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thegrove: ive been using coopers carbonation drops...basically sugar in cough drop looking form. 1 per 12 oz btl, 3 to 1l btl. what i do is drop one in a sanitized bottle. then slowly fill using a bottling wand. cap. then in a couple days i gently up-end the bottle to allow the sugars to mix just a bit... then return it to storage. just once.

when you bottle carbonate the yeast will cause a tiny trub layer on the bottem of the bottle... maybe that is what you are seeing? oh and you never shake the beer. that would be bad. when your beer is all done and you pour you can pour it out slowly , leaving the minitrub in the bottle. or you can do what i do and dump it all into the glass. i love unfiltered beer on lees. until you get used to the yeast though it might give you some gas and maybe act a little like laxative.

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but I'm learning from the FAQs that it's probably because I was sneaking an early taste.

You learn fast. That is exactly what it is. We had another poster say his brew was "metallic" and advised him to wait for more time....and sure enough, he wrote last night saying that it's conditioned out. TIME is your best friend in home brewing. Time and Patience......oh yeah..... and deep pockets!

I notice sugar sitting at the bottom of the bottles. Should I have shaken the wort with the sugar immediately after bottling?

It's trub from the tiny little fermentation that happens when you bottle carb. It takes a while for the sugar to get eaten by the yeast but they find it no matter where it is. What I do is after a couple of days....I check the bottles and gently turn then upside down. You can often see the dissolving sugars mingling with the beer - looks like the "heat waves" coming up off hot pavement at the horizon. Don't shake them though!

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So I am getting ready to brew my first beer, and I am really looking forward to it. I have a question before I start and have not found the answer in the FAQ's and there is nothing in the instructions. I am sure this has been asked many times, I just have not read every post.

My question is about water, what is the best water to use? I am sure different water can effect the taste and I am sure there are do's and don'ts.

My home tap water is a great water but it is a "hard" water with mineral, not so hard that it needs softened but will leave lime film/deposit's on glass. I did read to never use distilled water.

Suggestions Please?

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"Mtnman" post=364719 said:

So I am getting ready to brew my first beer, and I am really looking forward to it. I have a question before I start and have not found the answer in the FAQ's and there is nothing in the instructions. I am sure this has been asked many times, I just have not read every post.

My question is about water, what is the best water to use? I am sure different water can effect the taste and I am sure there are do's and don'ts.

My home tap water is a great water but it is a "hard" water with mineral, not so hard that it needs softened but will leave lime film/deposit's on glass. I did read to never use distilled water.

Suggestions Please?


With extract beers its not all that important. Any water that tastes good is ok to use. However you do not want to use your tap water if it has a chlorine taste. I suggest you use some bottled spring water. I have even used distilled water in a pinch and it always turns out good.
BTW... welcome to the obsession!

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"Boe1971" post=364760 said:

"Mtnman" post=364719 said:

So I am getting ready to brew my first beer, and I am really looking forward to it. I have a question before I start and have not found the answer in the FAQ's and there is nothing in the instructions. I am sure this has been asked many times, I just have not read every post.

My question is about water, what is the best water to use? I am sure different water can effect the taste and I am sure there are do's and don'ts.

My home tap water is a great water but it is a "hard" water with mineral, not so hard that it needs softened but will leave lime film/deposit's on glass. I did read to never use distilled water.

Suggestions Please?


With extract beers its not all that important. Any water that tastes good is ok to use. However you do not want to use your tap water if it has a chlorine taste. I suggest you use some bottled spring water. I have even used distilled water in a pinch and it always turns out good.
BTW... welcome to the obsession!

Thank You and I am excited to get started. I LOVE BEER!!!

My well water has no filtration system on it and has no chemical taste of any kind just good ol Colorado ground water. Thanks for the info, I didn't want to start a batch until I knew about that. I was thinking about using some artesian spring water from a local spring as well.

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From SamuelD:

Here is a nice conversion chart some of you may find useful.
A combination of 2 LME softpacks will be roughly equivalent to 1 UME. Yes it is 50 g short, but that only equates to about a 0.15-0.2% ABV

Old (1 UME = 2.3%ABV) - New (1 LME = 1.1% ABV x2= 2.2% ABV)

Creamy Brown (22 SRM) - Robust LME (18.8) + Smooth LME (4.2) = 23 SRM

Golden Wheat (3 SRM) - 2 packs Golden LME (1.2) = 2.4 SRM

Mellow Amber (7 SRM) - 2 packs Smooth LME (4.2) = 8.4 SRM

Pale Export (3 SRM) - 2 packs Pale (1.6) = 3.2 SRM

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Just made my purchase from MrBeer and waiting for it to be delivered. Looking forward to beginning.

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Guest System Admin

Makes sure you read read read read and ask questions.

The Collective is here to help.

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:borg: Welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center rgec58. You will be assimilated. Resistance is Quite Futile: WE have BEER.

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"rgec58" post=371247 said:

Just made my purchase from MrBeer and waiting for it to be delivered. Looking forward to beginning.

Don't forget to register your kit on the Mr. Beer website when you get it. I got a coupon code and promptly got 2 more LBKs (little brown kegs). You'll want to get that beer pipeline going ASAP or your patience will be seriously challenged. :cheers:

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Newbie here.. Will receive the Premium Gold Mr Beer kit(recipes not known yet) in a couple of days.. Looking forward to it! I am planning to get a couple of seal thermometers, a hydrometer, and a bucket for batch priming.. Is there anything else that the members here would say is essential for a first time brewer? I have the basics stuff(brewpot, utensils, etc.) Just wondering if I should get anything extra than what the Mr Beer kit says you need? I am sure its been asked, and I have checked here, but would like some others opinions on whats necessary or not?

Thanks,

Aspiring Beer Brewer!

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"iluvbeer!" post=372908 said:

Newbie here.. Will receive the Premium Gold Mr Beer kit(recipes not known yet) in a couple of days.. Looking forward to it! I am planning to get a couple of seal thermometers, a hydrometer, and a bucket for batch priming.. Is there anything else that the members here would say is essential for a first time brewer? I have the basics stuff(brewpot, utensils, etc.) Just wondering if I should get anything extra than what the Mr Beer kit says you need? I am sure its been asked, and I have checked here, but would like some others opinions on whats necessary or not?

Thanks,

Aspiring Beer Brewer!

Don't know what you mean by "seal thermometers" but you should get a stick on thermometer for each LBK. If you're going to batch prime, you'll need to get some hose to run from the LBK nozzle to the bottling bucket. Which needs a nozzle or you need an auto siphon. Or, just buy a 2.5 gallon slimline from Walmart for around $8 and use the hose to transfer and then bottle from it.

I'd add a bottling wand to your list.

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Sounds like you have your self covered. Ask questions, be patient and buy the biggest and best you can afford. this hobby has a way of growing I never thought I brew anything other than MR B sized batches but now rind myself routinely brewing 10 gallon batches. Could haves saved a lot of money by going right to the 10 & 15 gallon kettles

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RickBeer and haerbob3, Thanks for the info. When i said seal thermometer, i meant stick-on thermometers. Sorry bout that.. Also, I live in Japan so Wal-mart is out, but they sell most of the same stuff here anyways. Thanks again for the info. Cant wait to get to brewing!

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Here is a list of things that make brewing and bottling days easier:

Hydrometer
Make sure the hydrometer includes a sample tube
A bottling wand
About 2' of tubing (3/8"??)
An auto-siphon
A bottle brush
A thermometer
Bottle tree and vinator
Wing or bench capper and package of bottle caps
A slimline is great for batch priming, fits better in the fridge if cold crashing more than one batch and they are a bit cheaper than the LBKs + shipping
For bottle priming the mini sugar cubes (i.e. Dominoe Dots) are cheaper than carb tabs and super easy.
Hops sacks or tea balls
Paint strainer for a grain bag
Oxi Clean Free for cleaning LBKs and bottles
Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid has no dyes or perfume
Star-San for sterilizing everything
A large container and chemical resistant spray bottle for the Star-San
A scale for hops
A scale for grains
Yeast nutrient
Also, if you search Craigslist for beer bottles and home brewing you can sometimes find deals on brewing goodies. You will want several cases of bottles so you can keep brewing while your previous batches are conditioning.
Another thing to consider is having a pot and utensils that are dedicated to brewing so you don't transfer odors and flavors from cooking.

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nah just go right to kegging a lot easier!!!

It is easy for me to say. 90% of my equipment has been gifted to me by my beer loving family!! Bet my wife regrets buying that first & second MR B kits!!! The kids and my dad get a case or two for their B-Days & Christmas. Guess I am just a beer lovin' lush :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

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This may seem like a total noob question, but then again I am a noob! I just purchased my Mr Beer kit and am impatiently waiting for it to arrive so I can impatiently wait for my first batch to ferment. The question I have is everywhere says to put the LBK and after fermenting, bottles, in the dark. Does this just mean sunlight? or do electric lights matter? The closet I planned on using is a large walk in closet with plenty of foot space for storage, the only catch is I use it every day when I get dressed. Is the light from the bulb going to affect the beer? Is it just UV light from the sun you have to worry about?

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Your good on the closet, it is sunlight hops doesn't like.

Welcome to the greatest forum on Earth. :cheers:

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welcome to the forum. closet, cooler just keep it out of the light. yeast don't like uv

[attachment=13662]welcomebeer_2013-06-04-2.gif[/attachment]

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Sounds good, Ill just keep the closet door closed and only open it when I get dressed, should minimize the UV exposure. Is there any way to cover the keg with a sheet or something? Or will that increase the temperature to a point where it will effect the fermenting?

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:borg: Welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center corsobianco. You will be assimilated. Resistance is quite Futile: we have BEER.

As long as it is in the LBK or brown bottles, I doubt that the limited light exposure while your getting dressed will be much of a problem.
Now if you set it out side...yeah, a problem.

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Cool and dark. Yep, that's it. Helps with fermenting and avoids skunking when bottled.

Skunking is caused by the reaction that hops have to sunlight. Upon exposure to light, iso-humulone is hydrolyzed producing an active electrophile.

Nucleophilic thiols present in the brew then react with the electrophilic fragment to give the odorous 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol.

A better, more descriptive term for skunky beer is "light struck."

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"corsobianco" post=377454 said:

Sounds good, Ill just keep the closet door closed and only open it when I get dressed, should minimize the UV exposure. Is there any way to cover the keg with a sheet or something? Or will that increase the temperature to a point where it will effect the fermenting?

put it in a cooler it will also serve to keep any overflows, that are known to occur, contained.

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Putting it in your dressing closet can be an issue. Beer is sensitive. If you parade in undressed, and either the beer or the yeast are embarrassed, they could overheat and create off flavors. Always at least cover your private parts... :laugh:

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I do the cooler thing. It also allows me to regulate the temp better. I've got some bottles conditioning in it now.(just in case of bottle breakage)

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This belongs in here. Excellent, Screwy!!

"Screwy Brewer" post=384299 said:

As a new brewer it took me quite a while before I was able to understand what was going on inside the LBKs during 'the fermentation'. I see posts here all the time from new and conditioned brewers alike about off flavors in their beer and how or why they have them. So this morning I decided to sit down with my morning coffee, since I couldn't sleep anyway, and try to set the record straight and try to explain the 4 things every brewer should know about yeast.

Here's how I view the relationship between yeast, off flavors and fermentation temperatures throughout the typical beer fermentation. While I'm writing this with brewing an Ale in mind the same principals apply equally to Lager fermentations too.

Phase 1 begins as soon as you pitch your yeast and is referred to as the lag phase, which we brewers want to keep as short as possible. The yeast are using up the sugars and oxygen in the wort to load up their food reserves, they won't ferment anything until they've been well fed. Stressing the yeast out with too high temperatures or too low numbers of viable cells will prolong the lag phase and the fermentation will take longer to complete while increasing the amounts and types of off flavors like diacetyl that may or may not ever condition out.

Phase 2 starts as soon as the lag phase ends because now the yeast have enough energy stored up to start multiplying, this is referred to as the growth phase. This is where you begin to see a bit of foam floating at the surface the wort from the production of Co2 and the pH and oxygen levels of the wort will start dropping. If you've pitched enough healthy yeast at the right temperatures into well aerated wort the lag time should have been 6-12 hours and the yeast are now full of energy and off to a very healthy start.

Phase 3 begins as soon as the growth phase is done and is triggered by a lack of oxygen in the wort, this is known as the fermentation phase. This is the phase where the production of Co2, alcohol and your beer's flavor is at it's peak and the wort temperature rises 3-5F higher than the ambient air outside the fermentor. The yeast will stay in suspension, so they come in contact with as many sugars as possible, over the next 3-7 days before they run out of sugars to eat and flocculate out to the bottom of the fermentor. Higher temperatures during this phase will produce more esters or fruity flavors and aromas, like the banana flavors in a hefeweizen. It's interesting to note that another cause of ester production is wort that hasn't been aerated enough.

Phase 4 is the final phase of the fermentation process and it's referred to as the sedimentation phase where the yeast begin consuming and converting any remaining flavor precursors in the wort like diacetyl that will produce off flavors in your beer. During this phase the yeast cells are preparing themselves to go dormant and storing up energy reserves for their deep sleep, even though this is where most of us flush them down the drain. I'd like to point out that the amount of cleanup work left for the yeast to do is dependent on how well we treated, or mistreated, our yeast during the first 3 fermentation phases.

During the sedimentation phase I raise the temperature of my fermentors 3-5F and hold it there for at least 3 days before bottling or kegging my beer. I do this because the yeast will only convert the flavor precursors it created earlier if it's warmer than it was when they created them. There is a limit to this rule though since the yeast can only do so much cleanup before they go dormant. Once the yeast go dormant any remaining flavor precursors will be left in your beer to produce off flavors.

The moral of this post is to always use fresh healthy yeast in sufficient quantity pitched into well aerated wort at the recommended temperature and you will produce some great tasting beer.

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