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Aztec HME Questions

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Hi all!

This is my second Mr. Beer brew, and I have a couple of questions.

First of all, what is standard conditioning time for this particular brew? My first was the Octoberfest, and it took a good four months to develope a full flavor profile. I know this is more of a Corona knock-off, so I'm just curious if there will be a shorter conditioning time needed.

Secondly, does anyone have any suggestions for kicking this up a notch or two? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

B

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We recommend 3 weeks fermenting and then 4 weeks conditioning (at 70 degrees or so) for all recipes. Some do take longer, although a regular refill with no adjuncts should not take 4 months.

Chase flavor, not ABV. Base refills are 3.1%, add a half to whole pound of LME/DME to increase mouthfeel and ABV.

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Welcome..

remember the 3-4-3 motto.. 3 weeks fermenting (doesn't matter on the beer always do the 3 weeks), 4 weeks conditioning(minimum) and 3 days in the fridge right before your going to drink it.  As you said it took four months for full flavor that you really noticed.  The longer conditioning the better depending on the beer.  But every batch is different and it all depends on everything you put in and the steps you took to brew and condition.

 

+1 on what RickBeer said.. chase flavor (you will have some yuck yuck beer that you can barely drink if you go for abv.)  and add LME OR DME.

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I find that I like the Aztek made with 1 pack booster improving the mouth feel but not adding to maltiness, and and bit more hoppiness by adding 0.5 oz Cascade hop in a bag into the wort. This comes out fairly clean tasting and with a bit more oomph. I have also tried it with Pislner DME and Saaz hops. More malty but again it depends what you are after in taste. Try making small adjustments and see what you like. I like to get this refreshing and clean tasting. At other times I will like to drink the darker or more malty or more bitter brews too.

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Thanks for the tips! I am definitely about flavor over ABV. If I wanted to make moonshine, I would've bought a different kit.  :)

 

Nickfixit, I really appreciate the tips for adders. I have another Aztec refill, so maybe I'll give one a whirl with the next one.

 

3-4-3 it is, a little patience, and a whole lotta fun!

 

thanks again!

 

B

 

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I find that I like the Aztek made with 1 pack booster improving the mouth feel but not adding to maltiness, and and bit more hoppiness by adding 0.5 oz Cascade hop in a bag into the wort. This comes out fairly clean tasting and with a bit more oomph. I have also tried it with Pislner DME and Saaz hops. More malty but again it depends what you are after in taste. Try making small adjustments and see what you like. I like to get this refreshing and clean tasting. At other times I will like to drink the darker or more malty or more bitter brews too.

As far as adding the hops, add as the wort boils, or after putting in the LBK?

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You're not boiling wort.  You're boiling 4 cups of hot water, removing from heat, dumping in the HME to make wort.  No boiling.  In this case, you're doing aroma hops by adding the bag right when you put the can of HME for aroma.

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This reminds me, I've got a batch of Aztec with Golden LME in my LBK right now that needs to be bottled.  Both the HME and the LME were past their best by dates, but as both packages were intact I'm confident that the beer will be fine.  I bought some new yeast (one of the Saflagers, can't remember which at the moment) just to be sure.  If you all will excuse me, I've got some beer to bottle!

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On adding the hops - yes, what Rick said. No boiling required unless you want more bitterness. you can probably add a couple IBU by boiling for about 5-10 min.

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You're not boiling wort.  You're boiling 4 cups of hot water, removing from heat, dumping in the HME to make wort.  No boiling.  In this case, you're doing aroma hops by adding the bag right when you put the can of HME for aroma.

So add the HME to the water along with a hop sack with the hops. Got it. Does the sack come out at any time, or does it stay in until bottling?

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On adding the hops - yes, what Rick said. No boiling required unless you want more bitterness. you can probably add a couple IBU by boiling for about 5-10 min.

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Part of the reason for the boil is to cleans/ sterilize the hop sack. So usually you are boiling the water with the addition of the hop sack

with the hops in it. Remove from the heat and add the HME. No harm in a short boil with LME in there, it gives the hops a bonding agent. Am

I right fellow brewers?

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By the way, I have an Aztec that I bottled 5 weeks ago with a 1/2 oz. centennial dry hopped and its pretty good. Not bad for a lighter beer,

although I usually go for a recipe with Bewitched Amber Ale or Oktoberfest as a base.

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I got the bewitched with a Golden LME and some cascade hops. I am greatly looking forward to it.

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To answer your original quesiton, I have made 3 recipes with the Aztec (2 Fresco Chile Lime...highly rec'd, and one Chug a Lugger), they all were good. The latter didn't really begin to shine until about 8-10 weeks in the bottle. The former hit their peak after about 6 weeks in the bottle. Both were fine with shorter bottle conditioning (3-4 weeks) but waiting will make it better. The Aztek kit when mixed with booster or LME is pretty good IMHO.

 

All the more reason to make a pipeline, otherwise you get impatient and drink them all before they hit their peak flavor.

 

Making my 3rd Fresco Chile Lime this weekend and can't wait.

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if you boil hops in just water you get just hop tea.  ive done this once.  ick. hops require malt in order to be fully utilized ie release their oils.  since you don't boil hopped malt extract because that would drive off the hoppy goodness already in it, you boil dme or lme with water... and add hops to it.  a short boil - you get flavor and aroma but not much bittering.  a longer boil you get it all.

 

 

when I do use a hop sack I just wash it... rinse it well... and give it a soak in starsan solution for a minute or so. add the hops.. toss into the lbk for dry hopping.  I don't use a sack when doing a lme boil. hops need to float around freely in the malt to get the most contact with the malt...

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So, after looking at some of the MB recipes using the Aztec, reading a bunch of postings here, on Facebook, and other forums, I'm thinking of trying a modification of the Noche De Luna recipe. 2 lbs. Smooth LME, with Tettnanger hops at a 10-15 minute boil with the LME, followed by Columbus for dry hopping.

 

Am I going into "Mad Scientist" territory with the additional hops, or does it sound legit? Also, what yeast would you all recommend?

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I tend to use the flavor hops (that's what your doing with the Tettnanger). For aroma also (10 min or less). I prefer a 5 min addition (imo gives good aroma). No point adding flavor with out adding aroma as that is most of our sense of taste. 

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