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About TMPinSYR

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    Newbie Brewer
  1. Wow - thank you for that really detailed response! I appreciate the feedback. I'll incorporate those steps into my next batch. Interestingly, I picked up those other two refills at that same sale but only the regular versions - no LME pouches. I think I'll look at picking up a couple of those.
  2. Hi all- New brewer here, third batch just went into bottles less than an hour ago. My results so far have been underwhelming to say the least. I'm hoping to break that streak with this batch. My first 2 batches were straight recipes - the Classic American Light (C**rs Light?) and the Patriot Lager (S*m Ad*ms?). Neither was very impressive. Actually, the Classic American Light was so <meh> that I didn't really advertise to my friends that I had another one - the Patriot Lager - ready for tasting. This was a good idea as the Patriot did not live up to my expectations. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I picked a couple of recipes on sale. One of them the Oktoberfest Deluxe Refill (with the LME pouch, presumably for higher ABV). As my wife and I have hosted Thanksgiving for the extended family for years, I figured that THIS YEAR I'd unveil my very own homebrew as part of the meal. Awesome. I tracked backwards to figure out when I needed to start brewing. (Sh!t happened and work got busy so I missed my start date by a couple of weeks. But I figured I was still OK to get this batch ready in time for the meal.) I started the Oktoberfest exactly 3 weeks ago on September 28. During that Memorial Day sale I bought a hydrometer kit and was ready to try it out. My OG reading after adding the LME but before adding the yeast was 1.33. I sampled today before bottling and the FG was 1.05. Doing the match gives me an ABV of 3.67% WITH THE LME POUCH!!! I am incredibly bummed. My temperature control was good during fermenting. I let it go 3 weeks in the LBK as the consensus seemed to be that 2 weeks was too short but 3 weeks was just right. I assume that if I didn't have the LME pouch the ABV would have been even lower (which maybe explains my disappointing results with the first 2 batches). Any feedback? Is this is a limitation of the Mr. Beer kits? Am I not going to get flavor, head, and ABV unless I go wholly amateur? Is there something I could have overlooked? (I'm comfortable saying my sanitizing process was good.) When I bottled today, there was a lot of foam on the upper (above the liquid line in the LBK). After I get everything into the LBK during brewing, I very carefully carry the LBK upstairs to my office where I have comfort in my control over the temperature. Am I maybe sloshing the liquid around so much that yeast deposits above the liquid line and isn't able to convert the sugars in the brew to alcohol? I carry it carefully but maybe even that transport impacts the final product? I'm incredibly disappointed and wondering if I just need to really learn the home brewing process from scratch and not trust Mr. Beer to produce a quality beer. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer!
  3. Wow- thanks everyone for reading and responding. I think i'm going to try another batch using just the basic Mr. Beer process before I start adding anything. Great community here!
  4. OK- so I was looking to see if I'd made some real error in my process but it sounds like there's nothing too unusual with my results. Thanks again! p.s. Where in Upstate? Syracuse here (the "inSYR" part of the handle...)
  5. RickBeer and KLR- Thank you both for your posts! The bottles did feel rock hard before they went into the fridge. I had checked for that and was happy because I took that as a sign that the carbo drops had done the job. The bottles seem softer now- which I'm inferring that may be a sign that the plastic bottles aren't holding pressure. Water quality is good to begin with in here in Central NY. We're on public water but I used the filtered water from the dispenser on the fridge just to be sure. I'm going to pull the beer out of the fridge and see if more conditioning changes anything. Carafoam or Carapils- added as part of the fermenting process? Thanks again for the advice!
  6. Hi all- new brewer here a bit underwhelmed with my first batch. I used the Classic American Light to start off. I carefully cleaned and sanitized everything before fermenting and before bottling. Do these times sound right? -20 days in the keg -30 days in the bottle (with carbo drops) at room temperature (around 70 degrees). I tasted the beer before bottling and it seemed to taste like flat beer. Maybe a bit cidery as I look back -18 days in the fridge I opened the first 2 bottles the other night and was a bit disappointed. Almost no head and very little carbonation. (I'm using the 750 ml plastic bottles and new tops. Each bottle got 2 carbo drops. Sanitized before bottling.) During the fermentation in the keg, I was having a bit of a challenge keeping the room temperature just right. It may have dipped a few degrees below optimal (maybe into the low 60's for a bit.) I thought the 30 days of warm conditioning would be good. Is there any benefit to bringing the bottles out of the fridge? Can I reactivate the yeast in the bottle? Or is it more likely that the low temp in the keg prevented fermentation? I've tried to provide the relevant details (from what I've been reading on the forum). Any insight or advice? Thanks in advance for any help!
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