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stevenf

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Everything posted by stevenf

  1. yes it was a typo. I couldn't remember if it was 1 1/2 or 2 1/2. I'm not at home right now to look at the instructions. I did it per the instructions.
  2. So I've done a batch of CAL and a batch of Czech Pilsner. Both were in the LBK for three weeks and both batches were cold crashed for the last 2 1/2 days or so of that three week period. I bottle primed using cane sugar in the 1 liter PET bottles using the MR. Beer instructions. I used 1 1/2 levelled teaspoons carefully measured. All bottles are stored at room temperature mostly between 68 and roughly 75 degrees for the first three weeks after bottling. I kinda thought the carbonation in the one bottle of CAL that I have tried so far was ok. I'd like a little more. This was three weeks after bottling. I think my carbonation is a little slow but I need to ask experts. My observation was that 1 week after bottling the bottles are getting firm but I can still push the sides in just a bit with minimal force. Two weeks after bottling most of the bottles are very firm and I have to squeeze the bottles pretty darn hard to move the side. Three weeks I can't tell much difference from the two week observation. I don't have any at the four week yet but they will be next monday. Is this pretty much normal or should it be carbonating more vigorously? Also I was planning to store my bottled product in the basement where it remains a pretty constant 60 to 65 degrees after three or four weeks carbonating and conditioning at room temp (upstairs) where it's a little warmer. Does this sound like a good plan?
  3. I thought it was excellent. I want to make some more and up the ABV a little but I'm not sure what to add to it to get that and not sacrifice flavor. I wish Mr. Beer shipping wasn't so high. I would like to order just a few ingredients but I don't want to pay as much for shipping as I am for the product. There aren't any HBS's locally that I know of so I can't buy ingredients there. I have standard refills for 2 canadian blonde batches, 1 Oktoberfest, and one more Czech Pilsner. Right now I'm not running my furnace or air conditioner in the house so the temps go up and down quite a bit. I'm thinking that I will hold off a month or so to brew anymore until I have the AC on. That way I wont have to worry about huge temperature swings during the fermentation. All in all my first batch has been a terrific experience and successful.
  4. Well to be honest I've never strayed much from the light commercial beers and I find them lacking in flavor and body usually. I like adding the salt to those type beers because for me it adds just a little extra to the flavor. Just a dash is all I like. Too much ruins it. I'm broadening my horizons a bit with the Mr. Beer and want something more than just commercial light beer. It's just kinda boring. I really like the fact that I made something myself that I wouldn't hesitate to share with a friend.
  5. My first batch was CAL. Three weeks in the LBK including 2 1/2 days cold crashing in the fridge. Bottled in the 1 liter PET bottles and primed with C&H cane sugar per instructions. Finally got to have a bottle of it on Wednesday with a fancy italion dish the wife made for dinner. I'm a newbie so I don't know all the fancy beer lingo so I'll just say it, Holy Mollie this stuff is pretty darned good compared to commercial beer. Very impressed indeed. Flavor was awesome. I thought it could have been slightly more carbonated but no complaints. I must admit that I do like a dash of salt in my beer usually so the first pour was without and the second was with a dash. I would have taken a picture of it in the glass but I was in too big a hurry to taste, then it just kept going down. Now I'm waiting on my Pilsner to finish conditioning and I think I'll give the rest of the CAL another week or two and try another bottle. I can't wait to turn on the air conditioner and stabilize the temp in my house so I can brew some more.
  6. Nope. No additions at all. Maybe I will re-think that.
  7. Well to be honest I'm still trying to decide if I should do the cold crash on my very first batch or two. I have a week to decide. I've been leaning towards doing it but I may change my mind. Thank you all for your input. It's a huge help.
  8. Ok thanks a bunch. That would be much easier.
  9. Got it Rick. I was just thinking that if I could bottle it without disturbing the LBK by taking it out of the fridge and moving it to the counter, then I wouldn't disturb the trub. I do realize that the bottles need 4 weeks at room temp to carbonate and condition.
  10. So in a little more than a week I will be bottling my first batch and I kind of have a process in mind I want to run by you guys. Next Sunday will be three weeks in the LBK for my batch of CAL. I am planning to move the LBK to the fridge for 2 or 3 days, which ever works best for my schedule and bottle it straight from the fridge. I have ordered a bottling wand from Mr. Beer and was thinking of getting a length of vinyl tubing so I could leave the LBK in the fridge and bottle from the counter a few feet away. I'm not sure if it would be better for the beer to do this or just hook the wand to the the spigot and stand in front of the fridge and do it. Also do I need to control the flow through the wand with the spigot valve or can I just open it all the way and let the wand control the flow. It's my first time bottling so I need advice. From what I've read doing the cold crash is a good thing and won't effect the carbonating conditioning phase, correct?
  11. Thanks guys. I can't wait. It's making me crazy but at least I get to watch it happen. Pretty cool. I just ordered a bottling wand and a hydrometer to add to my tools.
  12. So my first batch was CAL started about 12 days ago. At the time I thought the activity level in the LBK was pretty good for the first week. It has since calmed quite abit and now just a few bubbles every once in a while. Kraussen has all settled. Second batch, Bohemian Czech Pilsner, was started on Wednesday. I got another LBK. I'm noticing that the level of activity inside the LBK is really high compared to the first. Much more kraussen, bubbles and movement. Is there something I need to be learning from this observation or is it just beer making and every batch is going to have it's own character. I did brew both batches exactly per instructions. Thanks
  13. Ok I'm gonna give it a go. thanks everyone
  14. So I've managed to come up with two extra Mr B kits and I'm wondering if I set them up in my basement what will happen. Only problem is it stays exactly 60 degrees. Will my beer ferment at that temperature properly?
  15. So my first batch is still in the LBK on day 8 now. It's clearing nicely but still have some foam on top and still some bubbling. I see on the MR. Beer website that they sell a bottling wand. Seems like it would be a good thing to fill the bottles from the bottom up. Can I just use a piece of vinyl hose for this or maybe a really big straw? Or is there something really special about the wand they sell. Hope that's not a stupid question. Thanks
  16. I don't think my wife will tolerate four of them. But I might get away with operating two at a time. The sugar cubes seem like a good idea. Most carbonated drinks I consume, I am ok with more versus less C02.
  17. Thanks. I have promised myself that I would not rush it. I may have to buy another keg and start another batch of something else just to keep me entertained.
  18. So I just got my Mr. Beer kit last weekend and started my first batch of CAL on Monday. Everything I have done so far has been according to the instructions and it seems to be going very well. Fermenting at about 70 to 71 degrees because that's room temp at my house. So I've been reading alot on here about brewing and things others have done and I've come across several posts regarding the amount of priming sugar to use. I'll be using the 1 liter bottles that come with the kit. Should I plan to use the 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar? I'm not in a hurry to make fast beer. I want it to taste great. Thanks and seems like an awesome community. I'm sure I will have lots more questions. I've always wanted to try to brew my own beer and I think I might be hooked if I can make a decent product.
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