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Tippsy

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  1. Many thanks for the pointers everyone. The bottling-as-the-secondary idea just seems to cut out a lot of transfers and therefore the risks of contamination especially if the sugar can be added anytime thereafter. However you guys made valid points such as potential inconsistency and, if dry hopping for example, ending up with gunk in the bottles. As for my auto-siphon problems, I'm certain they come from my inexperience and clumsiness: 1) at first the flowing liquid in the tubing was not solid ie there was a flow of air alongside the entire length causing bubbling as I filled the bottle. I found pinching the tubing and letting go somehow allowed the tube to "fill" with liquid and finally create a solid flow. 2) the auto-siphon would move around. The clamp idea is a good one which I'll get for next time, but in my case yelling at the wife to do something useful and hold the siphon steady worked nicely. 3) transfering the tubing between bottles left drips everywhere. I don't have a bottling wand and use a tubing valve instead and somehow (perhaps the seal in the valve is crap) there is a continuous dripping. 4) On a few occasions, I'd forget to re-sanitze my fingers before grabbing the tubing to guide it into the next bottle. Here again, the wand would probably overcome this problem. 5) (this one's embarassing) during one occasion whilst straining to see the beer level in a nearly-filled bottle and juggling with the moving auto-siphon, I turned the valve the wrong direction and the beer overflowed. BigFloyd, I think the idea of having a spigot/tubing combo on my bottling bucket would make things a heck of a lot easier. Oh well. I suspect the first few bottles are probably contaminated but we live and learn. Thanks again everyone.
  2. I just batch primed today for the first time and found it tedious, nerve-racking and messy! So the thought of later introducing a secondary into the process aswell is just daunting. Admittedly, i think using the auto-siphon caused the biggest headaches. My question is, what are the major drawbacks of using the bottles themselves as the secondary and, a couple of weeks later, just dropping in sugar CUBES to start the carbonation? Just fill from the primary and cap 'em! The gentleman on this posting demonstrated that the beer does not foam up when cubes are added: http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/11-basic-brewing-techniques/363767-bottle-priming-again If I want to add flavor essence or santized zest, i could just drop some in each bottle and therefore not need to rack the beer over the additions in a secondary. Ok, the bottle might look wierd with some orange peel in the bottom but if we can tolerate a worm in your tequila bottle then what's a slice of peel.
  3. Tippsy

    Expert Guess Needed

    Fantastic. Will look into this asap.
  4. Tippsy

    Expert Guess Needed

    "ChizzleD" post=367135 said:Sounds like you got a better idea of what do shoot for next time. I keep my ambient temp in my fermentation box (AKA ice chest at 66*) I have had some fermentation reach 72* and use frozen water bottles to control it. Great idea, CD. You mean you're using one of those drinks cooler/insulated boxes? So do you keep your fermenter submersed in water? Very interesting. Incidentally, how does that chest temp you achieve (66F) compare with the room's ambient? Just wondering how effective it is. Thank you.
  5. Tippsy

    Expert Guess Needed

    Got it. 1) Avoid the more trubby liquid at the bottom when bottling (ie don't be greedy) 2) Sanitize everything that touches anything that even comes close to contact with the wort (I think I missed the handles of the pot) 3) Aim for a fermentation environment temp of 65-67F to allow for the fermentation spike I certainly don't want to blame MB's instructions (like a bad carpenter blames his tools) but stating that the fermentation location should be kept at 68-76F is kinda too imprecise if the wort can jump 10F at the peak. Anyway, thanks again to everyone for "racking" your brains over this.
  6. Tippsy

    Expert Guess Needed

    Wow, that's way lower than the temp range on the instructions. I'll have to find a cooler to achieve that. Ok, many thanks to everyone for the insightful views. Seems therefore my temp was simply too high and probably due to the concentrated amount of yeast. Man, it hurts. Six damn weeks of delayed gratification only to drink anti-freeze at the end. I'm gonna buy me a beer right now!! :think:
  7. Tippsy

    Expert Guess Needed

    Ah ha. These are great pointers. The ROOM temperature ranged from ~73-77F so there's a chance the wort itself might have risen even higher during the most vigorous stage of fermentation. But, isn't that the recommended temperature range on the MB instructions? The point about amount of yeast is interesting. So if I use the entire can of LME but in 7 liters of water (bottled mineral) instead of the recommended 8.5, should I reduce the amount of yeast that came with the tin?
  8. Tippsy

    Expert Guess Needed

    Just the can of Bravarian Weissbier HME and the dry yeast packet that was included. Nothing else.
  9. Tippsy

    Expert Guess Needed

    My experiment with the MB weissbier seems to have produced a REALLY bitter flavor - I'm not talking dark beer bitterness, more like drain-cleaner-solvent-type bitterness. :sick: What is most likely to have caused this? In short, here's what I did. I concentrated the wort to try to increase flavor and abv by using the full tin of LME but filled the keg to 7 liters only. On bottling day, I probably tried too hard to get every last drop out and ended up with quite a bit of trub, although I spread the trubby solution amongst all the bottles. Other than these factors, every other step was as per the instructions (2 weeks fermenting at constant temps + 4 weeks bottle/conditioning). Carbonation was excellent. Could having too much trub with the beer for 6 weeks cause the yukky bitterness or is this the typical taste of contaminated beer? Surely, concentrating the LME wouldn't cause it since the ratio of hops to malt is the same? Thanks everyone.
  10. Tippsy

    improving the alchohol content of your beer

    Use less water in making the wort but maintain the same amount of ingredients. I'm trying to achieve what you're after with my current batch. I followed the MB instructions to the "t" except I only filled my keg to the 7 quart mark. I'm hoping the beer will be more flavorsome and have a higher ABV. Of course the downside is I'll have less beer to enjoy! Quality over quantity?
  11. Tippsy

    glass swing-top bottles

    Man, that would not be funny. Like 6 weeks of waiting to taste the fruits of your labor isn't painful enuf let alone to find it all over shattered glass...nope, they must be cheap for a reason.
  12. Tippsy

    glass swing-top bottles

    Can you experienced brewers tell if a new swing-top bottle is UNLIKELY to be suitable for carbonating beer? I'm considering getting these from Ikea for $3.99 (that's not bad, right?) and they use silicon washers so theoretically they should last longer than rubber ones. But when I played with them at the store, it didn't take much effort to lock the swing-top which kinda made me worry about their airtightness. Thanks. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40227983/ Forgot to mention that the top is hard plastic - not the ceramic types you find on Grolsch. Not sure if that make a huge difference.
  13. Tippsy

    Flavor Essences

    Great pointers, thanks. The bottle says Rayner's from the UK so it appears authentic, altho I like the ideal of using alcohol based essences in future. My batch priming gear won't arrive until probably week 3 of my fermenting! Luckily I've read on this forum that 3 weeks in the LBK should be fine. If it's going to arrive later, I'll just wait till the next batch cycle to experiment.
  14. Tippsy

    Flavor Essences

    Do flavor essences need to be "sanitized" before being added to a bottle eg boiled with a little water first? I'm thinking about adding a couple of drops of vanilla essence in future when priming the bottles. The small bottle I have says "non alcoholic". Thank you.
  15. Tippsy

    2nd brew secrets

    I'd recommend learning how to batch prime - if you're not already doing it. I've had issues getting consistent carbonation by bottle priming. Otherwise, the MB FAQs page has some good tips on how to get more consistency when bottle priming (http://community.mrbeer.com/frequently-asked-questions?view=category&id=238, under the topic "My beer has been fermenting for several weeks. Is it still good?") Good luck!
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