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Hey everyone! I'm a new brewer in the Dallas, TX area! I have two LBKs. On Saturday evening, I began a brew of Aztec Mexican Cerveza. I used tap water for this brew, and without thinking about it, I refrigerated water in containers that were not sterilized, however I did sterilize all the utensils. On Sunday morning, I noticed that bubbles were rising, and the wort was producing a thick head of foam in the keg. By Sunday evening, it was a huge head, and I'm guessing that was high krausen. Monday it was about the same, and today it has almost completely subsided. I have not seen any sediment in this keg over the past several days. There are also no bubbles rising now. On Tuesday evening, I started a second brew of Aztec Mexican Cerveza in my second LBK. With this brew, I used tap water for the 4 cups for boiling, and bottled spring water that I refrigerated to fill the LBK before and after adding the wort. I didn't have time to check the keg this morning before leaving for work, but this evening I checked it and there is a head of foam, but it is not very big. However there are a lot of small bubbles coming up through the wort, almost roiling. There is also a large amount of sediment in this keg. I would imagine that both of them are fermenting, but could the lack of sediment in the first keg have anything to do with using tap water vs. bottled? Also, in the basic instructions, it says to allow 3 weeks for fermentation, but on the LME cans, it states 2 weeks for fermentation. I want to add lime juice and raspberries (canned and frozen) to both kegs for the final week of fermentation. Should I be aiming for a 3 week total fermentation before bottling or 2 week total fermentation before bottling? So should I add fruit at 1 week or 2 weeks?
For batch 2 I was planning on Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Deluxe. But after reading threads about the Aztec and improvements that can be made. As well as post about chaining one thing at a time I think it might be a better idea to start another Aztec batch with a single change.The problem is since batch 1 just went into the bottles yesterday I don't really have an existing point of reference for the change. So more reading. Which brings me to the Aztec Mexican Cerveza Deluxe, is this too minor of a tweak to make a difference? I ask because when I read the flavor profile of both on the Mr. Beer page the only difference is the deluxe is listed as malty while the basic is listed as balanced. Everything else ABV, SRM & IBU are listed as the same. Is this what you more experienced brewers would expect?
On 2/8 I mixed up my first batch, Aztec, and put it in the LBK. Had it in a cooler sitting in my kitchen the air temperature, I didn't have a thermometer on the LBK, would have fluctuated from about 64 at night to about 71 during the day. I left it ferment until thursday 2/26, then put it in the fridge to cold crash. Today 2/28 I sterilized my bottles & caps and bottle primed. I then attached a wand I bought to fill the bottles from the bottom. And filled the bottles with the LBK sitting in the fridge, I also took a sample to check with my hydrometer. I was very pleased with the clarity and color of the beer. Also with the volume I bottled 2 - 750ml plastic bottles, 16 - 12oz bottles and 3 - 7oz bottles( this will be my early samples). But I'm not sure about the sample. I waited till it warmed to 70 then checked with the hydrometer. The reading was only about 1.75% that seems low, so I tasted it and although I liked the taste it seemed very cider or green apple to me. Did I cold crash to soon, it was 18 days from filling the LBK to the start of cold crash? Thoughts?