Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
Sign in to follow this  
Nathan08

Keg half clear half foggy

Recommended Posts

New brewer here.  I am currently working on my first batch (Classic American light). I followed the brewing instructions and things seemed to go well. One error I did make was not purchasing a stick-on thermometer for my Keg, but that will be rectified for my next batch. Room temperature has been at 68F on the nose since I began the process 17 days ago and the keg is insulated with blankets.

 

Anyway, I have been taking notes on how everything has been going. At the 14-day mark, I noticed that when I shine a bright flashlight into the keg, that the top half was crystal clear and the bottom half was still foggy. I assumed that this was a good sign that things were progressing. Three days later (now on day 17 in keg) the top half is still clear and the bottom half foggy, no change.

 

Am I just a newbie who is overthinking things or should the beer have cleared up a bit more over the past 3 days?  Also, is there any point to continuing the fermentation process beyond 21 days If the bottom half of the keg is still foggy? I have read some mixed opinions on this.

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks a lot to those who post on here. I have learned a lot from reading up on the forums.

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi welcome to the forum.

 

If it's been 3 weeks, put it in the fridge for 3 days(Cold Crash) then bottle. That will help clear the beer

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi welcome to the forum.

 

If it's been 3 weeks, put it in the fridge for 3 days(Cold Crash) then bottle. That will help clear the beer

 

Thanks for the advice. Will check on it on day 21 and cold crash it if it is still foggy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cold crashing is recommended no matter what.  In addition to hardening up the trub to keep it out of the pour, it also helps clear up the beer.  They say 3 days in the refrigerator will do it.  Good luck, let us know how it goes!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Corbo for the words of encouragement. I will for sure cold crash it before bottling. As excited as I am to get to the final product, I am being patient. Will update on final product.

 

RickBeer that sounds like good advice. I was not sure if I needed blankets on it or not. It was easy to hold 68f in the house presently as it is still cool outside and we still need the furnace to hold temp in the house. Will see with batch 2 if I need to relocate to the basement or not, where it will continue to warm up outside. I will for sure invest in a thermometer strip as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh.. cold crash, don't cold crash; kinda a matter of preference IMO. It does help the beer clear & the trub solidify. You're absolutely right about that, Corbo, & with the CAL straight up (no modification) I probably wouldn't do it becausr the extra yeast in the bottle will add SOME flavor, but that's just me.

Sounds like your brew's still cleaning up, Nathan08. I wouldn't worry too much about the hazy appearance. I would (& do) have a little taste at bottling. It'll be flat but should taste like beer. Hope this helps!

Cheers!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too, am anxiously anticipating drinking my first batch.  Sunday is the end of week 3 of fermenting. Almost halfway there.  A few days after I brewed, I ordered another LBK and a refill - got it going a week after the first.  I fought hard not to purchase a 3rd one!  Needless to say, I have a saved search for Mr Beer on Craigslist - I'll jump if I see one close.  Time will tell.  Oh, definitely starting #3 when the first LBK is empty.

 

I'm just hoping that they turn out tasty.  I've done nothing but read the forums and do as instructed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting point of view Redman74. I suppose I will figure out my preferences as I gain experience and find out what I prefer or not.  At this point, I am mostly just happy that I haven't ruined anything, haha.  Corbo, I know the feeling.  I am going to stick it out with the one keg for now I think, but I am looking forward to getting batch 2 on once batch 1 is bottled.

 

Thanks again guys! It all helps!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I brew in big old buckets that won't even fit in my fridge. I thought it had been 3 weeks, and I was just tryin' to help clear the beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A second (or third) LBK is great for keeping your pipeline going if you consume more than a case a month. I don't go through it as fast as I used to so one LBK going at a time works for me right now. I'm gonna dig another one out though because I'm going through a crafting phase presently. Probably gonna pick up a couple 1 gallon glass jugs to do some split batches, but that's a different forum..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't the OP just referring to LBK haze from the temperature differences when adding the wort? I am a greenhorn brewer so I may be wrong but this happened in my first brew so I looked on here and it was mentioned. Thoughts from Pros?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in all my brewing I have only cold crashed ONE batch. it isn't necessary and is entirely a matter of preference. I am not so much the snob that I wont drink a hazy beer. since most of what I make are wheats... they are hazy anyway.

 

corbo- for your first few batches don't expect greatness... accept mediocre beer if it occurs as part of the learning curve. if it comes out great, then bravo! if it comes out 'meh'.. don't get discouraged. 

 

Nathan- you ARE overthinking things. follow the instructions, put the lbk some place ... try to keep the ambient temperatures around 64f for most ales (not lagers)... and let the yeast do their thing. if really clear beer is important to you, cold crash. you'll be fine. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New brewer here.  I am currently working on my first batch (Classic American light). I followed the brewing instructions and things seemed to go well. One error I did make was not purchasing a stick-on thermometer for my Keg, but that will be rectified for my next batch. Room temperature has been at 68F on the nose since I began the process 17 days ago and the keg is insulated with blankets.

 

Anyway, I have been taking notes on how everything has been going. At the 14-day mark, I noticed that when I shine a bright flashlight into the keg, that the top half was crystal clear and the bottom half was still foggy. I assumed that this was a good sign that things were progressing. Three days later (now on day 17 in keg) the top half is still clear and the bottom half foggy, no change.

 

Am I just a newbie who is overthinking things or should the beer have cleared up a bit more over the past 3 days?  Also, is there any point to continuing the fermentation process beyond 21 days If the bottom half of the keg is still foggy? I have read some mixed opinions on this.

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks a lot to those who post on here. I have learned a lot from reading up on the forums.

 

Cheers!

 

I have some thoughts about your process.  In the first few days, the keg temperature can be 8-10 degrees warmer than the air temperature around it.  So if you're 68F with your room temperature, your keg temperature (the more important temperature) wlll likely be in the mid-70s.  That might put you a tad on the warm side than what you want.  Also, insulating the keg with blankets might keep the keg even warmer because it's not able to dissipate the heat generated from the initial rapid fermentation.  Those two things concern me.

 

Here's what I do that works very well.  I have a large cooler (<$20 at Walmart) that I keep my LBK in.  I regularly rotate freezer packs and frozen plastic bottles into the cooler to keep the desired temperature.  I have a temperature sensor that communicates wirelessly to a temperature display (basic outdoor temperature thing you can get at Target or any other fine stores).  During the first few days, I try to keep the temperature in the cooler a few degrees cooler than the desired fermentation temperature.  Because the cooler is a small environment, the temperature in the cooler will more likely mirror the temperature in the LBK.  Once I get beyond those first 4-5 days, I then rotate the cold packs to keep the temperature at my desired temperature.  This has worked well for me through over a dozen batches.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taping the temp probe to the LBK with a wadded up paper towel or piece of cloth over the tip of the probe (to insulate it from the air) makes a remote thermometer measure the wort temp.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New brewer here.  I am currently working on my first batch (Classic American light). I followed the brewing instructions and things seemed to go well. One error I did make was not purchasing a stick-on thermometer for my Keg, but that will be rectified for my next batch. Room temperature has been at 68F on the nose since I began the process 17 days ago and the keg is insulated with blankets.

 

Anyway, I have been taking notes on how everything has been going. At the 14-day mark, I noticed that when I shine a bright flashlight into the keg, that the top half was crystal clear and the bottom half was still foggy. I assumed that this was a good sign that things were progressing. Three days later (now on day 17 in keg) the top half is still clear and the bottom half foggy, no change.

 

Am I just a newbie who is overthinking things or should the beer have cleared up a bit more over the past 3 days?  Also, is there any point to continuing the fermentation process beyond 21 days If the bottom half of the keg is still foggy? I have read some mixed opinions on this.

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks a lot to those who post on here. I have learned a lot from reading up on the forums.

 

Cheers!

 

Biggest question needed answered is which eye were you looking at the keg with? And have you had your eyes checked lately?  This might be the answer you were looking for.

 

Salud my Friends

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome stuff, and thanks again guys.  I am soaking up as much of this knowledge as possible.  I have for sure noted a few things to change for my next batch, which I hope to get going within the week once my first batch is bottled. Will have to go browse and see what tickles my fancy for batch #2 :) I also think I am going to set up the second batch in the basement, as the weather is starting to warm up.  I like the cooler idea and will for sure be monitoring the lbk temp next time instead of the room,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: I took a shot glass-size sample to see how the beer is doing and sure enough, it tastes like flat beer :) It is a slightly different flavour that I am used to, but I have been mostly loyal to one brand most of my life (Alexander Keith's) so I am sure that has something to do with it.  Either way, it was not sweet, skunky, cider-like, etc... just tasted almost like a flat bud light.  The LBK is now in my basement bar fridge for a 3-day cold crash before bottling Friday.  Will need to pick up my next batch this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... passed it to the wife, she said apple juice :P but then admitted to not knowing how beer should taste when flat. I thought it tasted like flat beer. It for sure smells like beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... passed it to the wife, she said apple juice :P but then admitted to not knowing how beer should taste when flat. I thought it tasted like flat beer. It for sure smells like beer.

 

 

That's the yeast.  As you perfect your skills, you learn the different affects of yeast on your brew.  The apple juice flavor is a sign of immaturity ... but a pleasant one to many people.  I prefer saison (which may get me ridiculed), but the basic yeast from MB does have it's good side affects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 I prefer saison (which may get me ridiculed)

 

Nothing wrong with a Saison, the one I brewed that is 6 weeks into conditioning is 9.5%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: I took a shot glass-size sample to see how the beer is doing and sure enough, it tastes like flat beer :) It is a slightly different flavour that I am used to, but I have been mostly loyal to one brand most of my life (Alexander Keith's) so I am sure that has something to do with it.  Either way, it was not sweet, skunky, cider-like, etc... just tasted almost like a flat bud light.  The LBK is now in my basement bar fridge for a 3-day cold crash before bottling Friday.  Will need to pick up my next batch this week.

Don't forget to sanitize the inside of your spigot now that you have used it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: I took a shot glass-size sample to see how the beer is doing and sure enough, it tastes like flat beer :) It is a slightly different flavour that I am used to, but I have been mostly loyal to one brand most of my life (Alexander Keith's) so I am sure that has something to do with it. Either way, it was not sweet, skunky, cider-like, etc... just tasted almost like a flat bud light. The LBK is now in my basement bar fridge for a 3-day cold crash before bottling Friday. Will need to pick up my next batch this week.

Based upon the poor (60's) ratings for Alexander Keith's that I saw on the few I looked up, you should find homebrewing a welcome change, although you will need to make the Craft Series to get closer to 5% ABV.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based upon the poor (60's) ratings for Alexander Keith's that I saw on the few I looked up, you should find homebrewing a welcome change, although you will need to make the Craft Series to get closer to 5% ABV.

It may not have the highest rating, but it will always be my beer :) But yes, I am looking forward to something different. I may look into the Craft series for batch 2, as i find under 4% ABV a bit low. Looking forward to it just the same. Bottling batch 1 tomorrow so i could get batch 2 going anytime after that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Final update on this batch:Turned out fine. Has an ever so slightly sweet taste, but it tastes like beer and is carbonated. First batch down, looking forward to batch 2!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the first batch turning out good,

 

Many have failed and it is real hard to catch on to something new, I followed the Mr. Beer CD that came with my kit but some needed knowledge was missing so I came here to the forums.

 

The most important rule to follow on the initial directions is the water rules. By following the Mr. Beer guidelines your yeast pitch temp will be within range for producing a tasty and fun to drink brew.

 

The rest of the rules are best found in the stickys and asking us. I am new but happy to share when I can.

Next batch will always be better from now on.

 

You can say with pride I MADE BEER !!!!

 

Cheers

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I followed the Mr Beer directions and ended up pitching yeast into 90° F wort. My first batch has a weird, sweet flavour that isn't going away with age.

 

Please, cool your wort beforehand... don't rely on the water already in the LBK and the top-off water to get you to >70°.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes no sense as I have explained before. 4 cups is 0.25 gallons. LME is added at 70, let's say another 0.25 gallon (to make a worst case scenario, it is actually less). Figure warmer tap water at 50 (I use refrigerated water at 37).

0.25 gallons is 11.74% of 2.13.

0.1174 x 212 + 0.1174 x 70 plus 0.7652 x 50 = 24.89 + 8.22 + 38.26 = 71.37.

 

If you assume that the can of HME is 90 (no way), then you end up with 73.72. 

If you follow the directions you cannot be at 90.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put 2 gallon jugs of water in the fridge the night before. While brewing I put 1 gallon in the lbk, then the wort, then top off from the other gallon of cold water. Usually end up around 62. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put 2 gallon jugs of water in the fridge the night before. While brewing I put 1 gallon in the lbk, then the wort, then top off from the other gallon of cold water. Usually end up around 62. 

 

61.4224 per the equation  :lol:

 

One can do the same calculation when they make a 5 gallon extract batch, which starts with 2.5 gallons of water in the pot and usually ends up with 2 - 2.25 gallons of boiling wort.

 

I cool the pot of wort in the sink to ~95.  Of the 2 - 2.25 gallons, 1/2 goes in each LBK after first putting in a gallon of refrigerated water.  So you're adding 1 3/8 gallon of refrigerated water up to 1.5 gallons of water.  

 

If 1 gallon of wort:

0.40 x 95 plus 0.6 x 37 = 38 + 22.2 = 60.2 degrees final temp.

If 1.125 gallons of wort:

0.45 x 95 plus 0.55 x 37 = 42.75 + 20.35 = 63.1 degrees final temp.

 

Simple math exercise anyone can do depending on what they're mixing.

 

Cooling 2 - 2.25 gallons of boiling wort in a 5 gallon pot is easy also.  I make ice blocks in Cool Whip containers ahead of time (any plastic container works, fill to 3/4 full).  I dump the blocks into a plastic bread bag, and make more (takes about 36 hours).  I find that anywhere from 12 - 18 blocks works in a sink with water filled to the liquid level of the pot.  Takes 15 - 20 minutes to cool with gentle stirring every few minutes and moving the pot around in the water to get the warm spots to mix.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonder why I'm off by .5776 degrees? Might be that I need to adjust my fridge temp.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes no sense as I have explained before. 4 cups is 0.25 gallons. LME is added at 70, let's say another 0.25 gallon (to make a worst case scenario, it is actually less). Figure warmer tap water at 50 (I use refrigerated water at 37).

0.25 gallons is 11.74% of 2.13.

0.1174 x 212 + 0.1174 x 70 plus 0.7652 x 50 = 24.89 + 8.22 + 38.26 = 71.37.

 

If you assume that the can of HME is 90 (no way), then you end up with 73.72. 

If you follow the directions you cannot be at 90.

 

And yet somehow, I was. It was definitely around body temp.

 

I'm a bloody physical anomaly. I throw stuff in the trashcan all the time only to have it come right back out.

 

I am stupidly impossible. There is no equation to figure out how, it just happens & I accept it.

 

 *shrug*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...