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StretchNM

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Everything posted by StretchNM

  1. Hello, I'm a new brewer with my first batch of American Lager. When it had carbonated in the bottle for a few days less than 3 weeks I began putting one bottle in the refrigerator each day. Today is my 4th week of carbonating so ALL remaining bottles went in the refrigerator this morning. I have been sampling the first few, one each night. This beer has a sour aftertaste with very little head and very poor head retention. It carbonated but not very well. It's drinkable - it's certainly not a terrible beer - but I can't figure out why it has a "winey-soury" aftertaste, just at the end of the swallow. Maybe it just needs conditioning time? The reason I say that is because each night, I think I'm detecting a little less of the wine/sour aftertaste, and of course, each night the beer is older. Anyway, during fermentation I contacted Mr Beer via email (or chat) and the good fellow that responded explained to me the difference between carbonating versus conditioning. I thought I understood at the time, but I guess I really didn't and now I really need to be clear on it. So I fermented for 3 weeks. I carbonated for 3 weeks. Is "conditioning" now the amount of time it sits in the refrigerator? Thanks for any help
  2. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    I bought some PBW and am going to clean the Keg again with unscented soap, sponge, and then PBW. Then I can still sanitize it before setting aside to get ready for the next batch (which will be within days). The first time for sanitizer I used MrBeer's no-rinse packet as instructed, but then I bought some "One Step" and thought I would use this solution on the next brewing/bottling. Plus, I don't think my Voodoo refill came with any sanitizer. What do you think of One Step? Probably not as good as Star San (?). I might try some of that next time. I also visited a nice home brewery store in a large city near me (El Paso) and learned a lot about adding steeping grains, etc. SO, thanks for getting me started learning about that. I don't think I'll delve into that quite yet. Maybe after a couple of three successful brews are under my belt.
  3. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    Very good. I understand now. Thank you
  4. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    Thank you for the welcome. I think I have now read all of Rick Beers links. Regarding steeping grains, If you cannot boil HME, then how do you steep the grains? Don't they have to be boiled? The reason I ask is because my daughter bought 2 Kits for me with the intent of returning one later. Instead, she gave the other one to me for Valentine's Day. It's a full mash and hops kit from (Refinery & Co.) with a 1 gallon jug, muslin sack, siphoning tubes, etc. I will try their Kit and recipe (Summer Ale) after the 1776 Ale I think.
  5. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    I know what LME(liquid) and DME(dry) extracts are, but what is HME? Also, I'm getting ready to brew 1776 Ale, which has an ounce of hops added and a different yeast Safale US-05. Will that be considered an HME? Thanks ON EDIT: And.... I've cleaned my LBK well, with Dawn, hot water, and the soft side of a sponge, but it still smells like beer. Is that normal? I just don't want another sour beer if I can figure out how to avoid it (aside from following instructions exactly).
  6. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    Thank you all. And Bdawg62 I will run the test you suggested. I wonder if.... the cooler I purchased was on sale at Walmart. I washed it out well with Dawn and water but DID NOT bleach it or sanitize the interior. Of course, the fermenter keg sat in there for three weeks. I wonder if that might've caused a problem(?). Just searching here.... searching for any possibility... any clue....like an old man trying to find his underwear in the dark of daylight.
  7. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    Thank you. 1776 Ale is next (I already ordered and received it), and then ..... That Voodoo That You Do (with brown sugar), I think. I will pay extra-close attention during cleaning and sanitizing this next batch. Thank you both for the diagnosis and advice.
  8. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    Thanks DEFbrewer. But I do want to say that I noticed the soury taste less and less with each beer. And I just came back in from the shop after drinking one I labeled "23 days" (that's carbonation time only). It had little, IF any, sourness to it. Only time will tell if the 2 coming up are also without the sour. By my calculation, that one had been in the fridge 5 days, since March 5th. I am a stickler for detail, but I will recheck myself on my next batch (1776 Ale is next) because it seems obvious you're right - something went wrong and most likely during sanitizing, brewing, or bottling. But I did put all of them back in the cooler. I have a plastic container and a tiny aquarium heater that heats the water and thus the cooler temperature. I didn't use it during fermentation because 1) it creates condensation (which Tim at Mr Beer said could create a problem) inside the cooler and 2) the batch fermented in the check-marked "OK" range according to the stick-on thermometer. But now with the bottles sealed I think I'll get it going again to bring the temp up a couple of three degrees. Also, when opening each beer, the flip-top doesn't "pop" off, rather I have to nudge it with my thumb and then there's a little gas escaping. When drinking, after tilting the glass back to vertical, you can see lots of tiny carbonation bubbles, but they dissipate quickly. The head is very slight, and even then only if I hold the bottle high above the glass when pouring. It's an off-white with larger bubbles, not like a creamy, velvety head, and it doesn't last long. Ok. I probably sound like an idiot who can't figure out a simple process on his own, so I'll close by saying today's beer was not bad at all - not sour - and... not bad at all.
  9. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    Thanks Nickfixit. I just came back in from putting them back into the cooler. Temp in there is at 68 or 69 degrees. For the American Lager, should I be there or a little warmer? I know you said Lagers like it a little cooler and you do yours at mid-60. And, now this beer was bottled on Monday, February 11, so that's right at 4 weeks. How much longer should I condition? 1 to 10 weeks is a very wide range but maybe there's some way to test them during conditioning(?). Again, the beer carbonated eh...so so...but the head is poor and there's very little head retention. I'm using Mr Beers flip-top bottles. Thank you
  10. StretchNM

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    Thanks fellows. I guess I'll get those last bottles back out of the fridge and back into the cooler where they fermented. This was the American Lager LBK Kit, so I kept the inside of the cooler at about 63 to 65 degrees, according to the meat thermometer I installed in the lid of the cooler. The Kit came with a small thermometer strip so with that one on the keg, the temperature was in the middle (green checkmark) all the time. DEFbrewer, I'm a stickler for details and I cleaned and sanitized everything per instructions (including my hands in the mix), BUT..... I certainly allow room for error, because something went wrong, and your advice seems sound. I was watching a youtube video where I think the brewer mentioned that "green/cidery" beer during the first taste test should ferment a little longer. Well, when I sampled my batch at 3 weeks, it was definitely beer tasting, but it did have a wine aftertaste. I went ahead and bottled anyway thinking that would go away during carbonation, but it didn't. Do you think that my putting the remaining bottles in the refrigerator this morning will have an ill effect if I take them back out to a warmer location and let them condition? Or have I short-stopped the conditioning process? Thanks again. ON EDIT: Ok after typing this I went back up and re-read again both posts. DEFbrewer you already answered my question about taking them back out of the refrigerator to condition some more. I'll do that right now.
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