Balr14

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  1. My second brew will be ready for conditioning soon, so I will follow the advice and just condition it longer. I only have 6 bottles left of the first brew, so I don't have much for sampling. It only made 10 1/2 of those PET bottles. My second batch will be 12 oz glass bottles, so more chances for samples.
  2. I had a hunch that would be a problem. Unfortunately, we don't have any place where it's 70 in our house. I will see if I can move them to my daughters house.
  3. The temperature was never more than 62 during fermenting, 64 during conditioning.
  4. My first brew is ready for drinking. It is the American Ale. I fermented 3 weeks, cold crashed 3 days, conditioned 3 weeks and refrigerated 3 days. My results are a bit mixed. The last bottle I filled was only a partial fill and I guessed wrong about the sugar needed, it tasted kind of like cider. I had one bottle that the top didn't seal right, so it was flat. It tasted OK, so I drank it any way. I tried a third bottle. I would not normally consume 60+ ozs of beer at a time, but this was purely in the interest of science. It has a pleasant, but very light taste. I prefer something a bit more robust. It could have used a bit more carbonation. I moved my second brew to a place that is a little warmer, during fermenting and conditioning. On the whole, I don't think it was too bad for a first try. It turned out waaay better than some of my cooking disasters. I made things that would make spies give away secrets!
  5. I might have messed up my Oktoberfest! The temperature in my basement took a dive that I have not seen before and can't explain. So, my brew was fermenting at 52 degrees for over a week. I have since moved it to a little warmer area of the house (63 degrees). But the krausen and trub don't look like much compared to my first brew.
  6. I decided to cap glass bottles instead of using the PET plastic ones, for my second brew. I bought the capper and caps from Mr Beer and tried capping a few bottles, just for practice. You can cap the screw-on bottles, but it is very difficult to get the cap aligned just right and you will need pliers to tighten them enough so they don't leak. Odds are good you will waste a lot of caps and some beer.
  7. If you want something and they can't ship, let me know. I'll get it and ship it for you.
  8. Come to Wisconsin. We have more varieties of brats than you can imagine. Actually, there are a number of places here that ship them. Klement's is about as old world German as it gets: http://www.klements.com/products/pre-cooked Or Meisfelds:http://miesfelds.com/market-bratwurst.html We eat a lot of brats!
  9. When I was bottling the first brew, I spilled a few ounces on the floor. I didn't clean it up right away, as I was kind of busy bottling while the trub was still stiff. I thought it smelled great! She, who must be obeyed, didn't agree!
  10. I did my second brew on Saturday; Ocktoberfest. I don't know if it's the wort cooking or the supplemental pack, but my wife does not like the smell at all! I didn't think it was as noticeable on my first brew (American Ale), but I could be wrong. My wife made me boil some cinnamon sticks after I got done with the beer, to kill the smell. Personally, I'll take the wort smell over the cinnamon sticks.
  11. I had thought of brewing tea and using it instead of water to make beer. I wonder how that would work?
  12. Well thanks for the clarification, gentlemen! I will probably try a real lager at some point in the future. But, not now. Too much to learn first.
  13. It says lager on the can???
  14. I just got my first refill from Mr. Beer. I am ready to start my second brew, while the first one is carbonating. I would like to know if there are differences between how you brew a lager (my second brew) and an ale (my first brew). The kit came with instructions, the refill doesn't. The Oktoberfest refill came with the can of lager with the yeast under the cover and Brewmax LME softpack, which I assume you treat as a booster. So here are some questions: Do I need any other ingredients? Is the process (mix, ferment, cold crash and carbonate) the same as for the instructions I had for the ale? I read that the yeast acts differently in a lager, the yeast stays on the bottom and ferments at cooler temperatures? Does fermenting take longer? From the instructions, American ale doesn't seem to require conditioning, Is this true of Oktoberfest, too?
  15. Maybe you can call it Butt Crack ale!