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UltramanNick

I Give Up....

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I just tasted a batch that has been conditioning for at least 4 weeks and I had one bottle in the fridge for about 4 days. I just opened it and it's completely flat. Flat as a pancake.


I am doing something fundamentally wrong but what it is, I have no idea. But I am tired of waiting nearly 2 months to discover that all I have brewed is a flat brew.


I have a second batch that isn't quite ready for chilling and a third batch still in the LBK. Not sure what the results will be on those.

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are you batch priming or bottle priming?


are you making sure the caps on are really tight?


are you storing the primed bottles at room temp ie 68-78f? for 4 weeks?


glass or plastic bottles? if glass are they screw top bottles? if so don't use screw tops.


 


it is easy to forget the priming sugar. it is equally easy to mistakenly add too much. I use coopers carb drops. for a 1 liter bottle I use THREE drops. for a 12 oz bttle I use ONE drop. with plastic bottles caps are only good for a couple uses in my experience. then they start giving me problems sealing tightly.


 


 

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Good questions, Zorak.  I hate to see you give up, so I hope we can find you a solution.  A few more questions:

 - Walk us through your bottling process.  Maybe there is something you mention that will jump out at us...

- If you are using plastics, are they rock-solid, or can you moosh the sides in with a squeeze?  [they should be rock solid with no give]

- If you can squeeze them, can you hear air at the cap during the squeeze?  This is an indication that the caps aren't tight or aren't making a seal and need to be replaced.

- No carb at all, or no head?  The basic extracts tend to have little head retention in my experience

- What size bottles, and how much priming sugar?  

- What kind of priming sugar?

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One other question about the bottle you tried that was flat. Was that your first batch, or have you brewed previous batches successfully? Also, on the batch that isn't quite ready for chilling, if it's in plastic are the bottles hard or soft?

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Nick:

Sorry to hear that.  I was hoping that your lack of posts recently was due to you having success in the process.  I know it's been frustrating for you.  If you know you put the correct amount of sugar in, and you had the bottles at 70 degrees or so for 4 weeks, it should be fine.  I don't have any more suggestions, sorry.  

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Did Ultraman quit when he fought Gyango?

 

Did Ultraman quit when he fought Bemular?

 

Did Ultraman quit when he fought Neronga?

 

Did Ultraman quit when he fought Ragon II?

 

I think NOT.

 

 

As stated, review your priming procedures and carb temps.  (I know I have to leave my new brews upstairs right now for 4 weeks since my basement has been well below 60 degrees since early December)

 

 

Buck up Nick!  The Science Patrol NEEDS YOU!!!!!

 

 

Good Luck!

 

 

  • Haha 1

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lol

At ME, not you.

Was bottling a 5'er the other day.  Filled a couple of bottles but something didnt feel right.  I just got done taking my Chemistry of Beer quiz and was a little out of it so figured what better to do than have a homebrew and do some bottling.  Slacked off a bit and didnt use my checklist so completely forgot about adding the priming sugar.  Egads, almost had two cases of flat beer myself!

I generally use one plastic bottle to test for carb and the rest glass.  There is no way I could afford to keep my pipeline in plastic.  But, before that I found out the hard way that those caps do go bad after awhile.  Most brew shops carry them.  Or, start saving pop (Im a northerner, its pop not soda) tops and use those as they have only been used once.

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Thanks for your replies and encouragement. I think I know the issue. The bottles are kept in my man cave/office. It's gets pretty cold down there and I KNOW it's not 68 degrees -- no way.

So if I move them somewhere warmer, can they be saved? The yeast has gone to sleep? And, yes, I am absolutely SURE that sugar went in.

I will check for replies, but I am going to move these bottles upstairs to the living room where it's much warmer.  Will the yeast wake up and carbonate?

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“Over? Did you say 'over'? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! ”

? John Belushi in "Animal House"

 

put them at 70+ degrees for 3 weeks and try again

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Ok, never posted before but have read a lot of these threads  and read this one hoping you all have solved my problem as well.  I started with the Czech and went 3 weeks in the lbk, and just sampled another semi-firm plastic bottled after 4 weeks. I was conditioning two weeks "upstairs" around 68F and the remaining time in a basement and know it's well below 65F.  Only 2 of the bottles were firm and I new I tightened the caps, and primed with drops.     It has what I guess is called a cidery flavor as well.   The two bottles that were rock hard out of the bunch had nice head on pour and was cidery as well.    I'm fermenting in a water bath controlled by an aquarium heater...I think the temp ctl is fine (69f). I check the thermometer daily and its always +/- a degree.


My second batch was 1776 recipe, 3 weeks in the keg and just 2 weeks in the bottle now.  tasted at bottling and was excited by the flavor.   These bottles have been two weeks above 68F conditioning.  Just tried a bottle (capped glass , not plastic, not threaded), and heard the hiss, but virtually no head on pour.   Beer had the flavor I was expecting from tasting at bottling, but was flat tasting and no mouth appeal.....   will let it go another few weeks and try again .    I have an Aztec with some hops, and LME to ferment next and am considering maltodextrin?    The 1776 I primed right in the keg but forgot to boil the corn sugar....seems not to be an issue.  Needs more ...something.    Thanks for all the help from your previous replies & posts! 

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First, welcome...

Onto my random thoughts on the quesitons posed...

"semi-firm plastic" - means not done yet.  Should be rock hard, and even then it's not necessarily ready.

"cidery flavor" - that's acetaldehyde.  You can read up on it, but it simply means that the beer is too young.

"two weeks" "heard the hiss, but virtually no head on pour" - Too young. Also, the basic extracts, in my experience, are very much lacking in head retention.  If you could link videos here like you used to be able to, I'd add my favorite video on this subject here, but here's a link (

).  And my other favorite video on the subject (
).

"no mouth appeal" "Needs more ...something" - IMHO, you'll need to advance from the basic extracts to get that.  The basics make OK beers, but they are lacking in head retention (steep some carapils to help that) and other complexities.  Take your time, get your processes nailed, and then explore adding hop boils and grain steeps.  Will make a world of difference.

"considering maltodextrin" - Please explain what you want to get out of maltodextrin.  Not trying to dissuade you, and maybe you already have a good answer to this question, and if so, great. Simply making a point (for whoever is reading) that adding ingredients for the sake of adding ingredients and without knowing what they will add to the flavor or body won't gain you anything in your experience because you likely won't know what got you the improvement or what caused you the problem.  Again, not saying that you haven't considered this. For the record, maltodextrin will add body and mouthfeel, and is used in things such as stouts and darker/heavier beers for the most part, but can be used in other beers as well.  It can add a bit of sweetness (it is a 97%ish unfermentable sugar) and aid in head retention.  It's a substitution for the effects that mashing certain grains can give you, but in large quantities can leave an artificial taste (IMHO).  Also, side effects can include... umm... emissions for some people.  YMMV

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I would also add that putting the bottles at 70 degrees for at least 4 weeks is key.  

"I just put both batches in my son's room. It's the warmest room in the house by far."  I don't know what that means.  If it's the warmest room and it's 65, that's not sufficient.  You need to know if it's around 70 or not.  

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UltramanNick said:I just put both batches in my son's room. It's the warmest room in the house by far.

 


Since I was once a young boy, I can already predict your next post: ' popped the top and the beer was flat and watery' :) I bet I can get a top off and back on with little evidence showing.

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I am pleased to report that after moving my bottles to a warmer room in the house and letting them sit for at least 6 weeks...and then putting a number of bottles in the fridge and let them condition for at least a week, the beer has lost it's "green taste," has a nice head, good carbonation and very nice flavor!


I have a batch of Oktoberfest downstairs that has been sitting for at least a month, but I want to bring it upstairs in the warmer temperatures for a while and then condition.


I was ready to sell everything, but now I went and bought another refill kit and I am going to brew again. The warmer temperatures this week will certainly help matters.


Jim

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Patience is the key to brewing, as is a case of store bought beer while building up the pipeline.

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I agree with the other posts here.  I have been brewing with MB for about a year and a half now, and I have learned that with all the Mr. Beer recipes, the bottle conditioning is what vastly improves the flavor of most of the beers.  I know it can be hard to wait, but it is worth it.  My newest batch of the Bohemian Bronze is a perfect example.  Tried it at 3 weeks, and it was still slightly sweet.  Now its been 6 weeks and has improved immensely!  I have tried the Columbus Cascading Ale and found that to be perfect at 8 weeks.  All total I've brewed 10 or so batches and the only one that I found difficult to drink was the Diablo.  It was thick, very dark and BITTER!  Being from Michigan I would love to find a Mr. Beer recipe that has a similar flavor to my favorite, Kalamazoo Bell's Brewery Two Hearted Ale.  Still searching and enjoying all of the Mr. Beer recipes!  Cheers and Happy Brewing!


 

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As a Michigander I too HAD to make a Bell's 2Hearted.  I dont think there is a MrB recipe that comes close.  However, there are plenty of clone recipes out there.  If you are close to Adventures In Homebrewing they have a kit they can put together.  Most likely they will scale it down to a 2.5g batch for your or at the very least split it into 2 batches.

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Thanks for the info!  Love home brewers and the kinship and help this forum provides!  I am near Kalamazoo and will check it out, Thanks again!


 

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I've made beer with Mr. Beer HME's and some Michigan grown malt and hops I bought from AIHB.  Try a partial mash or just use some of the Michigan grown hops to give your beer a real Wolverine flair!

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JWB said:I've made beer with Mr. Beer HME's and some Michigan grown malt and hops I bought from AIHB.  Try a partial mash or just use some of the Michigan grown hops to give your beer a real Wolverine flair!

I did not realize that Adventures is selling Michigan hops now.  Im heading over there after work to drop off some Zeus for one of the guys so will need to ask them about that - and why they are not buying from me lol.

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Because you likely aren't pricing it so that he can make his desired margin...  LOL    I loved the discussion I had with him about StarSan, why he was selling it 50% higher than everyone else online.  He said "that's are markup".

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Yup, remember the StarSan thing.  Which is strange as they generally have great prices.  I am thinking that is one of those things that many people will just pick up even if it costs more since someone generally wont order just that online since the shipping would make it even more expensive.  I rarely buy elsewhere unless someone has a killer deal so I generally just pick it up there.  A bottle lasts me forever especially since I use EasyClean on bottling days that it doesnt phase me too much.

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