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bigntall1983

3rd time is the charm?

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My first 2 brews were... disappointing.

 

Just brewed up a standard Oktoberfest refill (no booster). Did things differently this time, I bought some Star San to use rather than the Mr. Beer no-rinse, I pitched at 60f, will be fermenting at 64f for the duration, I got a silicone whisk to use rather than hard plastic, side-cut can opener ( my old one would leave shavings that I had to fish out), I whisked after pitching.

 

And I actually remembered to take an OG reading lol!

 

OG - 1.040 @ 60F

FG -

ABV%-

 

I will update as I progress.

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American Lager was the first batch, it was just OK, but got better the more time in the bottles but never got "good" just drinkable. The 2nd was Aztec Cervesa... i pitched that one too hot (75f) and got infected. It is very cidery.

 

I also have realized that the room i have the bottles conditioning is right around 70 if not slightly cooler. I will be making sure to condition this batch at 72+

 

It is definitely a learning experience

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Stick with it @bigntall1983, they will get better!! I am sitting here drinking the last bottle of my first ever batch (Classic American Light brewed back in december) and i can tell you, patience and practice are key. Read through this forum, ask questions, but most importantly, keep trying. Make adjustments, take notes, review those notes. i am now over 20 batches and i can tell you, my first few were just meh... but once you fine tune the process, make the adjustments and work out the kinks, you know... find your groove.... it does get better. This one that i am sitting here drinking, on a scale of 1 to 10 gets about a 4... just meh... it has a cidery taste to it that has never gone away. Cidery taste comes from too warm on the fermentation not an infection... sour comes from infection (now if i am wrong, i am sure someone **** cough @RickBeer cough*****) will correct me. now if i compare that to one more recent, Smitten Bovine or even Black Beerd porter.... there is no comparison  the more recent ones blow this one way out of the water they are more of an 8 or 9 on that same scale. Stick with it man!!!

RickBeer, John K., Shrike and 1 other like this

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What hotrod said.

 

My first few brews were very disappointing, so much so that I stopped for a couple of years.  When I started up again, MRB had progressed quite a bit.  Their craft refills and partial mash recipes are quite a step up from the old "base HME + booster" recipes.  That, along with the accumulated knowledge on this forum, has re-ignited my "brew bug".

 

Temperature control during fermentation is probably the single biggest factor that has improved my brews.  So you're on the right path there.

 

To me, the standard refills by themselves are a bit bland.  When you branch out to the ones that use added LME/DME, hops, or have partial mashes/steeps of grains, then you'll really notice a difference.  Since I started brewing again about 14 months ago I've made a couple of blah beers.  But I've brewed many more that I'm proud to share with family and friends.

Cato, MichaelL, hotrod3539 and 2 others like this

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23 minutes ago, hotrod3539 said:

Stick with it @bigntall1983, they will get better!! I am sitting here drinking the last bottle of my first ever batch (Classic American Light brewed back in december) and i can tell you, patience and practice are key. Read through this forum, ask questions, but most importantly, keep trying. Make adjustments, take notes, review those notes. i am now over 20 batches and i can tell you, my first few were just meh... but once you fine tune the process, make the adjustments and work out the kinks, you know... find your groove.... it does get better. This one that i am sitting here drinking, on a scale of 1 to 10 gets about a 4... just meh... it has a cidery taste to it that has never gone away. Cidery taste comes from too warm on the fermentation not an infection... sour comes from infection (now if i am wrong, i am sure someone **** cough @RickBeer cough*****) will correct me. now if i compare that to one more recent, Smitten Bovine or even Black Beerd porter.... there is no comparison  the more recent ones blow this one way out of the water they are more of an 8 or 9 on that same scale. Stick with it man!!!

 

I have 2 bottles of the Aztek in the fridge to try again tomorrow, without looking at my calendar I believe they are 6 or 7 weeks in the bottle now. If its to... crappy I will try drinking it with some drink mix like I have read of others doing just so they could drink a bad batch rather than dumping. I made a few errors with the Aztek, i pitched to warm and there was definitely an infection, i think it was lacto? Others have advised me to drink quickly as the sour from infections can take time to become prominent.

 

I am hoping that the changes to my process and a stronger flavored refill will make a difference. IF not the next step will be to try a yeast besides mr b.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, bigntall1983 said:

 

I have 2 bottles of the Aztek in the fridge to try again tomorrow, without looking at my calendar I believe they are 6 or 7 weeks in the bottle now. If its to... crappy I will try drinking it with some drink mix like I have read of others doing just so they could drink a bad batch rather than dumping. I made a few errors with the Aztek, i pitched to warm and there was definitely an infection, i think it was lacto? Others have advised me to drink quickly as the sour from infections can take time to become prominent.

 

I am hoping that the changes to my process and a stronger flavored refill will make a difference. IF not the next step will be to try a yeast besides mr b.

 

 

 

Yeast will make a bit of difference ( us-05 is my go to yeast) as will stepping to the partial mash recipes with the steeping grains..... come to think of it those usually come with us-04 or us-05........ hmmmmm.......

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I think we are about a week apart, but we have the same brew going, only difference, I am still using the no rinse sanitizer and my brew temp and conditioning temps are the same 72f.

My  American Larger is getting better with age, took about 6 weeks to carb up and loose a slight apple taste, but still not my favorite.

My ales have turned out nice at 72f , which I have to brew at.

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Better with age.

 

I too started with the kit, Classic American Light. It was "okay" after 6 weeks. After 6 months it wasn't great but it was pleasant. Some batches turn out good and some are amazing, but nearly all are better than what you get in the store. And each one is unique! I just love that first bottle opening of a new batch and getting my nose right over the bottle to get that first whiff. Always a delight.

 

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Mine has been fermenting for three weeks and I took a sample. It has a nice light amber color, a little bit of a fruit smell. But the flavor was nice, with maybe the slightest hint of a fruit taste on the front side, but none on the backside or aftertaste. I may have pitched this one a little warm, but anyway the LBK in in the refrigerator, to be bottled on Friday.

bigntall1983, Shrike, Cato and 1 other like this

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14 hours ago, doc280 said:

Mine has been fermenting for three weeks and I took a sample. The has a nice light amber color, a little bit of a fruit smell. But the flavor was nice, with maybe the slightest hint of a fruit taste on the front side, but none on the backside or aftertaste. I may have pitched this one a little warm, but anyway the LBK in in the refrigerator, to be bottled on Friday.

 

Nice! I will be doing the same next week. Will post updates as well.

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rvd1yf.jpg

 

 

 

UPDATE:

OG - 1.040 @ 60F

FG - 1.010 @ 64F

ABV%-3.9%?

 

 

Does this look right? 3 weeks in fermenter at 64F (plus/minus 2F)

 

 

 

Does this look right?

 

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Looks right.  Your final gravity will vary a point or 2 depending on your recipe.  Anything from 1.008 to 1.012 is right about average for most Mr. Beer recipes.

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Haa, the wife and I just sampled the trub bottle, just a couple days early, but we are good. Oktoberfest beers are not my favorite, but this one is really good. I have four bottles chilling, for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I used three dots and I think the carbonation is perfect.

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On 11/22/2017 at 8:54 PM, doc280 said:

Haa, the wife and I just sampled the trub bottle, just a couple days early, but we are good. Oktoberfest beers are not my favorite, but this one is really good. I have four bottles chilling, for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I used three dots and I think the carbonation is perfect.

Glad to hear it!

I still have another weekish to wait. I did 4 bottles with the Mr Beer carb drops (thats all I had enough left for) and the rest i used table sugar, i have actually temp controlled the bottle conditioning this time so hopefully I will get better results than the previous 2 batches. I will probably toss one in the fridge wednesday and test on saturday or sunday

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