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Old 06-10-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
samman64
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Default First time batch - what could I have done wrong?

Hi All,

I am very new to the brewing and opted for a Mr. Beer kit. I tried the lager but it came out flat and very malty (tasted like the malt extract kit). I followed all the directions so I am bit confused - how could I could mess up so bad?? Any ideas?

Edit: Fermented for two weeks and there was activity. Bottled for another two weeks then chilled. Beer tastes like there was no carbonation. Reading comments below, sounds like the bottling phase should have been longer. Thoughts?

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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Without a little more information, it would be hard to tell. However, the first thing that comes to mind is insufficient carbonation time. Once you bottled, did you let the beer sit in a 70 degree (or warmer) environment for at least 3 weeks before opening? Patience is key when making beer, and many instructions (especially of the Mr Beer variety) tend to minimize the importance of beer being done on its own schedule, not yours.

The Mr. Beer recipes aren't awesome beer, but they're a good place to start. You might be tasting old extract, or just an recipe that inst hopped to the levels you're used to. Don't get discouraged. Keep working at it.

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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after boiling did you cool the wort and pitch the yeast once it was >70 degrees ? How long did you let it ferment, was their activity ? did you take an OG and or FG reading. Need a bit more info to help you out.

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Old 06-10-2013, 05:38 PM   #4
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New brewer here myself, but I've read that sometimes the yeast that comes with Mr. Beer can be old and dead. If it tasted like the extract it sounds like there may not have been any fermentation.

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Old 06-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Frementing 3 weeks bottle conditioning 2 weeks then chill and enjoy....I have done several Mr. Beers and this has delivered the best results. I would also recommend corn sugar. You can't have good beer in two weeks i don't care what MR. Beer says.

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Old 06-10-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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The most likely suspect is the yeast was simply no good and nothing actually happened. (Which isn't *you* messing up but simply the yeast wasn't good.)

So ... describe what happened. Did you watch the DVD? Did you look at the wort with a flashlight and watch the swirling turbulent yeasties two days after you added the yeast? Did you see a huge head of yellow foam form and float on the top? Did you wait two/three weeks and watch a thick layer of white flakey sediment form on the bottom of the keg?

If not, well, something went wrong and it was probably badly pitched yeast. If the yeast was old (or simply a dud pack) then it's dead. Less likely you pitched it when the wort was very hot and you killed it (this almost never happens).

If you did see all that activity then things went fine during the fermentation and the beer was flat in the bottling. Give it another week. But consider if you primed it properly with enough sugar and if your bottles don't have a leak. (My first batch was plastic water bottles and they simply were not the right type for carbonated beverage. I re-primed and re-bottled them later and they were fine.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewlooker View Post
You can't have good beer in two weeks i don't care what MR. Beer says.
Agreed. But to give Mr. Beer credit, even they don't claim it can be done in two weeks. They claim it *can* be done in four. And they but immediately add it might not be *good* untill six weeks or maybe even two months.

===
Also, in my opinion, Mr. Beer beer just isn't very good beer. A little thin and characterless. So it might be "maltier" than you were expecting. Although it shouldn't have tasted sweet and *completely* unfermented. Even flat it should have tasted like (flat) beer and not watered extract.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Hi All,

Thank you for the responses.

Per the instructions on the Mr. Beer video, I fermented for two weeks then bottled for two more weeks (both in a dark area around 68-70 degrees).

There was activity in the fermenting stage and it looked to be foam at the top.

The beer didn't necessarily taste flat when I bottled.

I did use the plastic Mr. Beer bottles. It really seems as if there is no carbonation.

Could I leave it chilled in the fridge a bit longer and hope it carbonates?

Woozy, can you explain a bit more when you mean by this:

Less likely you pitched it when the wort was very hot and you killed it


Thanks again for all your responses on what was admittedly a vague question!

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Old 06-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samman64 View Post

Woozy, can you explain a bit more when you mean by this:

Less likely you pitched it when the wort was very hot and you killed it

If you toss yeast into very hot, 130 degrees or so, it will die. This is very rare because most people, even dumb people, wouldn't do this.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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You should leave it in room temperature (not fridge) for a week more.

And you put sugar into the bottles, right?

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Old 06-11-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
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Ah, gotcha. Yes, the yeast was thrown into the 2 gallon Mr. Beer keg with lukewarm/chilled water.

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