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Joe G

Newbie needs brew plan confirmation

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Hi all!

Just joined the community after starting my first brew process, and have been reading up on all of the very helpful guides and tips you are providing.  Very happy to have found the forums! 

I kicked off my Oktoberfest brew two weeks ago.  Followed all of the instructions, and have been storing the LBK in my cool, dark basement.  Poured a small sample from the spigot yesterday and got what you see in the two pics.  As you all suggested, it does taste like flat beer, I don't detect any vinegar-y hints in the flavor at all.  There was a small bit of sediment, which I'm assuming is the trub.

 

So here is my plan, and I want to make sure I'm on the right track.  In a few days, I plan on cold crashing the brew in my fridge for three days, tilted upward at the spigot so everything settles toward the back of the LBK.  This weekend, I will sanitize the bottles, put in the carbonation drops, and fill according to the instructions.  Then back to the basement they go for three more weeks before chilling and drinking.

 

Is there anything I am missing?  Anything else I need to be aware of that I might not yet have seen in a previous post?  

 

Thank you!

Joe G

Beer2.JPG

Beer1.JPG

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Thanks Shrike for the welcome!

And thank you RickBeer for the additional tips!  With the additional heat we've had recently as we get into july, my basement has been hovering around 70, especially toward the front wall of the house.  It's a large basement with sections, so I can place the bottles appropriately given the weather when I do the bottling.  

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Welcome to the forum! 70-72 should work fine for carbonation. I bottle mostly in glass, but often will use a PET plastic bottle to check carbonation progress. 

 

A bottling wand, if you don't have one, is a great little tool for filling the bottles.

 

Ask away if you have questions! We've  all been where you are in the process.

 

I didn't find the forum right away, so my first two batches suffered from too high fermentation temps. I hope yours will do far better, but if you do run into some issues, keep at it and don't give up! There's a learning curve to this hobby, but it's very rewarding and fun!

 

 

 

 

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Welcome! I agree on the bottling wand. Went two years without one and am wishing it would have been my first equipment purchase. Looks like you are on track otherwise. Prepare for your first batch to be underwhelming and to just keep aging it if you aren’t happy at first. Cheers! 🍺

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@Joe G, welcome to the forum and good luck with your new addiction. If you took a sample from the spigot, by all means possible, clean it thoroughly. Do it now. Allowing any of the wort/beer to remain is providing a breeding ground for molds and bacteria. Anything flowing through that spigot will carry with it any spores and bacteria into your bottles. Sanitation, temperature control, processes, and patience are your goals for your first several attempts at brewing. With patience comes self control a.k.a. not going mad scientist until you have a better understanding. For example, last evening I was at a homebrew club meeting. One of the members brewed an orange habanero wheat beer. His bottles were gushers. The beer was lost behind the habanero heat. When he asked for advice...the best advice we could offer was for him to use it (all 15 gallons) to make jerky. Back tracking on this stream of conscious comment, clean your spout before you bottle, because @RickBeer will need to scold you about infections causing gushers.😉

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Just now, Joe G said:

@D Kristof Thanks for the advice.  What is the best way to clean the spigot without disturbing the LBK contents?

If you take a sample, hit it with a spay bottle to rinse it out. In your case, you might need to swab it out with a q-tip. This topic was discussed extensively in a post about mold growing inside a mini-fridge and on the sides of his LBK. @RickBeer is excellent at finding information like that.

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I can add one thing to this conversation. Only chill what you will be drinking, not the whole batch.  Leave everything out to continue conditioning. So if you plan on drinking two or three of your beers, three days before drinking them put them in the fridge and chill them down.  Also, most of your beers will improve with age so chill a few and try them at four weeks, chill a few and try them at five weeks,… 

 

One notable exception to this would be IPA's.  You want to drink those young as the hop characteristics of your beer tail off 'relatively quickly'. 

 

Welcome to your new obsession and most importantly patience, patience, patience! 

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I just realized that, after all of your amazing help, I never posted my results!  The Oktoberfest beer came out absolutely amazing!  Way better than I was expecting for my first batch, and I owe much of it to all of your advice.  I sanitized the spigot after testing, cold crashed, only chilled what I was going to drink, and each bottle was better than the next.  Had a few friends try it and they loved it as well.  Best compliment I got was from one friend, who said if he tried it in a restaurant he would order it again!

Just bottled my Classic American Light (it came with the Oktoberfest in the kit), and the taste sample had more beer flavor than any typical light beer on the market.  Looking forward to this one being ready, and trying to decide which one to do next.  Yep - I'm hooked!

Many thanks again to all of you.

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only a matter of time until everything you look at you will ask 'can i put this in beer?' or 'can i make beer in this?'

soon you will be coming up with recipes  like smoked chipotle porters or banana rye bread hefeweisen... hmm...  that sounds interesting to me. a hefe made with a rye/wheat grain bill, fermented hot to make banana esters.

 

welcome to your new obsession.

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