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BeerBro

2nd batch, 2nd chance

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If you read my first post (first batch, first fail) you know that I'm trying to redeem myself, lol. Well I started another batch yesterday. The Mexican Cervasa malt this time. I added a test strip to my LBK. I checked it last night and it said 75 degrees. Since temp rises during fermentation, I'm hoping the wort won't get too hot and kill my yeast.

 

As for my first batch, I still had a few bottles left over from it. So I pulled those out of the fridge and decided to give them a few more weeks. I'm hoping the fermentation will continue (since I think I bottled it too early) and I'll actually get some decent beer brewed.

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You're already too hot.  75 will turn into close to 80 at peak fermentation.  Put the LKB in a cooler and put a frozen water bottle in, rotating out every 12 hours for 5 days or so. 

 

Your yeast won't die - but you're going to get off flavors.

 

Pulling the bottles out will continue conditioning.  If fermentation wasn't done, then you may have bottle bombs.  Put them in a box or plastic bag in case they let loose (if they are PET don't worry, they'll only distort).

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You started it yesterday.  Active fermentation may not yet have kicked in.  Either put it in a cooler with a frozen water bottle, or in a room that has a temp in the 60s, or you'll likely have off flavors.  

 

High temps causing issues were mentioned on your other thread also.  Either deal with them, or take a chance that you'll be disappointed two batches in a row.

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So how does the wort supposed to look after a day or so? I have a thick layer of bubbles in mine on top. I hope that's normal or I'm creating frankenbeer! Lol

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Yes you should have a thick layer of bubbles.  You might want to start the day before you brew and chill your water in your fridge judging from the way this thread is going.

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Your FERMENTATION is too hot. A Brita won't fix that. You were told what would.

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Your FERMENTATION is too hot. A Brita won't fix that. You were told what would.

I should have been more clear with that post, I meant using the brita filter for future batches. I have moved my LBK down to my basement which is cooler down there. 

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After moving my LBK down to the basement, my wort temp has dropped down to 68.

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As Rick suggested, I have my wort down to 64 degrees now. I think I'm in alot better shape this time around than my first time. Hardest part now is the waiting! I really need a pipeline setup...

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As Rick suggested, I have my wort down to 64 degrees now. I think I'm in alot better shape this time around than my first time. Hardest part now is the waiting! I really need a pipeline setup...

Yea, this is what I'm using too, fermenting @ 64*F, also I'm getting pretty thirsty waiting for my beer to carbonate/condition.

I guess I need a pipeline too. ;-)

Tony

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Yea, this is what I'm using too, fermenting @ 64*F, also I'm getting pretty thirsty waiting for my beer to carbonate/condition.

I guess I need a pipeline too. ;-)

Tony

i checked my batch this morning, and it dropped down to 60. So I brought it upstairs for a little while to get it back to 64.

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BeerBro, for future batches you need to keep a more consistent temperature.  You've posted 75, 72, 68, 64, 60, 64.  Those swings aren't doing the beer any good.  Ideally it stays in a tighter range, like 64 - 68.

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BeerBro, for future batches you need to keep a more consistent temperature.  You've posted 75, 72, 68, 64, 60, 64.  Those swings aren't doing the beer any good.  Ideally it stays in a tighter range, like 64 - 68.

GA weather has been up and down lately. It sounds like I really need to get a cooler and try and get this temp stabilized.

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Got my hydro today and took a reading, 1.06, if I'm not mistaken, that is telling me the wort is done fermenting. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but the wort level is just a few notches under the 1.000 water line reading. It's only been fermenting a week...I am still going to leave it for another week. Unfortunately, I didn't my have hydro the day of the fermentation, so no base readings for alcohol.

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Got my hydro today and took a reading, 1.06, if I'm not mistaken, that is telling me the wort is done fermenting. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but the wort level is just a few notches under the 1.000 water line reading. It's only been fermenting a week...I am still going to leave it for another week. Unfortunately, I didn't my have hydro the day of the fermentation, so no base readings for alcohol.

Completed fermentation has nothing to do with the actual reading itself.  What matters is that reading hasn't changed in 48 hours.  That's why people take 3 hyrdo readings.

  1. OG
  2. FG #1
  3. FG #2 48 hours later

If, FG#2 matches FG#1, then fermentation is over.  No reason to let it sit after that.  You gain nothing and risk lots.

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Got my hydro today and took a reading, 1.06, if I'm not mistaken, that is telling me the wort is done fermenting. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but the wort level is just a few notches under the 1.000 water line reading. It's only been fermenting a week...I am still going to leave it for another week. Unfortunately, I didn't my have hydro the day of the fermentation, so no base readings for alcohol.

 

Well, if it's near the 1 then in fact it's 1.006.  1.06 would be a very strong OG reading.  Spend some time reviewing the link in my sig - How to read a hydrometer.   As Vakko said, you basically know nothing with that one reading.  That said, you started on March 16th, i.e. 7 days ago.  You should leave it for TWO more weeks as we recommend.

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Completed fermentation has nothing to do with the actual reading itself.  What matters is that reading hasn't changed in 48 hours.  That's why people take 3 hyrdo readings.

  1. OG
  2. FG #1
  3. FG #2 48 hours later

If, FG#2 matches FG#1, then fermentation is over.  No reason to let it sit after that.  You gain nothing and risk lots.

Understood, thanks for the clarification!

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Well, my 2nd batch has finished fermenting. I bottled yesterday after cold crashing for a night. Now it's time to hurry up and wait some more.Crossing my fingers on this one...I have started another batch, I'm trying Vakko's recipe for Chimay blue also.

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Well I tried the first bottle of my 2nd batch (the mexican azteca MRB). I have to say, I was disappointed. The flavor was much better this time, although the beer was flat. So back in the box they go. Hopefully a few more weeks carbonating will do some good. 

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It's been 21 days.  They should not be flat.  If you're at 70 degrees or higher, and you put sugar in when you bottled, it's puzzling.

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Well I tried the first bottle of my 2nd batch (the mexican azteca MRB). I have to say, I was disappointed. The flavor was much better this time, although the beer was flat. So back in the box they go. Hopefully a few more weeks carbonating will do some good. 

No carbonation at all?

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No carbonation at all?

Was there any "smoke" when you opened the bottle?  I've had some flat beers that at least produced CO2

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they had a little bit of CO2, but not much. I checked my other bottles, and they seem hard, but still have a little give in the bottle. I'm thinking maybe that caps weren't tight enough and the CO2 leaked out maybe. I used Carbo drops for the priming.

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You might be right about the caps. It's an easy mistake to make. That's part of the reason I moved to glass bottles and pry off tops

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You started it yesterday.  Active fermentation may not yet have kicked in.  Either put it in a cooler with a frozen water bottle, or in a room that has a temp in the 60s, or you'll likely have off flavors.  

 

High temps causing issues were mentioned on your other thread also.  Either deal with them, or take a chance that you'll be disappointed two batches in a row.

Just stumbled on this thread after starting a batch 3 days ago. High krausen seems to have just completed and I monitored temp along the way while I have kept in a cooler. It stayed in the low 70s the whole time. Having read this thread I decided to put a frozen water bottle in the cooler to bring the temp down to the upper 60s. Is it too late since high krausen already occurred? Or will flavors be ok since I still have almost 2.5 weeks of fermentation left?

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Low 70s air temp means high 70s wort temp so you may have some off flavors. You will know in 6.5 weeks.

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Low 70s air temp means high 70s wort temp so you may have some off flavors. You will know in 6.5 weeks.

 

Thanks.  We will see.  I'm using one of the stick on thermometers.  It's placed on the LBK below the water line of the wort.  Would that measure the air temp or the temp of the wort in the LBK?  

 

When I placed refrigerated water in the LBK before mixing in the wort concentrate (as per Mr. Beer instructions), the thermometer was reading in the low 50's, so I would think it was measuring the inside temp fairly closely rather than measuring the external air temps.  Once I mixed in the hot wort concentrate, the thermometer was reading in the high 60's.  I pitched the yeast while the temp was in the high 60's, but over time the wort warmed up.  

 

Just not sure how accurate or reliable the stick on thermometer is and whether it can be trusted even after putting frozen bottles in the cooler with the LBK...

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The stick on thermometer measures the wort temp, not the air temp.  So, low 70s should be fine.  The strip should be accurate - but keep the frozen bottles away from touching it of course.  Your beer should be fine.

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I think I might have stumbled across another issue that might have happened...but I need some more info. So I was watching Josh's bottling live streaming video last night and noticed when he bottled his beer that he mentioned something along the lines of having the right amount of space left for carbonation. I didn't use a fill tube, I filled my bottles from the the tap. So maybe I left too much room in some of my bottles...which I'm guessing would cause the beer to take longer to carbonate?

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Nope.  It will affect oxygenation if you leave way too much headspace, but not carbonation.

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More headspace will cause them to carbonate faster because there is less liquid in the bottle.

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Just to clarify Josh, you're not saying that if I leave 1" of headspace as opposed to 1.5" of headspace that I'm going to see a noticeable difference in the amount of time it takes to carbonate, are  you?  You're explaining the difference between a 1/2 bottle and a full bottle, right?

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More headspace will cause them to carbonate faster because there is less liquid in the bottle.

Seems logical...guess I'll go back to my first theory in having loose bottle caps.

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Just to clarify Josh, you're not saying that if I leave 1" of headspace as opposed to 1.5" of headspace that I'm going to see a noticeable difference in the amount of time it takes to carbonate, are  you?  You're explaining the difference between a 1/2 bottle and a full bottle, right?

Exactly.

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As far as loose bottlecaps, I've seen people talk about them over time.  You can actually find posts where someone said they turned them "until my skin ripped".  

 

These are bottles just like a soda bottle.  The proper way to use them is quite simple.  When they are brand new, put on the bottle cap and tighten it until the ring breaks free of the cap.  Then, unscrew the cap and follow your cleaning and sanitizing routine.

 

After you fill your bottle with beer (and sugar or carb drops), put the cap on it, and turn it until snug.  Do a bunch of them.  Then, since the cap was wet with sanitizer, take a towel, hold it in your hand, and tighten the caps again.  Don't lean into them, don't brace your feet against the wall and grunt and groan, just tighten them like you would a bottle of soda that's going back in the frig.  

 

That's all there is to it.  In 2 1/2 years of bottling beer I've followed this process (in fact, at the beginning I didn't use a towel), and I've had one (looks for a certain person's head to knock on) PET bottle be flat, and it was close to 2  years old.

 

The key to having your beer properly carbonate is to a) ensure that you actually put sugar in the bottle, b-) ensure that you put the right amount of sugar in the bottle, c) tighten the cap, and d) allow at least 4 weeks at 70 or above for it to carbonate properly (more time may be required for proper conditioning), then e) give it at least 3 days in the frig, which allows the beer to absorb all the possible carbonation.  

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As far as loose bottlecaps, I've seen people talk about them over time.  You can actually find posts where someone said they turned them "until my skin ripped".  

 

These are bottles just like a soda bottle.  The proper way to use them is quite simple.  When they are brand new, put on the bottle cap and tighten it until the ring breaks free of the cap.  Then, unscrew the cap and follow your cleaning and sanitizing routine.

 

After you fill your bottle with beer (and sugar or carb drops), put the cap on it, and turn it until snug.  Do a bunch of them.  Then, since the cap was wet with sanitizer, take a towel, hold it in your hand, and tighten the caps again.  Don't lean into them, don't brace your feet against the wall and grunt and groan, just tighten them like you would a bottle of soda that's going back in the frig.  

 

That's all there is to it.  In 2 1/2 years of bottling beer I've followed this process (in fact, at the beginning I didn't use a towel), and I've had one (looks for a certain person's head to knock on) PET bottle be flat, and it was close to 2  years old.

 

The key to having your beer properly carbonate is to a) ensure that you actually put sugar in the bottle, b-) ensure that you put the right amount of sugar in the bottle, c) tighten the cap, and d) allow at least 4 weeks at 70 or above for it to carbonate properly (more time may be required for proper conditioning), then e) give it at least 3 days in the frig, which allows the beer to absorb all the possible carbonation.

 

I think i figured it out thanks to Rick's post. He mentioned leaving the beer in the fridge for 3 days, I only left in there overnight. 

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I think i figured it out thanks to Rick's post. He mentioned leaving the beer in the fridge for 3 days, I only left in there overnight.

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That will help it.  However, it should not be flat if only left for 1 day.  

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