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About Mat2000_1

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  1. The only things that I can think of that put any pressure on the bottom of the LBK's in certain areas (and in my opinion it would be light pressure) would be that I have the front of the LBK with the spigot resting on a DVD during fermentation so that the Trub collects towards the back of the LBK. Other then that.. I frequently pick the LBK's out of the cooler and rest them on the corners of the cooler for a moment just to check Temp but it doesnt seem like it should overly stress them out to the point of cracking. I keep frozen water bottles in with my coolers on hot days. I don't know what to say, I have no other ideas of why they may have cracked like that and in those spots.
  2. I've sent an email to customer service. Much appreciated. This is why you guys have such a loyal fan base.
  3. It's possible, but I'm not sure how. I keep them in coolers, slightly tilted away from the spigot with a DVD near the front of the LBK. To check the temp I usually pick it up out of the cooler and set it down on the corner of the cooler. I clean with cool water and a soft cloth. It is a weird coincidence though especially since none of you have had the same problem. I will have to watch very closely my process. I have contacted Mr. Beer. I'm sure they'll get to me when they have a chance throughout the week. Thanks for the replies.
  4. I must start by saying that I have been an avid Mr. Beer fan since I first started using their kits about 6 months ago. I've purchased almost every refill in that period and I only have 4 can's of HME left to brew up. I've had two LBK's on the go since week 2 and I am gentle and caring for my kits and beer. Within the last few weeks I have noticed tiny puddles of beer forming in the bottom of my coolers which I keep the LBK's in. Today as I was about to start a new brew I noticed that I had a tiny leek on the bottom of my LBK while it had cleaning solution in it. I realised it was damaged. As I had already began the process of making a new batch, I decided to bottle the brew in my other LBK since that was finished fermenting and wanted to use that LBK for my new batch of beer. Except then I noticed it also had a crack forming almost in the exact same spot! I've spent nearly 600-700$ in the last 6 months with Mr Beer and I'm grateful for all that I've learned from them and for their guidance in getting me started with my brewing experience. However, now I'm unable to brew any more beer for the moment and i'm pretty dissapointed. Luckily I didn't lose a batch of beer because of this. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I would really appreciate two new LBK's to replace my broken ones. I like the simplicity of the Mr. Beer LBKS and I would like to continue shopping with Mr, Beer in the future.
  5. That sounds like a good batch of beer to me. It sounds like one of those beers that would make me impatient with the classic 3/2/2 waiting period . Definately worth giving it a shot. Saying that, not long ago I tried making a tart cherry beer using an extra can of CAL HME and a Smooth LME + 3/4 pound of tart cherries and after my long wait I still don't think that I can really taste the cherries in the beer. But, I do suspect that maybe I just didn't add enough tart cherries. I bought them in a jar without additives except for maybe a light syrup, I drained them and froze them in a sanitized plastic container for a few days before adding them to the end of week 1 of my fermenting brew. I would try adding tart cherries to a beer again but I think next time I would add something like 2 pounds. It was my first attempt at a fruit beer. However, recently I used another spare can of CAL HME + Pale LME and added 1 pound of raspberries at the 1 week mark which I bought fresh and froze for a few days). At bottling time the beer was a light pink and it had such a strong raspberry flavor! It's currently 3 weeks in the bottle and i can't wait to see how that one turns out. Keep up with your experiments, that's why homebrewing can be so much fun and good luck. Just a question though, because I myself still have a Cerveza to brew up.How do you zest your lime peel and do you add your lime juice to the wort straight away?
  6. I just wanted to say that I eat my words above.. After 6 weeks in the bottle, my American Porter + Robust LME is now one of my favorite beers. I'm always sneaking bottles out of my beer closet and I'm going to be a little bit upset when my stash is depleted. It's a dark, rich beer. Not overpowering, and leaving you with a hint of espresso and caramel flavors afterwards. Awesome beer.. I will probably buy more in the future.
  7. So.. After 4 weeks in the bottle I put one of these Saison beers in the fridge and it tasted pretty good actually. Strong and a little fruity. Like a mild taste of apricot. There was nothing too strange in the flavor. Ive also tried another one of my beers that I considered "bitter" after it had cooled down and it definately lost that harsh flavor that it originally had also. So I think what I was experiencing was just my first taste of extremely active yeast! Active yeast do not taste very nice. Now I won't panic next time that yeast bite slaps me in the face...
  8. Hey, good idea! It's getting pretty warm around here also and a few weeks back I did the same thing tossing my two LBK's into two coolers in the closet. I've found I can consistently keep the temperature between 66-70 with one frozen water bottle (500ml) in each on hot days. I usually check them in the morning and sometime again in the evening. If they're too cold or sitting right at 66, I'll usually just leave out the water bottle and let them warm up again a little inside the cooler. Its still usually cooler inside there then outside and after 12 hours it usually doesnt bump up more then a few degrees. If after 12 hours with a water bottle they're still sitting around 71-73 Ill probably throw another water bottle in. I just about gave up brewing for the summer but this seems to work like a charm. After a few days of monitoring your temps and swapping out the bottles you'll find a good routine. Good luck and happy brewing!
  9. I just bottled my American Porter over the weekend. Very dark with a lingering bitter aftertaste. I was never really sure what a Porter was supposed to taste like, so I went out to my local Beer Store and bought a 6 pack of Sleeman Porter. It seemed quite similar but I'm not sure if the molasis flavor is present in the Mr Beer Porter. I'll drink my Porter here and there as it ages, but I don't think that I'll be brewing up any more Porters in the near future. :S
  10. Yeah.. I think I wrecked a few batches of my beer either because of the chlorinated tap water I've been using or my poor sanitation practices involving those spigots. There was definitely some malt gunk in and around the spigot on the last LBK I cleaned. From now on, very thorough cleanse, and bottled or filtered water. It sucks to wait 3 weeks on a batch only to find out that it's not going to turn out quite the way you hoped... Especially when you're doing two batches at a time and potentially wrecked both because of the same mistakes.
  11. Congratulations on your first successful brew. I'm new to the game also. I bottled my first batch of Classic American Light April 24 (last month). Its a decent tasting light beer, I was satisfied with it, but it still has the green apple flavor to it. I've been waiting for it to condition out, but, I've been picking at the bottles over the past few weeks and I think it'll all be drank before it becomes GREAT. I've since bottled Hard Pear Cider, Summer Saison, American Porter and I'm fermenting two new batches. Bohemian Czech Pilsner and Belgian Christmas Ale. (Picked up a second fermenter). This hobby is addictive. And I'm improving my techniques with each batch. Just started to steep Carafoam to improve my head retention. (Relatively simple). I'm switching to purely filtered water, and I'm going to begin bottling and capping in glass bottles. All the best of luck to ya. Keep us informed of your brew-ventures.
  12. It is a bit medicinal like. I think it might have been infections from not properly cleaning the spigots. Anyways, I will let those batches sit for a few months and see if they turn around or not. I started a new batch today, was EXTREMELY thorough in my cleaning and sanitizing of my equipment. I used only filtered water this time. We will see if there are any improvements.. If I was to used Bottled water for my 2 Gallon Batches, what's the correct procedure for using it then if I need to boil it? Because it has to be cold when I add it to the LBK. Boil it, put it in a sanitized jug and stick it in the fridge?
  13. Hey Guys, So I have a couple of questions here. A while back I noted my concerns about a batch of Summer Saison that I brewed and eventually bottled that had a very strong bitter aftertaste to it. It was my second batch done in it's fermenter. I decided to let it condition for a few months and to see if it might become bearable or not.. I'd hate to waste the beer.. Anyways, my first batch in each of my two LBK's turned out great. They were lighter alcohols. One was the CAL and only had the acetlyhde aftertaste when it was finished. The other LBK first batch was the Hard Pear Cider. It tasted like a light pear wine basically, and young at that. So in my opinion, they were both successes. Now this is what concerns me. The Saison was a second batch in one LBK and it had the STRONG bitter aftertaste before bottling. I didn't even detect any acetylhyde. It may have been overpowered. I couldn't taste alcohol either really but it was probably overpowered too. In the fermenters at the moment, I have an American Porter and the Belgian Spiced Christmas Ale. They have been sitting in the fermenters for about 2 weeks now each, and I decided to do a taste sample for a quick check. They have the smell of young beers, nothing foul. The American Porter has a light bitter aftertaste, the same aftertaste as the saison but much lighter (Maybe because of the lower amount of Malts), and the Christmas Ale has the same bitter taste along with the mulled spice flavor. Neither have the young acetylhyde flavors of my first two batches. So something seems off to me. My initial concern was that maybe I was being a little too sloppy with my sanitation of the LBK's. So when I cleaned out the LBK that the Saison was in I did a VERY thorough wash with Oxygen Brewery Wash, and then No-Rinse Sanitiser. All of my utensils are kept out of contact with anything that is not sanitized. But the Belgian Christmas Ale is in that LBK and it has that bitter aftertaste. Now I don't have any experience with the higher ABV beers so is this a typical bitterness that settles out? Does Yeast taste like this before it has had time to settle? Is this bad water? Or an infection? The beer looks and smells fine. No visual signs of infection. The fermentation temperatures were always kept stable and at the proper ranges. My water seems to be very clean, and does not taste overly chlorine like. My first two batches turned out great using the same water. I will try using bottled water on my next few batches to see if that makes the difference but the first two batches working out makes me skeptical. I've also never taken apart and cleaned my spigots when cleaning out my LBK's. Somebody on the forums once said that they have never taken it apart in between batches and have had no problems so I thought that I could do the same. I will try cleaning these thoroughly on the next batches. I don't want to wreck any more beer if these are indeed all wrecked! I plan on bottling and conditioning all of them anyways to see if it mellows out... Fingers crossed.. I'd like some opinions from more experienced brewers please.. Sorry for the novel..
  14. I will switch to bottled if I continue to get poor results. I'll try this tap filter first. As I said, my first 2 brew's turned out great, and I just spent 30 bucks on this tap filter. So I'll give it a try and go from there. I bought a jar of sour cherries, I want to purree them. I'll freeze the purree, make a CAL + LME and add those cherries after a week in fermenter. It will be my first freinkenstein creation. Can't wait.
  15. Well I just picked up one of those tap filters last night.. I'll experiment with my next batch and go from there. I have alot to learn before I do all grain! I'll learn to walk before I run. Wish me luck and thanks for your advice.
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