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I should be getting my Mr. Beer kit tomorrow. I look forward to getting started. My plan is to brew with the Mr. Beer kits till i am consistently making good beer and then maybe venture off with better equipment and start experimenting a little. Any ideas for a gallon container for when i sanitize the bottles...I was thinking about something with a spigot on it.

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6 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

I should be getting my Mr. Beer kit tomorrow. I look forward to getting started. My plan is to brew with the Mr. Beer kits till i am consistently making good beer and then maybe venture off with better equipment and start experimenting a little. Any ideas for a gallon container for when i sanitize the bottles...I was thinking about something with a spigot on it.

 

Welcome to the hobby and the forum!  I keep my sanitizing container simple. I use bottled spring water to brew with.  So I just save one of the empty bottles and use it next time I bottle a batch to mix the sanitizing solution in.

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Welcome. Read all the advice under RicklBeer about brewing. Take your time, be patient. I use a large rectangular plastic container from Home Depot for sanitizing. It can hold 4 liter size bottles. I submerge them, shake and rinse a few times, then let them soak a few minutes. As for sanitizing on brewing day, soak everything a few minutes. I first wash the LBK with liquid dish soap, rinse in warm water, then fill with sanitizer, shake, let it sit, shake some more. I do this before the brew, and after fermentation. I sanitize the sink with a hot water and soap, and wipe the handles and faucet with an Oxyclean  type spray cleaner. The stove, range hood and back splash get a wipe. All counter tops, cabinets and knobs the same. Sounds excessive, but I've never had an infected beer. NEVER use a kitchen sponge. Use lots of paper towel. Good luck.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm gonna keep things pretty basic for awhile. I bought a new kit but I have an old kit at my old house that I never got around to using. I figured the beer making ingredients from that kit are out of date but I plan on using the LBK and bottles from it so I can brew more. i just want to do one successful brew first and make sure i get the hang of it before i waste more money...lol. i figure with the first batch i might be able to figure what i did wrong or right and then try again. When i get done using the first two batches that come with the kit I'll try a stout or porter since that is more of the type of beer i enjoy.

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In fact, the Mr. Beer LBK is where you should mix up your initial sanitizing solution.  Of course when you go to bottle your beer, it can't be used.  A gallon milk jug (thoroughly cleaned with unscented dish soap and well rinsed can work.

 

You could purchase a 2.5 gallon slimline water dispenser, which can be used in the future for batch priming (don't worry about that now).  You can buy them at Walmart.  

 

When you start brewing, remember 3-4.  3 weeks fermenting with the wort (beer) at 65 degrees.  4 weeks in the bottle with room temps 70 or higher.  Then 3 days or more in the frig before drinking.

 

To keep your fermenting beer at 65, you will likely need to put the LBK in a cooler and rotate in ice packs or frozen water bottles for the first few days.  Or use a cool basement with temps in the low 60s.  If you ferment with wort in the mid to high 70s you'll have lousy results.

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Thanks. I got the kit today. It came with American light beer and the Octoberfest. I'm gonna start off with the light beer that way if i make a mistake it's no big loss...lol. I am just waiting for my spring water to get cold enough in the fridge. I have a 55gal Lifetime cooler I can use along with plenty of icepacks. I bought a cheap stick on thermometer to stick on the LBK so I can monitor the temp. I also bought a 1.25 gallon container with a spigot to use for bottling. I don't have any unscented dish soap so i will have to get that.

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57 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

Thanks. I got the kit today. It came with American light beer and the Octoberfest. I'm gonna start off with the light beer that way if i make a mistake it's no big loss...lol. I am just waiting for my spring water to get cold enough in the fridge. I have a 55gal Lifetime cooler I can use along with plenty of icepacks. I bought a cheap stick on thermometer to stick on the LBK so I can monitor the temp. I also bought a 1.25 gallon container with a spigot to use for bottling. I don't have any unscented dish soap so i will have to get that.

7th generation is a good unscented brand of dish soap found in the grocery store. 

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I only got the 1.25 gal container to make sanitizing the bottles easier. I'll fill the bottles from the LBK. I was going to get a bottling wand but they are out of stock on the MR. Beer site. I just finished the brew and it is in the fermenter which is in my cooler with an icepack...I will check the temp and see if I need to add another one. The temp in my house has been 66-70 degrees but I am aiming for 64 in my cooler...wife wont let me keep the house that cool...lol.

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25 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

I only got the 1.25 gal container to make sanitizing the bottles easier. I'll fill the bottles from the LBK. I was going to get a bottling wand but they are out of stock on the MR. Beer site. I just finished the brew and it is in the fermenter which is in my cooler with an icepack...I will check the temp and see if I need to add another one. The temp in my house has been 66-70 degrees but I am aiming for 64 in my cooler...wife wont let me keep the house that cool...lol.

They regularly stock those wands but so do all the other online suppliers. Very handy tool.

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18 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

I'm not seeing anything happening in the fermenter...I thought it would be foaming or something...I had to open the cooler it got down to 57 degrees

From what I've learned on this forum from guys with lots of brewing experience, that's cold enough to slow or even stop the yeast from working.  If you can get the temps back up to at least the mid-to-high 60's it should start fermenting again

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I took it out of the cooler...the house is 69 degrees that should help...I just hope i didn't make a mistake somewhere. I sanitized everything...I just hope I stirred the wort good enough when i put it in the fermenter with the spring water.

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27 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

I took it out of the cooler...the house is 69 degrees that should help...I just hope i didn't make a mistake somewhere. I sanitized everything...I just hope I stirred the wort good enough when i put it in the fermenter with the spring water.

Didn't you just make that batch today? It takes usually 12-24 hrs for krausen to get going depending on the yeast used. You don't want wild or rapid temp swings.

Did you put your temp strip below the wort line? I put my frozen water as far from the LBK as I could, and sometimes I'd drape a washcloth on it, lol, like a shade to regulate, or as you've done you can slightly crack the cooler lid to help regulate it. I think it's going to be better off in the cooler than out.

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Yes. And the temp strip is below the line. The strip only goes down to 64 degrees...I had a thermometer in the cooler that told me it was 57 degrees. im gonna leave it out of the cooler tonight as it is usually 65 degrees at night. I guess being new to this i'm a bit nervous and don't know what to look for...lol

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5 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

Yes. And the temp strip is below the line. The strip only goes down to 64 degrees...I had a thermometer in the cooler that told me it was 57 degrees. im gonna leave it out of the cooler tonight as it is usually 65 degrees at night. I guess being new to this i'm a bit nervous and don't know what to look for...lol

Ah, you want to tape that temp probe below the wort line with a folded cloth or sponge over it to read wort temp not air temp.

20180228_152551.jpg

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2 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

I have one of them temp strips that you stick on the side

Oh, no other type of thermometer that you could slip in behind a taped cloth or sponge on the backend of the LBK?

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7 minutes ago, RickC1970 said:

I have one of them temp strips that you stick on the side

i got a digital probe for less than $10 on amazon a while back. works great. i agree with @Cato, i would leave it in the cooler and just let it naturally warm up. too cool, OK, it can warm up. too hot that's when trouble happens.

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43 minutes ago, Jdub said:

i got a digital probe for less than $10 on amazon a while back. works great. i agree with @Cato, i would leave it in the cooler and just let it naturally warm up. too cool, OK, it can warm up. too hot that's when trouble happens.

The Pet stores have them in reptile aquarium section. they have a long cable so I put that through the cooler drain hole so I can read it from outside if I am doing lagers with ice packs

 

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12 hours ago, RickC1970 said:

I'm not seeing anything happening in the fermenter...I thought it would be foaming or something...I had to open the cooler it got down to 57 degrees

As has been said, fermentation can take up to 24 hours to begin to show signs it is happening.  If the air temp of the cooler is 57 you are a bit cool but not necessarily too cool.  I have a chamber that I use a thermostat to regulate and to maintain 62 or 63 degrees in my fermentation vessel, I have to set it at 59 or 60.  Remember that your wort temp can be 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the ambient air temperature.  So you house temp at 69 would result in a wort temperature in the mid 70's (too warm).

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