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MiniYoda

The saga begins

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My first batch is in the keg.  I followed the instructions from the DVD and from here as best I could, but was a bit nervous that I would mess something up or do something wrong.  Probably worst was not having a place for the utensils after I sterilized them.  I think I have a plan to fix that next time.


The contraption on top of the keg is a WiFi based solar powered thermometer that streams constant temperature information the inside keg to a computer on my network.  The computer analyzes the data, logs it into a database, and will send me a text message if the temperature gets too high.  Actually, it's just a cooking thermometer that I bought at WalMart, which gives a digital readout of the temperature inside the keg.  I poked a hole in the lid, sterilized the probe, poked it through the lid, and am monitoring the temp inside.  I have to do this because I'm in the upstairs of an apartment building, and it's 90 degrees outside.  It's warm in the apartment, so I have to keep an eye on the inside of the keg.  I have an AC vent blowing down on the keg, and a fan on it just in case.  So far, the temp is 72.3F

 

Three weeks until bottling time!

 

 

LBK.jpg

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45 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

My first batch is in the keg.  I followed the instructions from the DVD and from here as best I could, but was a bit nervous that I would mess something up or do something wrong.  Probably worst was not having a place for the utensils after I sterilized them.  I think I have a plan to fix that next time.


The contraption on top of the keg is a WiFi based solar powered thermometer that streams constant temperature information the inside keg to a computer on my network.  The computer analyzes the data, logs it into a database, and will send me a text message if the temperature gets too high.  Actually, it's just a cooking thermometer that I bought at WalMart, which gives a digital readout of the temperature inside the keg.  I poked a hole in the lid, sterilized the probe, poked it through the lid, and am monitoring the temp inside.  I have to do this because I'm in the upstairs of an apartment building, and it's 90 degrees outside.  It's warm in the apartment, so I have to keep an eye on the inside of the keg.  I have an AC vent blowing down on the keg, and a fan on it just in case.  So far, the temp is 72.3F

 

Three weeks until bottling time!

 

 

LBK.jpg

 

For the utensils, sanitize a plate or small platter to set them on. Nice thermometer, I've got 3 LBK's like that. One of the thermometers is a remote. Search food grade silicone adhesive on amazon, seals off the thermometer to the lid nicely. You definitely want to get that temperature down to the mid 60's. Igloo cooler that will fit the LBK and a couple of frozen 16oz drinking water bottles changed out about every 8-12 hours. Right now temperature is KEY!!! Good luck and enjoy.

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Sadly I don't have an igloo, so I can't do much about that.  I've put to half-full jugs of water in the freezer, and will use them next to the fan to help blow cool air on it.

 

Quick question.  aside from the hole I poked to put the thermometer in the lid, the lid has no other holes.  I'm wondering about venting the gas that is produced.  Should I loosen the lid a bit?

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There are notches in the opening (under the lid) that allow gas to vent, so you should be fine.  I have seen posts that recommend loosening the lid 1/4 turn as well.  I've done it some times, other times not, and never had an issue either way.

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Sorry, but fans blowing across frozen water bottles will not help. Just plain physics. 73 deg F is too high in my opinion. Get one of the cheap Styrofoam coolers from 7-11, Walmart, CVS or Walgreens - but do it soon.

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Three and a half hours in, and I found a way to keep it cool, for now.  It's in the fridge, door open (and no, I don't pay the electric bill).  Temp inside went from 75.2 to 71.5.

 

For the record, folks, don't try to brew beer if you are in an upstairs apartment.  It is NOT easy to keep the keg's internal temp cool.  Especially in the Southeastern USA in early September (heaven forbid I'm in Florida in mid August).  I will leave things as is until very early AM, when I have to go to work.  Thanks Brian N, I will try to pick up an cooler on the way home, and I have lots of water bottles right now in the freezer.  When I get home from work tomorrow, although it might be in the heat for a while, it won't be long.

 

I wish I had a basement

 

MiniYoda..........Do The Brew

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when I got up this morning, the LBK was at 68 degrees, so I think it survived the night.  I have water in the freezer, and will buy a cooler on the way home.  We in Louisville are going to experience temperatures outside in the low 90's, which doesn't do well for those of us in upstairs apartments.  keeping the LBK cool will be a challenge this week.

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68 is good (wort temp).  If you have a frig available, a temp controller would allow you to ferment at proper temps without any problems.  They can be built for around $30 or purchased for around twice that.

 

A cooler and frozen water bottles is what many do.

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I'm in Southern Mississippi so feel your pain, MiniYoda.  I used to just brew during the cooler times of the year but the brewing hobby has gotten more addicting so have stepped up to the cooler+ice bottles method of temp control.

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12 hours ago, Jim Johnson said:

RDWHAHB

what the heck does that mean???! PEMFMI ---Please Excuse Me For My Ignorance

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I just use a thermometer adhesive strip on my LBK's and place them either igloo coolers or Styrofoam coolers with ice bottles, if it's a lager i'm brewing, I add for 20 oz. ice bottles to the cooler every 12 hrs.

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Just now, HoppySmile! said:

I just use a thermometer adhesive strip on my LBK's and place them either igloo coolers or Styrofoam coolers with ice bottles, if it's a lager i'm brewing, I add for 20 oz. ice bottles to the cooler every 12 hrs.

I had a photo, but I guess it didn't post........................gallery_65635_28_546287.jpg

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Just now, HoppySmile! said:

I add for 20 oz. ice bottles

correction............, I add Four 20 oz. ice bottles

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RDWHAHB

1 hour ago, HoppySmile! said:

what the heck does that mean???! PEMFMI ---Please Excuse Me For My Ignorance

Relax, Don't Worry, Have A Home Brew

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2 hours ago, HoppySmile! said:

I just use a thermometer adhesive strip on my LBK's and place them either igloo coolers or Styrofoam coolers with ice bottles, if it's a lager i'm brewing, I add for 20 oz. ice bottles to the cooler every 12 hrs.

I like that adhesive thermometer. I found it on Amazon. Only goes up to 78 though. I had some brews that wanted over 80 deg.

 

 

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Fine to brew it standard to see how it is. If you do CAL next time, I suggest brew it with ~1 lb pale malt (2 of Mr B pale packs are OK,) and if you like a more citrus aroma  0.5 oz CITRA (or your other favorite) hop pellets in a sterilized (boiling water works) hop bag put in after the initial foam fermenting is over.  7 days before bottling is long enough but 2 weeks is OK too. You will be surprised at the difference.

 

I suggest you put the LBK in a cheap tub or rectangular basin like pic. Saves on drips and splls.

 

Also here is LBK in cooler. I use Supermarket freezer ice packs they take much less space than soda. bottles.

For temp I use a $10 reptile thermometer and tape it onto the side of the LBK.

cooler lbk 20150629_215703.png

spiced  xmas20150414_185911.jpg

fermenters.png

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6 hours ago, HoppySmile! said:

what the heck does that mean???! PEMFMI ---Please Excuse Me For My Ignorance

Relax Don't Worry Have A Home Brew

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7 hours ago, HoppySmile! said:

what the heck does that mean???! PEMFMI ---Please Excuse Me For My Ignorance

 

Read "The Joy of Homebrewing", by Charlie Papazian, and all will make sense. ;)

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Had to remove the LBK out of the fridge this morning, because I had to close the fridge door, because......well, because.  12 hours later, and 24 hours into the brewing, the temp inside the keg was back to 75.  BUT, this time I brought home with me a large cooler.  Cleaned it up, put the LBK in the cooler, and put some frozen water bottles around it.  Temp went down nicely, and within 2.5 hours I was within my goal of 66-68 degrees.  I'm keeping an eye on it every so often, adding/removing water bottles as needed to keep the temp.


Landlord, who I'm also helping restore apartments, asked about putting it in the room that holds the AC unit.  Yea, the air temp was 66, but I have two concerns.  One, the risk of dust from the AC unit, and two the warmth of the washer/dryer/water heater, which are also in the same room.  I told him I'm just worried about the temp for the next three weeks (minus one day).  Once in the bottles, I can put them in a cooler area without too much concern of them creating heat.  Plus, we are expecting the temperature in the city to drop this weekend, and with hope, stay out of the 90's for the rest of the year.

 

Yoda....Do The Brew

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24 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

Had to remove the LBK out of the fridge this morning, because I had to close the fridge door, because......well, because.  12 hours later, and 24 hours into the brewing, the temp inside the keg was back to 75.  BUT, this time I brought home with me a large cooler.  Cleaned it up, put the LBK in the cooler, and put some frozen water bottles around it.  Temp went down nicely, and within 2.5 hours I was within my goal of 66-68 degrees.  I'm keeping an eye on it every so often, adding/removing water bottles as needed to keep the temp.


Landlord, who I'm also helping restore apartments, asked about putting it in the room that holds the AC unit.  Yea, the air temp was 66, but I have two concerns.  One, the risk of dust from the AC unit, and two the warmth of the washer/dryer/water heater, which are also in the same room.  I told him I'm just worried about the temp for the next three weeks (minus one day).  Once in the bottles, I can put them in a cooler area without too much concern of them creating heat.  Plus, we are expecting the temperature in the city to drop this weekend, and with hope, stay out of the 90's for the rest of the year.

 

Yoda....Do The Brew

Once in the bottles, room temp is fine. Temperature not really an issue

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11 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

 


Yea, the air temp was 66, but I have two concerns.  One, the risk of dust from the AC unit, and two the warmth of the washer/dryer/water heater, which are also in the same room.  I told him I'm just worried about the temp for the next three weeks (minus one day).  Once in the bottles, I can put them in a cooler area without too much concern of them creating heat. 

 

An air temp of 66 would be better but still really not cool enough during high krausen.  The dust from the AC unit is a minor concern since the keg will be creating positive pressure and it would be very difficult for anything to get in.  You don't need to worry about the temp for the entire 3 weeks, keep it down during the first week when active fermentation is going on and then you can let it raise to the low 70s without harm.  In fact a raise into the low 70s will even help the yeast to stay in suspension and complete fermentation.  Any off flavors are usually created during the first few days of fermentation.  Once bottled I have found that a temperature in the mid 70s is best for carbonation.  After 2 to 3 weeks you can put the bottles somewhere that the temps are in the 60s to finish conditioning.

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Day two started with the gentle sounds of the Yeast Quartet singing "Baby It's Cold Outside".  I forgot that I had left frozen water bottles in the cooler overnight, and the temp in the LBK this morning was 62.  I removed the bottles, and will check on it later today.

 

Again, this is my learning batch.  I've learned a lot from reading this site, but there is still nothing like making your own mistakes and learning your own method of brewing.  Each batch in the future will be better and better as I learn more and more.

 

MiniYoda.

 

I'll have a Brew Christmas without you

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Yes, it will be a learning batch.  While temperature is important, temperature control is also important.  Wide swings such as you are experiencing with this batch will likely yield off flavors.  We all learned in a similar manner, although for many of us it wasn't as fast.  My first batches I knew to keep it at 70, so I placed a space heater in the pantry closet with the LBKs (in late summer, early Fall) to ensure the room did not drop below 70.  Of course the wort was probably over 80 at times.  

 

For many the first batch is CAL, which is not very good anyway, so no harm done.  I pity those who pick a great Craft refill for their first batch and ruin it.

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23 hours ago, BDawg62 said:

RDWHAHB

Relax, Don't Worry, Have A Home Brew

@MiniYodaJust in case you need it, another acronym commonly used here is SWMBO. (She Who Must Be Obeyed  - female significant other.)

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Almost four days into my first batch, and for the record, the anticipation makes it feels like four WEEKS.  Two things I can definitely tell people starting this hobby.  Buy a high-range metal digital thermometer with probe (mine reads from 32F to 400F), and buy a cooler or plastic tub.

 

Drill a hole in the cap of the LBK slightly smaller than the size of the probe, SANITIZE the thermometer, stick it through the cap, and use it on a REGULAR basis.  ESPECIALLY your first batch and ESPECIALLY early in the process.  Reason:  My first day I a temp of 75 at the start. I went out and bought a cooler, and with a bit too many cooling bottles, I got the temp down to 61F.  Experimenting, I've spent the past 3+ days in a range between 64.5F and 68.7F.  MUCH closer to 66.0F - 68.5F recommended on this site.  Had I not monitored the temp on a regular basis, I probably would have had it too warm/hot too long, and destroyed the batch.

 

I chose the thermometer/probe instead of what some people use here, the adhesive strips you see in aquariums.  One, the probe is inside the LBK (and if sanitized, shouldn't be a negative factor, correct?)  This way I'm getting inside temp, while my thinking was the strip thermometers on the outside might be influenced by the outside temp.  Not a major influence since the LBK isn't heavily insulated, so the inside temp and the immediate outside temp of the LBK should be very similar, but I'm going for accuracy simply because I'm anal that way.  Second reason is, again, accuracy.  The strips show temps in 2 degree increments, while the probe is at 0.1 degree increments.  Again, anal, but I like to call it the scientist in me.  Perhaps overdoing it, but to quote a beloved TV show, Myth Busters, "if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing".

 

Contrary to what I've read somewhere, don't just let it sit and do something else for 3 weeks after the batch is in the LBK.  Watch the temp closely.  I strive for 67.0.  If I start to go in the 68.x range, I put a 22oz bottle of frozen water in the cooler, near but not touching the LBK.  Note that when the temp got to 61 I had four bottles, and when the temp got to 64F I had two bottles.  One bottle seems to be sufficient.  When the temp gets in the lower 66.x area, I remove the bottle.  Yes, this means checking the temp at least every hour when I'm home, sometimes a couple of times an hour, but for now I want to know how things behave, does the fermentation cause more heat in the first few days and less later in the three week process, how many bottles of frozen water will get the temp back down to normal range, etc.  As I've said before, I expect this product to not be great at the end of next month when I pop open the first bottle of my first batch, but I should have learned enough that the second batch will make a NICE Thanksgiving present to myself (I'll probably start fermenting batch two as batch one is conditioning). 

 

Two more weeks and a day or two remaining on fermenting the first batch, then on to the bottling phase.  Probably will get a stainless steel, food-grade funnel, because I've seen people say it can be challenging to open the tap and pour the beer into the bottle without spilling.  Probably easier than I anticipate, but I'd rather be a pessimist and be wrong than an optimist and be wrong.

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Do not get a funnel.  You will aerate the beer.  Get a bottle wand and attach it to the spigot.

 

A temp controller hooked to a frig/freezer ensures proper temps with no monitoring.

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Requesting prayers.  It is with deep sadness that my LBK must move.  LOOOOONG story short, I'm helping a friend re-firb a 4-apartment building, and am living there as we do it.  Tomorrow we finish one of the units, and I must move into it so that we can refirb where I am living right now.  That means, the LBK must move too.  I've had it consistantly baby-sitted my first batch, with temps between 66.4 and 67.9 degrees for the past 3 days, adding or removing ice to the igloo cooler as needed. The new home has tile instead of old carpet, and newer AC, so keeping it cool should not be a problem.  Still moving an LBK at week 1 of 3 will be "fun", if you are the type who like pain.  My plan is, lift slowly out of the cooler and sit slowly on the floor, move the cooler to its permanent home, then slowly walk the LBK, trying to not anger the yeast as they do what they do so well.  Distance is about 60 feet with no steps.  Will be as careful not to stir things up as I can.  Don't like floating things in my beer

 

Miniyoda, who hopes I don't have a nose itch half-way there

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Simple- move it while in the cooler, as RickBeeer suggested, then cold crash before you bottle.

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As Rick and Brian both said, "move it in the cooler".  By this time, you are about 1 week in and fermentation should be slowing down.  Don't slosh it too much but know that any stirring up of the yeast will only help the beer to finish.  NO SPLASHING, that would be bad right now (oxidation).

 

You can cold crash, but with another 2 weeks to go, the yeast will flocculate out again once everything is settled and back to normal.

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week two begins.  Contrary to the advise here, the LBK was removed from the cooler and moved separate.  Primary reason?  It was moved before the suggestions were posted.  Secondary reason was I was worried the keg might move and cause more sloshing than if I carried it separately.  Regardless, it is in the new PERMANENT home, and doing quite well.  Temp readings yesterday (Sunday) spent more time at exactly 67.1 than any other temp.  I'm off today, so I'm keeping an eye on it.  Temps since day 1 haven't passed the range of 69.3 - 66.5, with most of the time in the 67's.

 

BDawg, I'm hoping I can take your advise.  I will wait until two weeks from yesterday to see how things have settled.  If I need to, I'll cold crash (suggestions for how long are welcomed).  Until then, I'll let it alone, adding/removing ice bottles as needed.

 

BTW, a side note.  I downloaded apps on my phone for Craig's List, Let Go and Offer Up.  Right off the bat, LetGo had someone selling something.  It looked like a full Mr. Beer kit in a retail box not meant to include bottles.  There was NO description.  I asked the person how much, and what was the date on the product.  The reply was "the price is negotiable", but nothing on the product.  I offered $20 and he accepted.  When I went to pick it up, it turns out it was *just* the LBK.  No product, nothing else.  I told him that I could get LBK's for $10 online.  He said "would you do $5?" and I said yes.  So, first, let the buyer beware, as you might not get what you expect.  But $5 for an LBK isn't horrible.  I just have to clean it very well, sanitize it, and next weekend I'll be ready for batch #2 (waiting until the weekend because Friday is Pay Day and I need to get another tub (not a cooler this time) and another thermometer).

 

MiniYoda.  1 week down, 6 to go 

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3 days.

 

Lots of posts in my signature that have information you keep asking about ;)

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IMHO cold crashing is not worth the effort.

For $45, you can build this cooler with controller. It's good for ~20 degrees below ambient, and if needed you can still pop a bottle of ice in there.

Cooler Project.jpg

IMAG0679.jpg

Schematic.jpg

IMAG0680.jpg

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Sounds like you're going to go mad keeping an eye on your temps all day everyday.  Just find a spot that's a cool 65-70 and you should be fine.  Better yet, get some temperature stickies to put on your LBK's.  That's what I did and that helps.  My basement seems to be right around 65-68 and I've made great beer.  Read up on @RickBeer's links in his bio and you won't be steered wrong!  Patience is key and reading as much as you can helps answer questions before you have to ask them!  Welcome to an enjoyable hobby and the forums!

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14 hours ago, Bach's Brews said:

Sounds like you're going to go mad keeping an eye on your temps all day everyday.  Just find a spot that's a cool 65-70 and you should be fine.  Better yet, get some temperature stickies to put on your LBK's.  That's what I did and that helps.  My basement seems to be right around 65-68 and I've made great beer.  Read up on @RickBeer's links in his bio and you won't be steered wrong!  Patience is key and reading as much as you can helps answer questions before you have to ask them!  Welcome to an enjoyable hobby and the forums!

 

My problem is that my apartment is upstairs and faces the south west.  There is no cool spot.  The only way I can keep things cool is to monitor it and add ice bottles as needed.  It's no big deal for me to keep an eye on it

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16 hours ago, Bhob said:

IMHO cold crashing is not worth the effort.

For $45, you can build this cooler with controller. It's good for ~20 degrees below ambient, and if needed you can still pop a bottle of ice in there.

Cooler Project.jpg

IMAG0679.jpg

Schematic.jpg

IMAG0680.jpg

 

@Bhob what was the manufacturer and part number for the tec's that you purchased? How often do they cycle on and off at room temperature with an LBK at high krausen?

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17 hours ago, Bhob said:

IMHO cold crashing is not worth the effort.

For $45, you can build this cooler with controller. It's good for ~20 degrees below ambient, and if needed you can still pop a bottle of ice in there.

Cooler Project.jpg

IMAG0679.jpg

Schematic.jpg

IMAG0680.jpg

HOLY CRAP!  Now I feel like a complete cheapskate for just freezing water bottles and swapping them out every 12 hours! 

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i'm fermenting 5 different batches all requiring cooler temps, so I just use the ice bottles for now, but that's a nice idea. when I do the 10 gallon fermenter then i'll use my alternative cooling method.

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I'm traveling this week but I will post the parts list when I get home. Is all pretty much the same stuff on eBay or Amazon. I like Amazon. I had some fans fail and then that caused the TEC to die, but the basic element is cheap. Putting them in the lid allows water to condense on the fan pcb. Still OK if you mount the fan the right way but I have my other set mounted on the wall of the box and it has run for over a year non stop.

They cycle about every five minutes? Never really measured. If it's really hot in the garage they run all the time and then I put in ice but one 500 ml is usually enough for the day.

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where can i buy a thermometer like that? and i would like to have a cooler setup like that what are the parts i would need?

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A used frig on CL can often be found very inexpensively, and a temp controller built for $30 or so, or bought for a bit more.  No ice bottles needed.

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On 9/13/2016 at 8:46 AM, AnthonyC said:

HOLY CRAP!  Now I feel like a complete cheapskate for just freezing water bottles and swapping them out every 12 hours! 

 

On 9/12/2016 at 3:31 PM, Bhob said:

IMHO cold crashing is not worth the effort.

For $45, you can build this cooler with controller. It's good for ~20 degrees below ambient, and if needed you can still pop a bottle of ice in there.

Cooler Project.jpg

IMAG0679.jpg

Schematic.jpg

IMAG0680.jpg

 

This set up is pretty basic.  I'd recommend tossing everything but the cooler and getting some more advanced equipment like two frozen water bottles.  ;o)

 

Kevin

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19 minutes ago, Kevin Caffrey said:

 

 

This set up is pretty basic.  I'd recommend tossing everything but the cooler and getting some more advanced equipment like two frozen water bottles.  ;o)

 

Kevin

HAHAHA.... AWESOME!!!  :)

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I have a wine fridge with TEC cooler, It lasted  a year and a bit before dying. In my case, the hot side of the cooler element was not well vented. The cooler elements do not like this. I see above that fan fail caused elements to fail too, from not being cooled I expect. To prevent this you could put an over temp detection on the heat sinks and shut it down.

To prevent condensation issues inside, the wine fridge has the TEC OUTSIDE a bolted to a heat sink inside to remove heat. It has fans and heat sinks both inside and outside. Unfortunately it is too small to fit an LBK.

 

I also saw that the TEC works the opposite way if the voltage is reversed so could be used as a heater too maybe, to maintain the temperature higher than ambient. It does also dissipate a lot of heat while doing this heat transfer.

 

Here is another take on it...but he does not seem to have finished the project. Still, there are ideas there.

http://makezine.com/2014/03/28/arduino-controlled-tec-coolingheating-system-for-beer-fermentation/

 

Of course you can also spend more money on TEC - or just buy a cheap fridge.

https://www.amazon.com/Koolatron-P85-52-Quart-Krusader-Cooler/dp/B000Q71N8K/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1473947863&sr=8-4&keywords=Thermoelectric+Cooler+And+Warmer

 

 

Despite being an electronics engineer, I use a cooler and the little freezer packs - they take up less room than water bottles.

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I posted the BOM on my profile page. When the fans are mounted vertically so condensation doesn't get in the PCB, they don't fail. I have three systems, this one has been running since last November, the other two for about a year. They run all the time.

 

The cooler has the TEC plate inside the chamber, with a heatsink and fan to blow cold air around. (The small fan in the foto on the bottom of the lid)

If the fan fails, the heatsink ices up and then the element fails. My problem was I mounted the fan with the PCB on the bottom side, so water puddled and the PCB corroded. I then mounted it on the top side and all has been good. The air really doesn't care it if is blowing up or down.

There is also a heatsink on the Outside with a fan removing the hot air. I haven't had one of these fail, but there are some fans that are a lot quieter than others.

 

I travel a lot and so the ice bottles are not really an option for me, but they do work. With this system I can just ask my wife to keep an eye on the readout and if it goes over 65 she puts a small bottle of ice in there. This only is needed during the summer.

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I thought about starting a thread "The Saga Continues", but I figured that would be annoying.

 

I've started my second batch, another Czech pilsner.  The kit that I bought came with two cans of the same thing, so might as well brew it.

 

I'm using an LBK that I bought from someone online.  $5, what the heck.  I thought I needed to clean it well before sanitizing it, but everything I've seen says "not dishwasher safe".  I put some Cascade in the LBK, lots of warm water, and shook it around a lot.  Emptied it out, ran regular water, and shook again.  Then I sanitized it.  Question for the day.  From what I found here, the LBK isn't "dishwasher safe" because it won't handle the drying heat, and because it might leave water inside.  What if (don't you guys hate it when a new person says "what if"?) I ran it through the washer but no drying.  When finished, I get a clean towel for the outside, and let it air dry, then of course sanitize it.

 

Anyways, one more week on batch one, 3 weeks for batch 2.  Once finished on batch 1, I have a can of porter ready to do.  Was thinking of adding something to it.  Suggestions?  I've heard blueberries, but not sure if blueberry porter would be good for the holidays.

 

MiniYoda.....two is always better than one

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For LBK I take spigot out first and clean it separately.

I just use a nylon scrubber or sponge with a little unscented dish/hand soap. I hold it up to light to see I got all stuff off and rinse with hot water until I get no smell of anything except warm plastic.  Then store it until reuse.

In reuse I sanitize it per Mr B instructions.

So far so good.

 

For the tall fermenter, I find this more of a hassle because of the size of it and having to clean over sink.

 

Sanitizing

The LBK I just put sanitizer and water in it, shake it up a lot to cover all surfaces, and put in the utensils after.  I do 5 open/close on spigot onto the plate I will use and that is done. Easy.

For the tall one  I think sanitizing it is going to be less effective because the liquid just runs off when you pour it over. Again the size of it makes it awkward.  But I guess it works well enough for folks.

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Two and a half weeks into batch 1, and half a week into batch 2, and I think I have the temp issues resolved.  Both are running temps between 65.x and 68.x, with most of the time in the low 66's.  Batch one's fix was easy....it's almost 3 weeks, so I'm guessing the fermentation process is almost over and thus the heat generation has died down.  Only takes two ice bottles now.  Batch one is in a plastic tote, not an igloo cooler, and is sitting on ceramic tiles, which is much cooler than vinyl.  Takes 4 ice bottles twice a day, but well worth the baby sitting.

 

RickBeer, I have read the links on  your sig.  I saw that head would damage the LBK's, but I was mostly wondering what if I ran the dish washer without heat drying.  Regardless, Bhob's solution looks perfect to me.  I'll definitely place an order.

 

Looking forward to Sunday, when I bottle the first batch.  Yes, again, I've read the forum.  I don't (yet) have a pouring wand, but my next order to Mr. Beer will include a couple of them, a bottle brush or two, and maybe a couple of other surprises for myself.  I do have a hydrometer, so I might use it just to learn how to use it (again, this batch was the learning batch, so I'm expecting to have taste issues....no biggie).

 

I'll post Sunday how it goes.

 

 

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Yoda I am stoked to hear your results!!! I have the Diablo IPA and Pilsner bottled up conditioning.....................I have the Aztec fermenting as of yesterday. 

 

I can't stand the wait REALLY I cant stand it!! hahaha 

 

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Round 1, stage 2.

 

The LBK was at 64 degrees for two days with only one ice bottle, and I got impatient.  Two days before the full three weeks, but I have some free time.  I followed the directions to the best I could, but I already knew this batch wasn't going to be my best one ever.  I took a small sample and tasted it.  Mr. Beer folks, if you need more Hard Cider product, let me know.  Yep it tasted a bit like green apple.  Not worried, this second batch that is fermenting right now has a MUCH better chance.

 

I read the instructions and my notes I had as I went.  Everything was fairly well.  I sanitized a jug of water (it was a bit too cold, so it took a while to dissolve) and  used it to  sanitize the bottles.  Two fermentation drops in each of the 11 bottles.  I tilted backwards the LBK, and almost got 9 bottles, some weren't up to the 2"-3" line.  Oh....hint to those who care.  Go to Home Depot or Lowes.  Go to the paint counter and ask for three paint stir sticks (I used the 5 gallon bucket sized sticks that I had handy).  Stack these sticks and prop the front of the LBK as you pour the beer into the bottle.  As the stream slowed, I removed a stir stick, and got the first 9 to about the 2" line, plus or minus (note....I have vision problems, so wasn't good at estimating 2"-3").  The last two were filled slowly, removing the last two sticks one at a time, then putting them at the back of the LBK, making sure as little trub went through as possible.

 

The picture you see below is the nine that I know has no (or almost no) trub.  The last two bottles that I filled are on a different shelf, thinking some trub fell threw, and wanted to keep them separate just for "curious George" sake.  From what I read, I'm supposed to "age" the beer for 4 weeks at a temp 68 or higher, but not over 80.  The thermometer reads 68.5!  (as I type this, the temp is now 72.1).  I've cleaned everything, and am looking forward to Saturday October 22, when I pop open my first bottle of Czech Green Apple.

batch1.jpg

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Oh.....almost forgot.  sorry......"almost".....I didn't completely.

 

At the local yocal watering hole, I told the old geezers why I had to leave early.  Didn't leave as early as I had planned because the old geezers were wanting to know more home brewing.  One of them, who remains nameless, asked "how do you flavor beer, and how do you kick up the alcohol level."  I told him that you can add fruit and other items during the process of cooking the fermentation based on the recipe, and some have even added flavors and/or colors during the bottling process (reference to the archived recipe Red White and Blue....cute dog).  He asked, and thus I ask, "Could you add a 50ml bottle of something to the fermentation?"  I said, "I've never seen it on any site I've been, so probably not".  "But what about a shot of pure grain alcohol".  I told him I would ask those who know, but I also said if you want to kick up your drinking, try a Boiler Maker.

 

Yes...he actually did ask "what is a boiler maker"

 

But, I must ask.  Has anyone thought of, or considered, or actually did add a 50ml bottle of liquor to an LBK as it is fermenting?  And to top it off, has anyone ever added a 50ml bottle of pure grain alcohol to a batch?  And please understand, NO I WON'T.  Just Curious George asking "what if"

 

 

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This guy has to be freakin Mr Why!!!   Look at that title!!  Star Wars based pen name!!!  Long over-descriptive threads!!!  B&B nailed this one!!!

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1 minute ago, AnthonyC said:

This guy has to be freakin Mr Why!!!   Look at that title!!  Star Wars based pen name!!!  Long over-descriptive threads!!!  B&B nailed this one!!!

But why?  That is the question!

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I would like to apologize to AnthonyC, RickBeer, and anyone else on this site who have found my postings annoying or irritating.  It was never my intent.  I simply wanted to share my experience with my new hobby to those here who already know all about it, and learn at the same time while asking questions.  I was hoping that by documenting my first attempt at brewing, new brewers in the future could gain something by my experience.  I know that there is a vast amount of information on RickBeer's signature, and I apologize for asking questions that could already be found elsewhere on this site.  Again, I am sorry and promise that future postings on this board will be kept to a minimum.

 

For the record, I've used the nickname "yoda" and variations of it since the mid 80's.  I've always used nicknames as a casual way of socializing.  There are people at the bar I visit who know me by this nickname and don't even know my real name.  Again, if this bothers anyone, I am sorry for that too.

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Cold it is; drink the beer I must. Why..........

 

Seriously. You can add liquor if you want but if you add too much it will likely kill the yeast in the bottle so unless you use a CO2 or Nitrogen to pressurize, you will not be fizzy.

 

Don't bother me any if you document what you do. Sometimes stories are good for a chuckle.

I dissolve the sanitizer in hot water from the tap. I put a gallon pot in the sink run a little hot water in so that it limits the dust when emptying the sachet, then  empty the sanitizer in and fill the pot with hot water and stir it.  If you can hold your hand in the water it won't hurt the bottles. Much quicker. Then I use a jug to put it in the bottles.

 

Looking at your full bottles though, I think you need to fill more. You can estimate when by watching the liquid fill. Practice if you want. Fill a botte to proper level with water, then tilt it to see where it comes up to. That is the tilted mark to aim for.

 

Good luck with the batch.

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

I would like to apologize to AnthonyC, RickBeer, and anyone else on this site who have found my postings annoying or irritating.  It was never my intent.  I simply wanted to share my experience with my new hobby to those here who already know all about it, and learn at the same time while asking questions.  I was hoping that by documenting my first attempt at brewing, new brewers in the future could gain something by my experience.  I know that there is a vast amount of information on RickBeer's signature, and I apologize for asking questions that could already be found elsewhere on this site.  Again, I am sorry and promise that future postings on this board will be kept to a minimum.

 

For the record, I've used the nickname "yoda" and variations of it since the mid 80's.  I've always used nicknames as a casual way of socializing.  There are people at the bar I visit who know me by this nickname and don't even know my real name.  Again, if this bothers anyone, I am sorry for that too.

 

No apologies required Yoda!  You are doing just fine on the Forum.  Some of us are just kidding around a little because we seemed to have lost @MrWhy.  His somewhat long-winded, yet entertaining Ewokian posts were always welcomed and I, for one, enjoyed reading them.  And then, just like that, on or about July 6, 2016, he went MIA.  I noticed the similarities in writing style and the obvious Star Wars connection and commented on it a week ago.  Anyway, sorry for any offense.  So have fun with your brewing, keep posting, and don't worry about asking questions -- there is always someone around here that is willing to help. Cheers! ?

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No problem with asking questions, and no apology needed.  When I use forums (beer, truck, or otherwise) I try to both answer questions and point the person asking them towards the source so in the future they can learn for themselves since 99% of all questions are already answered.  Most forums, including this one, lack great searching capability, and users often don't know the right terminology to ask.  In your case, I saw a few questions in a row that were answered in my sig, so that's why I pointed you there, then after a few times pointed out that you still hadn't gone.  Usually there are a few responses like "Rick, I read your signature posts and you are truly a gift to mankind" or "Rick, I will send you my first case of beer in tribute"...  Just ask anyone...  ;)

 

Also, if anyone posts info that I believe may mislead future new brewers, I always point it out, such as putting the LBK in the dishwasher.  If you look carefully, you should find a sticker on your LBK that says it is NOT dishwasher safe.  You should not even use very hot water as it bakes in the flavor.

 

I try to make my posts understandable by the most inexperienced brewer, but if you ever don't understand something please reference it and ask.  I learned long ago as an instructor for the Red Cross (long, long ago) that you should write everything (or explain things) to a 13 year old level, as that is some magic number.  Hoppy is my litmus test - he's "8 and 3/4s" he says (holds up 10 fingers).  

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13 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

I would like to apologize to AnthonyC, RickBeer, and anyone else on this site who have found my postings annoying or irritating.  It was never my intent.  I simply wanted to share my experience with my new hobby to those here who already know all about it, and learn at the same time while asking questions.  I was hoping that by documenting my first attempt at brewing, new brewers in the future could gain something by my experience.  I know that there is a vast amount of information on RickBeer's signature, and I apologize for asking questions that could already be found elsewhere on this site.  Again, I am sorry and promise that future postings on this board will be kept to a minimum.

 

For the record, I've used the nickname "yoda" and variations of it since the mid 80's.  I've always used nicknames as a casual way of socializing.  There are people at the bar I visit who know me by this nickname and don't even know my real name.  Again, if this bothers anyone, I am sorry for that too.

Damn!  I just saw this.  I absolutely DO NOT find your postings annoying in any way or manner!!  I apologize for the mix up.  As B&B said, we had a fellow home brewer on here and his avatar was an Ewok and your style of writing greatly resembles his.  Post on, sir!  Post on...

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36 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

I find Anthony annoying, but that's a subject for another post...  :lol:

Damn it, Rick!  I was just about to give you a present!  Wait, where did it go?  Hmm...  oh there it is...  ?  Just kidding, Rick.  You know that I have nothing but respect for my elders: Moses, Gandolf, dirt,...  you. :):)

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One  would think that teachers would be more respectful, but apparently they learn from their students...  

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19 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

I would like to apologize to AnthonyC, RickBeer, and anyone else on this site who have found my postings annoying or irritating.  It was never my intent.  I simply wanted to share my experience with my new hobby to those here who already know all about it, and learn at the same time while asking questions.  I was hoping that by documenting my first attempt at brewing, new brewers in the future could gain something by my experience.

 

This has been one of the best threads I've read in a while, keep it up.

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Thanks for the messages.  It does mean a lot to me.  And sorry about the MrWhy.

 

Thanks for your info Nickfixit.  I'll make sure to keep the pure grain alcohol and vodkas for their intended purpose.  Jell-O Shots.

 

 

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MiniYoday, as a newb myself I've enjoyed this thread (mainly because you are saving me from asking the same things!).

 

As to that bottle level, just took a look at my first batch (now 1 week into carbonation step) and mine are about 3 inches from the top, some a little more. What problems might this lead to? (the first batch is definitely the learning batch ... but I still can't wait to drink it... 4 more weeks..tick tick)

 

(Batch two - Bewitched Amber Ale - starting tomorrow!)

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Wisconsin Badger, thanks for the kind words.  I hope this thread helps those starting the hobby, which per The Force, I foresee many trying this holiday season.

 

Due to vision problems, and foaming, I wasn't able to get the bottles as evenly full as I had liked.  Tomorrow I am getting a spring-loaded filling wand from Mr. Beer, and I think this problem will be half resolved.  Bottom filling should be easier than top-filling.  The other half is to practice.  I have a spare LBK, and I'm thinking about spending tomorrow morning filling the LBK with liquid and filling bottles to get the hang of it.  Note, I said "liquid", not "water"

 

Senior members of this site, are you sitting down?  Good.  I'm thinking of filling the LBK with soda.  Perhaps club soda, perhaps diet cola (and put mentos in the bottle....ha.....ha......ha.)  My goal is to study the foaming in the bottle, and practice when to shut off, when to wait for the foam to die down, and how to use the spring loaded wand.  Part of learning is reading, part is asking questions, and part is "hands on".  Practice Practice Practice.  And there's also cleaning the ceiling of diet cola.

 

Yes, I plan on extensive cleaning and sanitizing of the wand and LBK after I'm done before my next two projects this weekend.

 

Among the other items in my shipment tomorrow is a Mr. Beer t-shirt (which I actually will wear), and two LME's.  One of them is the LME Golden. I have two cans of CAL, and I plan to brew one LBK with the LME and one without, and 7 weeks from tomorrow my friends and I will taste the two in order to understand "what if I add.....".

 

Another item in the shipment is a LME Robust.  Yep.....Mr. Ego is going mad scientist and is going to experiment.  I've got a can of porter, and I'm going to use research I did here and on other sites (mostly here) to brew a Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter.  Friend of mine's wife never had a porter before, and I had her try a chocolate porter when we went out to a nicer beer-loving restaurant in Louisville.  She loved it, and after suggesting fruits like blueberry and raspberry, the consensus between her and her husband was PB2.  I'm going to add LME Robust, but if someone here wants to, they can talk me out of it and put brown sugar instead.  Hoping to have a Chocolate Peanut Butter cup beer in time for Thanksgiving.

 

Miniyoda.....call me crazy, call me drunk, or call me crazy drunk.  I'll still answer.

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2 hours ago, WisconsinBadger said:

MiniYoday, as a newb myself I've enjoyed this thread (mainly because you are saving me from asking the same things!).

 

As to that bottle level, just took a look at my first batch (now 1 week into carbonation step) and mine are about 3 inches from the top, some a little more. What problems might this lead to? (the first batch is definitely the learning batch ... but I still can't wait to drink it... 4 more weeks..tick tick)

 

(Batch two - Bewitched Amber Ale - starting tomorrow!)

oh, a slight note.  One other reason the bottles (yes, there are 9 in the pic) aren't full is because I wanted to set aside two other bottles.  These two bottles are for taste-testing. Call me Curious George (please, not George of the Jungle), I wanted to actually taste the beer at various stages.  I figured I would open one of the "set aide" bottles after a week, taste it and re-cap it.  After two weeks, taste the same bottle.  Three, four, etc.  If I ran out, try the other.  I just wanted to know how the process of conditioning worked, and see if I can actually taste the difference (hey....I like green apples). These two set-aside bottles were the last two, so if there is some settlement from pouring out of the LBK, these two would have it.

 

Based on my no-knowledge research, I don't think you will have too much of a problem if the bottles aren't exactly between 2-3 inches from the top.  From what I've seen, time (4 weeks) temp ( between 68F and 80F) and firmness of the bottles are the key to carbonation/conditioning.  If there was a significant lower amount of beer in the bottle (1/3 full?  1/2 full?) and you put the same amount of conditioning sugar, then that would probably be a no-no.

 

You, like I, are in the rookie stage of this game.  Sophomore year is going to be fun but we still have to learn about the game.  After that, we're ready for the big time.  Well.........I can dream

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Oh....and by the way,  below is a picture of my freezer.

 

Now that you've stopped laughing, yes, it's 24 20-oz bottles of frozen water.  I live on the upstairs west-facing unit of an apartment building, and while L-ville has finally seen normal temps for the season, it's still in the mid-70's in my apartment.  With the windows open.  And the fans running.  The frozen bottles of water is what I use to keep the fermentation temp down below the boiling point of lead.  Knowing that I will be fermenting three more LBK's tomorrow (one is in action right now), I will need as much cooling as I can. Without a basement, the best I can do is frozen bottles of water, and LOTS of baby-sitting.

 

BTW, I did show this pic to the land-lord, a good friend.  Last time I saw him, he was Googling "therapy for friends" and "sedatives"

 

MiniYoda.......wondering why I can't sleep at night  (hint...green bottles == Mt. Dew)

bottles.jpg

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1 hour ago, MiniYoda said:

Oh....and by the way,  below is a picture of my freezer.

 

Now that you've stopped laughing, yes, it's 24 20-oz bottles of frozen water.  I live on the upstairs west-facing unit of an apartment building, and while L-ville has finally seen normal temps for the season, it's still in the mid-70's in my apartment.  With the windows open.  And the fans running.  The frozen bottles of water is what I use to keep the fermentation temp down below the boiling point of lead.  Knowing that I will be fermenting three more LBK's tomorrow (one is in action right now), I will need as much cooling as I can. Without a basement, the best I can do is frozen bottles of water, and LOTS of baby-sitting.

 

BTW, I did show this pic to the land-lord, a good friend.  Last time I saw him, he was Googling "therapy for friends" and "sedatives"

 

MiniYoda.......wondering why I can't sleep at night  (hint...green bottles == Mt. Dew)

bottles.jpg

 

Someone needs to invest in a chest freezer and temperature controller. ;)

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18 hours ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

Someone needs to invest in a chest freezer and temperature controller. ;)

 

Maybe Santy Clause can bring me one, but right now finances are at a strain.  This seemed to be the cheapest method for now.

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44 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

 

Maybe Santy Clause can bring me one, but right now finances are at a strain.  This seemed to be the cheapest method for now.

I resisted the frozen bottle method until this past summer.  So glad that I gave in b/c it made summer brewing possible for me.

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After reading your cooling saga and woes, MiniYoda, I thank my lucky stars for my nice cool basement. I'm just using an ice chest with nothing but the LBK and a digital thermometer for the ferment. Can't to hear how your next batches tastes.

 

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1 hour ago, AnthonyC said:

I resisted the frozen bottle method until this past summer.  So glad that I gave in b/c it made summer brewing possible for me.

 

Just a note to those who care.  My LBKs are in very clean plastic tote storage boxes.  Cleaned and sanitized best I can before the LBK goes in.  I put frozen water bottles around the LBK as needed.

 

There are two issues with my method of keeping the fermentation cool with frozen water bottles.  First Temperature Control.  The water in the bottles melts, so you have to replace them with other frozen bottles as needed.  When needed? watch the temperature gauge.  Yep, that means baby sitting the LBK for the first week or so,  Swap bottles when the temp gets a bit high, take them out when the temp gets cold.  This method isn't the best, but for now, it's all I have.  I watch the temp gauge as often as I can, to make sure I'm between 66.0 and 68.0

 

Second issue is that, where I live, it's humid.  The ice bottles can collect moisture, which can condensate and drip close to the LBK.  The water in the tote isn't very deep, but Mr. Paranoid is worried about something getting in the water that the human eye can't see.  Make sure you use paper towels to dry the accumulated moisture caused by condensation.

 

My plans are to win the lottery (and.....whose isn't?) and buy a house that has a basement.  Not only to keep the brewing and conditioning process cool, but to keep my lazy fat <CENSORED> cool too.

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On 9/30/2016 at 10:54 PM, MiniYoda said:

Senior members of this site, are you sitting down?  Good.  I'm thinking of filling the LBK with soda.  Perhaps club soda, perhaps diet cola (and put mentos in the bottle....ha.....ha......ha.)  My goal is to study the foaming in the bottle, and practice when to shut off, when to wait for the foam to die down, and how to use the spring loaded wand.  Part of learning is reading, part is asking questions, and part is "hands on".  Practice Practice Practice.  And there's also cleaning the ceiling of diet cola.

 

There won't be any foam with the bottling wand, you'll see. It will become your favorite brewing tool.

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1 hour ago, Bluejaye said:

 

There won't be any foam with the bottling wand, you'll see. It will become your favorite brewing tool.

Not unless you blow into the beer through it.

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11 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

 

Just a note to those who care.  My LBKs are in very clean plastic tote storage boxes.  Cleaned and sanitized best I can before the LBK goes in.  I put frozen water bottles around the LBK as needed.

 

There are two issues with my method of keeping the fermentation cool with frozen water bottles.  First Temperature Control.  The water in the bottles melts, so you have to replace them with other frozen bottles as needed.  When needed? watch the temperature gauge.  Yep, that means baby sitting the LBK for the first week or so,  Swap bottles when the temp gets a bit high, take them out when the temp gets cold.  This method isn't the best, but for now, it's all I have.  I watch the temp gauge as often as I can, to make sure I'm between 66.0 and 68.0

 

Second issue is that, where I live, it's humid.  The ice bottles can collect moisture, which can condensate and drip close to the LBK.  The water in the tote isn't very deep, but Mr. Paranoid is worried about something getting in the water that the human eye can't see.  Make sure you use paper towels to dry the accumulated moisture caused by condensation.

 

My plans are to win the lottery (and.....whose isn't?) and buy a house that has a basement.  Not only to keep the brewing and conditioning process cool, but to keep my lazy fat <CENSORED> cool too.

 

The other issue with plastic tote storage boxes is that they are generally NOT insulated. If you use foam insulated coolers, even the real cheap ones, but preferably a good one like a Coleman (that will also have a drain plug for condensation) you will not have to change the bottles anywhere near as often. and being mostly well closed and with opening them less you will have less condensation. Using freezer ice packs rather than water bottles will also reduce the rate at which you need to change them I think. This is what I do. I find I can also run the temp probe into the cooler through the drain hole so I don't have to open it and check. These days I use the freezer pack bricks rather than the cube sheets in the pic.

Go cheap.....I see this at $2.27. It is 17 x14x12 - should do fine.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/LIFOAM-30-Quart-Styrofoam-Cooler/16537215#about

 

 

cooler lbk 20150629_215703.png

cooler20150209_102355.png

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Another quick note to those beginning the hobby.  After reading all the steps on how to properly brew a batch, write everything check-list style.  This will help make sure you don't miss a step.

 

Last night I brewed two batches of CAL, one with and one without the LME.  I woke up this morning and realized that I forgot to add the yeast to the second batch (the one with the LME).  Trust me on this one, fellow rookies, adding the yeast 8 hours late doesn't work.

 

I'm off to do this second batch correctly.

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37 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

Another quick note to those beginning the hobby.  After reading all the steps on how to properly brew a batch, write everything check-list style.  This will help make sure you don't miss a step.

 

Last night I brewed two batches of CAL, one with and one without the LME.  I woke up this morning and realized that I forgot to add the yeast to the second batch (the one with the LME).  Trust me on this one, fellow rookies, adding the yeast 8 hours late doesn't work.

 

I'm off to do this second batch correctly.

It really didn't work?  As forgiving as yeasties are, I'm quite surprised.  

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Another quick note to those beginning the hobby.  After reading all the steps on how to properly brew a batch, write everything check-list style.  This will help make sure you don't miss a step.

 

Last night I brewed two batches of CAL, one with and one without the LME.  I woke up this morning and realized that I forgot to add the yeast to the second batch (the one with the LME).  Trust me on this one, fellow rookies, adding the yeast 8 hours late doesn't work.

 

I'm off to do this second batch correctly.

uh I habitually wait over night before pitching as I only cool my wort to ground water temp[ (here in GA the water's still in the 80s) and let my fermentation chamber cool it down to 68f. I chose this method because I read somewhere that Aussies just put a lid on their wort and let it cool down naturally. I have not had any issues with the yeast  working...Since MrB is owned by an Aussie company, and most likely using their yeast, I cannot see why it wouldn't work.

Edited by Jim Johnson
spelling correction

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MiniYoda, I would think that as long as the wort is at the proper temperature for the yeast and that the lid has been screwed down on the LBK to minimize any contamination then pitching the yeast eight hours later would make no difference at all.  All the yeast want is to eat some nice sugars and belch out CO2 and piss out alcohol.  They don't care about the timeline.

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Agree with all.  After you pitch, active fermentation can happen in 12 to 48 hours, so MiniYoda needs to wait longer.

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well, I got a wee bit too impatient, and after about 24 hours of not seeing any foam, I went ahead and re-did the batch.  This new batch foamed nicely within a couple of hours and seems to be doing well this morning. 

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MiniYoda:

 

This is a notification that you have been placed on "warning" status, as you now have one strike (see condition 3 below).

 

FAQs:

 

What is warning status?   Warning status is when you have your first strike.

 

What is a strike?  Really?  You have to ask?

 

What is yellow alert status?  Yellow alert status is when you have two strikes.

 

What behavior earns you a strike?  Unpardonable offenses can include:

 

  1. Believing that certain beverages sold by companies as "beer" are not simply watered down animal urine and then communicating said belief to others.
  2. Wanting to make a beer "like Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light, etc."  
  3. Pouring homebrew down the drain because you didn't wait long enough for it to be ready, either for fermentation to start or for conditioning to be complete.
  4. Pouring homebrew down the drain that does not make you sick.  Homebrew is never to be poured down the drain, unless when you drink it you throw up.  If it tastes like vinegar, but doesn't make you throw up, you may file Form 52C for consideration (Form 52C is an appeal for special dispensation to throw away homebrew.  Review period is up to 14 days, and will be considered by a panel of your superiors - since you want to throw away homebrew nearly everyone is considered superior to you).  

See the below for more information on strikes.

 

What happens if I get 3 strikes?  Answer not able to be provided due to forum guidelines.  It's bad, really bad.

 

 

The assignment of Strikes may be appealed to Commissioner.  Appeals are seldom granted, seldom considered, and usually tossed in the circular file.

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1 hour ago, MiniYoda said:

well, I got a wee bit too impatient, and after about 24 hours of not seeing any foam, I went ahead and re-did the batch.  This new batch foamed nicely within a couple of hours and seems to be doing well this morning. 

 

Sometimes there's just not a lot of activity.  I did a batch of American Ale + Pale LME about two months ago.  Even during the period of "High Krausen" there was hardly any foaming going on.  I worried that I'd done something wrong during the brew but let it go the full three weeks.  I tasted it when bottling and it was fine.  And it's drinking quite nicely today.

I'm not by nature a very patient person but have learned that if I'm going to be brewing my own beer then patient is what I need to be.

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6 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

well, I got a wee bit too impatient, and after about 24 hours of not seeing any foam, I went ahead and re-did the batch.  This new batch foamed nicely within a couple of hours and seems to be doing well this morning. 

 

You know you can simply add fresh yeast to the batch if it's not fermenting, right? There's no need to toss it.

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6 hours ago, RickBeer said:

 

  1. Pouring homebrew down the drain that does not make you sick.  Homebrew is never to be poured down the drain, unless when you drink it you throw up.
  2.  If it tastes like vinegar, but doesn't make you throw up,

The proper answer is to make fish and chips and use it on those. LOADS of fish and chips in beer batter - lol.

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RickBeer, I will take the punishment as assigned.  While I didn't the consequences of my actions, ignorance of the law does not forgive punishment.  I will be more careful next time

 

Shrike, Thanks for the info.  As it turns out, I was brewing CAL with a Golden LME.  While I can't associate my brew with yours, I'll know for the future not to expect foaming right away, especially with LME, but definitely in all cases.

 

MRB Josh R, I ordered five packets of yeast last Thursday, and they came in Saturday (two days ago).  I used the first pack to brew CAL without LME, and no problems.  I then brewed CAL with LME, and that is the batch I forgot to use the yeast.  When I woke up in the morning, I realized what I forgot, and added one of the packs that came in the weekend shipment.  waited about 12 hours, still no foam, so that's when I did the big no-no.  I brewed a new batch of CAL with the last LME I had, and used the third pack of yeast from the order, and it is foaming nicely.  I'm thinking it wasn't the yeast, since the no-foam brew was using the same yeast as two that are fine.  But, anything could happen.  Thanks to your advise, I could always add another pack of fresh yeast next time.

 

Nickfixit, fish and chips?  Now I'm hungry.

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎30‎/‎2016 at 11:17 PM, MiniYoda said:

Based on my no-knowledge research, I don't think you will have too much of a problem if the bottles aren't exactly between 2-3 inches from the top.  From what I've seen, time (4 weeks) temp ( between 68F and 80F) and firmness of the bottles are the key to carbonation/conditioning.  If there was a significant lower amount of beer in the bottle (1/3 full?  1/2 full?) and you put the same amount of conditioning sugar, then that would probably be a no-no.

 

No.... it MUST BE EXACT!!!!

- unless you get the beer EXACTLY  2.458732 inches from the top (after making sure the tops are properly leveled)  the carbonation will be DISASTROUS!!!

- and you have to condition it for EXACTLY   3 WEEKS, 6 Days and 22.37 hours at  69.338 degrees  F +/- 0.003. 

 

So there. :o

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Bottles do not need to be full. actually a half filled bottle will carb up just fine. I've done it

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MiniYoda - you threw out a batch? Dude. Patience man. I'm just starting and I already feel like I'd never give up on a batch. There's always a chance. Try unorthodox methods of recovery, maybe you'll discover something wonderful. We can never let our batches down, they count on us to pull them through. No batch gets left behind or put down the drain until all efforts for recovery have been made and all hope is extinguished. Only then can we send a batch down the drain of no return. A sad day indeed.

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For those who care, and for those who wish they hadn't re-opened this thread, I'm here for an update.

 

Three weeks of fermenting in less than perfect temperature conditions, and three weeks of conditioning at 75F (occasionally slightly less), I got impatient.  Yes, ye who was publicly flogged by RickBeer for impatience and poured out a full LBK of beer because it didn't foam in one day, I have grabbed a bottle of my first batch, one week early.  Curious George here wanted to know how things are going.  The remaining 9 or so bottles are going to condition for another week, regardless of how I feel about this one I'm about to open.

 

The bottle I am about to open has been in the fridge for 2 days.  Again, it's a Czech Pilzner, my first ever attempt at a Mr. Beer brew, and I knew I would have issues due to temperature control, moving the LBK during fermenting, and not having the confidence while cooking the HME.  Here goes.

 

first, glad to hear the CO2 escape.  That told me I did tighten the cap well without having to put black tape over the cap and pour hot wax over it.  Lesson.....the caps tighten nicely.

 

It tastes, as expected. Some cider flavors, some beer flavors.  While I enjoy a good 8-10 cans of cheap American light beers, I also enjoy the variety of flavors that are created by micro brews.  I didn't expect to create either one of them.  I can only create my own beer.  With that said, I think it's a bit cidery, and a bit watery.  Not the stronger flavors that you get from commercial beers, but not something that I would pour in the drain either (I *really* don't want a second strike from RickBeer)

 

(Brief pause while I finish the bottle. Feel free to listen to some music.  Or watch TV.  Or stare at the wall)

 

Overall, it's what I expected.  Not great.  Not disappointed either.  I once heard "I'd rather be a pessimist and be surprised than an optimist and be surprised".  I'm going to let the rest of the batch condition for another week, then put them in the fridge 2-3 at a time, and enjoy them.  I have another batch conditioning that will take two more weeks, two more LBK's of CALs that I will bottle in two weeks (one with and one without an LME), and one LBK of chocolate/peanut butter porter.  These three LBK's have been at MUCH better temperature control, so I expect better results from them.  Future batches will have to wait for three things.  One, I'm a bit low on bottles, so I don't want to have more beer to bottle than bottles to fill.  Two, I'm about to move again, and I don't want to move LBKs with something in them.  And finally, I'm saving my money in hope that Black Friday will bring tidings of joy to those who saved their pennies and want to shop the great deals that Mr. Beer will have for us.

 

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