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rkosik

New Oktoberfest from Mr. Beer Dissappoints

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The best way to describe my last batch of beer is disappointing. I have been brewing with Mr. Beer off and on for over 10 years, but I have really stepped up my game the last two years. I was hesitant and concerned with the new owners, ingredients, and new formulas and flavors, and rightfully so. I purchased the new Oktoberfest, along with an ipa and wheat beer to try. I followed the directions, explicitly, and can saw for the first time in 10 years I had my first overflow during primary fermentation. Now that isn’t a bad thing, just means the new yeasts are doing their job, aggressively. Temperature was a constant 71 F and I used only the ingredients for the standard batch. After fermentation, I primed and bottled, the same way I have been for 10 years. After 10 days at 70 F, the bottles should have been nice and firm and well carbonated. Well, nothing. So I gave it another few days and still not firm. I chilled and was hoping that it was just me. No it was the beer. It never came back nor did it ever carbonate. Flat. I am very disappointed. Anyone else have similar issues?

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First, welcome.

The extracts could not really cause carbonation issues. The carbonation comes from the yeast and the priming sugar. How much priming sugar did you use? Do you batch prime or bottle prime? Bottle from the fermenter or a bottling bucket?

After just 10 days, I'd be inclined to let them set for another week or so. In my experience, some beers just take longer to carb than others, and after just 10 days I wouldn't be concerned if they weren't fully carbed yet.

When you say "It never came back"... I'm not sure I know what that means. Are you describing an off flavor? Is the beer still green from being this young? Just trying to understand what you are describing.

Again, welcome, and keep posting...

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Well, first...welcome.

I think it would behoove you to read a bit of the boards before you get in depth with any more brewing.

Universally, all of the new Mr. Beer HMEs were found to be light and "watery". Although the old Mr. Beer stuff was 2.0-2.3% ABV - the new ones were around 3.2% ABV...maybe less depending on how full your LBK was. Top-to-bottom it was suggested to use DME to come up with a good drinkable brew.

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As for your carbonation issues, I would think that 10 years experience would tell you that carbonation probably won't be finished in 10 days. Regardless of the instructions. Even with carb, it should have conditioned at the same temp for another 30 days or so...so somewhere along that line, carbonation woulda completed.

=============

Wish we coulda helped you sooner.

But maybe for future batches was can provide help or thoughts.

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I have brewed all four of the new craft series. The brown ale and pale ale bottles were hard as a rock in 14 days, the IPA bottles are still alittle soft but it has only been a week. The winter ale is still fermenting.

I did an early sample of both the brown and pale ale and thought they were pretty good for such young beers. Smooth, good flavor and mouth feel, not thin like some of the basic recipes. No off flavors that I could detect. I'm pretty optimistic that in 4 weeks they will quite good for a simple malt extract beer with no doctoring on my part with hops, grains etc.

I would give them more time to carbonate, some of my beers have taken three weeks for the bottles to firm up.

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Thanks for the note swenocha. I usually prime in the bottles, adding the specific recommended amount of priming sugar, based on the bottle i am using. I bottle directly from the fermentor into the primed bottles. I bottle 1/2, giving a good shake / swirl to dissolve all the sugar, then fill, making sure to give enough head space. After everything is bottled, i give all the bottles a god mixing/ shaking to ensure everything is mixed and dissolved. I then place all the bottles in a converted wine cabinet that is a constant 71.5 F Over the past few years brewing and bottling like this, i've never had a batch take more then 10 days to carbonate in the bottles. That's what I meant by "never came back" All the particulates and sediment has settled, but no secondary fermentation, that i can tell, in the bottle. I opened one up, and no fizz. Now i know that sometimes it can take longer or shorter, depending on conditions, etc. and i have some brews that take considerably longer, but not the simple all extract kits the Mr. Beer has provided. I plan on giving it another week, if not more before i take additional measures.

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Like Swen already said, there are basically three reasons for no carb:

1. The bottles. Did they seal properly? Are you using new caps etc.

2. The priming agent. Are you sure you used the proper amount? What kind of agent? Is the agent still good?

3. Was there enough suspended yeast to prime?

What you can do if there is still no carb after another couple weeks is try what is talked about on this thread:

http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/18-advanced-brewing-techniques/193537-re-priming-under-carbed-bottles

It's worked for some and not for others. I have also known of some that have put a few grains of yeast into each bottle as well. Just a few ideas. Come back and let us know what you did and how it turned out.

BTW, Welcome to the forum

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and that much shaking when botteling (although it's been working for you) seems a bit excessive.

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"azmark" post=290548 said:

and that much shaking when botteling (although it's been working for you) seems a bit excessive.

I would tend to agree with this. I have never found any need to shake a bottle when bottle priming. The yeast will find the sugar whether its dissolved fully or not...its what they do. All shaking can accomplish is aerating the beer, which can cause its own set of problems.

As for the lack of carbonation...probably just a fluke of some kind. I highly doubt it has anything to do with the new malt. I hope you are able to find a way to rectify it and salvage the beer...it would be a tragedy if it never carbs!

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How many times have you used these bottles and caps?? I'm guessing your using PET plastic bottles, since you said they weren't firm. Could be your caps are shot and not sealing properly. i wouldn't blame the HME for lack of carb.

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