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Snuffy

My situation

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My story:

 

SWMBO gave me a Mr. Beer kit from Amazon that came with bottles and pilsner and cerveza hme's....

 

5/15/2016 Mixed 1st ever beer batch using Mr. Beer ….Grand Bohemian Pilsner  HME…..barefoot…no extras…. should make ~ 3.3 to 3.5 % ABV,

I am a Chemistry Tech and I have OCD ...I used both the MRB sanitizer for 10 minutes and then Star-San.....I am 100% positive there is no chance of infection....

I ferment between 66 - 68 °F ; checking with 3 different temperature measuring devices and averaging ....

 5/23/2016 after  looking online and getting the wild hair,...I purchased a 1 gallon Craft A Brew Oktoberfest kit …

 

5/29/2016 Mixed 1 gallon kit Oktoberfest from Craft A Brew…  had to steep grains and add hop pellets….stunk up the house,… SHMBO declared never again in her kitchen…… 

6/2/2016 bought a 2nd LBK… and bottling wand,...and mixed batch Chug-a-lugger recipe – to use up the  Aztec Mexican Cerveza HME that came with the original kit…  

 

6/4/2016 Bottled the GB pilsner using MRB 740ml plastic bottles……2 carbo drops per bottle….sample tasted like cider…

 

The bottles condition at 75°F....+ or - 1°F

 

6/19/2016 bottled  1 gallon Craft a Brew Oktoberfest into 12oz bottles…..used 1 Domino Dot per bottle..

sample tasted GREAT…no cider…. a flat beer flavor.

 

6/24/2016 tried a bottle of the GB pilsner that I put the fridge for 3 days , since it was barefoot I assumed a conditioned beer.....but a very cidery taste…had to pour it in the drain…… not happy.

 

6/24/2016 bottled Chug a lugger into 12, 22oz bottles, 3 dots per bottle………sample tasted like cider… again, not happy.

 

IF, and I mean IF….  after 4 weeks, the MRB batches taste like cider and the CAB doesn’t after 4 weeks….I will never use MRB products again…..

 

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Bottled Pilsner on 6/4, 6/21 bottled. Tasted Chug a Luger before bottling.

 

Answer - lack of adequate / no conditioning, need 6 weeks on the lighter ones. Oktoberfest is darker.  

 

How do you check fermenting temp of wort with 3 devices without opening LBK?

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16 hours ago, Snuffy said:

My story:

 

SWMBO gave me a Mr. Beer kit from Amazon that came with bottles and pilsner and cerveza hme's....

 

5/15/2016 Mixed 1st ever beer batch using Mr. Beer ….Grand Bohemian Pilsner  HME…..barefoot…no extras…. should make ~ 3.3 to 3.5 % ABV,

I am a Chemistry Tech and I have OCD ...I used both the MRB sanitizer for 10 minutes and then Star-San.....I am 100% positive there is no chance of infection....

I ferment between 66 - 68 °F ; checking with 3 different temperature measuring devices and averaging ....

 5/23/2016 after  looking online and getting the wild hair,...I purchased a 1 gallon Craft A Brew Oktoberfest kit …

 

5/29/2016 Mixed 1 gallon kit Oktoberfest from Craft A Brew…  had to steep grains and add hop pellets….stunk up the house,… SHMBO declared never again in her kitchen…… 

6/2/2016 bought a 2nd LBK… and bottling wand,...and mixed batch Chug-a-lugger recipe – to use up the  Aztec Mexican Cerveza HME that came with the original kit…  

 

6/4/2016 Bottled the GB pilsner using MRB 740ml plastic bottles……2 carbo drops per bottle….sample tasted like cider…

 

The bottles condition at 75°F....+ or - 1°F

 

6/19/2016 bottled  1 gallon Craft a Brew Oktoberfest into 12oz bottles…..used 1 Domino Dot per bottle..

sample tasted GREAT…no cider…. a flat beer flavor.

 

6/24/2016 tried a bottle of the GB pilsner that I put the fridge for 3 days , since it was barefoot I assumed a conditioned beer.....but a very cidery taste…had to pour it in the drain…… not happy.

 

6/24/2016 bottled Chug a lugger into 12, 22oz bottles, 3 dots per bottle………sample tasted like cider… again, not happy.

 

IF, and I mean IF….  after 4 weeks, the MRB batches taste like cider and the CAB doesn’t after 4 weeks….I will never use MRB products again…..

 

Okay

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23 hours ago, Snuffy said:

My story:

 

SWMBO gave me a Mr. Beer kit from Amazon that came with bottles and pilsner and cerveza hme's....

 

5/15/2016 Mixed 1st ever beer batch using Mr. Beer ….Grand Bohemian Pilsner  HME…..barefoot…no extras…. should make ~ 3.3 to 3.5 % ABV,

I am a Chemistry Tech and I have OCD ...I used both the MRB sanitizer for 10 minutes and then Star-San.....I am 100% positive there is no chance of infection....

I ferment between 66 - 68 °F ; checking with 3 different temperature measuring devices and averaging ....

 6/4/2016 Bottled the GB pilsner using MRB 740ml plastic bottles……2 carbo drops per bottle….sample tasted like cider…

 

The bottles condition at 75°F....+ or - 1°F

6/24/2016 tried a bottle of the GB pilsner that I put the fridge for 3 days , since it was barefoot I assumed a conditioned beer.....but a very cidery taste…had to pour it in the drain…… not happy.

IF, and I mean IF….  after 4 weeks, the MRB batches taste like cider and the CAB doesn’t after 4 weeks….I will never use MRB products again…..

 

 

You bottled at 20 days which should be good, but if the sample tastes like cider, the rule of thumb is to wait a little longer before bottling.  Sample should taste like flat beer.  Sounds like the fermentation temperature was fine.  

 

You tried a bottle after 20 days, and usually most recommend and have success when bottling for at least 28 days.  Not surprised if it still tasted like cider.  Might be better at 4 weeks, but, you may even need to let them condition more.

 

Kevin

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I can honestly say that in the 30 or so times that I've made a Mr. Beer recipe, I have never had that cider taste.  It seems that most of the problems occur when you use a Mr. Beer recipe without the addition of the steeping grains (just HME alone).  Am I correct in saying this?  

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2 hours ago, AnthonyC said:

I can honestly say that in the 30 or so times that I've made a Mr. Beer recipe, I have never had that cider taste.  It seems that most of the problems occur when you use a Mr. Beer recipe without the addition of the steeping grains (just HME alone).  Am I correct in saying this?  

 

Only my very first (CAL) attempt out of about 15 tasted a bit like cider and that was when I just about did every thing wrong in the process (not keeping great track of the fermentation temperature, disrupting the trub while in the LBK and in the bottles, etc.)  Even with that, the beer was "ok" -- certainly drinkable.  Out of this 1+ year experience with MrBeer, that's the thing I'm happiest about--and I know one day i'll brew a "bad" batch for whatever reason--but, if you follow the directions and the common advice on this board, you'll find yourself with at the very least drinkable beer at the end of 7 weeks.

 

Kevin

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This is an interesting read on yeast metabolism that might be relevant. This site is a good source of info about beer making in general. 

https://www.morebeer.com/articles/oxygen_in_fermentation

 

What I got out of it was that it would be good to include a nutrient that includes dead yeast. I had read that some on the forum do toss in an old pack of dried yeast  for food, so this may be a help - and a good use of old yeast. (I have a lot)

 

I will also throw in this link - another interesting read.

http://jstrack.org/brewing/Yeast_nutrition_article.pdf

 

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I received that same kit as a gift from my SWMBO, and I was not overly impressed with my first results on the GB Pilsner or Aztec Cerveza either.  But when I tried Mr. Beer's Oktoberfest and American Ale, I was hooked.  Don't give up too soon, Snuffy.  The GB Pilsner and Aztec Cerveza can benefit from additions (I like the Fresco Chile Lime recipe using the Cerveza), but they have many other refill cans (especially the Craft series) that taste great on their own.

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I'm just suffering new brewer frustrations... sorry for my rant...I have the Octoberfest HME with booster which was started on 6/9 that I will bottle this Thursday. I already have another Octoberfest MRB HME  and American Porter that I will mix and start within the next week. I will not mix any more HME's until these 4 batches have aged out. ( And yes I went crazy......I ordered 10 cans of various HME from MRB)

 

All this reading I've been doing about how sorry HME is compared to using LME and DME and hops is not helping. And the fact that the 1 gal kit w/DME and hops tasted 100 times better that the 3 HME's.

 

The nearest LBS is over 1 and 1/2  hours away.. I do not have the luxury to afford 3 hours travel time to look and learn.

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On ‎6‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 6:59 AM, RickBeer said:

Bottled Pilsner on 6/4, 6/21 bottled. Tasted Chug a Luger before bottling.

 

Answer - lack of adequate / no conditioning, need 6 weeks on the lighter ones. Oktoberfest is darker.  

 

How do you check fermenting temp of wort with 3 devices without opening LBK?

 Rick, I have the stick ons on both LBKs, a lab certified NIST traceable probe thermometer on both LBK's (attached per your instructions ;) )

and I use a Fluke 62. I am not measuring liquid wort temp, I am measuring the LBK temp below the wort level.My goal is to obtain a small fridge and an Inkbird Itc-308 to properly maintain the ideal temp.

 

The LBK's are kept in my closet during fermentation, we maintain a house ambient temp of 68°F during the day and 65 at night. I have an adult disabled son and he needs the house at that temp to be comfortable. This is definitely not ideal but I hope to remedy it by finding a used dorm fridge. You would think with school out I could have found one by now.

 

Again I want to apologize for my frustration, I realize I have much to learn.

 

As the Nestle Quick rabbit says:  Patience is a Virtue.

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8 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

This is an interesting read on yeast metabolism that might be relevant. This site is a good source of info about beer making in general. 

https://www.morebeer.com/articles/oxygen_in_fermentation

 

What I got out of it was that it would be good to include a nutrient that includes dead yeast. I had read that some on the forum do toss in an old pack of dried yeast  for food, so this may be a help - and a good use of old yeast. (I have a lot)

 

I will also throw in this link - another interesting read.

http://jstrack.org/brewing/Yeast_nutrition_article.pdf

 

 

I have some Fleischmann's and some Lavin EC-1118 I could chunk in there, but I don't know how it would affect beer, the Lavin has high alcohol tolerance. I've used tomato paste and 20-20-20 fertilizer for the yeast when I run "other" fermentations.  I'm not ready to experiment to that level on beer, I just would like some great tasting homebrew beer!

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2 hours ago, Snuffy said:

 

 

All this reading I've been doing about how sorry HME is compared to using LME and DME and hops is not helping. And the fact that the 1 gal kit w/DME and hops tasted 100 times better that the 3 HME's.

 

The nearest LBS is over 1 and 1/2  hours away.. I do not have the luxury to afford 3 hours travel time to look and learn.

I would not call the HME's sorry, but they do benefit from the addition of more malt. I usually add steeping grains and 1 pound of DME or LME to the HME and maybe some hops depending on which HME I have. And you don't have to drive an hour and 1/2 now that Mr Beer sells most of the extra ingredients that you'll need. 

Welcome to the hobby. I'm sure you'll be a successful homebrewer.

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I made a Cervesa with extra malt and 2 limes zest and juice and that turned out a nice summer beer.

If you make it with the Smooth malt pack (no limes) it is more like Mexican dark beer.

 

For the yeast nutrient, if you have the dried yeast handy (even Fleischmanns)  try putting about a  tsp in the pot  before the water boils and have it boil a few minutes to make sure it is dead before adding the malts. That should provide all the nutrients you need. If the beer improves you know what to do, if it doesn't not much lost.

 

I rarely use the MR Bcans with nothing else, I even add booster if no malt. But I find that for me they are not hopped enough, not that I like LOTS of hops, but for the CAL + booster pack brew, even .5 oz Cascade at flameout does it for me. It adds some flavor and delicate aroma.

 

Keep at it, you will make beer you like before you know it.

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Ok, so I've just opened a bottle of the Chug a Luger that was bottled on 6/24 and fridged for the last 3 days and it is great! No cider flavor! I wish I had put more than one in the fridge, it is darn good! But I also had the GB Pilsner barefoot that was bottled earlier on June 4th and it still has the cider taste after 7 weeks conditioning.

 

I have a Rose's Rambling Red and a Bewitched craft amber ale w/ Golden LME in my LBK's at present.  Looking forward to see how they turn out.  I will probably always use an additional LME/DME from now on.

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1 hour ago, Snuffy said:

Ok, so I've just opened a bottle of the Chug a Luger that was bottled on 6/24 and fridged for the last 3 days and it is great! No cider flavor! I wish I had put more than one in the fridge, it is darn good! But I also had the GB Pilsner barefoot that was bottled earlier on June 4th and it still has the cider taste after 7 weeks conditioning.

 

I have a Rose's Rambling Red and a Bewitched craft amber ale w/ Golden LME in my LBK's at present.  Looking forward to see how they turn out.  I will probably always use an additional LME/DME from now on.

There ya go, Snuff!  Try some grains next time and you'll be even more happy with the results!! :)

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My two cents - Slow down! You are very ambitious and enthusiastic, which is great. However, this is not straight chemistry. There is a "craft" component which takes a while to master, or at least become competent. Yes, many MB basic kits benefit from the addition of malt and hops. However, these additions do not "cure" or prevent cider taste. Incomplete fermentation, too high a temperature are two of the main causes. Infections do happen, but you'll know the difference. My advice (take it for what you may) - perfect the basic kits with small additions of malt extract, then move on to more complex brews. As always, YMMV. 

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I'm by no means as experienced as alot of guys who already commented. And i skimmed a bit through. BUT my tip would be to slow down a bit. Some beers take some time to hit there sweet spot. This hobby is kind of demanding of an open and curious mind. If you expect something concrete you may be disapointed and that chases away alot of new homebrewers. I always come into a new brew with an open mind and the curiousity of "wander what this brew is gonna do?" has kept me home brewing for 2 years now. I have a keg set up now and soon will have a freezer dedicated to year round temp control.

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I can believe what Brian is stating, Chemistry is beyond fermenting and it is easy to get outside the box.

 

I am into process controls and get carried away at times with brewing which is over 1000 years old. Stay basic and keep it simple while honing in on a fun hobby.

 

M

 

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My first try with Aztec didn't come out too well. In fact, nothing I made was coming out well. But I was conditioning at the same temp as you then, around 75F degrees.

 

I now have a chamber that sits at 65F and things are good.

 

I also experimented with the Aztec and came up with something I really like.

1 Can Aztec Mexican Cerveza
1 Safale US-05
1 Brewmax LME Softpack Pale
1 Centennial pellet hops
1 Goldings Pellet hops

 

I used 6 cups water, boiled and added LME, then returned to a slow boil

Add Centenntial and boil 10 minutes

Add Goldings for another 10 minutes

Remove from heat and add HME.

 

I like this one.

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