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epete28

Tasted My First Beer

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I drank my 1st bottle of CAL today. Two weeks conditioning and a day in day in the fridge. It was carbed well enough I guess on just two weeks. It tasted watered down which I expected, and cidery, which didn't surprise me either. Over all I don't think it was horrible, and with what all of you say, it'll only get better I believe! I'll try another next weekend.

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Congrats. It may not be the greatest, but dammit, you made it!  And you know you can make better brews.

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As you can see by reading the forum, a lot of new brewers do what you're doing - prove to themselves that 3-4 (3 weeks fermenting, 4 weeks carbonating and conditioning) is necessary by tasting samples early, and learning that 3-4 does work best.  They also learn that CAL is probably the worst refill...  At 3 weeks it will be a bit better, then at 4.  Leaving it in the frig for 3 days, instead of 1, will help also - but CAL never is very good.

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Regarding the cider taste, that can be an indication that fermentation temperatures went a wee bit too high.  If you have not yet purchased a stick-on thermometer (not the freebie with simply a check mark for "okay"), you will probably want to do that.  Also, remember that the room temperature is not necessarily the same temperature as actively fermenting wort.

And yes, CAL is not the bestest but can server for a good basis with recipes.  But hey, you made beer !!!

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I do have a stick on thermometer now, and I did ferment the CAL too warm, 80° I'm thinking. I'm not allowing that to happen with the Bavarian I've got fermenting now. I'm keeping it in the 68° - 72° degree range. 16 days in the LBK on this batch so far.

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yay! you made beer!  all the tips are solid re lower temps and such.  you can also get different yeasts to play with in the future. I found mr beers yeast to be ok but prone to fruity off tastes. I started messing  with different yeasts like fermentis US-04 and 05 (English ale and American ale yeasts) .  if you do start experimenting always research what temps the yeast do best in...what esters they make at which temps... etc. oh and is the yeast suitable for the style of beer  you want to make.  then you can start playing with steeping grains, hops (dry hopping..hop boils)... woohoO!!!! so much to learn!!!!


take your time. go at YOUR pace. if you rush things youll find it becoming a chore to brew. it should never be a chore- and bad batches do happen. the trick is learning how to make them happen less.


 


good job man! (applauds)

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I have a Canadian Blonde refill. I'm already thinking about adding some dme, and maybe some carapils. Too soon?

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epete28 said:I have a Canadian Blonde refill. I'm already thinking about adding some dme, and maybe some carapils. Too soon?

   Congratulations.  Based on your posts these past few weeks, you have the right attitude going into this hobby.  As you expected, your first brew isn't your best.  No shock there!  The first time I made pancakes I messed them up, too.

   It definitely isn't too soon to add some DME/LME.  In fact I would *strongly* encourage it.  I tend to think part of the "watery" taste is in fact not enough malt in the standard Mr. Beer refills.  But, I only ever made one that wasn't the "deluxe" version and it was the Cerveza, which imo is the worst HME, not CAL.

   Steeping Carapils is up to you.  It's not hard, and will increase head retention.  But changing just one thing each brew, to me, is the best way to learn what is worth doing, and what isn't.  Personally I'd just start by adding more DME/LME first, then move on to a simple hop boil or flameout addition.  You'll be a master brewer in no time.  :)

   Definitely check out the recipe section on Mr. Beer's site.  I made the Leggy Blonde Belgian and enjoyed it very much.  It's just more malt and a different yeast, so easy peasy.

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Point taken on 1 added ingredient at a time. If I added 1lb of hme, would the MB yeast packet be enough?

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I've only ever used 1 of the gold foil packages, unless some different yeast was included in a recipe.  To be totally accurate, though, I've only used the Mr. Beer LME packs, which I believe are half a pound.

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Yes, 7.5 oz, I just checked em out. My lhbs is loaded with extract. Loaded with everything really! Lol

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Mr. Beer LME packs are 8.81 oz, while the DME packs are 7.5 oz.

As far as adding LME/DME or Carapils - I have to ask - what's your intent?  Why are you adding either/both?

If you're trying to learn how to steep grains, Carapils is a good one to start with since all it does is increase head retention, it doesn't impact much else.  

As far as adding LME / DME, they are different creatures.  LME, provided by Mr. Beer, gets dumped in with the HME.  DME has to be added ahead of time, and brought to a boil, as does LME bought in bulk (which is cheaper than Mr. Beer's LME).  Whichever you add, you can still use the Mr. Beer yeast.

How much to add?  Again - what's your intent?  Increase mouthfeel?  Raise ABV (shouldn't be your primary intent)?

If you read the forum (I keep saying this because it seems like I'm talking to myself), you'll see a top recommendation is to brew any given HME without any modifications the first time.  Since you've never brewed it before, you should consider NOT adding anything.  Then, brew it with some LME/DME.  Compare the two.  Then try more LME/DME and perhaps some hops.  Compare.  The key is to learn what impact various additions mean to each HME.  Adding LME/DME to Canadian Blond will have a different impact than adding it to an HME that has higher bitterness.

Having brewed two Mr. Beer batches, only tasted one and it was green/not ready, if you ask the question - is it too soon to add steeped grains and LME/DME?  I would say yes.

But, if you buy into the notion that many of us feel that Mr. Beer HME's need 1/2 to 1 lb of LME/DME (I feel that way), then perhaps it is time.

I would also point out that trying some of the Craft Series will change your perception of Mr. Beer HMEs.  

And while your beer is brewing - read the stickies...  Most of what most people ask has been asked dozens/hundreds of times, debated, talked through, and summarized.

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As far as the carapils, that's exactly my intent, head retention. I'm hoping the added malt would add some body.

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I've been instructed several times to "read the stickies", but I must be missing something. Are they the posts that are always on the top? 

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I'm not trying to rush and go all "mad scientist", but going on everyone's posts, along with the beer I tasted, green or not, the standard MB refill does seem watery. That's all I really want to remedy with the added malt. Im not trying to create a high ABV in something that tastes like crap. They sell 40 oz Malt Liquor for that! Lol

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epete28 said:I've been instructed several times to "read the stickies", but I must be missing something. Are they the posts that are always on the top? 

Yes.  On this forum:

New brewers, please read: Malt to adjunct ratios

and 

Simple Guide Line

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epete28 said:As far as the carapils, that's exactly my intent, head retention. I'm hoping the added malt would add some body.

Both of these process additions can be inserted into your brew schedule quite easily and will give you a good foundation for future brews. I would recommend a 1/4# carapils steep for 30 mins (You can google and read about water to grain ratios to get a good idea of what volumes are recommended). At the end of the steep your water should still be warm enough to dissolve a pack of LME/DME if you so choose. You could simply boil that concoction for 15 minutes and then continue on with your regular regimen (keeping water volumes and boilovers in mind). You should see an immediate change in the consistency of the wort as you pour it into the LBK.

Good luck!

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I picked up a pound of plain light DME from my lhbs. I've seen many people say that they've added the whole pound. I'm thinking that way myself, but I don't want it to be a malt bomb, although I don't mind malty beers.

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I drank a couple more beers from my 1st batch last night. What a difference a week can make! Still a tad cidery, but MUCH less than last week. I can't wait to taste it at 4 weeks! During the 3 days in the fridge though, the bottles got soft again. They were hard as rocks when I put them in. It wasn't flat, but the carbonation was really light.

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