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Jdub

1st taste American Lager

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Finally.....tried my American Lager tonight after 3 weeks fermenting, 3 weeks bottling, and 3 days in the fridge. 1st batch ever.  Daughter and wife both said tasted like apples. Was fairly flat. Was disappointed that there wasn’t more of a sound opening bottle (750 ml mr beer bottles, brand new). Taste was good. Didn’t taste very high abv. Low carbonation. Used 2 coopers carb tabs in each bottle. Everything I’ve read says that the beer will get better with age. Waiting a week to put another in the fridge and test that theory. Overall not gonna lie was a little disappointed about the low carbonation and apple taste. 

 

I have 2 other batches different flavors in bottles now which are aging and 2 more fermenting (I have 2 LBK’s). 

 

Any suggestions other than than give it more time?

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Welcome to home brewing!

Yeah, I got a few of those when I started, but getting much less now.

Apple taste - maybe try to ferment at lower temp.

Carbonation - 2 tabs should be enough. Maybe lids not tight enough? Did you let them carbonate at room temp?

Weak beer. If it was just the Refill can it will be 3.2-3.5%

With refill and 2 booster packs - 4.5%

With refill and one LME/DME pack about 4.2%.

Knowing that approximately (depending on yeast and other things) a refill is 3.2%, the  booster packs are 0.65% ABV add, the LME/DME packs are sized to give 1% ABV add.

So you can craft your own ABV strength as desired.
 

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Yes fermented at around 68-70 I would guess. Screwed new lids on very tight. We’ll see if they improve with age. Brewed with can and booster packs. Followed recipe exactly. Will report again next week to see if it improves. 

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Many are going to say that 68-70 is too high of a temperature for fermentation. Especially if you are talking about the room air temp. That's when you get the apple flavor. I am no pro, but have been using an ice chest with a couple of frozen bottles on one side. I keep a thermometer taped to the other side of the chest reading around 60 and have not had the cidery taste yet. Works for me - Just a suggestion.

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Some beers though you do want to ferment warm to let yeast characteristics impart desired flavors to the beer.

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Yeah I have it in the closet in my upstairs. Our heat has been on this winter so it stays warm up there. Nothing crazy but 65-70. I like simple and am unlikely to put a lot of effort into temp control. I have the temp sticker in the closet and it just says ✅. Haven’t had a too hot or too cold reading yet. 

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18 hours ago, Jdub said:

Yeah I have it in the closet in my upstairs. Our heat has been on this winter so it stays warm up there. Nothing crazy but 65-70. I like simple and am unlikely to put a lot of effort into temp control. I have the temp sticker in the closet and it just says ✅. Haven’t had a too hot or too cold reading yet. 

During peak fermentation, your wort temps will be several degrees higher than the ambient temperature of the room, and the peak is when temp control is most important. If the room was 70, your wort may have been 75 or so, which is too warm.

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On Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 8:44 AM, Marius said:

Many are going to say that 68-70 is too high of a temperature for fermentation. Especially if you are talking about the room air temp. That's when you get the apple flavor. I am no pro, but have been using an ice chest with a couple of frozen bottles on one side. I keep a thermometer taped to the other side of the chest reading around 60 and have not had the cidery taste yet. Works for me - Just a suggestion.

The key is religiously changing out the bottles to maintain the lower temperatures. I foolishly relied on my son. Some days he remembered, othets he didn't. I was brewing a smoked ale at the time. Everyone loved it, but I will never be able to repeat the outcome.

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That does take some commitment, but gives me something to do while I wait for the yeast to do the real work. One day I will convince my wife that I need a dedicated refrigerator/fermenter, but until then I will be perving the Igloos two times a day!

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If you've never drank home brew before, make sure to modify your pouring procedure. I had a bad/weird taste the first time I tried mine and it turned out to be trub/yeast making it into my beer. Leave an inch or two of beer at the bottom to keep fine sediment out of the glass and don't pour too aggressively. 

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23 hours ago, Jdub said:

I like simple and am unlikely to put a lot of effort into temp control.

Then get used to drinking apple cider beers. 

 

The biggest change in my beer was moving to temperature control.  Temperature control is needed while fermenting (for at least the first week) and while carbonating (for 2 to 3 weeks).  58 to 60 degree ambient air temp when fermenting and 75 to 78 ambient air temp when carbonating is what I have found to be my sweet spot. 

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2 minutes ago, BDawg62 said:

Then get used to drinking apple cider beers. 

 

The biggest change in my beer was moving to temperature control.  Temperature control is needed while fermenting (for at least the first week) and while carbonating (for 2 to 3 weeks).  58 to 60 degree ambient air temp when fermenting and 75 to 78 ambient air temp when carbonating is what I have found to be my sweet spot. 

 

Yep.  The single biggest improvement to my beer was temperature control, which I first learned about on here.  For quite some time I used the cooler/ice bottle method to keep my wort temperature around 63-65.  Eventually I stepped up to an Inkbird & mini-fridge mainly because I didn't want to stop brewing if I was going out of town.  But the cooler/ice bottle method is simple, inexpensive, and very effective.  It got to the point where I hardly even had to check the temp strip; two bottles through high krausen swapped out once per day, then one bottle swapped out once per day for the remaining fermentation time.  Easy as can be.

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I've been at this for over a year now. I don't think I come out with the "best" beer but I don't notice any apple cider taste. (Hell maybe I'm conditioned to it) I ferment in my basement which in ranges from 65 to 68F. It's warmer down there in the winter than the summer due to heat vs a/c. Then I carb upstairs in a closet for 3 weeks at 71-74. Maybe I should be shooting for a wider spectrum between the two stages? I do have dorm fridge and an inkbird but I've only used that set-up for fermenting Lagers or cold crashing Ales. 

 

After carbonation I move them back to the slightly cooler basement for the conditioning period. Wrong move?

On a side note when I have 3 different batches in process there are days I really get my steps in traveling up and down stairs.

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Well that’s great. I’ve been following the instructions religiously and haven’t tried keeping it cooler during fermentation. Just fermenting and conditioning around 70. I’ll try doing it differently on the 5th batch I’m about to start. My 1st batch was the only one ready so far and I was pretty disappointed. American Lager basic starter. 

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I’m about to start a Thunder Bay ipa and Munich malt monster. Do y’all think I should be fermenting them at lower temps? The instructions for each don’t indicate that. I don’t want to mess them up. Especially with the long conditioning times. Thanks. 

 

JW

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You should ferment all ales, except for those trying to get esters out of the yeast (i.e. wheat beer wanting banana flavor), at a wort temp of 65 - 68.  Whether you're making a regular refill or Thunder Bay IPA doesn't matter.

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I am a newb but i will tell you this. I do believe everyone is right about temp control HOWEVER i did my first batch of american light ambient temp 72 3 weeks in cidery taste so i kept it in the fermenter one more week to 4 weeks and vwalla cidery taste gone, tasted like a flat beer from the store to me. I am wondering if when the temps cause the cidery taste longer fermentation will eradicate it? It sure seems so for me. I am now conditioning it taking advice on here at 6 weeks instead of 3. So soon i will have a full report.

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Ya this weekend is my 4th week carbing/conditioning for my 1st batch (American lager). I will throw a couple in the fridge for 3days this weekend. Really hoping the carbonation will be better as well as the taste. I had flat and apple tasting beer at 3 weeks. I can accept my 1st batch being bad but if it’s a trend, well......

 

Conditioning now: American ale

fermenting: horse’s ass ale, Black beer’d porter

on deck: Thunder Bay ipa, Munich malt monster

thinking about: Austin Pilsner 

 

im a newbie but damn if this isn’t becoming an obsession already with very little instant gratification. Luckily I have a great craft brewery in my town to satisfy my thirst (Shannon brewery). 

 

JW

 

 

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9 hours ago, Jdub said:

Ya this weekend is my 4th week carbing/conditioning for my 1st batch (American lager). I will throw a couple in the fridge for 3days this weekend. Really hoping the carbonation will be better as well as the taste. I had flat and apple tasting beer at 3 weeks. I can accept my 1st batch being bad but if it’s a trend, well......

 

Conditioning now: American ale

fermenting: horse’s ass ale, Black beer’d porter

on deck: Thunder Bay ipa, Munich malt monster

thinking about: Austin Pilsner 

 

im a newbie but damn if this isn’t becoming an obsession already with very little instant gratification. Luckily I have a great craft brewery in my town to satisfy my thirst (Shannon brewery). 

 

JW

 

 

 

Very true about the lack of instant gratification.  But once you have a pipeline it's not that big a deal anymore.  When I brewed Lock, Stock, and Bourbon Barrel Stout in Oct 2016 I was aghast that I'd have to wait 6-12 months to drink it.  Now I don't even think twice about bottling a batch and putting it down for a six month nap.

 

I'm brewing the American Resolution Hazy IPA later today.  This'll be a weird one as they recommend no more than two weeks conditioning.  I'm so unaccustomed to having a batch ready to drink so soon.  :)

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@Shrike So when it says 6-12 mos conditioning, do you try some at 6? Or wait till 12? My Munich MM I’m about to start says 6-12. I’ll just put it up in a closet in the beer bottle box and write the date on it and forget about it. 

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13 minutes ago, Jdub said:

@Shrike So when it says 6-12 mos conditioning, do you try some at 6? Or wait till 12? My Munich MM I’m about to start says 6-12. I’ll just put it up in a closet in the beer bottle box and write the date on it and forget about it. 

 

I always try one of my brews right at the minimum conditioning time.  Sometimes they're ready, other times they need to nap some more.  The Lock/Stock I mentioned earlier was good at six months.  It was fantastic at a year.

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14 hours ago, Jdub said:

 

im a newbie but damn if this isn’t becoming an obsession already with very little instant gratification. 

 

JW

 

 

Same here

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@RickBeer @Shrike ok so I’m taking all of your advice. Today would be my scheduled bottling day for my horse’s ass ale. However I’m gonna cold crash for 3 days 1st. My next batch will be Thunder Bay ipa. I plan on using the cooler and ice bottle method to ferment at a lower temp. What temp am I targeting? 65? What is confusing to me is that the temp strip has been ✅ all this time but despite that it may be too warm according to what everyone is saying. 

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I am going to follow this, because I want to know what the experts have to say. But I will also tell you what I understand and have done at this point. The only true measure of wort temperature is a probe thermometer that goes into the wort. Being a newbie and afraid of infection, I'm not there. So assuming that the LBK inside liquid temperature is a little warmer than the ice chest temperature, I always aim a few degrees below the target. During peak fermentation, my ice chest temp is 60ish. This will fluctuate a little, but not much if you change the frozen bottles out regularly. After the first week, I let it rise a few degrees, but not above 65. Some will let it rise to 70 the last few days before cold crashing. This has worked great for me so far and I have not minded tending to the beer daily. The smell of it is going to be a pleasure as well. Also prop the front of the keg so the trub will settle toward the rear of the keg. You will be glad you did.

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@Marius thanks. I am gonna try it for my next batch. I measured the LBK and it looks like it will fit perfectly in a igloo cube rolling cooler that I have. Also ordered some temp strips on amazon with a more specific range other than just too cold, hot or ✅. Will be interesting to see how cooler fermentation works out. I am very green at this hobby and don’t know much. 

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8 minutes ago, Jdub said:

@Marius thanks. I am gonna try it for my next batch. I measured the LBK and it looks like it will fit perfectly in a igloo cube rolling cooler that I have. Also ordered some temp strips on amazon with a more specific range other than just too cold, hot or ✅. Will be interesting to see how cooler fermentation works out. I am very green at this hobby and don’t know much. 

 

The cooler method worked great for me.  It's inexpensive, convenient, doesn't take up much space, and if you have an overflow it's contained.  All you have to do is remember to change out the bottles.  The only reason I went to a mini-fridge and Inkbird was because I could go out of town without worrying about my wort getting too hot.  :)

 

As far as the bottles are concerned, you'll learn from experience on how many to use and how long they'll last.  I used 24oz bottles.  For the first day I kept two in the cooler until the temp strip read around 64.  Then I'd take those two out, put in a fresh one, and swap out every 12 hours.  I did that for the first four or five days until high krausen was complete.  After that I swapped out once a day, unless I noticed the temperature rising past about 68.

 

I have the temp strip on the LBK  just slightly lower than halfway down.  So in order to read it I used a hand held mirror and a flashlight.

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Just be sure that the ice chest has enough room for the frozen bottles and the spigot. Don't want that pressed against the wall and risk leaking. My frozen bottles do not touch the keg. I think temp control is going to make all the difference. You surely want to get it right before starting that Munich Malt Monster. $$$. On another note. I noticed I had to find a warmer place in my house for carbonation. If you are carbing at 70 or below, it is going to take a bit longer time. 75 degrees seems to be the magic number. After three weeks, you can move them to room temperature to condition. 

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5 hours ago, Marius said:

Just be sure that the ice chest has enough room for the frozen bottles and the spigot. Don't want that pressed against the wall and risk leaking. My frozen bottles do not touch the keg. I think temp control is going to make all the difference. You surely want to get it right before starting that Munich Malt Monster. $$$. On another note. I noticed I had to find a warmer place in my house for carbonation. If you are carbing at 70 or below, it is going to take a bit longer time. 75 degrees seems to be the magic number. After three weeks, you can move them to room temperature to condition. 

Thanks for the tip and picture. I think my igloo cube would be a tight fit and the bottles would be touching the keg. I may run to Wally World and pick one up. Do you low temp in the 60’s for the whole 3 weeks?

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Yes, I have been keeping mine In low 60s for the whole time. Except for that last few days when I let it get close to 70. It is most important for the first week. From what I've gathered, you want to avoid wide fluctuations. The yeast can let out some funky flavors if it gets stressed. Keep a close eye on that Munich Malt Monster. I believe it can get messy if temps are too warm. 

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Update.....just tried a bottle of my 1st batch again. Been in bottles for 4weeks now (American lager). Tastes like flat apple cider. Fermented around 70 for 3 weeks. Oh well. Will just keep them in the bottles in the closet and maybe check back in a month. I think I got some bad bottle caps too. I have read about other people having some problems. 

 

Im just gonna focus on my other batches. Gonna use a cooler from now on. 

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On 2/17/2018 at 4:57 PM, Jdub said:

Thanks for the tip and picture. I think my igloo cube would be a tight fit and the bottles would be touching the keg. I may run to Wally World and pick one up. Do you low temp in the 60’s for the whole 3 weeks?

JDub,

 

You don't need to maintain the low 60's for the entire 3 weeks.  In fact it is better to let the temperature slowly ramp up to about 68 to 70 after about a week.  This allows the yeast to clean up their mess without falling asleep.  All of your esters and off flavors will be produced during the height of fermentation.

 

Dawg

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Ok I got a cooler yesterday that should do the trick. I’ll go with a couple of frozen water bottles and monitor the temp. Thanks for the advice. I need all I can get. 

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Just brewed up Thunder Bay ipa. In cooler with 4 frozen water bottles. Hoping to have a good batch. 

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17 minutes ago, Jdub said:

Just brewed up Thunder Bay ipa. In cooler with 4 frozen water bottles. Hoping to have a good batch. 

That's last on my "to brew" list.  I look forward to hearing how your batch turned out.

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I see in the cooler you have a thermometer inside so you have to open it to read it. In mine I use an aquarium/reptile digital thermometer (about $10.)

I feed the sensor on its cable inside the cooler through the drain hole and then tape it under insulation to the LBK.

That way I can read wort temp from outside the cooler.

If you have no drain hole, feed the cable out across the top. You may need a small groove to accommodate it but it is a thin cable

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3 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

I see in the cooler you have a thermometer inside so you have to open it to read it. In mine I use an aquarium/reptile digital thermometer (about $10.)

I feed the sensor on its cable inside the cooler through the drain hole and then tape it under insulation to the LBK.

That way I can read wort temp from outside the cooler.

If you have no drain hole, feed the cable out across the top. You may need a small groove to accommodate it but it is a thin cable

 

I really need to do that. It would be an upgrade to my system that has been working pretty good. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Thanks to Jdub and all for this thread. I too may have fermented my first two batches a little warm as I was at 67-68 ambient during high krausen and did not know any better at the time. :(

However, whatever happens with those I'll chalk up to learning curve and revamp for my third batch, Witch's Flight. The standard Oktoberfest refill can with no boosters is my first and has been conditioning for 3 weeks so going to pop a sampler in the fridge to see what I have done to myself. Second batch has been fermenting for 3 weeks and is close to bottling this weekend, Bewitched Amber and crossed fingers on that as well.

Have a cooler, temp probe, and water bottles to go with the Witch's Flight and that should give me more temp control, LOL, as I really had none in my ignorance.

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@Cato what I know about brewing beer could fit in a yeast packet...... however my 1st 3 batches all tasted quite cidery. Am lager, am ale and now horse’s ass ale which I tasted today while bottling. All the experts seems to suggest that although the instructions say around 70 is fine, I’m thinking it’s not. Now I’m worrying today that my cooler is too cold!!! Got to play around with it to get it right. I’m curious how your Oktoberfest tastes when you try it. Did you sample it while bottling?

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5 minutes ago, Jdub said:

@Cato what I know about brewing beer could fit in a yeast packet...... however my 1st 3 batches all tasted quite cidery. Am lager, am ale and now horse’s ass ale which I tasted today while bottling. All the experts seems to suggest that although the instructions say around 70 is fine, I’m thinking it’s not. Now I’m worrying today that my cooler is too cold!!! Got to play around with it to get it right. I’m curious how your Oktoberfest tastes when you try it. Did you sample it while bottling?

Actually, what the more experienced brewers have been warning about is the importance of temperature control. Ale yeast prefers living in one range of temperatures and lagers yeast in a lower range. Regardless the strain of yeast used, keeping temperatures near the low end of the desired range keeps down the tendency to produce off flavors. They will be created, and they will eventually be consumed by the yeast during conditioning.

Every home has it's own unique environment. The length of time it will actually take to brew your beer will be specific for your home. The time frames outlined by MB and others in this forum should be considered rule of thumb recommendations. Practice and patience will make your beer better. 

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38 minutes ago, Jdub said:

@Cato what I know about brewing beer could fit in a yeast packet...... however my 1st 3 batches all tasted quite cidery. Am lager, am ale and now horse’s ass ale which I tasted today while bottling. All the experts seems to suggest that although the instructions say around 70 is fine, I’m thinking it’s not. Now I’m worrying today that my cooler is too cold!!! Got to play around with it to get it right. I’m curious how your Oktoberfest tastes when you try it. Did you sample it while bottling?

I did take a little taste when I was taking the lbk out of the fridge, as I cold crashed it overnight. It was pretty cold but didn't seem too strongly flavored one way or the other at the time. The bottles seem mostly carbonated with little to no give when squeezed. Friday will be 3 weeks, so even though that's minimum time, I'm going to put one in the fridge for a few days and see how it tastes. Probably wait a few weeks before I sample another.

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

I did take a little taste when I was taking the lbk out of the fridge, as I cold crashed it overnight. It was pretty cold but didn't seem too strongly flavored one way or the other at the time. The bottles seem mostly carbonated with little to no give when squeezed. Friday will be 3 weeks, so even though that's minimum time, I'm going to put one in the fridge for a few days and see how it tastes. Probably wait a few weeks before I sample another.

Cool. Let us know how it goes. Right now I’m experimenting with how many frozen water bottles in the cooler will yield the right temp for my ale. I have already determined that 4 is too many. Maybe 1 or 2 is the right number. I got a stick on thermometer today and I haven’t been able to hit the lower range yet. 

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@Shrike when you have time could you describe in more detail the inkbird and what it is and how it’s used with a mini fridge? I see it mentioned a lot and haven’t a clue. 

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1 hour ago, Jdub said:

@Shrike when you have time could you describe in more detail the inkbird and what it is and how it’s used with a mini fridge? I see it mentioned a lot and haven’t a clue. 

 

The Inkbird is nothing more than a digital thermostat that your fridge plugs into.  It has a probe that goes inside your fridge to monitor the temp.  People have various ways of using the probe, but I just tape a sponge to my LBK and have the probe underneath it (the sponge insulates the probe from the ambient air in the fridge). I have mine set at 64* with a one degree differential.  So if the temperature rises above 65*, the fridge kicks on.  

 

Here's a photo of the LBK in the fridge.  The sponge is taped at the back with probe nestled against the LBK about midway from the bottom to the #2 fill line.  Bonus tip:  note the small piece of wooden molding sitting under the front of the LBK.  That's to help keep trub from settling around the spigot.  Bonus tip #2:  note the towel at the bottom, just in case of any overflow. 
 

40373015791_d3ba666d68_z.jpg

 

 

 

And the Inkbird itself sitting on top of the fridge, showing that it's set for 64* and the current temp is 64.4*.  The Inkbird has several user settings, one of which is a compressor delay.  Forum wisdom - along with that of some HVAC folks - is that you want to set that for at least five minutes.  That way, if your fridge comes on, runs, then shuts off, it won't kick back on for five minutes thus minimizing potential damage to the compressor.

 

 

39661816824_9d5a845d8a_z.jpg

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1 hour ago, Jdub said:

@Shrike when you have time could you describe in more detail the inkbird and what it is and how it’s used with a mini fridge? I see it mentioned a lot and haven’t a clue. 

This may also help. 

 

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Shrike and D Kristof,

 

that is excellent. Thanks for the detailed explanation and pics. Having bought a dorm fridge for my college student a few yrs ago I know they come in different sizes. I’ll ck it out!

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Keep in mind that you can use that setup on any frig or freezer.  Instead of a dorm frig, I have a normal sized freezer that I absconded with from my in-law's house after we moved them to assisted living.  It's on the right in this picture.

 

You can then make a freezer into a frig by setting it to 37 degrees for example.

 

Mine allows me to ferment as many as 7 LBKs at once, although it's tough to do that if you start each a week after the other, because peak fermentation drives the temp controller (I move it to the newest batch), and therefore makes the others cooler.  And temp does differ from bottom to top.  The main issue with this freezer is that it has coils under the shelves, so they aren't moveable.  Therefore, I couldn't use it to do say a 5 gallon bucket.  

 

Those that are handy can make their own controller.  You don't end up saving that much, but mine has the advantage of both operating as an extension cord (i.e. supplying 2 non-switched outlets, plus I have a heat side, so I can put a paint can heater in the bottom of the freezer and use it to warm things if they are too cold.  post-57583-0-67158100-1432125237_thumb.jpg

 

20140924_171336.thumb.jpg.5b6a6a1252005158a3619869310411b1.jpg

 

post-57583-0-66827100-1443389017_thumb.jpg

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I had an epiphany last night. I got out my Weber igrill (meat thermometer) which is normally reserved for a brisket or prime rib. I put the probe in cooler and set the unit right on top of my cooler. Monitoring temp excellent now. It was too cold last night. Haven’t quite hit 60 yet. Had one frozen water bottle in there and will just leave it alone and let it slowly work it’s way up to the 60’s. Wort has been in cooler 24 hours now so I figure this is the time I want cooler temps. Cooler holds the cold temp excellent. Hopefully will hit 60’s tonight when I get home. 

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Jdub,

 

I wouldn't worry too much about not quite getting to 60.  Fermentation has probably started.  I start my fermentation chamber at an ambient of 58 to 60 and that allows a wort temperature of 62 to 64 in most cases, 66 with a very vigorous fermentation. 

 

You should be fine.

 

Dawg

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52 minutes ago, BDawg62 said:

Jdub,

 

I wouldn't worry too much about not quite getting to 60.  Fermentation has probably started.  I start my fermentation chamber at an ambient of 58 to 60 and that allows a wort temperature of 62 to 64 in most cases, 66 with a very vigorous fermentation. 

 

You should be fine.

 

Dawg

Dawg,

 

thanks for for the tip. Having basically blown my 1st three batches I’m a little paranoid but glad to be on the cool side now. 

 

Jdub

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46 minutes ago, Jdub said:

Dawg,

 

thanks for for the tip. Having basically blown my 1st three batches I’m a little paranoid but glad to be on the cool side now. 

 

Jdub

 

Don't worry about it too much yet.  About the only thing I DIDN'T get wrong with my first two batches was sanitation.  I fermented way too warm, didn't ferment long enough, didn't condition long enough, over-carbonated, etc., etc.  I still had drinkable beer.  It wasn't great, far from it, but it was drinkable.  It was only after finding this forum that I learned everything I'd done wrong.  Now I'm making beers that I share with family and friends with pride.

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8 hours ago, Jdub said:

Dawg,

 

thanks for for the tip. Having basically blown my 1st three batches I’m a little paranoid but glad to be on the cool side now. 

 

Jdub

 

I put my LBK in a cubbyhole that happens to maintain 62 ambient.  I was really worried I didn't have it warm enough until I got through my first batch.  Little did I know I was doing exactly the right thing.  Sometimes it's better to be lucky than smart.

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I just turned on my digital thermometer and the cooler is holding a steady 60-61. Have the probe sitting on top of the LBK. Nothing very complicated, just one frozen water bottle in the cooler. I’m gonna leave it alone and not open it. Right now is 72 hrs fermenting. Think I’ll just let it warm up a little on its own.

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Take a folded piece of cloth or a sponge and put it over the tip of the probe, taping it so the tip of the probe is below the fluid level.  Measuring the air temp isn't what you want to do (but it's better than nothing), you want to measure the wort temp.  However, at 72 hours you're headed toward the end of peak fermentation anyway.

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2 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Take a folded piece of cloth or a sponge and put it over the tip of the probe, taping it so the tip of the probe is below the fluid level.  Measuring the air temp isn't what you want to do (but it's better than nothing), you want to measure the wort temp.  However, at 72 hours you're headed toward the end of peak fermentation anyway.

Ok I will do that. So are you saying that I may have had it too cold during the 1st 72? I see foam on top of the wort. I was just trying to see what kind of environment my cooler was creating. 

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1 hour ago, Jdub said:

Ok I will do that. So are you saying that I may have had it too cold during the 1st 72? I see foam on top of the wort. I was just trying to see what kind of environment my cooler was creating. 

No, you probably had it just right.  If you have Krausen on top of the wort then you have fermentation.  If you have an active fermentation then you can not possibly have it too cold.  Yeast won't ferment your wort if they are too cold.  @RickBeer is saying you are probably getting near the end of when you need to worry so much about temperature.  He is suggesting that you need to worry about the temperature of the wort and not the ambient.  I actually measure both, it is how my chamber is set up (see https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pimp-my-system/son-of-a-fermentation-chiller/).   I give my beers 96 hours of fermentation and then I start to gradually raise the temperature in my chamber by a degree or 2 per day until I get to 68.  In my case in the winter, I need to use seed mat heating pads to accomplish this feat.  This raise in temperature lets the yeast finish their cleanup before they fall out of suspension.

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On 2/21/2018 at 7:29 AM, RickBeer said:

Take a folded piece of cloth or a sponge and put it over the tip of the probe, taping it so the tip of the probe is below the fluid level.  Measuring the air temp isn't what you want to do (but it's better than nothing), you want to measure the wort temp.  However, at 72 hours you're headed toward the end of peak fermentation anyway.

Came home today and checked the temp.....bam! 😢

88E85D1D-07DC-4FCC-8979-A7741A8EF895.jpeg

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45 minutes ago, Jdub said:

Came home today and checked the temp.....bam! 😢

88E85D1D-07DC-4FCC-8979-A7741A8EF895.jpeg

RDWHAHB

 

low temps are WAY better than having high temps. 

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i have found that 1 frozen water bottle in the cooler keeps it in that low to mid 60’s range for a couple of days if I just leave it alone. Can’t believe that I had 4 bottles in there to start with. Learning curve. 

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24 minutes ago, Jdub said:

i have found that 1 frozen water bottle in the cooler keeps it in that low to mid 60’s range for a couple of days if I just leave it alone. Can’t believe that I had 4 bottles in there to start with. Learning curve. 

 

I'd recommend you do some more reading.  The number of bottle is dependent on:

 

1- the size of the bottle

2- the point in the fermentation cycle

 

At peak fermentation (roughly 24 - 72 hours), it generates the most heat, and you'll need more frozen bottles or changing them more often.  At 10 days in, you may need none if the cooler is open and the room is in the 60s.  

 

You have to experiment and watch if using frozen water bottles.  

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24 minutes ago, Jdub said:

i have found that 1 frozen water bottle in the cooler keeps it in that low to mid 60’s range for a couple of days if I just leave it alone. Can’t believe that I had 4 bottles in there to start with. Learning curve. 

Nice to know as I have  nearly the same cooler ready for my next batch, so thanks for sharing.

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@RickBeer thanks for the info. I’ve actually been reading a ton.  I understand what you’re saying. I didn’t mean to imply that 1 will be good under all conditions. Just talking about normal water bottles. Rick you should do a mr beer podcast. I listen to some of the home brew ones and they are waaaaay over my head. Would be nice if there was one out there just talking mr beer. I’d listen. 

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Can't do it.  RickBeer's identity has to remain anonymous, otherwise the press will surround my house and not give me a moment's peace.   

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1 hour ago, Jdub said:

Rick you should do a mr beer podcast. I listen to some of the home brew ones and they are waaaaay over my head. Would be nice if there was one out there just talking mr beer. I’d listen. 

@Jdub,

 

Please do not stroke the ego of @RickBeer.  Everytime that a new forum member does this, it takes at least a month to get his head back down to normal size.  You should have seen when he won brewer of the month.  That took forever to get him back to normal.

 

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

 

Dawg

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15 minutes ago, BDawg62 said:

@Jdub,

 

Please do not stroke the ego of @RickBeer.  Everytime that a new forum member does this, it takes at least a month to get his head back down to normal size.  You should have seen when he won brewer of the month.  That took forever to get him back to normal.

 

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

 

Dawg

 

Stop spreading lies.  27 days is not a month.  Head looks normal sized.

 

post-57583-0-22155900-1424464746.jpg

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4 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Can't do it.  RickBeer's identity has to remain anonymous, otherwise the press will surround my house and not give me a moment's peace.   

It'd be like Beatlemania, except you'd have a bunch of beer-swiggin' dudes throwing their underwear and hotel keys at your front door.  :)

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27 minutes ago, Shrike said:

It'd be like Beatlemania, except you'd have a bunch of beer-swiggin' dudes throwing their underwear and hotel keys at your front door.  :)

 

...and @HoppySmile! sleeping on your front lawn?

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3 hours ago, Shrike said:

It'd be like Beatlemania, except you'd have a bunch of beer-swiggin' dudes throwing their underwear and hotel keys at your front door.  :)

 

That there is a mental image I could have gone my whole life without......thanks for that

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On 2/23/2018 at 8:17 AM, Cato said:

Nice to know as I have  nearly the same cooler ready for my next batch, so thanks for sharing.

@Cato how’s the cooler working out? What temp are you shooting for? 

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6 hours ago, Jdub said:

@Cato how’s the cooler working out? What temp are you shooting for? 

Jdub, so far cooler seems to be working great. I brewed yesterday and it held 62F from yesterday afternoon to this morning with just one frozen water bottle it. I have my digital probe taped to the back below the wort line. I pitched with US-05 for this recipe and I like the fact that it has a much wider temp spread than the MB yeast packet.

Shooting to stay in that 62-64 range this week during high krausen.

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Nice......I don’t think the cooler method requires much maintenance. One or two normal size water bottles last quite a long time. I went away for the weekend and came home to a 68 degree cooler. 

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Update.....bottled my Black Beer’d Porter tonight. The sample I tasted actually tasted good 😂. Coffee and chocolate hints.  I was impressed. It had fermented 3 weeks in my 70-ish degree closet upstairs. Last closet batch. Also my 1st partial mash. Cold crashed for 3 days.  Domino dots to carb. See you in May. 

 

Turned right around and cleaned the lbk with the BW and brewed up the Munich Malt Monster! In the cooler now with a temp probe taped to the lbk and just 2 frozen water bottles (normal size). Had an oh 🤬 moment when I slipped a little while taking out the hop sack to gently place the hop sack into the lbk instead of plopping it in there like I had before. Almost spilled my wort kettle. Dang. Almost....that would have been ugly. 

 

J-Dub

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On 12/02/2018 at 9:15 PM, Jdub said:

Finally.....tried my American Lager tonight after 3 weeks fermenting, 3 weeks bottling, and 3 days in the fridge. 1st batch ever.  Daughter and wife both said tasted like apples. Was fairly flat. Was disappointed that there wasn’t more of a sound opening bottle (750 ml mr beer bottles, brand new). Taste was good. Didn’t taste very high abv. Low carbonation. Used 2 coopers carb tabs in each bottle. Everything I’ve read says that the beer will get better with age. Waiting a week to put another in the fridge and test that theory. Overall not gonna lie was a little disappointed about the low carbonation and apple taste. 

 

I have 2 other batches different flavors in bottles now which are aging and 2 more fermenting (I have 2 LBK’s). 

 

Any suggestions other than than give it more time?

Ferment at around 62-65F. The apples are prb from fermenting too high. Or it may just be a issue with the American Lager, not unlike the Mexican cerveza...

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