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MAH

1st batch

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Ok, so I am new to Mr. Beer brewing and the forum. I just tried my first bottle of American Light Classic. Here are the details:
-I let it Ferment in LBK for 3 weeks
-Carb/condition for 3 weeks
-I did not have a hydrometer so I was flying blind when I bottled (I have since corrected this)
-when I bottled it did not taste sweet or yeasty so I figured it was good to go. However it the color was not the straw color it was more brownish
-It fermented/carb/Conditioned in 62-68 degree room.
-I Bottle primed(using the 1 ltr pet bottles) and did 4 bottles with 1.5 teaspoons of table sugar and 4 bottles with 2 tablespoons sugar ( I experimented with the sugar after seeing all the posts about how mr. Beer over sugars everything).
So I couldn't wait any longer and had to try a bottle. So I opened one of the 1.5tsp sugar and found that there was very little carbonation, The color was still brownish, There was no head when I poured. The taste seemed flat with just a hint of carbonation. It seemed to have a bit of fruity Molasses flavor if that makes sense.
Any thoughts would be helpful. I am currently fermenting a Roses Rambling red and then planning on 1776 Ale.

Thanks, Mark

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well with bottle priming you get inconsistant carbing could be you've just managed to open a flat one.

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+1 to Jim for just possible a flat one or not long enough.

For the color and taste that is off, lets go back to your brewing. How was your cleaning and sanitizing? Did you add anything to the recipe or do it straight up? What was your procedures? It sounds like there was something in the brew.

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MAH: Welcome to "THE ADDICTION" & the borg.

It sounds like you have been reading the info on the borg a lot, kudos to you. There are some experts here and us non-experts, just experienced brewers, that will share a wealth of info with you. Ask & you shall receive. Some here will tell you not to use the Mr Beer suggested amounts of priming sugar but I am a FIRM believer in the fact that if you slightly over-carb a style of beer you can ALWAYS let it sit for a few minutes (how long is a few minutes?) and the carb will slowly go away. You should never have bottle bombs with their recommended amts (tho you could) and that if you UNDER-carb a beer batch, you won't easily be able to rectify that problem.

You have chosen 2 of my favorite MB recipes to do next in the Rose's Rambling Red & the 1776 Ale, kudos to you there as well.

[attachment=11703]welcome_2013-03-02.jpg[/attachment]

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"Jimjohson" post=344319 said:

well with bottle priming you get inconsistant carbing could be you've just managed to open a flat one.

54 batches, and I've bottle primed them all... I've only had one batch that didn't carb right, and that was just because the room temp was too low. Put them in the right range, BINGO!

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other end of the spectrum I've done 4 brews and had trouble with my second. not saying it is the cause just might be. open another bottle and check after another week on the shelf. I think your tasting "almost" ready beer the yeast ain't quite done yet and that's how your interpreting the taste. imo

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Thanks for all the input. I think my Sanitizing process was OK. I tried to be somewhat Anal about the whole thing and followed the instructions to a tee. When I did my second batch I actually put down Plastic wrap on the counter(I think Fedora Dave mentioned this). The caps seems to be pretty tight and I checked them all again after trying out the 1st bottle, cuz my 1st though was somehow it got oxidized.
I did the recipe straight up(other than the sugar amount for bottle priming), I didn't know squat to be able to modify it.

When I do my next bottling, I now have a 2nd LBK so I will batch prime and will be using regular glass bottles.

So I will let the rest of my Classic American Light bottles continue to sit and open one of the 2tsp sugar bottles next - Probably in a week. All the bottles feel like they have hardened.

I will report back once I try my 2nd bottle.

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Welcome to the obsession MAH! :charlie: :borg:

Warm them suckers up a bit more and try another one later!
Good luck and keep us updated!

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I'm new at this myself, but that temperature range sure sounds like it's on the low side. I brewed the Classic American Light, too, and the wort started out brownish. So maybe yours never really finished fermenting, because the temp was too low. Please, anyone who agrees or disagrees, please chime in.

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Also, when I bottled that batch, I used 2 tsp of sugar in some bottles, and 2 1/2 in the others. Almost three weeks into carb/conditioning, all the PET bottles feel hard, but the bottles that got 2 1/2 tsp of sugar feel just a bit harder.

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Ninkasi,

did you have a lot of Trub when you fermented the Roses rambling red? I seem to have some but doesn't appear to be as much as the Classic american light. When I did my hydrometer reading after a week it was in the right range for being finished and it actually tasted better than I was expecting for flat beer and after only a week. Week 3 is this coming weekend so we will see where were at then.

Do you do anything different on the 1776 Ale?

Thanks

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Be aware; the hardness of the bottle will not be an accurate guide to how well carbonated the beer is. It is just an indication carbonation is occuring.

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Big, I was kind of wondering that as well, since I didn't have a Hydrometer initially, I went by what Mr. Beer rule of thumb was, which is if it is sweet then it needs more time in the fermenter, And in this case when I tried before bottling it simply tasted like flat beer, so away I went. I am hoping it just requires more bottle time. I put the bottles inside a cooler and put a heating pad in with them and put it on low for a couple of hours to warm them up a bit. So hopefully that will help the bottle carb/conditioning. It's all a learning process.

Thanks for all the great feedback

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Big, I noticed the same thing on my bottles between the 1.5tsp and 2 tsp sugar bottles.
Will report back in a week. thanks again for the great feedback.

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"MAH" post=345227 said:

Ninkasi,

did you have a lot of Trub when you fermented the Roses rambling red? I seem to have some but doesn't appear to be as much as the Classic american light. When I did my hydrometer reading after a week it was in the right range for being finished and it actually tasted better than I was expecting for flat beer and after only a week. Week 3 is this coming weekend so we will see where were at then.

Do you do anything different on the 1776 Ale?

Thanks

Don't forget to take a gravity reading wensday and again on bottling day. Most likely done, but better safe than bottle bombs. :)

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Guest

The extra week conditioning (4 instead of 3) made a HUGE difference in both my 1st batch (American Classic Lager) and my second (Octoberfest). All the cidery taste dissipated, and the beer had much better flavor and mouthfeel (although the ACL was thin as expected from a light beer).

Don't rush it, drinking at 3 weeks carb/conditioning is going to be a lesser quality product, but if you insist, at least the green beer you taste will be a lesson in patience.

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Mark, happy to help. FWIW from a new guy like me, from what I've read here, it seems that patient conditioning can ameliorate many evils.

Be careful with that heating pad, too. Keep the yeast in its comfort range; don't cook 'em.

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"Big" post=345499 said:

Mark, happy to help. FWIW from a new guy like me, from what I've read here, it seems that patient conditioning can ameliorate many evils.

Be careful with that heating pad, too. Keep the yeast in its comfort range; don't cook 'em.

+1

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"Big" post=345499 said:

Mark, happy to help. FWIW from a new guy like me, from what I've read here, it seems that patient conditioning can ameliorate many evils.

Be careful with that heating pad, too. Keep the yeast in its comfort range; don't cook 'em.

Agreed. +1

MAH- I had a very similar experience with my American Classic brew. Your fermentation temps, color, sugar and other brewing factors were almost identical to mine. I also tested one at 3 weeks for the fun of it and it wasn't carbed enough yet. Give it another week or two of conditioning. This is how mine turned out after waiting 2 more weeks (5 weeks total) and I was thrilled! Welcome to the obsession.

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I think temps around 68 is too cold.

I bet if you were in the 72-74 range you wouldn't have to wait extra time.

But that is just me.

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So the results are in. I let it them sit for another week and then put 1 in the fridge for 3 days. What a difference 1 week makes. It tasted very good, I would drink Classic American light over any regular store bought (Bud, coors, miller etc). The color turned to a nice straw color, I opened it and got a nice carb release sound, the head was decent and held on for a while. I am glad that I opened 1 early (at 3 weeks) as it was a good learning experience. It really does pay to be patient.

Definitely looking forward to Roses Rambling Red (bottled 1 week ago) and 1776 (just started fermenting).

Does anybody use the hop sacks. I decided on the 1776 that I would throw the Hops in without the sack and I did a 5 minute boil before adding the extract and booster. What kind of effect will this have on taste and color?

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What a difference 1 week makes.

If I had a buck for every time someone who took the Borg's Collective advice said that....I'd be a very rich man.

I did a 5 minute boil before adding the extract and booster. What kind of effect will this have on taste and color?

If you did a boil before you added the malt....very little effect on flavor. Hops need to be boiled in wort of about 1.03 to 1.045 gravity to impart any of their essence. There was another topic in here today on the same subject.

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I had my very first home brew last night, also the Classic American Light. Mark, I could just cut and paste your post! Very silmilar experience. At four weeks C&C, I put one of my 2-tsp-of-priming-sugar PET liter bottles in the fridge (Wednesday). When I opened it last night, I was a little apprehensive, because it only made a little "pfft" when I unscrewed the cap. Then there wasn't much head when I poured. but when I tasted it, I was amazed! It was GOOD BEER! The carb was perfect! I poured the second glass a little faster, which produced more head, although it didn't stick around very long. Still, it tasted great, and I agree with Mark: I'd drink CAL before any mass produced beer of its type. I can tell it's only going to improve with time, too; it's a good thing I'm starting a week of working nights, so I'll leave it alone for at least one more week!

Thanks to everyone here for all the great advice!

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The 3 best pieces of advice I have received and will pass on are these:

1: Impeccable cleanliness/ sanitation is VERY important. It keeps foreign bodies out and good stuff happens because of it.

2: Patience patience patience. Let it ride and give it time. Ferment for 3 weeks unless you have a hydrometer. With few exceptions, the longer you let it carbonate/condition (4 weeks is the minimum), the better your beer will be.

3: Until you have more experience, don't go all Frankenbeer. Chasing ABV% will result in thin/cidery beer, trying to add things will usually go wrong until you have the basics down.

I would say 95% or more of the negative comments about MR Beer kits and/or bad results from other recipes/kits on here are caused by not following one of these 3 tips.

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My first batch, with the exception of a handful of bottles, had very little carb. "Head" is not a result of carbonation. My second batch went MUCH better. Lots of bubbles in each pour. I highly recommend fermenting them for at least 3 weeks and then put them in the frig for the last week. It certainly seems to make a difference. And you have to be sure thost caps are on TIGHT. My third batch has started conditioning so I'll know more on 4/9/2013.

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