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Welcome to the forum and the hobby! Kudos to checking in here first before starting your first brew!

 

What they said above is so true and please do read on the importance of temperature control, and sanitation, and feel free to ask questions.

 

I just started this in Feb, and unfortunately did not find this treasure trove of a forum before I had brewed two batches and though I followed the instructions to the letter that wasn't enough! For sure the first one fermented a bit too warm that first crucial week and I got green apple flavored Oktoberfest. My second, Bewitched, has been conditioning for a month and untried at this point.

 

Batches 3-5 though are another story altogether thanks to my new friends and their advice on temp control, procedures, yeast selection, bottling, and me poring over everything I could find on here to brew a better beer.

 

 

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For what it is worth here is something I learned that has helped me.

DO NOT ALWAYS USE THE KITS INSTRUCTIONS
sometimes the can will have the label peel off and there will be instructions under it if not go to the MR Beer website and look at the printable instructions.
This may sound dumb but I have learned that some recipes have tiny little differences that the basic instructions wont cover. For instance the temperature on my Heavy Mcwee is a little lower than standard recipes.
also read the instructions 3 times before each move. double check yourself against every sentence.

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3 hours ago, Fire Rooster said:

Buy 2 gallons of spring water and put them in fridge.

 

If you have a thermometer, place it in the location you currently

intend to ferment beer, and monitor temperature.

Excellent advice, I am lucky I guess as that a closet of mine has a major draft lol so far the temps hover around 65 in there. I have yet to see what the temps are in the summer but I am sure that will be a challenge for a different day. In other words I second temp monitoring.

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28 minutes ago, Timelordjason said:

For what it is worth here is something I learned that has helped me.

DO NOT ALWAYS USE THE KITS INSTRUCTIONS
sometimes the can will have the label peel off and there will be instructions under it if not go to the MR Beer website and look at the printable instructions.
This may sound dumb but I have learned that some recipes have tiny little differences that the basic instructions wont cover. For instance the temperature on my Heavy Mcwee is a little lower than standard recipes.
also read the instructions 3 times before each move. double check yourself against every sentence.

That is interesting. I would rather use the proper instructions. Thanks for the heads up. 

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Welcome and enjoy. You are embarking on an amazingly tasty time consuming obsession. Best advice I can pass along is to bottle condition for a month minimum. Also, great choice on the bewitched. Best mr. B HME in my opinion. 

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I also chose the Bewitched Amber as my first brew. It's currently bottled and conditioning right now. It seems that the consensus after reading around here is to leave it bottled for 4 weeks, then stick it in the fridge for a week and enjoy (total five weeks after bottling). Is this correct?

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22 minutes ago, Hougie said:

I also chose the Bewitched Amber as my first brew. It's currently bottled and conditioning right now. It seems that the consensus after reading around here is to leave it bottled for 4 weeks, then stick it in the fridge for a week and enjoy (total five weeks after bottling). Is this correct?

Yep, except three days in the fridge is all you need.

 

Welcome to the forum!

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Question. I am starting a second brew this weekend. I ordered hops to add but it says to add it in using a satchett. I don’t have one and I can’t find one on this sight or amazon. What alternatives do you guys suggest? Or can I just add it without the satchett? 

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23 minutes ago, Dunkindog said:

Question. I am starting a second brew this weekend. I ordered hops to add but it says to add it in using a satchett. I don’t have one and I can’t find one on this sight or amazon. What alternatives do you guys suggest? Or can I just add it without the satchett? 

Hop Boiling Bags - 5 Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BWS2VA6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_W3xVAbC9NF8A6

 

http://www.ritebrew.com/product-p/842338.htm

 

your hops can go with out it. I would just make sure you don’t disturb your trub when you bottle. You dont want a wad of hop goo in your bottle or clogging your spout

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23 minutes ago, Dunkindog said:

Question. I am starting a second brew this weekend. I ordered hops to add but it says to add it in using a satchett. I don’t have one and I can’t find one on this sight or amazon. What alternatives do you guys suggest? Or can I just add it without the satchett? 

It's called a muslin sack and you can get them on here from MB or from your local homebrew store. Always good to have several extras on hand as many recipes call for hop additions. Don't forget to sanitize the sack before you put the hops in!

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4 hours ago, Dunkindog said:

Question. I am starting a second brew this weekend. I ordered hops to add but it says to add it in using a satchett. I don’t have one and I can’t find one on this sight or amazon. What alternatives do you guys suggest? Or can I just add it without the satchett? 

I a moment of desperation I've used a hairnet. LOL. You want it to have room for the hops to expand while remaining contained in whatever you use. And yes, the do break apart and expand quite a bit. For best results you want the hops to float inside the bag.

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Find a post by Rick Beer and read all his footnotes and references.

 

Some people do add hops with no bag, They mostly sink to the bottom, but they can get in the beer of clog the faucet.

 

Lots of bag alternates. End of stocking or pantyhose, painters straining cloth e.g.

From Mr B, or brew stores you can get disposable or reusable hop bags - as you prefer.

 

 

For later experimentation........

Another altenative is to steep the hops, strain  and just add the juice.

Results can vary - some folks find this can add a vegetal quality . But I have been successful.

Pour boiling water over hops and let sit for 30 min, drain and use juice or or let sit in fridge overnight for added flavors.

Some Cooper's (Mr Beer parent Co.) recipes  specify this treatment.

 

 

Or use a coffee French Press.

https://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/05/randall-at-home-use-a-french-press-to-infuse-beer-with-hops-spices-cocoa-nibs.html

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/big-hop-flavor-with-1-3-the-hops.55721/

 

 All these treatments will give slightly different results in terms of that flavors, aromas they extract from the hops.

So it is something one can experiment with later after establishing a repeatable good brew result.

Until you do this you have no idea why you get the different result you do.

 

On the other hand some may say go for it and learn by your mistakes. Hopefully they will all be consumable - lol.

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seems kinda silly to tell the guy not to brew, and to read first for a week. its bewitched amber ale, 1 can of lme to go into 4 quarts of water, and then into the lbk. not that complex of a recipe, lol. make it already, and put it in the lbk...you got 14-21 days to read while it ferments!  another thing I will say...if you do wait a week and read, then order yourself some better yeast,(safale us-05 for example) and don't use the yeast under the can lid. happy brewing!!!

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1 hour ago, Kevinah64 said:

seems kinda silly to tell the guy not to brew, and to read first for a week. its bewitched amber ale, 1 can of lme to go into 4 quarts of water, and then into the lbk. not that complex of a recipe, lol. make it already, and put it in the lbk...you got 14-21 days to read while it ferments!  another thing I will say...if you do wait a week and read, then order yourself some better yeast,(safale us-05 for example) and don't use the yeast under the can lid. happy brewing!!!

If only it were as simple as you state to make good beer.  You didn't mention anything about maintaining a good temperature.  Nor did you mention making sure that the wort you are pitching into is both aerated and the correct temperature for pitching yeast.  Yes, you can just follow the directions and make mediocre beer and then get discouraged and quit the hobby.  Or you can take a week to read and get as much useful information before beginning a hobby that can last a lifetime.  I think I would rather do the latter at the cost on 1 week of time.

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