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Hello everyone.  I just wanted to introduce myself to the forum.  I am new to brewing and appreciate all the help I can get.  I have two LBK's and am currently brewing the Churchill and the Double Black Diamond.  Both kegs are at a constant temp of approx. 65 degrees.  The Churchill is at the two week time frame and the Double Black is approximately 1 week.  My question is, can I sample this at two weeks to see if the flavor is good or should I wait longer?  I just want these beers to come out right and don't want this to be a big waste of time and money.  Any insight will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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37 minutes ago, oldbagobones said:

Hello everyone.  I just wanted to introduce myself to the forum.  I am new to brewing and appreciate all the help I can get.  I have two LBK's and am currently brewing the Churchill and the Double Black Diamond.  Both kegs are at a constant temp of approx. 65 degrees.  The Churchill is at the two week time frame and the Double Black is approximately 1 week.  My question is, can I sample this at two weeks to see if the flavor is good or should I wait longer?  I just want these beers to come out right and don't want this to be a big waste of time and money.  Any insight will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

There's really nothing to be gained by sampling it now. Wait till the 3 week mark. Then taste a sample. If it's flat and not sweet, it's done.

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2 hours ago, oldbagobones said:

  I just want these beers to come out right and don't want this to be a big waste of time and money.  Any insight will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

As far as that goes, I have wasted quite a bit of time and money because I didn't know what I didn't know early on. However, I know what you mean. I never sample while fermenting. Just try a little at bottling time/3 week mark. With temp control being one of the things I didn't know about up front, you're ahead of the game big time. Good luck!

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4 hours ago, oldbagobones said:

Hello everyone.  I just wanted to introduce myself to the forum.  I am new to brewing and appreciate all the help I can get.  I have two LBK's and am currently brewing the Churchill and the Double Black Diamond.  Both kegs are at a constant temp of approx. 65 degrees.  The Churchill is at the two week time frame and the Double Black is approximately 1 week.  My question is, can I sample this at two weeks to see if the flavor is good or should I wait longer?  I just want these beers to come out right and don't want this to be a big waste of time and money.  Any insight will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Welcome to the forum and the obsession. Sounds as if you've already prepared yourself before jumping in. Temperature control is probably the number one issue that causes new hobbyists to ask, "What did I do wrong?" This hobby teaches the importance of self-control and patience. Don't go mad scientist adding/changing recipes because you're chasing ABV or that odd brew you really loved last year. Flavors in beer can be from the malts and yeast or by other means. To be successful, you need to decide how to get that German Chocolate cake taste.  While brewing last Saturday, I drank my last bottle of Churchill. It happened to be one I bottled last year. It was by far the best of the batch... I was unimpressed by the Churchill until it had a chance to condition. In my case, they didn't begin tasting good for about 5 weeks after bottling. First impressions aren't always correct. Good luck to you. When in doubt check this forum and ask. 

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Likewise, welcome to the forum. Seems like the darker brews take longer to condition and particularly the higher gravity ones. It does take some patience, which is hard until you build a bit of a pipeline.

 

The pale ales and hoppy IPA's take quite a bit less conditioning time, so I'll often alternate batches. Once you get a couple LBK's going at the same time your pipeline starts to take shape. Since you've got that going now it'll be a big help in that direction.

 

Fermenting on the cool side of your yeasts temp range will really help to prevent yeast stress and thus off flavors.

 

I'd recommend getting a hydrometer and a bottling wand if you don't already have them. They're a big help and easy to use.

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Got the Churchill Nut Brown bottled this past weekend.  Gave it a taste and Holy Crap, it actually tastes like beer!  I've got it bottled and am conditioning it in an approximate 72 deg. room.  I know some of you have brewed Churchill before and was wondering if a longer conditioning would be better or just go for the three week time frame.  Based on everyone's experience, how long after conditioning and refrigerating should I expect to be able to drink?  Thanks in advance.

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52 minutes ago, oldbagobones said:

Got the Churchill Nut Brown bottled this past weekend.  Gave it a taste and Holy Crap, it actually tastes like beer!  I've got it bottled and am conditioning it in an approximate 72 deg. room.  I know some of you have brewed Churchill before and was wondering if a longer conditioning would be better or just go for the three week time frame.  Based on everyone's experience, how long after conditioning and refrigerating should I expect to be able to drink?  Thanks in advance.

I enjoy the Churchill's, it's tasty "as is".  I let mine condition for six weeks before trying my first one.  I didn't think it was quite ready yet, so I let another two weeks go by before trying one again.  It was good to go.

 

As you're new to the hobby, though, I recommend going ahead and trying one after carbonation is complete.  Then try one once a week afterwards just to see how conditioning benefits the beer.

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7 hours ago, oldbagobones said:

I do have the patience for this, just want to get an idea of what might make the beer better over time.  I appreciate your response.

Some times the yeast needs to finish converting the sugars to alcohol. Some times the flavors provided by malts and adjuncts combine gradually into a unified flavor. If you're familiar with cooking soups and stews, you'll understand the longer it sits the more the flavors meld. 

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8 hours ago, D Kristof said:

Some times the yeast needs to finish converting the sugars to alcohol. Some times the flavors provided by malts and adjuncts combine gradually into a unified flavor. If you're familiar with cooking soups and stews, you'll understand the longer it sits the more the flavors meld. 

@D Kristof that is an excellent reference.  I always think my chili is better the next day after it has had a day in the refrigerator. 

 

Beer is the same way, after the proper amount of time for the recipe and style, the flavors meld together.  Dark beers need more time than lighter colored beers and higher alcohol beers need more time than lower alcohol beers.

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Hi to all. I've only made about 3 batches since I got my kit 4 years ago. I have tried the American Pale lager, Aztec Mexican Beer, and most recently the Canadien Blonde. Each time my batch (which I followed the recipe directions) would turn out quite dark and overly hoppy tasting. The one thing I keep reading here is the importance of temperature during fermentation process. I think instructions say to keep between 66* and 76*. I think most of my batches have fermented at 75-76* as I did them during summer months. Has anyone else had this experience, and is the bottom of that temperature range better to achieve the pale lighter beers. I noticed my yeast stopped being as active after 1-2 days of fermenting and now thinking temp. was why.

 

Thanks

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You are fermenting way, way too warm.  If it's 76 in the room, then in the fermenter at peak fermentation you're into the 80s.  Way too warm.  

 

No, your yeast didn't stop being active due to hot temps, it would have been more active.  

 

Ideally, you want to ferment with the wort (not air) temps in the mid 60s.  

 

As far as color and hoppiness, neither is affected by fermenting too warm.  

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Ok thanks for advice. My next batch will be fermented at the lower temp and I will monitor temp. I didn't realize the wort fermentation was warmer than room temp., but it makes sense. Not sure what affected color. My next batch I won't be adding LME and will see if I get a lighter color.

Thanks again

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Dude take a camping cooler and put your LBK in it with a frozen pint water bottle and have a backup one in the freezer. One bottle should keep the keg at 63-64 F for at least 12 hrs. Taping a temp probe below the wort line will give you a pretty accurate wort temp reading. Tape a sponge or folded cloth below the wort line and then slip the temp probe in between the sponge and the LBK so that it'll be insulated from reading the ambient temp in the cooler.

It's really critical to do this and ferment on the cool side during the first 5 days of krausen when the yeast is super active. So active that they raise the wort temp in the LBK by several degrees. I read once, "control your yeast and you control your beer." Your yeast can get stressed and produce some off flavors without some temp control.

Rickbeer has very good info links that you can click on and good info for new brewers. I and many others fermented too warm before we learned about temp control!

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3 minutes ago, knewtobrew said:

Ok thanks for advice. My next batch will be fermented at the lower temp and I will monitor temp. I didn't realize the wort fermentation was warmer than room temp., but it makes sense. Not sure what affected color. My next batch I won't be adding LME and will see if I get a lighter color.

Thanks again

The HME's, hopped malt extract, which are the cans generally turn out much darker than the pics you see on Mr. Beer. You're not doing anything wrong in that aspect.

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More great advise and thanks!  I should have looked for forums before I brewed the few times, more is explained here and the why's. Will be using that cooler trick next time here in Southeast Texas where we have two weeks of winter.

 

Thanks

 

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1 hour ago, knewtobrew said:

More great advise and thanks!  I should have looked for forums before I brewed the few times, more is explained here and the why's. Will be using that cooler trick next time here in Southeast Texas where we have two weeks of winter.

 

Thanks

 

Proper temperature control was the single greatest tip I learned from this forum.  As far as the color of the final product is concerned, from what I've seen the older the HME gets, the darker the beer will be.  It doesn't bother me if the final product is darker than expected, though; how it tastes is more important.

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