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Cato

Strong cider taste

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9 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

Ya know... it has to be a yeast thing. This batch is ancient. Like maybe about 2 years old, oct 22 2106, i just looked it up. Any who, no off flavors what so ever. Just gushes like crazy. I used the screwy brewer calculator and batch primed. Its that damn saison yeast. 

 

Did you know i had a different batch that I bottled and like 6 months later it had zero carbonation? It was a smash pale ale. And then all of a sudden all the bottles were magically primed. So i quick started slamming them cuz i was afraid theyd become infected and sooner or later they would sour. They never did. 

 

Maybe i can say that you never know what a batch has in store for you. Or i can blame it on myself. Either way, home brewing is crazy at times. You just have to try to minimize the crazyness. 

I have only experienced the off flavors of an infection once (quite obvious, a bad watermelon wheat), but a few batches that have consistently gushed. Like yours, some of those lasted to right around the two-year mark. I just hate losing all that beer to the kitchen sink! I have to look inward first, as my cleaning and sanitization could always get better. I'm going to track my fermenters, seeing if there is a possibility of one being the culprit. I'm going to wash bottles like a mad man. One step that often gets ignored (due to time) is sanitizing the spigot before bottling. Maybe that's it? 

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57 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

I have only experienced the off flavors of an infection once (quite obvious, a bad watermelon wheat), but a few batches that have consistently gushed. Like yours, some of those lasted to right around the two-year mark. I just hate losing all that beer to the kitchen sink! I have to look inward first, as my cleaning and sanitization could always get better. I'm going to track my fermenters, seeing if there is a possibility of one being the culprit. I'm going to wash bottles like a mad man. One step that often gets ignored (due to time) is sanitizing the spigot before bottling. Maybe that's it? 

Lol, I woke up the  morning after brewing and remembered I hadn't sanitized my spigot after getting my OG sample. I mixed a pint of sanitizer and sanitized a squeeze bottle and top and squirted it up in the spigot, then swabbed the inside with a cue tip and gave it another rinse.

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8 hours ago, Cato said:

Lol, I woke up the  morning after brewing and remembered I hadn't sanitized my spigot after getting my OG sample. I mixed a pint of sanitizer and sanitized a squeeze bottle and top and squirted it up in the spigot, then swabbed the inside with a cue tip and gave it another rinse.

Pro tip: Make sure you do that before you draw anymore samples if you plan to return them to the LBK (also sanitize your sample tube and hydrometer) and do it again at bottling time. Since the spigot is open to the air at all times, it is possible for bacteria, wild yeast, and/or dirt to get all up in it and cause havoc later down the road.

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16 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

8 oz of pilsner would be good. Id throw 4 oz of white wheat malt too just because.

@Creeps McLane thanks....I see Pilsen malt on the mrb website. I don’t see white wheat malt. Is there another name for that by chance? Can’t wait to brew this. Thanks for the tips for this newbie. 

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I've gone down to even less sugar! I beginning to think that fermenting at 64-66 deg F for 3 weeks leaves some fermentable products in the green beer. They are consumed slowly during conditioning and add to the sugar you added for priming - thus the gushers. I'm rusty on my biochemistry from grad school (1980?), but yeast are capable of metabolizing more than simple disaccharides such as maltose and sucrose. 

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On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 9:16 PM, Creeps McLane said:

How to avoid acetaldehyde aka cider taste:

 

1- pitch at your fermenting temp

2- maintain a consistent fermentation temp in the lower range for your yeast. In general, dont stress your yeast

3- pitch enough yeast

4- use a higher temped yeast ie K-97 or belle sasion.

 

ways to mask acetaldehyde:

 

1- brew a maltier style like an amber or stout 

2-brew a beer that favors esters produced by stressed yeast ie saisons, wheats

3- add fruit

4- whatever you think your target conditioning time is, double it

 

Brewing beer is like cooking. You need to look at what you’re working with to decide the outcome. Im trying to think of a perfect analogy but all I can come up with is hamburger vs sweet italian sausage in my spaghetti. 

 

This is my suggestion for all of you who dont have an ideal way to control your fermentation temps. Don’t. Let the yeast do its thing. I dont temp control anything but my lagers and saisons. 

 

Heres my recipe for yall to try:

 

1 northwest pale ale HME

1/2 cup of honey dissolved before adding the HME (optional)

1/2 oz of amarillo or falconers flight at flame out 

1 packet of danstar belle saison yeast

pitch yeast anywhere between 65-75

ferment at ambient temps not to reach below 63 degrees and not to exceed 77

Bottle after three weeks with 1/2 the MRB suggested sugar amount

condition for 6 weeks

 

i guarentee a solid beer.

 

HME is sweet by nature. The honey and saison yeast will help dry it out

 

the higher you ferment, the more wonderful the esters will be.

 

saison yeast is a beast thus 1/2 the sugar for bottling

 

youll be left with wonderful pepper and fruity esters paired with the citrus of the hop aroma all working together to kick any cidery taste in the ass. Someone delete my profile if this is incorrect. 

 

If im gonna be honest and draw upon past experiences then i have to mention @Bonsai & Brew. I was lucky enough to try some of his beers and what i noticed was he’s really good at working with his weakness as an advantage. Dampfbier, wonderful with the HME residual sweetness. Lox Stock, wonderful at covering up any possible off flavors. Take the characteristics of MRBs products and work them in your favor or know what you have to do to change it. I think any MRB recipe can be made so much better by adding a little honey to dry it out a little. Im not a big fan of their yeast. Throw it away and use something from fermentis or danstar. Yeast nutrient is amazing. Shorter lag times and all the nutrients your yeast craves (dry yeast already has nutrients) but shorter lag times mean you beer is ready to bottle a day or two earlier. Partial mashes are great but if youre not ready for that than just skip it for now. Later youll be glad you made added them though. Something to work towards. 

 

So before you run out and buy a temp controller and a mini fridge, try different yeasts. I use safale US-05 often and could care less if my beer reaches 68 during peak. 

 

Have fun, stop stressing. Youre making beer! God damn if that isnt an amazing thing! MRB makes it so easy. Stop making it hard!

Creeps McLane,  for the recipe above would either Mosiac or Willamete, work instead of Falconers? I do have a half oz of Falconers, but its the dry hop part of my Witch's Flight recipe that's in its second week in the LBK. The Witch's is my first batch with hops, so not familiar which ones work best for pales vs ambers. On deck I have Rocket's Red Glare with Cascade hops, and your recipe. I could either go without adding the hops or using one of the two that I have coming tomorrow from Maryland Brewing. I bought them just because the descriptions sounded like they could be fairly versatile. 

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

Creeps McLane,  for the recipe above would either Mosiac or Willamete, work instead of Falconers? I do have a half oz of Falconers, but its the dry hop part of my Witch's Flight recipe that's in its second week in the LBK. The Witch's is my first batch with hops, so not familiar which ones work best for pales vs ambers. On deck I have Rocket's Red Glare with Cascade hops, and your recipe. I could either go without adding the hops or using one of the two that I have coming tomorrow from Maryland Brewing. I bought them just because the descriptions sounded like they could be fairly versatile. 

Mosaic for sure

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On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 9:16 PM, Creeps McLane said:

How to avoid acetaldehyde aka cider taste:

 

1- pitch at your fermenting temp

2- maintain a consistent fermentation temp in the lower range for your yeast. In general, dont stress your yeast

3- pitch enough yeast

4- use a higher temped yeast ie K-97 or belle sasion.

 

ways to mask acetaldehyde:

 

1- brew a maltier style like an amber or stout 

2-brew a beer that favors esters produced by stressed yeast ie saisons, wheats

3- add fruit

4- whatever you think your target conditioning time is, double it

 

Brewing beer is like cooking. You need to look at what you’re working with to decide the outcome. Im trying to think of a perfect analogy but all I can come up with is hamburger vs sweet italian sausage in my spaghetti. 

 

This is my suggestion for all of you who dont have an ideal way to control your fermentation temps. Don’t. Let the yeast do its thing. I dont temp control anything but my lagers and saisons. 

 

Heres my recipe for yall to try:

 

1 northwest pale ale HME

1/2 cup of honey dissolved before adding the HME (optional)

1/2 oz of amarillo or falconers flight at flame out 

1 packet of danstar belle saison yeast

pitch yeast anywhere between 65-75

ferment at ambient temps not to reach below 63 degrees and not to exceed 77

Bottle after three weeks with 1/2 the MRB suggested sugar amount

condition for 6 weeks

 

i guarentee a solid beer.

 

HME is sweet by nature. The honey and saison yeast will help dry it out

 

the higher you ferment, the more wonderful the esters will be.

 

saison yeast is a beast thus 1/2 the sugar for bottling

 

youll be left with wonderful pepper and fruity esters paired with the citrus of the hop aroma all working together to kick any cidery taste in the ass. Someone delete my profile if this is incorrect. 

 

If im gonna be honest and draw upon past experiences then i have to mention @Bonsai & Brew. I was lucky enough to try some of his beers and what i noticed was he’s really good at working with his weakness as an advantage. Dampfbier, wonderful with the HME residual sweetness. Lox Stock, wonderful at covering up any possible off flavors. Take the characteristics of MRBs products and work them in your favor or know what you have to do to change it. I think any MRB recipe can be made so much better by adding a little honey to dry it out a little. Im not a big fan of their yeast. Throw it away and use something from fermentis or danstar. Yeast nutrient is amazing. Shorter lag times and all the nutrients your yeast craves (dry yeast already has nutrients) but shorter lag times mean you beer is ready to bottle a day or two earlier. Partial mashes are great but if youre not ready for that than just skip it for now. Later youll be glad you made added them though. Something to work towards. 

 

So before you run out and buy a temp controller and a mini fridge, try different yeasts. I use safale US-05 often and could care less if my beer reaches 68 during peak. 

 

Have fun, stop stressing. Youre making beer! God damn if that isnt an amazing thing! MRB makes it so easy. Stop making it hard!

@Creeps McLane , well ran behind by about a week because of the appendicitis surgery, but this recipe was brewed this morning and now in the LBK. I did use the honey and pitched the Belle Saison yeast at wort temp of 70F. OG was 1.060 and got it in a large cooler with a towel under it and a half bottle of frozen water at the opposite end. Would like to have that temp a little bit lower for the first 3 days or so. Hops I used were 1/2 oz. of Falconers Flight.

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26 minutes ago, Cato said:

@Creeps McLane , well ran behind by about a week because of the appendicitis surgery, but this recipe was brewed this morning and now in the LBK. I did use the honey and pitched the Belle Saison yeast at wort temp of 70F. OG was 1.060 and got it in a large cooler with a towel under it and a half bottle of frozen water at the opposite end. Would like to have that temp a little bit lower for the first 3 days or so. Hops I used were 1/2 oz. of Falconers Flight.

Excellent, but remember, this is your “i dont need temp control batch”. Dont stress about the temp unless you really are opposed to saison yeast esters. 

 

Real happy you used the falconers flight. I think youll be really pleased with this one 

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8 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Excellent, but remember, this is your “i dont need temp control batch”. Dont stress about the temp unless you really are opposed to saison yeast esters. 

 

Real happy you used the falconers flight. I think youll be really pleased with this one 

Lol, you are right but still a bit nervous about how much the temp rises during high krausen! I know I'll be perving this one for a few days.

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1 hour ago, BDawg62 said:

Danstar Belle Saison Yeast loves the heat, don't worry about temperature.

@BDawg62 and @Creeps McLane, nervous Nelly about temp rise in high krausen! Guess I'm figuring with the honey in addition to the hme, and yeah cautious, not having used saison before, I figured that I could get a 10 degree swing in wort temp.

Lack of experience makes me want to err on side of caution. WARNING, DANGER, WILL ROBINSON !

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

@BDawg62 and @Creeps McLane, nervous Nelly about temp rise in high krausen! Guess I'm figuring with the honey in addition to the hme, and yeah cautious, not having used saison before, I figured that I could get a 10 degree swing in wort temp.

Lack of experience makes me want to err on side of caution. WARNING, DANGER, WILL ROBINSON !

Personally ive never seen a 10 degree rise. Maybe 3-4 max. Im usually fighting to raise my temps as high as possible for my saisons.

 

Now having an LBK overflow, that’s possible with any batch. But if you brew in fear, youll never become a brewing guru. 

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44 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Personally ive never seen a 10 degree rise. Maybe 3-4 max. Im usually fighting to raise my temps as high as possible for my saisons.

 

Now having an LBK overflow, that’s possible with any batch. But if you brew in fear, youll never become a brewing guru. 

No, not fear, lol, I've already brewed my worst fear with my first batch, green apple Oktoberfest! But your recipe said not to let it get over 77, and I'm pretty sure whether I read it here or in Palmers that in high krausen there could be 6-8 and up to 10 degree increase over ambient.

Wort temp showing steady 67 right now and I'm feeling okay in that range.

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18 minutes ago, dillweed said:

Same problem here. 3 out of 5 batches ended up tasting like wine. I hate wine! I'm about ready to give up.

Don’t give up. Make sure you have temp control- ferment at 65F. Add some fresh grains and hops. These three things make all the difference. Tweak to your tastes from there. Stick with it as it is a very rewarding hobby. I understand your frustration. Brew on!

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Dillweed.. the simplest thing you can do to make better beer is temperature control.

 

the typical  ale yeasts like an ambient temp of about 58f-66f.  this is the temperature around your lbk.  when yeast ferment, they produce heat. during the first week of fermentation the temps inside the lbk can be on average 5-10f hotter if not more.if you arent providing a relatively stable temperature around the lbk of 58-66f, that means the yeast get as hot as maybe 75f-80f at their busiest! way too hot.

 

your typical ale yeast gets stressed out at that high of a temp. they produce esters or flavor profiles when stressed from heat. this is a chemical called Acetaldehyde . this makes a strong green apple or apple cider flavor in your beer. it can make your beer taste to some people like cheap wine or really fruity.

 

the yeast the usually comes with mr beer kits likes the temperature range mentioned above.  if you get an igloo ice chest, a cheap digital aquarium thermometer with a lead and a probe, and some 1/2 liter bottles of ice you can easily fix your problem.

 

next batch, put the lbk in the igloo chest. dangle the aquarium thermometer probe in the cooler.  put the digital readout outside. you can shut the lid on the wire. it shouldnt hurt.  turn on the thermometer and note the temp.  it will probably be your house room temperature. now take a 1/2 liter plastic bottle of ice and put it in the cooler away from the lbk. close the lid.  come back every hour to 2 hours. note the temp inside the cooler.  you want to shoot for 58-66f.  a 1/2 liter in my experience will slowly drop the temp to around that. you can add more ice bottles or use less ice depending on how your set up is responding.  

 

when you get the temp in the cooler to the optimal range, watch how long it stays there. usually i can go about 12 hours with very little fluctuation on about a liter of ice. when you figure out how long your ice will stay effective , all you do is every x hours swap out the ice with the same amount.

 

once about a week goes by your primary fermentation stage should be about done and temp control isnt as important. be aware that too low temps, your yeast will fall asleep.  too high and they pee out apple cider flavors.  different yeast strains behave differently.  true lager yeast love cold temps and require temps in the low 50s to work. wheat ale yeast like hefeweizen yeast tend to make earthy or clovey flavors at the low 60s, and banana flavors at the upper 60s to 70s.  saison yeast love really hot temps. i let mine go as high as 76f to make a complex fruity / funky / yeasty / floral flavor.  know your yeast. if you make it happy, it will make good beer.

 

good luck!  dont rush things. keep things simple as you can until you get the basics down like temp control and sanitation.  beer is not a quick thing. it takes time. 

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9 hours ago, dillweed said:

Same problem here. 3 out of 5 batches ended up tasting like wine. I hate wine! I'm about ready to give up.

@dillweed, You found the right place on this forum, so don't give up. What the others have said about temp control is huge towards turning things around!

My third batch, I just bottled last weekend, is turning out great! I kept the LBK in my Coleman with an ice bottle, and it would keep the temp at 64F for 12-15 hrs. I was able to maintain that after high krausen ended with just a half an ice bottle. For my third week I didn't really need the ice bottles as it was maintaining 65F on its own in the room the cooler was in.

 

I taped a folded dish towel to the back of my LBK  and slipped the end of my temp probe down between them to below the wort line.

I also used US-05 yeast, as some on here seem to like that as a "go to" yeast.

 

 

 

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As has been said, temp control is very important. With the yeast that comes with the Mr beer cans, you gotta keep the wort temp around 65 for optimal performance with not getting the green Apple flavor. Personally for my experience i stopped using the included yeast and switched to us-05 pitch the entire packet. It's a bit more forgiving but keeping wort temp below 70 is best with this yeast. Again, this is my experience and yours may vary.

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us05 (safale/fermentis) does a good job without imparting too many esters. it's kind of a neutral yeast. .. and as mentioned , is forgiving of occasional spikes in temperature.  if you had the money you could order a pack with each kit (assuming mr b sells it).  save the fromunda yeast and use it as sacrificial yeast when doing high grav beers.

 

you simply boil them in about a quart of water for 10 mins or so, then remove from heat and allow to cool with a cover.  when cool dump it into your lbk. the dead yeast will feed the yeast you pitch in.  think of it as doggie treats for yeast. you dont have to do this but i treat the yeast the best i can to keep them happy.

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On 3/1/2018 at 6:25 AM, Creeps McLane said:

8 oz of pilsner would be good. Id throw 4 oz of white wheat malt too just because.

@Creeps McLane I’m gonna go get the stuff for your ipa recipe you posted. I already have the HME can. You still think these steeping grains will do the trick? This is a LBK batch.  Thanks

 

jdub

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4 hours ago, Jdub said:

@Creeps McLane I’m gonna go get the stuff for your ipa recipe you posted. I already have the HME can. You still think these steeping grains will do the trick? This is a LBK batch.  Thanks

 

jdub

Yeah, those grains would work. Maybe you should wait and see how much sugar @Cato adds for bottling so you can gauge off of his. I can not over emphasize how aggressive saison yeast is. 

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