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thomaso827

How Long Before Accepting Defeat?

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3 weeks ago today I started my first batch. I was hoping to move to the bottle last weekend to start the carbination process, but so far, nothing seems to be happening in the keg. I thought I followed the directions exactly but always a chance something got messed up. The temp has fluctuated a bit but never below 64 or above 68 over the 3 weeks. Plan for now is to leave it in place for another week before I clean up and start over again.

Tom Oxley

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Was this a standard Mr.Beer batch that came with the kit? Were you using the included Mr.Beer yeast from under the lid of the HME?

Rick

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"thomaso827" post=257000 said:

....but so far, nothing seems to be happening in the keg....

What observations can you make from your LBK? Can you see any sediment forming on the bottom? Did you notice any bubbling activity (krausen) at the top? Can you take a gravity reading? What type and how old was the yeast?

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Yes to both. I waited a bit but had left the yeast packet in the refrigerator while I did. Everything was basic kit ingredients.

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With the supplied 2g of yeast from MRB, it wouldn't be surprising if you didn't notice much activity in the LBK. Certainly, after 3 weeks, you won't notice any.

Draw a small sample from the keg and taste it. If it tastes like warm, flat beer...without any sweetness...then you have made beer and its ready for the bottles.

Report back and let us know your findings!

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Dont have the tools yet for the gravity reading. No krausen formed yet, dont see any sediment. The liquid is pretty much as murkey as it was when it started. The foam from stirring it took a few days to dissappear but there has not been any foam or visible activity since that.

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Will do, Manosteel. I did the "look every evening after work" thing for the first week, then calmed down to wait. Now just that little bit of worry creeping in. No biggy, always a next time.

Tom Oxley

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64 to 68 degrees may be a little bit on the low end for the fromunda Mr.Beer yeast, especially if it was chilled via the refrigerator before pitching. I'm not certain about this, however, so others will have to provide some input here.

As manofsteel recommended, you might want to draw a sample and taste it to see if it tastes like flat beer.

Rick

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"thomaso827" post=257012 said:

Dont have the tools yet for the gravity reading. No krausen formed yet, dont see any sediment. The liquid is pretty much as murkey as it was when it started. The foam from stirring it took a few days to dissappear but there has not been any foam or visible activity since that.

The lack of sediment on the bottom isn't a good sign.

How hot was the wort when you pitched the yeast? How old was the refill?

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"thomaso827" post=257012 said:

Dont have the tools yet for the gravity reading. No krausen formed yet, dont see any sediment. The liquid is pretty much as murkey as it was when it started. The foam from stirring it took a few days to dissappear but there has not been any foam or visible activity since that.

If the foam from stirring lasted a couple of days, I am inclined to believe that this foam was actually kraesen, because it would be unusual in my experience for the foam kicked up from stirring to last more then a few hours. If that is the case, you would also expect to see a ring of left over kraesen above the current beer level inside the LBK. This looks kind of like a dirty/chunky bathtub ring. you might have to shine a flash light through LBK to see it. Also when you have the flash light out check to see if you seen any sediment without a flash light it can be hard to see. Again shine the flash light from the outside of the LBK in such a way that you can get a good look at the bottom 1inch or so of the LBK. You might have to move the LBK to get a good look.

Finally, I would second Manosteel's idea just to draw some off and taste it.

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I didnt chill it, just worked to make sure I didnt put the yeast in while it was too hot. The sticker/thermometer showed it was on the cool side, but a regular thermometer showed it was still around 64 at the lowest end.

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The wort indicated in the mid range on the thermometer sticker on the side of the LBK. I got the kit in early January, kept the yeast in the refrigerator until I made time to start it in early April.

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Most "Activity" should have occurred in the first 2-5 days. I wouldn't keep looking for activity. It could have just been a slow, mild fermentation of a not so big beer.....

I would also take a sample and taste it. Chances are after 3 weeks you have a fermented product that you should consider bottling.

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Are you sure there's nothing on the bottom? As others have said, it would be very unusual for the foam created by whisking it to last for days. It usually lasts a couple of hours. So if it lasted days, it's more likely that you were seeing krausen, which would mean you had fermentation. If you had fermentation, you should be seeing sediment forming on the bottom.

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I never have any luck seeing sediment on the bottom of my LBK. I don't know why, but even if I shine a flashlight on it, I can't see it through the brown plastic. I know its there, from experience, but its certainly not visible.

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"manosteel9423" post=257036 said:

I never have any luck seeing sediment on the bottom of my LBK. I don't know why, but even if I shine a flashlight on it, I can't see it through the brown plastic. I know its there, from experience, but its certainly not visible.

I've noticed that the amount of "brown" that is used in the plastic isn't completely consistent throughout the entire LBK. (At least not in the 2 I have anyway). In one LBK, for example, it is very easy to see the beer fermenting with very minimal need for a flashlight. For the other one, however, I have to turn off the lights and shine my flash light directly on it in order to just make out the beer. Regardless of the differences between the 2 I have no problems, whatsoever, seeing the trub collect on the bottom of both. It's easy to see in both LBKs, even without a flashlight.

-cor-

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I have had a batch or two back when I started this hobby that I worried didn't brew right, but they turned out OK in the end.

Yeah, the thing to do now is to taste it and see if it tastes like flat beer. If it tastes sweet and no alcohol taste/smell, then you might have gotten some bad yeast.

Let us know.

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Well, at some point over the last few weeks, it did indeed become beer. Tasted pretty good! Actually, tasted a bit better than the Yuengling I had with dinner. Now to bottle it and start the carbination process. :chug:

Tom Oxley

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"thomaso827" post=257000 said:

3 weeks ago today I started my first batch. I was hoping to move to the bottle last weekend to start the carbination process, but so far, nothing seems to be happening in the keg. I thought I followed the directions exactly but always a chance something got messed up. The temp has fluctuated a bit but never below 64 or above 68 over the 3 weeks.

Tom Oxley


68 deg is not really bad on the MB fromunda yeast as long as you go 3 weeks and on a base refill, should more then be enough time. Glad it turned out good for you. Try 2 or 3 packs of MB yeast, you will see a big difference.

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Tom sometimes it is hard to tell but the taste or Hydro reading will always let you know for sure... I rely on my taste buds :cheers:

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A week tomorrow since I got it in the bottle - smelled very good while bottling. Now trying to sort out whether to cold condition or warm condition. Temps in the basement are all over the place right now as outdoor temps go up and down, so maybe cold is safest. Hoping to finish the current bunch of store-bought and start drinking my home brew in another week or so. Thanks to everyone for your advice.

Tom

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"thomaso827" post=259788 said:

A week tomorrow since I got it in the bottle - smelled very good while bottling. Now trying to sort out whether to cold condition or warm condition. Temps in the basement are all over the place right now as outdoor temps go up and down, so maybe cold is safest. Hoping to finish the current bunch of store-bought and start drinking my home brew in another week or so. Thanks to everyone for your advice.

Tom

I'd give it another week at room temperature, unless it's getting above 80 in the room.

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Congratulations, Tom, you have beer! I agree with bp, keep it at room temp for at least another week. At that point, I would put one in the fridge for a couple of days and try it. If its a bit cidery, you will want to leave the rest for another two or three weeks at room temperature to allow the yeast to clean up those cidery flavors.

Welcome to the obsession!

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Thanks. That coincides with the number of bottles of beer already on hand, so I can manage the wait.

Homebrew really makes "beer and pretzel" gaming a lot more fun. :popbeer:

Tom

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Way to go Tom - You are hooked. I like leaving all my brews at room temp for 4 weeks, then I start fridging & tasting. I'm having my IPA now at 8 Weeks & it's golden. While at 4 weeks it was twangy. Time, temp & temptation. :drinking:

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Had to be out of town over the weekend so put the first bottle in the fridge on Thursday evening so it would be good for Sunday afternoon. It was great. A bit more of a bite than I would like, but no twangy taste, no citrisy taste. I'd compare it favorably with several of the big company brews. Now to start looking for my next batch. I put a few more in the fridge last night and want to see what a few more days of sitting at room temp may mean for the bite. Certainly wont stop me from enjoying it, anyway. :stout:

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Wait until you try another one after 4 more weeks of conditioning.....enjoy!

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