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Gutterbunnie

First batch ever: Bottling volume - extra trub?

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I'm pretty new to home brewing. Ordered Mr Beer kit in Jan, made my first batch of American Light in Feb & 3 weeks later, bottled on Sunday. (unless you count making beer with my brother 20+ years ago where he used  sophisticated set-up, 5G Carboy, but lots of variation between batches d/t contamination & temp flux). So when it came time for my first bottling, I decided to go ahead & just use the PEP bottles that came with the kit for my first batch. Everything went fairly smoothly until the very last 11th bottle, and it fell short. I tried to get every lost drop of beer & ended up with half a bottle & lots of trub in my 11th. There seemed to be quit a bit of the white gunk settled on the bottom of the LBK. I hope that I did everything right. Has anyone else experienced this - maybe it was simply evaporation, or was some volume taken up by the dead yeast/trub?  I find it somewhat difficult to regulate temp in my home but it's on the low end this time of year (above 60F). I have a small space, and best place I found was a dark closet in upstairs bedroom. I do hope that it fermented correctly. I bought a stick on thermometer but it's not the greatest. I have not yet invested in hydrometer. I'm doing my best to follow the instructions in the kit to a T. Any help or suggestions are appreciated. I am readying myself to make my second batch of either Oktoberfest or Diablo IPA. Thanks!

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Thanks! I'm excited to start another batch, different style beer. Hope it turns out well:)

 

yeah I'm curious how awful the half filled 11th will taste because it got 2 carbo drops & half the volume! probably not drinkable.......my mistake in putting in the carbo drops first before filling, I guess;)

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I fill my LBKs enough to just get 12 full 740 ml bottles, I think that equals 2 1/4 gallons instead of 2.  I cold crash before bottling, the last bottle still has some trub but I mark it.  With the extra water I just figure the ABV will be lower than advertised, I try to compensate a little with packet of booster when mixing the wort (but I still figure the ABV will be lower than advertised.)  I'm ok with that.

 

Hop sacks can take up liquid space too.

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if you put 2 carb drops in normally in a full bottle... and you put 2 in a half bottle , you best check bottle often and bleed off excess co2.

 

i dont bother adding sugar to my trub bottle when there is so little volume in the bottle of actual beer.  rather i put it straight in the fridge and give it a couple days for the yeast and trub to compact.  then i sample.. being careful to leave the trub in the bottle. there will still be lots of yeast active in your trub bottle so expect gas and some bloating.. maybe the runs unless you are used to drinking live yeast. never judge a beer by your trub sample bottle either.

 

the trub bottle will just have more co2 because of what you did. just bleed off the excess every couple days or so to prevent the plastic bottle from distorting and blowing up.  again... when you go to pour your trub bottle to sample... slow careful pour and try to leave all the icky trub in the bottle. it wont kill you if you drink some. trub just tastes like bready yeasty sludge.  it might have a bitter edge too. trub is just dead and tired yeast cells, fats, proteins, and settled out byproducts of fermentation. it has lots of vitamin b compounds and can actually be good for you BUT... the presence of live yeast cells will cause you tummy distress. when you drink yeast, they can survive for a short time in your intestine and stomach. theres lots of undigested food and residue in your gut that they will immediately attack for food. this makes gas which has only 2 ways out of you. when they make it to your colon it has the effect of colon blow...   once your gut adapts to the presence of so much yeast it isnt so bad. similarly , people who drink kombucha get horrible bloating and gas from the yeast and active bacteria in the culture... as do some people who eat lacto fermented veggies. all of these are great for your gut health but have unpleasant side effects like the runs.

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Welcome! I'm new this year as well.

The best I've gotten in yield is 10 PET bottles, so sounds like you did pretty well.

 

You can learn an awful lot from these guys and read as much as you can before you start your next batch.

I didn't do so well on my first two before learning about temperature control, and now on my third batch thanks to the forum help, my LBK is in my cooler with an ice bottle and maintaining 64F with a 12 hour change out of the bottles.

 

Definitely read the pinned posts on temp control, tilting your LBK,  and cold crashing. Cold crashing will greatly reduce trub in your bottles. SANITIZE everything you use.

 

The search feature on the forum works pretty well for a lot of things, but for sure ask if you can't find an answer.

 

Good luck! 

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If you follow the directions, cold crash, and tilt the LBK during cold crash (and during fermentation as well), you'll maximize the amount of beer you get into bottles.  Using a bottle filler, you'll perfectly fill each bottle.  

 

The amount of beer you get out will be impacted by the above, AND by what recipe you make.  If you drop hop, you'll soak up beer.  If you add a can or two of fruit a week into fermentation, you'll add volume and get more liquid.  Any additions you do before topping off your LBK of course add nothing since you're topping off to the right line.

 

Also remember that it's not like you're filling a medical syringe with an exact dosage.  I'll bet there's an easy cup or more difference every time you fill to the line.

 

Tip - as you brew, you'll learn whether you get 10, 11, 12 or whatever number of bottles (of course depends on bottle size).  Don't put sugar or drops in the last bottle until you're ready to fill it.  If  you have drops, you can add them after filling.  If you use table sugar, you can't, because it will foam out.  But you can approximate how much liquid there is and add less sugar.

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Thanks for all the replies. I did take the 11th bottle (was very firm to touch) & bled off some C02. put in fridge. Maybe I'll taste test it.....maybe not.

 

I will take your advice with the next batch of bottling - I had read about cold crashing but it seemed there were varying opinions. But with experience from first bottling, will try it with my next batch: cold crash, tilt LBK, also not add carbo drops to last few bottles until after filling. I think mainly I was concerned about O2 exposure & contamination. Anyway. Also I did not sanitize the spigot before bottling first batch, oops. didn't even cross my mind, and not really mentioned on Mr Beer instructions. Of course I followed all cleaning/sanitizing, I had bought oxygen based cleaner at local bottle shop & cleaned everything thoroughly & used the no rinse sanitizer before I brewed next batch, including disassembling the spigot & doing all that over again (which I almost forgot to do but read someone's post here).

 

So I did brew the next batch of Oktoberfest Wed 2/28. Pitched yeast after adding spring water that had been chilled in fridge, so temp was low, didn't even register on outside therm. Saw activity within 12 hrs, bubbling, but not as active as Ale. Was concerned that the high Krausen temp creeped up to 72 degrees F. My house is not that warm, so I know outside temp was no more than 65. But I read that with fermentation the wort temp will rise. So next time, maybe I need to try the cooler & ice bottles? I looked at mini fridges but I don't think I'm ready to take that next step. I have coolers in the garage & plenty of water bottles I can freeze.

 

Day 5 of fermentation of Oktoberfest. Temps are low. Low activity, still some bubbles on surface/middle, but very little Krausen on sides. With Lagers, maybe that's normal? Oh well just have to be patient, wait & see.

 

Wish me luck. I have other refill kits coming in the mail, with some booster/LME. I'm interested in trying other recipes & adding LMEs to boost ABV & flavor. I read there is high drop out rate with this hobby, but since I've yet to sample a batch, we'll see. Also, I'm not one to give up very easily:) There's a learning curve and a science behind this, so now after reading other posts, I'm starting to document things, so I can adjust for next batches.

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50 minutes ago, Gutterbunnie said:

Thanks for all the replies. I did take the 11th bottle (was very firm to touch) & bled off some C02. put in fridge. Maybe I'll taste test it.....maybe not.

 

I will take your advice with the next batch of bottling - I had read about cold crashing but it seemed there were varying opinions. But with experience from first bottling, will try it with my next batch: cold crash, tilt LBK, also not add carbo drops to last few bottles until after filling. I think mainly I was concerned about O2 exposure & contamination. Anyway. Also I did not sanitize the spigot before bottling first batch, oops. didn't even cross my mind, and not really mentioned on Mr Beer instructions. Of course I followed all cleaning/sanitizing, I had bought oxygen based cleaner at local bottle shop & cleaned everything thoroughly & used the no rinse sanitizer before I brewed next batch, including disassembling the spigot & doing all that over again (which I almost forgot to do but read someone's post here).

 

So I did brew the next batch of Oktoberfest Wed 2/28. Pitched yeast after adding spring water that had been chilled in fridge, so temp was low, didn't even register on outside therm. Saw activity within 12 hrs, bubbling, but not as active as Ale. Was concerned that the high Krausen temp creeped up to 72 degrees F. My house is not that warm, so I know outside temp was no more than 65. But I read that with fermentation the wort temp will rise. So next time, maybe I need to try the cooler & ice bottles? I looked at mini fridges but I don't think I'm ready to take that next step. I have coolers in the garage & plenty of water bottles I can freeze.

 

Day 5 of fermentation of Oktoberfest. Temps are low. Low activity, still some bubbles on surface/middle, but very little Krausen on sides. With Lagers, maybe that's normal? Oh well just have to be patient, wait & see.

 

Wish me luck. I have other refill kits coming in the mail, with some booster/LME. I'm interested in trying other recipes & adding LMEs to boost ABV & flavor. I read there is high drop out rate with this hobby, but since I've yet to sample a batch, we'll see. Also, I'm not one to give up very easily:) There's a learning curve and a science behind this, so now after reading other posts, I'm starting to document things, so I can adjust for next batches.

 

Everyone gets nervous about this when starting out, but the bottom line is you can't judge a fermentation by its Krausen.  Some yeast strains take off like a rocket, some are more docile.  The same yeast strain used on the same recipe on different dates may give you quite a different amount of activity.  I've had a batch where I didn't notice any Krausen at all.  The only visible way to tell that the yeast were doing their job was the trub at the bottom.  The batch turned out just fine.

 

Bottom line:  keep your wort in the proper temperature range (preferably towards the lower end of the range for most recipes) and your yeast will be happy.  And a happy yeast is a productive yeast.  :)

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Ah, yes I wondered if it was truly a lager....you'll have to excuse my being a rookie, still have a lot to learn! So far I've read this forum, some other online forums, & about half a brewing book I checked out from library.  Don't Lagers ferment at much lower temps, like in the 50s? Why does MR Beer refer to Oktoberfest as a Lager I wonder?

 

Thank Shrike - yeah I know I've got the newbie jitters. I'll just leave it alone & check back in 2+ weeks. Will post what the end result is. I won't worry too much as there is some Krausen on side, still very cloudy so I can't see  trub on bottom, but, I couldn't really see it on my first batch either. But it was definitely there when I bottled! So, for these 2 beers(American Light & Oktoberfest), maybe I don't have to worry too much about high Krausen rising to 72 but then dropping again to lower temps? Or do I? If it were really a Lager, possibly a bigger issue?

 

Thanks again:) And I'm excited to try my first beers, it's a worthy endeavor. Try, fail, try again, right?

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They call it a lager to screw people up...   They shouldn't have.  Everything they sell is an ALE, not a lager.  There are a few recipes that are lagers (using lager yeast), but it tells you that.  Yes, they ferment at much lower temps.

 

Yes, you should worry about temps rising too high IF you're fermenting in a normal room of 70 or so degrees. If you're in a basement and it's in the low 60s, then not so much.  At peak fermentation, regardless of the room temp, wort temp will rise up to 10 degrees.  Therefore, temp control is important.  

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Thanks! Next batch, I'll try the cooler & ice bottles, at least for high Krausen. Even though thermometers read about 64 ambient temp, that means wort could rise to 74. Best to keep that at lower range during peak fermentation, 65/66, correct? ......my bro said - don't let beer get to 80 or I'd ruin it. So his advice was probably not the most accurate, perhaps I worried less than I should have initially..... live & learn

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9 hours ago, Gutterbunnie said:

. I won't worry too much as there is some Krausen on side, still very cloudy so I can't see  trub on bottom, but, I couldn't really see it on my first batch either. But it was definitely there when I bottled!

If you see deposits on the side above the level if your liquid, you're past high krausen.

Every newb should read Parpazian's book on home brewing. It's an easy read full of mostly good information. The most important tip he offers is, "Relax. Don't worry. Have a home brew."u

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