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Everything posted by doc280

  1. I have been attempting to brew some 5 gallon extract recipe kits but the results have been, well not so good. All the kits have been amber ales or brown ales, but none the same, however each finished beers have the same metallic grass taste. Each sample I have tasted, prior to bottling, has been ok, to this one is going to be great, but the end result still remains the same after four week in the bottle. My Mr. Beer kits still remain great using the the same equipment and bottling procedures. So this is how I am doing things, maybe someone can figure out what I am doing wrong. 1) 2 1/2 gallons of filtered tap water heated to 150F to 160F. 2) Grains in the bag and steeped for 20 minutes, a stir of the water at the 10 minute mark and followed by few dunks of the bag. 3) Grains removed and wort heated to a boil and flame out. At this time LME added and wort brought back to a rolling boil, hot break observed. 4) Hops added for the 60 minute boil. I have done this comando, but now I am using a hop spider. Hop additions are made at the proper times following the instructions. 5) At the end of the 60 minute boil, flame out, hop spider removed, kettle is covered and placed in an ice bath for 30 minutes. 6) Two LBKs are sanitized using One Step no rinse. 7) Kettle is remove from the ice bath and the wort is transferred and divided into two LBKs and filtered tap water water is added to each LBK, to bring the wort to my 2 1/2 gal mark. 8) The wort is aerated in each LBK. 9) The wort temp is uselly at 65F at this point and the yeast is added. All my batches so far have used S-04. 10) The two LBKs are placed in my fermentation chamber and the wort temp is kept at 64F for two weeks. 11) After two weeks the wort is transferred into my secondary fermentation LBKs (sanitized with One Step) and placed back in the fermentation chamber for one week. Temp is kept at 64F and if dry hopping is required it is done at this time and I keep the hops in a nylon bag, which are boiled before use. 12) After a week in the secondary LBK the fermentation chamber temp is dropped to 40F, for three days. 13) After the cold crash 24 PET 740ml bottles are sanitized using One Step no rinse. 14) One teaspoon of Dixie Crystal cane sugar is added to each bottle. 15) Each bottle is filled, capped, placed in a box and stored at 70F to 73F for four weeks. I am hoping it is something simple I am missing and just can not see. I have enjoyed brewing the beers, but with undrinkable results, the fun is disappearing quickly.
  2. Drinking out of the a bottle, No, I am civilized, well at least my wife has got me to that point. Two trub bottles, because there are two LBKs. The last remaining beer, which is sitting on the trub, in each fermenter, is filled into a bottle. Cold cashing keeps the trub cake intact and out of the bottles. I call the last bottle, being filled, from each LBK, the "trub bottle", because the beer was sitting on the trub, the bottle is not always full and after the bottle is filled I prime it with the estimated proper amount of sugar to volume. This is the only bottle I prime after filling, being as I am unsure of the amount of beer which will be in the bottle.
  3. I know I am bad, but I wanted a brown ale to go along with an aged steak which I was preparing. The Private Rye was bottled two weeks prior and following it's instructions, it was ready to go. So I place the two trub bottles in the refrigerator 48 hrs prior to meal time. Now the only things I have changed with this batch -vs- my failed batches are the use of us-05, instead of u-04, the rinsing of the bottles with distilled water after sanitizing with One Step and corn sugar instead of table sugar. At the first sip I thought I tasted a slight hint of the off favor I had got with the previous batches, but once drinking more I no longer noticed any off flavor and started enjoying the creamy biscuit, caramel, and cocoa flavors. Not the best summertime beer, very rich, but goes great with a good steak. Looking forward to returning back to Private Rye in another two weeks.
  4. Ok, this is what I have planned for the IPA, which is in the fermenter. The fermentation of the IPA has been kept at 62F and seems happy, so I will keep it their. Day 14 in the fermenter, dry hop, using a sanitized hop sack weighted with a 1 inch glass cat's eye. Again making sure everything is sanitized and gently place the hop sack in the LBK. Just plan to skip the cold crash with this one and if the beer is drinkable, will brew another batch to compare the difference. Day 21 rinse my already clean bottles and sanitize them with Star San. I have some corn sugar left, so I am going to prime with both corn sugar and table sugar. Bottle using my new bottling wand. Cap and store at 73F for four weeks. Does this sound about right?
  5. I transferred from the primary LBK to the secondary LBK, by way of tubing, making sure the end of the tube was in the bottom of the secondary so no splashing occurred.
  6. Not all have went into a secondary and I will try the next batch uncovered while in the ice bath. The IPA I have in the primary now, the instructions say two weeks in the primary, transfer to the secondary for two weeks, dry hop for a week then bottled. Rick are you saying skip the secondary, but follow the rest of the instructions and times?
  7. Fortunately, I was a better EMT and I am a better car mechanic than a describer of off flavors. I did take some advice and let a local home brewer sample what I had. He was able the pick out the gains and hops used. He also said it was just a touch over carbonated and being at the upper range of the screwy brewer's recommendation, this is no surprise. The big thing was he was not getting the flavors, I was getting. He said he was tasting oxygen in the samples, while finishing each sample off saying they were not bad at all. So maybe my tastebuds are just very offended by oxidation. This is the reason I was asking about the cold crash and the possibility of it drawing in oxygen during the process. All these kits are from Northern Brewer and are supposed to be packed fresh, plus the kits have had different types of gain.
  8. Is it possible oxidation is occurring during the cold crash since the headspace is being reduced, by filling the LBK to 2 1/2 gallons?
  9. Well I guess the point is something is not right and I am tasting an off favor. The Rye Brown Ale was fermented and needed to be bottled and there were only really two things I could think of to change during the bottling process. You guys maybe correct, the rinse and the corn sugar may not make any difference at all. However the definition of insanity is to replete the same actions and expect a different outcome. So I think it was worth the try and if the off favor persist, I have the IPA fermenting which I have used distilled water and sanitised with Star San.
  10. The One Step, from my understanding works by releasing oxygen during its sanitizing process. So when using One Step to sanitize the fermentation equipment should not be a problem because oxygen introduced to the wort is a good thing. However when using the One Step to sanitize the bottles could be the problem. The residual One Step, left in the bottles after sanitizing, maybe introducing oxygen to the beer after fermentation which could be leading to the bad taste. Just a theory I am running with, hence the reason for the rinse after sanitizing. Adding distilled water to each bottle, for the rinse, from a sealed gallon jug, seems fairly low risk for contamination. The use of corn sugar was really the only other thing I could change to the bottling process, which could, maybe, effect the taste.
  11. I had a rye brown ale in the fermentation chamber which was brewed using my filtered water. I bottled it, using the One Step, but rinsing the bottles after sanitizing, with distilled water. Also used corn sugar instead of the cain sugar. The sample taken before bottling, was clear and tasted very good. I have an IPA kit to brew and will be using distilled water and Starsan, in an attempt to obtain better results.
  12. I have been very particular with taking apart and sanitizing everything or like my hops bags, I boil them.
  13. I bottle directly from the LBK spigot, slowly running the wort down the side off the bottle. My secondary LBKs have the new flip style spigot, which I think makes it so easy to fill the bottle without aerating the wort. I do clean the spigot with One Step before bottling.
  14. I have been us I have been using the Mr. Beer no rinse and One Step Cleaner. I believe they are the same product.
  15. When I have transfer from the primary to the secondary LBK, I connect the hose to the primary spigot and feed the other end of the hose in the secondary, until it sits on the bottom. Then open the spigot and let gravity do it's thing. This does not agitate the wort. Also, and forgive me for not mentioning this, but some of these batches did not go into a secondary. So secondary or not, same bad taste.
  16. I starting with a 3 gallon SS kettle, which was to small. It worked but I was using a slow boil to keep things from boiling over and I thought maybe this was my problem. So I purchased a 5 gallon SS kettle and ramped up the boil to rolling boil. This did not correct my problem. The ingredients are fresh as they are packed after I have placed my order. And as the kits have differed, so have the grains, LME and hops. The one brew I dry hopped was for one week , as per directions, but the other 4 brews were not dry hopped at all and the same awful flavor remained the same. Forgot to mention, longer conditioning time does not help. I will try a spring water for the IPA, I am brewing sometime next week, so I can check that one off my list. My Mr. Beer kits are fine with the water I have been using, but maybe something form these kits are reacting to my water.
  17. The Chocolate Stout is wonderful, however, the five bottles which coffee concentrate were added to have to be named Black Coffee Stout. The 1 tbsp of coffee concentrate has overpowered the other flavours in the beer and dominates so much that the beer has the flavor of a cup of black Joe. It is different and strong, but I notice that I kept returning to my glass for another slip of the strange bitter brew, until it was gone.
  18. I am very new to the homebrew scene and I have only been brewing Mr. Beer extracts, just as they come. I am keeping things simple so I can just enjoy the homebrew experience, but I need a brew for the Holidays and the wife wants chocolate and coffee. So this is what I have come up with: Mr. Beer St. Patrick's Irish Stout 4oz Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened cocoa ( Added at boil ) 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract ( added at flame out ) Cold brew coffee concentrate ( added at bottling ) [ not sure how much at this time, will update ] At bottling I think I will keep five bottles just a chocolate stout and the other five a chocolate coffee stout, by added the coffee concentrate The LBK is in the brew closet and it smells like chocolate love in there. I will update with the results
  19. Just to clarify spigot 4 or the new spigot, if you press down, instead of up, it works like a deadman switch and cuts the flow if you let go of it. I bottle directly from the LBK to 740ml bottle, in the sink and that being said, I like the fill end of spigot 3 and the switch end spigot 4. Giving a choice between 3 and 4, I would take spigot 4.
  20. The wife baked some raspberry short bread cookies and I broke the seal on the Basic Chocolate Stout, this was the trub bottle. And the cookies were great....... and so is the stout. It is so different from the sample taken during the bottling, the cherry taste is gone and the chocolate has really come through. The chocolate taste is like a milk chocolate and the stout has silky smooth mouth feel to it. So far I think this is a great success, This was the trub bottle and I know the favor could be slightly different, but here to hoping it is not.
  21. Monday I brewed my very first partial mash, a Nut Brown Ale, 5 gal. I had to deviate from the directions a little, because I thought I had a lager kettle than what I actually had. The directions called for a 3 1/2 gal kettle and what I had on hand was a 3 gal. So when the directions called for 2 1/2 gals of water, I started with 2 gal. When I brought the wort to a boil and added the 1oz of hop pellets, I failed to realize the pellets would break up a disperse as tiny flakes within the wort. After cooling the wort and dividing it between my two LBK's, using a cup, I realized I had stirred up the hops and sludge and some of it ended up in the LBK's. Guess I should have got a bag, for the hops, or very fine strainer for the transfer. Hoping most of this will come out in the cold crash. Anyway the brew closet smells great and this is the first time I can see the yeast at work, in the LBK, a violent storm going on in there.
  22. I used 1500, had some of it laying around.
  23. One LBK, the hole had some flashing from the mold process. I removed the flashing with very fine grit sandpaper and no more leaking.....simple.
  24. Ok, a month ago I was in Lowes Food and they had Mr Beer Kits on sale for $9.95 and this got me thinking about brewing some beer. Anyway I left with three kits, two Churchhill Ale and one American Lager. I am keeping everything simple, by following the directions and by what I have read here. Three weeks fermenting, three day cold crash, sample taste, (umm flat but taste really good) and into the bottles for a least a four week stay. So since I have all three brews going I was looking for a brown ale to brew up ( I did not mention but I love brown ales ) and I come across Coopers Dark Ale and read their Brew Enhancer 2 works well with it (calls for brew enhancer 3, but I could not locate that one). This kit makes 23 liters or 6 gallons in American talk, so I plan on dividing the contents of the kit three ways, using my LBKs. The Coopers kit comes with a 7g pack of yeast, should I pitch this packet in one LBK and purchase additional yeast or divide the packet three ways? Dividing it just seems like there would not be much yeast in each LBK, but again it must be enough to make 6 gallons because it is what they provide. Hell I don't know any thing about yeast, expect for my fermenting temp. 72f requires an ale yeast, only reason I know this is because it is printed everywhere, but never how much is to much or to little.
  25. I am a little late posting this but DA-3's time has come and it is exactly like DA-1 and DA-2. So my conclusion is a Coopers extract can be safely divided, stored and brewed later, with no ill effects. Catching the Coopers on sale and being able to do divide it, for different brewing times, make it a cost effective option for our Little Brown Kegs.