Category Archives: Midwest Reviews

First Looks: PET Big Mouth Bubbler

Here’s a First Looks post on the new 6.5 Gallon Big Mouth Bubbler Large Mouth Fermenter that is available from both Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies.


For height on this, including lid, I got roughly 21 1/2″
 Width at the bottom is roughly 10 1/2″
Width at the top of the fermenter is roughly 5 3/4″.  I’m hooking on the outside of the lip on the other side, so I would call the actual opening roughly 5 1/2″.  Plenty large enough to get my arm through.
They are kind of difficult to see in this picture, but the fermenter has hash marks built into it denoting 1 gallon increments.  I found the first one to be right on.  The remainder seemed just a little high to me.  I’d shoot for just under each hash mark after the first one.
The stated capacity of the 6.5 gallon fermenter is… 6.5 gallons.  By my measurements it’s actually 7 gallons.  There is approximately 3/4″ of an inch left over with 7 gallons of water in the fermenter.  
Here is the full fermenter with my generally handy 1 Gallon Rubbermaid Commercial Pitcher.  I use that for a bunch of things including on Brew Days.  
One of my tests on the fermenter was to carry it chock full of 7 gallons of water to my utility sink to empty it.  That’s about 58 lbs.  It held up fine and did not collapse or otherwise deform when I rested it on the side of the sink to empty it.
Bottom of the fermenter.
The lid is in two parts, an outer threaded ring and an interchangeable inside portion.  I have the single ported version, but a double ported version is also available.  The second port can be used for racking and easy sample taking.  When not in use a solid universal stopper is used to seal the second port.
Stopper and airlock installed.  The stopper seats firmly in the port.
 A custom designed carrier is also available for this carboy.  It has adjustable handles and horizontal straps.
Here’s the locking strap on the carrier.
The adjustable horizontal straps.
The carrier is Made in the USA.
Side view of the carrying straps.
The 6.5 PET Big Mouth Bubbler Wide Mouth Fermenter.
These are available from both Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies.

Brewing Midwest Supplies Pike IPA Kit

I’ve had the chance to visit Pike Brewery and had a chance to try their beers on more than once occasion.  I’m a fan.  I recently brewed Midwest Supplies Pike IPA Kit.  The lurid details follow.

This kit is available in an all grain version and an extract with specialty grains version.  I brewed the all grain version.  It came with a bag of grains, priming sugar, hops, yeast and directions.

Grain just sitting there in my barley crusher.  I don’t like the look on your faces so I will crush you!

Crushed grain.  CDN DTQ405X is reading 57.2 degrees.
Strike water coming up to temperature
Time to mash
What do I do while I’m waiting?  I roast some coffee of course.  Using my Behmor 1600 roaster.  
Back to beer.  First runnings in the kettle.
Site glass on my Blichmann BoilerMaker shows that I’m just barely shy of my 3 gallon target.
Second runnings get me back on target at right about 6 gallons
Hot break
The Pike IPA kit uses Northern Brewer and US Goldings
Ready to chill
Coffee beans are done.
A starter of Wyeast 1056 ready to be pitched.
The finished beer.  Compare it to a glass of Pike IPA – Here – via  I think it looks spot on.
Different glass, different lighting.  I think this is a beautiful looking beer.
I really liked brewing this kit and I’m enjoying drinking it.  It’s got a nice hop backbone, a subtle caramel flavor and a spicy hop finish.
Description from Midwest Supplies:

This IPA by Pike Brewing is the quintessential example of a West Coast IPA. This beer will get ya in the 1.060 gravity range and put a pucker on yer lips. It is a full-bodied, malty beer with a complex hop flavor and an aroma that is floral, herbal, and spicy. Wow- American IPA at its best!

Pike’s India Pale Ale ALL-GRAIN Kit 245AGx – $25.99

Pike’s India Pale Ale Extract Kit 245x – $36.49

Pinned: AHA Membership Deal | 3.5 Gallon SS Conicals | La Petite Orange | Citra

Recent Great Deals:

Brewing Harriet’s West Side Belgian IPA from Midwest Supplies

I recently brewed Midwest’s West Side Belgian IPA kit.  Midwest has partnered with Minneapolis based Harriet Brewing to put this kit together.

Description from Midwest Supplies:

West Side Belgian-Style IPA
Harriet’s West Side is an eclectic ale brewed to balance the brightest West Coast hops with a prolific Belgian yeast strain. It pours light copper with a vigorous white head. Subtle malt gives way to a fruity, citrusy, and slightly spicy aroma and flavor. Light bodied, effervescent, and seductively approachable.

At Harriet Brewing we emphasize intention as the primary component in recipe development. It’s what makes good beer special. We take pride in using our knowledge of traditional beer styles, our open minds, and eclectic palates to brew both unique and traditional beer styles. Our goal with every recipe is authenticity… to develop a particular character that allows the beer to stand out and be remembered. It’s authenticity that we crave as beer drinkers; so, it’s authenticity that we strive for as brewers. We study beer, determine what we want, then manifest it! For most of us here, it’s not just in brewing; it’s a way of life.

 Specialty grains going in

 Just prior to adding the malt extract.  It had been a while since I had brewed an extract beer.  I had forgotten just how much color comes from steeped specialty grains.

Scary hot break.  Need to stir instead of taking pictures!

 Ready to cool

Tasty beer in a glass

I chose the Wyeast yeast option which is  Wyeast Belgian Ardennes 3522.  That yeast works well in the 65 to 72 deg F temperature range.  I fermented in the middle of that range at 68.  I wanted to get some of Belgian spice and esters without going overboard.

This is a tasty beer.  It has some of those Belgian yeast components along with a nice hop bitterness and west coast hop flavor.  I like the combination of those two types of flavors when the Belgian yeast component is not over the top.  Overall, I’m a fan of this beer and would certainly brew it again.

Harriet’s West Side Belgian IPA Extract – $44.99

Harriet’s West Side Belgian IPA All Grain – $33.99

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