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Ideal Temperature?

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I will be setting up my temp control/fridge/ heat this weekend and starting batch 3 in my second LBK. Just wondering what the magic temperature is for Mr Beer kits (using the kit yeast). Thanks!

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I keep my brew room at 66, but anywhere from 65 to 68 is the sweet spot. Most commercial breweries hover at around 68.

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My basement in winter typically is near 62-64, so I let my beers ferment a little longer, perhaps 25 days (too lazy to check the gravity). We had a cold spell recently and I let my beer ferment a full 4 weeks. For conditioning I move them next to the boiler where it is near 68 deg F. Seems to work well.

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I keep my mini fridge fermenter at 66 the first week and 68 the second and third weeks. What's cool is I can finally do true lagers in Texas and keep the LBKs in the mid 50's. 

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I've got my lbk in my bedroom upstairs.. It stays about 65-68. During high krausen the lbk temp reads about 72 with the stick on thermometer. 

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3 hours ago, NwMaltHead said:

I've got my lbk in my bedroom upstairs.. It stays about 65-68. During high krausen the lbk temp reads about 72 with the stick on thermometer. 

 

One thing is all you can do is the best you can do. My first beers I tried the cooler with ice method in a 100 plus degree garage. It was not ideal, but it was the best I could do. I made several beers I really liked during that time. It is probable they would have been better fermenting at lower temps...but whatever. It was beer and it got me sluggered.

 

That being said, if you can get a set up to lower the temps, or control them, great! Go for it. 

 

If you can't....well all you can do is the best you can do. 

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Temps are always the temp of the wort.  Air temp is irrelevant.  While after peak fermentation is over they may match, at peak fermentation the wort can be 6 - 10 degrees higher.  So initially you need more temp control, then it slacks off.

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I have moved my lbk down to the kitchen counter, where the ambient temp stays mid 60's. I just moved it and am on my way to work. I'm hoping the lbk temp will be where it needs to by the time i get home. 

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7 hours ago, NwMaltHead said:

I have moved my lbk down to the kitchen counter, where the ambient temp stays mid 60's. I just moved it and am on my way to work. I'm hoping the lbk temp will be where it needs to by the time i get home. 

Out of sunlight, of course. (?)

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46 minutes ago, AnthonyC said:

Out of sunlight, of course. (?)

Haha yes. Thank you for double checking. Covering it with a sheet during the daytime. @AnthonyC

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8 hours ago, NwMaltHead said:

I have moved my lbk down to the kitchen counter, where the ambient temp stays mid 60's. I just moved it and am on my way to work. I'm hoping the lbk temp will be where it needs to by the time i get home. 

 

As I may have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of all you can do is the best you can do. If what you are relying on right now is the ambient temperature of your home, then that is what it is. You can't really do anything about it, so why worry about it? 

 

If it is something you are worrying about (I did) then I HIGHLY recommend getting a fridge and temp control unit. It is not that much and the ability to control your ambient temp is worth every dollar spent.

 

But in the mean, Try not to worry. We (humans) have been making beer since....I don't know...like forever. And not just those English in their nice cool weather places either! Egyptians.....Sumerians....I just read about some tribes in Mexico that make a strong homebrew corn beer.

 

Beer will be beer.

 

 

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8 hours ago, NwMaltHead said:

Haha yes. Thank you for double checking. Covering it with a sheet during the daytime. @AnthonyC

I figured that you did, but better safe than sorry.  ????

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Hope it's okay for me to chime in here...

I've got my 4th batch fermenting (Dry River Rye IPA) and I switched to the mini-fridge/Inkbird/heater method for this and future batches (works great, by the way!)....

but my issue might be with conditioning/carbonating temps....after bottling, I've been keeping my bottles in a cooler in the corner of the room, and adding water bottles with hot tap water each day to help keep the temp up...but I think mid-60s has been the average temp in the cooler.  But both my *finished* batches have been pretty flat.  After tasting my 2nd batch yesterday (Santa Rita Pale, 3 weeks/4 weeks, still pretty flat, but tasty) I put them back in the cooler to carb up for another week before I taste again.  I'm thinking I need better temp control for conditioning/carbing?  Should I invest in another fridge and temp control setup for my bottled beer, or ?  Maybe just a seedling mat heater and an inkbird in the cooler with the bottles?

Do many of the members here have separate temp control units for fermenters and for bottles?

Thanks!

Dave

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Temp of the bottles at conditioning should be constant.  I think it's supposed to be about the temp of fermentation, without going over 70 degrees.  I keep my bottles at a constant room temp of 68, and don't touch them/taste them until after conditioning.  If you open them during fermentation, you'll lose carbonation.

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Bottles can be 70 or higher.  Bottles don't ferment MiniYoda...

 

Consistent temps on bottle conditioning are not that crucial - but once you get below the mid 60s it's going to take a lot longer (50%+ longer than at 70 or higher).  Of course make sure you're putting the right amount of sugar in the bottle before bottling...  

 

I am often surprised when people say their house is at 62.  My basement is 62, but my upstairs living area is 70.

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I'm using 16 oz PET bottles with one Carb drop per bottle.  I think it should be about right for priming quantity?  I'm actually going to switch to 12 oz glass for this next batch, and still use 1 carb drop per.

I think it's all about temp for my carbing issue.  Up here (Pacific NW) it's been in the 30s to low 40s for awhile, and instead of leaving the heat on at home while I'm at work, I just try to keep the bottles in the cooler until I replace the hot water each day....but even then it only gets so warm for so long in there.  I guess I'll let them go a couple more weeks and see what the difference is....though, I'll probably contrive a way to keep the cooler temp up a little better (right about the time the weather warms up around here!)

Thanks for the input, guys!

Dave

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12 oz bottles are much better.  That's the route I've switch to.  I've been using 740ml PET bottles with two Mr. Beer carb drops. Now I'm using 12oz glass bottles with one Domino sugar cube.

 

If you want to use the PET bottles, try a bit more priming sugar.  Perhaps 1 and a half carb drops?

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50 minutes ago, david_k said:

I'm using 16 oz PET bottles with one Carb drop per bottle.  I think it should be about right for priming quantity?  I'm actually going to switch to 12 oz glass for this next batch, and still use 1 carb drop per.

I think it's all about temp for my carbing issue.  Up here (Pacific NW) it's been in the 30s to low 40s for awhile, and instead of leaving the heat on at home while I'm at work, I just try to keep the bottles in the cooler until I replace the hot water each day....but even then it only gets so warm for so long in there.  I guess I'll let them go a couple more weeks and see what the difference is....though, I'll probably contrive a way to keep the cooler temp up a little better (right about the time the weather warms up around here!)

Thanks for the input, guys!

Dave

 

Yes, that's right for 16 oz, but too much for 12 oz.  Figure at least 6 weeks at the lower temps, then at least 3 days in the frig for the carbonation to reabsorb.

sugar.png

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when your ready move up to batch priming.....its quite easy and you'll guarantee all your bottles will be evenly carbed no matter what size you use,, you can then bottle different size bottles at the same time,, Here's a link to a calculator or look up screwybrewers

 

http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

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one of these days, I'm going to research "batch priming" and the LBKs.  For now, 2 Mr. Beer drops or 3 Dominos cubes for a 740ml bottle, and one domino cube for a 12oz glass bottle seems to work..

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48 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

Yes, that's right for 16 oz, but too much for 12 oz.  Figure at least 6 weeks at the lower temps, then at least 3 days in the frig for the carbonation to reabsorb.

sugar.png

Thanks, Rick.  for 12oz, I might just switch to table sugar so I can get 3/4 tsp...meanwhile, I'll let my bottles carb for a couple more weeks.  Probably get a little mat heater for the cooler to help things stay warm.

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29 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

one of these days, I'm going to research "batch priming" and the LBKs.  For now, 2 Mr. Beer drops or 3 Dominos cubes for a 740ml bottle, and one domino cube for a 12oz glass bottle seems to work..

You know, I was wondering how to batch prime with an LBK....I'm guessing I'd have to rack it into another container, add the priming solution and then bottle, just like any other brewing method.  Question:  Does the priming solution add so much water to the wort that it dilutes it somewhat?  Second question: for the Domino sugar, does that mean 1 dot for a 12 ounce bottle, or 1 cube?   I think I'll buy some for this next batch.

Thanks again!

Dave

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1 hour ago, Stroomer420 said:

when your ready move up to batch priming.....its quite easy and you'll guarantee all your bottles will be evenly carbed no matter what size you use,, you can then bottle different size bottles at the same time,, Here's a link to a calculator or look up screwybrewers

 

http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

Screwybrewers calc does bottle priming....      http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html#bpc 

 

but thanks for the link for batch priming.. im gona start that with my next batch that is getting bottled next weekend since its a 5gal batch and going in various bottle sizes...

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MiniYoda exists stage right.

 

I only prime at the bottle.  One Domino sugar cube = 2.5g of sugar.  It's yea here close to a tablespoon of sugar.  seems to work for me. Your mileage may very

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38 minutes ago, david_k said:

You know, I was wondering how to batch prime with an LBK....I'm guessing I'd have to rack it into another container, add the priming solution and then bottle, just like any other brewing method.  Question:  Does the priming solution add so much water to the wort that it dilutes it somewhat?  Second question: for the Domino sugar, does that mean 1 dot for a 12 ounce bottle, or 1 cube?   I think I'll buy some for this next batch.

Thanks again!

Dave

your right... I luckily have ten LBKs from a target sale so I just use one of my extras but before that I used a slim line I got at WalMart for like seven bucks... And no it doesn't water down or dilute your beer ,it becomes sugar water and the yeasts eats it up and makes your carbonation,,, I boil a cup of water with my sugar for five mins to sterilize let cool.. While cooling I sanitize my bottles.....then I bottle up,,I use different sizes... Couple small bottles for early sampling some PET bottles some liters some 12 ounce glass...i mix it up but they are all the same carbonation wise.....

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3 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

MiniYoda exists stage right.

 

I only prime at the bottle.  One Domino sugar cube = 2.5g of sugar.  It's yea here close to a tablespoon of sugar.  seems to work for me. Your mileage may very

Are you talking about Domino Dots?  If so, they're 1/2 tsp; not even close to a tablespoon.  I use one in 12oz bottles and two in 500ml ones.

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many 5 gallon recipes recommend 5 oz. of corn sugar ( dextrose ) on batch priming, but I've also seen some recipes recommending only 3 ouces too wonder why?

 

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28 minutes ago, HoppySmile! said:

many 5 gallon recipes recommend 5 oz. of corn sugar ( dextrose ) on batch priming, but I've also seen some recipes recommending only 3 ouces too wonder why?

 

Are they different styles of beer?  That would be my guess.

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17 hours ago, Shrike said:

Are you talking about Domino Dots?  If so, they're 1/2 tsp; not even close to a tablespoon.  I use one in 12oz bottles and two in 500ml ones.

 

Yes, I was, and yes, you are right.  No idea how I came up with my numbers.  I guess friends shouldn't let friends post drunk

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35 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

 

Yes, I was, and yes, you are right.  No idea how I came up with my numbers.  I guess friends shouldn't let friends post drunk

Hell, if it weren't for drunk posting I might not go online at all. :)

 

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Can I add ice directly to the wort to cool it <70 before I add the yeast, or do I have to chill the whole container from the outside? 

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20 minutes ago, Hoag's Brew said:

Can I add ice directly to the wort to cool it <70 before I add the yeast, or do I have to chill the whole container from the outside? 

if you follow the Mr beer instructions of using refrigerated water when filling the lbk there's no need for ice. Using refrigerated water get you right where you need to be...

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46 minutes ago, Hoag's Brew said:

Can I add ice directly to the wort to cool it <70 before I add the yeast, or do I have to chill the whole container from the outside? 

 

the best solution I've ever heard is to give the LBK an ice bath until you get to the right temp to add the yeast.  Adding ice might be okay, but I've always been paranoid about how do to so, especially if whatever touches the ice (hands, ice cube makers, plastic bag) isn't well sanitized.

 

 

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And yes, I used gallon bottles of spring water that's been in the fridge for brewing.  Brings the wort down very nicely.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Hoag's Brew said:

Can I add ice directly to the wort to cool it <70 before I add the yeast, or do I have to chill the whole container from the outside? 

 

 

What I do is put the LBK in a cooler with two or three liter bottles of ice water.  Once it hits 65 degrees I whisk up the wort for about 45 seconds (with a whisk that's been sanitized) then toss the yeast.

 

The longest it's taken the wort to cool down was 1.5 hours, and that was with a partial mash that started with more than the standard four cups of water.

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Thanks to all! 

 

In my first several batches I didn't know that the initial temperature MUST be 70 degrees or less before I added the yeast, so I used refrigerated water added to the hot wort but never checked the initial temperature. The long term fermentation stayed at the 65 degree range in a cooler but apparently the yeast hit at a higher temperature and all of  the end beers had a cider taste. 

 

The last batch I threw some ice in with the wort and confirmed the temperature was less than 70 before I added the yeast, and this was the first batch that didn't have the cider taste!

 

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25 minutes ago, Shrike said:

 

 

What I do is put the LBK in a cooler with two or three liter bottles of ice water.  Once it hits 65 degrees I whisk up the wort for about 45 seconds (with a whisk that's been sanitized) then toss the yeast.

 

The longest it's taken the wort to cool down was 1.5 hours, and that was with a partial mash that started with more than the standard four cups of water.

an hour an a half to cool???? That seems long... All my batches now are PM recipes and I still just follow the Mr beer instructions,,, I keep my gallons of water in the fridge while I'm brewing and after I steep my grains for 30 mins bring to a boil then take off the heat add the HME and LMEs mix it up,, then I take my refrigerated water out and put the first gallon in add my wort mix top off with rest of refrigerated water and I'm like at mid 60s-68 everytime....but again the great thing about this hobby is whatever works for you is the way to do it then...?

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11 minutes ago, Hoag's Brew said:

Thanks to all! 

 

In my first several batches I didn't know that the initial temperature MUST be 70 degrees or less before I added the yeast, so I used refrigerated water added to the hot wort but never checked the initial temperature. The long term fermentation stayed at the 65 degree range in a cooler but apparently the yeast hit at a higher temperature and all of  the end beers had a cider taste. 

 

The last batch I threw some ice in with the wort and confirmed the temperature was less than 70 before I added the yeast, and this was the first batch that didn't have the cider taste!

 

Hoag,

 

Most likely on the previous batches you were above 70 when you pitched the yeast and thus you stressed it giving you the off tastes.  Always a good idea to check the temperature of the wort prior to pitching.  Yeast are hardy critters but they do have issues with high temperatures.  Also, make sure the yeast packet is sitting out and allowed to warm to room temperature prior to pitching, thermal shock can hurt the yeast as well. 

 

My recommendation would be to not use ice to cool the wort. Even if it is from your freezer and water source, it has a chance of having wild yeast in it.  Not to mention the chlorine from your water.  This also could be a source of the cider taste, make sure if you use tap water that you use campden tablets to remove the chlorine prior to brewing with it.

 

Also, make sure to keep your fermentation temperatures in the 65 degree range.  Not ambient air temperature but the temperature of the wort.  You only need to worry about this for the first 3 to 4 days, after that you can let it rise the about 68 to 70 to finish fermentation without any bad effects.

 

Welcome to the obsession,

Dawg 

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If you follow the Mr. Beer directions, and use refrigerated water for the gallon in the LBK and the top off water, your wort will be at the proper temperature, and no cooling is necessary.  Do NOT put ice in the wort.  

 

Make sure you ferment for 3 weeks.  Make sure you condition for 4 weeks or more.  Green beer with less conditioning won't be good.

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You mentioned having the yeast at room temperature. Should I be refrigerating the yeast from the time it arrives in the mail until the time I brew? I've just left it at room temperature until I used it. 

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19 minutes ago, Hoag's Brew said:

You mentioned having the yeast at room temperature. Should I be refrigerating the yeast from the time it arrives in the mail until the time I brew? I've just left it at room temperature until I used it. 

yes keep your yeast in the fridge till day off use... It'll last longer....

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You probably want to spend some time reading through the forum including the stickies at the top of each section.  I also have some links in my signature of interest.

 

If you aren't going to brew a batch in the near future, storing the yeast in the frig will prolong its life.  I refrigerate all my yeast, and I've used 2+ year old yeast with no issue.  Never store yeast in a hot environment like a garage.  

 

If you do refrigerate it, then let it warm up as stated before using it.  I take it out the evening prior.

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2 hours ago, Stroomer420 said:

an hour an a half to cool???? That seems long... All my batches now are PM recipes and I still just follow the Mr beer instructions,,, I keep my gallons of water in the fridge while I'm brewing and after I steep my grains for 30 mins bring to a boil then take off the heat add the HME and LMEs mix it up,, then I take my refrigerated water out and put the first gallon in add my wort mix top off with rest of refrigerated water and I'm like at mid 60s-68 everytime....but again the great thing about this hobby is whatever works for you is the way to do it then...?

I use refridgerated water also.  The one that took 1.5 hours to cool down was at around 80 degrees.  Normally with my PM ones it's right around 70-72.

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

If you follow the Mr. Beer directions, and use refrigerated water for the gallon in the LBK and the top off water, your wort will be at the proper temperature, and no cooling is necessary.  Do NOT put ice in the wort.  

 

Make sure you ferment for 3 weeks.  Make sure you condition for 4 weeks or more.  Green beer with less conditioning won't be good.

I follow the Mr. Beer directions and some of the PM ones I've done have needed cooling.  But then again, I pitch at 65.  I've never needed it for non-PM ones, though.

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Since the partial mash recipes use 6 cups instead of 4, they would end up warmer.  The 6 cups should turn into maybe 5 cups after the grain has absorbed water, but if you then sparge it that would use more water, although sparge water should not exceed 170 max.  

 

It's a simple math exercise as I've posted before.  

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30 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Since the partial mash recipes use 6 cups instead of 4, they would end up warmer.  The 6 cups should turn into maybe 5 cups after the grain has absorbed water, but if you then sparge it that would use more water, although sparge water should not exceed 170 max.  

 

It's a simple math exercise as I've posted before.  

Thanks, but I know all of that.  The point was that saying "If you follow the Mr. Beer directions, and use refrigerated water for the gallon in the LBK and the top off water, your wort will be at the proper temperature" is wrong.

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I still use pretty much four cups of water when I steep my grains and my fridge at work holds at 33 degrees so maybe that's why I still hit my mark...

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13 minutes ago, Stroomer420 said:

I still use pretty much four cups of water when I steep my grains and my fridge at work holds at 33 degrees so maybe that's why I still hit my mark...

 

Yeah, when I can keep the steep to four cups the temp is pretty spot on after topping it off.

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On 3/16/2017 at 10:01 AM, Shrike said:

Thanks, but I know all of that.  The point was that saying "If you follow the Mr. Beer directions, and use refrigerated water for the gallon in the LBK and the top off water, your wort will be at the proper temperature" is wrong.

 

Yup. If you are working in the realm of the base Mr. Beer world, that advice works perfectly. Once you start adding in some things, it changes drastically.

 

For example, with the Lock Stock and Barrel Stout, I had water from steeping the grains (and I don't know how you all manage to do it with 4 cups. I must be a kitchen moron or something!) Then you had THREE LME's....then TWO St. Pat's.......(man I can't wait for this beer!).......

 

I know I pitched too warm even with the gallon of refrigerator cold AND topping with ice cold.

 

Whatever. One of my strongest assets in this crazy brewing world is that I'm okay with the funky off flavors......and I've learned to patiently let my beer condition.

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2 hours ago, MrWhy said:

 

Yup. If you are working in the realm of the base Mr. Beer world, that advice works perfectly. Once you start adding in some things, it changes drastically.

 

For example, with the Lock Stock and Barrel Stout, I had water from steeping the grains (and I don't know how you all manage to do it with 4 cups. I must be a kitchen moron or something!) Then you had THREE LME's....then TWO St. Pat's.......(man I can't wait for this beer!).......

 

I know I pitched too warm even with the gallon of refrigerator cold AND topping with ice cold.

 

Whatever. One of my strongest assets in this crazy brewing world is that I'm okay with the funky off flavors......and I've learned to patiently let my beer condition.

 

It depends on the recipe.  If I'm just steeping some carapils for a regular brew or doing a PM that only uses up to six ounces of grains or so and doesn't call for multiple cans of HME, I have a four quart pot I use.  I can get away with four cups in that one no problem, not counting the cup used for sparging.  But on the bigger PM ones, like Lock/Stock and Black Beer'd, I end up having to use a six quart pot.  It has a wider base than my four quart so I end up using six or more cups of water for the steep.

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I live in the south and just want to verify... fermenting in higher temps there is threat of off flavors.  And those can be usually be conditioned out.  If fermentation happens say closer to 70 degrees this can cause fermentation to happen faster?  And try to keep the temp down to 65 degrees.  If fermentation happens faster should it remain fermenting for the full 3 weeks?  From all the reading on the forums, I have a feeling I know the answer and that is...just be patience and wait.  

 

Since reading about the 65 degree mark I have started a batch, tried to keep the temp down and have seen a way better fermentation this time around.  I was a little amazed at how much better actually.  I see a better cooling vessel in my future for batches to come. 

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I'd also point out that you can't "see" fermentation.  You can see the krausen that forms, and a fermentation may get more vigorous at a higher temperature, but that doesn't mean it's "better".  And, as Gophers6 mentioned, you can't condition out some off flavors.

 

You should always ferment for 3 weeks, and then carbonate and condition for 4 or more weeks at 70 or higher.  Then bottle refrigerate what you'll drink 3 days later.

 

And do some reading, including my signature. 

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6 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

I'd also point out that you can't "see" fermentation.  You can see the krausen that forms, and a fermentation may get more vigorous at a higher temperature, but that doesn't mean it's "better".  And, as Gophers6 mentioned, you can't condition out some off flavors.

 

You should always ferment for 3 weeks, and then carbonate and condition for 4 or more weeks at 70 or higher.  Then bottle what you'll drink 3 days later.

 

And do some reading, including my signature. 

Don't you mean refrigerate what you will drink 3 days later?

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1 minute ago, RickBeer said:

I'd also point out that you can't "see" fermentation.  You can see the krausen that forms, and a fermentation may get more vigorous at a higher temperature, but that doesn't mean it's "better".  And, as Gophers6 mentioned, you can't condition out some off flavors.

 

You should always ferment for 3 weeks, and then carbonate and condition for 4 or more weeks at 70 or higher.  Then bottle what you'll drink 3 days later.

 

And do some reading, including my signature. 

 

I guess I used the word "see" because I didn't see much of a reaction or krausen during my last last batch.  This go around I tried to control the temp better and assume as a result have better krausen.  And I'm wasn't trying to imply that faster was better by any means. I was just curious if my thinking that warm temps during fermentation did cause faster fermentation.  After reading the links you have in your signature I have a better understanding of the process and understand 65 is the place to be. Being that I'm in a warmer climate I'm just trying to figure out what surprises to expect and how to combat them better.  

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4 minutes ago, Splorchwart said:

 

I guess I used the word "see" because I didn't see much of a reaction or krausen during my last last batch.  This go around I tried to control the temp better and assume as a result have better krausen.  And I'm wasn't trying to imply that faster was better by any means. I was just curious if my thinking that warm temps during fermentation did cause faster fermentation.  After reading the links you have in your signature I have a better understanding of the process and understand 65 is the place to be. Being that I'm in a warmer climate I'm just trying to figure out what surprises to expect and how to combat them better.  

lot of people use a cooler with frozen water bottles to control temperature,,, I got a used small fridge at a hotel liquidators for 40$ and now just gotta grab a inkbird controller for when the summer months get here....but alot of people have good results with just the cooler and frozen water bottle method to keep that 65 mark....

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Splorchwart, I'm in the South also and before I discovered this forum I would just leave the LBK at room temperature during fermentation, then wonder why I could never make a really good beer. :)  Since coming here and seeing the importance of temperature control I started using the cooler/water bottle method to keep my wort at around 65 and my results have been so much better.

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I'd like to update from my previous entries on this thread regarding carbonation...

So, after my third batch coming out more or less flat, I'm beginning to lose my enthusiasm  :) (not really, though)....

The first two batches (Diablo IPA and Santa Rita Pale PM) I didn't have good temp control during carbonation, so I attributed my lack of *fizz* to that, and endeavoured to take things into control, thermally-speaking.  By the time I started my 3rd batch, I had a minifridge with a seedling heater mat and an inkbird temp controller (minifridge for Fermenting) and I now have a cooler with a seedling heater mat and another inkbird temp controller (cooler for carbonating bottles)....

3rd batch:

Fermentation temps were monitored at 65F, and carbonating temps at 71F (3 weeks, 4 weeks).  The 16oz PET bottles for this recent batch were quite firm after the 4 week carbonation period, so I put a few in the refrigerator to condition.  After 3 days, the bottles were noticeably softer and squeezable, and the beer inside, while delicious, was flat...not to be daunted, I waited another week at 71F, put a couple more (firm) bottles in the fridge, and checked them after one day....soft bottles with flat beer inside.  Then I decided to take a still warm bottle out of the cooler at 71F and pour it into a glass to see if it was carbed properly....it poured a nice head, and had plenty of carbonation...BUT, it was warm!  So, I'm flummoxed....the beer is getting carbonated, the caps are sealed, but once they cool in the refrigerator to condition, they lose their carbonation, even after several days for the co2 to be reabsorbed into the beer.

I've read a number of threads here on the subject, but none of it seems to offer a good solution to this particular trouble.  For clarity, I've used the Mr, Beer carb drops, one per 16 oz.

So, now to my current situation:

I have a batch of Dry River Rye IPA in the cooler now, it will be ready to condition in one week. I switched bottle types and sugar types for this batch, so I'm hoping to see better results.

Fermented 3 weeks at 65F, and carbonated at 71F for 4 weeks (4 weeks on the 24th, next Monday)....here's what I have:

1-16 oz PET mr beer bottle with one carb drop (for a squeeze test/control experiment)

10-12 oz glass bottles with one Domino Dot sugar cube

4-12 oz glass bottles with 4 Brewers Best Conditioning Tablets https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006O2D9RE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

5-12 oz glass bottles with 5 Brewers Best Conditioning Tablets

 

So you can tell it's an experiment in carbing....I'm hoping to see similar results as my previous batches with the PET bottle/Carb drop, but hopefully some different results with the domino dot sugar cubes, and also with the conditioning tablets...and I'm hoping that one of the variations will result in favorable carbonation, and if so, then that's the method I'm going to use going forward....

Anyway, sorry for the long, drawn out post, but I like to share information, and I hope this can be a good reference for myself or others here on the forum later....I'll come back with any noteworthy results in a couple weeks, after I find out if I can get decent carbonation (finally!)

Thanks to everyone for their advice and support, and for your tolerance of another newb with rookie issues/questions!

Dave

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I've had great luck with one domino sugar cube per twelve ounce bottle. If anything, some have been overcarbonated, but never flat.

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I wonder if you are wrong about your bottle size...  and therefore the amount of sugar needed... 

 

The OLD Mr. Beer kits came with eight 33.8 oz 1 liter bottles.  You could buy 16.9 oz 1/2 liter bottles from Mr. Beer, but I believe only stand alone, i.e. they never came in kits.  Even if they did, that would have ended years ago.

 

The NEW Mr. Beer kits come with 11 740 ml 3/4 liter bottles.

 

There are also two sizes of Domino Dots...

 

I'll bet there is some confusion on your end, resulting in significantly uncarbing your beer.

 

Bottles will become softer in the frig, relative to outside the fridge, for two reasons.  First, the absorption of CO2 by the beer, which happens over a few days (which is why 3 days are recommended).  Second, the lower pressure that gas has in the cooler temps.  However, neither explains flat beer, but I think I did above.

 

 

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Firstbatch was the bigger bottles that came with the kit, using 2 carb drops ( my mistake I forgot) and that one was slightly more carbed...Batch 2 and 3 I used the 12 ounce pet bottles from the Mr beer deluxe bottling system.

Thanks,

Dave

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24 minutes ago, david_k said:

Firstbatch was the bigger bottles that came with the kit, using 2 carb drops ( my mistake I forgot) and that one was slightly more carbed...Batch 2 and 3 I used the 12 ounce pet bottles from the Mr beer deluxe bottling system.

Thanks,

Dave

 

The PET bottles are 1/2 liter which is almost 17oz.  I use two Domino's Dots (1 tsp sugar) in those.

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Right.  The "deluxe" system includes the 1/2 liter 16.9 oz bottles.  Mr. Beer has never sold 12 oz PET bottles.  

 

You need to get straight what bottles you are using, and exactly how much sugar you are using.  Saying "1 cube" when Domino makes two sizes is not good enough, go read the box and get the right numbers.

 

Using 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a 16.9 oz bottle will result in serious undercarbonating.  

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12 hours ago, david_k said:

Fermentation temps were monitored at 65F, and carbonating temps at 71F (3 weeks, 4 weeks).  The 16oz PET bottles for this recent batch were quite firm after the 4 week carbonation period, so I put a few in the refrigerator to condition.  After 3 days, the bottles were noticeably softer and squeezable, and the beer inside, while delicious, was flat...not to be daunted, I waited another week at 71F, put a couple more (firm) bottles in the fridge, and checked them after one day....soft bottles with flat beer inside.  Then I decided to take a still warm bottle out of the cooler at 71F and pour it into a glass to see if it was carbed properly....it poured a nice head, and had plenty of carbonation...BUT, it was warm!  So, I'm flummoxed....the beer is getting carbonated, the caps are sealed, but once they cool in the refrigerator to condition, they lose their carbonation, even after several days for the co2 to be reabsorbed into the beer.

I had the same issue when I bottled in the PET bottles.  They would be fine until I chilled them.  Once I switched to glass the issue went away.  I think your experiment will reflect this.

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1 hour ago, BDawg62 said:

I had the same issue when I bottled in the PET bottles.  They would be fine until I chilled them.  Once I switched to glass the issue went away.  I think your experiment will reflect this.

IDK Dawg, I still bottle every batch 1/2 into glass and 1/2 into plastic. Never had a carb problem in the plastic.

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Hoping the PET's are okay as I am now doing a combination of them and regular glass. I have been batch priming which makes the multiple sizes easy. My PET's have firmed up nice after approx. 2-3 days condtioning at 68-70F. Haven't sampled from one yet.......cheers!IMG_20170227_190946.thumb.jpg.2a5e4984cb913d1c417adcc2f4ae9975.jpg

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3 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Right.  The "deluxe" system includes the 1/2 liter 16.9 oz bottles.  Mr. Beer has never sold 12 oz PET bottles.  

 

You need to get straight what bottles you are using, and exactly how much sugar you are using.  Saying "1 cube" when Domino makes two sizes is not good enough, go read the box and get the right numbers.

 

Using 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a 16.9 oz bottle will result in serious undercarbonating.  

Yikes.  Sorry, I wrote that last post before my morning coffee! 

Batches 2and 3 were in the 16.9 oz pet bottles from Mr beer deluxe bottling kit, with one carb drop each.  

I'm now carbonating in 12 oz glass, with 10 bottles primed with a 2.2 gram domino for each ( the small ones)...

Sorry for the confusion. ?

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If you review years of posts on the forum, you see people complaining about carb levels (i.e. insufficient) using Mr. Beer carb drops on occasion.  Rarely, if ever, does anyone complain that uses plain table sugar (which is what the domino cubes/dots are.

 

Different styles require different levels of carb.  Different tastes do also.  I recommend people do multiple levels with bottle carbing to determine what THEY like.  Then, switch to batch priming and using a calculator like Screwy Brewers.  That said, you'll never notice small differences.

 

I just did my default 130 grams of table sugar for my 5 gallon batches.  However, 5 gallons is 640 ounces, and I usually get 600 oz.  So if you do that math, I'm really using 2.6 grams per 12 oz bottle.  

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5 hours ago, RickBeer said:

If you review years of posts on the forum, you see people complaining about carb levels (i.e. insufficient) using Mr. Beer carb drops on occasion.  Rarely, if ever, does anyone complain that uses plain table sugar (which is what the domino cubes/dots are.

 

Different styles require different levels of carb.  Different tastes do also.  I recommend people do multiple levels with bottle carbing to determine what THEY like.  Then, switch to batch priming and using a calculator like Screwy Brewers.  That said, you'll never notice small differences.

 

I just did my default 130 grams of table sugar for my 5 gallon batches.  However, 5 gallons is 640 ounces, and I usually get 600 oz.  So if you do that math, I'm really using 2.6 grams per 12 oz bottle.  

Yes, I think once I find a preferred carbonation level, I'll be switching to batch priming.

Question:. Is it too late to take these beers out of the fridge, add some more sugar, and re-carb them for a couple weeks?  Is the yeast still viable?

Thanks!

Dave

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You can add drops.  If you add loose sugar, they will quickly foam over, so no.

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Update:

I got anxious and tried one of my Rye IPAs (12 ounce in glass) carbed with a small Domino dot....it's great!

4th batch of Mr. Beer recipes, and this is the first one that I think is perfect!  Tastes really good, and the carbonation is exactly how I like it...

Thanks everyone for their suggestions and advice :)

Dave

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Hey guys total newbie here. My kit doesn't even arrive until tomorrow. Ordered the complete Bewitched Amber Ale kit with LBK, bottles, etc. 

 

Been reading a lot and I'm worried about temperature. I live in Arizona. It's still mid  to high 90s outside. Inside I keep my temp at 78-80. Can I let it ferment in the LBK at that temp? Then let the bottles condition in the same temperature? 

 

I'm planning on letting everything sit in my pantry closet, in the dark, possibly in a Coleman cooler? Should I add frozen water bottles?

 

TIA

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Welcome to the forum!

 

I would definitely go the Coleman cooler route with frozen water bottles.  You'll want to keep the temperature of the wort around the 65-68 degree range.  A thermometer such as this will tell you what the wort temp is.  You can also pick up an aquarium thermometer at a pet store.

 

Proper temperature control during fermentation was probably the single most important step I undertook to improve my brews.

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