RexB(eer)

New Brewer and Member Here

16 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

 

I’m a brand new home brewer and forum member. My girlfriend knew I’ve been thinking about getting into home brewing as a fun hobby, so she got me a Mr Beer kit for Christmas. I never looked into it that much really, but had thought the idea of it was fun. I opened her up on Christmas Eve and was so excited (especially at how easy the directions made it seem) that I started that night.  I love drinking IPAs so she got me the Long Play IPA kit. I read the directions twice and got everything ready, then went through and got the fermentation up and going. I placed the LBK in the hall closet. The home thermostat is in the hallway, and was set at 67 degrees. Ever since I got it set up on Christmas Eve, I’ve been reading on this forum (mainly RickBeers posts). I wish I had found this before I started my first batch, but oh well, I will chalk it up to a learning experience.  I ended up getting an ink bird temp controller a few days ago, and plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s that holds 2LBKs this weekend (obviously for my next batch). High krausen was over when I got the ink bird, but I figured I’d try it out before the next batch. After taping the ink bird to the outside of the LBK (below the wort line, and with a folded paper towel on top) I found that my LBK has been fermenting in a steady 70 degrees (I know now that during high krausen it was higher). Kinda disappointing, but glad I’m learning and preparing for my next batch. 

 

Today was 18 days of fermenting (which is, I believe, when rick beer usually starts his cold crashing), so I tasted a small amount and it tasted like flat beer, so I took the LBK to my garage fridge and am starting 3 days of cold crashing at 38 degrees. I am tipping the LBK to keep the trub away from the spigot (I also tipped it ever since I read about it, during fermentation a few days after I started).  After 3 days cold crashing, I plan on bottling and putting bottles in the closet for 4 weeks (although I am going to take one out at 3 weeks and refrigerate for 3 days just so I can compare the taste).

 

I plan on getting the mini fridge from Lowe’s in two days, so my next batch can be temp controlled during fermentation. I have another Long Play Kit that I am going to do so I can see the difference between temp controlled and my first batch. I plan on setting the inkbird at 65 with a 1 degree differential, and 5 minute compressor delay. I also got an Aztec Mexican Cerveza refill, and will brew that at the same time since the fridge will fit two LBKs. 

 

I just want want to say thanks to everyone on the forum. I’ve learned a lot over the last 18 days, and am looking forward to learning more. I want to thank RickBeer specifically. I’ve read a lot of his posts among others for about the first 10 days, but a few days ago, I decided I would religiously go back through ALL of his previous posts, and am currently on page 26 out of 352. 

 

I couldn’t thank my girlfriend enough, because I am enjoying this new hobby a lot. She picked out a great kit to get my toes wet in the hobby. I plan on just sticking with Mr Beer as well as to the simple recipes and instructions for the foreseeable future, and won’t get all mad scientist. I’m excited to show my friends this new hobby of mine and sharing my home brew with them, and hopefully teach them what I am learning if they’re so interested.

 

If anyone has any tips or anything else after what I have wrote, feel free to comment. I mainly just wanted to introduce myself since I have been lurking for a few weeks. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how my first batch turns out.

 

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welcome aboard... enjoy the craft. learn all you can and dont rush things.  your first few batches may come out a little less than stellar but dont give up. take pride in them because you made them. . . and youre learning as you go.

DrMJG likes this

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Welcome to the hobby!

 

From all of the reading you've done you're well ahead of the learning curve; now it's just time to gain the practical experience.  My first few batches were not very good, so much so that I stopped brewing for a couple of years.  I started back up about a year and a half ago and thanks to the collective knowledge on this forum I'm loving the hobby.

So, for your batch:
-  Bad news:  during high krausen you most likely hit or passed the high end of your recommended temperature range.
-  Good news:  the off-flavors that can be generated by that are less noticeable in hoppier beers such as IPAs.

I don't think you'll be disappointed by the beer you'll end up with.  I just started drinking my batch of Long Play a week or two ago and it's a tasty brew.

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Welcome,

 

You are miles ahead of most who start this hobby.  By doing your first beer at a higher temperature, you will now know what not to do.

 

The best advice I can give for the most part you are already following.  Learn from this forum and many others out there, be patient and don't rush things. 

 

Good luck,

 

Big Dawg

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Your story is nearly identical to mine, but I started my batch a week after yours. So I will be curious to hear how your beer comes out. It is very true how much you can learn here. I've been quite obsessed. Funny that I didn't even know what words like trub and cold crash meant two weeks ago and now my family thinks that I talk crazy. I guess we are the new freshman class. Cheers!

kedogn, Shrike and SilverBrewerWI like this

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46 minutes ago, Marius said:

Your story is nearly identical to mine, but I started my batch a week after yours. So I will be curious to hear how your beer comes out. It is very true how much you can learn here. I've been quite obsessed. Funny that I didn't even know what words like trub and cold crash meant two weeks ago and now my family thinks that I talk crazy. I guess we are the new freshman class. Cheers!

 

I know exactly what you are saying. SWMBO never thought she would see the day I start talking about yeast and the processes involved in beer brewing

kedogn and Marius like this

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1 hour ago, SilverBrewerWI said:

I know exactly what you are saying. SWMBO never thought she would see the day I start talking about yeast and the processes involved in beer brewing

LOL.  I hear you there... and mine never thought that by getting me a MrB kit I would turn it into a business some day... but I did... and it keeps on growing. :)

Best advice I can give is to Read, Read, Read!  No reason to try to reinvent the wheel (at least not right away), so read what others have tried. done and seen and go from there.  But don't be afraid to beat your head against the wall if you need to to be able to learn as experience is the best teacher. :)

SilverBrewerWI and hotrod3539 like this

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Welcome tom the hobby and this forum.  Believe me, every one of us has some less than perfect brews in our history.  But, even they are drinkable! Take your time.  Start with following the base instructions.  Additions and adjustments are things to do down the line.. I also stress writing a diary for my beers to help develop better brews.  Enjoy! Pros't!

 

 

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On 1/12/2018 at 0:38 AM, RexB(eer) said:

'I opened her up on Christmas Eve and was so excited'. 

 

 

Just to clarify, you're referring to the Mr. Beer kit and not your girlfriend? :P

 

Welcome to the Cult of Brewing and your new obsession. Your girlfriend has no idea what she's done to herself!

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Thanks for the welcome guys! Last night I bottled the long play after cold crashing 3 days. I was able to get 10.5 740ml bottles out of it. First one, and the last half bottle, were definitely cloudy and had some trub in it. I have them sitting in the closet at 70F.

 

On Saturday I went and got the mini fridge from Lowe’s. Got that set up, and after bottling, I cleaned and sanitized the LBK, as well as the new LBK kit I got. Went ahead and brewed another Long Play, as well as the Aztec Mexican Cerveza. I have them both in the mini fridge. 

 

Before I put them in the fridge, both gave a mid 50F reading on the inkbird and have slowly risen since. Currently, 13 hours later, they are still only at 63.3F. Is this a concern? Should I try to put a heat source in there to get it to 65, or should I just let it keep slowly rising? 

 

The Aztec is on the highest shelf, and was done about an hour earlier than the Long Play, which is on the middle shelf and has the inkbird taped on the outside of LBK with a folded paper towel over it.

 

Kinda surprised that the Aztec already has a decent amount of trub.

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If you follow the directions, you should end up with low 60s at the lowest.  Mid 50s is too cold. 

 

Assuming the probe is below the fluid line, I'd open the door of the minifrig and unplug it, letting the temp rise to about 65.  Then, set the Inkbird on 65 and close the door.  

 

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If mid-50s is too low, I’m thinking I stirred too long after pouring the extract in after reaching boil, and should have added to the cold water in the LBK sooner. 

 

Yes, probe is below fluid line. I just switched the probe to the Aztec. After 10 minutes, it’s reading 64.6F, so it’s a little higher in temp than the Long Play. 

 

Should I keep the probe on the Aztec (on top shelf) rather than the Long Play?

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The stirring in of the can's contents should take less than a minute.

 

The Aztec is fine.  Keep the probe on the Long Play, set on 65.  It should rise up in the next 12 hours.  If not, open the door, and unplug the frig from the Inkbird until it hits 65.

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Alright, thanks Rick. I definitely stirred too long; at least 5 minutes if not more. For some reason, I was thinking it was better if it cooled down a bit before adding to LBK water.

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Understand.  No need to do that.  The gallon of cold water in the LBK, plus the top off water, gets it to the perfect temp for pitching.  

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