Archive | February, 2010

Make Real Beer in your Mr. Beer

A few days ago I talked about using the Mr. Beer kit. I should have mentioned that you can use the Mr. Beer fermenter to make your own beer recipe, without using one of their kits. You simply make a 2 gallon batch of beer and use the Mr. Beer keg for fermenting it. This is a safe way to move into “legitimate” beer brewing, with much less expense. I have a recipe for a very basic Hefeweizen that I love to make, and I have scaled it to a 2 gallon recipe. Enjoy!

2 Gallon Hefeweizen

  • 2.2 pounds Dry Wheat Extract (Here)
  • 1/2 ounce German Hallertau Whole Hops (Here)
  • WLP300 Hefeweizen Yeast (Here)
  1. Boil 1/4 c. of Dry Extract in 2 gallons of water with all of the hops for 45 min.
  2. After 45 minutes, add the rest of the malt extract and boil for the remaining 15 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat and cool
  4. Add to the fermenter, top up to 2 gallons in the fermenter with spring water
  5. Pour in Yeast vial, and seal up the fermenter
Once fermentation is finished, prime with 3.3 oz. of sugar. The easiest way is to use something like Munton’s CarbTabs, which has pre-measured tablets, with dextrose, spray-dried extract, and heading powder. You can find more information here. You can buy the CarbTabs at any brewers supply store or website. If you use CarbTabs, you won’t need to add any sugar to prime the bottles.
Enjoy the recipe, anyone who loves wheat beers will love a good hefeweizen. Enjoy!

Make Your Own Beer, Without a Stove

The Problem

Ok, so, beer can be quite expensive. After a while, you will start to notice that you are spending more money than you should on beer; well, if you’re like most college students, that is (note: if you are under 21, you shouldn’t be drinking anyway, it’s important to wait until you are 21 to start drinking…)

Many people toy around with the idea of making their own beer, it seems like a great idea, doesn’t it? The problem is: most kits require you to make 5 gallons of beer at a time, and require a stove. I tried this…and it worked, but it was a TON of work, and the product wasn’t great. Now that I have an apartment, I make my own beer, the real way, and it is very delicious. I actually just bottled 25 bottles of a Hefeweizen, and it should be delicious.
The Solution
Anywho, back to the topic at hand; making your own without a stove. The Mr. Beer kit is really great for starting out at making beer. While you do not make world class beers with Mr. Beer, you can make a very tasty product, and you will definitely enjoy making, and drinking it. We figured out you could have 2 gallons of beer ready to drink per week when I first started doing this. Our plan was to buy up to 9 Mr. Beer kits and have 18 gallons ready per week. Then, we would sell the beer and make a handsome profit. (This did not work because 1. It is Illegal, and 2. It requires large amounts of capital, and 3. It is Illegal. Don’t make beer if you’re too young, and DON’T EVER SELL YOUR BEER!)
You can get a kit from Amazon, or other websites, and it will have enough to make one batch of beer (2 gallons). After that, you can buy refill kits to keep making beer. You might need some bottles, as well to fill up with delicious beer. Once you have the things you need, there is a slight change in procedure that you will need to follow, but I have outlined it below.
  1. Sanitize the keg as usual: all sanitization steps will be exactly the same
  2. Sprinkle a little bit (1 teaspoon) of the booster into 4 cups of water in a microwave safe container which will hold the liquid. Microwave until it is nearly boiling (microwaved water will not actually boil, unless a container is made for it)
  3. Stir in the booster, slowly
  4. Stir in the canned malt extract. Re-microwave to heat up if required
  5. After this, all the steps are the same. I have made Mr. Beer with the microwave before, and it turned out great. I highly recommend it.
Once you get into this, it is possible to catch the “bug” of homebrewing. Once you have the space to do it, and you would like to step into “real” beer making, you can try out a few sources for information. One is a DVD that is pretty popular. It lays out all the steps needed to make beer from malt extract. There are further DVD’s with more advanced techniques.

Some books that are also helpful are:
So, that’s a basic overview of how to get into brewing your own beer; in a small confined space, and in an apartment. Once you get into brewing beer, it can take off and you can start making lots of beer 🙂 I currently have probably 100 bottles in my stash, just waiting for a thirsty day.

Happy Brewing!

Keeping Yourself Accountable

January – Over.

My record based on the Seinfeld calendar for exercising: 27/31
That’s pretty good, working out to 87% completion; 90% would be better, 100% desired, but looking back, I have no regrets.
The days I missed were interview related; after a long day of interviews, it’s too difficult to go ahead and work out. With that said, every day I do not have an ‘X’ I actually did SOMETHING, but not enough for me to justify that in my mind, because that would sabotage me later on.
For Example:
“Well, 20 minutes of cardio should be enough to count it, I’ve already done that twice”
“You know, 10 minutes is ok, because I went pretty hard during those ten minutes”
“Well, I didn’t actually ‘work out’ per se, but I walked a lot around campus”
“I didn’t lift weights, but I did lug around my backpack, and that is quite heavy”
“I didn’t do anything today, but I did get out of bed, that should count”
Blam, suddenly you find yourself doing nothing, and, worst-of-all, it is all justified in your mind.
This calendar is keeping me accountable, because I can see, and everyone else can see, how much I worked out. I also purchased a scale, and once it comes, I will take daily measurements, and graph it. This will also be posted in my room, for all to see.
“Hmm, I’m kind of embarrassed about 380, but, I won’t be embarrassed if that was my starting point and I have lost 30 pounds”
So you can see, it is all about accountability, because we’re all too persuasive to ourselves; we can make ourselves believe anything, so don’t let your mind start to persuade you, fight back and do what is right!

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