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rjmanning

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About rjmanning

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  1. Ok guys, I have started a batch of the Australian Sparkling Ale. I put my LBK in a cooler and I've been using frozen water bottles so that the temp on my stick on temp gauge read between 61-64F. This is based upon comments I have read on this forum. However, I noticed the instructions on the website says the fermentation temp should be between 68-72F. I guess my question is should I be letting the gauge on the LBK read higher (the 68-72F) or should I keep with the lower temp that I've been using.
  2. I hate to take this on a tangent but I also hate starting new topics that will probably only have 1 or 2 replies. As I mentioned above I have the Australian Sparkling Ale and the Imperial Red Ale. I noticed the cans I received are about twice the size of the standard refills (3.75 lbs compared to 1.75lbs). Will these "fit" in the 2 gallon LBK I have?
  3. 6-8 weeks from initial bottling or in addition to the 3 weeks that have already passed?
  4. Thanks Guys. I really appreciate all the help. Do not worry about me giving up. I have been wanting to do this for too long for me to give up this soon. Plus I'm a stubborn SOB according to my wife. I just went an bought the temperature strip, the thermometer and some other things that I hope will help. So is the American Lager with the cider flavor that I currently have conditioning going to lose that cider flavor, if so about how long should I wait, or should I just resign myself to drinking a cidery flavored beer?
  5. I don't think the Stout got any worse. Just the cider taste was always there. I basically follow instructions that came with my LBK which I just checked and it calls for 4 cups of water. I think for now, I'm going to take the advice I've seen multiple times on here and chase the flavor not the ABV so I'm going to forego the booster or other ABV enhancing products. At least until I get the basic brewing down. I'm not sure I understand pitching the yeast. When I used the gallon sized bottled water, I probably used it at room temperature. When I used the tap water, I ran the tap until it was cold and then filled the LBK. I don't think I did anything to cool the wort down other than take it off the heat while I added the water to the LBK. It seems to that I should be refrigerating my water and letting the wort cool before adding it to the LBK. I have a thermometer to check temps. What temp should each be when I put them in my LBK. As for fermenting temp, the room temperature in my house is maintained as I said. Thermostat has a timer setting on it so it is almost always between 65F and 68F.
  6. Ok Guys this is a little long but here goes. I got my MrBeer starter kit for my birthday in October 2015. It came with an IPA extract which I made almost immediately. The IPPA came out great. I thought it tasted great and everybody I shared it with also said it was really good. When I finished with the fermenting, I hand washed my LBK as soon as I was done bottling. I used warm water and unscented dish soap (Dawn) and a brand new unscented, non-scouring sponge. I hand washed the bottles the same way. I used warm water and dawn mixture in each bottle and a small bottle brush. I was very excited to try my next batch. I thought I would try the equivalent of my favorite beer and went with the Irish Stout (I love me some Guinness Draught). Because of timing issues, I didn't start it until May 2016. I followed the instructions that came with my LBK. I sanitized everything I was using to start the next batch. I used two gallons of bottled water for my base. I added the booster to the cold water (though it was probably just room temperature because I do not remember refrigerating it) but I had a hard time getting it all to dissolve. I then brought the water to a roiling boil and added the Irish Stout Extract. I poured the bottled water into the LBK up to the line, poured in the wort and stirred. I then added the rest of the water. Finally, I added the yeast and closed up the LBK. I let the beer ferment for the full 21 days and then bottled it. I let it carbonate/condition for the 21 days called for in the instructions. It tasted like crap. It had a very sweet taste to it. Based on the comments I've seen on this board, I would describe the sweetness as an apple cider like flavor. It also had a bit of an after taste to it as well. I drank 4 or 5 of the 11 bottles (for some reason my kit only came with 11 PET bottles) over the course of 2 months. It never got any better so I'm ashamed to say that in pique of anger, I dumped the remaining bottles. I normally wouldn't do something like that to the nectar of the gods but sometimes my temper gets the better of me. I thought my problem may have been that I did not wash the bottles completely or thoroughly enough so this time I put them through the dishwasher. I wasn't going to let this experience stop me. I figured I start with something that should be a little easier. I got the American Lager Extract. I sanitized everything. This time the instructions said to add the booster to the hot water at the same time as the extract. The booster did not dissolve at all so I ended up just scooping the clumped up booster out. Something I read on these boards made me think the bottled water might have been the issue so I used cold tap water. I filled my LBK to the 1 line, poured in the wort, stirred and filled it the rest of the way with cold tap water. I added the yeast and sealed it up. It fermented for 21 days. When I did the taste test I thought it tasted a little sweet so I let it ferment for one more week (I think I read a response to a comment about the sweetness of my 2nd batch was due to not fully fermenting). I bottled it and it has been sitting and conditioning for 21 days. I opened the first bottle this past Tuesday (the 21st day). It was sufficiently carbonated. There was a good head and there were bubbles in the beer. However, it had that same cidery taste to it. So now I'm scared that I am doing something wrong. I have 3 more cans of extract (Oktoberfest, Australian Sparkling Ale, and Imperial Red Ale) that I want to make but I'm afraid to try it because I don't know what I'm doing wrong. My LBK during fermenting, and my bottles during conditioning, sit on the kitchen counter out of any direct sunlight. The room temperature in my house is usually between 65F and 68F degrees. Can anybody help me. Will the cidery taste go away with longer conditioning or am I doing something wrong. Please help.
  7. Thanks guys. I am going to start a new topic title "Ok what'd I do wrong" with an in depth description of my process because I think I am having the same issue with my 3rd batch that I had with my 2nd batch. Any advice will be appreciated. (I'll be posting later tonight because I have already wasted enough time at work).
  8. Thanks guys. I appreciate the responses. Sorry if my questions seem silly but I had a bad second batch and now I am terrified of making mistakes. I decided to go with something that should be a little simpler with the American Lager. Though, in reading around the boards, I'm thinking my mistake in the second batch was probably not enough conditioning time. Allow me to ask this. Do the darker beers require more conditioning times? My bad batch was an Irish Stout that I tried drinking a month after bottling and then dumped when other people told me it didn't taste good. I'm wondering if longer conditioning might have helped.
  9. I have a question about cleaning my fermenter (LBK?). My basic process is that as soon as I bottle, I rinse the keg with warm water until all of the sludge is out. I then wash the inside with unscented dish soap (usually Dawn or Palmolive) and a brand new sponge. I will wash the inside, rinse and then repeat 1-2 more times. I just finished up my third batch and I noticed that my keg is starting to get that flat, stale beer smell that my college apartment seemed to permanently have after the 2nd party. I assumed I didn't do something correct in my cleaning procedures and this smell is going to effect future brews. I looked on here and saw the comments about using OxyClean so my wife picked up some of the powder for me. However, I'm reading the container and I think I may have the wrong stuff. It looks like this is a stain remover for laundry. Now I am afraid to use it. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
  10. Thanks MRBJosh and Rickbeers. I guess I'm glad I use the plastic bottles. My next question is the American Lager recipes calls for 14 days of fermentation. How accurate is that? Should I give it 3 weeks.
  11. I have a question about boosters. I used a booster for my second batch (a St Patrick's Irish Stout). I followed the directions in the kit box that said mix the booster into the water before I heated it. I am not sure all the sugar dissolved and I think it effected the taste. It was very sweet with a bad after taste. I ended up dumping most of the batch. I just started my third batch (an American Lager) and I decided to try the booster again. This time I followed the directions on the Mr. Beer website for the recipe which said to add the booster to the hot water after I had poured in the extract. This time I ended up with two lumps of sugar that I could not get to dissolve after about 10 minutes of stirring. I ended up taking the two lumps out and just disposing of it. What kind of effect, if any, should I expect this to have on my final product. Also, is the ABV for the recipe listed on the website the alcohol content with or without the booster?
  12. Thanks for all of the advice guys. I put it out in my garage for a few hours and that seems to have worked. Moved it back into the house because the overnight temps are going to be below freezing. Isn't it supposed to be spring?
  13. Thank you MrWhy. I was nervous because I do not remember the foaming from my first batch. And it is making a godawful mess. The paper towel I put down under the fermenter is soaked through.
  14. Greetings all. I'm a newbie to the Mr Beer and the world of home brewing. I received one of the started kits for my birthday this past October. I did my first batch, an IPA, that came out pretty good, if my friends and family are to believed. I started my second batch last night (an Irish Stout). This morning, I woke to find a bubbling foam around the lid of my fermenter. When I wiped it away, I could see a spot where the foam was coming from. It appears as if there is some kind of flaw in the seal around the lid. I am assuming this is going to spoil my beer. Can anybody confirm this for me. Should I just throw the batch out or will my fermenter still work the way its supposed to?
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