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Jkellahan92

1st batch

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Hello everyone I recently recieved my Mr Beer kit and I'm very excited to see how my 1st batch comes out.

After 1 day everything is kind of settled in the bottom of the keg, just wondering is this normal?

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Yes it is completely normal.  To keep the trub, ( stuff that is settled on the bottom of the keg), put 2 CD cases under the front of the keg to tilt it, so that the trub falls to the back of the keg. 

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Yep, You're on your way. Most of us let it ferment for 3 weeks, then bottle. Then leave the bottles in the dark at room temp for 4 weeks to carb and condition.  

Welcome to the forum!

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Jkellahan92 said:After 1 day everything is kind of settled in the bottom of the keg, just wondering is this normal?

   Hello and welcome to this hobby!

   Yeast is a living organism, and all living organisms produce waste.  Guess what that stuff on the bottom is...  If you *didn't* have that layer of trub (what the waste is called) you'd be in trouble.

   No clue what instructions or directions you've read so far, and we all understand the excitement of the first batch, but do yourself a huge favor and just let the fermentor sit undisturbed for 3 weeks before bottling.  Then let the bottle sit at room temperature for 4 weeks.

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Thanks for the input guys, I'm really excited about my new hobby. I've been looking to get into a new hobby and I love trying new beer so this seemed let the right thing to do!

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Welcome. Read through the forum for recommendations as to fermenting and conditioning. It is a great hobby, but take the time to read and learn. Mr. Beer products can turn out some very good beers, and you can tweak and change things later on to suit your individual tastes. The more I learn the more interesting brewing becomes, and I am finding out there are lots of ways to go beyond the basic kits to produce great beer. 

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Wow, I have the same settlement. Getting concerned about waiting so long!  May have to go to the store in the meantime!  Lol

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foamy stuff on top - krausen  .... good stuff, means youre making beer and yeast are happy.


 


cruddy stuff on bottom - trub  ('troob')  ---  icky stuff that also means youre making beer and yeast are happy.


when you pitch your yeast... and notice it starting to bubble and make little foamy bits on top... and you see trub on the bottem of the lbk all is well!  note that it takes time though. don't rush the yeast. some ferments you get action going in hours. some take a day or two. no two fermentations are alike.

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Congrats on catching the fever.  I'm getting a second lbk too so I can start another type.  I went to an all grain brewing class at my local brew store this weekend and all it did was convince me to stick with the extract method. 

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Jkellahan92 said:I believe I have caught the fever... I'm ordering a second lbk this weekend 

Congrats and welcome to the obsession!  Remember that the first few batches may be just "okay" but that is fine as you are dealing with the basic kits.  Over time once you got the basics mastered you can move on to the recipes, steeping specialty grains, using hops, etc.

M42, down the road dont be discouraged about AG, or steeps or partial mashes for that matter.  There is simply a learning curve.  Many - like myself - do both.  For me it depends on how much time I can devote to a brew day.  A MrB batch I can kick out in around 20 minutes.  If I have a couple of hours, I will go the extract route.  If it is a Me-Day, I will pull out my mash tun and do an all grain.

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I fully intend to get another LBK, I just haven't done it yet. Once I have two I will start experimenting with full size batches. The LHBS here has 5 gl UME kits that look mighty tempting.

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there is nothing wrong with doing extracts only.  all grain can be really really complicated... so don't feel the need to rush into it. ive been doing extracts for 3 years... and will hopefully start doing all grain biab (brew in a bag) by next year tax time.


learn the basics. take your time. rushing things will only over complicate things and make brewing not fun anymore. you can make a LOT of great 5 gallon batches from extract.  northern brewer has a good selection.

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The full grain looks to be a big step up in the process.  Lots of new equipment, etc.  I am interested in enhancing the extract kits by boiling some bags of grains and hops.  So for now, I need to learn which grains or hops will help each kit.  

Thanks for the advise guys.

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As Zorak says, take your time, don't skip steps along the way while you learn, and there will be no limit on what you do.  It's an easy step to steep specialty grain and boil hops.  When you can do that, you can do partial-mash, then start all-grain for styles that need that.  An advantage of the 2.25 gallon size is that you don't need fancy equipment.  For brew-in-a-bag (BIAB) I have been able to use a picnic beverage cooler as a mash tun, 3-gallon spaghetti pot as a boil pot, a $1 paint strainer for lautering, the Mr Beer LBK for the fermenter, and only need inexpensive brewing tools.  Those who sell equipment just don't want you to realize that. 

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ive been researching all grain for nearly a year without trying it yet. had i tried to do this by just buying a mess of new equipment and diving in as a noob... i would have found it confusing, overcomplicated... and would have probably given up.  go at your own pace. learn.

my progression was like this:

studied extract brewing, brewing in general (palmer has  a great site on how to brew) for a couple months.

found mr beer community. read everything i could here.

asked questions.. so many questions.

saw a simple modification to a mr beer kit and got the ingredients.  it was a west coast pale ale with orange peel, an lme packet and a hop addition.  i was comfortable with the process... and mr beer makes it so easy ... it came out great.

i made a couple more kits with tweaks that others suggested (even though many suggest doing as is first).. and they came out great.  after about a year i branched out to 5 gallon kits with steeping grains and hop boils.

two years of extracts with steeping grains and hop boils later, and i think i am ready to start brew in a bag with all grain. i have my recipe all figured out with much appreciated help from mashani. i have my water conditioning figured out... just a matter of money and time....

so go at your own pace. take time to enjoy the hobby uncomplicated.

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Let me insert a step that helped me take a giant leap into all-grain brewing.  As I tried to read and think about what to do, I had a number of questions that had me stumped:  how could I control my mash temperature, what could I use as a lauter tun, etc.  I came across an all-grain kit that had all the ingredients measured, the grains milled, and detailed instructions.  After using it, I tried to replicate a version on my own, and didn't worry that I dumped that 2nd batch because I saw my mistakes.  Many LHBS have these kits now.  From that kit, I could add extract and turn the 1-gallon kit into a partial mash in the LBK, then double the recipe to a full LBK all-grain batch.  I don't use the kit's methods now, but that's because it let me improve on them.  Happy brewing!

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soon, my first foray into all grain will involve this:


ive the recipe ready.i'll be making a small batch ...   I've plugged and chugged to get a water profile that is balanced. I have accounted for ph of the mash. got the water profile from the manufacturer for the mineral water I use... (thanks guys!)


ive a coleman type 5 gallon cooler, a 5 gallon paint strainer bag.


I will line the cooler with the bag. have the grain pre crushed and ready to go on arrival though pre-crushing compromises freshness a little.. it's just my first go.


ive plugged and chugged to get the required mash water and temp..


mash water to temp.. into cooler with bag.... add grain...stir stir stir... check ph... add chemicals.. check ph.. adjust ph with lactic acid if necessary... lid on.. sit for 70-80 minutes.


using just the drain nozzle with maybe a funnel and hose, draw off extract from grain. remove bag...into a bucket with holes or a collender... squishy squishy to get out more extract..then rinsey rinsey with sparge water.. I want it all dang it.


 


check gravity and volume and proceed as normal with boil, hop additions, etc.  this is after a year or more of researching all grain.. biab... technique... water chemistry... etc ... I research everything to pieces before I start because I like research. the more I do, the less chance i'll get overwhelmed. I'm not worried about beta rest or alpha rest or this rest or that rests... or multistage rests..or decoction mashing or.... just want to see what I get and build on that.


soon as I get the cash to spend....   I am ready.

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Zorak,

Although I skipped the BIAB step (even though I bought the darn bag for steeping), I have heard from a lot of people that for BIAB you should ask for a double crush to improve efficiency.  If you are talking a few days for the grain to be shipped, you should not lose much if any freshness assuming they vacuum back it.

As you have the Gott-style cooler, did you think about just converting it with a valve and braided hose and going all grain?  Even if you do the BIAB those two items would probably help out anyway and would be useful down the road.

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How is this batch coming along? Did you bottle it yet, or are you letting it ferment the full 21 days?

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