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jme0909

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About jme0909

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  1. Reading the online instructions for the Brew Al Ze Bub IPA recipe, it doesn't mention a 60 minute boil for hops that I am used to seeing for more complicated brewing. Using Centennial hops so mainly for flavoring, so do I just follow the instructions and add hops after bringing to boil and removing from heat and then add malt extracts? Thanks Instructions below: Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the can of Brewing Extract, then place the unopened can in hot tap water. Place contents of the pellet hops packets into the hop sack tying it closed, then trim away excess material. Using the sanitized measuring cup, pour 4 cups of water into your clean 3-quart or larger pot. Bring mixture to a boil, add in the hop sack, then remove from heat. Open the can of Brewing Extract and the LME, and pour contents into the hot mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. This mixture of unfermented beer is called wort. Fill keg with cold tap water to the 4-quart mark on the back. Pour the wort, including the hop sack, into the keg, and then bring the volume of the keg to the 8.5-quart mark by adding more cold water. You'll leave the hop sack in the wort for the duration of fermentation. Stir vigorously with the spoon or whisk. Sprinkle the yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir. Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 68° and 76° F (20°-25° C), ideally about 70° F and out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 14 days. After approximately 24 hours, you will be able to see the fermentation process happening by shining a flashlight into the keg. You'll see the yeast in action in the wort. The liquid will be opaque and milky, you will see bubbles rising in the liquid, and there will be bubbles on the surface. Your fermentation will usually reach its peak in 2 to 5 days (this is also known as “high krausen”). You may see a layer of foam on top of the wort, and sediment will accumulate at the bottom of the fermenter. This is totally normal. Complete fermentation will take approximately 2 weeks. After high krausen the foam and activity will subside and your batch will appear to be dormant. Your beer is still fermenting. The yeast is still at work slowly finishing the fermentation process.
  2. Thanks - so for dry hopping you open the LBK lid and add the hops for the last week or so of the 3 week fermentation process? I was worried about opening/closing the lid during fermentation, but I guess as you noted it's mostly done at that pone. Thanks.
  3. Hi, I tried using suggestions from these forums for my last few batches of ales with hops and even though it has a hoppy smell when I bottle it, I just can't taste or smell the hops when I drink it a month later. So just to clarify: 1) bring water to boil, remove from heat. Add say 1/3 of the LME and the bittering hops. Boil for 60 minutes, stir, etc. 2) About 45 mins into the boil, add flavoring/aroma hops, stir, etc. 3) pour that into the keg after 60 mins. 4? - do I also leave the flavor/aroma hops in the keg at this point? Or just add another sack of flavor/aroma hops with the yeast as I'm starting to ferment the wort? I hadn't done step 4 previously and was thinking that's why my pale ale and IPA lacked the hoppy smell and taste. Although weirdly like I said it smelled super hoppy when I bottled it. And 5) is there anything during the bottling process that could affect the hoppy smell or taste? I am basically just waiting 3 weeks or so, bottling it with 3/4 teaspoon of sugar, and waiting 4 weeks to drink it. Also completely unrelated to the hop question - but I'm about to do a simple Oktoberfest HME recipe. No hop pellets. According to the instructions, you just bring water to boil, remove from heat, add in HME....stir, and then add to keg. That seemed a bit too simple so I figured I was missing something. So I don't need to boil just regular HME (no hop pellets) for any additional time after the initial water boil? Thanks ahead of time.
  4. Hi all, I've seen previous recipes mostly call for sugar to be added during bottling (American Ale, Pale Ale). The one I just brewed (IPA) last weekend calls for carbonation drops during the bottling phase. My question(s) is will it make a huge difference if you substitute one for the other? And if so, what advantages/disadvantages are there to using one or the other? Or is it more specifically preferred for one style of beer vs the other? Thanks, John
  5. Thanks for all of the responses. Definitely helped make things clearer for the next batch
  6. Hi all, after watching the videos and reading the instructions I jumped in quickly and brewed a few batches of beer with the 2 LBKs I got as gifts recently. So a few questions I wanted to clarify to improve my brewing process in the future: 1. What is the proper fermenting period for beers? I tried per instructions for both batches - 7 or so days for the basic light LME and 10 or so days for the Bewitched Amber Ale LME. I let the Bewitched go an extra 2 days to boot. I figured it was better to wait a little longer, but how much longer? 2. How much sugar should be added when bottling? The Mr Beer instructions say 2.5 Tbs for the 1 liter bottles...so I estimated about 1 Tbs for the 12 oz bottles. But on several forums I've read people suggest 0.5 Tbs is sufficient for 12 oz bottles. If too much sugar is added during bottling, how will this effect the beer? 3. I got a bit more creative on the 2nd batch with Bewitched and added 3 sets of hops to it. I started a 60 minute boil with just 1 set of hops, then LME, then added a set of hops at the 30 and 45 minute marks. My wort smelled sufficiently hoppy when I poured it into the LBK to begin fermentation. But unfortunately when I bottled it, it did not smell hoppy at all. My first thought was I didn't use enough hops (a total of 1.5 oz of Cascade and Centennial). Is it still likely it will have some hop taste in a few weeks even if the aroma wasn't present during bottling? Or should I have let it ferment longer? Does longer fermentation affect hop smell/taste? 4. And related to #3, when adding hops is there a set of basic steps to follow? Hops then malt? Malt then hops? Both at the same time? I've watched youtube videos of people who boil the hops separately to make a "hop tea" and then add the LME after a 10-15 minute hop tea boil. I've seen videos of people boiling the LME and then adding the hops. I imagine it's "to each his own", but as a beginner it'd be nice to start with a basic hop recipe plan. Thanks in advance.
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