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Propping Up Your LBK - No Trubal

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As you start into your brewing life, you learn that the trub on the bottom is a pain in the bottom (wow, he said that?), because it clogs your spout or bottling wand and gets in your beer. People who have been brewing for a while tell you that you can prop up the LBK with a CD case. You may say "what's a CD case"? If you try it, you will find that they crack, and slide around. And when you have an overflow they get all gooky (technical beer term).

My solution was to build custom ramps (I use the word "custom" to hide the fact that I cannot cut a straight line with a straight edge). Work great, they stop the LBK from sliding sideways, or back, and hold it in the perfect position to fill bottles. I should patent it, but Mr. Beer is likely to get rid of them someday because of their new 8LX fermenters, so I guess I won't.

I inherited / stole a fermentation freezer this summer, and the ramps work great - on two shelves. On the other shelf they are too tall, and the shelves cannot be adjusted. This summer, before I stole the freezer, I brewed at my in-law's and the neighbor brewed his first batches with me, and shared the space. He was remolding his kitchen and had spare tiles, so he used those to prop up the LBKs. Fancy, expensive tile.

This week I started using my newly acquired Target LBKs, and have 4 going. I put the LBKs on DVD cases and cracked several. Today I stopped at Lowe's and bought white subway tiles, 3" x 6", for $.22 each. All set. 4 for $.88 plus tax.

Here's the tiles: 730575623587lg.jpg

Here's the ramps, which I then stained with extra stain (that smelled for months and isn't waterproof):

post-57583-0-88524300-1422722516_thumb.j

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I prop mine up with a couple cases, not while brewing, but at bottling after cold crashing and it keeps the bottles pretty "clean".

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I like the idea.  But I put my LBK in it's bottling position (ie kitchen counter), and I let it sit there for a few hours to let the disturbed trub settle out.

 

Additionally, I do the opposite of your ramp!  When beer line in the LBK gets too low flow nicely out, I actually prob the BACK end up (very carefully to not disturb the trub) so that I can get more beer out and into the bottles.

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I like the idea.  But I put my LBK in it's bottling position (ie kitchen counter), and I let it sit there for a few hours to let the disturbed trub settle out.

 

Additionally, I do the opposite of your ramp!  When beer line in the LBK gets too low flow nicely out, I actually prob the BACK end up (very carefully to not disturb the trub) so that I can get more beer out and into the bottles.

 

If you cold crash, you don't want it sitting out for a few hours.  Regardless, if you prop it up when it's fermenting, and then you don't prop it up when it's sitting on your counter for hours, you are flowing the trub back towards the spigot.  

 

Yes, when you're almost empty, you need to prop up the back of the LBK to get every last drop.

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Wouldn't a door jamb work or even a book (you know, those internet pages printed on paper with ink and bound together often with thick card covers )? When I make wine and use a glass carboy or bottlng bucket  I often use a book to angle the fermenter so that the inlet of the racking tube or siphon is submerged even as the height of the remaining wine to be racked or bottled would not otherwise be above the tip of the tube

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A door jamb would be very narrow, the LBK could fall off either side.  A book would work but if the LBK overflows and you have it in a tub or on a cookie sheet you'd ruin the book.  Note the reference to gooky when I used CD cases.

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If you cold crash, you don't want it sitting out for a few hours.  Regardless, if you prop it up when it's fermenting, and then you don't prop it up when it's sitting on your counter for hours, you are flowing the trub back towards the spigot.  

 

Yes, when you're almost empty, you need to prop up the back of the LBK to get every last drop.

I don't cold crash.  And I have never had any problems with trub in my LBKs.  The danger with trub does come into play when you prop up the back to "get every last drop."  But when I do it an hour or 2 before I bottle, that trub has settled and therefore no issues.

 

I supposed if I had more free-floating stuff in my keg like unbagged hops or loose fruit bits, I would really need to cold crash.

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Wouldn't a door jamb work or even a book (you know, those internet pages printed on paper with ink and bound together often with thick card covers )? When I make wine and use a glass carboy or bottlng bucket  I often use a book to angle the fermenter so that the inlet of the racking tube or siphon is submerged even as the height of the remaining wine to be racked or bottled would not otherwise be above the tip of the tube

I use whatever I have laying around.  Two times ago it was the ring from a mason jar I had laying out from canning.  Since the lid was put away last batch, I used a roll of electrical tape that didnt make its way back to the workbench.  Yup, I am a creature of laziness.

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In reference to the LBK, are people propping up the front end near the spiggot, so the trub flows to the "back" of the LBK?  Or propping up the back, so the trub settles below the spigot?  I have yet to brew my first batch, so I am having trouble picturing where and how the trub will gather.

 

Thanks.

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A door jamb would be very narrow, the LBK could fall off either side.  A book would work but if the LBK overflows and you have it in a tub or on a cookie sheet you'd ruin the book.  Note the reference to gooky when I used CD cases.

 

Ah... yes.. but I stand my LBK on one of those small wooden boxes that clementines are sold in (keeps the spigot well off the table) and it is fairly easy to balance the box on a door jam..

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When my Mr. B refills arrive, I tear one (or more) of the flaps off the cardboard box packaging. I proceed to fold said flaps over "x" times to the desired thickness, and slide under the front of my LBK to achieve the desired tilt. I recycle the balance of the cardboard packaging, and happily pocket the $0.88 I could've spent at Lowes on subway tiles.

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In reference to the LBK, are people propping up the front end near the spiggot, so the trub flows to the "back" of the LBK?  Or propping up the back, so the trub settles below the spigot?  I have yet to brew my first batch, so I am having trouble picturing where and how the trub will gather.

 

Thanks.

They are tilting it back away from the spiggot.

I am mostly making lagers so I have to move my LBK to and from my cooler so it's pointless for me to prop it when I'm just going to disturb it when I move to bottle.

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I cut two, one for each LBK, 1" srtips of 1/4" plywood that I had leftover after my recent 6-pack Lunchbox project. They don't crack like the CD cases and are wide enough that my LBKs are stable. Was basically free since I would have thrown out the scrap bits anyway.

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I cut two, one for each LBK, 1" srtips of 1/4" plywood that I had leftover after my recent 6-pack Lunchbox project. They don't crack like the CD cases and are wide enough that my LBKs are stable. Was basically free since I would have thrown out the scrap bits anyway.

I did nearly the same thing. I was using the CD cases at first but when I was putting up a cedar picket fence I saw a golden opportunity for the extra pieces I had to cut off when I got to a hill. Works like a charm. I'll say one thing, we sure got a lot of improvising individuals in this hobby.

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I am just lazy. I really do not have a big trub problem as I use mainly only extracts not grain, and it settles well into the LBK trough. Any that transfers to bottles settles firmly to the bottom after a few weeks. 

I flush the first 1/8 cup or so until the spigot is trub-free, then bottle until close to end then I just tilt carefully towards spigot, watching through the open top so I stop before I get significant trub in bottle. I always consider the last bottle as an early taste experiment anyway so I am not too concerned if a bit of yeast gets in there. Besides, it will carbonate faster.

 

I guess with all grain and loose hops you have a bunch more stuff floating around to be worried about.

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Only filter I could think of would be a gold-catching sluice.  Some sort of plastic miner's moss.

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yea its a tricky task, I use just about anything to tilt it, but I deal with it sliding so I took an old printing blanket I use on a diamond envelope press I operate, the back side is an adhesive material, with a rubber matte finish on the other side. I basically wrap the cut size blanket around a block of wood that's cut at an angle with the rubber side holding the block in place and preventing the lbk from sliding.

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Sorry if I missed a post on the same question.

 

Should you also prop the 8Lx?  I noticed trubal collected around the spigot so a few bottles have that now.

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The spigot on the 8Lx is much higher than on the LBK so propping may not be necessary. But you can prop it up if you feel the sediment is too loose/thick.

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Would you suggest that I prop up my LBK with 6 days of fermenting already going on or is this a process that should be done at the beginning to not disturb the process?

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You can do it now. Many people will prop it up during cold crashing only. Others will prop it up during the whole fermentation. As long as it has time to resettle, propping it up now should be fine.

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OK, I will prop it up when I get home today just to make sure not to get any trub in my beer and get the most out of my LBK when I bottle it. Thanks!

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21 minutes ago, Cuban IPA said:

OK, I will prop it up when I get home today just to make sure not to get any trub in my beer and get the most out of my LBK when I bottle it. Thanks!

 

Don't forget that cold crashing for 24-48 hours before bottling will also help. ;)

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Yeah, I just finished reading Ricks thread on cold crashing and I am going to try it with the Diablo IPA. 

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Finally prop up my LBK using two small books to be on the safe side but noticed that the trub is a real small layer on the bottom. I dont think it will reach the spigot. But no harm in propping. 

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Different beers create different trub levels, better safe than sorry. 

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10 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Different beers create different trub levels, better safe than sorry. 

 

Exactly!

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Two or three pieces of tapered shim stock if you have laying around can be clued or stapled to a piece of plywood to set your LBK on  to create the slant.  They even make plastic shim stock which would be cleaner to use and could be clued to a plastic tray also.  Home Depot or similar sells these in small bundles.

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Is there a secret pouring method from spigot to bottle or is just tilting the bottle and letting it rip the norm. I just keep hearing about aeration issues. Does this not apply here?

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6 minutes ago, Coop said:

Is there a secret pouring method from spigot to bottle or is just tilting the bottle and letting it rip the norm. I just keep hearing about aeration issues. Does this not apply here?

 

Using a bottling wand is the best method. But if you must pour from the spigot, do it at an angle to prevent oxidation.

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I've bottled 6 kegs now and haven't had any trouble. I've crashed very cold 1-2 days in the fridge and overnight in an ice chest partially covered with ice. I haven't propped the front end up, but the trub has ended up really firm so that when I move it into position (an open shelf above my kitchen work surface) and attach the tubing and wand to start filling, it hasn't stirred. when the level gets down and the spigot starts sucking air, I prop up the back end and get the last one or two bottles. Only the very last few drops has trub, so I mark that bottle for extra cold-conditioning before opening. I haven't opened any of those yet, but I'll soon know if my good-to-the-last-drop eagerness to maximize yield is causing any problem. :)

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My first two lbk's I bottled I didn't have propped up, and only the last half bottle on both batches had a little trub in them ,but I did prop up my wheat brew that's fermenting now,I'll see soon if there's a difference, but I'm thinking not

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If there wasn't a difference from propping it up or cold crashing, why would we do it... ;)

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On 1/8/2017 at 5:25 AM, RickBeer said:

Bumping this for new brewers that cannot see each signature.

 

Pinned. :)

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Don't use a dirty, smelly sneaker, otherwise you should be fine.  :lol:

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3 hours ago, GoBucks64 said:

I'm gonna use a couple shims. Should do the trick. 

I usually use my wallet cuz its always on me. Then the next morning im turning the house upside down looking for my wallet. Yup, sad but true 

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6 hours ago, GoBucks64 said:

I'm gonna use a couple shims. Should do the trick. 

I use the plastic 4 pack holders... stack em up to the height needed... 

A3h5NE_plastic-6-pack-holder.jpg

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I got two heavy duty (extra wide) door stop from a local hardware store, taped them together using the ever popular and handy duct tape.  Wide enough to not let the LBK slip one side or the other,  As I neared the end of the bottling, all I needed to do was set the LBK back a little more. No trub, or very very little ended up in the last bottle.

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I found a like 1 by 1 piece of wood about 12 inches long left from a window repair the fits nicely across the foil turkey roaster pan the lbk sits in so no messes. No sliding. Now to wait for the beer to carb n condition lol.  Oh I'm not good at this waiting business. .....

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13 minutes ago, morriganpoe said:

I found a like 1 by 1 piece of wood about 12 inches long left from a window repair the fits nicely across the foil turkey roaster pan the lbk sits in so no messes. No sliding. Now to wait for the beer to carb n condition lol.  Oh I'm not good at this waiting business. .....

Rick will be proud!  ??

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I will testify that both propping the keg while fermenting and cold crash worked beautifully. I used a piece of scrap lumber about 1inch thick, 6 inches long. That has worked great and no issue with sliding off. Only the last bottle got a little trub because I was being greedy. That won't be a problem after chilling that bottle when the time comes. Is it strange that the trub beer carbonated the fastest even though it was only half full? I fermented for three weeks. Still active yeast? Maybe time to get a hydrometer.

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41 minutes ago, Marius said:

I will testify that both propping the keg while fermenting and cold crash worked beautifully. I used a piece of scrap lumber about 1inch thick, 6 inches long. That has worked great and no issue with sliding off. Only the last bottle got a little trub because I was being greedy. That won't be a problem after chilling that bottle when the time comes. Is it strange that the trub beer carbonated the fastest even though it was only half full? I fermented for three weeks. Still active yeast? Maybe time to get a hydrometer.

 

No, it's not strange, as it has a ton of yeast in it from the trub, only some of which is dead yeast.  Hopefully you put in 1/2 the sugar too...

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Asking for a friend. What would be the consequence of putting two carb drops and only 1/2 of the 740ml full? Explosion or over fizzing beer? Any solutions to such a scenario?

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Over fizzy beer.  PET bottles almost never give way, whereas a glass bottle could burst (a "bottle bomb").  Unlikely, but possible.

 

You could burp the bottle at 1 week by unscrewing the cap, listening to the gas come out, and then recap.


You could also pour it, let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes, then drink it. 

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Bottled my Bewitched Amber today, and cold crashed for 2.5 days at 36F and got a cleaner yield as opposed to my Oktoberfest that I only cold crashed for 24 hrs.

Trub stayed put so much that even when I tilted the keg forwards quite a bit for that last PET bottle it never budged.

 

 

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Bottled in glass yesterday for first time. With the capping it took longer than filling the PET bottles. Tilting the LBK for the last bottle I could see the change in color in the bottling wand right as I got to the end, so marked that one for trub.

 

I cold crashed for 3 days, but was stopping and capping every 6 bottles. I'm thinking that extra time allowed the trub to soften and slide forward. Should or do you fill all your bottles first to avoid this, and then cap them?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

Bottled in glass yesterday for first time. With the capping it took longer than filling the PET bottles. Tilting the LBK for the last bottle I could see the change in color in the bottling wand right as I got to the end, so marked that one for trub.

 

I cold crashed for 3 days, but was stopping and capping every 6 bottles. I'm thinking that extra time allowed the trub to soften and slide forward. Should or do you fill all your bottles first to avoid this, and then cap them?

 

 

I bottle and cover them with foil, then cap. My last bottle is always a clear 12 oz. Coke bottle.

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I do 6 - 8 bottles, cap them, then do 6 or 8 more. 

 

However, I batch prime from a slimline, so there is no trub to move around.  

 

If you use a bottling wand, and you cold crashed, I can't imagine that the trub would soften much in the 15 minutes you're bottling.  Make sure you leave it propped up while you're bottling, and only tilt it for the last 1 or 2 bottles.

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3 hours ago, RickBeer said:

I do 6 - 8 bottles, cap them, then do 6 or 8 more. 

 

However, I batch prime from a slimline, so there is no trub to move around.  

 

If you use a bottling wand, and you cold crashed, I can't imagine that the trub would soften much in the 15 minutes you're bottling.  Make sure you leave it propped up while you're bottling, and only tilt it for the last 1 or 2 bottles.

Yes, did have it propped up and only tilted for last couple. Pic shows the hop sack in the trub and it has slid forward just a bit. No biggie, I'll  either add another day of cold crashing or maybe I should consider the hop sack gained some weight and I should have removed it. Lol, very likely I need to just bottle and cap faster! 

20180317_143119.jpg

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6 hours ago, D Kristof said:

I bottle and cover them with foil, then cap. My last bottle is always a clear 12 oz. Coke bottle.

why do you use aluminum foil?

I have a system i have one of those pepsi trays that holds bottles i got from a gas station just ask, many times theyll give you a couple just to get them out of their way, I set all my bottles up in the tray and then put all my carb drops in and only then do i take the keg out this way it is bottle after bottle and there is no time for it to warm up and yes u am using a wand now. The ray also come super useful in conditioning storage

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8 hours ago, Timelordjason said:

why do you use aluminum foil?

I have a system i have one of those pepsi trays that holds bottles i got from a gas station just ask, many times theyll give you a couple just to get them out of their way, I set all my bottles up in the tray and then put all my carb drops in and only then do i take the keg out this way it is bottle after bottle and there is no time for it to warm up and yes u am using a wand now. The ray also come super useful in conditioning storage

Not only do I live in a 175 year old house, we have cats. I use foil caps over each bottle to keep anything airborne out. The foil caps are only large enough to cover the top of the bottles and snug down the sides to hold them in place.  I sanitize and cover. I remove the cap to put the conditioning/carb tablets in and recover. After setting the stage I get the LBK and bottling wand set up and begin bottling. I remove the foil cap, fill then recover with the foil cap. Doing it this way also shortens the length of time my bottling wand is exposed. The filled, foil covered, and still uncapped bottles are placed into cardboard 6 pack cartons. As I cap, I pull out a bottle, remove the foil cover, cap then set it back into the six pack carton. Most 1/2 liter bottles will also still fit into the 6 pack pockets. 

 

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On 2018-03-18 at 8:07 AM, Cato said:

Bottled in glass yesterday for first time. With the capping it took longer than filling the PET bottles. Tilting the LBK for the last bottle I could see the change in color in the bottling wand right as I got to the end, so marked that one for trub.

 

I cold crashed for 3 days, but was stopping and capping every 6 bottles. I'm thinking that extra time allowed the trub to soften and slide forward. Should or do you fill all your bottles first to avoid this, and then cap them?

 

 

Bottling bucket and batch prime. A very nice way to go. 🍻 

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I like your idea.  I'm guessing the spigot is on the higher side, causing the trub to settle towards the back portion of the LBK?  Then, when you bottle, you can gently tip the keg upright to get all the beer out without disturbing the trub?  I'm asking because I'm just now brewing only my 2nd batch and I saw the scum (trub) along the entire bottom of my keg when I bottled the 1st batch.

 

Ever try adding more water to the keg, (about an extra qt. or two beyond the top fill line)?  It has puzzled me that the LBK, at 2.0 gallons, will only fill 10.5+- bottles and not an even 12.

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2 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

I like your idea.  I'm guessing the spigot is on the higher side, causing the trub to settle towards the back portion of the LBK?  Then, when you bottle, you can gently tip the keg upright to get all the beer out without disturbing the trub?  I'm asking because I'm just now brewing only my 2nd batch and I saw the scum (trub) along the entire bottom of my keg when I bottled the 1st batch.

 

Ever try adding more water to the keg, (about an extra qt. or two beyond the top fill line)?  It has puzzled me that the LBK, at 2.0 gallons, will only fill 10.5+- bottles and not an even 12.

 

A Mr. Beer batch brews 2.13 gallons of beer.  If you added an extra quart or two, you'd create a beer that is diluted in taste and ABV.  It was designed to fill eight 1-liter bottles.  It was then changed to be sixteen 1/2 liter bottles.  Now it comes with eleven 740ml bottles (never came with twelve).  All approximately the same capacity, given that you're supposed to leave space in the neck.

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

A Mr. Beer batch brews 2.13 gallons of beer.  If you added an extra quart or two, you'd create a beer that is diluted in taste and ABV.  It was designed to fill eight 1-liter bottles.  It was then changed to be sixteen 1/2 liter bottles.  Now it comes with eleven 740ml bottles (never came with twelve).  All approximately the same capacity, given that you're supposed to leave space in the neck. 

 

 

 

 

I understand.  But the 25 oz bottles Mr Beer includes with the kit (wish I could buy them in glass!) are perfect for bottling, with each bottle yielding 24 oz (or two 12 oz beers) each.  An even 12 bottles would yield an even 24 servings @ 12 oz each.  One full case.   I understand the recipes are formulated to the exact amount for the capacity (as designed) but why didn't they design the keg a little larger OR the recipe kits a little bigger to yield the extra amount?  IF I were to add another quart or two of water, I'd also add more LME, etc.  to compensate.  But unless I learn of others who have tried that successively, I'll probably not try it.  Thanks for your reply~

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Because the Mr. Beer system was designed to make 2.13 gallons of beer and fit into eight 1-liter bottles.  

 

Of course you can add water and LME.  Then you'd need to figure out what hops to add otherwise you would lower the IBUs of the recipe.


Or, you could brew enough batches that the unused bottles add up to another batch.

 

#FirstWorldProblems 

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When I'm using an LBK, I usually figure it for 2.25 gal. In Q brew and at best I'll yield 22 12oz bottles. I have no issues as long as it's say under 6.5% ABV. Course I'll lose approx. .13 or more to trub loss.

 

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LOL, I guess I just like things even, as in even number of bottles to = one case.  No other good reason.  What's lost here is that I love this simple system of brewing and this certainly isn't a knock on Mr. Beer.  I was thinking, initially, it might be due to differences between Imperial and US measurements.  btw, do you know if there are similar 25 oz bottles like the kit's, but in glass instead of plastic, for sale anywhere?  I bought some swing-top glass bottles but I was never able to locate any of the 24 oz size.  Mr. Beer should offer some compatible with their kits.

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So...my buddy (who's never brewed himself) asks me: "What's the hardest part about making your own beer."

I answer him: "Waiting for it to ferment, then condition."  LOL

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On 2/24/2018 at 12:33 PM, Cato said:

Bottled my Bewitched Amber today, and cold crashed for 2.5 days at 36F and got a cleaner yield as opposed to my Oktoberfest that I only cold crashed for 24 hrs.

Trub stayed put so much that even when I tilted the keg forwards quite a bit for that last PET bottle it never budged. 

 

 

Great idea!  I may try this on my next bottling which comes up in about 2 more weeks.  How did you cold-crash the beer, in an ice cooler?

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3 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

You read the link in my signature that tells you that 😉

Ahhh, got ya!  It seems to me this might make more sense than propping the keg up on an angle during fermentation, tho I can see the merit in that too.

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You do both.  Prop it up during fermentation, then keep it propped up during cold crashing.  Then keep it propped up during bottling, until you're ready to get out the last bits before the nasty trub hits the spigot.

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Gotchya again.  I'm in my 2nd week on this batch, so I'll try propping the keg up on the next batch.  But I will try the cold crashing when this one is ready to bottle.  The wife is gonna have to make room in our fridge for a couple days...

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20 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

Gotchya again.  I'm in my 2nd week on this batch, so I'll try propping the keg up on the next batch.  But I will try the cold crashing when this one is ready to bottle.  The wife is gonna have to make room in our fridge for a couple days...

Yes, as Rickbeer says, you want to prop up during fermentation and cold crashing if possible. I make room in the fridge when I cold crashing an LBK or in my mini fridge if it's the last fermenter left.

 

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oYou can do this and probably it would help me a bit too but I am lazy,  I find that after 3 weeks the trub settles out so well that even level, I usually get all out except maybe just a very little after the LBK is tilted. So I do not bother cold crashing or tilting.

If you want clear beer for competition, you should do both of these. Mine comes clear enough for me after standing in basement a month or a few.  You can check my beer pics to see if it is over cloudy.

 

Also so many commercial beers are hazy these days, one can always claim to others it is intentional - 😁

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1 hour ago, Nickfixit said:

You can do this and probably it would help me a bit too but I am lazy,  I find that after 3 weeks the trub settles out so well that even level, I usually get all out except maybe just a very little after the LBK is tilted. - 😁

I wonder if the different recipes behave differently when it comes to the trub, or left-behinds, in the bottom?  I've only bottled one batch, so far, and there are so manyy different recipes to try.

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4 hours ago, Cato said:

 I make room in the fridge when I cold crashing an LBK or in my mini fridge if it's the last fermenter left.

 

A friend gave me a 'mini' fridge like you mention here, but alas, it's just a bit too small to fit the LBK into.  However, it will easily fit at least four of my 32oz bottles in it.  That's a full gallon of cold beer - while the remaining gallon continues to condition even longer.  Might keep me from drinking the beer too fast...

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@Mic Todd congratulations on your first Mr Beer brew. I hope it tastes really good.

 

Generally, beer is best left to carbonate at room temperatures - unless it is a lager yeast the yeast will sleep when cold. Also conditioning in terms of cleaning up undesirable fermentation byproducts is also better at room temperatures.  So I would use that fridge for keeping beer I was going to drink in the next week or 2 AFTER conditioning at room temperatures.

 

For the cold crashing, the cold gets the trub/sediment down on the bottom. If you are already bottled I am not sure that makes sense. In the bottles, if you store them upright, it will settle out pretty well in a month or more that it takes to condition them (I have some that are over a year in bottle - but it takes a while to get that backlog)

 

Regarding trub: Yes you are totally right on that. Different yeasts will settle differently - called flocculation. Some settle nice and tight and will not move when LBK is tilted and some are really loose and will tend to move towards the spigot.  Tilting the LBK certainly would help keep it away from the spigot, but as I say I am lazy, do not enter competitions and regard yeast as extra nutrient lol.  I use a variety of yeasts depending on the beer and it is amazing how differently they behave.

 

The other thing is when you get to try recipes that have added hops in bags, you should also remove the bags before bottling, as they will tend to dislodge the trub as they get lower in the LBK. I use a pair of sterilized tongs and squeeze the liquid out of them with the tongs into the LBK. The hop bags hold a serious amount of beer that you want back.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Nick. That's what I will do, use the mini-fridge to cool the beer for drinking, after it's conditioned the full period.

 

Regarding hops addition, I have an idea, gleaned from others, on how I plan to try that when I experiment with my 3rd batch.  I am going to 'dry-hop' the beer during the bottle conditioning phase, right in the bottles.  To facilitate this, I have a commandeered our spare french press.  This experiment may turn out well...or not... but at least it will be fun to try.

 

Cold crashing?  Yeah, my b-in-b tells me this is a must (iho) and for that I was hoping the mini would work, but it's just a bit too small to get the LBK inside and close the door.  I've already decided to use our kitchen fridge instead, the wife will have to make room when the time comes.  24-36 hours?

 

My brother-in-law has been making beer for years and he's been a pretty good resource for beer questions, except that he brews in large batches, not a LBK so a lot of what he tells me about refer to 5 gallon (and larger) batches.  I doubt I will ever go that big, tho.  I really like the size and convenience of the Mr Beer system and really do not want to get into the intricate (and expensive) hobby of assembling, steeping and cooking all the individual ingredients, let alone the cellar-ing of gallons and gallons of beer at all different conditions.

 

I'm determined to keep this beer making FUN, not a chore or an all-consuming hobby.  The Mr Beer system seems ideal for just the kind of brewer I want to learn to be.  And, I want to try many different recipes and a lot of experimentation with them.  I really appreciate all the information you and others are willing to share with the whole community!!

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50 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

Thanks Nick. That's what I will do, use the mini-fridge to cool the beer for drinking, after it's conditioned the full period.

 

Regarding hops addition, I have an idea, gleaned from others, on how I plan to try that when I experiment with my 3rd batch.  I am going to 'dry-hop' the beer during the bottle conditioning phase, right in the bottles.  To facilitate this, I have a commandeered our spare french press.  This experiment may turn out well...or not... but at least it will be fun to try.

 

Cold crashing?  Yeah, my b-in-b tells me this is a must (iho) and for that I was hoping the mini would work, but it's just a bit too small to get the LBK inside and close the door.  I've already decided to use our kitchen fridge instead, the wife will have to make room when the time comes.  24-36 hours?

 

My brother-in-law has been making beer for years and he's been a pretty good resource for beer questions, except that he brews in large batches, not a LBK so a lot of what he tells me about refer to 5 gallon (and larger) batches.  I doubt I will ever go that big, tho.  I really like the size and convenience of the Mr Beer system and really do not want to get into the intricate (and expensive) hobby of assembling, steeping and cooking all the individual ingredients, let alone the cellar-ing of gallons and gallons of beer at all different conditions.

 

I'm determined to keep this beer making FUN, not a chore or an all-consuming hobby.  The Mr Beer system seems ideal for just the kind of brewer I want to learn to be.  And, I want to try many different recipes and a lot of experimentation with them.  I really appreciate all the information you and others are willing to share with the whole community!!

 

 

RIF.   Reading is fundamental.  

 

6) Leave it in the refrigerator for 24 - 72 hours (it will thicken in 24 hours, takes 72 to settle the particles).

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38 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

 

RIF.   Reading is fundamental.  

 

6) Leave it in the refrigerator for 24 - 72 hours (it will thicken in 24 hours, takes 72 to settle the particles).

We're pushing things here with the wife.  72 hours means no left-overs back in the fridge!!  I like it!

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3 hours ago, Mic Todd said:

We're pushing things here with the wife.  72 hours means no left-overs back in the fridge!!  I like it!

If you are determined to cold crash, you had better get another fridge - if you have room for it. Maybe you can swap the small one for a larger one?

 

Or for a few $ you can get a big enough foam cooler chest or borrow one (if you do not have one). A few ice packs or frozen 2/3 full water /soda bottles  will keep it cool if you swap them out  regularly.

The bonus, is you can also use the same thing for brewing lagers. I use a Coleman cooler and ice packs to keep it in the 50's. 

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I cold crashed my first batch for about twenty four hours and all of my bottles have virtually no sentiment in the bottom. If you have the time and space I’m sure an additional day or two would be better.

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On 9/25/2018 at 2:03 PM, Nickfixit said:

If you are determined to cold crash, you had better get another fridge - if you have room for it. Maybe you can swap the small one for a larger one?

 

Or for a few $ you can get a big enough foam cooler chest or borrow one (if you do not have one). A few ice packs or frozen 2/3 full water /soda bottles  will keep it cool if you swap them out  regularly.

The bonus, is you can also use the same thing for brewing lagers. I use a Coleman cooler and ice packs to keep it in the 50's. 

I do have a ice chest that would be large enough for the LBK but then I have to go get the ice somewhere (we live 30 miles from town).  The wife says I have a space whenever I need it.  Now I'll see if she's good for her word!!  If the beer turns out good, I'm sure she'll comply.

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6 hours ago, oldbagobones said:

I cold crashed my first batch for about twenty four hours and all of my bottles have virtually no sentiment in the bottom. If you have the time and space I’m sure an additional day or two would be better.

My 1st batch is in the bottles conditioning, no cold crash.  My 2nd batch goes to bottle in a week and a half.  For that batch, I will try CC'ing it for 24+ hours to compare with the 1st batch.  I'm thinking if all I need is 24-48 hours, say, then that's do-able. I don't know if I'll have the patience to wait for 72 hours!

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2 minutes ago, Mic Todd said:

My 1st batch is in the bottles conditioning, no cold crash.  My 2nd batch goes to bottle in a week and a half.  For that batch, I will try CC'ing it for 24+ hours to compare with the 1st batch.  I'm thinking if all I need is 24-48 hours, say, then that's do-able. I don't know if I'll have the patience to wait for 72 hours!

24 hours won't likely be enough. No doubt it will help some, but I've tried it and best results come from 3 days cold crashing. It's those last few bottles where you tilt the keg forward that get affected the most, because the trub will tend to slide forward and you get a load in the spigot.

 

However, it's a learning experience and not everyone cold crashes  and I experimented both ways, so try it and see what works best for you.

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2 minutes ago, Cato said:

24 hours won't likely be enough. No doubt it will help some, but I've tried it and best results come from 3 days cold crashing. It's those last few bottles where you tilt the keg forward that get affected the most, because the trub will tend to slide forward and you get a load in the spigot.

 

However, it's a learning experience and not everyone cold crashes  and I experimented both ways, so try it and see what works best for you.

Well, I can probably 'steel' myself to wait longer, lol. 

 

That bit about the trub sliding forward when filling the last few bottles didn't happen to me.  I'm wondering now if:  1) I bottled too soon,  2) left some beer in the keg, or 3) both.  I was able to completely fill 9 bottles (to within an inch and one half) and about half of the 10th.  However, it's possible that I did not fill the water completely up to the top fill line in the LBK when I began the ferment.  I made certain that I did this second time around!  Which also gave rise to my earlier question of what would happen if I added an additional quart of water after reaching the top line?  11 full bottles would be nice ~

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 9:26 PM, Mic Todd said:

I do have a ice chest that would be large enough for the LBK but then I have to go get the ice somewhere (we live 30 miles from town).  The wife says I have a space whenever I need it.  Now I'll see if she's good for her word!!  If the beer turns out good, I'm sure she'll comply.

You do not need lots of ice if you have a freezer. I use the little freezer cold packs that you put in lunchboxes. 3-4 of them will keep my cooler at 55 deg for 1/2 day after it cools. I use a $10 digital aquarium thermometer to monitor the temp with the sensor cable though the chest drain hole so I do not have to open it to read the display. If you have no drain hole, you may be able to notch the lid for the cable.  I tape the sensor  on the LBK with masking tape after I put folded paper towels over it to insulate. That way I measure the Beer temp not the air. Some people freeze plastic bottles 2/3 full of water. That works too.

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Big difference between using frozen bottles or ice packs to lower temp to 50s or 60s, and cold crashing close to 30.  

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On 9/26/2018 at 8:43 PM, Cato said:

24 hours won't likely be enough. No doubt it will help some, but I've tried it and best results come from 3 days cold crashing. It's those last few bottles where you tilt the keg forward that get affected the most, because the trub will tend to slide forward and you get a load in the spigot.

 

However, it's a learning experience and not everyone cold crashes  and I experimented both ways, so try it and see what works best for you.

I've cold crashed 24 hours a couple times out of necessity and was surprised how much it helped. Not saying it's ideal, but it was certainly worthwhile..

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9 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Big difference between using frozen bottles or ice packs to lower temp to 50s or 60s, and cold crashing close to 30.  

Come to think of it, we do have some of those cold packs but I think I'll use the refrigerator method.  However, I don't think our fridge is set to go any lower than around 38 F.  But I'll check to make sure.  That should do it, don't ya think?  Beats the room temp I bottled at (no cold crash) on the 1st batch.

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It has to be, the wife is gonna draw the line if I want to lower it past 38.  lol  I guess I could invest in a new fridge dedicated for beer.  Say, how do you do the cold crash, just put the lbk in the cooler or fridge?  What keeps oxygen from sucking into the beer when the beer contracts from the cold?  No air lock on the lbk.

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1 hour ago, Mic Todd said:

It has to be, the wife is gonna draw the line if I want to lower it past 38.  lol  I guess I could invest in a new fridge dedicated for beer.  Say, how do you do the cold crash, just put the lbk in the cooler or fridge?  What keeps oxygen from sucking into the beer when the beer contracts from the cold?  No air lock on the lbk.

The beer doesn't contract; water can't be compressed under normal circumstances.  Particles within the beer, however, get denser with the colder temp's and thus fall to the bottom of the LBK.

 

ETA:  Oh, and to answer the question, yes, just put the LBK in the cooler or fridge, preferably in a spot where it won't get jostled.  Most people also like to put something under the spout end of the LBK so that the trub compacts away from it (I do this throughout the whole fermentation).  Something about the thickness of a CD case is sufficient.

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1 hour ago, Shrike said:

The beer doesn't contract; water can't be compressed under normal circumstances.  Particles within the beer, however, get denser with the colder temp's and thus fall to the bottom of the LBK.

 

Well, that makes sense to me and if this works for you than I don't see why it won't for us too.  There are several videos on the net, tho, showing airlocks on carboys to prevent air sucking back in when they crash them after ferment.  I'm gonna just do it, like you recommend, because I don't want to start making this whole process complicated and expensive.  The beauty of the LBK is it's simplicity and ease of operation.  One more week and my first batch is ready to chill for consumption and my second one is ready to bottle.  My third one will be started just as soon as the LBK is sanitized and ready to go after bottling.

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On 9/25/2018 at 11:54 AM, Squirley Mic said:

Thanks Nick. That's what I will do, use the mini-fridge to cool the beer for drinking, after it's conditioned the full period.

 

Regarding hops addition, I have an idea, gleaned from others, on how I plan to try that when I experiment with my 3rd batch.  I am going to 'dry-hop' the beer during the bottle conditioning phase, right in the bottles.  To facilitate this, I have a commandeered our spare french press.  This experiment may turn out well...or not... but at least it will be fun to try.

 

Cold crashing?  Yeah, my b-in-b tells me this is a must (iho) and for that I was hoping the mini would work, but it's just a bit too small to get the LBK inside and close the door.  I've already decided to use our kitchen fridge instead, the wife will have to make room when the time comes.  24-36 hours?

 

My brother-in-law has been making beer for years and he's been a pretty good resource for beer questions, except that he brews in large batches, not a LBK so a lot of what he tells me about refer to 5 gallon (and larger) batches.  I doubt I will ever go that big, tho.  I really like the size and convenience of the Mr Beer system and really do not want to get into the intricate (and expensive) hobby of assembling, steeping and cooking all the individual ingredients, let alone the cellar-ing of gallons and gallons of beer at all different conditions.

 

I'm determined to keep this beer making FUN, not a chore or an all-consuming hobby.  The Mr Beer system seems ideal for just the kind of brewer I want to learn to be.  And, I want to try many different recipes and a lot of experimentation with them.  I really appreciate all the information you and others are willing to share with the whole community!!

Sounds like you and I are exactly the same in our thinking. I want this to be fun. The LBK is just the right size for trying different types of beer. I'm still brand new at this too. I'm still waiting for my very first batch to firment. (Five more days! Yay!) If it were to turn out bad, I'm not losing a 55 gallon drum or anything. I still have way too much to learn before trying bigger amounts.

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23 minutes ago, Don H said:

Sounds like you and I are exactly the same in our thinking. I want this to be fun. The LBK is just the right size for trying different types of beer. I'm still brand new at this too. I'm still waiting for my very first batch to firment. (Five more days! Yay!) If it were to turn out bad, I'm not losing a 55 gallon drum or anything. I still have way too much to learn before trying bigger amounts.

 

The LBK is also good due to its manageable size.  I'm pushing 50, with shoulder and back issues.  Carrying an LBK is a lot easier than lugging around a five gallon bucket.  If I want to brew a larger batch I can just split it between two LBKs.

And yep, if I brew a batch I don't care for I'd rather have to choke down two gallons of it versus five.  😜

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:19 PM, Don H said:

Sounds like you and I are exactly the same in our thinking. I want this to be fun. The LBK is just the right size for trying different types of beer. I'm still brand new at this too. I'm still waiting for my very first batch to firment. (Five more days! Yay!) If it were to turn out bad, I'm not losing a 55 gallon drum or anything. I still have way too much to learn before trying bigger amounts.

So far, this new hobby of mine has been a blast.  Why did I wait so long to start, I wonder....😎

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