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My first batch tastes ok, but has no carbonation. Can I put another carbonation drop into each bottle and let it age another couple of weeks or did I do something wrong during the brewing process?

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If it is flat:

How long has it been in bottles?

Did you have it at 70 or higher in bottles?

Did you add sugar, or carb drops?

How much, and what size bottles?

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At the time of my post about 21 days. Now a little longer.

The bottles are stored at room temperature which averages about 73 degrees F.

Carb drops - 2 per 500 ml bottle.

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As in 9 days longer...

 

There is no reason your beer should be flat.  Is it flat, or does it just lack head (a common feature of Mr. Beer brews). 

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No, the underwhelmingness (sp?) of CAL is normal.  Most Mr. Beer batches lack a head, which many view as a lack of carbonation.  Some, using carb drops, complain of lack of carbonation, while I've rarely seen that with those using table sugar.

 

As compared to refills like Oktoberfest, Porter, and such, CAL is the least memorable.

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Thank you. I'll keep this in mind going forward. The CAL was a gift, but I like beer that one can feel in their mouth.

 

Any suggestions for a maltier, less hoppy beer with a thick mouth-feel, almost chewy available from Mr. Beer?

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At the time of my post about 21 days. Now a little longer.

The bottles are stored at room temperature which averages about 73 degrees F.

Carb drops - 2 per 500 ml bottle.

 

That is actually SUPER surprising you are having this issue.  You stated you used 2 carbo drops per bottle.  For the bottle size you are using you should have only used 1, so I am amazed you are not wildly overcarbonated.  

 

I think it may be more (like Rick said), just typical of the CAL and in some cases Mr. Beer.  My first batch (Diablo) had next to zero head and very little carbonation when I first tried it (after about 24 days conditioning).  Now (about 4 weeks later) there is a decent amount of head and even though the beer is so dark, I am able to see consistent carbonation action from the bottom of the glass up (like a normal beer).  

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Deluxe Octoberfest, Bewitched Amber Ale, Winter Dark (currently $5 TODAY ONLY).

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Thank you. I'll keep this in mind going forward. The CAL was a gift, but I like beer that one can feel in their mouth.

 

Any suggestions for a maltier, less hoppy beer with a thick mouth-feel, almost chewy available from Mr. Beer?

My first bath was CAL as well, and after 25-27 days of conditioning, it had a slight head and a fairly good amount of carbonation. I then had one that had conditioned for 30-32 days and I could tell a big difference -- much more carbonation and a more consistent head throughout. Others have pointed out that given the overall quality of the CAL, one shouldn't have high expectations that longer conditioning time will improve this beer that much, but that said, I'm looking forward to trying one that's been conditioned 35 days tonight.

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No, the underwhelmingness (sp?) of CAL is normal.  Most Mr. Beer batches lack a head, which many view as a lack of carbonation.  Some, using carb drops, complain of lack of carbonation, while I've rarely seen that with those using table sugar.

 

As compared to refills like Oktoberfest, Porter, and such, CAL is the least memorable.

Yeah my experience with CAL was pretty underwhelming.  I think Mr. Beer would have better brewer retention rates if they used American Porter or American Ale in their basic kit.

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Yeah my experience with CAL was pretty underwhelming.  I think Mr. Beer would have better brewer retention rates if they used American Porter or American Ale in their basic kit.

 

We're actually discussing the idea of adding the American Ale to the kits rather than the CAL. Nothing's set in stone yet, but it is on the table.

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We're actually discussing the idea of adding the American Ale to the kits rather than the CAL. Nothing's set in stone yet, but it is on the table.

 

I think that's an excellent idea.

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I agree. 2 thumbs up to replace the CAL although I agree it gets better keeping it in the bottle longer than instructed.  But new brewers are excited and want something they don't have to wait much longer than the instructions suggest.  IMHO.

 

IDYLLBREW

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I'm guessing the reason they went with CAL is that its the closest to BMC Light which (sadly) is what most Americans drink.

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If your going to add american ale to the kit then the CD should remark on fermentation and conditioning times.

 

There wil be quite a few who do not get to this site for proper guidance.  The beer will turn out bum but drinkable for some.

 

Just a thought for better business.

 

Cheers, M

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If by "CD", you mean "DVD", they have been discontinued. We have updated video instructions on our website.

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We're actually discussing the idea of adding the American Ale to the kits rather than the CAL. Nothing's set in stone yet, but it is on the table.

 

I like when ale is on the table.  In front of me.  Next to a big, juicy steak  :)

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Regarding CAL and carbonation/head formation:

The advice here has been good so far. I carbonated/conditioned at room temp for 4 weeks, then chilled for 3 days. 3 days cold seems to be a minimum requirement for the beer to absorb enough carbonation to develop a decent head with a vigorous pour.

What is the maximum time at refrigerator temp before the CAL (or any bottle conditioned beer for that matter) should have absorbed as much CO2 as it is going to? Is it dependent upon some other factor like FG or ABV?

Once the beer has absorbed the maximum amount of CO2, can it be taken out of the refrigerator and stored at some higher temp and still retain the CO2 in solution? Or would the CO2 outgas back into the headspace? How much of it in how long? Would it have to go back into the refrigerator for the aforementioned maximum time to ensure full CO2 reabsorption? Would the temperature changes be bad for the flavor?

I'm trying to figure out how long I should keep the CAL in the fridge before there is no possible further benefit to the head formation, and I should just drink it. 2 weeks like Mr. Beer originally suggested for cold conditioning?

Also does CAL get better after more than 4 weeks at room temp? Or should I just put my whole batch in the fridge now? I have only been putting in four bottles at a time.

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If you take it out, CO2 is released, serves no purpose to do so.

Head formation is better improved by steeping 4 oz of Carapils or Carafoam.  Don't confuse head formation with carbonation.

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Think my last bottle of cal was better than the first. I brewed it before I had found the forums, so I only fermented for two weeks, tried a bottle after two weeks conditioning and it was so so in mho. By time I was down to my last bottles they had been conditioning for 7- 8 weeks and to me any way were better than the early beers. Of coarse I was excited that I made decent drinkable beer my first go round.

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If by "CD", you mean "DVD", they have been discontinued. We have updated video instructions on our website.

When did you discontinue the DVD? I just ordered my Craft Homebrew Gold Kit on July 21, 2015 and I received a DVD with my Kit.  Also another question, my very first brew has been in the LBK for 7 days and there is no foaming going on now, so I tasted a sample and it tasted like flat beer and was a little cloudy, Temp. 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Any advise? This my very first try at Home Brewing. 

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Let it sit in there. The yeast are still cleaning things up, like the byproducts of fermentation.

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Let it sit in there. The yeast are still cleaning things up, like the byproducts of fermentation.

Thanks nozzlenut. I thought it was way to early to be done yet! But if the taste after only 7 days is good, I can't wait to see what it is going to be like when it is finished in a week or so, of course then I have to bottle it and wait another few weeks while it conditions. :)

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Yeah the waiting is the hardest part, especially with your first batches!

 

I've been accused of being to patient. The reps at my LHBS can't believe I ferment for 3 weeks, carb for 4 weeks then chill for 3 days.My last bottle of Oktoberfest was in the fridge for 2 weeks before I drank it. Most of my ready to drink beer is sitting in a cool dark place in the cellar aging. 

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