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Old 12-28-2006, 10:47 PM   #1
Rapscallion Jones
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Default Am I doing this right? (Mr. Beer)

I'm fairly certain that I followed the Mr. Beer instructions to the letter. The only thing I question is when I put the yeast in (which I think is called pitching, is that right??) I immediately mixed it and then re-read the directions which told me to let them sit on the surface for a few minutes before I mixed them in. Also, my basement, the only place my wife will let this chemical reaction happen, is pretty chilly and may be below the temperature threshold for fermentation. So the last couple of days have been spent wondering if I screwed up.

It's been a couple of days since I mixed it up and decided to pop open Mr. Beer and have a look to see if anything was happening. I wasn't sure if this was a kosher move, but I was pretty sure that this was a bunk experiment and I might have to dump it and try again with the fermenter in a warmer spot in the house.

When I opened it, I noticed only a small spot on the surface where there were some bubbles. From what I've come to understand, 48 hours later should have had some kind of noticable foam collection on the surface. I leaned in and took a whiff. At first I smelled nothing. A second, stronger whiff almost knocked me to the floor. I was assaulted by what smelled like strong hard cider. It was definitely a fermenting apples scent. The other notable characteristic was that it burned my nostrils. There's clearly some kind of chemical reaction happening there.

Is this what's supposed to happen?

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Old 12-28-2006, 11:00 PM   #2
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Firstly - it is all good!

Yeup adding the yeast is commonly refered to as pitching. I don't think that it matters if you sprinkle it on the top or stir it in. I sprinkle but that is just easier for me as I don't have to stir!

Check the temperature of where you have your beer against the recommended temp range of the yeast - you may have to move the barrel to somewhere warmer - do you have any heat source in the basement like a hot water cylinder? (or purchase a heat belt). Either that or buy flowers for SHMBO and put it upstairs! Because it is colder the yeast will take longer to get going (this is called the Lag Time).

The smell is a mixture of CO2 and alcohol and means that all is well.

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Old 12-28-2006, 11:20 PM   #3
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Sweet. Thanks.

So what does SW/HMBO stand for? I see that a lot around here in reference to someone's signifigant other.

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Old 12-28-2006, 11:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapscallion Jones
Sweet. Thanks.

So what does SW/HMBO stand for? I see that a lot around here in reference to someone's signifigant other.
She
Who
Must
Be
Obeyed

...too early in the morning here and cannot spell!!!
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:52 AM   #5
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In brewing there are many good ways to do things and many better ways, but few perfect ways. Even ok ways. Dumping the yeast in and stirring is ok. Dumping it in the wort & letting it sit for a while is good. Hydrating it in warm water is better. Making a starter is perfect.

They all work.

[SWMBO is from the old Rumpole of the Bailey show]

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Old 12-29-2006, 02:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
In brewing there are many good ways to do things and many better ways, but few perfect ways. Even ok ways. Dumping the yeast in and stirring is ok. Dumping it in the wort & letting it sit for a while is good. Hydrating it in warm water is better. Making a starter is perfect.

They all work.

[SWMBO is from the old Rumpole of the Bailey show]

[the shirt]
Question for you!
What effect does the lag time have on the wort?
It is because there is less time for the nasties to work on the wort before the yeast takes over and basically kills them all through the production of CO2 and alcohol or is it something else?
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:35 AM   #7
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Yep, you got it.

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Old 12-29-2006, 03:03 AM   #8
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Also, if you followed the Mr. Beer directions to the letter, they tell you to add a lot of table sugar. This would also account for the cidery smell and taste you will get with the beer.

It will be drinkable, but you could make perfectly good beer with Mr. Beer by getting yourself some good yeast and substituting malt extract for the table sugar. (You could even experiment with adding your own hops when you feel ready.)

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