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Monsteroyd

Brewing Success with non-ideal temps + process

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I am wondering how this happened. Luck probably? I made a couple of batches of beer, one using MrBeer's Patriot 'Lager' HME and one using the Aztec Cerveza HME.

Here's the basic recipes for both

Mr Beer Patriot 'Lager' HME
Pale LME
Booster
OG 1.062
FG 1.014
ABV 6.29

Mr Beer Aztec Cerveza
Pale LME
Booster
zest and juice from 3 limes
OG 1.054
FG 1.012
ABV 5.50

Now both of these were 3 weeks in the fermenter and 4 weeks in the bottle at room tempoerature.

My fermentation temps were/are a constant 73 degrees F.

Both of these beers came out crystal clear, and perfectly carbonated I think. Also I think they taste great. The cerveza had a wonderful lime aroma and taste, SWMBO loved it.

Now here are the things that I think would be judged as not right in these.

1) I used 2.5 teaspoons table sugar to carb. Mr beers recommended level higher than what is recommended here.
2) too high of fermentation temps - 73F
3) I did not cold crash before bottling
4) I did not rehydrate the yeast
5) Used Booster

Things I did do:
1) anal retentive sanitation, but mostly with One Step.
2) 3 weeks in LBK
3) 4 weeks Carb + Condition

I am not complaining or arguing about anything, I just wanted to point out that you can make a great beer and still not do everything ideally. Now I like a less bitter more malty beer, and I probably can't even recognize the 'off' flavors. But, man, these are really great tasting beers. I can't believe how crystal clear they came out and how great the head retention was.

Monty

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Beer is actually a lot more forgiving than one might think. My first four or five batches or so were all fermented at the 73-75 range and may have even gone a bit higher. All turned out fine. I've also never rehydrated my dry yeast and have used booster a few times also. Never with any problems. Actually, the two brews I made with booster are actually my two favorite to date.

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Glad to hear of your success. Following the directions, which lately some have posted they didn't do, does result in good, drinkable beer. Following Borg guidelines, which you added in, helps things. Adding LME/DME or steeping grains also makes it better.

Some people like Mr. Beer's carbonation levels. They aren't wrong, nor is what I do (65% of those levels) wrong. Anything that you like is right.

Cold crashing isn't done by most unless they have fruit or other things in the beer. While it does help, it's not going to impact the taste really, only possibly the appearance but more likely you helps you get more out of the LBK since the trub firms up and doesn't flow as easily to the nozzle.

Sanitation is good. You said "mostly with One Step", perhaps implying it isn't as good as others. One Step / Easy Clean are just as good as others, just not as fast acting. I use them exclusively for the year I've been brewing.

Some like booster. Some don't. If you brew with, and without booster, then you can compare. I'd argue that with LME added you shouldn't use booster, but I don't like booster. If you do, more power to you. The key is what you like, not what I like or what others like. Booster isn't bad, it's just different than other things you can add. And you shouldn't use too much of it.

Temp matters. 73 degrees, if the contents never got higher, can be ok with Mr. Beer's yeast. However, unless you compare to a different temp, side by side, you don't know if it would be a different taste. I haven't compared side by side, I don't brew multiple versions of a recipe to see how things impact them, so I can only go by the same guidelines you read. My first brew was in the summer when the AC was on, 74 or so. Not great. My first Fall brews were made with a space heater on in the closet as the temps fell at night to mid 60s in the house. Not ideal, nor advised. Most of them were ok. But then again some had booster, some had fruit, and I had no idea back then of the effect of any of them.

My latest brews were made during the winter and the wort temp (not air) was in the mid 60s, then moved to the basement as it got warmer to keep those temps. With basement air temp at 70 now I'm done until Fall.

What you've proven is that not matter what you do, absent of putting a cat's butt in your beer (old post), you'll make beer. And you should celebrate that. And you should experiment, like keeping some of each batch and making it again without booster. Or at 65 degrees. Or _____

Or, like me, eventually add steeping grains, then do hop boils with LME/DME and no HME from recipes you find. Then, if you're really into it, progress to all grain.

Congrats on your success!

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Thanks Guys. I guess I maybe wasn't so lucky as clean? :)

Anyway here's a picture I took of the patriot ale last night on the patio:


[attachment=14231]PatAleGlassShrunk.png[/attachment]

And it works real well too. :silly:

Monty

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"Monsteroyd" post=386693 said:

Thanks Guys. I guess I maybe wasn't so lucky as clean? :)

Anyway here's a picture I took of it last night on the patio:

[attachment]PatLagerBeer.jpg[/attachment]


Monty

Not a very good looking beer...

Reduce the size in Microsoft Paint or similar.

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Yep done. Hey do you know what the size limit is? This is under 1 meg now and it seemed to work.

Monty

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Recently I've been reading about the history of beer making. When you consider the conditions in place a couple of hundred years ago it's no surprise that we can usually make good beer with a less than perfect process.

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Good point. My in-laws parents brewed during the Depression and they have recollections of open containers being stirred now and then...

Then again, one of them has never drank and the other has one beer a year and has no taste preferences...

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When it is summer, or ya live where it is always warm brew Belgiums & Saisons temp not an issue. Gotta love those beers that throw out 99.9% of brewing wisdom and come out great!!!

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"RickBeer" post=386724 said:

Good point. My in-laws parents brewed during the Depression and they have recollections of open containers being stirred now and then...

Then again, one of them has never drank and the other has one beer a year and has no taste preferences...

my dad used to make wine like that. Outside on a cover patio. Until we went out to stir it one morning and found a very drunk raccoon swimming in his elderberry blossom wine!!!!

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Cold crashing before bottling is not necessary. I never have done it. And in MY opinion, the "my" is capitalized because I know many here disagree with me, neither is rehydrating your yeast. I don't think I have done that on more than half a dozen batches in my 3 and a half years of brewing. I think proper oxygenation and pitching temperatures are far more important.

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Interesting Gymrat. I agree with you. It is YOUR beer and I have MY beer. I'm not saying to do or not do anything, I was just pointing out prolly more for the newer guys, that even if you don't do things 'right', you can still get a decent beer. I am not saying to do it, but my temps are horrible, 73-74, but I get a decent beer. I've only had one batch that might have been infected or had 'off-flavors' and even that was drinkable, my buddy actually liked it. I am right now drinking 4 different kinds of MB homebrew (Oktoberfest, canadian, cerveza, and patriot), and they all are really good beer, I think. And they are all just some MB HME+LME+Sugar (honey, booster, etc) not even dry hopped, or with steeped grains or anything. I'm having fun just flavoring the regular MB HME's with honey, vanilla, cinnamon, etc. Now I do have one batch coming ready in a couple of weeks that has my first partial mash, hop boil, and dry hops, so I might go, wow, that blows away my normal stuff, but I might not too. I don't know yet, but it is great fun to have friends and family try my silly extract beers, and have them like what I am making.

Monty

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