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Revvy

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hmmm.... i could look into it. What benefit does this provide beside removing some haze? (I dont really care if its hazy - more worried about taste)

So, from my understanding, racking would be this:

Basically decant beer into 2nd container (gently) to leave sediment behind, add sugar/water solution to carb. Let that sit, then distribute into bottles?

I could grab this from my local brewing supply store: 3.5 Gallon Plastic Bucket (with lid and #2 stopper) $8.39
Racking to a secondary will allow your beer to clear, since you have a lot of fruit unless you remove it from the trub it will remain cloudy. Yeah a bucket that size could work, though usually we use some from of a carboy as our clearing tank....That's why I suggested one of those squat 3 gallon water jugs from the grocery store...they take most standard carboy caps or stoppers for airlocks....

It's recomended to keep from oxygenating your beer too much to use an auto siphon...if you don't have one, carefully attach a sanitized hose (I think 1/2") to the spigot and fill from the bottom up, carefully....

Your beer should be clear in 2-3 weeks in secondary, then you can bottle...
 

dragonlor20

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We got one of these kits on sale for an Xmas gift for a friend (ok, well, it was mostly to give to the friend and for me to use...) and knowing what I know now, my best guess is that the yeast was totally dead. I understand this is a great way into the hobby, but after this kit and the "Dein Bier" I used in Germany (dead yeast on both - probably), it was more frustrating than anything, and it took me a while to make another attempt after that.

IMHO, take the money you would have spent on Mr. Beer, add another 20 bucks, get the buckets and kit from a reputable webpage so that your chance to succeed is better.
 

dp69_2001

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I bought my Mr. Beer a couple of months ago. My first batch I made from the kit they send out with it. I think the yeast was dead. But it fermented finally. The end product had a flavor that hit the back of your tongue rather funny. My second was a boysenberry with vienna lager malt. Rather tasty. I'm waiting on my ingredients for my third, raz hef. For the most part I love the **** out of it. But, I'd really like to brew 5+ gallon batches. As well as get away from Mr. Beers rediculously high shipping rates. and spread my wings a little. I hope to learn to brew all grain, but since there is no brew shop in my town. My learning process has been growing rather slowly.
 

Antifreze

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Well on the 2 week mark I tasted my Cranberry Maibock. Besides being cloudy, it tasty rather good. Still had some sweetness to it (with some krausian on top still). Also had a slight carbonation to it.

My quest is this: I know typically you dont want it to be sweet when you bottle because the fermenting isnt done, but, does that hold with fruit beers as well? Should I wait, or bottle?
 

Scotty_g

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Just because it's sweet doesn't mean the fermentation isn't done. Yeast never clean their plate completely--the attentuation that you will see yeast rated in describes how much of the available sugars they will typically consume. A bock tends to be a little sweeter/maltier so it's not necessarily a bad thing. At the same time, if the yeast *isn't* done and you bottle, you run the risk of bottle bombs. If you are going to a secondary you should still wait until the fermentation is complete, but you get a little more breathing room thanks to the extra two weeks.

Situations like this typically get the response, "What do your gravity readings say?" I assume the Mr. Beer kit does not include a hydrometer, so that information isn't available.

If this is being fermented cool (<60 F; typically Bock beers are fermented at low temps) it could easily take > 2 weeks to ferment out. If you're fermenting warm (>65 F) it may be done. If they gave you an ale yeast (suited for higher temperatures) it's normal to see yeast on the top of the fermenter. This doesn't mean it is or isn't done.

You can almost never wreck a beer by giving it more time (hence the acronym RDWHAHB) so unless you have a hydrometer, give it another week.

These problems can be largely solved by taking the step to 5 gallon batches and the equipment associated (plug, plug). :D
 

Antifreze

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Just because it's sweet doesn't mean the fermentation isn't done. Yeast never clean their plate completely--the attentuation that you will see yeast rated in describes how much of the available sugars they will typically consume. A bock tends to be a little sweeter/maltier so it's not necessarily a bad thing. At the same time, if the yeast *isn't* done and you bottle, you run the risk of bottle bombs. If you are going to a secondary you should still wait until the fermentation is complete, but you get a little more breathing room thanks to the extra two weeks.

Situations like this typically get the response, "What do your gravity readings say?" I assume the Mr. Beer kit does not include a hydrometer, so that information isn't available.

If this is being fermented cool (<60 F; typically Bock beers are fermented at low temps) it could easily take > 2 weeks to ferment out. If you're fermenting warm (>65 F) it may be done. If they gave you an ale yeast (suited for higher temperatures) it's normal to see yeast on the top of the fermenter. This doesn't mean it is or isn't done.

You can almost never wreck a beer by giving it more time (hence the acronym RDWHAHB) so unless you have a hydrometer, give it another week.

These problems can be largely solved by taking the step to 5 gallon batches and the equipment associated (plug, plug). :D
Awesome, that helps a lot. I'm fermenting at ~70 or so and I bought a ale yeast from a supply store (since mr.b yeast sucks). I think I'll let it sit another week, then bottle it.

I dont think I'm going to do a secondary (although it is cloudy), just because it sounds difficult to transfer it there and then to bottle it aftwards (as opposed to the tap on the mr.b fementer).
 

Joe C

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Well, I figure this is a good place to make my first post, as it is how I got started.

I have the Mr. Beer kit with 3 of the plastic barrels, and I have already made a few batches of beer:
-Nut Brown Ale
-Weizenbier
-IPA(in the barrel)
-Canadian Draft(in the barrel, bottling today/tomorrow)


I'm glad I started reading on this forum, as I am going out today to get some ingredients for the apfelwein as it appears to be a fan favorite here. I am also going to get the proper sugar for priming the bottles.

My experience with MRB has been great - the beer hasn't been "the best", but I liked the initial simplicity. A lot of the information in here I did figure out on my own (the longer I leave it, the better it is, etc.) and It's great to see that I can still use the little barrels for something. They were only 10 bucks, so I think it was a decent buy.
 

shafferpilot

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Welcome to the obsess.... er, hobby. homebrewtalk will be the single best thing that ever happened to your brewing. You WILL be making "the best" beer soon enough;)
 

kornbread

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First let me say thanks to all who share your knowledge with us newbies.

I got a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas and finally decided to give it a shot today.:D
So, here's what I did:

  • Sanitized everything.
  • Filled the water to the 4q line. (Plain tap water. Mine tastes pretty good.)
  • Put 4 cups of cold water in the pot.
  • Mixed in a 1 and 1/2 cups of the booster.
  • Once it was completely dissolved I placed it on the burner and brought it to a nice rolling boil.
  • Let boil 1 minute.
  • Removed the water/booster from the heat and added one can (1.2lbs) of west coast pale ale mix.
  • After that was completely dissolved, I added 3/4 cups honey.
  • Once that was dissolved I added the mixture to the fermenter and stirred vigorously.
  • Filled to the 8 and 1/2 quart line and stirred again.
  • Added contents of yeast packet and let it sit on top of wort for 5 min.
  • After 5 min. I stirred one last time and put the lid on.
  • It's in the utility room of the basement now. (basement temp: 69 deg. F @ mid afternoon. It should be a little cooler at night.)

The plan now, is to let it sit for two weeks in the fermenter then bottle. Then, Let it condition in the bottles for three weeks in the basement. Then a couple of days in the fridge. See any problems so far?

Also, I have another question? The kit directions call for priming with granulated white sugar. I've read the white sugar isn't recommended. (cider taste.) What kind of sugar should I use? And, can I get it in a grocery store?

Thanks in advance,

Kornbread
 

Revvy

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Also, I have another question? The kit directions call for priming with granulated white sugar. I've read the white sugar isn't recommended. (cider taste.) What kind of sugar should I use? And, can I get it in a grocery store?

Thanks in advance,

Kornbread
Sounds like you've done well! As to sugars for priming...The most common and recommended is corn sugar, often labled priming sugar, other than at a homebrew shop or online, you may be able to find corn sugar at a health food store.

The second common alternative is dry malt extract...usually only found at HBS's.
 

mmc

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Yeah.....Blowoffs happen all the time. No big deal....It takes a heck of a lot to ruin beer....some people have been in such a panic that they cleaned up the mess and re attached the airlock without even stopping to re-sanitize the airlock...and their beer turned out ok...

Remember something....Beer's been brewed since ancient Egypt, and most of the time it was done in open vessels with nothing covering it, closed fermentation is a relatively new phenomenon (heck even the instructions on post prohibition beer kits recomended ceramic pots with a dish cloth on it) and even chemical sanitization procedures are a recent thing too, and the majority of beers came out fine...If they hadn't then this whole brewing thing would have gone the way of the dodo bird.

So you know the drill, Relax, Don't Worry, and Have a Home Brew (or at least a nice micro!) :D
I tried my Cranberry Maibock for the first time last night. This is the batch that I had a blow-off with. It fermented for three weeks, carbonated/conditioned at room temperature for three weeks, and has been in the refrigerator for two weeks. The beer was very flat with no head whatsoever. I also sampled another batch (jamaica mon') that I brewed at the same time under the same conditions, times, etc. The carbonation was OK but it also had no head. I batch primed both of these with 1/3 cup corn sugar boiled with 3/4 cup water. Why do you think there is no head and why is the cranberry mailbock flat? Does it need even more time since there was so much fruit, or does a beer like that require more priming sugar, or was it just ruined because of the blow off? Is there anything I can do at this point to make this better?

Thanks!
 

Revvy

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I tried my Cranberry Maibock for the first time last night. This is the batch that I had a blow-off with. It fermented for three weeks, carbonated/conditioned at room temperature for three weeks, and has been in the refrigerator for two weeks. The beer was very flat with no head whatsoever. I also sampled another batch (jamaica mon') that I brewed at the same time under the same conditions, times, etc. The carbonation was OK but it also had no head. I batch primed both of these with 1/3 cup corn sugar boiled with 3/4 cup water. Why do you think there is no head and why is the cranberry mailbock flat? Does it need even more time since there was so much fruit, or does a beer like that require more priming sugar, or was it just ruined because of the blow off? Is there anything I can do at this point to make this better?

Thanks!
It's really really hard to ruin beer...and blowoffs happen all the time...If the beer has flavor and doesn't make you hurl, then it's not ruined, it's just under carbed still.

Ifyou've chilled all of them, then you've pretty much locked them into their carbonation level, for the most part, since you've cold crashed the yeast.

The Cranberry my be becasue it is fruit and needs longer to bottle condition...I don't know what's in the Jamaican, but if it's a "heavier" beer it may need longer as well....If you haven't chilled all of them, then I lay the bottles on their side and roll them back and forth to re-rouse the yeast and shove them back in a warm place for a few more weeks, this should kick up fermentation again to kick up the carbonation....
 

mmc

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It's really really hard to ruin beer...and blowoffs happen all the time...If the beer has flavor and doesn't make you hurl, then it's not ruined, it's just under carbed still.

Ifyou've chilled all of them, then you've pretty much locked them into their carbonation level, for the most part, since you've cold crashed the yeast.

The Cranberry my be becasue it is fruit and needs longer to bottle condition...I don't know what's in the Jamaican, but if it's a "heavier" beer it may need longer as well....If you haven't chilled all of them, then I lay the bottles on their side and roll them back and forth to re-rouse the yeast and shove them back in a warm place for a few more weeks, this should kick up fermentation again to kick up the carbonation....
So I guess my lesson learned here is to sample the beer before placing it in the frig!

Thanks for the help.
 

BeerPressure

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Hey, everyone. I have been thinking about buying a Mr. Beer kit, but also thinking about getting a real setup from a homebrew store or an online shop.

What would be the advantages of getting a real kit as opposed to a mr beer?
 

Yooper

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Hey, everyone. I have been thinking about buying a Mr. Beer kit, but also thinking about getting a real setup from a homebrew store or an online shop.

What would be the advantages of getting a real kit as opposed to a mr beer?
Well, there are many advantages of getting a real kit. Mr. Beer is a great tool for those who use it and find that they like the small size and easy beer making. I bought a "Beer Machine 2000" initially. I used it twice. It was very expensive for the refill kits, the beer was mediocre at best and I didn't like the process. If you think you actually will want to "brew" beer as opposed to mixing it, then the full kit is for you.
 

kornbread

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I've been trying not to check on it too much. (You know, about a watched pot never boiling and all that...:)) But after 77 hrs. in the fermenter I had to go down to the basement and take a peek.

It appears to be fermenting... I think. It's bubbling a little around the edges of the surface. There's no foam, but there are bubbles. The bubbles are very small about the size of pin heads but they seem to be coming pretty steadily. I gave it a sniff around the lid and it does smell a little like beer. I shined a light from behind and it seems pretty cloudy at this point. Normal??? Will this clear up later?

Temp in the basement this afternoon was about 67 deg. F. I assume it will be cooler at night. Is that too cool? I thought about wrapping a towel or something around the fermenter. Good Idea? Bad idea? :confused:

Only 259 hrs to go until I bottle. :ban:

Thanks,

Kornbread
 

brett

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It appears to be fermenting... I think. It's bubbling a little around the edges of the surface. There's no foam, but there are bubbles. The bubbles are very small about the size of pin heads but they seem to be coming pretty steadily. I gave it a sniff around the lid and it does smell a little like beer. I shined a light from behind and it seems pretty cloudy at this point. Normal??? Will this clear up later?
This is normal. Sometimes there will be lots of foam; sometimes very little. It may also give off some weird smells during fermentation, but that is normal also. It is very common for fermenting beer to have a "fruity" aroma.

Temp in the basement this afternoon was about 67 deg. F. I assume it will be cooler at night. Is that too cool? I thought about wrapping a towel or something around the fermenter. Good Idea? Bad idea? :confused:
67F is PERFECT for fermenting ale. By the way, it's better to ferment a little cool than a little hot. You want, ideally, to ferment between 60F and 70F for most ale.
 

mmc

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What is the proper amount of corn sugar to use to batch prime a 2 gallon Mr. Beer brew?

Thanks
 

Focus

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I too started with Mr Beer. Never made anything worthwhile with it - owing mostly to the table sugar used for priming, I guess - but it was one helluva gateway drug into the hobby/obsession/problem.

Now I'm saving up for a custom-built sculpture...
 

Encinitas Brewer

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Hey everyone,

Like a lot of you I am new to brewing and use the Mr. Beer kit. I created a site that will help us share recipes (both Mr. Beer and our own variations) and most importantly our brew notes. Check it out and let me know what you think!

http://www.mybeernotes.com:9080 (the 9080 is because we are still in beta)

Enjoy!
 

comp

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Hey everyone,

Like a lot of you I am new to brewing and use the Mr. Beer kit. I created a site that will help us share recipes (both Mr. Beer and our own variations) and most importantly our brew notes. Check it out and let me know what you think!

http://www.mybeernotes.com:9080 (the 9080 is because we are still in beta)

Enjoy!
cool just joined :D
 

Encinitas Brewer

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Comp,

Cool -- we need content and activity so please do add stuff! Also, your User profile page is a great way to let others see what brews you are working on.

Here is mine: My Brews
 

kornbread

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I just got back in from a Memorial Day trip and I couldn't wait to take a look at my first batch. It's been in the fermenter for one week today.

First impression: Cool :fro:

It has pretty much stopped bubbling and there is a lot of sediment (Yeast?) in the bottom of the fermenter.

Second Impression: It is much clearer now. When I checked on it mid week it was very cloudy. (almost milky) But now you can almost see through the tank. I was tempted to take spoonful from the tap to taste but I didn't.

The plan is to bottle next sunday which will be two weeks and one day in the fermenter.

I'm going to a Homebrew supply store this week to get corn sugar for priming. While I'm there, I want to pick up supplies to start a 2nd batch while the 1st one conditions in the bottles. (I'm already saving some bottles.)

Do you guys have any suggestions for recipes, using ingredients that I can pick up at the homebrew store, that a beginner can easily convert for use in a Mr. Brew fermenter?
 

Revvy

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Do you guys have any suggestions for recipes, using ingredients that I can pick up at the homebrew store, that a beginner can easily convert for use in a Mr. Brew fermenter?
Congrats!!!

First off pick up a hydrometer and a sampling tube, then get yourself a turkey baster so you can take hydro readings....Especially of the wort before you pitch the yeast and after a couple weeks in the fermenter...

Also get some irish moss...

If you use brewing software like beer smith or even the online one beercalculus.com you can scale any recipe to 2 or 2.5 gallons.

If you use dry malt extract you can make any beer in that size...you can even do allgrain full boils if you have a 20 quart pot (you'll need to boil down between 3.5 and 3 gallons down to your final size (make sure that mr beer can hold 2.5 gallons and leave headspace so you don't have a blowooff...if it can't then go with 2 gallon batches.

Here's a simple amber ale that I think Schlenkerla posted in this thread...

07-B Amber Hybrid Beer, California Common Ale

Min OG: 1.048 Max OG: 1.054
Min IBU: 30 Max IBU: 45
Min Clr: 10 Max Clr: 14 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 2.00 Wort Size (Gal): 1.00
Total Extract (Lbs): 3.50
Anticipated OG: 1.075 Plato: 18.26
Anticipated SRM: 15.6
Anticipated IBU: 31.5
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3.00 lbs. Muntons DME - Amber 1.046 17
0.25 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
0.25 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40



Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 5.10 20.9 60 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 5.10 10.7 30 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Whole 5.75 0.0 0 min. (flame out)


Yeast
-----

Danstar Nottingham

The easiest way to do this is (not full boil) is to stick the carapils and crystal in a grain back, drop in in a gallon and a half of water in your pot. Bring the pot up to 150 degrees and steep for a half hour. Pull out the grain bag (don't squeeze) and let it drain over the pot of a bit (you can even pour a quart of warm tap water over it to sparge)...

Bring pot up to a boil and just before it gets there pull if off the burner and add 1 pound of your DME to it...stir it to dissolve the clumps (it may take a bit...but it will dissolve). Put the pot back on burner and bring to boil...When it starts to boil add your first hops addition. (start a clock for 60 minutes)

At 30 minutes add your next hops addition.

At 15 minutes remaining remove pot and add the remainder of your DME then put it back on the burner.

At 10 minutes and 1/2 teaspoon Irish moss.

at 60 minutes (Flameout) add the last hop addition.

Take off stove and put in ice bath in sink...

When it drops to about 80 degrees put it in your mr beer (If you can get a strainer that fits over the mouth of the mr beer and Sanitize it, then top off with more water to 2 or 2.5 gallons. With a sanitized spoon stir it thoroughly or stick the cover on the mr beer and put a towel over that and pout one hand on the towel shake the heck out of the mr beer to aerate and mix the wort with the water....

Sanitize your baster and draw off a sample and take a hydro reading (drink it..it'sll taste like crap maybe but that's OK)

Open up the lid and pitch the yeast!!!!

You made beer!!!!!
 

kornbread

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Congrats!!!

First off pick up a hydrometer and a sampling tube, then get yourself a turkey baster so you can take hydro readings....Especially of the wort before you pitch the yeast and after a couple weeks in the fermenter...

Also get some irish moss...

If you use brewing software like beer smith or even the online one beercalculus.com you can scale any recipe to 2 or 2.5 gallons.

If you use dry malt extract you can make any beer in that size...you can even do allgrain full boils if you have a 20 quart pot (you'll need to boil down between 3.5 and 3 gallons down to your final size (make sure that mr beer can hold 2.5 gallons and leave headspace so you don't have a blowooff...if it can't then go with 2 gallon batches.

Here's a simple amber ale that I think Schlenkerla posted in this thread...




07-B Amber Hybrid Beer, California Common Ale

Min OG: 1.048 Max OG: 1.054
Min IBU: 30 Max IBU: 45
Min Clr: 10 Max Clr: 14 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 2.00 Wort Size (Gal): 1.00
Total Extract (Lbs): 3.50
Anticipated OG: 1.075 Plato: 18.26
Anticipated SRM: 15.6
Anticipated IBU: 31.5
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3.00 lbs. Muntons DME - Amber 1.046 17
0.25 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
0.25 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40



Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 5.10 20.9 60 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 5.10 10.7 30 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Whole 5.75 0.0 0 min. (flame out)


Yeast
-----

Danstar Nottingham

The easiest way to do this is (not full boil) is to stick the carapils and crystal in a grain back, drop in in a gallon and a half of water in your pot. Bring the pot up to 150 degrees and steep for a half hour. Pull out the grain bag (don't squeeze) and let it drain over the pot of a bit (you can even pour a quart of warm tap water over it to sparge)...

Bring pot up to a boil and just before it gets there pull if off the burner and add 1 pound of your DME to it...stir it to dissolve the clumps (it may take a bit...but it will dissolve). Put the pot back on burner and bring to boil...When it starts to boil add your first hops addition. (start a clock for 60 minutes)

At 30 minutes add your next hops addition.

At 15 minutes remaining remove pot and add the remainder of your DME then put it back on the burner.

At 10 minutes and 1/2 teaspoon Irish moss.

at 60 minutes (Flameout) add the last hop addition.

Take off stove and put in ice bath in sink...

When it drops to about 80 degrees put it in your mr beer (If you can get a strainer that fits over the mouth of the mr beer and Sanitize it, then top off with more water to 2 or 2.5 gallons. With a sanitized spoon stir it thoroughly or stick the cover on the mr beer and put a towel over that and pout one hand on the towel shake the heck out of the mr beer to aerate and mix the wort with the water....

Sanitize your baster and draw off a sample and take a hydro reading (drink it..it'sll taste like crap maybe but that's OK)

Open up the lid and pitch the yeast!!!!

You made beer!!!!!
Thanks Revvy,

I must have missed the recipe. (It's a big thread.:D) I plugged the recipe into beercalculus.com. At least it's as close as I can figure out considering some of the names are not exact matches to the names on the above list.

The color guestimate looks good. However some of their numbers worry me a little. Ex. 7.5% A.B.V. (sounds Like a headache in a bottle.) Also it says the beer will have 244 calories in a 12 oz bottle. (seems like a lot to me.)

Maybe I entered the info incorrectly. I'm just wondering if that looks right to you?
:confused:
Thanks,

Kornbread
 

Revvy

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Thanks Revvy,

I must have missed the recipe. (It's a big thread.:D) I plugged the recipe into beercalculus.com. At least it's as close as I can figure out considering some of the names are not exact matches to the names on the above list.

The color guestimate looks good. However some of their numbers worry me a little. Ex. 7.5% A.B.V. (sounds Like a headache in a bottle.) Also it says the beer will have 244 calories in a 12 oz bottle. (seems like a lot to me.)

Maybe I entered the info incorrectly. I'm just wondering if that looks right to you?
:confused:
Thanks,

Kornbread


If you reduce the DME to 2 pounds and 7 ounces, it will be in line with the above...

Also, reduce all the hops to .25 ounces/per addition and it will be nicely balanced.

Original Gravity
1.059 (1.052 to 1.061)
Final Gravity
1.015 (1.013 to 1.016)
Color
11° SRM
(Copper to Red/Lt. Brown)
Bitterness
29.1 IBU
Alcohol
5.9% A.B.V.
Calories
195 per 12 oz.

:mug:
 

alphaplastico

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is mr beer the way to start out? im thinking i could dive into some real ****, but what do you vets think?
 

Revvy

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is mr beer the way to start out? im thinking i could dive into some real ****, but what do you vets think?

Well a lot of people come into brewing through Mr Beer...and a lot of people end up on this thread having been given it as a gift and want to make the best beer possible, so that what we try to do on this thread- tossing out the crappy directions and actually making small batches of good beer in it.

Having said that, most people who own Mr Beer's step up to 5 gallon batches really rapidly, primarily because they find out beer making is fun, 2 gallon batches aren't enough AND they have more control with using the equpment of larger batch brewing (like hydrometers, for example).

My feeling is, if you're limited by space and/or funds and can find a kit on sale, go for it and get your feet wet.... BUT if you think brewing is the thing for you, and you've got the space and the cash...Skip the mr beer step and get a basic kit for making 5 gallon batches...you can get everything you need either online or at a homebrew store for between 70 and 150 dollars...

This post has great info if you want to look at a fuller system.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost.php?p=548097&postcount=3

And also read the online book,
http://howtobrew.com/intro.html

I started with a mrbeer that I got on sale for 20 bucks...Having read online a lot of info on homebrewing I pitched the instructions that came with the kit, followed the suggestions of forums like this, and brewed a damn good first batch of beer...and then promptly spent money I received for Christmas on a 5 gallon starter kit, because I had caught the brewing bug really bad and the little brown keg just wasn't enough for me...

Now most of the time the mr beer gathers dust unless I want to brew up a small experimental batch of something, or I want to do an all grain full volume boil in my small loft.


So ultimately it is up to you...If you find the mr beer someplace for dirt cheap then that's a way to start, and the people on this thread will be glad to help you make the beer better than it could be if you just followed the instructions that came with it....if you decide to go with a 5 gallon set up, then you'll have plenty of help around here as well.

:mug:
 

blackdouglas

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Hi guys,

Brand new to home "mixing" and the forum. I recently ordered two kegs and three mixes from Amazon.com/Mr.Beer.com.

I tried the cranberry maibock first, and realize now that I would have done some things differently in the mixing and boiling process. At this point, it freak'n stinks. I hope that it winds up tasting better than this.

Thant being said, my keg is creating some serious foam at the moment and it has not even been a full 24 hours. I have it sitting at the bottom of a closet on a wood floor. The keg is inside a container in case she blows. The temperature in the room looks to be between 72 and 74 degrees. I was happy to see that it is foaming that much in less than a day, but have some concerns that the keg will overflow.

What if it does? How do I recover. I have the nozzle and the lid tightened on with a death grip. Should I loosen the top lid on the Mr. Beer some so that it can get air? Should I have the lid to the container that it is in snapped shut?

Assuming that it does not blow, I am going to leave it for two weeks. Does it pay to leave it for a long time in the keg, or will the yeast only do so much in two weeks? Also, it says to leave bottled for 3 or 4 weeks. Should I double this time? Is there a payoff to using the corn sugar that I have read about? How long should I place them in the fridge after having them at room temp?

I really would appreciate answers to all of these questions. It would probably make the process gel in my head. I want to graduate into some real machinery in about six months. Hopefully the Mr. Beer containers will simply be self-serve tanks by then.

Thanks guys,
Douglas
 

kornbread

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Congrats!!!

First off pick up a hydrometer and a sampling tube, then get yourself a turkey baster so you can take hydro readings....Especially of the wort before you pitch the yeast and after a couple weeks in the fermenter...

Also get some irish moss...

If you use brewing software like beer smith or even the online one beercalculus.com you can scale any recipe to 2 or 2.5 gallons.

If you use dry malt extract you can make any beer in that size...you can even do allgrain full boils if you have a 20 quart pot (you'll need to boil down between 3.5 and 3 gallons down to your final size (make sure that mr beer can hold 2.5 gallons and leave headspace so you don't have a blowooff...if it can't then go with 2 gallon batches.

Here's a simple amber ale that I think Schlenkerla posted in this thread...



07-B Amber Hybrid Beer, California Common Ale

Min OG: 1.048 Max OG: 1.054
Min IBU: 30 Max IBU: 45
Min Clr: 10 Max Clr: 14 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 2.00 Wort Size (Gal): 1.00
Total Extract (Lbs): 3.50
Anticipated OG: 1.075 Plato: 18.26
Anticipated SRM: 15.6
Anticipated IBU: 31.5
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3.00 lbs. Muntons DME - Amber 1.046 17
0.25 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
0.25 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40



Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 5.10 20.9 60 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 5.10 10.7 30 min.
0.50 oz. Cascade Whole 5.75 0.0 0 min. (flame out)


Yeast
-----

Danstar Nottingham

The easiest way to do this is (not full boil) is to stick the carapils and crystal in a grain back, drop in in a gallon and a half of water in your pot. Bring the pot up to 150 degrees and steep for a half hour. Pull out the grain bag (don't squeeze) and let it drain over the pot of a bit (you can even pour a quart of warm tap water over it to sparge)...

Bring pot up to a boil and just before it gets there pull if off the burner and add 1 pound of your DME to it...stir it to dissolve the clumps (it may take a bit...but it will dissolve). Put the pot back on burner and bring to boil...When it starts to boil add your first hops addition. (start a clock for 60 minutes)

At 30 minutes add your next hops addition.

At 15 minutes remaining remove pot and add the remainder of your DME then put it back on the burner.

At 10 minutes and 1/2 teaspoon Irish moss.

at 60 minutes (Flameout) add the last hop addition.

Take off stove and put in ice bath in sink...

When it drops to about 80 degrees put it in your mr beer (If you can get a strainer that fits over the mouth of the mr beer and Sanitize it, then top off with more water to 2 or 2.5 gallons. With a sanitized spoon stir it thoroughly or stick the cover on the mr beer and put a towel over that and pout one hand on the towel shake the heck out of the mr beer to aerate and mix the wort with the water....

Sanitize your baster and draw off a sample and take a hydro reading (drink it..it'sll taste like crap maybe but that's OK)

Open up the lid and pitch the yeast!!!!

You made beer!!!!!

Hey guys,

I went to the local home brew store today. Pretty cool place. And I don't think that the prices were ridiculous either. I got the above ingredients. I'm looking forward to bottling the West coast pale ale kit that is in the fermenter now and brewing up the amber ale afterward.

I do have a few questions.

First: Any bottling advice?

Second: What about clean up between bottling and placing the new batch in the fermenter? Right now I plan to dissemble everything and wash it then sanitize it with the Starsan that I bought today. Anything I need to watch out for?

Third: I did get some Irish moss. When do I add it? How much do I add? do I leave it in the fermenter or do I screen it out?.... never mind. I just reread the recipe again...

Fourth: The store only had pellet hops. The recipe calls for .5 Oz pellet at 60min., .5 Oz after 30 min., And .5 oz Whole at flame out. They didn't have any whole hops. So, I got a total of 2 Oz pellet hops. Will this be ok? Do I use the same amount? (.5/.5/.5)

Sorry for the long post.

Thanks in advance.

Kornbread
 

kornbread

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Hi again guys,

Sorry If I'm being a nuisance. But, I've got another question.
I bottled my west coast pale ale. (the one that came with my Mr. Beer Kit)
Then I brewed the above recipe for a California Common Amber Ale. Everything went pretty smoothly. (I think) I posted my Brew Log at http://highlonesomebrewing.weebly.com/brew-logs.html if you'd like to see what I did. Also, I took some pictures.

My Question is about the hydrometer reading... If I'm using this thing right it says 1.056 and the temp of the wort was about 95 deg. So it says to add 5. Which I think would take me to 1.061... Did I do that right? If so, that seems to be outside the range of the recipe... I'm confused.
 

7Enigma

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Hi again guys,

My Question is about the hydrometer reading... If I'm using this thing right it says 1.056 and the temp of the wort was about 95 deg. So it says to add 5. Which I think would take me to 1.061... Did I do that right? If so, that seems to be outside the range of the recipe... I'm confused.
Having no experience with the Mr. Beer kits I can tell you that 95F is WAYYYY to hot to be doing anything except for rapid cooling (in a bucket of ice or cold water). You don't want to measure anything at that temp. Get it down to 75 or 80F.
 

Revvy

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Having no experience with the Mr. Beer kits I can tell you that 95F is WAYYYY to hot to be doing anything except for rapid cooling (in a bucket of ice or cold water). You don't want to measure anything at that temp. Get it down to 75 or 80F.
In terms of gravity, Mr Beer beers are NO different than other beers..

High temp corrections of hydrometers are not always accurate....You can use them as a ballpark (like if you are doing an allgrain full boil and want to check the first runnings of your mash.) But usually your brewing software or recipe will tell you what your runnings would be, and assumed corrected for the high temp...

It is best to get it, like Enigma said, within 10-20 degress of what your hydro is calibrated for (usually 60 or 68 degrees).

AND DON'T PITCH YEAST AT THAT TEMP....THey'll be crispy critters.
 

kornbread

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\.

AND DON'T PITCH YEAST AT THAT TEMP....THey'll be crispy critters.
Well.... I think it was below 90 deg. when I pitched. But, I have one of those cheap glass candy thermometers (75 deg. is as low as it goes and I'm not sure how accurate it is at lower temps.)

That leads me to my next question: I brewed on Sunday afternoon. I checked on it Monday night and I had a bit of foam down the sides. I cleaned it up with some starsan but I didn't remove the lid or anything. I checked it Again on Tuesday and Wednesday evening and nothing "appears" to be happening. No bubbles, no foam, nothing...

Now, I've read before that fermentation could be pretty hard to detect visibly. (Especially with Mr. Beer.)But my question is about the temp. We are having a heat wave here this week. (92-98F all week.) The basement temps at 7pm at night have been in the upper 70's. (I assume hotter during the day.) Would this be enough to slow/stop/hurt fermentation with ale yeast? (Dasntar, Nottingham)

I moved the fermenter to a large cooler last night and I placed a 2 liter bottle of water in the freezer. The plan is to set the two liter in the cooler this morning before I leave. I can place it about 8" away from the fermenter. Hopefully this will lower the temp of the wort. Good Idea?

Sorry for the long post but, I'm starting to get worried....

Kornbread
 

7Enigma

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Doesn't matter the temp when you pitched unless it was over 100F and then only if you had it in the refrigerator prior to dumping in the fermenter. As long as you followed the directions about hydrating (you hydrated right?) you should be fine.

What I was alluding to was that yeast actually PREFER higher temps than we ferment at (100F is fantastic for their growth). The problem is they start to produce some off-tasting by-products from the fermentation that is rarely wanted.

As for the fermentation unless you take a hydrometer reading there is really no way to know. Some fermentations can happen REALLY fast. My last batch I actually missed it because it happened over a single night, I just knew it had happened because I had a dried krausen ring above the liquid line.

As for the temp, that is WAYYYYY too hot. Fortunately with basements I believe the hottest part of the day is actually later than when you would expect because of the slower heat up/cool down from being underground. It's possible that is the max temp but its still about 5-10F warmer than you would want (and ideally you would want it between 55-65F).

Many people setup a huge bucket/tub/trash can and fill it with water so the fermenter sits inside. The larger amount of water the better as it will change temp slower. You might not even need ice if the amount of water is large enough (and you change it when it goes up more than 5F or so). But you have to do something or else if your beer ferments it will not be very good.

HTH
 

Revvy

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I moved the fermenter to a large cooler last night and I placed a 2 liter bottle of water in the freezer. The plan is to set the two liter in the cooler this morning before I leave. I can place it about 8" away from the fermenter. Hopefully this will lower the temp of the wort. Good Idea?

Sorry for the long post but, I'm starting to get worried....

Kornbread
Good idea...but you must sanitize the spigot before you use it to drain out the beer....If it sits in water for a week, lord knows what could happen (next time sanitize the spigot, a small plastic baggie, and a couple of rubberbands. Before you put it in the water bath wrap the spigot in the baggie and seal with the rubberbands....then when you're ready, carefully dry off the baggie and remove it...(I'd still probably re sanitize the spigot after anyway.)

Getting some iodophor or starsan (the best 2 no-rinse sanitizers), a spray bottle and some distilled water is a good thing for any brewer to have.

After you remove the fermenter from the bath, dry it off thoroughly then spray it all over with sanitizer...pay particular attention to the inside front of the spigot-the part that sat in the water.
 
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