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About KTreu42

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  1. Alright, I decided I'm going to take a crack at the Rose's Ramblin' Red. Seems straightforward enough. What are recommendations for fermenting/bottling time, temperature, etc. for this recipe? It looks like the instructions are pretty generic on the recipe's page, are they accurate? Thanks for the information, everyone.
  2. Thanks so much, Shrike! I have been meaning to try an easy recipe beyond the basic beer kit stuff, and adding an ingredient to two will help me justify the shipping cost as well.
  3. Hi all, I grabbed a cheap Oktoberfest kit online recently, but I definitely want to add a malt extract to it. In my first few attempts, all of my beers, no matter the style, have had the same sort of weak and "generic" taste to them. I did add a DME to my last batch of Canadian Blonde ale, and while it was noticeably better, it was still there. So my primary goal is to attain a full-bodied flavor and avoid that weak taste, and along with giving the beer plenty of fermentation time and keeping it the right temperature, I think the malt extract will be a big help again. Since I am making an Oktoberfest, I am guessing that the "Smooth" extract is the one that would best suit that style - is that correct? My only other question is if there is a strong preference for using DME over LME. The DME was a bit of a pain for a beginner like me, and I hear that the only thing different about the LME is that it might make the beer a tad darker - which I think I want anyway for this one. Unfortunately I am paying twice as much in shipping as I am for the actual LME packet, but I don't think there's any avoiding it. I essentially got the rest of the kit for free, so oh well. Thanks for your help in advance!
  4. I did crack it open just for a second, I didn't realize that was a no no. I hadn't heard that anywhere. Hopefully it's not going to mess anything up, but good to know for the future. Thanks on the sugar question, I'll decide which to use shortly when I begin bottling. I kept the air temp at 68 in the room it was being stored, but I guess the AC couldn't keep up with the recent heat wave. The little strip thermometer I have on the side of the lbk still shows that it's in the optimal temperate range.
  5. Hey y'all, update: So it's been 3 weeks, and I am ready to bottle my beer. I kept it at 68° for the most part, although in the past few days it was a little warmer (~72°) because it's just been so hot out. I noticed that the LBK has a crusty film around the lid, and taking a quick look, the bottom of the lid is covered in brownish gunk. I know that some buildup on the bottom of the keg is normal, and there is usually some residual stuff floating in the LBK, but I just wanted to double check if this sounds normal/reasonable. Aside from that, question about priming: does anyone use sugar cubes instead of loose sugar? They are supposedly a specific amount of sugar per cube which should make it easy to measure, so is there a reason to prefer loose sugar over cubes?
  6. J A, I am guessing the taste issue is a combination of the first thing you said - not brewing long enough in the past - and simply not being used to drinking such low ABV beer that is traditionally higher especially in those types of beer. I think having the correct information on fermenting length and using DME should help solve my problems. I only use fresh containers of spring water in the brewing process, and I sanitize my tools and myself aggressively during, so I'm pretty sure the problems were based on what has been discussed above. Again I appreciate everyone's input and assistance. We'll see how it turns out.
  7. Thanks to all, I just finished brewing the Canadian Blonde. I bet the problem is I've been following the instruction guide and fermenting/carbonating for only 2 weeks each. I will follow 3-4-3 for this batch, and I bet between that and using the DME it will be much better. Maybe "skunky" is the wrong word to describe the taste, it's not quite skunky in the usual sense, but previous batches all tasted off, in the same way each time. I let the LBK and bottles sit in a cool dark space, so I'm pretty confident there are no problems with that part of the process. Last question: I've read that the carbonation drops are basically a huge ripoff, and plain sugar is perfectly fine. How much sugar should I be adding to a .5 L bottle, versus the 740mL ones that I've used in the past? Thanks again.
  8. Hi all, I've made 3 batches up to now but this is my first post because I am having the same problem each time, and need some advice! I'm about to start brewing a Canadian Blonde, but from what I gather from some light forum perusal, the ingredients and instructions that come with Mr. Beer do not seem to be... optimal. So here's my issue: I've made the Czech Pils, Mexican Cerveza, and Oktoberfest thus far. The Pils came out a little skunky, which I thought was expected because A) It's a Czech pils and B ) it was my first go at brewing. The Cerveza was even worse, and a tad flat. I thought I had fudged the brewing process a little bit, I remember it got a little messy at times. The third, the Oktoberfest (my favorite beer style), I had high hopes for because we were ultra-thorough with sanitation and accuracy, but when the time came, it once again tasted sort of weak, flat, and a touch skunky. So here's where I stand, and what my current questions are that I would love to see answered: - Those 3 recipes did not come with the Booster pack, which from what I understand adds body, %ABV, and overall taste. I'm listing this first as it seems one of the biggest issues until now. Does this sound accurate based on my ongoing issues? - With the Canadian Blonde, I bought a packet of pale DME because I read on another thread that it works better than the Booster. Is this true, and would I use it in the same way that I would the Booster (add to the cool water, bring to boil, add extract)? - It seems to me like 2 weeks for fermenting and 2 weeks for bottle carbonation is a little short - for some beers more than others, I would imagine. What is a more realistic and rewarding wait time for each step? - Any other tips or notes to account for with making this beer? I'm using the plastic bottles - just got some new .5 L ones because most of my 740 mL ones have already gone missing. Thanks for any and all help!
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