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Propping Up Your LBK - No Trubal

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20 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

Gotchya again.  I'm in my 2nd week on this batch, so I'll try propping the keg up on the next batch.  But I will try the cold crashing when this one is ready to bottle.  The wife is gonna have to make room in our fridge for a couple days...

Yes, as Rickbeer says, you want to prop up during fermentation and cold crashing if possible. I make room in the fridge when I cold crashing an LBK or in my mini fridge if it's the last fermenter left.

 

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oYou can do this and probably it would help me a bit too but I am lazy,  I find that after 3 weeks the trub settles out so well that even level, I usually get all out except maybe just a very little after the LBK is tilted. So I do not bother cold crashing or tilting.

If you want clear beer for competition, you should do both of these. Mine comes clear enough for me after standing in basement a month or a few.  You can check my beer pics to see if it is over cloudy.

 

Also so many commercial beers are hazy these days, one can always claim to others it is intentional - 😁

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1 hour ago, Nickfixit said:

You can do this and probably it would help me a bit too but I am lazy,  I find that after 3 weeks the trub settles out so well that even level, I usually get all out except maybe just a very little after the LBK is tilted. - 😁

I wonder if the different recipes behave differently when it comes to the trub, or left-behinds, in the bottom?  I've only bottled one batch, so far, and there are so manyy different recipes to try.

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4 hours ago, Cato said:

 I make room in the fridge when I cold crashing an LBK or in my mini fridge if it's the last fermenter left.

 

A friend gave me a 'mini' fridge like you mention here, but alas, it's just a bit too small to fit the LBK into.  However, it will easily fit at least four of my 32oz bottles in it.  That's a full gallon of cold beer - while the remaining gallon continues to condition even longer.  Might keep me from drinking the beer too fast...

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@Mic Todd congratulations on your first Mr Beer brew. I hope it tastes really good.

 

Generally, beer is best left to carbonate at room temperatures - unless it is a lager yeast the yeast will sleep when cold. Also conditioning in terms of cleaning up undesirable fermentation byproducts is also better at room temperatures.  So I would use that fridge for keeping beer I was going to drink in the next week or 2 AFTER conditioning at room temperatures.

 

For the cold crashing, the cold gets the trub/sediment down on the bottom. If you are already bottled I am not sure that makes sense. In the bottles, if you store them upright, it will settle out pretty well in a month or more that it takes to condition them (I have some that are over a year in bottle - but it takes a while to get that backlog)

 

Regarding trub: Yes you are totally right on that. Different yeasts will settle differently - called flocculation. Some settle nice and tight and will not move when LBK is tilted and some are really loose and will tend to move towards the spigot.  Tilting the LBK certainly would help keep it away from the spigot, but as I say I am lazy, do not enter competitions and regard yeast as extra nutrient lol.  I use a variety of yeasts depending on the beer and it is amazing how differently they behave.

 

The other thing is when you get to try recipes that have added hops in bags, you should also remove the bags before bottling, as they will tend to dislodge the trub as they get lower in the LBK. I use a pair of sterilized tongs and squeeze the liquid out of them with the tongs into the LBK. The hop bags hold a serious amount of beer that you want back.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Nick. That's what I will do, use the mini-fridge to cool the beer for drinking, after it's conditioned the full period.

 

Regarding hops addition, I have an idea, gleaned from others, on how I plan to try that when I experiment with my 3rd batch.  I am going to 'dry-hop' the beer during the bottle conditioning phase, right in the bottles.  To facilitate this, I have a commandeered our spare french press.  This experiment may turn out well...or not... but at least it will be fun to try.

 

Cold crashing?  Yeah, my b-in-b tells me this is a must (iho) and for that I was hoping the mini would work, but it's just a bit too small to get the LBK inside and close the door.  I've already decided to use our kitchen fridge instead, the wife will have to make room when the time comes.  24-36 hours?

 

My brother-in-law has been making beer for years and he's been a pretty good resource for beer questions, except that he brews in large batches, not a LBK so a lot of what he tells me about refer to 5 gallon (and larger) batches.  I doubt I will ever go that big, tho.  I really like the size and convenience of the Mr Beer system and really do not want to get into the intricate (and expensive) hobby of assembling, steeping and cooking all the individual ingredients, let alone the cellar-ing of gallons and gallons of beer at all different conditions.

 

I'm determined to keep this beer making FUN, not a chore or an all-consuming hobby.  The Mr Beer system seems ideal for just the kind of brewer I want to learn to be.  And, I want to try many different recipes and a lot of experimentation with them.  I really appreciate all the information you and others are willing to share with the whole community!!

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50 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

Thanks Nick. That's what I will do, use the mini-fridge to cool the beer for drinking, after it's conditioned the full period.

 

Regarding hops addition, I have an idea, gleaned from others, on how I plan to try that when I experiment with my 3rd batch.  I am going to 'dry-hop' the beer during the bottle conditioning phase, right in the bottles.  To facilitate this, I have a commandeered our spare french press.  This experiment may turn out well...or not... but at least it will be fun to try.

 

Cold crashing?  Yeah, my b-in-b tells me this is a must (iho) and for that I was hoping the mini would work, but it's just a bit too small to get the LBK inside and close the door.  I've already decided to use our kitchen fridge instead, the wife will have to make room when the time comes.  24-36 hours?

 

My brother-in-law has been making beer for years and he's been a pretty good resource for beer questions, except that he brews in large batches, not a LBK so a lot of what he tells me about refer to 5 gallon (and larger) batches.  I doubt I will ever go that big, tho.  I really like the size and convenience of the Mr Beer system and really do not want to get into the intricate (and expensive) hobby of assembling, steeping and cooking all the individual ingredients, let alone the cellar-ing of gallons and gallons of beer at all different conditions.

 

I'm determined to keep this beer making FUN, not a chore or an all-consuming hobby.  The Mr Beer system seems ideal for just the kind of brewer I want to learn to be.  And, I want to try many different recipes and a lot of experimentation with them.  I really appreciate all the information you and others are willing to share with the whole community!!

 

 

RIF.   Reading is fundamental.  

 

6) Leave it in the refrigerator for 24 - 72 hours (it will thicken in 24 hours, takes 72 to settle the particles).

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38 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

 

RIF.   Reading is fundamental.  

 

6) Leave it in the refrigerator for 24 - 72 hours (it will thicken in 24 hours, takes 72 to settle the particles).

We're pushing things here with the wife.  72 hours means no left-overs back in the fridge!!  I like it!

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3 hours ago, Mic Todd said:

We're pushing things here with the wife.  72 hours means no left-overs back in the fridge!!  I like it!

If you are determined to cold crash, you had better get another fridge - if you have room for it. Maybe you can swap the small one for a larger one?

 

Or for a few $ you can get a big enough foam cooler chest or borrow one (if you do not have one). A few ice packs or frozen 2/3 full water /soda bottles  will keep it cool if you swap them out  regularly.

The bonus, is you can also use the same thing for brewing lagers. I use a Coleman cooler and ice packs to keep it in the 50's. 

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On 9/25/2018 at 2:03 PM, Nickfixit said:

If you are determined to cold crash, you had better get another fridge - if you have room for it. Maybe you can swap the small one for a larger one?

 

Or for a few $ you can get a big enough foam cooler chest or borrow one (if you do not have one). A few ice packs or frozen 2/3 full water /soda bottles  will keep it cool if you swap them out  regularly.

The bonus, is you can also use the same thing for brewing lagers. I use a Coleman cooler and ice packs to keep it in the 50's. 

I do have a ice chest that would be large enough for the LBK but then I have to go get the ice somewhere (we live 30 miles from town).  The wife says I have a space whenever I need it.  Now I'll see if she's good for her word!!  If the beer turns out good, I'm sure she'll comply.

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6 hours ago, oldbagobones said:

I cold crashed my first batch for about twenty four hours and all of my bottles have virtually no sentiment in the bottom. If you have the time and space I’m sure an additional day or two would be better.

My 1st batch is in the bottles conditioning, no cold crash.  My 2nd batch goes to bottle in a week and a half.  For that batch, I will try CC'ing it for 24+ hours to compare with the 1st batch.  I'm thinking if all I need is 24-48 hours, say, then that's do-able. I don't know if I'll have the patience to wait for 72 hours!

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2 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

My 1st batch is in the bottles conditioning, no cold crash.  My 2nd batch goes to bottle in a week and a half.  For that batch, I will try CC'ing it for 24+ hours to compare with the 1st batch.  I'm thinking if all I need is 24-48 hours, say, then that's do-able. I don't know if I'll have the patience to wait for 72 hours!

24 hours won't likely be enough. No doubt it will help some, but I've tried it and best results come from 3 days cold crashing. It's those last few bottles where you tilt the keg forward that get affected the most, because the trub will tend to slide forward and you get a load in the spigot.

 

However, it's a learning experience and not everyone cold crashes  and I experimented both ways, so try it and see what works best for you.

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2 minutes ago, Cato said:

24 hours won't likely be enough. No doubt it will help some, but I've tried it and best results come from 3 days cold crashing. It's those last few bottles where you tilt the keg forward that get affected the most, because the trub will tend to slide forward and you get a load in the spigot.

 

However, it's a learning experience and not everyone cold crashes  and I experimented both ways, so try it and see what works best for you.

Well, I can probably 'steel' myself to wait longer, lol. 

 

That bit about the trub sliding forward when filling the last few bottles didn't happen to me.  I'm wondering now if:  1) I bottled too soon,  2) left some beer in the keg, or 3) both.  I was able to completely fill 9 bottles (to within an inch and one half) and about half of the 10th.  However, it's possible that I did not fill the water completely up to the top fill line in the LBK when I began the ferment.  I made certain that I did this second time around!  Which also gave rise to my earlier question of what would happen if I added an additional quart of water after reaching the top line?  11 full bottles would be nice ~

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 9:26 PM, Mic Todd said:

I do have a ice chest that would be large enough for the LBK but then I have to go get the ice somewhere (we live 30 miles from town).  The wife says I have a space whenever I need it.  Now I'll see if she's good for her word!!  If the beer turns out good, I'm sure she'll comply.

You do not need lots of ice if you have a freezer. I use the little freezer cold packs that you put in lunchboxes. 3-4 of them will keep my cooler at 55 deg for 1/2 day after it cools. I use a $10 digital aquarium thermometer to monitor the temp with the sensor cable though the chest drain hole so I do not have to open it to read the display. If you have no drain hole, you may be able to notch the lid for the cable.  I tape the sensor  on the LBK with masking tape after I put folded paper towels over it to insulate. That way I measure the Beer temp not the air. Some people freeze plastic bottles 2/3 full of water. That works too.

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On 9/26/2018 at 8:43 PM, Cato said:

24 hours won't likely be enough. No doubt it will help some, but I've tried it and best results come from 3 days cold crashing. It's those last few bottles where you tilt the keg forward that get affected the most, because the trub will tend to slide forward and you get a load in the spigot.

 

However, it's a learning experience and not everyone cold crashes  and I experimented both ways, so try it and see what works best for you.

I've cold crashed 24 hours a couple times out of necessity and was surprised how much it helped. Not saying it's ideal, but it was certainly worthwhile..

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9 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Big difference between using frozen bottles or ice packs to lower temp to 50s or 60s, and cold crashing close to 30.  

Come to think of it, we do have some of those cold packs but I think I'll use the refrigerator method.  However, I don't think our fridge is set to go any lower than around 38 F.  But I'll check to make sure.  That should do it, don't ya think?  Beats the room temp I bottled at (no cold crash) on the 1st batch.

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It has to be, the wife is gonna draw the line if I want to lower it past 38.  lol  I guess I could invest in a new fridge dedicated for beer.  Say, how do you do the cold crash, just put the lbk in the cooler or fridge?  What keeps oxygen from sucking into the beer when the beer contracts from the cold?  No air lock on the lbk.

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1 hour ago, Mic Todd said:

It has to be, the wife is gonna draw the line if I want to lower it past 38.  lol  I guess I could invest in a new fridge dedicated for beer.  Say, how do you do the cold crash, just put the lbk in the cooler or fridge?  What keeps oxygen from sucking into the beer when the beer contracts from the cold?  No air lock on the lbk.

The beer doesn't contract; water can't be compressed under normal circumstances.  Particles within the beer, however, get denser with the colder temp's and thus fall to the bottom of the LBK.

 

ETA:  Oh, and to answer the question, yes, just put the LBK in the cooler or fridge, preferably in a spot where it won't get jostled.  Most people also like to put something under the spout end of the LBK so that the trub compacts away from it (I do this throughout the whole fermentation).  Something about the thickness of a CD case is sufficient.

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1 hour ago, Shrike said:

The beer doesn't contract; water can't be compressed under normal circumstances.  Particles within the beer, however, get denser with the colder temp's and thus fall to the bottom of the LBK.

 

Well, that makes sense to me and if this works for you than I don't see why it won't for us too.  There are several videos on the net, tho, showing airlocks on carboys to prevent air sucking back in when they crash them after ferment.  I'm gonna just do it, like you recommend, because I don't want to start making this whole process complicated and expensive.  The beauty of the LBK is it's simplicity and ease of operation.  One more week and my first batch is ready to chill for consumption and my second one is ready to bottle.  My third one will be started just as soon as the LBK is sanitized and ready to go after bottling.

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