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Old 01-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
For a few specific answers -

In addition to my comments previously, if you got your kit online, can you post a link?

If you kit is indeed all-grain, you will need to mash it (can be done as a 'brew-in-a-bag' process, it's what I do), but that is generally for steeping or a mini-mash.

Here's a link to a cooler style 'batch-sparge' mash tun -

dennybrew

or google BIAB or brew-in-a-bag or MIAB (mash-in-a-bag) in one of the forums I listed.

NEVER pour hot wort into a glass carboy. It WILL crack.

Well, you CAN ferment in a plastic fermenting bucket with a spigot (I've done it many times), but it needs to be a bucket that you can fit with a lid and airlock, and it needs to be 6.5 gallons to allow head-space for the krausen (foam) when it's fermenting. And you have to be certain you have taken the spigot apart and fully sanitized it, and that you have a good seal. Your bottling bucket may or may not not fit the bill, but a drilled fermenting bucket will. Looks like NB's bottling bucket is just a drilled fermentor, but that's not always the case.

6.5 Gallon Bottling Bucket : Northern Brewer
Bottling Spigot for Bottling Bucket : Northern Brewer







Right. The 'beer gun', also called a counter-pressure bottle filler, has a port for CO2, so it flushes air from the bottle, and by maintaining the counter pressure, it can help reduce foaming.

Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Techniques - Counter-Pressure Bottling: Techniques

-ERD50
The recipe

ingredients
1lb wheat dme
3.5 lb bavarian wheat lme (late addition)
1.0 lb pilsner malkt (in muslin bag)
12 oz carapils malt (in muslin bag)
8oz wheat makt (in muslin bag)
1.0 ox czech saaz hops
.5 tsp crushed coriander
1 pkg dry wheat beer yeast
5 oz corn sugar (priming sugar)

directions
2.5 gallons water to 152 deg F
turn off heat and steep bag grains for 30 minutes (edit to add- what does steep mean?)
After 30 minutes, strain as much liquid as you can from grains and discard grain.
Add more water to make 3 gallons and stir in DME
After completely dissolved, bring to a boil
Boil for a total of 60 minutes, counting down and adding hops at times listed
With 15 minutes remaining, remove from heat and add the LME and irish moss
MAKE SURE LME is totally dissolved and none remains on the bottom
Put back on heat and bring to a boil for the last 15 minutes
At 0 minutes turn off heat and add crushed coriander
Cool to aproximately 70 deg F and add clean water to make 5 gallons total and transfer to a clean and sterilized fermenter
Add yeast and place on lid along with a water filled airlock (what is this?)
Allow to ferment for 1 full week
Siphon to a cleaned and santized bottling bucket
add 5 oz priming sugar
stir in gently
when mixed, bottle
leave bottles at room temp for 2 weeks

Should I use my growlers or save real beer bottles?
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
The recipe

ingredients
1lb wheat dme
3.5 lb bavarian wheat lme (late addition)
1.0 lb pilsner malkt (in muslin bag)
12 oz carapils malt (in muslin bag)
8oz wheat makt (in muslin bag)
1.0 ox czech saaz hops
.5 tsp crushed coriander
1 pkg dry wheat beer yeast
5 oz corn sugar (priming sugar)
You forgot...
Quote:
Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frogge,
Wool of Bat, and Tongue of Dogge,
Adder's Fork, and Blind-worm's Sting,
Lizard's leg, and Howlet's wing,
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #23
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My kit is a brewmaster best.
http://brewersbestkits.com/
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
The recipe...
OK, that clears up a lot. This recipe is what is called a 'mini-mash' or 'partial-mash'. You will be fine, this will likely make a very good beer.

4.5# of your fermentables are coming from condensed extract (dme= dry malt extract, lme = liquid me).

Quote:
1lb wheat dme
3.5 lb bavarian wheat lme (late addition)
You will need to 'mash' the ~ 2.25# of grains

Quote:
1.0 lb pilsner malkt (in muslin bag)
12 oz carapils malt (in muslin bag)
8oz wheat makt (in muslin bag)

Quote:
directions

2.5 gallons water to 152 deg F
turn off heat and steep bag grains for 30 minutes (edit to add- what does steep mean?)
After 30 minutes, strain as much liquid as you can from grains and discard grain.
OK, They use the term 'steep' instead of 'mash'. I've seen this, and I think they are afraid to scare beginners away with the concept of 'mashing' the grain, but IMO, it just confuses things.

FYI - you can 'steep' grains that have already had their starch converted to sugar, but you really must 'mash' grains that are starchy - like your base malts (the carapils is kinda in-between). When you steep converted grains (like Caramel 60), the time and temperature of the water isn't very important, as you don't need to worry about the enzymes.


At any rate, 'steeping' at 152F for 30 minutes is 'mashing' and will convert the starches to sugars - the enzymes are in that base malt. So that's Ok, it is just the terminology I don't like. Follow their directions and you should be fine. You will simply be putting the grains in the bag, and soaking them in the 152F water for 30 minutes.

Another way to say that is - all 'mashes' are 'steeps' (the grain is soaked in water), but not all 'steeps are 'mashes' (you need the right temperatures and times and enzymes for a 'mash').

Taste the 'porridge' at first, and at the end of 30 minutes. You should definitely note a difference in taste and feel the sticky sugars.

2.5 gallons of water for 2.25# of grain is a fair amount of water/grain ratio. 1~2 Quarts/# is more typical for brewers (and there are some technical reason why, involving pH and tannin in the grain - but don't worry about that for now). I see why they use that much water though - it's easier to maintain the 152F with a larger amount of water, and you won't have to go through a second stage of heating/adding water. Follow those directions, you'll be fine - just be aware it's outside what an all-grain batch would be doing, but no worries.


ingredients
1lb wheat dme
3.5 lb bavarian wheat lme (late addition)
1.0 lb pilsner malkt (in muslin bag)
12 oz carapils malt (in muslin bag)
8oz wheat makt (in muslin bag)
1.0 ox czech saaz hops
.5 tsp crushed coriander
1 pkg dry wheat beer yeast
5 oz corn sugar (priming sugar)

Quote:
Add more water to make 3 gallons and stir in DME
After completely dissolved, bring to a boil
Boil for a total of 60 minutes, counting down and adding hops at times listed
With 15 minutes remaining, remove from heat and add the LME and irish moss
MAKE SURE LME is totally dissolved and none remains on the bottom
Put back on heat and bring to a boil for the last 15 minutes
For the initial 2.5G water, sanitation is not so important, as it will be boiled. But tap water can be a problem - chlorine can react and cause off flavors. I'd recc bottled water, just to keep the variables down.

Watch for 'boil-overs' things can foam up and make a sticky mess. Some people keep a spray bottle of clean water - spraying the foam can drop the boil quickly. Heed their warning to get the lme mixed well so as not to burn it on the bottom of the pot (what pot do you have?)


Quote:
At 0 minutes turn off heat and add crushed coriander
Cool to aproximately 70 deg F and add clean water to make 5 gallons total and transfer to a clean and sterilized fermenter
When cooling, you want to be careful to avoid contamination. Your 'top-off' water must be sanitary. Sealed bottled water is good. Else, it is recc to boil it, but then you need to chill it and keep it cool. KISS, get gallon jugs of bottled water for this, chill them in the fridge. If you have ~ 2.5G of 40F water, you only need to chill the ~ 2.5G of wort to ~ 90F for the mix to hit the 70F they spec.

70F is probably good for a wheat beer, I typically get to 60F for 'clean' tasting ales. All depends on yeast and style.


Quote:
Add yeast and place on lid along with a water filled airlock (what is this?)
Allow to ferment for 1 full week
Take a look at that How-to-brew site we linked - that will answer a lot of this better than we can, with pictures and everything.

Do you have a hydrometer? That is the best way to know that fermentation is finished. One week is short, I generally allow 3-4 weeks for ales. A wheat beer fermented at 70F will go faster though, but you really want to know that it is done. If it keeps fermenting in the bottle, it can create enough pressure to blow up the bottle - and this can be VERY dangerous.


Quote:
Siphon to a cleaned and santized bottling bucket
add 5 oz priming sugar
stir in gently
when mixed, bottle
leave bottles at room temp for 2 weeks

Should I use my growlers or save real beer bottles?
I'm not sure all growlers are designed to hold pressure of a bottle carbonated beer. Make sure that sugar gets mixed fully and evenly, else you will have some bottles with too much (bottle bombs, or just 'gushers'), some with too little (flat). It is the sugar that feeds the yeast to carbonate the beer. After two weeks, the sugar has been eaten by the yeast and turned into CO2 for the beer. You'll need a capper and caps.

Her's a tip - bottle one or two into a sanitized PET plastic pop bottle (soda water bottles are best, to avoid flavors from the soda). You can feel the pressure build up over the two weeks by squeezing them - it's a nice way to monitor progress. Drink those first, the bottles aren't so good at blocking oxygen, so not the best for long term storage (probably not a problem with your first brew).


What are you doing for sanitation? I highly recc Star-San. It is a phosphoric acid that you dilute, you don't need to rinse it, and it is basically tasteless, and won't stain your close or produce any off-flavors.

But read up a little, and 'walk through' the process before you start - there will always be surprises, the more you 'practice'the easier it will be.

And don't forget the home-brewer's mantra RDWHAHB (Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Home-Brew!). But wait until your wort is safely in the fermentor.

And as they say, welcome to the obsession!

-ERD50
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
You forgot...

Quote:
Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frogge,
Wool of Bat, and Tongue of Dogge,
Adder's Fork, and Blind-worm's Sting,
Lizard's leg, and Howlet's wing,
Hey - one of the best beers I've brewed was one we named "Eye-PA of Newt". It was an IPA style I brewed with another guy at a 'Big Brew' event. His ten YO son was there, and when he saw us stirring the mash, and adding these various ingredients, he thought it looked like a witches brew, so we came up with the "Eye of Newt" connection.

-ERD50
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:07 PM   #26
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This is a great thread. I have been brewing off and on for the last fifteen years or so. But, until the last two batches have used a partial mash. I was always concerned about the cost, complexity, knowledge level required, and length of brew time to try all grain. I tried the brew in a bag method and was surprised by how simple the process was and how much better my beer tasted. My local home brew store had never heard of BIAB and was trying to steer me to brew in the "correct" method. He gave up on me and just measured my grain....

I don't know if I will ever try a traditional full grain brew, but sure do enjoy the brew in a bag method. For those of you that have tried both the full grain and BIAB methods, do you notice a difference in quality of beer?
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by retiredncolorado View Post
I don't know if I will ever try a traditional full grain brew, but sure do enjoy the brew in a bag method. For those of you that have tried both the full grain and BIAB methods, do you notice a difference in quality of beer?
Like you, I was doing a bunch of mini-mashes. I got to the point that most of my brews required a small mash, and then you have to deal with the extract too, so after reading about BIAB and MIAB, I went 'all-grain' (I prefer to use the term 'full mash').

I do a variation of Brew-in-a-bag, I do Mash-in-a-bag. But going 'full-mash', my equipment is really minimal. My 'mash tun' consists of two 3.5G buckets. I use a 5 gallon Paint Strainer bag in each, and split my mash between the two. The two buckets just fit in an oven that I warmed and turned off, so the mash holds temp pretty well. Then I boil on the stove in two 5 gallon cheap pots. I heat the sparge water in those brew pots, and dunk the bags from the buckets in to the pots. Then add the mash water from the buckets, and start the boil. EZ.

By splitting the boil, it's easy to do on a stove top.

Quality difference? It's just different ways to rinse the grain. With true BIAB (mashing right in the brew-pot), you do have a thin mash. There could be differences in conversion attributed to that, but from what I've read it's either very minor, or can be compensated for by changing mash temp/time/pH or combo. At any rate, I'd guess it isn't a quality diff as much as just an adjustment to hit the same target.

-ERD50
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:07 AM   #28
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Yesterday was a typical day of brewing at the Flossmoor Station Brewery outside Chicago. The only atypical part was that my BIL and I were invited to take part. Our mission – brewing 600 gallons of Station Master Wheat Ale. I am not even close to being an expert, but I believe this is what took place:

We started by sanitizing equipment and the fermenter, and by carrying 880 pounds of grain into the brewery. We heated our strike water to 176º and added approximately 330 gallons to the mash tun. Brewing salts were added to the water to optimize the ph of the mash. Then we added our grain, mixing and stirring (doughing in) the water with the grain to create the mash having a temperature of 152º.



The wort drained by gravity through the grain bed, through a slotted stainless steel false bottom through piping into a small open kettle known as a grant. From there, the wort was pumped and recirculated back into the mash tun. This helps to clarify the wort. We monitored the specific gravity of the pre-boil wort by measuring samples from the grant using a refractometer. After an hour of mashing, we performed an iodine conversion test to verify that the starch conversion in the wort was complete.

We then switched piping connections and began pumping the wort from the grant to the brew kettle. When the wort level had lowered to about an inch above the grain bed in the mash tun, we began sparging. A rotating sparge arm sprinkled 170º-180º sparge water over the grain bed keeping the grain bed moist.



We constantly monitored the specific gravity of the wort in the grant during sparging. The gravity gradually lowered and we stopped sparging when the gravity reached a specified level. We then took specific gravity readings of the wort in the boil kettle to ensure that it matched specifications. We then brought the wort to a low boil. At the same time , we shoveled the spent grain from the mash tun. (A local dairy farmer picks up the spent grain – his cows love it.)



Our recipe called for 3 hop additions – one at the beginning of the 60 minute boil, one at 30 minutes remaining in the boil, and one at the end of the boil. Based on the alpha acid rating specified in the recipe, and the rating of the hops, we calculated the amount of hops needed, and added them to the boil at the specified times.



Near the end of the boil we added a yeast nutrient and a beer clarifying agent. We then began draining the boil kettle. The draining wort created a whirlpool action in the kettle that concentrated the trub (sediment) in the bottom center of the kettle away from the kettle outlet.

The wort was pumped from the kettle to the fermenter. First it was piped through a glycol/heat exchanger system to reduce the wort temperature from boiling to 72º. Then pressurized oxygen was pushed through a corney keg filled with yeast and the oxygen/yeast mixture was pushed into the wort piping system on the way to the fermenter. We shut down the oxygen/yeast injection when the yeast keg was empty.



We shut down the pump when the brew kettle was drained and all wort was pumped into the fermenter. We then set the fermenter temperature (glycol jacketed), cleaned up and retired to the bar for a beer. The whole process took about 8 hours. What a great day! And the beer and food at the Flossmoor Station are out of this world.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:52 AM   #29
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My nephew was a manager of the Gore Range Brewery Restaurant in Edwards, CO a few years ago. They brewed some pretty good beer. If your ever in the area, try it out. Good food too.

Gore Range Brewery
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:35 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
Yesterday was a typical day of brewing at the Flossmoor Station Brewery outside Chicago. The only atypical part was that my BIL and I were invited to take part. Our mission – brewing 600 gallons of Station Master Wheat Ale. I am not even close to being an expert, but I believe this is what took place:
...
Thanks for the report and pics Ronstar - looks like you were having fun. It'll be cool when you drop by and taste the fruits of your work.

Except for the volumes, and the glycol temperature control (though some home-brewers have some pretty sophisticated temp control), really not much different from home brewing.

-ERD50
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
OK, that clears up a lot. This recipe is what is called a 'mini-mash' or 'partial-mash'. You will be fine, this will likely make a very good beer.

4.5# of your fermentables are coming from condensed extract (dme= dry malt extract, lme = liquid me).



You will need to 'mash' the ~ 2.25# of grains






OK, They use the term 'steep' instead of 'mash'. I've seen this, and I think they are afraid to scare beginners away with the concept of 'mashing' the grain, but IMO, it just confuses things.

FYI - you can 'steep' grains that have already had their starch converted to sugar, but you really must 'mash' grains that are starchy - like your base malts (the carapils is kinda in-between). When you steep converted grains (like Caramel 60), the time and temperature of the water isn't very important, as you don't need to worry about the enzymes.


At any rate, 'steeping' at 152F for 30 minutes is 'mashing' and will convert the starches to sugars - the enzymes are in that base malt. So that's Ok, it is just the terminology I don't like. Follow their directions and you should be fine. You will simply be putting the grains in the bag, and soaking them in the 152F water for 30 minutes.

Another way to say that is - all 'mashes' are 'steeps' (the grain is soaked in water), but not all 'steeps are 'mashes' (you need the right temperatures and times and enzymes for a 'mash').

Taste the 'porridge' at first, and at the end of 30 minutes. You should definitely note a difference in taste and feel the sticky sugars.

2.5 gallons of water for 2.25# of grain is a fair amount of water/grain ratio. 1~2 Quarts/# is more typical for brewers (and there are some technical reason why, involving pH and tannin in the grain - but don't worry about that for now). I see why they use that much water though - it's easier to maintain the 152F with a larger amount of water, and you won't have to go through a second stage of heating/adding water. Follow those directions, you'll be fine - just be aware it's outside what an all-grain batch would be doing, but no worries.


ingredients
1lb wheat dme
3.5 lb bavarian wheat lme (late addition)
1.0 lb pilsner malkt (in muslin bag)
12 oz carapils malt (in muslin bag)
8oz wheat makt (in muslin bag)
1.0 ox czech saaz hops
.5 tsp crushed coriander
1 pkg dry wheat beer yeast
5 oz corn sugar (priming sugar)



For the initial 2.5G water, sanitation is not so important, as it will be boiled. But tap water can be a problem - chlorine can react and cause off flavors. I'd recc bottled water, just to keep the variables down.

Watch for 'boil-overs' things can foam up and make a sticky mess. Some people keep a spray bottle of clean water - spraying the foam can drop the boil quickly. Heed their warning to get the lme mixed well so as not to burn it on the bottom of the pot (what pot do you have?)




When cooling, you want to be careful to avoid contamination. Your 'top-off' water must be sanitary. Sealed bottled water is good. Else, it is recc to boil it, but then you need to chill it and keep it cool. KISS, get gallon jugs of bottled water for this, chill them in the fridge. If you have ~ 2.5G of 40F water, you only need to chill the ~ 2.5G of wort to ~ 90F for the mix to hit the 70F they spec.

70F is probably good for a wheat beer, I typically get to 60F for 'clean' tasting ales. All depends on yeast and style.




Take a look at that How-to-brew site we linked - that will answer a lot of this better than we can, with pictures and everything.

Do you have a hydrometer? That is the best way to know that fermentation is finished. One week is short, I generally allow 3-4 weeks for ales. A wheat beer fermented at 70F will go faster though, but you really want to know that it is done. If it keeps fermenting in the bottle, it can create enough pressure to blow up the bottle - and this can be VERY dangerous.




I'm not sure all growlers are designed to hold pressure of a bottle carbonated beer. Make sure that sugar gets mixed fully and evenly, else you will have some bottles with too much (bottle bombs, or just 'gushers'), some with too little (flat). It is the sugar that feeds the yeast to carbonate the beer. After two weeks, the sugar has been eaten by the yeast and turned into CO2 for the beer. You'll need a capper and caps.

Her's a tip - bottle one or two into a sanitized PET plastic pop bottle (soda water bottles are best, to avoid flavors from the soda). You can feel the pressure build up over the two weeks by squeezing them - it's a nice way to monitor progress. Drink those first, the bottles aren't so good at blocking oxygen, so not the best for long term storage (probably not a problem with your first brew).


What are you doing for sanitation? I highly recc Star-San. It is a phosphoric acid that you dilute, you don't need to rinse it, and it is basically tasteless, and won't stain your close or produce any off-flavors.

But read up a little, and 'walk through' the process before you start - there will always be surprises, the more you 'practice'the easier it will be.

And don't forget the home-brewer's mantra RDWHAHB (Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Home-Brew!). But wait until your wort is safely in the fermentor.

And as they say, welcome to the obsession!

-ERD50
Thank you

I have an 11 gallon container to cook in
the kit came with a sanitation package.
I have a capper, no bottles though.
I have 20 oz growlers left from my Mr Beer kit which I was planning to use, and I think I have a gift coming with more of same growlers MLK weekend.

I will start keeping bottles from beers I drink- I assume I want brown bottles, not green ones?

A friend of mine has a propane stove to cook this, he has not done any mashing before, so we are learning the mash part together. He used LMEs for all his brews.

There is a beer brand called Flying dog, and they had a hefeweizen I really liked, any suggested recipes to come close to that beer?
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #32
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Here is a funny story

I received the beer kit and first recipe as a christmas present. As I was opening items a few days later to prepare to brew, I thought I was in over my head, as I had only brewed with LMEs before, and this was all grain.

My wife "told me" on christmas there was liquid extract in the frig which came with the recipe she purchased. I thought after a few people here weighed in I was missing an ingredient.

Turns out its in the frig.

Moral of the story: Not sure, but I am laughing at how it took posting the recipe here to etch in my brain this needed a liquid extract.

Thx all for pointing out the obvious. Why didn't you tell me my wife put it in the frig?
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:19 PM   #33
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jIMOh:

To be clear, not all extract brews need a liquid extract. You will find lots of extract and partial-mash recipes using powdered extract.

Also, in the future tell your wife the extract doesn't need to be refrigerated.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:12 PM   #34
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I have a capper, no bottles though.
I have 20 oz growlers left from my Mr Beer kit which I was planning to use, and I think I have a gift coming with more of same growlers MLK weekend.

I will start keeping bottles from beers I drink- I assume I want brown bottles, not green ones?
I'm not sure what kind of pressure the growlers can handle, but they might work.

Brown bottles are better, but mostly you want to make sure you have pop-tops, and not screw caps. Screw caps won't seal right.

There's some great forums with recipes and tips, here's something I found looking for the flying dog hef: Flying Dog In Heat Wheat Hefe Weizen clone?? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:14 PM   #35
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The 20 oz bottles jIMOh describes from Mr Beer will work, screw on caps and all. I have used them many times. But I prefer glass, and suspect jIMOh will soon move up to glass.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:50 AM   #36
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43 glass bottles of beer are carbonating now...
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:39 AM   #37
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If you haven't already seen it, you might watch the documentary "How Beer Saved the World." I believe it is on Netflix streaming.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:39 AM   #38
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43 glass bottles of beer are carbonating now...
Forty-three bottles of beer on the wall,
Forty-three bottles of beer...
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #39
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That makes me think about one of my first experiences. I started by reading Papazian's book, The Joy of Homebrewing. On my first visit to a homebrew retail store (there weren't many in 1987), I met an old redneck guy who took pity on the newbie and gave me this advice:

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No need for a hydrometer or any of that stuff. Just bottle it after a few days of fermentin' and put them bottles out in the garage. Check 'em every day. When the first bottle explodes, the rest are ready to drink.
I thanked him for his advice, but bought a hydrometer anyway.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:14 PM   #40
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That makes me think about one of my first experiences. I started by reading Papazian's book, The Joy of Homebrewing. On my first visit to a homebrew retail store (there weren't many in 1987), I met an old redneck guy who took pity on the newbie and gave me this advice:



I thanked him for his advice, but bought a hydrometer anyway.
LOL

The advice which was given to me was people did this in the 16th and 17th centuries (and earlier) without ANY temperature control. So the advanced instrumentation might help, but is clearly not required.

I bottled after 10 days of fermenting (per instructions) and never checked alcohol content or similar. I did taste it before I bottled it, and I think this is going to taste really yummy.
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