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Brewmoster

Priming with agave

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I am brewing my first batch of beer with Mr Beer and am using the given Classic American Light. I added a cup of agave nectar to the wort to try to add a little flavor to my first beer. First of all, what kind of beer is the classic American light? I would assume it is a lager but it doesn't say exactly in the description. It is still a top fermenting yeast so does that make it a light ale? Why doesn't the description say exactly what type of beer it is? And is it a light calorie beer or just a lighter bodied beer? I'm looking to add some extra agave flavor to the beer and maybe even get some agave sweetness to the taste so I'm wondering if it would help to prime my beer with agave instead of table sugar. And if so, how much? I'm using sixteen ounce bottles so is it the same 1 tablespoon measurement of agave as sugar? Thanks for any help you may have!

The Brewmoster

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[attachment=12333]Welcome01_2013-03-23.gif[/attachment]

To the Borg. Classic American Light (CAL) is basically an ale that imitates a light American lager. All Mr. B/Cooper's produces are ales. When they refer to lagering in their instructions - it is about carbing and conditioning the brew - not lager yeasts and process per se. CAL doesn't seem to have much body or flavor to it, but is just a teaching brew to show new folks how to brew beer. First, you should make the first couple of brews pretty much as instructed (except for time as I will indicate below) without modification. You need to learn the process and make sanitizing second nature. You will get to taste the brews and see what you think of them. You will then figure out what you need to do to them to make them better.

As for priming. I hope you have left the brew in the LBK (Little Brown Keg) for 3 weeks to ferment. That is the Borg's time recommendation that is longer than the Mr. B instruction. Also, prime just with the table sugar. Priming does little to modify taste and you would be wasting the agave nectar if you used it to prime. After priming and bottling - let the bottle sit at room temperatures for 4 weeks before you refrigerate one for a taste. When you do put that one in the fridge, let it sit at least 2 days before drinking to facilitate a cold crash and have any remaining yeasties settle to the bottom of the bottle. Good luck with your brew!

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"TimeTraveler" post=354013 said:

[attachment=12333]Welcome01_2013-03-23.gif[/attachment]

To the Borg. Classic American Light (CAL) is basically an ale that imitates a light American lager. All Mr. B/Cooper's produces are ales. When they refer to lagering in their instructions - it is about carbing and conditioning the brew - not lager yeasts and process per se. CAL doesn't seem to have much body or flavor to it, but is just a teaching brew to show new folks how to brew beer. First, you should make the first couple of brews pretty much as instructed (except for time as I will indicate below) without modification. You need to learn the process and make sanitizing second nature. You will get to taste the brews and see what you think of them. You will then figure out what you need to do to them to make them better.

As for priming. I hope you have left the brew in the LBK (Little Brown Keg) for 3 weeks to ferment. That is the Borg's time recommendation that is longer than the Mr. B instruction. Also, prime just with the table sugar. Priming does little to modify taste and you would be wasting the agave nectar if you used it to prime. After priming and bottling - let the bottle sit at room temperatures for 4 weeks before you refrigerate one for a taste. When you do put that one in the fridge, let it sit at least 2 days before drinking to facilitate a cold crash and have any remaining yeasties settle to the bottom of the bottle. Good luck with your brew!

Damn fine answer there, TT, I'll elaborate some.


Brewmoster, hopefully you'll learn to crawl before you walk here. Doesn't strike you as kind of funny that you threw in the Agave and then came here asking what the base HME was like? That's a little bit backasswards to me.......modifying something you have no clue what it is

The one cup of Agave you put in will ferment mostly away (it's about 80% fermentable) during primary fermentation and you'll be left with minimal, if any, flavor from it. It's also going to dry out a beer that's already on the light side. Most people recommend putting Agave in after the primary fermentation has ended (5 to 7 days) so more of the flavor comes through.

CAL is an ale as it has ale yeast included with it. CAL is not "light calorie" as far as I know. Priming adds such a small volume of priming agent that it imparts little or no flavor to the beer. Primijng with cane or corn sugar (I use cane) is your best bet. You absolutely do not use a tablespoon of sugar for 16 ounce bottles unless you want to redecorate the room where you store your conditioning beer. It's one TEASPOON per 16 ouncer.

Good luck and welcome to the forum. You're probably going to want to condition that beer out longer then 4 weeks too. Many say beer with Agave takes at least 6 weeks.

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"Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=354084 said:

"TimeTraveler" post=354013 said:

[attachment=12333]Welcome01_2013-03-23.gif[/attachment]

To the Borg. Classic American Light (CAL) is basically an ale that imitates a light American lager. All Mr. B/Cooper's produces are ales. When they refer to lagering in their instructions - it is about carbing and conditioning the brew - not lager yeasts and process per se. CAL doesn't seem to have much body or flavor to it, but is just a teaching brew to show new folks how to brew beer. First, you should make the first couple of brews pretty much as instructed (except for time as I will indicate below) without modification. You need to learn the process and make sanitizing second nature. You will get to taste the brews and see what you think of them. You will then figure out what you need to do to them to make them better.

As for priming. I hope you have left the brew in the LBK (Little Brown Keg) for 3 weeks to ferment. That is the Borg's time recommendation that is longer than the Mr. B instruction. Also, prime just with the table sugar. Priming does little to modify taste and you would be wasting the agave nectar if you used it to prime. After priming and bottling - let the bottle sit at room temperatures for 4 weeks before you refrigerate one for a taste. When you do put that one in the fridge, let it sit at least 2 days before drinking to facilitate a cold crash and have any remaining yeasties settle to the bottom of the bottle. Good luck with your brew!

Damn fine answer there, TT, I'll elaborate some.


Brewmoster, hopefully you'll learn to crawl before you walk here. Doesn't strike you as kind of funny that you threw in the Agave and then came here asking what the base HME was like? That's a little bit backasswards to me.......modifying something you have no clue what it is

The one cup of Agave you put in will ferment most away (it's about 80% fermentable) during primary fermentation and you'll be left with minimal, if any, flavor from it. It's also going to dry out a beer that's already on the light side. Most people recommend putting Agave in after the primary fermentation has ended (5 to 7 days) so more of the flavor comes through.

CAL is an ale as it has ale yeast included with it. CAL is not "light calorie" as far as I know. Priming adds such a small volume of priming agent that it imparts little or no flavor to the beer. Primijng with cane or corn sugar (I use cane) is your best bet. You absolutely do not use a tablespoon of sugar for 16 ounce bottles unless you want to redecorate the room where you store your conditioning beer. It's one TEASPOON per 16 ouncer.

Good luck and welcome to the forum. You're probably going to want to condition that beer out longer then 4 weeks too. Many say beer with Agave takes at least 6 weeks.

+1 to both answers. Welcome to the forum


[attachment=12339]welcomebeer_2013-03-23-2.gif[/attachment]

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Thanks for the insight guys! Can I add agave later in the fermentation process in order to achieve some sweetness in the beer? For that matter, when is the secondary fermentation process? Is it the same thing as priming or is it a second phase in the Little Brown Keg that Mr. Beer doesn't address? They instruct you not to open the keg during fermentation so is it possible to open the keg after a week of fermentation and add agave to achieve sweetness?

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Not sure about priming with agave but I have brewed a beer with it. I made a batch of Cowboy Lager a while back and used 1 cup of agave nectar in the fermenter after primary fermetation had finished. The agave gave the Cowboy Lager just a slight taste. I am thinking you will get a bit more agave flavor with the CAL since its a lighter bodied beer. I think you'll be very pleased, let us know how it turns out.

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From my post prior:

Most people recommend putting Agave in after the primary fermentation has ended (5 to 7 days) so more of the flavor comes through.

I call the first 5 to 7 days the "primary" and the remaining 14 days the "secondary" even though I do not rack (transfer) to a secondary vessel.

The "in bottle" process is called carbonation & conditioning.

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My agave ale has been fermenting for 10 days. Can I open up my little brown keg and add agave to it so more of the agave flavor comes through? Will I risk introducing bacteria to the batch that will ruin the flavor? I have heard that the yeast will continue to eat the sugar of the agave even after introducing the sugar late in the fermentation process which would only add more alcohol rather than a sweet flavor.

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You can add to the LBK after primary is finished.

I've never used Agave so I don't know if it needs to be boiled to eliminate nasties or not.

Kealia has used it and Boe......maybe they can pop in and help out.

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I did not boil mine because it is pastuerized at the manufacturer. I simply sanitized a measuring cup, filled it to 1 cup and poured it in the LBK as slowly as i could so it didnt disturb the trub or splash too much. I did this at day 7 I believe and let it go for 14 days after that. The taste was still there but it was faint. If you want more agave flavor i would use more agave or wait until later in the fermenting process to introduce it to the LBK.

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Since Agave is a type of sugar, adding more at this point is going to turn this beer into a cidery mess (if it isn't already from the initial addition). If it even will clean up, it's going to take a couple of months at room temps in the bottles to do so.

ACL is a thin beer to start, adding adjuncts like sugar/agave/molasses/etc... is going to throw off the malt to adjunct ratio making a thin/dry/cidery "beerish" drink.

Next time, add some un-hopped liquid or dry malt extract at the start to keep your malt ratio up for the additional sugar, then add your agave a week into fermentation. Use a paper towel wet with sanitizer on the lid to keep the ickys at bay.

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Is there anyway to salvage the current batch by adding malt to even out the malt/adjunct ratio and then maybe adding more yeast to kickstart the fermentation process again? This may sound ridiculous but I'm just speculating on ways to save the batch...

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I would suggest leaving it be, don't add anything more, let it ferment a full 3 weeks, then bottle for another 4 weeks for carbing/conditioning. After the 4 weeks at room temp, put one in the fridge for a couple of days prior to drinking to allow the carb trub to solidify and the yeast to go dormant.

If it tastes cidery/vinegary, let it sit for a couple more weeks at room temp to see if that conditions out.

If it's still bad (hopefully not) you can use this as a learning experience, to ask BEFORE you brew.

Good luck, I hope it turns out for the best!

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"Brewmoster" post=354104 said:

Thanks for the insight guys! Can I add agave later in the fermentation process in order to achieve some sweetness in the beer? For that matter, when is the secondary fermentation process? Is it the same thing as priming or is it a second phase in the Little Brown Keg that Mr. Beer doesn't address? They instruct you not to open the keg during fermentation so is it possible to open the keg after a week of fermentation and add agave to achieve sweetness?

If this beer does not turn out how you imagined do not get discouraged. That is why the Borg recommends getting at least a few brews "as is" (with the only change being the 3-2-2 rule) so you know what to expect before starting to go mad scientist. It seems that everyone jumps at going that route, only to go back to doing things like a SMaSH (single malt and single hops) to really get to know how the various items contribute to the final taste.

Welcome aBorg!

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It's gonna take 6 weeks as it is.

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:chug: thanks for all the advice guys! Sounds like I'm gonna have to sit on this agave ale for quite some time and hope that it conditions into a fine aged beer. Oh we'll, it was worth a shot, I wasn't all that excited about drinking the Classic American Light, that was forced upon me in the brewers kit, to begin with. I figured it was worth sticking something in there to jazz it up, and the only thing I had available that I could try with my limited brewing knowledge was agave. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

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