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About Koalabear

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  1. Thanks KZ. How do you store yeast?
  2. With frozen water bottles in a cooler with the LBK, I am hoping to stay at 70*
  3. Thanks Slick. One bummer is that you only can use a half of the yeast packet for a low ABV. If you do not use the other half in seven days, you have to toss it.
  4. I went to the Brewers Connection in Tempe again to find out about yeasts. Apparently, there are some that do better in warmer climes like Arizona. It is also clear that the yeast that comes with the Mr Beer kit could be old and stale. Any particular suggestions on which dry yeast I should use for the Vienna Lager? Secondly, the Mr Beer directions leave a lot of stuff out. They never discuss properly cooling the wort. When aerating the wort after adding it to the LBK, how long do you do this? After adding the yeast, how long do you aerate? Thanks!
  5. "alb" post=271796 said:From John Palmer's How to Brew website at http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-9-3.html : "You should not aerate when the wort is hot, or even warm. Aeration of hot wort will cause the oxygen to chemically bind to various wort compounds. Over time, these compounds will break down, freeing atomic oxygen back into the beer where it can oxidize the alcohols and hop compounds producing off-flavors and aromas like wet cardboard or sherry-like flavors. The generally accepted temperature cutoff for preventing hot wort oxidation is 80°F. Oxidation of your wort can happen in several ways. The first is by splashing or aerating the wort while it is hot. Other beginning-brewing books advocate pouring the hot wort after the boil into cold water in the fermenter to cool it and add oxygen for the yeast. Unfortunately the wort may still be hot enough to oxidize when it picks up oxygen from the splashing. Pouring it down the side of the bucket to minimize splashing doesn't really help either since this increases the surface area of the wort exposed to the air. Thus it is important to cool the wort rapidly to below 80°F to prevent oxidation, and then aerate it to provide the dissolved oxygen that the yeast need. Cooling rapidly between 90 and 140°F is important because this temperature region is ideal for bacterial growth to establish itself in the wort." Thank you so much! I suspected that by transferring the wort that it might oxidate it and create a problem. Very interesting how sensitive the entire process is. Aerate when mixing in the LBK, but do not aerate when bottling.
  6. Interesting that it is recommended not to go by the marks on the LBK, but to measure instead. Very helpful post, thanks!!
  7. I am reading about putting the pot of wort in an ice bath to cool it down quickly so that bacteria don't grow. It makes sense to me to transfer the wort out of the hot pot into another pot first. Is that what you guys do? Then it sounds like it takes about 20 minutes for the wort to cool in a ice bath. does that sound about right?
  8. "russki" post=271506 said:Dear Koalabear, Please do not chase ABV. What you should be concentrating on is the process at this point. The ABV will follow. 3.5% is just fine for the first batch - you should really concentrate on the process - once you get familiar things like sanitation, pitching rates, temperature control, BU/GU ratios, then you can start messing with the recipes. Wouldn't you rather have a tasty 3.5%/abv beer vs. 5-6%/abv swill? That's just my opinion. Too many people are gung ho to go all mad scientist, and screw up their beer. Having said that, the way to get a higher alcohol beer is to add more fermentables. If you add sugar/honey/maple syrup (simple sugars), it will add alcohol, but will thin the beer and make it cidery. Adding more malt will add alcohol, and will also add unfermentable sugars, making your beer sweeter. So in conclusion, make the recipe as is - religiously follow the sanitation instructions, pitch enough yeast, make sure the temperature of the fermenting beer stays in the upper 60s-low 70s, and set the "base line" for yourself. If you don't know what a straight up recipe is supposed to taste like - how would you know if you have improved on it or not? And if you really want abv - just put a shot of vodka in your pint glass of beer. /end rant Good luck! Great advice! Thanks!
  9. I have read the stickies but find this particular topic very confusing. What would be helpful is this. Exact measurements of what to add. I am about to brew my first batch, but understand that the ABV will only be 3.5%. It would be really nice to have a brew with a least a 5% ABV. thanks for your help.
  10. Yes, I will be using the LBK so I will put it in my large cooler. Hah, LOL, having moved from MA, there are no basements here!! Thanks for all of the great information!!
  11. Thanks for the reply. How many frozen water bottles should I throw in the cooler with the keg, and how often should I rotate them?
  12. I am concerned that I will not be able to ferment at the proper temperature. My house stays at 78 degrees this time of year. Will this brew a bad batch of beer?
  13. Guys, Thanks so much for the input! You are spot on that it "must" be done one way is not a good way to phrase it! I will look into a bottling wand!!
  14. I stopped at the Brewers Connection in Tempe, AZ yesterday and had a nice chat with Doug. As preparation is 90% of the work and is most impactful on the outcome of our beer, I purchased the Craftmeiser cleaner and the lo-Star sanitizer. I also learned that these steps must be done the day of the cooking of the wort, as you cannot allow the bottles to dry. When bottling, Doug even goes as far as sanitizing each bottle on the spot and then immediately putting the fermented beer in. He also said it is important not to aerate the beer at all when transferring from the keg to bottles. I am considering getting a plastic tube to attach to the spigot that will go to the bottom of each bottle. Some helpful tips as I await the arrival of my Octoberfest Vienna Lager.
  15. Thanks so much. Yes, makes sense to break it up into two batches.
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