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SmokingTony

Two simple questions about my first brew

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Hi, I just finished bottling my first batch of Mr. Beer. It was the West Coast Pale Ale. I have two questions that I hope some of you seasoned brewers can answer for me.

1.) I fermented the beer in the keg at room temperature for 15 days, which I believe is ample time, but living in south Texas, the room temperature likely fluctuated from 75-81 degrees. I tasted the beer before bottling it to check if it tasted like "flat beer", as advised by the instruction manual. It tasted fine. Should I be concerned about the fluctuation in temperature affecting the outcome of my beer?

2.) I washed the keg with dish soap and let it soak for a couple of hours before coming on to this forum to see people advising against scented soap. I have since rinsed the keg thoroughly and set to dry. It does have a slight scent to it. Will this scent fade? Is the keg ruined?


Best,
Tony

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Welcom to the Borg we have beer. I dont thing 6 deg difference in temp. is that bad. But you should get something like a igloo cooler that you can put the keg into with 1 or 2 zrozen bottles of water.

try getting some oxcy-clean free. to soak the keg in.

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Those are pretty high temps to be fermenting at. They may produce off-flavors. I like to ferment ales around 70 degrees with 75 being the max.

As for the scented soap, I have used scented dish soap before without bad results. Just make sure you rinse well, and I wouldn't use it unless you had too. I use the regular oxi-clean instead of the free and clear, and my results have been just fine.

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:borg: Welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center. You will be Assimilated. Resistance is Quite Futile: We have Beer.

You could try draping a cloth over your keg while it sits in a shallow pan of water:
071209windfarm005.jpg
This will keep the keg about 5~10 degrees cooler.
Or you can get an Ice Chest, place the keg in there and rotate some frozen bottles of water in there to keep the temp down.
I use Oxyclean free on my brewing equipment. You realy don't want the scented portion of the soaps to penetrate your beer. Besides, with the oxyclean (or knock offs), all you need to do is soak the keg for an hour or two, and then use a soft cloth to wipe it down. Cleans up real nice. Don't forget to take out the spigot and give it a good clean.
010310spigot002.jpg
You might also want to read the "simple guide line" in the first section, New Brewers and FAQ's.

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Thanks for your input. Those are some really helpful tips. The ice chest with the frozen bottles of water sounds like a good plan and seems like it will also prevent any messy spills in case of a spill over. I will invest in that for my future brews, and I will be patient with this first batch and see how well it comes out despite the high temps. Thanks again for your input, it is really appreciated.

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+1 on the advice above. I'll note that I generally ferment at 65 degrees on the thermometer attached to my keg, which is generally 4-5 degrees higher than the ambient temp at the height of fermentation. Thus, I'm usually looking to keep the temps around the keg at 60-62.

Welcome, and keep us posted. Final bit of advice...

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I also fermented my first two beers in Texas room temperature. I did get off flavors. I've gone with the advice of the other posters to this thread. Both methods (towel or cooler) were effective. Just be sure to follow the SHALLOW pan advice if you try the towel. I let mine get too deep and the spigot was soon submerged. No worries - disinfected and things seem ok. The brewometers you can get from the MB site work real well - just stick it to the side of your keg.

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