottle. I just hope the batch that is conditioning will be alright.

The batch that is fermenting is a Mr. Beer recipe that I altered a little. Instead of using raspberries, I chose to use strawberries. Based on that, (and reading most of the posts) do any of you have any experience with fruit recipes?

Thanks very much and sliante!! :mug:
 

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Once again, thanks a ton for taking the time to impart all of your helpful advice. I'd like to buy a virtual beer (or three) to show my appreciation :)


So, what are you gonna be brewing next???
Well, I posted that Blueberry/Pomegranate Apfelwein recipe above which I want to do but since they have those Mr. Beers on sale at Beer, Bath & Beyond I picked up another fermenter keg and I have one more Mr. Beer kit that includes 1 can Nut Brown Ale and 1 can Golden Wheat Unhopped Malt Extract and I picked up some liquid British Ale Yeast which I was going to try instead of the MRB yeast and see how it comes out.

I also bought a couple 3 Pack Refill kits at BB&B for only $14.99 for my brother (he's not into experimenting and likes to to MRB straight from the kits) but I may keep one for myself and experiment using DME instead of the booster and some better yeast.

I haven't been able to get any comments on whether or not my Blue-Pom Apfelwein recipe (above) looks like it will work, so if you have any thoughts I'm all beers..um..ears :)

Thanks again!
 

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Thwizzit said:
Once again, thanks a ton for taking the time to impart all of your helpful advice. I'd like to buy a virtual beer (or three) to show my appreciation :)




Well, I posted that Blueberry/Pomegranate Apfelwein recipe above which I want to do but since they have those Mr. Beers on sale at Beer, Bath & Beyond I picked up another fermenter keg and I have one more Mr. Beer kit that includes 1 can Nut Brown Ale and 1 can Golden Wheat Unhopped Malt Extract and I picked up some liquid British Ale Yeast which I was going to try instead of the MRB yeast and see how it comes out.

I also bought a couple 3 Pack Refill kits at BB&B for only $14.99 for my brother (he's not into experimenting and likes to to MRB straight from the kits) but I may keep one for myself and experiment using DME instead of the booster and some better yeast.

I haven't been able to get any comments on whether or not my Blue-Pom Apfelwein recipe (above) looks like it will work, so if you have any thoughts I'm all beers..um..ears :)

Thanks again!
Yeah, I saw the recipe...I'm an apfelwein noob myself, so I can't really say how any variences from the recipe will taste. It looks okay...The only way you'll know if if you brew it up and like it...
 

Thwizzit

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Quick question about Malt Extracts. Is Dried Malt Extract preferred over the Syrup or do they work the same? I've heard that the Dry can clump if you're not careful and since I've used the syrup I know how it works and I want to pick up some so when my current batch is ready to bottle I can start up a new batch and not use the Booster packs.

Also, is there a generic Malt Extract? Meaning, can i just buy Malt Extract that you can use for any kind of beer or does each kind of beer use it's own style Extract?
 

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Thwizzit said:
Quick question about Malt Extracts. Is Dried Malt Extract preferred over the Syrup or do they work the same? I've heard that the Dry can clump if you're not careful and since I've used the syrup I know how it works and I want to pick up some so when my current batch is ready to bottle I can start up a new batch and not use the Booster packs.

Also, is there a generic Malt Extract? Meaning, can i just buy Malt Extract that you can use for any kind of beer or does each kind of beer use it's own style Extract?

It's a matter of preference really, though a lot of people say that beers with LME appear darker than they should be, also there is a complaint about "extract tang" that can be detected. Part of the way around both issues is the late extract boil method, where the majority of your LME is added in the last 15-20 minutes of the boil to pasturize it.

Another issue with LME is scorching, where the lme will go to the bottom and carmelize from the heat-that results in the darler color/taste. The way to avoid that is to remove the pot from the heatsource when adding it. (You should do that for both LME and DME.)

I've switched to DME, and have converted all my old kit recipes to it. The conversion ratio btw is;

LME to DME * 0.89
DME to LME * 1.10

There are different color gradients in DME's, just like there are in unhopped LME and grains. Everything from Extra light to Dark... Usually people will choose the color to match their style....

BUT a lot of people formulate their recipes using the same grade of DME and get the color/body from their speciality grains. Formulating it using brewing software.

Some prefer using extra light or light as their base DME. By doing that you can get a lot more complexity in terms of flavors and body from using more specialty grains, then if your were using an amber or dark DME...

For example I just brewed a Brown ALe, that will be almost black in color. I used 6 pounds of Light DME and over 3 pounds of grains..I got to use some malts that are known for a biscuity taste, and some that are known for imparting hints of raisin in the flavor...I'm looking forward to tasting it. I also have a recipe on the back burner that will be even darker and more complex...like a stout, but will be using some darker malts that in the quantity I want to use will almost have a plum like quality....To do that I instead of the light DME, I will be using X-light as the base DME.

Clumping is an issue, and that is mostly caused by the steam hitting the grains of the dme and it becoming like old cotton candy on your spoon or the bag/container, really sticky...but the more you use it, the more get used to it...

When I brewed the brown Ale this week, all 6 pounds were added at once...and honestly I had little clumping issues...

I added it after I had sparged my grains (it was a partial mash) and while the wort was about 150 degrees....there was no steam coming off, so my spoon and glass measuring cup that I use to drop the dme in didn't get as clumpy as usual...I did get clumps on the surface when it hit the hot liquor, but just stirring it like you would when you add flour to make a thick gravy and it gets lumpy at first...Just push sit against the side of the pot, then stir some more....and don't add any more until what you added gets dissolved (I usually use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup as a delivery device...and when clumps appear on it, I just hold it in the wort til they dissolve.)

My issue with LME is more it's stickiness, and the impossibility of getting it all out of containers....Plus the whole heating the can in hot water to soften it for ease of pouring...and I've dropped enough of those three pound lme cans into the boiling wort to decide that dme is a better way for me to go...(I did however learn to take the paper label off the cans before I start adding it.)

Getting paper out of boiling wort is such a pain...:D
 

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Thanks! i copied and pasted your reply into a Word file for my notebook :)

I keep forgetting to ask this question. I see fermenting/conditioning times and temperatures for Ales and Lagers but i never see them for Stouts. Are they the same as an Ale or a Lager or are Stouts completely different?
 

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Thwizzit said:
Thanks! i copied and pasted your reply into a Word file for my notebook :)

I keep forgetting to ask this question. I see fermenting/conditioning times and temperatures for Ales and Lagers but i never see them for Stouts. Are they the same as an Ale or a Lager or are Stouts completely different?
When you start playing around with different yeasts, they will have recommended temps ranges on them but generally speaking all ales including stouts ferment best in the mid 60's while lager yeasts need it cooler (don't quote me because I've never met a lager that I really like, but I think the range for lagers is in the 50's).

As to bottle conditioning times...it really varies by style...But generally 3 weeks in the bottle is the minimum time a beer is conditioned and carbonated. I'm sure somewhere ther is a list of conditioning times based on styles...actually a good resource for it is the http://www.northernbrewer.com/ free print catalog. They have a kit for just about every style of beer, and in the catalog they list the number of weeks til the beer is ready (including number of weeks in primary, secondary and bottle. I usually back subtract from their recomendations. If a kit says 8 weeks I usually figure they mean 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary and the rest in bottles.
 

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my mr beer batch looks and tastes terrible....not in the sense that its contaminated or done wrong. Just that its got no body and looks like an american lite lager when its supposed to be a west coast pale (I guess they mean generic american pale)....anyway the point here is i tasted one bottle after the two weeks of priming....didn't taste complete...tasted one a week later...tasted wrong or young....forgot about them and this past sunday (2-3 weeks later) while bring my pater abbey single I remembered i had them and said 'why the hell not.' in those extra 2-3 weeks something magnificent happened...the beer tastes complete...not great but complete...probably as good as a mr beer should taste. This really has me looking forward to my full batches which are currently in the pipeline!
 

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My Mr.Beer is two years old. It has been in storage for the past 6 months or so. A friend of mine uses his and loves it, so I figured what the hell, I'll try it. I'm wondering how screwed my batch is going to be. I put it in the fermenter on Tuesday, but i haven't really noticed anything going on. No bubbles or anything really, however there is a layer of stuff on the keg bottom. Should I let this thing keep going or abort and try again? :confused:
 

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CAsch said:
My Mr.Beer is two years old. It has been in storage for the past 6 months or so. A friend of mine uses his and loves it, so I figured what the hell, I'll try it. I'm wondering how screwed my batch is going to be. I put it in the fermenter on Tuesday, but i haven't really noticed anything going on. No bubbles or anything really, however there is a layer of stuff on the keg bottom. Should I let this thing keep going or abort and try again? :confused:
If there's stuff on the bottom, that means it's working...It's called trub...Basically it's yeastpoop :D It means the yeasties are eating the sugar and turning it into precious necter!

Never abort a beer...Always see it through to the bottle conditioning process...
 
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